The 3 Best Ways To Make Money With A Blog In 2014 and Beyond

make money with a blog

Almost daily I have bloggers come to me with questions about blogging and social media and one of the most popular questions I get is…

“How do I make money with my blog?”

My answer to the new blogger is usually something like…

“Focus more on content and growing your readership before you think about money”

Now my answer to the more established blogger is usually something like…

“Sell your expert, with a book, course or consulting”

I know, I know, there are many ways to make money with a blog like, selling affiliate products, selling advertising etc…

But nothing beats selling your own stuff, selling YOU.

The people that read your blog on a regular basis would rather learn from you and buy from you than to buy something from someone they don’t know.

Now the trouble in the past for bloggers was “how do I sell my stuff”.

They either didn’t have the technical skills or the didn’t have the money to buy the right tools to make selling on their blog easier.

That hurdle of the HOW, was almost always bigger than the hurdle of the WHAT should I sell.

Luckily, things have changed in the past couple years, today there are a few good services that help handle the HOW, leaving you to solely focus on the WHAT.

One service I have been playing with recently that I like is called Selz.

Selz will let you pretty much sell anything you like from your blog, quickly and easily. They even allow you to take credit card payments letting you forgo using PayPal.

Selz really shines when it comes to selling books, courses and now your services.

Since the HOW is handled nicely, let’s focus on the WHAT.

3 ways you can sell “Your Expert” and make money with your blog.

Now I am placing these in the order that I personally would sell them if I could go back in time and have a “do over”.

1. You start with a low cost book to prove what you know and over deliver on value.
2. You then put together a course or membership site at a higher price point that kills it on value.
3. You then offer consulting services for people that want more of a One-On-One support system.

If done right, each step will make it that much easier for you to sell the next step, you prove your expert, and you build lasting trust and you make more money.

Sell A Book

Want to sell what you know in a more hands off way?

Selling a Book is a great way to share what you know that is written once and can be sold on auto pilot for a long time into the future.

One thing I will say is when writing a book, make sure to be clear and descriptive about what your teaching. Make sure you have action steps throughout the book, giving people things they can do right away.

For me, a good book doesn’t just teach me something, but teaches me things in small chunks that I can stop reading and go apply right away.

I should be able to read your book and take action with the information you shared with no added guess work involved.

Again, make sure your book is targeted to YOUR audience and fixes issues they are having.

Sell A Product

For me, this would be a course and the perfect follow up product the book you sold.

Selling a course isn’t the only type of product you can sell, it can be a membership site or even an app or WP plugin.

> Have an idea for a WP plugin?

> Have to much information to share in just a Book? Then develop a full blown product like a video training course.

> Set up a membership site and share what you know now and what you will know in the future with your readers.

Selling a product like a course or membership site will take more work and more content to fill it.

But if done right, the payoff is BIG since you will be able to charge more money for it, the higher the value to your customers, the higher the price point you can hit.

Sell A Service

Selling a service is basically you selling your time. It can be consulting, freelance works, design work, anything really that is about people paying you for your knowledge “your expert”

You can honestly sell anything your good at.

> Good at writing? Sell articles, press releases and blog post writing services.

> Good at design? Sell blog design, template design and graphic design services.

> Good at public speaking? Sell public speaking services.

> Good at home decorating? Sell a interior design service.

You get the point, if you think about it, you can come up with something you know enough about to justify charging people for your time, be creative.

The only thing to keep in mind, is to make sure your service is PERFECTLY targeted to your blogs topic and your readers.


How you decide to sell Your Expert is up to you, but the 3 step plan I shared is a great plan to follow for long term income from your blog.

But you can do it in any order really, want to sell just a book? Cool, do that. Want to sell just a course? Cool, do that.

All that matters is that you DO SOMETHING!

If you want to make money with your blog then you will need to TAKE ACTION.

As a blogger in 2014 and into the future, it will take more then just using Adsense or selling ads to make a real income. You will need to first have at least 3-5 income streams and you will NEED to sell your expert in one for or another.

Readers, customers are getting more and more savvy, they want real information that is actionable coming from someone they already trust and are learning from.

You now know that the HOW is taken care of, now you just have to be creative and decide on the WHAT.


If you have a question or comment for this Author, just Leave A Comment Below. If you need a little more help, look at our > Brainy Certified Online Marketing Courses Page


John Paul Aguiar

Blogging Entrepreneur that Helps Bloggers and Small Business Owners with Blog Marketing, Twitter Marketing and Social Media. I'm also a Kidney Transplant Recipient 2002

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  1. Great post! Appreciate the insights. (The typos really take away from the credibility of it though-but that’s an easy fix!)

  2. Jeff Sieh May 20, 2014 Reply

    Great article John! Got me thinking about what I could sell on my own site. I will definitely be checking out Seiz!

    • Thanks for stopping in Jeff and glad you liked the post. Let me know and I can brainstorm with you for product ideas :)

  3. Nathaniel Kidd May 21, 2014 Reply

    This is a very good informational post. Actually I am working on a membership site at the moment. You are so correct that if you sell an ebook you can then follow-up that ebook with a membership or course on the same topic. That can add to even bigger projects int he future and more value to your members. Thanks for sharing.

    • Glad you liked the post Nathaniel.. it’s all about adding value, more you can add, the more you will make.

  4. Hassaan Khan May 21, 2014 Reply


    Writing a Book looks so difficult but most amazing thing right now for me. Convincing myself to think about it.

    • I agree Hassaan, have wanted to write one myself, but can’t find the time.Maybe start small and write an ebook, something you can build on later and turn into a full Book.

  5. Tony Davis May 22, 2014 Reply

    John hope all is good your way. You make some really good points in this tutorial. All that that is expressed in this is really saying we must have passion and purpose to accomplish these great goals/ideas.

    How does one get started?

    Keep the newsletters coming I always learn each time you take me out of the box.


  6. “The only thing to keep in mind, is to make sure your service is PERFECTLY targeted to your blogs topic and your readers.”
    and right there is the key point!

    Nice post JP – great looking site too btw (what theme you using?)

  7. John, thank you for useful information, it is always good to see the options in general in one post to realize what we can do and how.
    I am just still thinking how to implement these ideas as I am a photographer and I am not sure if I want to teach another photographers more than actually working on taking photos for my clients. But it is a never-ending time-consuming process that probably doesn’t lead to freedom of time… Maybe I am blind, but any ideas how to solve that?
    The other question is – as you can see – I am not an English native speaker, but I want to travel the world, so I am building my new website in English, including blog to make my work more trustworthy and spread the word faster – the snag is that it takes me so much time to write something sensible i English and I am never sure if it is correct until I ask someone for correction and it is really difficult for me to make the text with that personal touch of myself in English, that I am not sure if it is a good idea to promote myself in English, or if I should find some editor/copywriter or someone who would translate it for me. But it needs more time to publish it and for example in comments matter it seems like something that can’t ever work…
    Hopefully you understand what I mean (nobody has corrected it after me :)) and maybe you see some easy solution that I don’t.

    Thanks for your tips!

    • Lucie, time is always an issue. If you want to make money away from taking pictures then you will have to find the time to take action and work at it. Selling products or services is NOT easy, but it does pay off well in the end.

      The benefit to you as a photographer, is selling a product will give you a more “hands off” income stream that you will be able to sell from your new website.

      product ideas can be:

      How to take pics for beginners.
      How to run a photography biz
      How to get more clients as a photographer

      Ideas for coaching can be:

      Do group training 5-10 people at once, that way you get the most bang for your time and if you keep the group small, it is still very personal and effective for your customers.

      Now as far as writing, lol this is the issue all new bloggers have, either they don’t know what to write or they don’t want to write.

      Problem is, if you don’t write, then you don’t really have a blog, you will have a static boring site circa 1990’s haha Not good.

      So you will have to find the time, and as far as your “writing” I would find a proof reader that doesn’t cost to much to proof your posts before you publish them. Yes, you will have to write posts well before you want to publish, but at least when they go out, they will be perfect.

      So honestly, no easy answers, you just have to decide to commit to the work, or not commit.

      Hope that helps :)

  8. Kin Tue-Fee May 22, 2014 Reply

    John, Great article. Been doing most of your advice but with little success so far online. Guess I need to persevere.
    One thing I can think of is converting my self-publishing books (3) into e-books. My seminars are working out better, thanks to my contacts in Singapore and Malaysia.
    Any more ideas and advice for me. Thank you.

    • Kin, it’s one of those things, you have to first grow your platform BEFORE you try to sell to your platform. If you do it in that order and stay consistent, you will start to see success.

  9. Another great post. Got me thinking about more possibilities. Had never heard of Selz. Thanks!

  10. Neil Cassidy May 22, 2014 Reply

    Hi John,

    Great post and great strategy with an ebook, course, and then a service. Don’t you think for most people writing a book is really daunting? And there seem to be so many barriers to writing one, not least the time commitment and then the sheer word-count.

    You sort of say in one of your replies that you have your own barriers to getting a book out there, and it’s to do with time – don’t suppose you could go into the specifics? Is it just time or something else as well? Or is it just not a priority for you?

    It would be good to have your insights, as I’m sure with your track record you’ve got a superb story to tell, over and above your Twitter marketing ebook I’ve read. I’d love to know what’s stopping you telling it!

    • Neil, when I say book, it can be an ebook which is a little easier to put together. I started with an ebook, and it took work, but much less then it would if I was writing a “real” book.

  11. Lisa Irby May 23, 2014 Reply

    Great post JP! Selz is a new one to me. Will have to check it out!

    • Glad you liked it Lisa.. and Selz is pretty awesome from the time I have messed with it over the past couple months. Plus this is what I will be using for that new Coaching page we talked about :)

  12. Great tips! I am in the early stages of getting my blog started and thinking about products to sell.

    • Jolynn, thanks for stopping by.

      As I mentioned int he post, if you are new blog then you shouldn’t be thinking about products. You need to get a lot of content out there and start building your platform BEFORE you try to ask for money.

      If you chase the money to soon, you will hurt your chances for long term income.

  13. Nice post John! I love the plan and am working toward that with a few twists.

    I’ll be checking out your website as I need to figure out how to capitalize on social media with my blog and business.



    • Thanks for stopping by Leslie and glad you liked the post :)

      It’s hard to ignore all the benefits of using SM on a regular basis, so it’s a smart move to get in there, learn it and start using it :)

  14. Gail Foley May 27, 2014 Reply

    Thanks for the great insight and information, John. I appreciate the value you share from your own experience.

  15. This is actually a really informative post. I’ve been considering starting a blog ever since I read about it.

    After confirming some of that info on your article here, I think I need to finally take the leap and do it. Thanks!

  16. Emily Brown July 9, 2014 Reply

    This was such a great post, John! Exactly what I was looking for to help target my time, energy and resources. I’ve been mulling writing a book ever since I launched my blog five years ago, but got a little derailed (and discouraged) when I couldn’t find a traditional publisher to take an interest in the idea. Of course, I’m much more practical in my approach and expectations now. :-) I think I’ll take your advice and go ahead and finish that book once and for all!

    • TY for stopping by Emily :) Glad the post hit you at the right time.

      Get the book done and out, or start smaller and do a ebook just to get you on track and focused and to test the waters.

      Since an ebook is much easier to put together.

      See how that goes, and the attack your “book” with the info you learned from writing and launching your ebook and make your book that much better.

  17. Felicia Martinez August 15, 2014 Reply

    Nice Blog Spot, & tips also, I found that You are very helpful. Thanks John, Your Knowledge helped me today.

  18. Thanks for the info and ideas. I am a writer, my grandmother is an author as well. She is actually a well known author in Ontario, a poet of over 20 published books of poetry, 12 novels, and several English and literature textbooks at the University level that she wrote when she left her position as a English Professor at the University of Windsor. My point is she is from a very different era of book publishing and is insisting I meet with an agent in Toronto, Ont. I am from the states and have tried to explain E-publishing and that times are changing but she is 94. She edits all of my work and thoroughly enjoys her red pen. I have already published my first E-book at the lowest price possible and I have been blogging for almost 3 years now on a single, very important topic that I personally and emotionally invested in. My next book is nearly finished, says the girl that took nearly 2 months to press the publish button out of shear terror. I did not make much but when I received my royalties check I was so pleased. It may have only covered the cost of groceries for a week but it was success in my eyes. I have since been building an audience all over the world with stories and heartbreaking cries for help. I spend hours responding. I had to begin to limit the amount of time I spent responding as it was taking away from other responsibilities. This post has given me some ideas on how I can make some extra money without feeling guilty. I have the skills, the education and the ability. In fact several ideas come to mind. Thank you for sharing your ideas. I really appreciate it, it’s definitely got me thinking in the right direction without feeling guilty for charging for services.

    • Amy, I’m glad the post has you thinking about new ways to get your book out there.

      Now, I wouldn’t completely walk away from the “old” school publishing platform because there is still huge potential there. But the digital world is great too for the wanna be self publishers.

      Seems like you are writing books for the right reasons “helping people” and not money, so I’m sure the money will come nicely for you if you stay on that track of being helpful first.

  19. Thank you John, for your advise. I have people from FaceBook telling me I should start my own Blog, related to inspirational comments I give people . Truly raw and from my life experiences and faith.. Are Blogs of this sort sucessful ?

    • Glad you liked the post Kelly, but if you don’t have a blog yet, then you are a long way away from using the information in this post.

      You need to fist start and work your blog for a little bit before you can start thinking about making money. Whether the idea will work or not depends.

      If you are asking if people will enjoy visiting your blog,, I think they would and you would have a place to share more of what you know in bigger chunks then just a quote.

      As far as will it work to make you money, again I think it may if you put in the time and work and get creative.

      Either way, you won’t know until you try it… so I say go for it :)

  20. Thank you for the info. My blog is a style and home decorating blog. I it have a few posts and dabbing into affiliate programs to get it going. Do you have any advise for developing followers and how to get your blog noticed? I see numbers slowly growing but wondering if you have tips. Thanks!

    • Emily, hope the tips helps you and your blog. As far as getting notice, just keep writing great content on a weekly basis and get on every social site out here and share your content. Connect with targeted people and share them, in time they will share you.

      I would relax the affiliate offers since your blog is new, you want people to SEE the content and not a ton of ads.

  21. Thank you for responding! I took most ads off that don’t pertain to the blog:-)

  22. Ashish Nagwanshi December 1, 2014 Reply

    Hi John,

    You are absolutely right.

    But what about newbies?

    Because I think your blog post is more targeted towards bloggers who have enough experience in blogging. I mean to say that when i started blogging i just knew about Google Adsense or few other advertising networks. And selling an ebook or any product was a distant dream.


  23. Terry Donovan March 31, 2015 Reply

    I have always wanted to write. I enjoy it, and think I am pretty good at it. I am the “go to” mom for proofing school essays etc.. I just havent been able to decide what it is that I am expert at. I am an idea person, I know that. My formal education was in Nursing, which I am unable to do now because of physical disability. I am self taught in many things. I have the mindset that I can learn to do anything that I want to do. I have 55 years of life experience with many hurdles I have had to overcome. Problem I am having is I don’t feel that I have solutions to the hurdles, as I am still struggling through one after another. I feel like a jack of all trades, but not sure I have mastered any.

    I guess I feel that most bloggers have “I made it through this or that, and now I’m successful” stories. I have made it through so many adversities ( losses, health issues that caused me to live on disability income, divorce, relocation etc.) but I don’t have the success story to tell YET! I don’t want to write from a maudlin, or “Debbie Downer” perspective. Would love some insight, or a brainstorming session, if you would be so inclined. Thank you for sharing your experiences and expertise with us.

    • Terry I think for all new bloggers, the “what and why” to have a blog is the hardest part. So your not alone there.

      The truth is, you have a success story, you have been thru it all and here you are still fighting and trying new things to advance your life and life of others.. Sounds like a success story to me.

      I think just sharing what you have come up to and how you handled those struggles would be a good place to start for the blog.

      You don’t have to be ” hey I did this and im a winner” type of mindset..

      Your blog would be very helpful to people with the mindset of “I made it thru it and I am still moving forward”

      And like the experts say, writing down things is a great tool to help you get thru any obstacles.. so at the end of the day, even if the blog is a self therapy tool then that’s great too.

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