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3 different ways to monetize your blog as a business owner

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Affiliate marketing is one popular way to make money off a blog.

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  • Blogs are an inexpensive and low-risk way for creators and business owners to build an online audience. 
  • Depending on the size of your audience, you can partner with different advertisers to run display ads.
  • Another lucrative way to monetize your blog is to sell your own products or services. 

There are a million and one business ideas that any aspiring founder can pursue. However, I believe blogging is one of the best options due to the ease of getting started, low startup cost, and ability to scale.

When I started my blog, all it took was getting my domain and hosting set up and then choosing a CMS provider so that I could begin creating content. Running my blog over the past two years has been an exciting journey. I’ve learned a lot about the digital marketing space and what drives traffic to a website. One important lesson I learned is that no one will visit your website for the first few months of its existence. If you’re experiencing something similar, don’t falter. Create a consistent production schedule, see if you can get some writers to help out for free, and try to guest post on other blogs to boost your credibility.

I also learned that when you start, make sure you’re not starting too broad. For example, if you want to start a blog around plants, start with, say, a blog around dandelions. The more specific you get, the easier it is to rank for the terms you want and the less pressure you will feel to cover multiple topics.

Beyond these beginners’ lessons, here’s what I’ve learned about how you can monetize a blog. You can use display advertising, affiliate sales, or sell a product or service.

1. Display advertising

Display advertising, which can be set up through Google Ad Sense, is the quickest and easiest way to start monetizing your blog. The issue with this approach is that it is also the least profitable approach. Your revenue per thousand visitors will be anywhere between $0.30 to $2

As your blog grows, you can start partnering with more exclusive advertising networks like Mediavine, which requires monthly traffic of at least 50,000 people, or Ad Thrive, which requires monthly traffic of at least 100,000 people. Depending on your niche, these networks will pay you anywhere from $10 to $40 per 1,000 visitors.

2. Affiliate sales

The second method, affiliate sales, is when you get a commission every time you sell another company’s product. This is the approach recommended to most people getting into blogging, as you don’t need to go through the hurdles of creating a product yourself. Also, you don’t need nearly as much traffic as you would need from display advertising to make a living.

The downfall of this approach is that you don’t control the product or service that you’re offering. At any point, the company you are promoting could discontinue its product or cut its commissions. 

3. Sell a product or service

The final way you could monetize your blog is by selling a product or service. This is the most lucrative approach but comes with the most risk. When starting your blog, you’re not going to have any traffic. So not only do you have to go through the time and monetary commitment of building a product or service, you also need to do all the necessary steps to grow your traffic. 

The most common approach you’ll see is starting with affiliate marketing. Then, once you have consistent cash coming in, build your product or service in the same space and direct your visitors to your offer rather than to your affiliate offer.

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How I started a side hustle working as a travel agent, specializing in Disney vacations

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Part-time travel agent Chelsea Guffy grew up in Florida about two hours away from Disney World and has always loved to travel.


Chelsea Guffy





  • Chelsea Guffy recently began a side hustle as a travel agent who specializes in Disney vacations.
  • “I thought to myself, ‘Okay, this could be something really cool,’ Guffy said when a friend she helped advise on a Disney vacation suggested she do it as a job. 
  • This is Chelsea Guffy’s story, as told to writer Jamie Killin.

This is an as-told-to essay is based on a conversation with Chelsea Guffy, who recently began a side hustle as a travel agent who specializes in Disney vacations. It has been edited for length and clarity.

Last year, I noticed on social media that one of my sorority sisters had started working as a travel agent on a lot of Disney vacations and working for a travel agency called ET Family Travel.

I had a Disney vacation coming up that November, and I had already booked the whole thing but I had asked her if she could get me dining reservations, because those are the hardest thing to get at Disney World, and she agreed. She helped me get all the dining reservations that I wanted.

Then she said to me, “Chelsea, you know Disney in and out. You should come on as an agent.” So, I thought about it, and come the new year I thought to myself, “Okay, this could be something really cool.” I joined the team and I fell in love with it.

Travel is just in my blood, and I love booking vacations for my family, so it was a no-brainer.

I grew up in Florida about two hours away from Disney World and grew up going.

Chelsea Guffy recently began a side hustle as a travel agent, is seen here at Epcot Center with the iconic “golf ball” after starting a side hustle as a travel agent..isney vacations


Chelsea Guffy



 The first time I went, I was probably three weeks old. I’ve always had a love for travel – I studied abroad in college, and when I was growing up my family would take trips at least once a year to different places all over the country.

Travel is just in my blood, and I love booking vacations for my family, so it was a no-brainer that I’d like doing it for other people.

The agency I work for focuses on Disney and family-friendly trips, so most agents focus on theme park vacations. However, we do all kinds of travel. I mainly focused on Disney at first, but then I got requests from my friends, so I decided to branch out.

I did a United Kingdom trip for a friend of mine in June, and now I’m doing another UK trip as well as a New York trip. I’ve also helped with California trips and even staycations.

My clientele is primarily my friends and people in my network, but now I’ve had two clients who I did not know previously – one reached out to me through my social media, and another was a referral through the agency.

Chelsea Guffy who has started a side hustle as a travel agent says that “travel is just in my blood, and I love booking vacations for my family, so it was a no-brainer that I’d like doing it for other people.”


Chelsea Guffy



I’m able to help my clients save a lot of time. I have a lot of knowledge; while they might need months to plan a trip, I can do it for them in three weeks. Sometimes I also find lower prices for them.

I also make sure to tell my clients that this is my second job and that I have a full-time job. I try to give as much time to my clients as I can – but I make sure to set expectations.

I do also get benefits like free Disney tickets and discounts at hotels.

As a side hustle, it’s nice to have the extra cash. I am an independent contractor who makes money based on commissions from the theme parks and hotels. There can also be perks from vendors we work with, which is a benefit for a travel enthusiast like myself.

The amount of time I spend on the job varies, but I average 12 to 15 hours a week in addition to my full-time job. I start as soon as my son goes to bed, so 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. are my prime.  It works because I’m a person that likes to be busy – we’re always go, go, go.

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Business Ideas

Startup Business Grants: Best Options and Alternative Funding Sources

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