How Can I Make Money From My Blog? Discover the Unconventional Answer

September 19, 2015 , 10 Comments

It's a simple and straight forward question - and one that is asked often: how to make money from a blog?

In today's post, I give my usual style of unconventional and strategic answer to this question.

By the end of it, you may not be swimming in passive income, but you'll have a perspective that allows you to see through a lot of marketing talk around the topics of blogging and passive income.​


What No One Tells You About Blogging

Watch the video above to see "behind the curtain" of the biggest misconception about blogging.

Does that Mean Passive Income Doesn't Exist?

It may sound like I'm saying that a value based business is the only possible way to make money, but that's not what I'm getting at.​ It is possible to run a blog that generates income and it's also possible to do it through sources that are usually associated with "passive", such as affiliate marketing and advertising.

While my recommendation is that you start off by selling a simple product right away, there are other viable business models. However, the key to making them work is that you have a deeper understanding of them.

Even if you want to build an affiliate business, understanding what unique value you can offer to your audience, that will make them want to pay attention to you and trust your recommendations is crucial. And so is understanding exactly what the vendors are looking for, that you are an affiliate of. 

A mediocre affiliate just sends traffic and hopes for the best (hint: all the guys constantly flooding your inbox with affiliate offers? Mediocre affiliates.). A good affiliate has an understanding of product, marketplace and demographics that is similar to that of a product vendor.​

Over to You

The video above was one that I made off the cuff, as a response to a question that someone sent me. With it, I've touched on a subject that I want to explore in more depth, in future posts and I'd love your support in making that happen.

Please leave a comment, letting me know your thoughts and impressions of today's post. Does the concept make sense to you? Can you apply this to your own business? What questions do you have about it?

Your feedback will help me create better and more actionable content, so I really appreciate it.

Shane's Signature

About ​Shane Melaugh

I'm the founder of ActiveGrowth and Thrive Themes and over the last years, I've created and marketed a dozen different software, information and SaaS products. Apart from running my business, I spend most of my time reading, learning, developing skills and helping other people develop theirs. On ActiveGrowth, I want to help you become a better entrepreneur and product creator. Read more about my story here.

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  • I enjoyed the video and your advice is sound. I have tried Adsense. I am moving over to affiliate and have also realised the best way to make sales is to have a far better understanding of my audience.

    I originally intended to start with affiliate promotions and move to a minimal viable product of my own.

    Having watched your video, I know think I should do both at the same time.

    Look forward to your follow-up articles.

    • Hi Ross,

      Yes, I think that’s a good approach. In my experience, even if you don’t manage to create a successful product, if you work towards a product release and you do it rapidly (i.e. you don’t waste months or years in the product creation phase), it will be a very valuable learning experience.

  • Hello Shane, this is something that Michael Cheney touched upon in one of his products that affiliate marketers need to find a unique angle of engagement with their target customer and focus only on that angle. Of course to do this you need to understand the product, the market and the people you can connect with.


  • Hi Shane,

    I really like your unconventional approach in looking at things. Thanks for sharing.

  • Shane you are one of the best teachers I have seen online and I appreciate your no hype style of teaching. I have been screwed around with bad advice from other self-proclaimed “gurus” online but you are the real deal. I always learn some great tips from your blog here and of course the Thrive Themes blog. Thanks for all you do and keep up the great work.

    I just wanted to chime in about making money from blogging since it’s a pretty common for people with blogs wondering how to monetize their site since it costs money to have a blog with web hosting and other software tools. I think it’s best to start out selling a case study or ebook at first but if you can parlay those earnings and eventually become a software vendor that is where the big money is at right now or SAAS as they call it since I have seen many friends quit their jobs doing this same exact thing!

  • One thing I’ve learned over the years is you don’t necessarily need to have DEEP DEEP expertise – and to not be afraid of tackling new niches. As long as you have some real personal passion or interest about a given thing, it reveals itself and resonates with readers.

    In the process of researching and writing about a given topic – even if it’s a new niche, your knowledge grows quickly – and you’ll soon know MORE about the subject than the average reader will. It may be a lot, or just a little. But that authority still adds value to their buying process, and they’ll respond with click-throughs and conversions.

  • Hi Shane,

    I really enjoy your video I agree with you that having a value product is a must for anyone who wants to succeed in this business.

    I feel that is all about doing your homework and some patience too many people today what a quick fix for building a blog but I do appreciate that you took your time developing this video.

    So Shane have a great day until next time.

  • Hi Shane
    Imer here. First of all thanks for the valuable post. For info this is also come into my mind before this when i’m read about an unnamed blogger can generate 5-6 figure via blogging. Then, i’m trying to searching for the answers, below is what i’m understand so far, correct me if i’m wrong:

    1. People around the world are using the internet to get an info
    2. Blog is platform to share info, other than that is to sell product via advertising
    3. Advertising from a blog commonly using banner ads
    4. Also build a list via subscription, free stuff, etc
    5. From the list, then to promote, follow up and sell a product
    6. From the info also, that create keyword ranking from search engine

    I believe this is the basic fundamental how someone can make money from blog.
    Am i right?

    P/S: By the way, for info i’m using thrive theme (luxe) at my blog, thanks a lot for the amazing product. Love it so much!


  • Dear Shane,

    I’m truly interested in your all video sharing in your site and I have an curious about your software or base tool that you use to creat your video ?

    More clearly I’m talking about your very nice Brain Hack Video ? Does you use Powerpoint to make it ?

    Again, thank you so much Sir ! I’m making decision to move from Divi Theme into your Thrive Themes :D

    Trang Dinh.

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