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How to Make Money Blogging: 5 Ways to Use Your Blog as a Springboard to Earn Additional Income (Part 1)

Not only are there many ways to earn income directly from blogging, but blogging also opens up a host of other ways to earn money indirectly. Here are five ways I’ve used my blog as a springboard to earn additional income:

1) Teach an Online Class

I taught my first online course back in 2006–way back when I was just learning about online marketing and blogging and really didn’t have much of a clue what I was doing. That first class was successful, so I taught another and another and another. Not only did I learn so much through teaching (and hopefully imparted some helpful information to my students!), but it was a great source of side income to supplement our family during a lean season.

With just a few simple tools, you can teach video or audio courses online. Or, you can put together a package with video and/or audio plus a course handbook like Carrie’s Grocery University.

Consider what are your areas of expertise and what questions you are asked most as a blogger and then see if there’s a way you can turn these ideas into a marketable online class. Offer the class very inexpensively the first time around as you learn the ropes, ask other bloggers to promote the class for you (you could write a guest post for a few blogs on a relevant topic and then link to your class in your bio), and make sure to include testimonials from those who have gone through the class on your sales page.

2) Write an Ebook

Writing and selling ebooks is one market that is untapped by many, many bloggers–and there’s tremendous potential to earn a few hundred (or even a few thousand dollars!) each year by selling ebooks.

In the early days of blogging, selling ebooks was the bread and butter of our business. As our business has grown and our income has increased, I’ve moved away from selling ebooks, but I’d still highly recommend this to other bloggers–especially if you don’t mind dealing with the occasional difficult customer service issue.

There are a few things you must know about successfully selling ebooks, though:

::You need to write on a relevant, practical topic. The best-selling ebooks are those that tell you how to make money, save money, lose weight, cook better, get organized, or somehow practically improve your life. Unfortunately, an ebook comprised of poems is probably not going to sell well.

::Your cover and salespage are everything. You can write a killer ebook, but if your cover is cheesy and your salespage is pathetic, it probably won’t sell. Hire a designer to do your cover (it’s worth the expense, I promise!), and make sure that your salespage has a clear-cut call to action, includes specific details on why someone should buy your book, and has testimonies to back up your claims.

::You must exhaust every marketing possibility. People need to see things again and again and again in order to consider buying. Write guest posts, get every blogger possible to review your ebook, run ebook giveaways on dozens of blogs, and find every other creative free way to get your ebook out there.

If you are planning to write an ebook, I heartily recommend Sarah Mae’s ebook, How to Market and Sell Your Ebook. It’s packed with helpful information and advice and is worth every penny. Also, be sure to read her article on how to sell $20,000 worth of your next ebook.

To be continued next week…

How have you used your blog as a springboard for earning additional income? Tell us in the comments!

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  • I am right now working on ebook ideas along with other potential monetization strategies for my blog. What I like the most about ebooks, ecourses, and the like is that I own my products and not depending so much on outside sources such as affiliate marketing and advertising. Not that I think that is bad but I think it is important to have multiple streams.

    The one question I have is how would one go about create ecourses and how would we sell them? Is there a specific program just for ecourses? This is something that I am very interested in and would love if you or someone here could point me to some resources. There is so much on ebooks but I am having a hard find info on creating and selling ecourses.

    Thanks again Crystal!

  • Jill Larson says:


    I just love all your articles on how to make money blogging! I have been following your tips and am doing pretty well for a beginner.

    One thing that I have started doing is entering my articles in writing contests on different websites. It’s fun, exciting, and prize money isn’t that bad either!

    I have a current article that was chosen by the website HubPages currently that is up for voting and there are some great cash prizes available. I never thought I would be able to write blogs that people would enjoy so much! Thank you for opening doors for me- this is so much fun!

    I am going to try your tips above and I can’t wait!

  • Willing Cook says:

    You continue to challenge me to think outside the box every week. Thank you so much for this as I strive to serve others and in turn, grow my blog.

  • Sarah says:

    This idea could not be more timely! I have a great (I think!) idea for an eBook but have no idea how to get started with it. I also want to start doing a video series as well. I’ll definitely be checking out the resources you listed. Thanks so much!

  • Lianne says:

    Hi! I’m interested in more information about teaching an online class. You mentioned some “simple tools”. I recently attained my B.S. in Mathematics, and I would love to do some tutoring. However, I have 4 (going on 5) children who are 6 and under, and we homeschool. So, I don’t have a lot of “free time” to conduct face-to-face tutoring sessions. I have tutored online before as an employee of a big tutoring provider. But, I’d like to have the tools necessary to just do some private tutoring online. Do you have any suggestions?

  • Tawra Kellam says:

    E-books and print books is the way we make 90% of the income from our website. We are always on the look out for good products to sell. You’re right cooking and organizing are the big sellers!

  • I wouldn’t even begin to think what I could write an ebook about. I doubt people wanna read about overcoming my diet coke and label making addictions. Well especially since I can’t overcome them. Maybe I could do an online chemistry class. Course lab would be different! I think I am going to look into that. Thanks for the tips as always.

  • As always, great information! Thanks!

  • If you constantly write good stuff on your personal blog, you can be hired as a writer at big blog sites or media houses. Earning has no limit or type.

  • Jen says:

    I’ve been thinking about teaching online classes for some time now, but I don’t know how to get started. My entire graduate degree was online, so I am very comfortable taking online classes. I just don’t know how to get my own started. Does anyone know how you get an online, interactive whiteboard or any other advice to get going? Thanks!

  • VERY timely, Crystal. I have a couple ideas for ebooks but have been a bit timid about jumping in. The interesting thing is the idea was birthed in my mind several years ago and continues to come up. Thank you for the advice.

  • Laura says:

    I wanted to chime in to encourage you all to write ebooks. As moms, we pick up tips and tricks along the way. Perhaps you are really good about braiding your child’s hair. Take pictures and create a step by step ebook. If you run a day care from your home, again step by step how to set it up, what do you need and how to set prices. We are all good at something and have a wealth of knowledge.
    If you are interested in it – someone else is too.
    I would suggest creating a whole page on your blog dedicated to selling your ebook, not just a post. Use good keywords in the name of your page to increase your organic search traffic from google.
    You can always use google’s adwords keyword tool (just type that in google) to see how many people are searching for your particular topic each month.
    Go for it!

  • Thanks so much for this series! Last week’s post inspired me to add Adsense to my site, and I was shocked to immediately have actual earnings–measurable in dollars, not pennies. What a pleasant surprise!

    I’m methodically introducing the other tips, as well. Now I’m dreaming of a future ebook topic….

  • Hope Easter says:

    I know one subject I can write on, and that’s 10 ways to really foul your new business up. I’ve done everything wrong in the business world. I don’t want anyone making the same mistakes I did.

    Great post! 🙂 I’m reading those links right now.

  • I have focused my blog on the grace of giving, specifically giving as much as possible for free or nearly free by utilizing coupons, freebies, and the drugstore game. My featured ministries are Operation Christmas Child, Voice of the Martyrs, and Gospel for Asia. I started learning about the world of couponing right here on and I’m still a daily follower. Monetary gain is purposefully not a pursuit of mine as a blogger, but instead, I use my blog as an avenue to bless those in need.

  • My blog is still fairly new, but I am working at incorporating ways to make more money into it. One thing that I am doing is selling products out of my home and I hope to sell my own (someday :-)) and other’s e-books.

    One things that has gone fairly well is that I am an authorized dealer for Excalibur Dehydrators. I LOVE these machines and I am able to offer what I think is the best deal on them to readers. It hasn’t made a ton of money, but has certainly helped.

    I also sell a very unique detox supplement on Ebay (along w/ other things) and I am going to be working more on promoting that. My family has been working on metal detox for awhile and this has been a key part in it.

    I continue to write about what I love and am passionate about and I think that it comes through in what I do. My blog is getting more and more busy and little by little more money is coming in (emphasis on “little” :-)).

  • Christi B. says:

    It’s hard to think that anything I could write about would be of interest to others. I have a passion for serving women through Celebrations when they are pregnant. There are very few who focus on honoring the guest of honor as we (my sisters at our church) do, and I often wonder if there would be any other ladies out there interested in what we do to serve and encourage each other in our feminine ways. So, maybe one of these days my Celebrations partner and I should just sit down and write something about it. Who knows, there just might be other ladies who like to Celebrate their sisters and love getting together for some lady time all to honor our Father in heaven. Maybe one day…… : )

  • My little blog started out as a personal blog to share stories of my kids, but then it morphed into a business blog as I opened up a papercraft template store. THEN, I became a couponer and I opened up an Etsy store, too! SO, these days, my blog is a dumping ground for my ideas, plus a place to announce sales in my shops. My real money comes from my shops, but I couldn’t do it without all of the exposure my blog gets in Google searches!

  • carrie says:

    I wondered why u didn’t sell ebooks anymore. Focusing your time on the blog is just more lucrative now

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