Hardest Ways to Make Money Blogging And Why

a woman in white long sleeves holding money

There are a ton of ways to make money blogging, but your blog may not be suited to use them. Here’s a list of those and why!


by Kimberly Pangaro | Kimberly is a mom of four daughters and the owner of the lifestyle parenting media company Atomic Mommy. When she’s not running her company or momming all day, she’s writing about family life. She’s been featured in Parents magazine and Voyage Savannah magazine. She’s considered to be an expert in parenting and entrepreneurship. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter @atomic_mommy.

This post contains affiliate links. To learn more about affiliate links and how they work, please read dour Affiliate Disclaimer HERE.


Here’s a hard truth that no one tells you- not every blog is destined to make thousands of dollars every month! This is true because your niche may not be aligned with the methods you’re attempting to make money with.

With that said, let’s get down to the nitty gritty- the stuff that other bloggers don’t want to tell you!

#1 Affiliate Marketing

This has been touted as one of the best ways to make money blogging, but the truth is, for many bloggers this method of money making is not as amazing as they make it sound. Firstly, most bloggers tout this method while also inserting their own affiliate links to earn money off of your clicks. Sure, this is OKAY if you actually need what they’re peddling, but most readers who visit blogs looking to learn how to make money blogging, just want the truth.

The problem that most bloggers run into with using this method is not understanding their reader’s needs and wants. For example, I’ve run into many blog articles with affiliate links for cars, marijuana, and even dating sites, but the content of the articles isn’t geared towards any of those. Therefore, most people don’t click on those things. So, that eats into a bloggers earnings.

Tip: If you’re going to use affiliate marketing, make sure you insert the links naturally, and that the links fit the content of your site/articles.

#2 Ad Placement Agencies

There are many of these around and they all claim to do the same thing- increase your passive income by placing relevant ads on your site. What they often don’t disclose to you without you needing to do some extensive research, is that they may take a cut of your revenue, slow your site down, require some type of technical knowledge of Ads.Txt code, and that the ads placed on your site may not be the ones that earn the most.

Unfortunately, many of the ad placement agencies do this to bloggers. And if you want to see the big bucks from this passive income method, you’ll need to become a member of the top agencies. The highest rated company- MediaVine.

Sadly, most bloggers can’t reach MediaVine’s required metrics, so they’re stuck using the lower-rated companies or companies that don’t offer a great amount of revenue. Be careful what you wish for, because these lower rated ad placement agencies could slow your site down or even provide ads that are not suited for your audience.

Tip: Do your very best to scout out each agencies’ FAQ’s, Tech Support, easy to reach Customer Support, and whether they have an actual phone number. I once tried Ezoic (claimed to be the best), and when the Ads.Txt file didn’t integrate properly, their online library of tutorials, articles, and community helpers, could not help me get it done right (I’m not tech savvy). Searching for their tech support and customer support only led to more confusion. Worse, when I tried to remove my site and delete my account, there was no support on these items at all. So, be sure to do your due diligence, unlike me.

#3 Merchandise Shop Using Print-On-Demand Partners

This can be a hit or miss, and success with it really depends on three factors: your target audience, creative abilities, and the print-on-demand partner you choose as each one has different products with different shipping times.

If you are a blogger who can do it all, like write amazing content that ranks on Google’s first page, create your own digital designs for merchandise, and have a big following that wants what you’re selling, then having a merchandise shop using print-on-demand partners makes sense!

But if you’re like the other bloggers, this may not be the best avenue to head down. Creating digital images for printing requires a great deal of time and effort. Not to mention, it also requires some research to make sure your products are not infringing on other people’s ideas. You’d be surprised how many words and phrases are trademarked!

So before embarking on this journey, make sure you’re ready for the arduous work you’re bound for. And don’t be surprised if this venture takes up all of your blogging time, because it will, and you’ll find that you are posting a lot less.

Tip: If you really want to start a merchandise store, you may be better off creating handmade original pieces, as these tend to do better with shoppers, especially the ones who support local business. And if you do go down this route, it would be wise to wind down your posting schedule to fit your new endeavor and your new schedule.

#4 Google AdSense and Google Analytics

Google Analytics determines your site’s traffic, and will place ads on your site by way of Google AdSense. However, Google AdSense will only earn you a good amount of monthly income if Google Analytics accurately measures your site’s daily traffic.

As such, there are many bloggers out there who have been blogging for years and have yet to see any real income from Google AdSense, so these two may not be the best bang for your buck when it comes to recording your site’s traffic and placing ads on your site.

Google Analytics doesn’t register all of your traffic the way they claim to. In fact, if you were to compare the data from your WordPress site to Google Analytics to Cloudflare, you’d find 3 very different sets of analytics. None of which match up and none of which, other than Google Analytics, are being used by Google AdSense and the other above mentioned passive income methods to determine your site’s traffic and abilities for better ad placement.

Don’t get me wrong, you definitely need Google Analytics for applying to other ad placement sites. Or you run the risk of not getting accepted into those other programs.

Tip: Most of the passive income methods listed in this article require you to connect your Google Analytics account to their platforms, so they can determine if your traffic is worthy of their money-making solutions. In many cases, Google Analytics may not be a true portrayal of a site’s traffic, therefore, when they ask for your Google Analytics ID, try to email the company with a copy your site’s data from other sources to compensate for the difference in traffic. Some companies will accept this and others will simply only use Google Analytics.

The Takeaway

If you want to make money blogging, you can. You just need to step away from the idea that only one method will be the golden goose. Rather, you need to implement many, many methods to ensure a viable monthly income from your blogging. For instance, when I set out in creating Atomic Mommy, I implemented ad placement through SheMedia, Google AdSense, a print-on-demand partner – Printify, an Etsy shop, sponsored posts, link inserts, blog coaching, and more. But it took me two years to build a monthly income that allowed me to truly get away from needing a 9 to 5 type of income.

So, take a page from my book, and figure out what is best for your blogging journey and your audience. And don’t shy away from using whatever methods you deem necessary!


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