How to Make Money Online Through Blogging and Writing

If you are a blogger trying to make money online and the recommended powerful ways to make money with advertising, affiliate marketing, and creating products is not working out for you, then you need to focus on doing something you’re already probably good at – creating content.

How to Make Money Online Blogging

Writing is my number one source of income that has been a result of my blogging activities. The following are ways to earn income through writing that will also help you build your personal / professional brand and become an authority in your niche.

If you’re just getting started with creating a business around your blogging, don’t forget to read these important marketing tips.

Become a Paid Contributor

Guest blogging isn’t just about getting exposure – there are plenty of sites that will pay you to contribute an article to their site. While the pay range varies, I typically only keep track of sites that offer a minimum of $50 per post and have found opportunities that go up to $200 a post, $1.25 per word, and $500 per month.

I record each opportunity I find in this spreadsheet which includes payment rates, site traffic, blog subscribers, whether the site offers an author bio, and additional details including a link directly to each site’s write for us page. Some sites in the spreadsheet include:

  • – Submit posts on topics related to business, web design, coding, WordPress, and more for a payment of $100 per post with bonuses based on pageviews. The site has 8,000+ subscribers and requires a 1,500 word minimum word count per post.
  • – Submit posts on Photoshop, graphic design, and AutoCAD for a payment of up to $200 per post based on length and quality.
  • – Submit posts on usability, analytics, and design for a payment of $100 per post.

The following are my tips for getting a paid contributor spot on a great blog.

  • If the site wants writing samples first, be sure to send them only your best and ones that specifically fit their audience.
  • If the site wants you to pitch them ideas, be sure to research their blog in advance and find out what topics are the most popular. I like to subscribe to the blog in Google Reader and use the PostRank Chrome Extension to see the posts with the most social engagement and then send them some great headlines running along those lines.
  • If the site wants you to send a post, be sure to format it as specified in the guidelines, verifying that images will look good at the size the blog will scale them to and that you’ve used a similar styling with regards to headers and other emphasized text.

Find Blogging and Freelance Writing Jobs

More and more blogs and businesses are looking for temporary and permanent content developers for their sites, and many advertise on job boards or popular outsourcing sites. The following are some great places to look for additional paid writing opportunities – you can visit the job listings on each site or subscribe to new job listings via RSS. Be sure to look for additional subcategories under each if you are looking to do a specific type of writing.

More sites to check out include,, and

Depending on the site you go with, you will want to setup a strong profile as potential jobs will have plenty of writers from which to choose. Some sites also take a bit to setup, so you might want to start your profile before you plan to start looking for writing jobs.

Additional tips for finding freelance writing work include:

  • Set up a portfolio of your writing. It can be on a separate domain like I have done with my freelance writing portfolio or it can be on your blog. Great places on your blog for writing samples include your archives pages or specific category pages. I use my blogging, business, SEO, and social media as a quick reference for people looking for posts by me on specific topics.
  • Refer to yourself as a freelance writer. Blog owners or businesses will be searching specifically for freelance writers to boost their content. Be sure to refer to yourself as such in your social media profiles, on your blog in the sidebar and about page, and on your guest post bios so that people will know you are interested in writing offers.

Enter Blogging Contests

If you’re good at writing blog posts and promoting them, then you need to start participating in blogging contests. This year, I have entered and come in at first place in three contests, with a total of $1,500 in cash prizes, an iPad 2 (3G, 64GB), and over $6,000 in subscriptions to some awesome online marketing tools. So we’re talking five posts that earned a sizable amount of income.

Every contest is different in terms of their requirements. Generally you will submit a guest blog post and have a few weeks to promote it, and sometimes you will have to also write a post on your own site linking back to the contest sponsors. The winner is usually chosen based on the quality of the post and the amount of social engagement the post receives (tweets, likes, comments, etc.).

Some current contests include:

You can find more blogging contests by simply searching blogging contest on Google. I like to limit my search to the last month so you don’t find too many contests that are well past their expiration date.

My tips for winning a blogging contest include:

  • Write amazing content. Make your topic something that almost everyone will love, from beginners to experts. Without amazing content that almost everyone will love, your chance for good social promotion will be slim.
  • Monitor the competition. Stay on top of where the other contestants are in regards to promoting their posts and make sure yours is as strong, if not stronger than theirs.
  • Don’t stop promoting your post. I’ve seen a lot of contests where contestants just give up promoting their posts after a few days. You have to maintain promotion pretty much every day that you can until the cutoff date (or when the judges start tallying up the votes).
  • Promote using every resource in your arsenal. There are tons of ways to promote a blog post. Unless you’re only faced with weak competition which is not likely to be the case when the prizes are valuable, then you will want to spread the word any way you can and call in favors from everyone who owes you one. Get your mailing list subscribers, Twitter followers, LinkedIn group members, Triberr members, Google+ circles, and anyone else you can think of involved.

Promote Your Writing

No matter how you decide to make money online through writing, the one thing that you will need to do to make a good impression with the sites you write for is promote your posts. Blog promotion isn’t just for blogging contests. Blog owners and businesses will be more likely to want more content from you if your posts are some of the most popular ones on their site.

This is why I wrote Blog Post Promotion: The Ultimate Guide. Its main goal is to help writers who want to earn money through paid contributions, freelance writing, and blogging contests in addition to bloggers who want to promote posts on their own site or guest posts they write elsewhere for more exposure. If your goal is to earn a living through blogging and writing, be sure to get this eBook today!

How Do You Make Money Writing?

Now it’s your turn – do you make money online through blogging and writing? What other resources do you use to earn your income, and which have given you the best results?

Photo Credit: 401K

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  1. says

    Excellent post!

    Newbie bloggers must take advantage of these alternatives to making a living online. Establishing your brand and authority is crucial to blogging success.
    Writing guest posts or paid contributions to reputed sites will do just that!

    Truly informative post, and will certainly help a lot of part time bloggers in earning their bread for the day 😉
    Nikhil Banerjee just posted 9 Step Plan to Earn with Article Marketing

  2. says

    Nice Post,

    You mentioned each and every thing very well for every blogger how he/she can get success by blogging. You share these all things very well how easily we can get success after follow these easy points

    Write amazing content

    Monitor the competition.

    Don’t stop promoting your post.

    Promote using every resource in your arsenal

    I think Guest blogging is also great point to achieve success.
    sam just posted Goa Carnival 2012

  3. says

    Wow Kristi, really a nice post. I think many bloggers do not get success with normal blogging through advertising and affiliate marketing and stuffs and I think it is really a great idea for people like those to do freelancing blogging and writing jobs. I think that way they can earn a lot because they wont have to do the promotion and SEO and just can focus on their writing.

    By the way thanks a lot for sharing that spreadsheet of yours of Paid Writing Opportunities. It is really very very useful.

    Shiva just posted Black Friday Deals For Bloggers – Biggest Discounts List

  4. says

    I haven’t been thinking seriously to get paid for writing, but I started a campaign of guest posting to boost traffic and subscribers for my website.

  5. says

    Wow! I knew there was some money in writing guest posts, but never would I have imagined that it would be possible to earn so much.

    Of course winning a blogging contest is great. But you need more than just great writing skills. If you don’t have a nice email list, a big amount of followers on twitter and loads of friends on facebook and Google+ , then it is going to be a lot of work to be able to compete with people that do have all those “resources”.

    And I can see why you win contests Kristi. Your writing skills are phenomenal.

    It’s great to find out that there are many ways to earn money with writing.
    Danny just posted Husqvarna 327P5X Pole pruner 25cc 12 inch bar

  6. says

    Thanks for your generous links and explanation and it proves at usual that if you really want to earn money you will find ways to do it.

  7. says

    Wow loads of great info! I am definitely going to look at entering some blogging or writing competitions as you suggest. I am quite new to writing having started my blog earlier this year and finishing my book this summer but I am really enjoying it and it is dominating my time now. Thanks again for all the information and links.
    Matt Kinsella just posted How You Made Your Own Luck

  8. says

    This is a great post, Kristi, perfect for a colleague of mine who has left her job and is doing guest blogging. Unfortunately, she’s not English native so her writing skills don’t emerge as well as in Italian, but I think she could try the same. I’ll send her a link to this post 😉


  9. says

    Having spent nearly 20 years getting a paycheck for sitting at a desk, interviewing people and writing newspaper stories, writing for free is definitely more fun. More freeing. More stressful. More to learn to navigate.

    Understanding that writing is your exclusive marketing strategy for your business is the key.

    Thanks for the succinct article.
    DJ Trinity just posted Top Dance Songs 2012

  10. says

    Thanks for the good read. I have been blogging for 6 months just for fun. Thanks to your post it has opened my eyes to the possibility of making money online from my blog. I look forward to reading more of your posts.

  11. says

    You gave a lot of good ideas in this post, but I’m wondering just how to start out with freelance writing. I don’t have a portfolio of writing samples to submit. What would be the best way to go about getting started with freelancing and/or being a guest author on someone else’s blog?
    I’d also like you to explain to me what you mean when you say that the content you’re writing has to be amazing. What are the qualities that make content amazing?
    Thank you!
    STSweet just posted Affiliate Blog Empire – Read My Review Before Buying

  12. says

    Hi Kristi!

    Wow, what a thorough overview of the subject. The spreadsheet was very helpful to look at. Ironically I just applied to be a guide for About. I had thought about doing it for awhile. It sounds like it takes them awhile to review you? And since I write about travel (among other things) the USAirways magazine pay can’t be beat.

    Love to know how long it takes you to write these great overview posts? When I write a really in depth review, it can take me hours (writing, researching, inserting links…) If I am just writing off the top of my head it is a lot shorter of course. My plan is to write more so that it comes more readily.

    Rajka just posted A Constant Reminder

  13. says

    A lot of people who compose blogs these days want to talk about their opinion on something. However you’ll find the business-minded individuals, that have discovered ways to use blogs to usher in some extra cash as well.

    I think you can make use of a blog to expand your current customer relations. Neither will any kind of marketing material placed in blog content need to be restricted to getting totally new business.

    Using a blog to constantly correspond with active clients along with other readers, you are able to make use of the chance to thoroughly advise them with regards to everything your business actually does.

    That could increase your readers’ comprehension of the entire scope of your goods and services.
    DJ Trinity just posted Top Club Songs 2012