5 Ways to Diversify Your Blogging Income Streams

Published by Jeremy. Last Updated on April 10, 2024.

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If there is only one constant in blogging, it would be change- and recently, there have been some big changes.

If you're like us, odds are good that you're thinking of ways to pivot and diversify your income streams in blogging and content creation at large. While it may be a necessity these days, having a diverse selection of income streams is also the sign of a healthy business and is something all bloggers should be working towards regardless of their own individual circumstances.

So, how do we not put all of our eggs in one proverbial basket? Let's share some ideas to diversify!

What We Mean By Diversification

Eggs in a Basket

When diversifying income streams in any venture, the first thought is often around new ideas. But, in our opinion, there are two ways we can look at this one:

  1. Start something new to generate a completely new income stream
  2. Change how you're operating with an existing income stream to expand

Yes, a healthy element of diversifying income is coming up with something new (e.g. creating a product to sell when you never had one). But another way is figuring out methods to earn more with what you have (e.g. increasing traffic from another source for ad revenue, refreshing an existing product, testing new affiliate sales methods, etc.).

The ideas presented below tap into both elements to help you diversify your blogging income.

Create a Product for Your Readers

One of our favorite things about blogging is that the sky is truly the limit with the number of products or services that can be offered. If you're considering creating a new income stream outright, there are many opportunities to sell a product or service to your existing readers.

What you ultimately create may be specific to your niche, but there are many options out there that you may want to consider, including:

  • Sell a printable like a checklist.
  • Create exclusive content for subscribers on services like Patreon.
  • Write a book either for print and/or digital distribution.
  • Create a course, coaching service, etc.
  • Start a service like a tour, paid events, etc.
  • …or simply putting a tip jar on your site via Buy Me a Coffee.

Here at This Week in Blogging, we periodically sell site audits to bloggers. On my local destination blog, I am working on a print/digital guidebook to the city. Some global travel bloggers run group tours. I have a dream of building out a wine club on my wine blog. The ideas can be virtually endless depending on your niche and audience needs.

If you do not have a product or service on your site, you may want to assess your niche and expertise to see what you can create and sell to readers!

  • Set a goal: Create at least one product that you could sell to your readers in your niche.

Use Your Expertise to Freelance/Consult with Brands

Your readers are not the only ones who may be interested in a product- brands in your industry may be looking for experts for freelance writing, consulting, photography, and more.

Here at This Week in Blogging, we've consulted with businesses in the blogging world to help them create better products. On my local destination blog, I offer drone photography services (FAA-licensed) and start-up marketing consulting for businesses. I've also taken paid freelance assignments for media outlets, both writing and for photography sales, too!

If you are looking at this one and thinking that it sounds pretty similar to the previous point, well, you're right- they are quite similar.

The main difference here is who the ultimate client is. In the previous bullet point, we wanted to get you thinking about ways you can create something that your readers would potentially buy (e.g. a book, a trip, etc.). In this one, we want to take a look at the needs of brands within your niche and how you can leverage your expertise to build out an income stream.

So while thinking of the needs of your readers, take a moment to consider the needs of brands in your industry, too! You may be surprised at what you may come up with.

  • Set a goal: Identify one need brands have within your niche and pursue it in freelancing/consulting.

Create New Sponsored Content Streams for Advertisers

If there is one piece of advice that I will shout until I am blue in the face, it will be this- “you do not monetize a blog, you monetize the audience.”

Creating a product or service is all well and good, unless you have no one to sell it to. Having a product doesn't guarantee the sale, the audience does. And if you are able to reach an audience, sponsors will likely also follow. So while creating a product or service may be something that can help satisfy your reader's needs, what about changing the way you do things to work with more brand partners for advertising campaigns?

This could be as simple as opening your site up to paid advertisements via custom articles. You may want to build out short-form video viewership on Reels and TikToks. Maybe you want to build out a list of email subscribers that you subsequently offer advertising on (a must, in our opinion, even if just for owning your marketing list). Or perhaps your niche could allow for a unique feature that could lend itself to a paid sponsorship in some capacity.

I offer sponsorship slots in newsletters on most of my sites. I created an events calendar for my local blog that brands can buy into for a nominal fee. Building up viewership of short-form videos has also led to an increase in sponsors wanting to get in on the hot trend of the day. I'm also starting to build direct affiliate relationships with brands that aren't on major networks, too.

It is rare to create something that can be sponsored out of nothing, but in content creation, we have the opportunity to do just that- you just have to think outside of the box. If you have an audience, a business may want to pay to reach it. It is up to you to be creative and figure out how to make the connection work best!

  • Set a goal: Identify one content stream that you may be able to create and/or open up for sponsorships.

Incorporate New Tools to Generate More Revenue

When it comes to your current income streams, don't overlook the possibility of doing a site audit and incorporating new products and tools to generate more revenue with existing partners, too!

If you're like us, odds are good you perform some tests on your income streams from time to time, say, A/B testing affiliate links. After a while, you figure out what works best, roll it out, and let it sit and do its thing. But do you ever revisit these? If you haven't, now may be a good time to take stock of how your affiliates are doing and see if your partnered companies have anything new to test out.

Our ad network, Mediavine, for example, recently rolled out Email Connect, a way to help identify your email newsletters when they click over to your site (potentially leading to higher revenue). Stay22, a travel affiliate network, has new AI-backed tools like POP and Optimized Redirect that help serve the best affiliate links to readers. New programs join other affiliate networks like CJ and Awin seemingly every day that you may not have noticed that are a fit for your niche (we recently found the company we buy trees from to promote on our homestead blog- a win/win since we're already customers!).

For those who are data-oriented, you can also take a systematic approach to testing new tools by logging your traffic and performance data. We personally love to do A/B testing with services like Pretty Links Pro (a link can A/B test two outbound destination links) or Ad Inserter (the insertion blocks use a |rotation| tag to show unique displays).

Suffice it to say, we as bloggers often settle for “good enough” when it comes to some of our current income streams when we, in fact, could potentially be earning far more. So if you're thinking of diversifying your income, why not take a look at some existing setups and see if you can increase your earnings a little bit more?

  • Set a goal: Analyze your current affiliate performances for growth opportunities, check out new affiliate products within existing partners, and/or find new partners outright.

Strengthen Your Weak Months

Oh seasonality, you will be the death of us.

One of the biggest problems in many niches is having to endure a slow period. Food blogs may slow down after the holidays. Travel blogs may swing based on when those are planning a trip or traveling to a destination. We could go on.

If your blog suffers from a weak period in traffic due to seasonality, you may think there is little you can do about it. This could be a mistake.

We're not going to debate whether seasonality exists- it absolutely does for many niches. But many of us overlook opportunities to generate traffic in our otherwise quiet periods.

Is your blog slowing in traffic because of seasonal factors or because you are not providing content that people are looking for during the season? For food bloggers, are you providing recipes that people may be looking for during a slow period? For travel bloggers, are you providing content for regions that may be popular when your existing areas are slow?

One of the features we love in our keyword research tool, Keysearch, is that you can check when content spikes by month and may be able to generate more content ideas for your slow months. More traffic means more opportunities to make money, and ultimately helps improve your bottom line simply by servicing a subset of your niche you may be lacking in.

  • Set a goal: Determine if your site is impacted by seasonality, and then create content to try and target readers during those periods.

Do you have a method you like that has helped you diversify blogging income? Comment below to share!

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