6 ways to effectively monetize a blog without ads

Do you cringe at the thought of plastering ads all over your blog? If so, you’re not alone.

Many bloggers prefer to keep their websites ad-free, either because they’re concerned about the user experience or because they simply don’t like the look of ads.

The good news is that there are plenty of alternative ways to monetize your blog without resorting to ads.

Today, we’ll explore a variety of ad-free monetization strategies. We’ll also offer practical tips to help you identify and implement the methods that work best for your unique situation.

The goal here is to help you identify and implement effective ad-free monetization methods. We’ll cover everything from affiliate marketing to selling digital products, and much more.

By the end, you’ll have a solid understanding of the various ways you can make money from your blog without sacrificing the user experience or aesthetics.

So let’s dive in, shall we?

Best ways to monetize a blog without ads

1. Affiliate marketing

The second-most commonly used way to earn money from your blog without ads, is to use affiliate marketing. This involves promoting other people’s products or services using a special referral link and receiving a commission for any sales or leads that result from it.

Income potential is impressively high. One blogger, One Hour Professor, has generated consistently high income through this method and reported a profit of over $1 million in 2021.

This can be an excellent way to generate passive income. Commission rates can range from 1% to 50% (or even higher), depending on the product or service you’re promoting.

Choose the right affiliate programs and products

To succeed in affiliate marketing, it’s essential to choose the right programs and products that align with your blog’s niche and audience.

Here are some tips to help you find the best fit:

  1. Research affiliate networks: Some popular affiliate networks include Amazon Associates, CJ Affiliate, ShareASale, and ClickBank. These platforms provide a wide range of products and services from different industries, making it easy to find suitable options for your blog.

  1. Consider products with affiliate programs: Many products actually offer affiliate products, so your best bet may be to sort through products and services you currently use to see if they have a program you can sign up for. We actually have an affiliate program as well that allows you to earn up to $37.50 per sale!
  2. Look for products with high commission rates: Higher commission rates can help you earn more money from each sale. Keep in mind that product quality and relevance are just as important.
  3. Consider recurring commissions: Some affiliate programs offer recurring commissions. You’ll continue to earn money for as long as the customer stays with the service or product. This can be a great way to build a steady stream of passive income.
  4. Evaluate product quality: To maintain your blog’s credibility and reputation, it’s essential to promote only high-quality products and services that you truly believe in. Make sure to thoroughly research and, if possible, test the products before recommending them to your audience.

Strategies for effectively promoting affiliate products on a blog

To promote the affiliate programs and products you have selected, there are some effective strategies that can be used on your blog:

  1. Write in-depth product reviews: Share your honest opinion and experiences with the product, including its pros and cons, to help readers make an informed decision.
  2. Create comparison posts: Compare multiple products or services to help readers choose the best option.
  3. Include affiliate links in relevant blog posts: Add your affiliate links naturally within your blog content, making sure they’re relevant and add value to your readers. Be careful not to overdo it and always prioritize providing valuable information over promoting products.
  4. Create resource pages: Compile a list of your favorite tools, products, or services related to your niche and include your affiliate links. For example, you could create a list of essential tools for freelancers that your audience might find helpful.
  5. Leverage your email list: Share your affiliate links in your email newsletters. Always focus on providing value to subscribers and avoid being overly promotional. Don’t forget to keep your email list hygiene one of your priorities to maximise efficiency.

Balancing content and promotion for a positive user experience

While promoting affiliate products can be lucrative, it’s essential to strike the right balance. Content should provide value as well as promote products to maintain a positive user experience.

Here are some tips to help you find that sweet spot:

  1. Prioritize value: Always put your readers first and focus on creating content that addresses their needs and interests. The more value you provide, the more likely they are to trust your recommendations.
  2. Be selective: Only promote products and services that you genuinely believe in and that align with your audience. This will help maintain credibility and build trust with readers.
  3. Disclose your affiliate relationships: Be transparent about your affiliate relationships by including a clear and visible disclosure statement on your blog. This not only builds trust with your audience but also ensures you’re complying with FTC guidelines.

2. Sponsored content

Sponsored content is another excellent way to monetize your blog without ads. This involves partnering with brands to create content that promotes their products or services in exchange for a fee.

What that fee is will depend greatly on several factors, including the quality of content, the type of content, and, of course, the potential return on investment you can expect.

The amount of traffic your site receives is a big factor as is domain authority. According to HubSpot, blogs ask for anywhere from $100 up to $1,500 for sponsored posts.

The benefits of sponsorships include creative control over the content, the ability to earn a fixed income, and the opportunity to work with brands you love.

How to find and secure sponsorships

Finding and securing sponsorships can be challenging, especially for new bloggers.

Here are some tips to help you get started:

  1. Build your credibility: Focus on creating high-quality content that attracts a loyal audience. Brands are more likely to work with you if you have a strong online presence and engaged readership.
  2. Develop a media kit: A media kit is a document that outlines your blog’s statistics, demographics and unique selling points, as well as your sponsorship rates and offerings. A good example comes from AWeber, which has a dedicated press page with multiple versions of its media kit available for download.
AWeber media kit
  1. Reach out to brands directly: Don’t be afraid to reach out to brands you love and pitch your ideas for sponsored content. Be professional, concise, and provide a clear value proposition.
  2. Join influencer marketing platforms: Platforms like IZEA, AspireIQ, and TapInfluence can help connect you with brands looking for sponsored content opportunities.

Creating high-quality sponsored content that engages readers

For effective sponsored content that connects with your audience and achieves brand goals, consider these approaches:

  1. Align with your niche: Choose sponsorships that are relevant to your blog niche and audience, ensuring the content adds value and feels authentic.
  2. Tell a story: Incorporate storytelling into your sponsored content to make it more engaging and relatable. Share personal experiences, anecdotes, or case studies to illustrate the benefits of the product or service.
  3. Include visuals: Use high-quality images, animated videos, or infographics to make your sponsored content more appealing and engaging.
  4. Focus on quality: Just like with your regular content, prioritize quality over quantity. Your sponsored content should be well-researched, well-written, and visually appealing.

Disclosing sponsorships and maintaining transparency

Being transparent about your sponsored content is crucial for maintaining trust with your audience and staying compliant with FTC guidelines.

Here’s how:

  1. Include a clear disclosure: Add a visible and clear disclosure statement at the beginning of your sponsored content indicating that it’s a sponsored post or collaboration.
  2. Be honest: Share your genuine opinions and experiences with the product or service, even if it means discussing some drawbacks. This will help maintain your credibility and build trust with your readers.

3. Offer paid membership or subscription plans

An alternative method of making money from your blog instead of using ads is by providing paid memberships or subscriptions.

This can be achieved by setting up a membership website or offering exclusive content that can only be accessed by subscribers.

Backlinko offers a great example of this in action:

Offer paid membership or subscription plans

Benefits of creating a membership site or offering premium content

Some of the key benefits of creating a membership site or offering premium content include:

  1. Recurring revenue: Subscriptions provide a steady stream of income which can help achieve financial stability and invest in growing your blog.
  2. Build a loyal community: By offering exclusive content to subscribers, you foster a sense of community and build strong relationships with your audience.
  3. Offer more in-depth content: With a membership site, you can create and share more comprehensive and exclusive content that may not be suitable for your public blog.

Set up membership tiers and pricing structures

To set up a successful membership site, consider the following when creating membership tiers and pricing structures:

  1. Offer multiple tiers: Create different membership levels with varying degrees of access to cater to different needs and budgets. For example, you could offer a basic plan with limited access, a premium plan with full access, and a VIP plan with additional perks.
  2. Set reasonable pricing: Determine your pricing based on the value you’re providing, your target audience’s budget, and industry standards. Research competitor pricing to ensure your rates are competitive.
  3. Offer promotional discounts: Attract new members by offering limited-time discounts or promotions, such as a reduced price for the first month or a discount for annual subscriptions.

To simplify the process of setting up and managing your membership site, consider using a membership plugin like SureMembers.


SureMembers offers an easy-to-use interface, customizable membership tiers and integrated payment processing. It’s an excellent choice for bloggers looking to monetize content through memberships.

To add a membership component to your existing WordPress blog, all you need to do is install the SureMembers plugin and go through a few straightforward setup steps.

Step 1: Install and activate SureMembers

To get started, visit the SureMembers website, purchase the plugin, and download the relevant files. Pricing begins at $99 per year.

Once you have downloaded the SureMembers plugin, your next step is to upload it to WordPress.

Navigate to Plugins > Add New > Upload Plugin in your WordPress dashboard. Upload the SureMembers plugin file and click Install Now.

Install SureMembers

After the installation process, click Activate.

Then, go to the SureMembers website, copy the license key for your plugin from your account, and then return to the WordPress dashboard.

Select SureMembers and when prompted, paste the copied license key into the specified area.

With these steps, the plugin installation is complete. It activates just like any other WordPress plugin and apart from the license key, it can be managed directly from WordPress.

Step 2: Adjust plugin settings

Your next order of business is to tailor the plugin’s settings to meet your blog’s needs.

Navigate to SureMembers > Settings in your WordPress dashboard then complete the following:

  • Configure payment gateways (like Stripe, PayPal, Authorize.Net) to process payments.
  • Adjust content protection settings to ensure that only members have access to specific content.
  • Establish email notifications for new member registrations, subscription renewals, and more.

Make sure to delve into all the available settings in SureMembers as these will significantly influence your blog’s functionality and user experience.

Step 3: Create membership tiers and add content

Next, create membership tiers and add content to your blog:

  • Formulate Access Groups: With SureMembers, you can formulate Access Groups that are custom-made for your blog. You can assign a name, price, and duration of access, and even include free trials if needed. SureMembers also grants you the power to determine which content each group can access.
Add an access group
  • Add content: Create posts, pages, or custom post types for your premium content. Or select from content you’ve already created to add to the membership.
  • Protect your content: After generating an initial set of exclusive content, you need to protect it. To do this, return to the Access Group you created earlier and select the posts, pages, or taxonomies you wish to protect.
  • Schedule content release: You can choose when and what content to make available over a specific period by creating a drip feed to keep members engaged. Plan when members should gain access to keep them engaged and ensure they feel the membership fee is worthwhile.

Deliver exclusive content and maintaining member engagement

To keep members engaged and satisfied, follow these best practices:

  1. Provide high-quality, exclusive content: Ensure your premium content is valuable, well-researched, and not available elsewhere on your blog.
  2. Update content regularly: Keep members engaged by consistently adding new content and updating existing content to maintain its relevance.
  3. Interact with your members: Foster a sense of community by engaging with members through comments, forums, or social media groups.

Retaining members and reducing churn

To keep a membership site profitable, it’s important to focus on keeping current members and minimizing the number of people leaving.

To achieve this, consider these tips:

  1. Continuously improve your content: Regularly assess your content quality and relevance and make improvements based on member feedback and industry trends.
  2. Offer additional perks: Incentivize members to stay by offering exclusive discounts, access to special events, or additional resources.
  3. Implement a win-back strategy: Reach out to former members with personalized emails, highlighting new content or offering promotional discounts to encourage them to rejoin.

4. Sell digital products

Selling digital products is another fantastic way to monetize your blog without ads. Digital products are items that can be created, distributed, and consumed electronically, such as eBooks, courses, templates, printables, and more.

Through creating and selling digital products, you can generate income while providing valuable resources to your audience. Total win-win!

Types of digital products you can sell

There’s a wide variety of digital products you can create and sell depending on your niche and expertise.

Some popular options include:

  1. Ebooks: Write an eBook on a topic related to your niche that provides valuable information or solves a problem for your audience.
  2. Online courses: Create a course or series of lessons that teach your audience a new skill or provide in-depth knowledge on a specific topic. Take HubSpot as an example. The company provides numerous courses (with certifications) such as digital marketing certifications, social media certifications, or recruiter certifications to help people become online marketing experts:
HubSpot courses
  1. Templates: Develop templates or checklists for your audience to use, such as social media content calendars, budgeting spreadsheets, or meal plans.
  2. Printables: Design visually appealing printables that your audience can download and use. Examples will vary based on niche but a few ideas might be things like planner pages, art prints, coloring pages, checklists, or reminders.

Creating valuable and relevant digital products for your audience

To develop digital products that effectively appeal to your audience and generate sales, remember the following tips:

  1. Identify your audience’s needs: Before creating a digital product, research your audience’s pain points, interests, and desires. This will help you create a product that meets their needs and provides value.
  2. Leverage your expertise: Choose a topic or area where you have knowledge or experience so you can provide valuable insights and practical advice.
  3. Ensure high quality: Invest time and effort in creating a polished, professional-looking product that provides accurate, well-researched, and valuable content.

Marketing and selling digital products through your blog

Once you’ve created your digital product, it’s time to market and sell it through your blog.

You can do this through the following techniques:

  1. Create a dedicated sales page: Develop a compelling sales page that highlights the features and benefits of your product, includes testimonials or reviews and offers a clear call to action.
  2. Promote your product in blog posts: Write relevant blog posts that touch on the topic of your digital product and include a call to action directing readers to your sales page.
  3. Use email marketing: Announce your product to your email subscribers, share exclusive discounts or promotions, and send followup emails to remind them of the value your product offers.
  4. Leverage social media: Share your digital product on your social media channels and engage with your audience by answering questions or sharing valuable tips related to your product.

Customer support and aftersales service

Providing excellent customer support and aftersales service is essential for maintaining a positive reputation and encouraging repeat business.

Here are some tips to ensure your customers are satisfied:

  1. Respond to inquiries promptly: Make it easy for customers to reach out to you with questions or concerns, and ensure you respond in a timely and professional manner.
  2. Offer a refund policy: Clearly state your refund policy on your sales page and be willing to offer refunds if customers are unsatisfied with their purchase. This builds trust and demonstrates your commitment to customer satisfaction.
  3. Provide ongoing support: Offer support and resources to help customers get the most out of your digital product, such as tutorial videos, FAQs, or additional content.

5. Provide consulting or coaching services

Offering consulting or coaching services is another way to monetize your blog without relying on ads.

You can earn a profit and make a positive impact on your clients by sharing your expertise and assisting them in achieving their objectives.

Identify your expertise and target audience

To get started with offering consulting or coaching services, you’ll need to:

  1. Determine your area of expertise: Identify your strengths, skills, and knowledge within your niche that can benefit others.
  2. Define your target audience: Understand who can benefit the most from your services, such as individuals looking to start a business, improve their fitness, or learn a new skill.

From there, it’s all about putting this information together in a way people can use.

Package and price your services

After determining your area of expertise and target audience, the next step is to create service packages and determine their prices.

Take into account the following factors:

  1. Create service packages: Offer different packages that cater to varying needs and budgets, such as one-on-one coaching, group sessions, or online courses.
  2. Determine your pricing: Set your prices based on the value you provide, your target audience’s budget, and industry standards. Research competitor pricing to ensure your rates are competitive.
  3. Offer a free consultation: Attract potential clients by offering a free initial consultation, during which you can demonstrate your expertise and discuss their goals.

Promote your services through your blog

To get the word out about your consulting services, promote them directly through your blog.

This can be achieved several ways:

  1. Create a dedicated services page: Develop a compelling services page that highlights your expertise, offerings, and client testimonials.
  2. Write relevant blog posts: Create blog posts that showcase your knowledge and expertise, and include a call to action directing readers to your service page. Take the WordPress maintenance company, WPBuffs as an example. Articles published on the company blog consistently include a CTA at the bottom of each post:
WPBuffs blog service link
  1. Leverage your email list: Announce your services to your email subscribers and share success stories, tips, or promotions related to your services.
  2. Utilize social media: Share your services on your social media channels and engage with your audience by answering questions or sharing valuable content related to your expertise.

Manage client relationships and workload

As you begin to take on clients, it’s essential to manage your client relationships and workload effectively.

Here are some tips to help you succeed:

  1. Set clear expectations: Clearly communicate your services, deliverables, and timelines to your clients to ensure both parties are on the same page.
  2. Stay organized: Use project management tools or client management software to keep track of client information, deadlines, and progress.
  3. Prioritize communication: Regularly communicate with your clients to provide updates, address concerns, and maintain a strong working relationship.

6. Donations and crowdfunding

Another way to monetize your ad-free blog is by seeking donations or using crowdfunding platforms.

This approach allows your readers to support your work directly, either through one-time donations or ongoing contributions. It’s particularly useful for bloggers who create content that is valuable to their audience but may not fit neatly into a traditional monetization model.

Using donations as a source of income

Accepting donations can be a viable source of income for your blog, particularly if you have a dedicated and engaged audience that values your content.

Here are some tips for using donations effectively:

  1. Be transparent: Clearly explain why you’re seeking donations, how the funds will be used, and the benefits your readers will receive from supporting your work.
  2. Offer multiple donation options: Provide various ways for readers to contribute, such as one-time donations, recurring donations, or tiered support levels with different perks.

Set up donation platforms and buttons

There are several platforms and tools available to help you accept donations on your blog:

  1. PayPal: Use PayPal to create a custom donation button that can be added to your blog, allowing readers to make one-time or recurring donations.
  2. Patreon: Patreon is a popular platform that enables creators to receive ongoing financial support from their audience in exchange for exclusive content or perks.
  3. Ko-fi: Ko-fi is another platform that allows creators to accept one-time or recurring donations, often referred to as “buying a coffee.”

Run crowdfunding campaigns for specific projects

In addition to accepting ongoing donations, you can also use crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter or Indiegogo to raise funds for specific projects related to your blog.


For example, you might launch a crowdfunding campaign to finance the creation of a high-quality video series, a new website design, or the publication of a book.

When running a crowdfunding campaign, be sure to:

  1. Set clear goals: Clearly define your project, its objectives, and how the funds raised will be used.
  2. Offer enticing rewards: Provide attractive rewards for different contribution levels, such as exclusive content, physical products, or recognition in your project.
  3. Promote your campaign: Use your blog, email list, and social media channels to spread the word about your crowdfunding campaign and generate support.

Engage your audience and express gratitude

Whether you’re accepting donations or running a crowdfunding campaign, it’s essential to engage your audience and show your appreciation for their support:

  1. Provide updates: Keep your supporters informed about the progress of your project or how their donations are being used.
  2. Express gratitude: Thank your donors personally, either through email, social media shoutouts, or acknowledgments in your content.
  3. Deliver on your promises: Ensure you follow through on any rewards or perks you’ve offered to your supporters, and maintain the quality and consistency of your content.

Going this route not only helps monetize your content, but also fosters a sense of community and support among your audience.

Tips for successful blog monetization without ads

Successfully monetizing your blog without relying on ads requires a strategic approach that balances your income goals with your audience’s needs and preferences.

These tips will help you create a blog that is both sustainable and profitable, while also ensuring that your readers have an enjoyable user experience.

Understand your audience’s needs and preferences

One of the keys to successful blog monetization is understanding what your audience values and is willing to pay for.

Consider the following:

  1. Conduct surveys or polls: Ask your readers directly about their preferences, needs, and willingness to support your blog financially.
  2. Monitor engagement: Track which types of content and offers resonate most with your audience by analyzing engagement metrics, such as page views, comments, and shares.
  3. Leverage analytics: Use tools like Google Analytics to gain insights into your audience’s demographics, interests, and behaviors.

Diversify your income streams

Rather than relying on a single monetization method, diversify your income streams to maximize your earning potential and reduce the risk of fluctuations in any one source.

Some ways to diversify include:

  1. Combine multiple monetization methods: Implement a mix of the strategies discussed in this article, such as affiliate marketing, sponsored content, digital products, memberships, consulting, and donations.
  2. Experiment with new approaches: Stay open to exploring new and innovative monetization methods as they emerge, and be willing to adapt your strategy as needed.

Prioritize user experience and content quality

Regardless of the monetization methods you choose, always prioritize the user experience and maintain the quality of your content.

For instance, you can:

  1. Balance promotion and content: While promoting products or services is important for monetization, ensure that your blog still provides valuable, informative, and engaging content for your readers.
  2. Maintain transparency: Be open about your monetization methods and any sponsored content or affiliate relationships, to maintain your credibility and trust with your audience.
  3. Avoid overloading your site: Be mindful of the number of monetization elements on your blog, as too many can overwhelm your readers and detract from the user experience.

Track and analyze monetization performance

Regularly tracking and analyzing the performance of your monetization efforts is essential for identifying areas of success and opportunities for improvement.

Here are some tips for effective performance tracking:

  1. Set clear goals: Establish specific, measurable goals for your monetization efforts, such as monthly income targets or conversion rates.
  2. Monitor key metrics: Track important metrics related to your monetization methods, such as clicks, conversions, revenue, and customer retention.
  3. Analyze and optimize: Use insights gained from your performance tracking to make data-driven decisions about optimizing your monetization strategy. Things like refining your product offerings or adjusting your promotional tactics.

With the help of these tips and a comprehensive monetization plan, you can earn money from your blog without having to rely on advertisements.

Bringing it all together: Monetizing your ad-free blog is multi-faceted

It should be abundantly clear by now that you can generate revenue from your blog without using ads. This can be achieved by trying out alternative methods such as affiliate marketing, sponsored content or selling digital products.

Or, perhaps, starting a membership, selling consulting services, or accepting donations is more your preference.

One of the best ways to manage and optimize your monetization efforts, especially when offering paid memberships or subscriptions, is by using a platform like SureMembers.

SureMembers provides the tools and support you need to create a successful membership site. It helps you deliver exclusive content, manage member engagement, and reduce churn.

But no matter which method you choose, it’s through understanding your audience, diversifying your income streams, and prioritizing user experience you can successfully generate income from your blog without relying on ads.

Embrace these strategies and you’re certain to unlock the full potential of your blog and create a thriving online business — without ads covering every square inch of your website!

Disclosure: This blog may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links, we may receive a small commission. Read disclosure. Rest assured that we only recommend products that we have personally used and believe will add value to our readers. Thanks for your support!

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