5 Ways To Make Money Without Ads

When you ask someone how they plan to monetize something, generally the answer has something to do with advertising. However, there are plenty of ways to make an income without ever placing an ad on your blog. This post will highlight at least 5 of those methods.

1. Make Yourself Worthy Of Being Hired – When I published on my own blog for a year, I did so as an experiment to see where the blog would take me. I didn’t have a single ad on the blog nor was I interested in monetization. However, two-thirds into the project, I received an email asking me if I would be interested in writing about WordPress on their site. The point being, my blog was a constantly updated resume with each published post. Hundreds of blogs both big and small are always looking for people to write content for them “albeit for free”. By the way, if you’re looking for a blogging job, stop by the Performancing job board where jobs are being posted on a regular basis.

2. Consultation – If you have become a pro within your niche, consider allowing people to purchase billable hours from you in exchange for consultation. Often times, if you provide the results, word of mouth will do the advertising for you. On the side, maintain a blog which continues to discuss your niche. The blog will also serve as a funnel for new clients.

3. Sell A Product/Service – Instead of placing 200 ads on your blog, why not create a product or service that is in demand, then sell it. You could sell memberships to a specialized website with premium content, some sort of SEO on Steroids service which would give bloggers all the information they would need to know to rank higher in the search engines, etc. These are just examples but the premise is to sell a product. One more benefit to think about, you keep 100% of the profit.

Other Examples: Selling Merchandise, Selling Guest Blog Posting Services

4. Do Something That Creates Other Opportunities – Use your blog as a platform. A great example is Frank Warren’s PostSecrets blog which publishes 20 postcards each week showcasing secrets people have told him on postcards. What started out as an art project has landed Frank numerous opportunities to chat with mainstream media, has given him the chance to speak at numerous colleges across the country, and has given him the opportunity to network with people all across the world. PostSecrets is a blog which gains in popularity quarter after quarter. Despite the blogs popularity, Frank continues to keep the blog ad free and has turned down numerous advertising deals, some of which have been rather lucrative.

5. Write/Sell A Book – Chris Anderson showed us with The Long Tail, that becoming a successful book author is easy when you have a blog with thousands of readers/contributors to market to. Chris Anderson used the blog as a way of sharing thoughts and ideas that were going to appear in the book. Thanks to the contributions and discussions offered by fans of the blog, this helped to reshape the book before being published. These loyal fans also received copies of the book before it was published, giving them the opportunity to spread the word before the books initial release.

Don’t want to write a book? Think about it this way. If you write about a specific niche long enough, you could easily take all of those blog posts and turn them into a book. Thus, each blog post represents one page or perhaps an entire chapter within a book. Other great examples include Lorelle Van Fossen’s “Blogging Tips – What Bloggers Won’t Tell You About Blogging” and Darren Rowse with co author Chris Garret’s “ProBlogger – Secrets To Blogging Your Way To A Six-Figure Income“.


These are just a handful of ways in which you can monetize without displaying a single ad on your blog. If you get creative, I’m sure you’ll be able to come up with more which I invite you to share with us in the comments.

Photo by yomanimus under Creative Commons 2.0

11 thoughts on “5 Ways To Make Money Without Ads

  1. Wow! Great post!

    I specifically like the post about PostSecrets. I guess its a new direction that not many people have thought of!

  2. I like your idea of witting a book. I am not much of a writer so I have been looking at hiring a ghost writer. It does seem like a good way to make money. Hire a ghost writer to write a book on a popular topic. Sell it, collect royalties, then republish the book every couple of years to keep it fresh.

  3. I based one of my new websites, http://www.myPassionProject.com, loosely on PostSecret’s idea. That is, having users submit the content for the blog. But I always wondered why he didn’t put any advertising on such an obviously huge and popular site. Now I know.

    I’ll keep trying the advertising route for now, but this is great stuff to think about.

  4. Number #1 is a great story Blogs are so much better than static resumes because they give prospective employers much more info.

  5. PJ…
    I’d love to read your ideas on enlightening those in “c)” who have no clue. What do you do with your traffic?

  6. 1. There are hundreds of advantages to running ads vs. doing 1-5 above. The most obvious: there’s no work involved, you simply paste a code into your page and money appears in your bank account.

    2. People that say nobody clicks ads are either a) not wanting competition or b) don’t have enough traffic to make any money selling ads or c) have traffic but have no clue what to do with it.

  7. Very nice post. I agree with the first commenter, advertising still has a long way to come, but it’s come a long way too. I like these tips though, leveraging your blog towards your other projects / services and make money that way.

  8. Personally, I think the state of advertising sucks. Bloggers placing ads on their blogs, hoping that lemmings who are browsing to their sites will click on these specialized areas of the site which gains them a few cents, give or take. Although I don’t mind the 125X125 sidebar advertising methods these days, as I can ignore them and for the most part, they don’t contain pop-ups or pop-unders. However, I recognize that without advertising, you are severely cutting yourself short of the possibilities in terms of making money online.

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