How to make money from your blog in South Africa - your fast start income guide

How to Make Money from Your Blog in South Africa

As a blogger, it is easy to become disheartened by the fact that your blog is just not producing the kind of income that you thought it might make.

There are two big factors that will make bloggers and affiliate marketers throw in the towel too early and it is vital to get past these two hurdles first.

1. Set realistic targets and work towards them.

Stop the daydreaming and thinking you’re going to start making big money immediately, it will take a while and you need an actual financial plan to turn your blog into a profitable business. 

Set smaller targets at first, draw up a 12-month plan and set a realistic target for each month.

Then work on a specific plan of how exactly you will achieve the target income you projected and implement the revenue earning processes that will bring you to that target amount.

As your blog grows in prominence, more monetisation options will become available and it is the combination of all the monetisation strategies that will work together to bring you up to the required amount over time.

As your blog grows in prominence, more monetisation options will become available and it is the combination of all the monetisation strategies that will work together to bring you up to the required amount over time.

One short example of how your monetisation plan could look is as follows:

Months 1 to 3:

You only make money from advertising on your site and some affiliate products, while you are working on adding your own products like writing an ebook and at the same time obsessively building your email list.

Target: R3000 per month

Months 4 to 6:

Bring in your own products and launch your newsletter with added advertising revenues and affiliate products.

Target: R 12 000 per month

Months 7 to  9:

Build your authority in your industry and start working on adding some speaking gigs to your product offerings.

Target: R20 000 per month

Month 10 to 12:

Now that your authority has been built perhaps you should consider adding consulting services to your business offering.

Target: R50 000 per month. 

You might start in your first quarter and only earn R3000 per month, you could quite easily end up earning R50 000 plus per month by the end of your first year.

In the above model you would thus have an income percentage breakdown that looks as follows:

Advertising and affiliate marketing 20 % of annual income

Your own products 15% (keep them rolling out)

Speaking engagements 20%

Consulting 45%.

From the example above it is clear to see how your blog does not have to be your only income earner but can also be a means to an end in order to provide other lucrative services. Read our article on 25 ways to make money and monetise your blog


2. Use the right monetisation and marketing strategies that will ensure your success

Here proper strategy and planning is at the heart of your success, if you are going to make a success it means you have to employ the right tactics at the right places to optimise your revenue.

The South African Internet user base is considerably smaller than the traditionally big blogging revenue earning markets such as the United States, Great Britain, China and even Australia is becoming big blogging country.

Thus your first decision is, do you aim for the world market and go .com or similar or do you go the route and really concentrate on making the most out of each viable opportunity for revenue streams that you are able to create.

For the purposes of this article, we are discussing the route.

The first thing you want to do is stop thinking of yourself as just a blogger because in fact your are an online publisher.

The offline and online publishing business model is designed around ways to procure advertising revenue and then, making the content fit around that.

Private advertising

Private advertising is where you secure the advertisers yourself and obtain contracts on a paid monthly basis, for example you would set out to sell 6 advertising spots at R2500 a month each and thereby create a steady R15 000 per month in revenues.

For instance if you had a Home Décor blog, you would create categories for each of these 6 advertising slots, ie. Outdoor and Patio, Kitchen, Home Entertainment, Interior Décor, Bathrooms, Kitchens and Furniture.

You would ensure these pages are search engine optimised and attract many monthly visits.

You should feel comfortable to provide the advertisers their monthly page and advertising analytics that reflects a healthy return on investment for them.

As your page visits and click-through to the advertiser’s sites increase, you could consider increasing your advertising rates.

Also, make sure you market these pages externally yourself, you could consider spending up to 20% of the ad revenues on attracting visitors to these advertisers pages.

Special features

Special features are a good way to gain additional advertising revenue.

By setting up a weekly special feature editorial calendar, you could go about selling advertising in these special features, you could add additional value to the feature advertising by including them into your email newsletter too.

Advertising campaigns

This is where a client will launch a campaign using your site and all of your other offerings like social media and newsletters to launch new products, services or even events like summer sales or open an account drives.

You can really get creative here and stack your offering to provide maximum value at a great rate for you.

For instance, R25 000 gets the client – Headline advertising banner for a full month, Two article post, Three Facebook posts, 6 Tweets, Headline banner in your email newsletter, an article in your email newsletter and so on…

Press releases

Press releases can be a lucrative income generator, this is where you allow the client to publish press releases in your blog and charge a “per insertion fee”, just keep it tasteful and not to blatantly commercial if you can help it.

Lead generation services

Here you would charge per lead generated, you would charge for instance R25 for every actual bone fide lead passed on to the client by means of a lead generation form and a specially created landing page.

The client would pay you upfront an amount equal to 100 leads and when it is finished they can top up for more leads.

You can also charge an initial fee to set up the landing pages.


In the end, it is up to you and how hard you want to work on procuring advertising revenues but it certainly is about more than just blogging and the money will come.

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