Being a car guy since a very early age, I’ve found ways to turn my passion for all things automotive into a home-based business.
It started as a side hustle, but hard work, dedication, and patience paid off. It has grown into a good source of income.
And the best part? I never had to sell an actual product.
I’ve been making money with my blogs by:
Earning affiliate commissions from parts
By far the best way to monetize your passion for cars. It’s more challenging, but passive income becomes real once you get the ball rolling.
Monetizing an automotive blog with ads
If you know how Social Media works, things can happen faster. But to see a steady income on a daily basis, you need to work every day too.
So if that sounds interesting, start your engine, and let’s go.
Making Money with Affiliate Commissions
Organic traffic from Google searches is the key here. I won’t dive into keyword research and SEO optimization as this is a more general topic, and there is tons of info online. I’ll talk about things specific to the automotive industry that you can’t find courses on.
Picking Automotive Sub-Niches
You want to write about things on wheels, but that’s a broad niche. Pick some sub-niches where you have better chances to rank and make money.
You need to focus on the U.S. market. Ford, Chevy, Dodge, Toyota, or Tesla, you can pick either one, but that’s where the money is.
Let’s take Tesla cars, for example.
A trending topic in the auto world, which automatically makes it hard to compete. But you can narrow it down to a sub-topic like Tesla accessories. You can write more specifically about a Tesla model—plenty of aftermarket parts are available.
Writing Good Automotive Content
Even if you’re an SEO guru, writing only product reviews and hoping to rank won’t happen. You need a good number of informational articles. “Tips for New Tesla Owners,” “How to Maximize Your Tesla Range,” or “How to Customize Tesla Cars” are a few examples.
In the “How to Customize Tesla Cars” article, you can have sections on carbon fiber accessories, suspension mods, body kits, custom wheels, etc. Then from those sections, you’ll direct the readers to your product pages where your affiliate links are.
Promoting the Right Products
Doing some research, you’ll come across websites ranking for keywords like Tesla sunshades, floor mats, trunk accessories, etc. These guys get traffic and generate sales. But how much do they make by earning an average of 5% on a $50 product?
Blogging about Teslas, Chevys, or Fords, make sure you write content where you can promote high-priced products. Suspension upgrades, performance mods, or premium interior accessories, to name a few. Fewer site visits with bigger commissions.
Money is in the aftermarket mods. Customization is a dirty word for people who care about their vehicle’s warranty. They only buy OEM parts from the dealership—no business for us.
Get to Know the Product
Building trust among your readers is crucial for making money with an automotive blog. Car guys are not soccer moms. Don’t jeopardize your hard work by promoting poor-quality or overprized products for higher commissions.
Go on forums for opinions on lowering springs. Join Facebook groups and ask owners what their favorite interior mods are. Make polls on Reddit to see what the best spoilers are. Watch YouTube videos for installation processes. Check customer reviews. You get the point.
Signing Up with Affiliate Programs
Obviously, when choosing affiliate programs, you look at commissions and cookie duration. I also like to check on other websites utilizing a particular program before deciding. Their banners and product boxes give me a feel of the conversion rate.
There are tons of programs in the automotive niche (including Amazon), so don’t waste your time doing extensive research before you have some content and traffic. I recommend TireRack and AutoAnything for their commission rates and product pricing.
Lastly, I want to mention that manufacturers typically have dealer and not affiliate programs. Car nuts will always buy parts on dealers’ websites. Keep that in mind when analyzing search volume on keywords.
We lose some of the traffic. But don’t worry; there are many newbies looking for purchasing advice.
Monetizing an Automotive Blog with Ads
As I said, that’s the easier way. When I started my first automotive website in 2013, I knew nothing about SEO but was pretty good at Social Media. I created profiles, grew those, and had 100K+ monthly visits in less than 12 months. Let’s talk about the process.
Focusing on Sub-Niches
Of course, you need to go for U.S. traffic to get the best cost per click (CPC) for the ads on your website. The difference here is that you need an Automotive sub-niche that’s big on Social Media and has a decent CPC. My choice was American Muscle Cars.
If you explore the competition, you’ll notice that there are a ton of profiles with large audiences posting about Muscle Cars as a general topic.
Very few are focusing individually on Old Chevys, Classic Ford Mustangs, or Mopar Muscle Cars. And those are “For Fun” rather than “Profit.”
Building Social Media
If you follow my logic, you already guessed it. I created a profile for each Chevy, Mustang, and Mopar, but only focusing on the 1960 and 1970s models. Why? Because there are many older folks, who spend time on social media and love the cars from their youth.
The above translates to a high potential for posts to go viral on Facebook and Pinterest. Most people like and share photos of hot cars. Many would also comment under a post of a car that they had back in the day, and others will engage in creating a conversation.
Growing a Facebook Page
While you could grow a Facebook page for free ten years ago, today, it’s impossible. The good thing is car pages are relatively easy to grow. A $5 or $10 daily budget per page, great images, and a 40 to 70-year-old U.S.-based audience will get your page rolling in a couple of months.
Engagement with your ads will start from day one. It’s very important to not just reply to comments but try to engage people in conversation. Simple questions like: “Did you have a car like that?”, “What model did you own?” to make people get back to you.
Replying to comments and answering PMs from followers are the two things to focus on when managing your pages. Do it daily, and Facebook will reward you with organic reach.
Remember that things might be slightly different with the New Facebook Page Experience!
Growing a Pinterest Account
That’s super easy for the automotive niche; all it takes is time. Here is how I did it.
- Found Pinterest boards with content similar to mine.
- Started following their followers.
- Rinse and repeat for a couple of months.
Steady Social Media traffic and income from ads mean posting an article that links to your website every day. Don’t be scared. I’ve done it as a side hustle for 5+ years, managing three pages. If I did it, most people can handle it.
Here is the chill pill. My articles were mainly 200-300 words—more than enough. Social media users’ attention span is super low. Have the text separated into more paragraphs and add a few images. It’s easier to read, and you have more spots for ads.
Joining Ad Networks
I’ve tried many, and nothing came even close to Adsense. I like things as automated as possible, so my focus stays on content creation. That was the case for eight years or so.
Then I came across Ezoic. It took a lot of time to get everything working properly, but Ezoic combined with Adsense auto-ads boosted my revenue big time. Definitely worth the effort.
My Final Words
If you’re passionate about cars, want to start a blog, and turn it into a home-based business, go for it. Trust me; you don’t need to be a mechanic.
A small budget for SEO tools or paid Facebook ads and a few hours a day are all you need to make it happen. Get started, and don’t quit.
Danny is a father, husband, car guy, and online entrepreneur. His latest project is DMotus.com, a blog dedicated to automotive customization. If he is not writing, you can find him working on his own cars or spending time with his family.