You have now built and maintain a successful blog, you get many hits a day. People follow you and leave comments. Your commenters know each other. You’re listed on the first page on Google. What’s left? Sweet sweet cash.
Now, if you’re running a beat blog, you may not be able to make some cash off of it since the paper that is paying you might not be to happy about that. But in case you can, it’s time to check out Blogads and Google AdSense. Decide which would be better for your blog and let the money come in.
If those are not viable options (maybe because of parent company). Maybe you have some strange sense of integrity and you don’t want ads all over your blog. Then maybe it’s time to try merchandising. Many blogs have done it. Webcomics do it. You may have to spend years on the internet grind, but if you can merch yourself, you have truly made it and do not need my advice anymore.
I’m so proud of you. They grow up so fast.