Blogging has been popular for a long time, with social media being a relative newcomer as an effective platform for communication. The attention that social media gets these days has made some people question the value of running a blog. They feel that the likes of Twitter and Facebook will give their ideas a greater audience than a blog would.
That might be true in the short term, but if you use social media only, you’ll hit a wall at some point—there’s no way to build on the awareness gained through social media without having a default location where all of your content can be found. A blog is worth having for that reason alone.
In addition to being a centralized place where you can share your ideas, a blog can also make you some extra cash. The most successful bloggers make a living entirely off of their blogs. It all starts with a monetization strategy.
Monetizing your blog is a great way to make money, but how is it done?
You probably already know that it’s important to keep your readers engaged with a consistent offering of awesome content. But that, by itself, doesn’t bring in any money.
In this article, we’ll look at some ways you can generate income from your blog without having to change too much about the way you create content.
To turn your blog into a moneymaker, try out some of these tips.
1. Generate Income Through Advertising
Banner ads are very common on the internet, and although they’re sometimes annoying, they can help your blog bring in more revenue.
You can use ads in ways that are subtle but still effective. Some advertising platforms are very good at blending in with your webpage, making the ads appear to be part of your website’s layout.
It’s tempting to stuff your site with as much advertising as possible. Try to keep the number of ads reasonable and include them gradually. Longtime visitors to your site might not appreciate a sudden spike in banner ads, so start small.
You should avoid using pop-up ads. Users find them very irritating. The last thing that you want is to alienate your fans due to a poorly placed ad ruining their overall experience on your website.
Additional advertising can be in the form of product and service endorsements, especially from providers that share your niche. This could be sponsored content or just the occasional mention in your blog posts. If your readers have a problem that an advertiser’s product can solve, you can reference the product in a relevant post and collect a fee from the advertiser for doing so.
2. Publish an E-book
Take some of your most popular blog posts and create an e-book. This might sound like a tall order, after all, who has time to write a book? Well, you would be surprised by the average length of e-books. They’re usually not that long!
An e-book can be as short as 10,000 words. Depending on your standard blog content, that could be between five and ten of your posts, with an introduction and a conclusion section added.
You might already have all the content that you need for an e-book in your blog without even realizing it. If you have published a lot of articles, pick some that relate to the same topic and edit them together into an e-book.
You can look into publishing your e-book independently, or you can consider using a service like Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing. The royalty distribution is pretty good, considering how many readers your work will be exposed to, and you control pricing and editing. If you don’t count Amazon’s sales commission, the service is free!
You may even decide not to publish your e-book at all, but reserve it as a perk for your blog’s paying members instead. That brings us to our next topic.
3. Offer Members-Only Content
If you have advice that people will pay for, consider creating a members-only section on your blog. Charging a small fee, you can give your fans exclusive access to valuable insights and information. But you shouldn’t put all your content behind a paywall. There needs to be some high-quality free content to draw people in.
Communicate to readers that your members-only content is worth the money, and that the overall value from becoming a member far outweighs the cost of membership.
Another benefit of membership could be the option to contact you directly with questions. You can host a members-only chat or forum, allowing your followers to interact with you and with one another to discuss topics relevant to your niche.
Think about the value you can bring to your users and offer those as perks for the membership. If you’re an artist with a blog, for example, your website could offer members a peek behind the curtain to see how you create your artwork. At a higher level of membership, your readers could get art lessons in which you provide tips and tricks to help them with creations of their own.
Regardless of what you decide to give your members, it’s crucial that you consistently publish great free content too. Your new and casual readers may not be ready to sign up as members, but if they like your free content, they’ll share it with their friends. That’s something they can’t do with members-only content, unless they pass on their user credentials along with the link.
Publishing free blog content is essential if you want your blog’s readership to grow at a steady pace.
4. Try Affiliate Marketing
If you’re willing to endorse products that are related to your blog topic, you should consider linking to them and using an affiliate code. If a reader clicks the link on your blog and then makes a purchase, you will get a small percentage of the sale. The most well-known affiliate program is Amazon’s Associates program. It’s free and easy to join, there’s a single approval to get your account activated.
You can get affiliate commission of up to 10% by linking to a product from your blog. If you send users to Amazon via your affiliate link, a qualifying purchase will earn you that percentage. With enough traffic, the money adds up. Amazon provides you with the tools that you need to set up your links, so the whole process couldn’t be easier.
There are many other affiliate marketing options out there. You will need to find the ones that relate best to your blog, so you don’t include links to products that are of no interest to your audience.
5. Accept Donations
Not everyone has the funds to pay for a membership on a regular basis, so letting people donate is another good way to bring in money. There are many different donation mechanisms you can use on your site, including full-featured payment platforms that manage recurring donations and a basic tip jar for one-time donations.
Patreon is one of the most well-known platforms that help creators earn a monthly income. People set up a Patreon account, so they can accept recurring donations from their fans. You can define perks for each tier of donation, so that your readers can get something back for supporting you. Some creators earn the majority of their income from sites like these.
Another method of accepting donations comes from the giant internet payment portal, PayPal. PayPal lets you open an account for free, then send and receive payments over the internet. You can create a donation button and add it to your website. When visitors click it, they’ll be able to leave donations in the form of PayPal payments, which will go directly to your account. If you already have a PayPal account, you can follow these steps to set up a donation button for your site.
If crypto currencies are more your style, you can set up a donation link to your wallet. Each crypto currency is different, so make sure you fully understand how it works before you do anything; the process can be a little confusing for beginners. If you want to find out how to set up your own wallet that can accept donations, be sure to read the relevant documentation for the crypto currency you choose.
6. Offer Your Services
The great thing about owning your own blog is that you can use it as a platform for self promotion. Regardless of the skills you have to offer, a blog is a great way to get the word out and attract clients.
If you sell a service or product that’s related to your blog, let people know.
Let’s say you write a blog about DIY plumbing, for example. You may be a professional plumber or you might own a plumbing supply store. In that case, you would want to provide links from your blog to your business website.
Your blog is a fantastic way to engage with new prospects and redirect organic traffic to your business website.
7. Publish Sponsored Content
Sometimes a company will approach you to see if you consider plugging their product on your blog. If you approve of the product and it’s relevant to your readers, go for it.
Some bloggers don’t feel comfortable with the idea of changing their content to include a sponsor’s product information. If you can find a sponsor that doesn’t interfere with your creative process, then you could be onto a winning partnership.
Other sponsored material can be in the form of a promotion or a competition that a sponsor wants people to know about. You can encourage your readers to participate and, in return, you’ll receive some kind of payment from the sponsor.
Sponsored material will differ from company to company, so make sure that you understand what you have to do and how you will be paid before entering into this kind of agreement. It is always better to understand the terms and conditions of any sponsorship deal before you expose your trusting blog readers to it.
8. Be Easy to Find
You may not realize it, but in order for your blog to stand out, it needs to be easy to find. There are so many blogs out there, and some of them publish articles about the same topics as you. This makes it very difficult to stand out in search results. If your blog isn’t showing up on the first page of a Google search, then your chances of being found are very slim indeed.
The key to having your blog appear in the top of the search results is Search Engine Optimizations (SEO).
SEO is exactly what it sounds like: a way to make your website more search engine friendly and, therefore, easier for people to find. By optimizing your site for search engines, you can attract a lot more readers.
Earning a high ranking in search results isn’t easy, and keeping it takes some work too. You have to update your site regularly with fresh and compelling content. Nothing hurts a blog’s visibility in search results more than long stretches of inactivity.
Turn Your Blog into a Cash Cow
Running a blog is about more than just sharing your thoughts and experiences online. It’s also a good way to generate a decent income, if you use it properly, that is.
Your blog is a powerful platform with the potential to help you to reach out to people, network with other professionals, and, ultimately, make money. With time, you can build up an impressive readership and use your blog to leverage multiple revenue streams.
If you want to take your blog in a new and profitable direction, any of these tips could help you do it. If you’ve been considering starting a blog, maybe this list of monetization techniques could be the spark of inspiration that will make it happen.
Are you monetizing your blog in any way?