The Best Ways to Monetize Your Blog
Before you start blogging for your business, you’ll need to make sure you have a purpose. Expressing your voice, exploring your passions, and building a community are great purposes. And so is making money. Creating content for your blog can make you money – everything from a small secondary income up to enough to sustain a business with employees.
But how do you do it? What are the best ways to monetize your blog?
One way is to use your blog to build your brand and increase your reputation, which you can then use to make money offline. Examples are speaking engagements or winning new clients who first found out about you through your blog.
When done correctly, blogging can be lucrative. But there are other strategies that can generate a revenue stream directly from the blog itself.
Affiliate marketing is where users click on a link on your blog that takes them to a merchant website. You receive a commission if they go on to make a purchase.
In some respects affiliate marketing is an underdeveloped sector. That may seem like a strange thing to say given its value, which is measured in billions. But there are two main types of affiliate marketers and they are both at extreme ends of the spectrum. A successfully monetized blog needs to sit somewhere between.
At one end of the spectrum is the large business that invests hundreds of thousands in marketing and generates millions in sales. Most blogs are not like this.
The other end of the spectrum is the one-man-bands who create low-quality content that is often designed to trick people into a click.
The middle ground is a blog that creates value for the reader. That takes effort, dedication and consistency. You need to build trust and when you have that trust you can start encouraging people to click by giving recommendations, advice, or reviews.
Keep your content to a topic you are familiar with and products or services that you have used. For example, you could discuss hosting and include a link to iPage website hosting if you use that service.
You can sign up to affiliate marketing programs directly with the merchant or through agencies like Commission Junction.
There are two ways to get ads on your website and both have advantages and disadvantages.
The first way is to use a network. The biggest of these is Adsense from Google but there are others.
- Advantages – Easy to setup and once setup you can forget about them as they are automatically managed.
- Disadvantages - You only get paid when someone clicks on the ad and the payment you get for each click is small. You will need a lot of clicks to make any serious money which means a lot of traffic on your website.
The other way to get ads on your website is to sell them directly to the advertisers.
- Advantages – You can charge more. This will generate more revenue per ad slot
- Disadvantages – You need to devote time to selling which can eat into your profit margin. And if you don’t sell them, you make nothing.
Many blogs implement a combination of both strategies, i.e. they have Adsense as a placeholder when they do not have a direct client, but the focus remains on selling directly.
Charge Your Readers
Internet purists who believe everything on the web should be free and accessible will be coughing into their lattes right now. But charging readers to access your content is a legitimate strategy for a monetized blog. The question is how you do it.
It all comes down to quality. Quality is important on any blog, even one without a monetization strategy. But if and when you decide to charge people, you need to super-charge the level of quality.
There are a couple of different ways you can charge for content:
- Have a standard blog with good quality content that everyone can access but then have a higher level of added-value content that you charge a subscription for.
- Put the content that you write on your blog into an eBook, tutorial, or online course that you can charge users to access.
Of course there is one final way to make money from your blog which is different to the strategies discussed so far: build it and then sell it. This is an exit strategy rather than a business development strategy. But when done right it’s effective.