You started a blog because you wanted to express your take on a particular topic....Blogs are great that no matter how it is. You do your research, put together all the pieces and you write blog posts and post content. This makes you feel all warm and fuzzy. You put a lot of work into it... But after having your blog for a while, you probably start thinking.... What is your goal here? How can you make your blog give you something back in return? How can you generate income with your content and your blog?
If your plan is to monetize your blog and turn it into your business, there’re a few foundational things you need to get out of the way before discussing how to monetize it.
The most important one:
How to Get Eyes On Your Blog?
No way! You can't make money with your blog if you don't have people reading it. For your audience to read it they have to find it first.
How to Get Followers/Readers to Come to Your Blog?
It is critical to have followers and readers to visit your blog but also spend time on it by reading your content, watching your videos, interacting with you, etc. Before I get into how you can monetize your blog, let me share a couple of things about the audience.
It's not enough to have a few people to come to your blog. This will happen in the beginning but as your website matures, you want to have consistent traffic. You don't need millions of people visiting your blog on a monthly basis. It would be nice, don't get me wrong, but you can make money from your blog with less than that.
I have a couple of blogs and they are all generating income. Some more than others. One of them gets about 1500 visitors per month and it generates between $450-$650 monthly. Not great, not the worse. It makes money and that is important. The idea here is that your income from your blog will correspond to the number of monthly visitors.
If you are treating your blog as a business, you are selling something. You and your blog must win the trust of people that visit your website if you want to sell them anything.
When you are creating content, offer your readers something that has value to them. Use your content as the hook that will bring them back repeatedly. Become an expert or a thought leader in your industry.
Post Content Frequently
One of the biggest mistakes bloggers make in the beginning is to "take things slow" and not blogging frequently. It is rare your blog will go viral from the beginning. In fact, most blogs will start seeing organic following only after 3-6 months of consistently creating content. If your plan is to do 1-2 blog posts a week/month.... find something else to do do.
Publish Quality Content
I know, you are subjective to your own content because you worked hard to research and create it. But, try to look at it as your reader... ask yourself this question: “would I read and genuinely enjoy this post?” If your answer is yes, then great job! But if your answer is no, or you don’t like your own writing, how could somebody on the internet react to your content?
If you’re going to become a thought leader in your niche or industry, you better be really, really good at creating quality content. If you are lacking in this skills, find somebody who can help you tweak it!
Also, if you want your content to show up high in Google searches, you must have a kick-ass content! Google is using a complex algorithm to rank content in searches. So make sure your content is the best you've ever created!
Spread Your Content With Social Media
Social media is perfect to reach your audience instantly and in real time as we spend most of our time on various social media platforms. There are groups dedicated to anything and everything. Join the ones that relate to your niche or topic. Share your content in the ones that allow you to share it. Interact with people that comment and like what you share and ask them to go to your website or blog. Also, set up your social media profiles to include a link to your blog and website.
Try Guest Blogging
Guest blogging, especially on websites or blogs that have high traffic can be a perfect way to grab people's attention and build your audience. Find some reputable and well-known websites and contact their owners to see if they allow guest blogging...You most likely will do this for free... But, if it gets your name out there, why not?
These blogs already huge traffic and you can only benefit from it. Don't focus more on this than creating content for your website.
Create a Kick-Ass Blog Design
I'm a very visual person and I always look for the first thing that grabs my attention. Your blog needs to capture your audience's attention because it has to make a huge imprint in their memory if you want them to come back.
Make it easily scannable and organized. Match the color theme of your blog with the mood of the content. Keep the contrasts so your text is easy to read. ake your posts more clickable by adding pictures to them.
Self Host Your Blog
Getting a free blog may sound attractive but in the long run, it will not be the best solution. Start a WordPress blog or some other type of self-hosted blog. Get your own domain name and hosting. You want to have the flexibility to do whatever you want with your blog or website.
How to Monetize Your Blog
The Many Ways You Can Do It
1. Create Your Own Courses
Selling your own online courses is one of the easiest and the most popular ways for bloggers to make money. Before you create your course, make sure your audience or target market can't find the content easily somewhere else.
Use your professional and life experience to create courses on topics your audience is searching for and they are willing to pay for. You can self-host it, or you can use platforms like Thinkific, Teachable, Udemy to host them for you.
Have confidence in what you know. If you got an audience for your thoughts, you are a thought leader and people are coming to you for advice. Use that to your advantage.
3. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is simply selling other people's stuff for a percentage of the sale price. This is one of the most lucrative and popular ways to monetize your website or blog. The amount you make is proportionate with your traffic and your audience's interest in the affiliate product. You can easily earn hundreds of dollars yearly or even monthly.
The affiliate industry is huge. You can get affiliate links for anything and everything on any topic, niche, or industry. You can ask companies individually to accept you as their affiliate, or you can join platforms like Commission Junction, Shareasale, or Amazon and select from thousands of products to promote on your website.
Sponsorship is when other brands or companies pay you to review or display their products on your website. You can charge these companies or partners for various things, including:
- A sponsored product/service review: simply write a review of your experience with the product to share with your audience.
- A banner ad: display a dedicated banner for a partner (similar to Adsense, but you control what you display instead of Google)
- Guest blog post: they will write a blog post on your blog
- Dedicated email blast: II hope you collected email addresses from your audience, so use it to monetize it with advertising for the products you love
The more visitors come to your blog on a daily basis, the more engaged they are, the more the advertiser will be interested in buying some of your blog’s real estate to display their products.
7. Sell Your Experience on Other Platforms
This may not be exactly monetizing your blog, but you can harness your talent as a content creator by creating content for other platforms. You can use this to boost your credibility.
Your blog is the place where you show the power of your writing and thought leadership. You can advertise services like guest blogging, freelance blogging, ghost-writing, graphic design, web design, etc. You can reserve unique content for your website and promote other products you create on these platforms.
2. Sell eBooks
Similar to creating your own courses, you can create ebooks to monetize your blog. Write about things you know and you are passionate about. Make them visually appealing just like any other type of content. Create infographics you can include in them and use them to upsell your courses.
4. Google Ads
Google Adsense is critical to many monetization strategies. You make money by running ads on your blog. As a disclaimer, I must tell you that in order to make good money, you will need a lot of traffic. You also do not control what ads show up on your website. Google will choose to display certain ads based on algorithms and complex search criteria.
6. Offer Consulting Services
In a way, this is similar to creating your own courses, because you are using your experience to advise people on different topics. When you focus your blog on a niche topic, you are the thought leader of that topic for your audience. If your readers are coming back to you for advice, you can monetize your time while giving that advice. You can only offer free advice for a limited time...time=money, so why not get paid?
You can do group sessions or private 1-on-1 personal sessions. You can meet in person if you have local followers requesting this service, or use platforms for video and screen sharing like Zoom, Google Hangouts, etc.
Mistakes to Avoid
Blogging isn’t hard but it also isn't easy. It needs a lot of time, dedication, and consistency. If you’re going to start monetization of your blog here are some mistakes I made and you don't want to do the same:
- Don’t expect any overnight and fast returns. It can take up 3-6 months to start getting an organic following and up to a year or more to see any significant response from the visitors. During this time you must create quality content consistently.
- Don’t write an ebook or start selling one-on-one sessions right from day one—it may be a huge failure. At this point, you don't have a built audience, they have no idea who you are, what you're thinking, how you're thinking and processing your thoughts, and frankly, you don’t even know what content your audience wants to pay for!
- Don’t just keep on uploading posts. Make sure you interact with your blog visitors. This is extremely important to position your blog and personal brand in the beginning. Make sure you respond to every comment you get. Allow your readers the possibility to leave you comments.
- If you’re an affiliate, don’t hide that some of your posts earn you income. Put a disclaimer of some sort on your website. Be upfront about it and be open with your audience.
Always provide value in every content you are putting out. Whether it is content you provide freely or you are getting some monetary incentive to review and promote a product.
Wanna Know What Tools I Used to Build My Business?
- My Ultimate Tool Kit – I get asked a lot as to what exactly I’m using to grow my brand and my business, so I’ve put together one page where I shared everything I recommend. Hope you enjoy it!
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