There’s a book named “Do What you Love, the Money will Follow”, written by Marsha Sinetar. Sinetar is an author who believes that everything we do should improve our happiness and add to the quality of our life, including the way we earn our money. However, every blogger out there knows that this is only half the truth. Just blogging about what you love isn’t enough to make the money come – there’s a lot more to it!
Whether you started your blog expressly to make money or whether you’re now thinking of monetizing your existing blog, the fact is that all of us would like some monetary benefit for the hours we spend blogging. And don’t let anyone tell you you’re selling out – after all, you’re putting your heart and soul into your blog!
Some people think that only certain niches of blogs can earn good money. This is true to an extent; some niches have more earning potential. However, at the end of the day, how much money your blog can make comes down to the quality of your content and your monetizing ability.
We’ve already got lots of posts about improving your content, so let’s look at the second part of the equation – the different ways to monetize your blog.
7 Ways to Make Money from your Blog
1. Ad Networks
Ad networks are probably the most traditional and most common way for blogs to make some money, and are good even for blogs that are just starting out. You sign your blog up for an ad network who will then display ads that are related to your niche. You earn money when people click on the ad, which can happen in different ways:
- CPC or Cost per Click – Every time a reader clicks on this ad, you earn
- CPM or Cost per Mile – Here you get paid a certain amount of money for every 1000 impressions of the ad.
Google AdSense is among the most popular ad networks, although there are others.
While ad networks do earn money, it’s usually not much, and most bloggers do away with it once they discover other avenues. Ad networks may not be as effective with an increasing number of people using ad blockers.
When using ad networks, refrain from cluttering up your blog’s banner and side bars with all kinds of multicolored ads – this is a sure-fire way to put off anyone who comes to your blog.
2. Affiliate Marketing
After ads, affiliate marketing is the most popular way for your blog to bring in some money. Affiliates work in this way: A company wants to sell a product on your blog. They give you a special link to the product which you will feature in your blog post. This link will track the number of people who are buying the product from your blog. Every time a person buys something in this way, you get a cut of the sale.
It’s straightforward, you get a percentage of the product’s sale for featuring it on your blog. You can become an associate of pretty much any company or brand, although Amazon Associates is a blogger favorite. Shareasale.com too is a good ad network.
Affiliates also help you see what your readers are actually buying and this information will help you when it’s time to launch your own products or services.
Be careful to choose to affiliate only to those products that are relevant to your post and which will offer real value to your reader. Asking your reader to buy an overpriced item just so you can get a bigger cut is not a good idea.
This is a pretty huge area of monetization and a good one to make a more significant earning from your blog. Brands and companies will approach you to feature their content on your blog. Here are some of the ways to use sponsored content:
- Blog posts – You write a blog post about a certain topic in your niche, which may feature the company
- Social media posts – Your blog’s Facebook page is an extension of your blog and can be used to post content about a certain brand or company for which they’ll pay
- Reviews – Many companies send bloggers products to review and pay to have those reviews featured on the blog
- Advertisements – Sponsored ads work better than ad networks, since you get directly paid from the company. It can be for a limited time or a continuing plan.
- Newsletter mentions – Some companies will pay to be featured in your newsletter which you send out to your subscribers, to reach a more niche audience.
With so many ways to earn from brands, it can be tempting to accept sponsorship requests from everyone. However, it’s important to carefully sift through all the requests and accept only those brands that share your values. For instance, if you blog about green living, doing a post on chemical cleaners goes against the main essence of your blog and will lower your credibility as a blogger.
4. Exclusive Content
Once you start getting recognized as an expert in your field, exclusive paid content is an excellent way of making money through your blog. There are many ways you can offer memberships for exclusive content – through boot camps, Facebook groups or email lists.
Through these methods, you will be offering something that is not available on your blog otherwise. This content will be of much more value and exclusive to the group you are targeting. For example if yoga is your thing, you can make videos of special yoga flows that only your special members can access.
The thing to remember here is that your paid content should be significantly higher in value than what you are giving out for free on your blog. Only then can you have satisfied customers who will be willing to pay for similar content again.
5. Online Services and Products
Similar to having a special ‘area’ for your premium members, you can also offer services that can be bought by readers who are interested. There are a wide variety of digital services that offer good value – courses, webinars or even one-on-one consultations or coaching sessions. With apps like Skype, you can offer your services to anyone anywhere on the planet!
The same goes for digital products, which can easily be sold to anyone without worrying about the hassle of shipping. You can write eBooks about an area of expertise and put it up for sale on your blog, although this should be attempted after due consideration. Other popular digital products are printables, apps, themes and plugins. If you’re good with design and photography, you can also make and sell stock photos or logo designs.
6. Physical Products
If digital products have monetization potential, physical products can’t be left out! There are many bloggers who open shop after their blogs become popular, especially if they sell products that are in the same vein as their blogs.
For instance, a fashion blogger with a certain style sensibility may start selling the same kind of jewelry she wears on her blog. Since her style is already popular, it’s quite likely that the jewelry will sell too, if reasonably priced and of good quality. This is also a great way to showcase handmade products. Creating the online store isn’t difficult but managing it will require a lot more effort and time than online products.
7. Offline Services
Just like you can sell your expertise online, you can take it offline too! Many bloggers have become well known outside their reader circle by hitting the road with what they have to offer.
For example, if your cake blog is doing well and getting rave reviews, you can go a step ahead and conduct baking workshops in your city or another one. As you get popular, you’ll start getting invitations from others and who knows – you may even become a celebrity!
After reading through these ideas, you’re probably ready to jump in and implementing some of them, but it’s important to remember that blog monetization is no cake walk! It requires loads of patience and consistent effort. Here are a few things to keep in mind before you set out to monetize your blog:
- Getting money from your blog will take time – be prepared to put in lots of effort without seeing results right away
- Never compromise on your values or the quality of your work
- Pay attention to networking – building contacts expands your reach and you can create some win-win associations
- Try different methods of monetization initially – it will take some time to identify what’s working for you
- Stay abreast of industry trends, so you know what the market rates are and what changes are apparent in the future
While these are the popular ways of earning through blogs, don’t be afraid to think outside the box and try your own formula. You might just change the face of blog monetization! There really is no limit to how much you can earn, as long as you’re brave enough to experiment, since as Virgil said, “Fortune sides with him who dares.” So go ahead and dare to make your blog successful!