Blog monetization simply means the different ways you can make money from your blog. There are many ways to make money from a blog but I’m going to limit myself to 7 in this article. At this point, I assume you already have a self-hosted WordPress blog and have started posting content on it. If you ask me, I’d say don’t monetize immediately you set up your blog.
But, if you’re a beginning blogger, getting yourself acquainted with details on starting a blog is highly essential. This is because a solid foundation is key to your success as a blogger.
4 Things to Do Before Monetizing a Blog
- Create Good Quality Content
- Build Your Readership
- Build up Trust with Readers and Get Them to Visit Repeatedly by Building an Email List
- Then Slowly Start to monetize Your Site
But why do we always put the cart before the horse? We create a blog today and hurriedly slap banner advertisements all over the site without creating good quality content and gaining a followership. I give more details about the four things you should do before monetizing your blog below:
Create Quality Content
When I talk about quality content, I don’t mean
- Software-Spun articles
- Private label rights (plr) articles
- Other people’s articles, even if you acknowledge them
- Quality content here means original, unique and best quality content, either written by you or a freelance writer.
Still talking about creating quality content, you have to update regularly to keep readers coming back for more. Not only does this help build a loyal readership, it also strengthens the reputation of the blog with the search engines.
Build Your Readership
Putting good quality content out there is just one of the battles you must face to become a successful blogger. You must proceed to building your readership. And you can do this through the social media, guest blogging, article marketing, directory submissions, press release submissions, blog carnival submissions, podcast submissions, feed submissions, etc.
Commit to learning search engine optimization and how you can use it to drive hordes of people to your site. Having a well-monetized blog won’t do you any good if you don't have a thorough understanding of how to drive traffic to your site. Finding the time to learn how to optimize your blog content to ensure readers find it (while searching) will be of huge benefit over time (and you will make a lot of money).
When it comes to marketing your blog, bloggers surely have one or two lessons to learn from Steve Jobs, the former Apple henchman.
Build Trust by Building an Email List
Once you start getting followers through the social media, bookmarking, podcast submissions, etc, devise a means to build your own email list. Or have you not heard it said that money’s in the list? Your own list is pure gold, so, don’t joke with it. With an email list, you can make more money from your blog by building a relationship with your subscribers and gaining their trust. Let me tell you something, people buy from people they trust, so building an email list is a must-do, if you want to succeed with your blog.
To build an email list, you need an autoresponder. There are free and paid autoresponders. I highly recommend the paid autoresponders but if you’re working with a tight budget, you can use a free autoresponder like mailchimp. Sign up for an account and copy the form code and paste on your blog. To convince people to sign up, you must offer them a valuable gift, a free ebook or something.
7 Ways to Monetize Your Blog Content
- Sell Advertising (Direct or PPC advertising like adsense, chitika and other advertising networks)
- Promote Affiliate Products like Amazon, linkshare, shareasale, etc.
- Sell Your Own Products (amazon kindle, your own ebook on clickbank, etc)
- Generate leads for Speaking, Coaching, or Consulting services
- Sponsored Posts
- Create a Membership Site Around Your blog
I give more information about each of these monetization methods below:
You can start on a small scale with a WordPress plugin called WP125 (you can install with one click if you use a self-hosted wordpress). Start by selling small 125 x 125 pixel ads. You must put up an advertise page on your blog to achieve this. Once your traffic improves, join online services that manage your ad sales and allow you charge whatever you want per ad. One of such is BuySellAds.com but they take between 25 - 50% commissions. When selling advertising, remember to choose adverts that match your blog content and audience. It sounds obvious, but make money online beginners can be easily swayed by advertisers who offer high monetary rewards. But, I honestly think advertising a product not directly related to your blog content can affect the credibility of your blog in the long run. What’s more, you stand to make more money when you offer targeted and related products to your blog readers (for instance, an anti-aging cream on an anti-aging treatment blog).
If there is a product you think would benefit your readers, try checking to see if the publisher or manufacturer has an affiliate program available. You might also check Amazon. They sell way more than books. I also use Amazon on a couple of blogs. All you need is to sign up as an Amazon Associate and start using your affiliate code in your posts. If you use a self-hosted wordpress, a plugin like Amazonfeed can help put amazon products automatically at the end of every post you write. So, you don’t have to mess with the code.
Overtime, these links will earn you money. Aside amazon, there are others like shareasale.com, linkshare.com, clickbank.com, etc
With amazon or any other affiliate program, a review works wonders. After the review, put your affiliate link. But please make sure the affiliate programs you’re promoting are in line with your niche, for example, weight loss programs on a weight loss blog.
Selling products is an awesome way to make money with your blog. The best thing about selling products like these—especially digital ones—is that they work while you sleep. The whole system is turn-key. Customers buy the books, the system provides a download link, and then deposits the money in your account.
List of digital products you can sell include ebooks, software, audio programs, video tutorials, etc.
Lest, I forget, there is the amazon kindle which makes direct publishing a snap. You can also publish your books on kindle and watch money roll into your bank account.
Generate leads for Speaking, Coaching, or Consulting services
You can also use a blog to generate leads for speaking, coaching or consulting services. Create a ‘hire me’ page to achieve this on your blog and spell out all the details prospects need to know to hire you. You can make some decent cash this way. And if you want to sharpen your public speaking skills, read this beginner's guide to public speaking for help.
Solicit for Donations
Wikipedia has for many years survived just by soliciting for donations. The management has refused to monetize through adverts. You can also follow this route but make sure your content is top quality.
If you have a fairly popular blog, you may be able to use sponsored posts as a way to monetize your blog. With sponsored posts, a company or person will pay you to write a specific post about their products or business and post it on your blog. Oftentimes, the post will have to follow a very specific format based on what the purchaser wants.
Sponsored posts are a quick and easy way to earn money, but it’s important to maintain the integrity of your blog and only accept sponsored post opportunities that you feel are relevant to your readership. What’s more, you can even disclose at the end of the post that it was sponsored and you mention the company that sponsored it.
Create a Membership Site Around Your blog
You can also provide premium content around your blog topic and get people to subscribe for it through a membership site. They get login details after paying and you keep developing the content to keep them locked in as members. You can do a monthly-payment membership site or a one-time payment membership site. It all depends on you.
Do Not Over Monetize
When the money begins to trickle in, avoid the temptation to over-monetize. Be very sensitive to your readers to avoid alienating some of them. While it’s a noble thing to make money from your efforts on your blog, it can be done in a tasteful manner that leaves readers still wanting to be part of the blog.
Summary and Action Takeaway
- Don’t monetize until you have a good number of readers and solid content.
- Choose your monetization methods carefully after looking at your niche, and what monetization method works best in it.
- Slowly start to monetize. Don’t rush things so you won’t lose some valuable subscribers.
- Enough of the reading; take action and get the book below for further reading. Written by Darren Rowse (of problogger.net) and Chris Garett
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