A Complete Guide To Monetizing Your Blog

If you’ve been blogging for a while, it may now be time to consider what sort of income streams you could develop. The possibilities to earn money through your blog are endless, and there are lots of creative ways you could start to bring in some money.

However, earning money through your blog can also be fairly tricky.

Some methods such as adverts or affiliate sales can turn readers away and potentially damage your reputation if they aren’t implemented correctly, if your readers consider your methods too aggressive, or if you’re selling irrelevant products that don’t add value to their lives. You’ll need to plan your monetization campaign carefully to avoid getting it wrong.

You should also understand that monetizing your blog isn’t something that will happen overnight. Many of the most successful multi-million dollar blogs have been around for over 10 years.

The good news is, you don’t need massive amounts of traffic to earn money – in fact, the tactics in this guide are aimed at blogs who have less than 1,000unique visitors per day. Some of the strategies can be implemented quickly and easily, such as selling ad space to other bloggers, or starting affiliate sales.

Other methods of monetizing your blog, such as creating online courses or regular premium content, are much more time-intensive but have the potential to establish you as a leader in your field and can help you to earn a lot of money.

How Much Can You Earn?

The potential earnings of bloggers can vary. A recent survey of ProBlogger readers found that:

  • 28% of respondents make under $10 per month
  • 7% make $500-$999 per month
  • 4% make over $10,000 per month

Ultimately, the biggest factor affecting the amount you earn through your blog will be the amount of time and effort you are willing to put in.

Before You Start

Before you start to consider ways you may be able to start seeing an income from your blog, there are a few things you’ll need to think carefully about first.

You won’t see much money at first

Monetizing your blog should be seen as a long-term project – it certainly isn’t going to happen overnight. Many bloggers dream of being able to quit their day job and blog full-time for a living, but for many this simply isn’t going to happen. For those that do make it happen, it’s taken a long time and a lot of hard work. However, some bloggers can earn a nice side-income on top of their job, so set yourself a goal – but be realistic. Monetizing your blog effectively should be seen as a process that can take years, not months.

You need a well-thought out plan

Not all of the strategies in this guide will be suitable for your blog or niche. You’ll have to sit down and think about what might be best. Some strategies that have lost popularity in the past few years, such as ads and affiliate marketing, can be profitable without turning readers away if you’re careful about how you go about implementing them. The most successful blogs earn money in a variety of ways, but they’ve all found what works best for them and stuck to it.

You need loyal readers

To implement the most profitable strategies in this guide and market products effectively, you’ll need readers who trust you. High-quality content helps to establish trust between you and your readers. By providing content that your readers can turn to when they have a problem to solve, you build trust and earn their loyalty. Earning significant money from your blog isn’t going to be possible without a strong relationship between you and your readers.

You need a list of email subscribers

A list of email addresses for your subscribers and visitors is essential if you want to start monetizing your blog. If you have email addresses you can promote your products when they’re ready for sale, as well as being able to survey your readers to help you discover what products they would like to see and may be interested in paying for. If you feel like your email list needs a boost, follow these 4 tips:

  • Make it easy for your readers to enter their email address with a clearly marked box
  • Have the opt-in bar in the sidebar of your site
  • Offer a deal to new subscribers
  • Encourage readers to forward your emails to friends
You need to be able to build relationships with other bloggers

Although your blog feels like a solo venture, a helpful tip to keep in mind is that you’re now part of the wider blogging community. You’ll find reciprocation is a big part of being a popular and successful blogger. There are many ways that building relationships with other bloggers can help you on your own journey to success, such as finding great opportunities for guest-posting and having your own content shared by more influential bloggers.

Your blog and skills should be in a certain niche

Your ideas and knowledge will have to serve a certain niche in order to monetize your blog effectively. It doesn’t have to be particularly high-level or complicated – Joseph Michael Nicoletti created an online course that helps novelists write their novel with the app Scrivener, which now earns him around $20,000 – $30,000 per month.

We’ll now take a look at some of the ways you could potentially start to make money from your blog.

Virtual Products

Premium Content/Members Only Area

If you think you could produce high-value content that your readers will pay a monthly or annual fee for, then this is a great option. It can be quite time-intensive though, and you’ll have to update regularly and consistently with a broad range of interesting topics. If you have a WordPress site, try the MemberMouse plugin, which can help you set up a password-protected members area, plus a host of other powerful features.

E-Books

E-Books are a great option for selling on your site, as they can be fairly quick and easy to produce, and they can be developed for a wide variety of niches. If you feel a little overwhelmed at the thought of producing your own e-book, here’s a secret – you don’t have to write it yourself. You can outsource the content writing, pay a designer a small fee for producing the cover, and you’re in business. Arman Assidi earns approximately $2,500.00 per month selling e-books which he paid others to write. He outsourced the content production and cover fee – the first e-book cost around $375.00 to produce.

Selling your e-book through the Kindle Store gives you access to millions of customers – use your blog and social media to sell and promote it as well. 47% of e-book readers use a Kindle as their reading device, so this gives you access to millions of potential customers. And, with the revenue from e-book sales increasing year upon year, it’s an ideal time to consider creating your first e-book.

Courses

If the thought of producing your own online course in a certain area appeals to you, then it’s definitely worth consideration. To find out what sort of course your customers would find most useful, send out a survey by email to your subscribers list. There are many online tools and platforms which can help you make a course that your readers will be happy to pay for. Check out Course Merchant or Teachable to get started. There are also premium plugins for your WordPress site, such as WP CourseWare or Zippy Courses.

Physical Products

Depending on the niche of your blog, you have lots of great options for creating and selling products which. If you have a physical product you’ve already created, there’s a variety of options for selling it online, and they’re quick and easy to set up. There are also ways to make money by selling products for companies.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing works by placing links to products or services within your blog. Every time someone clicks a link and buys that product, you earn a commission. Affiliate marketing has gotten a bad reputation over the past few years, but if you choose the right products, and are honest with your readers about the products you’re recommending, you can make some money.

Only recommend products that you’re honestly happy to promote, and that are relevant to your niche. You’ll quickly lose credibility and turn readers away if you promote low-quality or unsuitable products.

Merchandise

For certain niches such as fitness or health blogs, creating your own range of merchandise can be a fun way of bringing in some money. There are lots of great products you could consider such as:

  • Hoodies
  • T-shirts
  • Mugs
  • Branded USB Drives
  • Keyrings
  • Pens

You can sell it through your own e-commerce store, and additionally sell through E-bay.

Other Ways to Make Money

Here are some other ways you can make some money:

Sponsored Content

This is an ad which takes the form of a blog post. Like affiliate marketing it’s not a bad way to make some money if you’re honest with your readers. Make sure you clearly label it as sponsored content. Always choose sponsored content that matches your blog to avoid putting off your readers – some niches have more opportunities for sponsored content than others.

Sell ad space

Placing ads on your blog can be a quick way to bring in a little money, depending on how much traffic you have. However, many bloggers want control over which ads appear. Consider selling ad space on your blog directly to businesses or other bloggers in your niche. You don’t have to go through ad networks, and you have full control over the ads that appear.

Paid Product Reviews

You can review relevant products on your blog and get paid for it. Some companies pay you with free products, while others offer cash. It’s legally required to let your readers know if you’re being paid to promote a product, and you should only review relevant products that your readers will find value in.

Indirect Income Streams

The income streams we’ve talked about so far are direct income streams, in other words – it comes directly from your blog. We’ll now take a look at indirect income streams – those which can come about as a result of your blogging.

Freelance blogging

Not to be confused with guest blogging, freelance blogging can be well-paid if you’re the sort of writer who can anticipate what a certain sort of audience want, and deliver content to fit the bill. There are bloggers out there who regularly earn $5,000 per month or more, writing for others.

Consulting

If you have very specific skills and a passion for helping others reach their goals, why not consider offering consulting services? This is something that can be applied in a wide variety of areas, and could potentially earn you big money – one study estimated the life-coaching industry in the USA rakes in around $2 billion per year. It’s also something that you can get started in very easily. If you have skills that you think may be able to transform other people’s lives, then this is worth considering.

Public speaking

If you’re lucky enough to become well-known in your niche, you can market yourself as a speaker for public events. Not everyone will have the confidence to do this but it can be very well-paid if you enjoy, and are good at public speaking. If you think public speaking could be a valuable revenue stream, start by marketing yourself to local event organizers.

Conclusion

Monetizing your blog is possible with hard work and a well-thought out strategy. The options for earning an income through your blog are endless. You need to find the combination of tactics that work for you and your brand. There is no formula for creating a successful blog – each one is unique, and has many factors which determine its popularity and earning potential.

There are many ways you can earn money both directly from your blog, and also as a direct result of your blogging efforts. Some of these are simple to implement, but others take a lot of time and dedication on your part.

Above all, consider what your readers want, and how each method of monetization affects them. The methods you choose should add value to their lives in some way.

Ultimately, your readers will hit the unsubscribe button if they get the impression you care more about making a few bucks than you do about them.

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