You had a plan when you built your blog.
Create clever content.
Say important things.
But it’s that last step that can be so elusive. Just how do you profit with a blog?
Some websites offer these get-rich-quick solutions, but more often than not they don’t pan out the way you’d expect. Fortunately, if you’re willing to invest some time and effort in learning the key methods to online monetization, it’s not hard to make decent money off your blog content. In this post, I’ll give you personally tried and tested recommendations
Show Ads That Make Sense and Money
Traditional advertisements can be a big turn-off for readers. Flashing banners and annoying pop-ups may make some money in the short term, but they can drive your visitors away eventually. Fortunately, advertisements have advanced as much as the internet has, and now you have the option to include content-rich advertisements that actually benefit visitors and add value to your content.
Native and contextual advertisements are the perfect example of these. A visitor lands on your site looking for information that interests him/her. While looking at your content, he notices a few keyword-topics, closely related to the content of your page. On clicking on any of them, he gets a bunch of listings relevant to the topic he is keen to explore, which he might choose to engage with through a click that leads him to fill a form or make a purchase etc.
In the reader’s journey, the last engagement happens to be with a sponsored listing or an ad. The difference, from a typical ad, however, is that unlike ads that jarr and disrupt your readers’ experiences, these ads are native to the form of your content and remain true to the theme of your content.
So, from your content’s environment, the visitor has seamlessly moved to the advertiser’s page with each stage being so inherently intuitive and relevant.
In all of this, you’ve made a profit!
A great option to try out for such native and contextual ads, is Media.net. They are the world’s 2nd largest contextual ads network that provide exclusive access to the Yahoo! Bing network of advertisers. What that means is that there will always be premium quality ads available for your content and audience.
The reason I recommend them is because they are great with assistance on content monetization which, let’s face it, is a combination of a lot of factors falling in place together. So, if you’re a blogger looking to make more off your blog, you could use all the help you can get. And that is exactly what Media.net offers. They assign a dedicated Account Manager to you right after they approve your website. This person actually works with you to help you drive up your revenue with actionable suggestions regularly. In my opinion, that makes Media.net a solid option to add to your current mix of revenue strategies.
Sell Your Product
Of course, if you have a product of your own, that reduces the need to host a ton of advertisements for other people’s products. That’s not to say you shouldn’t have a variety of monetization techniques on your site, but don’t lose sight of what you can offer customers directly. After all, if customers buy your clever new gizmo, you stand to gain the full profit of that interaction, rather than just a percentage of the sales.
Some blogs come about as a support tool or sales tool for a product that has already been developed. Other bloggers realize that they have a built-in, captive audience and could stand to turn a profit if they could find something that those readers might enjoy. Clever slogans, t-shirts, e-books and gizmos are all fun ways to enhance what you’re already offering a make a bit of extra money in the process.
There are many ways to sell products through your blog. You have the option to sell the item directly via posts and promotions, or you can sell your goods through a third party platform like Amazon.com or eBay where you can create your own shop, or you can sell more personalized material through a site like Etsy.com.
Provide a Service
For bloggers already used to writing interesting articles or creating clever infographics, selling a service may be more natural than trying to create a clever product instead. Of course, you’ll have to decide if selling your abilities to write clever things or take excellent pictures or even edit all of those things together is going to undermine your own blogging effort.
If you sell your articles to competing blogs, you might create a problem for yourself. There is also a possibility of burning yourself out by doing too much writing for others and losing interest in doing it for your own enjoyment. But at the end of the day, if you’re already running a successful blog, you already have multiple skills you can sell to others, along with a ready-made portfolio to showcase your talents.
Again, you can establish your own writing business as a side hustle on your blog and embrace the networking and marketing that this will require establishing a client base, or you can take an easier path. Marketplaces like Upwork or even Fiverr offer freelance opportunities for both beginning and established writers, editors and other online professionals. You don’t have to do much of your own hustling for clients, but you may pay a bit of a premium by using the service.
Affiliate marketing is often one of the first ways people profit from blogs, because it’s relatively simple to set-up. Affiliate marketing is simply including links on your site to items for sell from other websites. Amazon is a prime example of affiliate marketing. A blog post discusses the latest developments in cloth diapers or baby shoes and there on the side of the blog is an ad for the exact shoes mentioned in the article!
Many bloggers also accept items for review as well and link to those items through their content. If you are going to review and try to sell items through affiliate links in your content, be mindful of the truth in advertising requirements and basic advertising ethics. Trying to hide affiliate links with fake reviews and dishonest practices is a recipe for financial (and blogging) disaster.
There are big names in affiliate marketing. Many bloggers start out with Amazon items linked through their posts, but there are many more options available. Clickbank and Rakuten are excellent places to start as well as you search for the ideal products to fit your purposes and your audience on your blog.
Gather Leads and Information
Products, services, affiliate items. So many clever things to sell through a blog, but what about the most obvious of all? Your readers. Lead generation and opt-ins are a booming business online. You encourage your readers to sign up for something that includes information and promotions from partners and advertisers and you suddenly have permission to sell those email addresses to other advertisers.
Granted, if you plan to capture and sell leads through your blog, you may run the risk of alienating readers who aren’t excited to suddenly be receiving emails from hundreds of your “partners and advertisers”, so choose this path carefully. If you are just selling demographic information or carefully culled leads for certain items you may have better luck boosting your revenues while still providing your readers with the information or entertainment they visit your blog for without interruption or irritation.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of profitable blog activities, but it is the best starting place for most bloggers. Before you decide on the best way to profit from your blogging efforts, consider your audience, your blogging goal and your current stats. Make a plan that allows you start earning now and well into the future as well.