It is every bloggers dream to have incoming cash from whatever they do. And just because you are here reading this post is because you are one of those who is passionate about your blog and what it to generate revenues for you. There are a lot of ways that you can implement and achieve great results, but let me tell you its not an overnight process. You will need to put in a lot of efforts and it will require a lot of trial and error to find the right ways for your blog.
When I first started blogging there were a lot of techniques that I applied, some worked and some didn’t. I don’t want to waste your time right now on those techniques that didn’t work, but would rather show you the ones that actually worked and brought in a lot of green for me.
1. Affiliate Marketing
If done the right way this could be one of the great ways to earn money as all you need to do is recommend someone’s products on your blog/website and earn commissions off the sale.
Here’s a great infographic that explains what affiliate marketing is with an example and shows it works.
I will share an example of how you can apply affiliate marketing into your blog. If you are a beauty blogger, research some of the products that would let you partner for affiliate program. Let us say there’s a company out there which launched a new curling iron, you make a video showing “How I curl my hair”, show various hair ideas using that tool. You can also partner with other products that you use before and after you curl your hair and show it off in your video. You can offer promo code for those products and refer your readers/viewers to it. You can also place banner ads, reviews, text links, etc on related pages on your blog and recommend it to your readers.
In this revenue model you make an earning when a viewer makes a purchase based on your recommendation. Depending on every company’s affiliate program, you might earn a varying amount of commission.
It is not easy to convince someone to buy a product you recommend. To do so you will need to build trust and authority in your reader’s mind and that can only happen with time. The best way to do so is to show them how you use them and provide your honest opinion on it. Whenever you write a product review it should not always be good, in fact it should always be true and it should be your opinion about it. That is how your readers will trust you. Some people have solely built websites based on product reviews on subjects like restaurants, hotels, gadgets, etc.
Here’s an example of how much you can potentially make (in affiliate marketing) if you have a large loyal audience who really trusts your word. This is an income report of Pat Flynn for the month of July 2016.
Here are a few websites that you can go through and find the right affiliate products in your niche:
Advertising is one of the most basic and simplest way to monetize your website. All you need to do is play the middleman and get a cut for every click your visitor makes on the ad links you have placed on your website. Doesn’t that sound simple? Yes, it does because it is that simple. To get started with placing adverts on your website you need to sign up with ad providers and place the code they give you on your website on your desired locations. Once you place the code on your website, you will start seeing contextual ads (text ads or image ads) from your providers based on what your website is related to.
There are a lot of ad provider services on the market but Google Adsense is one of the most popular and widely used service, trusted by many bloggers including me. If you aren’t using it already, go through this quick and easy step-by-step guide to creating Adsense account. The most commonly used ad model is PPC (Pay-Per-Click) which means that you will get paid only when someone clicks on the ad link displayed on your website.
Since only a small percentage of people would click on those ads, the amount you make totally varies and depends on the traffic you get and the location from where the traffic is coming. Just through an estimate, if your website gets around 1,000 unique visitors everyday, you would make around 200 USD – 300 USD a month.
Another factor that you affect your ad revenues is the placement and the design of those ads, though it totally varies from website to website. To find out the highest converting spots on your website you need to do some trial and error. Sharing from my experience on this blog, the highest converting places on my blog are the middle of the post, end of the post and the sidebar.
Now, depending on the content of your website your revenues can change as well. Which means that if your website is related to finance, insurance or law you might make more from the clicks as the cost of those ads is more.
Some of the well-known PPC providers are:
If you haven’t already set-up your Google Adsense account, then here is a step-by-step tutorial to creating one.
Other popular forms of adverts that you can place on your blog for monetization are:
- Text Ad Links – with this type of advertising you can place text links within your content. You can use MatoMySEO and Infolinks for that.
- Cost Per Mile Advertising – this model is very similar to PPC ads, just with the difference that you get paid for the number of impression rather than the click from the reader. So if your average monthly traffic is 500,000 and you are getting paid 1 USD for every 1,000 impressions then your monthly revenue will be 500 USD.
- In-text Ads – very similar to ‘text ad links’, with the only difference being that these ads are placed within your content (your blog/article). Your own links will have one underline while these ads will have two underlines just to differentiate it from your regular links. You can use Infolinks for that.
The only advise I would like to share here while using this method is to place ads wisely and not over do it, as you do not want to annoy your loyal reader.
Sell Physical/Digital Products
Selling products is a great way of monetization and there are a lot of things you can sell online ranging from real world items (like an eCommerce store), eBooks, tutorials & advanced guides (online courses) to softwares (one-time sale or SAAS for recurring revenue).
Creating Online Courses
There is a large audience that would be reading a blog, but there is rather larger audience who would enjoy the same tutorial when its in a video format. The reason behind that is, it is verbal and visual. In short, it is interactive. You know the saying, if “A picture is worth a thousand words”, then how much is a video worth? A lot, right?
Everyone has some kind of knowledge that they can share with others and help them with. And if you are one of those blessed ones who has expertise on something why not go ahead and make online courses on that.
You can checkout these websites that lets you sell online courses.
- [eafl id=11838 name=”Skillshare” text=”Skillshare”]
Nowadays almost everyone is into writing an e-book, why not you give it a shot! Whether you are writing a fiction or a non-fiction, or you are an experienced writer or not, the thing that is important is ‘how to make money by writing a e-book?’
You can write e-book on any of the topics you like, whatever your expertise is. It can be anything ranging from
- 101 on <your expertise>’
- Advanced Guide to <your expertise>
- How I made <amount> from my blog within
- How to guides
- Tips and Tricks
You can sell that eBook either on your own blog/website or on Amazon or sell it through the Apple iStore. Selling your eBook is excellent way to monetize your blog and its a good source of passive income.
Do you have a custom solution designed to solve your readers’ problems? Then this is a great way to get your audience to buy it or lease it. Depending on what your niche is and what kind of problem are you solving you have two choices to move forward with your software:
- Sell your software to individual users
- SAAS (software as a service) where you will have your users pay a predefined monthly recurring fee to use it.
There are a lot of bloggers who have established themselves over years and have implemented this business model are generating a recurring revenue (a six and seven figure income). One such blogger turned into an influencer and an entrepreneur is Neil Patel. He started out as a blogger/consultant and has now co-founded Crazy Egg, KISSMetrics and Hello Bar.
3. Physical Products
Though I personally don’t own any businesses that sell physical products (eCommerce stores), I have been consulting a few Inc 1000. eCommerce business and know that this model has a huge potential. Now you might be wondering what does eCommerce products have to do with monetizing your blog, right?
I have been following a few beauty bloggers since last few years, as I love their hair and makeup tutorials. They share tutorials, product reviews and a lot more interesting information on their blog and on their YouTube channels. Over the years they have built millions of followers and a big business by launching their physical products.
- Marlena Stell from MakeUpGeek.com
She had a passion for makeup and wanted to share her knowledge with others to make them feel beautiful. So she stared with filming video of herself applying and makeup. Within few years she launched her own makeup line and has made a $10M business with her honest blogging.
- Carli Bybel from TheBeautyBybell.com
Carli is a beauty blogger who has implemented a lot of strategies that we talked about here. She provides makeup services, has affiliated products on her website that she offers coupon codes for and has launched a product which sells online at BHCosmetics and Ulta.
So if you think you can create a product in your niche that will help people solve some kind of problem or help them enhance their abilities, this model is for you!
4. Provide Consulting/Coaching Services
Other methods mentioned above might work as a source of passive income, which will make you money. But the fastest and most direct way to make money is selling your expertise. You can even charge an extra amount for providing consulting/coaching services.
Your blog is where you share your knowledge and build your credibility. It is for all the DIY readers! All lot of them will look at the wealth of your knowledge and might well hire you to do it for them!
You can do this either over video call or being there in person for a fixed hourly rate. You can charge extra for providing consulting services in-person. This might not be an option for newbies in the blogging world, as it takes some time for people to believe in you before they invest their time and money for your services.
5. E-mail list
Email list is like your cash in the bank. You can’t ever have enough! Building an email list very important, and when someone subscribes to your email list, it means they are really interested in reading more from you. The information you share is adding value to them, you have already won their trust! If you ask any blogger, he/she would say that they wished they would have started building their list earlier.
Email marketing plays a vital role in generating money, and the larger the list the more money you will be making. Now there are quite a few ways to increase your email list like opt-in boxes, offering a freebie in exchange for an email, attractive landing pages, memberships, etc. Getting back to the point, money is sitting in your list. How would you use your email list to monetize?
- You can promote your events/workshops with emails
- You can recommend products to your readers and earn commissions via affiliation.
- You can send offers to your readers from your affiliates.
- Send them your latest blog posts (just the first few lines from it), with a link back to your website. That way those readers will come back to your website to read the entire post.
Do not go overboard with this to make yourself look spammy as no one likes spam! Nor do go overboard with sending out affiliate product recommendation that can turn off your readers.
Some of the tools that can help you build and manage your email subscribers are:
6. Membership Sites
There a lot of sites that make money off the memberships. For some (depending on the niche) this can be a recurring monthly revenue while for others this can be a one-time membership fee. Even if it is not a recurring revenue, the numbers can add up pretty nicely if your subscription ratio is good.
This could be a pretty good revenue model for newspaper websites or graphic design bloggers. For newspapers, with the sale of actual papers declining they can have readers subscribe to their website for a small monthly fee in order to read all the news. While for graphic designers, they can offer premium designs (vectors, illustrations, PSDs, stock photos in HD) to users who choose premium membership for their services.
There are a lot more ways that you can implement to monetize your blog, but that will only work if you are passionate about it and implement it. The most important thing you need to do before thinking about monetization is, creating quality content that will add value to your readers and ways to increase your website traffic. If there is no one to read your blog, there will be no way for you to make money.
I would love to know how any of these strategies have worked for you. Share your thoughts in comment below if you have any new strategies that you have implemented to make money online with your blog in 2016.