How to monetize a blog?

How to monetize a blog?

Almost five million blog posts get published on the internet every day. Among all internet users, more than 75% of people spend time regularly reading blogs and consuming content. What this tells us is that blogging for the masses is a trending subject these days. If so many people are involved, it definitely isn’t for an altruistic reason only. Sure it is a great platform to reach out, help, connect, and influence people. But it is also a great way to make money. Whether you are a regular blogger or someone who is newly joining the bandwagon, here are the best conventional and unconventional ways to monetize a blog: 

  1. Affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is when you share other people’s products and get a commission when your readers buy it.

Affiliate marketing is one of the most popular ways to earn a regular income as high as $1000 per month. The idea is to let other people promote their product on your blog and earn a commission on the sales that happen through your blog. Platforms like Amazon, ShareASale, eBay, etc. offer well-built channels for affiliate marketers. You could also tie-up with private platforms for the same. Here is an example of Amazon Affiliate Marketing:

Once you successfully enrol for the Amazon affiliate program, you can create a personalized link with your affiliate ID embedded within the link. Whenever a customer buys a product through the link you put on your blog, you earn a commission. This screenshot shows how you can generate links. It is a simple and easy three-step process. 

When to use affiliate marketing to monetize your blog?

The concept of this way to monetize your blog is very simple. You share a seller’s product on your blog for your readers to see, and the seller shares his/her revenue with you. This method works best if your blog serves the review niche. For example, if you review books or technology-based products on your website/blog, you can easily add an Amazon link with the review as the user is most likely to check out the prices and buy if they rely on your reviews. 

  1. Advertising

With the power of a regular audience comes the power of advertising!

Another popular and highly simple method of earning from your blog once it has a stable readership and following is to advertise on your blog. There are two ways to earn through ads. The first one is Pay Per Click or Cost Per Click (PPC/CPC) where you get paid each time a reader clicks on an advertisement on your blog. The second one is Cost Per Impressions (CPM) where you are paid a fixed amount for every 1000 impressions.

Now you may either directly get in touch with advertisers who wish to place their advertisements on your blog, or use a network like Google Adsense. Both these methods have their pros and cons. If you directly approach the advertisers, you have complete control over what ads go on your blog but your reach is limited. With networks like Google Adsense, Infolinks, or Media.net you only have to place the banner on your blog, and everything else is taken care of but you may not always have a choice in the ads being placed. 

Here is a great example of an advertisement for a photography application on a photography blog. Given that people with an interest in photography are more likely to read the blog, the advertisement is very relevant for the audience. What more? The next picture shows how the reader also has a choice in the kind of advertisements he/she wants to see. 

We all know that we love having a say in what is advertised to us, don’t we??

  1. Guest Posting

Do you have expertise in the field of your blog?

Then this might be the perfect way for you to monetize your blog!

Many small and medium enterprises are always on the lookout for guest bloggers who can help them create content around their business. Given that you are already an expert in your field, why not make money out of your knowledge and expertise. What’s great is that this particular method of earning money from your blog does not require you to make any additional investment. All you need to do is find the right businesses for your services. 

  1. Online Courses and workshops

Got a skill?

Share it. 

Yes, you heard it right. It is the time of collaborative learning. While you have plenty of options to learn anything you want online, why not make up a course related to your blogging niche and sell it to your readers and audience that you have built over time?

Will people buy your course?

Of course! People have witnessed your talent through your blog and if they are impressed with that talent, they would love to learn it from you directly. Your blog will speak for itself and act as a direct advertisement for your courses and workshops. 

Here is a great example of a writer Aditi Rao and how she has successfully monetized her blog through her online as well as offline courses and workshops, even during a pandemic. 

Readers and users may not necessarily get attracted to your courses magically. It takes time to build a reputation and create enough credibility that people start wanting to learn from you. Eventually, you could also pre-record courses and make them available to everyone who expresses interest, making it another source of passive income. The same procedure can not be followed for workshops as they require active involvement. 

Who can use this method to monetize their blog?

The answer to this question is everyone who has a skill in a particular niche and an interest in imparting and sharing bits and pieces of that skill with others. Building a course or a workshop requires patience and deep knowledge of the subjects. Whether you are blogging about baking, poetry, writing, photography, tech-based products, music, dance, art, finance, health, lifestyle or blogging itself, a well-designed course can add a lot of credibility to your blog!

  1. Coaching/Consultation services

Similar to offering online courses and workshops, you can also offer personal coaching and mentorship. You can also design intensive coaching sessions based on the learning requirements of your clients. Depending on your niche, you can offer coaching or a consultation session and charge per session. For instance, if you are a food blogger, you could become a food consultant with restaurants or if your niche is finance, you can become a financial consultant for your readers. 

This is a popular strategy for authors who have succeeded in marketing their books especially. The major difference between becoming a coach/consultant and online courses is that this is a personalized mentoring program for your readers. It is an added benefit if you can specify the results that people can get from your coaching program as it is an added incentive for the readers to sign up. 

It will tell them exactly what they are signing up for!

More often than not, all most readers are looking for hopeful value addition to their life while sharing and getting guidance from someone who has more experience than they do!

Let us look at an example of Tony Robbins who offers a variety of online coaching services:

  1. Email marketing

Do you have an option for people to subscribe to your blog via email?

What do you do when you receive emails from people?

A very effective way to make money through blogs is to efficiently build relationships through email marketing. Follow-up weekly or monthly to check-in if the subscribers have read your recent blogs. By adding value to the lives of your subscribers, you can simultaneously promote your courses, ebooks, digital products, workshops, coaching opportunities and various other things. 

One great way to make the best use of email marketing is through monthly newsletters. With the right frequency, these newsletters make sure that the readers are updated about what’s new on your blog that may interest them, through their own email inbox. It is more likely for a reader to read a blog of their interest when it is served on a special platter adjusted to their interests.

Besides, you are giving the reader a choice of whether or not to receive advertisements. 

Everyone likes a genuine choice. And when they sign up for a subscription themselves, it is more likely that they are genuinely interested in your content and will be there when your engagement email shows up in their inbox. 

  1. Write paid reviews

Once you have established a regular audience, different people may approach you to review their services or products on your website/blog. This happens especially in the case of products like consumer goods, technology-based products, books etc. 

  1. Become a public speaker/ Influencer

Who said you can only become an influencer through YouTube, TikTok or Instagram?

Similar to people like Jay Shetty who rose to fame through Youtube and Instagram, it is very much possible to become a blog influencer like Jeff Bullas or Neil Patel. 

Become a blog influencer. Create an opportunity on your blog for people to reach out and invite you to different related events for sharing your ideas. It is important to build your own brand in addition to building your blog for people to contact you for public speaking opportunities. But once you build a brand, you can charge for public appearances to go and share your blogging expertise and experiences with audiences. 

If people can pay and read your content, they will definitely pay to come and listen to your experiences first-hand. 

  1. Accept donations

Many people think that asking for donations is wrong. However, if you have a blog that relates to the social sector or the development sector, you can ask people to contribute to your cause through the blog. The same holds true for websites like Wikipedia that provide free information to readers without any advertisement interrupting the consumption. There is nothing wrong with asking your readers for donations, especially if you are not selling things directly to your readers. 

Picture this. 

If your readers are actually happy reading your content and wish for you to continue this full-time, they will happily contribute to the blog. In a way, this is not even charity. This is like giving them an option to pay for the content that they are consuming for the blog and asking them to set their own price as per the value they feel they have received from the blog. 

Paypal offers an easy to set-up pay button that you can integrate on your blog!

  1. Others

There are various other ways for you to monetize a blog. 

  • Digital products: Depending on your niche, you can sell templates, recordings, textbooks, and other digital products to people. In times when so many businesses are able to operate virtually, digital products are in high demand. 
  • Sponsorships: This is similar to writing paid reviews. Companies can pay you for writing a sponsored post for them. Keep in mind that this can have a direct impact on your readership, so select your sponsored posts carefully. 
  • E-books: Online publishing has made it extremely easy for anyone to publish small e-books on their blogs and sell them directly. You can also sell e-books on Amazon kindle. 
  • Paid subscriptions: You can offer your audience select premium content through a paid subscription model. 
  • Webinars/Summits: You can also host paid webinars/ online summits with other bloggers and charge your readers for the same. 
  • Digital Marketing: If you have a business that you need to promote, your blog can be a content marketing source for your products as well. This acts as an indirect marketing and revenue source. 
  • Podcasts: An upcoming trend to be explored in the content marketing industry. Many people these days are inclining towards podcasts. 

When to start monetizing your blog?

Now that you know that there are numerous ways to monetize a blog, there is another thing you need to pay attention to. You may not be able to monetize your blog at the very beginning. Even if you do monetize it, it will take some time to start earning a steady income from it. 

The right time to start monetizing your blog is to strike when the iron is hot. In blogging terms, it means that you start the monetizing tools on your blog when you have started to attract decent and steady traffic or have built a good email list of your regular readers. While there are no exact numbers for both of them, you can start monetizing your blog when you know that the readership base is growing. 

Meanwhile, as you build useful and relatable content consistently for your blog, you can spend time building a monetization strategy for the same. Set targets for yourself, select the methods that can prove to be the most effective for the niche that you have selected, and start monetizing when the time is just right. 

This is not to say that you can not start earning right away, but the best way to maximize your earnings is to start when you have started to establish yourself as a blogger. 

Conclusion

Remember, while there are multiple ways to make money from a blog in today’s time, it takes a while to make consistent money. Initially, your focus should be on growing your content and readership base and establishing yourself as a blogger. As you do that, the ways to monetize your blog keep improving and a whole new world of opportunities is waiting for you. There are multiple benefits of blog marketing and monetization. No matter what story you are telling on your blog, you need to give it time and consistency. The key is to be patient!

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Pooja Bhargava

Head of Operations at italics
Pooja is the head of operations at italics, a content marketing agency based in India. She manages content development and marketing for clients belonging to a wide range of industries. She is more than 8 years of experience in SEO content writing, copywriting, thought leadership and article writing. She is also a certified psychologist and an expert in analysing consumer behaviour to generate winning content

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