You've started a blog... The next step is to make money. Usually we focus on business blogging and how you can use content to position your business for leads and sales... However, that's not the only way to make money with your blog. Making money with your blog is a long-term income strategy, not a get rich quick scheme. It may feel frustrating if you’ve been blogging for a while and aren’t making the money you thought you would. Especially in the era of “gurus” who claim to make $100K a month, transparency is important. Today, we're going to be talking about some ways that you can earn money as a blogger, so you can monetize your blog in effectively. We'll go over some of the easier and more popular methods - also taking into account things like whether or not these options will be profitable for individuals with little or no experience.
Making money with your blog comes down to a few things:
And not in that particular order! Content is the foundation of your blog. It's easy to skimp on this part. Don't. Do your research and make sure everything you publish is top notch. So many people start a blog thinking it’ll be easy to just throw some blog posts up and and sit back waiting for the cash to roll in, but that’s not how it works. The reason “content is king” is such a popular saying is because it’s 100% true. Without great content, it’s difficult to monetize your blog. Gone are the days were a slightly average post will go viral because you've tweeted it a few times!
Creating a content schedule or setting up an editorial calendar in Airtable or Trello can save you a lot of time - and headaches!
Traffic is important if you want to monetize your blog. You don’t have to have millions of pageviews by any means, but if you don’t have eyeballs on your content, you can’t have sales, right?
If you’re relying on ads, your traffic is going to need to be much higher than if you’re building a solid email list and selling products. Either way, it never hurts to get more traffic.
The unspoken secret to traffic is that you have to promote your content yourself before the search engines and readers will notice you. Generating traffic to your website isn't a passive activity. It's a little bit of work every day. Sure, tools make it easier, but it still has to be done.
How can you increase your traffic? Creating more content isn’t always the answer. Log into your Google Analytics and see which posts are in your top 10. Expand on those. Switch up the calls to action so they're more impactful... Add in extra graphics... Link to other posts that you've published since then.
While content and traffic are important, keep in mind that planning also plays a huge role in how successful your blog will be. If you’re writing whatever you feel like for the day with no rhyme or reason and then hitting publish, the chances are, your blog will flop. Some bloggers build a brand based around sharing their lives or ranting, but the amount of people who truly care about how your day went and how you’re doing with your toddler’s potty training journey is usually fairly small, even if you include your family.
People want to know what’s in it for them.
What can you offer them? How can you help them? The key to getting your readers to come back day after day, week after week, is to educate or entertain. If you can do one or both of those things, you’re already ahead of many!
Do Ads Make Money For Bloggers?
Making money with ads takes quite a bit of traffic. You can start out by charging for ad space manually on a new blog. For example, many new bloggers will charge $20 a month for ad space on their sidebar, until they get the traffic for ad networks. This is an easy way to monetize a brand new blog!
It’s much less work to use an ad network, so that’s what most bloggers do. Ad networks like Ezoic are great to start out with because they have a lower traffic threshold. You can get approved with less than 10,000 pageviews per month.
To get approved for an ad network like Mediavine, you need at least 50,000 sessions per month. That’s not always an easy feat, but it can be done, regardless of your niche. AdThrive requires 150,000 sessions.
No matter which ad network you decide to go with, be sure to pay attention to how many ads are on your blog. Do you want video or pop-out ads to play? You have full control over how many ads and what kind of ads are displayed on your blog. Don’t feel like you have to “okay” every single ad placement.
After your ad network has placed ads on your blog, take a look at your blog as a visitor. Are there too many ads? Do they cover your content? Is the video pop-up too obnoxious? Everyone has their own idea of how many ads is the “right” amount. It’s important to play an active role in ad placement because this can make or break your readership.
Affiliates & Blogging
Some bloggers make six figures from affiliate earnings alone, which is so amazing! Getting started with affiliate marketing is something you can do as a new blogger. I recommend getting at least 10-15 solid blog posts published. While you could do it sooner, many brands only want to work with established bloggers. When they come to your site to see what your blog is about, you’ll want to make sure you put your best foot forward and have awesome content up!
To get started with promoting products as an affiliate, think about products you use on a regular basis and absolutely love. Think about products that will help make your readers’ lives easier. I like to choose products from sites like Shareasale, Awin, and Impact Radius. You can also reach out to companies and brands directly to see if they have an affiliate program you can join.
Remember Amazon! Some niches perform better than others when it comes to promoting Amazon products, and they don’t pay as much per product as other affiliates, but it’s a volume game.
Only promote products you truly believe in. It may be tempting to promote junk products to make a quick buck, but I promise you’ll make more in the long run if you select quality products to share with your readers.
Make Money blogging With Products
Designing and selling your own digital products is one of my favorite ways to make passive income through my blog. You can sell ebooks, cheat sheets, a monthly membership, meal plans, or even courses. Especially courses. The possibilities with digital products are literally endless, and they’re mostly passive once you get them set up.
Create one time, sell thousands of times, rinse and repeat.
Your next steps
No matter which path(s) you decide to take towards monetizing your blog, remember it comes down to delivering value for your audience. If you write blog posts that are engaging, easy to read, and helpful, your audience will come back for more every single time. I promise.