Not so long ago, starting a blog required investing thousands of dollars because creating a website was a very expensive task. Today, starting a blog and monetizing it is easier than ever. There are many online tools that enable you to design a website and get started in just a few hours, and there are also dozens of financial tools like Stripe and PayPal that can solve a lot of issues associated with monetization.
For instance, you can create, monetize, and maintain your blog on the WordPress platform with a budget of just a few hundred dollars. Blogging is a great tool for self-expression, and you can always find an audience, no matter how specific your niche is. However, the main reason why people enjoy blogging is that it also offers a great opportunity to earn money. If you do everything right, you can earn $20,000 a month within your first year of blogging.
Not all bloggers, however, manage to succeed quickly. The yearly profit of beginners and amateurs often doesn’t exceed $10,000. Such a figure is extremely depressing, especially given the fact that the majority of bloggers say that they started a blog to become self-employed. Such statistics don’t mean that monetizing a blog isn’t as profitable as people expect. The main reason why so many beginner bloggers fail is that they underestimate the marketing factor and don’t realize how much effort they should put into monetization.
Where to Start?
Although blogging can become your business, it’s also self-expression, and it’s all about sharing value. Therefore, you should determine what value you can deliver and choose the right niche. Don’t start a blog about some subject just because it’s popular while actually knowing little to nothing about it. You should only choose a familiar subject that enables you to establish yourself as an expert in the niche.
If you’re going to write articles for your blog, the writing part will be very time-consuming but it won’t be the most difficult thing about blogging. For example, you can check out custom writing review platforms like Best Writers Online and choose a professional writer who will help you with grammar and style. However, if you lack knowledge on your topic, you won’t be able to deliver value.
Some niches are more profitable than others. For instance, blog owners often find that monetizing marketing and personal finance blogs make the most money. However, any niche can give you opportunities for blog monetization. You can write about virtually anything. The main thing is to sell something related to your niche that is actually interesting and valuable for your audience.
The Basics of Blog Monetization
You can choose different blog monetization strategies based on the specifics of your niche. For example, if you have a marketing blog, you can sell ebooks and online courses. If your blog is dedicated to fishing, you can use affiliate marketing to sell equipment from your favorite brands. You should also choose effective marketing strategies and know how to use them in practice. For instance, you should put some effort into growing your email list and driving traffic to your website.
First of all, there is no universal rule that would determine how much traffic you should drive and how many contacts you should have in your email list. Everything depends on your niche, and you should always stick with the most effective strategies to make sure that your numbers correspond to your income goals. Your traffic should be steady. Not everyone can achieve tens of thousands of monthly visitors, but having a thousand visitors is definitely good for you. As for the email list, it shouldn’t necessarily be long, but your contacts should be highly engaged.
Crunch the numbers
Numbers are crucial if you want to come up with an effective blog monetization strategy. You should define clear income goals so that you can plan all of your blogging activities accordingly. For example, if you want to make $10,000 a month, you may sell a $100 product to 100 people, or you may also sell a $500 product to 20 people. Besides, you may give two $5,000 consultations. Blog monetization is all about thorough calculations.
You shouldn’t simply increase your prices in order to increase your income. Instead, you should choose a blog monetization approach that corresponds to the specifics of your niche and aligns with your financial goals. In this guide, we will consider different monetization strategies so that you can choose the right approach, no matter how many monthly views your blog gets.
13 Steps to Monetize Your Blog
Sell ad space
First of all, you can sell ad space. We will also consider using Google AdSense, but this option involves certain limitations regarding the amount of money you can earn. When you sell your ad space directly, you can establish your own price. In this case, you won’t depend on the clicks and charge your customers a fixed rate. Such an approach is easier than managing clicks and it also enables you to maximize your profits.
To sell your ad space directly to companies interested in your audience, you should create a specific page on your website where your potential customers will be able to learn all the necessary details. You can also use platforms like BuySellAds that will connect you with potential customers. On the downside, selling ad space directly isn’t an easy task because you should put a lot of effort into negotiations, manage invoices, etc.
Use Google AdSense
Selling your ad space directly offers some considerable benefits, but it also requires you to take care of many technicalities and connect with potential customers. Google AdSense can do all the hard work for you, and it’s the simplest way to sell ads. Google AdSense is used as a part of monetizing strategies of many well-known blogs, including Huffington Post, Healthline, BuzzFeed, and WebMD.
AdSense enables you to earn a lot of money, but you should get enough traffic to make it work for you. AdSense enables you to sell ad space on your website, and it allows you to sell it easily by using a short script. You can simply copy and paste this script to your code to choose where ads should be displayed. If you’re using WordPress for your blog, you don’t even need to insert the script manually because there are many plugins that can help you with it.
How Adsense Makes You Money
When using AdSense, you cannot choose what ads will appear on your website. These ads are personalized and based on your visitors’ browsing history and cookies. Whenever visitors click on ads, you earn money. The difficult thing about AdSense is that you should have sufficient traffic if you want to accomplish your financial goals.
You can turn AdSense into a reliable source of passive income, but in this case, you should have at least 5,000 daily visitors. Therefore, AdSense is a great tool for well-established blogs that get lots of traffic. However, even in this case, a lot depends on the cost-per-click. The average cost of a click in AdSense is 30 cents. Given that many of your visitors may use ad blockers or simply choose not to click on your ads, we recommend that you don’t make AdSense your main monetization priority, especially at the beginning of your blogging career.
Use affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing is a must if you want to monetize your blog. This is one of the most popular and profitable blog monetization strategies. You don’t need to have your own product to make sales. By participating in affiliate programs, you can promote products from other brands and earn a commission whenever someone makes a purchase by clicking on your link or using your promo code.
Affiliate marketing is a great solution for bloggers from different niches. For example, fashion bloggers can sell clothes and accessories. Industry bloggers can promote their favorite software. Tech bloggers can promote gadgets, and finance bloggers may offer investment opportunities or credit cards.
When doing affiliate marketing, the main thing is to find brands that will want you to promote their products. Besides, you should also consider the commission to make sure that you will make as much money as you planned. The bigger the brand, the more commission you might be able to earn. However, if you want to work with bigger brands, you must have a big audience. When you’re a beginner, you won’t be able to endorse brands like Nike, Apple, or Tesla. The good news is that there are hundreds of niche brands that have affiliate programs for everyone.
Affiliate Marketing Platforms
There are many affiliate marketing platforms where you can find various affiliate programs and choose the ones with the best commissions. For instance, some of the most popular platforms of this kind are Amazon Associates, ShareASale, and CJ Affiliate. You just need to create an account, and then you’ll be able to browse affiliate programs.
Affiliate networks offer a vast variety of affiliate programs from different niches, and we recommend that you always choose products that are directly related to the topics that you cover in your blog. Your audience should be interested in the products that you promote so that more people will want to visit your affiliate links and bring you more commission.
Accept sponsored posts
This is another common blog monetizing strategy that enables you to earn money for writing blog posts. You can write about a certain product if the company is willing to pay for it. Sometimes, you don’t even need to write the content. Some companies already have blog posts that they want to publish so all you should do is just publish them and get paid.
Basically, the same tactic is used by Instagram and YouTube influencers who accept sponsorships. Of course, you won’t get sponsorship offers until you establish authority in your niche. However, even if companies from your niche don’t know you yet but you already have an engaged audience and a consistent blogging schedule, you can look for companies that might want to collaborate.
The best way to find companies for sponsored posting is to join blogging networks, such as Blog Dash, ValuedVoice, or Massive Sway. You can register on these platforms and create a media kit that will provide potential collaborators with information on your page stats, audience demographics, social media activity, etc. this way, advertisers will quickly evaluate whether or not you can give them sufficient exposure.
Keep in mind that U.S. bloggers should comply with the FTC guidelines. Whenever you make sponsored posts, you should clearly indicate that your readers are dealing with sponsored content and provide the name of the company that paid for this post.
You can write ebooks dedicated to the subject of your blog. Choose a topic you’re passionate about, and make sure that your ebook is engaging. You may consider adding illustrations, infographics, or charts to make it more eye-catching. Ebooks enable you to educate your audience, helping them learn a specific skill. If you want people to pay money for your digital book, you must make sure that it will deliver a lot of value. Therefore, a good solution is to write an ebook that will help your audience address specific challenges or increase their income.
A good ebook should be filled with useful data and practical tips. You should also make a specific and attention-grabbing title. Although the main thing that makes an ebook successful is the information that it provides, you shouldn’t underestimate the importance of the writing aspect. Your ebook should be free of grammar mistakes, and it must be perfect in terms of style. Fortunately, you can always order professional editing and proofreading. To choose the best services and writers, you can check out writing services review websites like Online Writers Rating.
Keep in mind that this blog monetizing strategy, as well as many other strategies from this list, requires you to have enough traffic to get considerable income. No matter how amazing your ebook is, you won’t be able to sell it for more than $200, and this figure might only be achievable for well-known bloggers with lots of traffic and a perfect reputation who are considered experts in their niche.
You can also get paid for writing reviews. This strategy for monetizing a blog has a lot in common with publishing sponsored posts but it relies on a different format of content. You should find a company interested in promotion, try its product, and publish a review on your blog. The main thing is to choose products that are directly related to your niche and the subject of your blog. To find brands interested in paid reviews, you can reach out to companies from your niche directly or register on platforms like PayPerPost.
Create a membership blog
If you have an impressive audience of loyal followers, you can introduce a paid membership so that your readers will pay to get access to exclusive materials that deliver unique value. When running a membership site, you can allow your readers to get lifetime access after paying once, or you can also offer a monthly subscription.
The second option is more profitable because it enables you to get recurring revenue. Introducing membership options requires you to change the functionality of your website. Fortunately, there are many WordPress plugins that can help you turn your site into a membership blog in just a few clicks.
Create a private forum
You can also choose another option and create a private forum instead of selling memberships. You can create a place on your website where members of your audience can discuss relevant topics and share their experiences with each other. A forum is a great solution not only because it can become an additional source of income but also because it will increase the overall engagement. This way, you’ll build a whole community around your blog.
You may have encountered many poorly designed blogs of financial advisors and lawyers that look terrible and outdated and yet are very profitable for their owners. The reason is that these professionals charge a lot for their services. In this case, a blog is just an opportunity to promote services, and this approach can be especially useful if your blog is relatively new and you don’t get a lot of traffic yet.
First of all, you should turn your website visitors into email subscribers. Create an online form with an attractive offer. For example, you can offer a free webinar or online course. To get access to this exclusive content, readers will need to leave their email addresses. After this, you can send targeted emails. Use email marketing to build strong relationships with your readers and make sure to provide value.
Active subscribers who read your emails and want to hear more from you might be interested in a consultation. Once you’ve proven that you can deliver value, you can give your audience a chance to contact you directly and get answers to their questions.
Sell online courses
If you can provide valuable information and educate your audience, you can create online courses and sell them. You don’t need to be the best expert in your niche to sell courses. The main thing is to deliver value and to make sure that people will learn something specific from your course. Good courses have a clear direction and don’t simply focus on general knowledge. Consider the how-to format and make sure that your audience will learn some useful skills or get valuable insights.
Become a coach
If you’re an influential blogger, the chances are that many people will appreciate an opportunity to receive advice from you in a one-on-one setting. If you’re an expert in your niche and you know many useful practical tips, offering a blog-based coaching service is a great monetizing strategy. You should choose the type of coaching based on the niche of your blog.
Sell your branded merch
This approach is used by traditional bloggers, YouTubers, Instagram influencers, and many other people with a platform and a dedicated fan base. If you’re successful at blogging and you have a loyal audience, you can sell your branded t-shirts, mugs, hats, and other products. Include your logo or consider designing a distinctive logo specifically for your merch. You can also come up with meaningful slogans. Make sure that the design of your products corresponds to the general niche and style of your blog.
Keep in mind that selling physical items isn’t easy because you will need to take care of many factors, from communication with suppliers and managing orders to shipping. Besides, you need to add shopping functionality to your website. The latter can be easy to achieve if you’re using WordPress because this platform supports numerous themes and plugins with built-in eCommerce features.
Paid webinars can help you demonstrate your expertise in the niche and promote your blog. Webinars have a lot in common with online courses. You should define a clear topic and provide well-structured material. Besides, you should plan for a Q&A session so that your audience can clarify any details at the end of your webinar.
Webinars are a useful blogging tool for two reasons. First, you can use free webinars to promote your services or products. This option can be useful if you’re using other blog monetization strategies. However, you can also offer paid webinars and even make them your main product. To promote your webinars and sell tickets, you should create a landing page.
Starting a blog has never been easier than now, so if you know a lot about anything and want to share your knowledge with others, you can become a blogger. Blogging can not only become a great tool for self-expression but also turn into a good source of income. However, you should be able to choose the right monetization strategy.
Bloggers from different niches can benefit from different monetization approaches. Therefore, it’s important to know your niche and your audience so that you can offer something actually valuable. In this article, we considered some of the most popular and lucrative blog monetizing strategies. We hope that our tips will help you make your blog more profitable and enjoy blogging even more.