So, how to make money blogging? It’s not unrealistic to think you can make money from writing your blog. In fact, some veteran bloggers make as much as six figures every year. This post will help you to figure out the best ways to get your blog making money.
Make money blogging – Things you need
Before you can start making money from your blog, there are a few things you’re going to need. This is an essential list of requirements for any blogger.
It should be considered a given, but I’m saying it anyways. If you want to monetize your blog, you have to make sure you’ve got one first. There are many places you can create a blog on, but the best one is WordPress. It’s recognized all over the world, and it’s the easiest way to make a community. Here’s how to start a blog if you don’t already have one.
You don’t want to randomly throw together stuff you find on the internet. You don’t want to post excessively. But you want to have a regularly updated blog with awesome content according to your chosen blog topic. Awesome content should be updated about 3-5 times a week for optimal viewership. It keeps your blog fresh, which keeps it relevant. In internet terms, a relevant blog is the only kind of blog to have.
I suggest WordPress because it’s important to have a sense of community, and a relationship with your readers. You need to have your comments enabled so that people can freely discuss points of view. This keeps the same readers coming back. It’s important to engage with readers, that’s all. You’ll also want to outsource by commenting on other people’s’ blog posts or forum posts. You want to make friends and meet people. These same people will later become the base of your viewership. Don’t be annoying by constantly telling them to check out your site, but, casually drop a link here and there and you’ll be good.
Willingness to learn
Keep looking to make your blog content better. You’ll never know everything, and there’s no sense in trying. However, you can definitely be on the lookout for new tips and tricks frequently. While you can’t learn everything, you can never have enough information, either. If you’re overwhelmed, pace yourself. But it’s important that you grow with the industry.
There are a great deal of ways you can make money blogging. This is what the mass of this article is going to focus on. So keep reading, and keep an open mind!
Make money blogging – Things you should know about
Now before you start expecting to make money just by having a blog, you should know that it isn’t that simple. In fact, monetizing a blog is actually a complicated and time-consuming process. That being said, if you’re a frequent blogger, that process is worth your energy. Here are a few things you should know about the income sources.
Your blog is a “Home Base”
Consider your blog sort of like the base of operations. It’s where you’ll spend time crafting your content, sure, but there is a second function to it. Basically, most people use their blog to launch other endeavours. These could be selling products or services. That is the best way to make money on your blog. These products could be ebooks. That is the most frequent one. But there are other ways as well, such as products that can be ordered or services that can be bought.
It takes time
It can’t be stressed enough that turning a blog into money is hard work. It takes time, energy, and above all else, creativity. But again, the final result will be worth all the effort you’re putting into getting set up.
There’s no wrong/right way
While there is a set list of what works best, there’s no right or wrong way to make money blogging. It’s really all about what works best for you as an individual, and what you need your blog to be able to do. Don’t be hard on yourself if your methods are different from that of others. As long as it works for you, that’s what matters. If your methods aren’t working, that’s when it’s time to try another route.
This is one of the most commonly suggested ways to monetize your blog. You need to set up multiple streams of income, even if they are all rather small. The more, the better, because everything adds up at the end. Don’t worry, next, we’ll talk about what those streams of income could be!
Don’t Force Progress
The worst thing a blogger can do is try and force its blog to do something unnatural. Your content should be something you enjoy writing about. Your sources of income should relate to what your content is about. You don’t want to stretch out any resources or force yourself to conform to a box of what other people are doing. You want to let the whole progress happen naturally and in its own way. Some people are bloggers for years before ever monetizing their content. If you rush progress, it shows and it looks sloppy.
How to make money blogging – Possible income sources
Now we’re going to talk a little more in-depth about what the sources of income you can choose to use actually are. This section covers the five main categories that most income sources fall into:
This is the most common way to generate income. This is a method of generating money directly from your blog by using display advertisements. These types of advertisements are referred to as Banner Ads or Display Ads. You generally sign up with an advertising network, generate an ad code and insert it in your blog where you want the advertisement to be displayed.
Such networks advertise products or services that are somewhat relevant to your blogging content. They are intended to be visually appealing, and encourage readers to click-through. At the same time, they are designed to not compromise the quality of your blog.
There are a few different ways you can display advertisements on your blog to make money. The most common method is through advertising networks. You’ve likely heard of Google Adsense. It’s the most common ad network because when you’re starting out it’s easy to integrate. The process is simple, and doesn’t involve you having a lot of knowledge about what you’re doing. There are other companies like AdSense, such as BlogAds, Infolinks (and many more).
It’s hard to generate any sort of income from display Ads in general as you need to have a really good traffic. So, let’s talk a little bit about Private Ads. These are similar to Banner Ads when it comes to display and content. Usually, they will be relevant to the content on your blog. The difference is that there is no company in between you and the advertiser.
You’re selling an ad space on your blog and they are paying for your to display an advertisement in that space. You’ll both have to agree on placement, colors, etc. Everyone wants to be confident the placement of the advertisement will generate a flow of traffic. If you’ve never sold private advertising, you’ll want to look around and find out what most people charge. If you price your space too high, no one will want to purchase it. If it’s too low, you’ll be selling yourself short.
- Don’t wait for advertisers to come to you; go out and find them. If you’re not sure where to look, start by looking at other blogs similar to yours. See who advertises through them. Then contact those same advertisers and see if they’d be interested in doing the same thing for you. You’ll need to come out with a really amazing pitch. Make sure you’ve got something that really stands out and is unique. Something that advertisers will want to be a part of.
- There are a few words of caution regarding the use of advertising to generate money on your blog. Most notably that many people have ad blockers enabled, which means they can’t see the advertisements on display. If someone is viewing your blog from a mobile device, there is also a good chance they won’t see any banners or display ads. This means your advertising won’t be as effective.
- For desktop use: don’t use Flash banners. Use plain HTML images, because they are ignored by pop up and advertisement blockers.
- For mobile use: make sure your advertisements have a good placement.
- Experiment with the placement until you find one that works for every device. It’s important that you deliver a consistent quality to your website, regardless of which device it’s being viewed on.
Affiliate MarketingThis is when a company or service pays you based on sales. You promote products or services offered by someone else. If you have a banner up on your page and someone clicks it, you’re only paid if they take action. This action could be signing up to a newsletter or purchasing a product. It really depends.
There are different options inside of affiliate marketing that you may come across. This is different from advertising in general because it requires you to do a little marketing. You can’t just place the banner on your page, you have to encourage viewers and readers to click it. You have to encourage them to take action. You have to bring in a whole new crowd that might be interested in the product or service that you are promoting.
Similar to advertising, you’ll have to look for interested parties. You’ll have to go out and find someone who would be interested in paying you based on action. You also want to make sure that the product you’re opting to advertise has some relation to what your blog/website is all about. Unrelated products won’t sell and will look tacky, to say the least.
There are programs similar to AdSense available for Affiliate Marketing as well. An example of one of these programs is the Amazon associates. No matter what your blog is about, there is bound to be something on Amazon that’s related. That’s why it’s such a safe bet, at least to get started with. Once you know a bit more about how affiliate marketing works, you’re going to want to get a company that pays a little more commission than Amazon. Or maybe not. That really depends on what you’re looking to do with your blog.
Now much like Google Adsense isn’t the only advertising option, neither is Amazon affiliates. There are other programs like Commission Junction or LinkShare that you could look into. Each of these affiliate sites requires applying for, which means any of them could turn you down as well. Again, it’s a good starter plan.
A better plan is to go out and find companies with products you feel have relation to your own. Then offer an affiliate deal. You’ll need to contact different people before you find someone who is willing to set up this arrangement with you. But just keep trying. You’ll find someone eventually. Now, don’t try and set up with multiple competitors unless you’re really good at playing the market. If you’re not, stick to one company.
If your blog has a little more broad of a niche, finding affiliate marketing partners might feel like more of a challenge. There are companies like VigLink that can actually help you to make money from a wide variety of partners. They even monetize the links for you. So if you mention a product or a store, they will insert an affiliate code and make it clickable. This is the best option if you really don’t know what you’re doing. It doesn’t pay a lot, but that’s fine because it’s not a lot of work either.
There are two important things to remember when it comes to affiliate marketing:
- This is an income strategy designed to compliment your blog.
- Your blog should have great content to compliment this income strategy.
As long as you’re keeping both these tips in mind, you should be great!
We mentioned this a little earlier, but we’re going to cycle back. A digital product is anything that is available on your site that the reader can’t physically hold. When it comes to digital products, the most commonly sold one is eBooks. However, you could also have an exclusive page on your blog that readers must pay to view. You could have a membership only blog that readers have to pay to even see. You could have an exclusive audio recording of yourself available for purchase. Anything like that would be considered a digital product.
If your company is service based, there are still ways you can provide digital products. An example of this that’s often used is curriculum. Or do-it-yourself explanation packages. You could offer your expertise in video format as a walk through. You could even offer a paid-for live stream on your blog that answers questions from customers. Other examples involve selling templates. This could work for web designers or anyone with a technological niche blog.
Some more examples of digital products could be in photography or writing. You could sell your images via your own blog or have them up somewhere that pays royalties. It’s a lucrative market, and it’s another stream of income.
But, by far, the most popular digital product is a eBook. You could hire someone to write a small one for you that you sell for extra money. Or you could write one yourself. It should be in relation to whatever your blog is about. It should also be informative and helpful, as that is what most of your readers will be looking for. Especially if you offer a service.
This is something your readers can purchase and physically hold. Whether you sell t-shirts with your own name printed on the front, or handbags with a doodle. This could be books or Cds. It’s a very broad range of possibilities. You can offer these products through your own blog, or have a partner website. There are many that exist, regardless of what type of product you wish to sell.
TeeSpring is great to sell t-shirts, for example.
Society6 sells coffee mugs and hand bags with the designs you choose.
DeviantArt sells canvas prints of work by artists who are interested.
These are mostly artistic outlets, but they make great sources of income. Mostly because after you make the account on any of these sites, upload your work, and they do the rest. Of course, they also take a percentage. So, if you know how to print your own t-shirts, for example, you may as well save yourself the middle man.
It’s also common to sell things of an artistic value on a blog. It’s more common to see handmade items than professionally put together products. Etsy is a great place to sell jewelry, clothing and even books. You pay to make a listing, so Etsy makes money for listing your item. You’re responsible for advertising, marketing and shipping out the items. You could just list them yourself on your blog, but more people trust the third-party retailers. Ebay is a good idea for selling your items too. There is a limitation on canvas art, but otherwise, ebay encourages homemade items. Amazon does as well. Either way, it’s somewhere you can put up items that you have for sale. Again, these items should relate somewhat to what your blog is about.
A more common physical product would be books. It’s very common that bloggers sell the books that they have written on their own blog. Or, at least have links to where the book can be purchased on Amazon, should they be kindle published. Books can be considered both digital and physical, and are often a good money making strategy.
Now, a side note about selling on Amazon or Ebay is that you could, in theory, sell items that aren’t homemade. An example of this is selling old clothes that are lying around your house. It’s still a way to monetize your blog. It’s still a stream of income. But, if you’re also trying to establish a brand for yourself, avoid selling things you didn’t make yourself. Unless it’s through affiliate marketing.
Finally, the other option for a stream of income is offering a service. This could be a service local to your town (like plumbing, gardening, etc). Or it could also be a service that can be received online (such as Skype tutoring, ghost writing, etc). Similarly to products that are available, there’s a broad range of services you can also offer.
A great example of services would be freelance writing. This is a common thing that bloggers offer. You’ll see it as ‘hiring a guest blogger’. This gives bloggers a chance to spread their knowledge, name, and make extra money doing so. If you’re an application developer, or have tech skills, you are in a great niche for selling services. You can offer how-to video tutorials, or even offer to coach individuals in your subject of skill. Virtual assistants have quite a service to offer as well. This could be simple, like drafting emails and managing social media, or more complicated. It depends what you’re willing to offer and for what price.
Peer to peer counseling is another service that is recently gaining traction. If you’ve survived a tough situation, you can offer support to others going through what you have. You can charge an hourly rate, and conduct sessions over Skype (or something similar).
These are just a few of the examples of marketable services. The truth is, they can’t all be listed. There are far too many. There’s also a good chance you’ll think of something I haven’t.
It boils down to this: If you have a skill, find a way to market it. After all, getting paid for what you already know how to do is the dream, is it not? A word of caution about marketing services is that you don’t want to stretch yourself too thin. Your time is valuable. Don’t offer too many services and don’t spread yourself too thin. You still need time to yourself to create great blog content, after all.
The most important part of developing streams of income, again, is that they are natural. Your services and products should relate to your content. You shouldn’t have to force anything to fit together. You want your blog and all of its features (from advertising to products) to work flawlessly. This delivers the best possible user experience. A great user experience is what separates mediocre blogs from the great ones.