One of the questions I am asked most frequently by people just getting started in online marketing is -“how can I make money from my blog?”. There are many ways to monetize a blog, and each has its own advantages. I have used various methods to make my own blogs profitable, and in this article I’ll be sharing some tips to help you do the same.
1. Place Advertising on Your Blog
Placing third party ads on your site is the simplest way to start making money. This is a good approach for you if you want to simply blog about your interests and don’t have any products or services of your own to sell.
No matter what your blog is about, you can place text or banner ads on it. Many people use Google AdSense to get started. This is an easy ad network to use, and the ads will be targeted to the topic/niche of your site. You can choose the size, layout and other features of the ads.
One mistake beginners often make is to overdo it with this kind of advertising. This will be a turnoff, and detract from the quality of your site.
You can experiment with different approaches, such as placing ads at the top of the page, on the side or on the bottom. But remember, do not overdo!
Sell Advertising Space
This is another approach to monetizing your blog with advertising. Rather than using an ad network such as AdSense, you can sell ads to other bloggers or product owners in your niche.
Do a search and locate some of the larger and more popular websites that are relevant to your blog and contact them. They will want to see some evidence that your blog gets traffic before wanting to place ads there, so this is more of a strategy for an established blog.
2. Affiliate Marketing
Another option to monetize your blog is to sell affiliate products or services. There are many affiliate networks, such as Clickbank, Amazon, Commission Junction, Plimus and many others.
If you’re not familiar with affiliate marketing, it’s simply a way of earning commissions by selling other companies’ products. These can be physical products, as with eBay and Amazon’s affiliate programs or digital products that people download.
You can promote affiliate products by placing banner ads for relevant products on your blogs. You can also write reviews of products and recommend ones that your visitors may find useful. However, if you want your blog to be popular and successful, you have to be sure to only recommend quality products which you have used yourself!
3. Sell Your Own Products
This is a more ambitious way to monetize your blog, but can be the most profitable of all in the long run. A “product” can be anything from a physical item that you make or buy wholesale to a course that you’ve created.
Creating your own product may seem like a daunting task at first, but if you have a genuine interest in a topic and some expertise, you should be able to do it fairly quickly. Do some research and find out what other people in your niche are selling. Find a unique angle or specialization within that niche, and you’re on your way!
4. Create a Membership Site
If you have valuable information that people are willing to pay for, you can turn your blog into a paid membership site. Or, more accurately, you will turn part of your blog into a membership site while the free areas can be used to tempt people to become paying members.
This requires some effort on your part, as you will have to provide members with something that justifies the price. You may produce a certain number of reports or videos each month that teach people something that they want to know.
You will also have to decide how much to charge members. Even a low monthly cost such as $10 can add up when you get enough members. The advantage of this type of monetization is that it gives you a recurring income, as long as you can keep things interesting enough to retain your members!
5. Start a Newsletter
Having an email newsletter can either be a way to bring in money directly or indirectly. If you have some unique and valuable information to share, you can charge a subscription for your newsletter!
Even a free newsletter, however, can be a great vehicle for making your blog profitable. You can use it to remind people to visit your blog and to check out some of your offers.
Just keep in mind that people don’t sign up for a newsletter just to receive offers. The majority of your content should be helpful and interesting material. Even some low key links in your newsletter can be quite profitable as you start to get more subscribers.
Monetizing your blog takes time. At first, the methods you use will probably only net you small results. To start making more money, you will have to find ways to get more targeted traffic to your blog.
Also keep in mind that your first priority has to be making your blog appealing to visitors. This will make them want to return, and perhaps even recommend your content to others. It will also make them more likely to spend money when they visit!
Image Credit: Russ Morris