Content Marketing

Here are three proven models for monetizing your blog

Many large businesses and entrepreneurs create blogs to build a dependable revenue stream. It’s done to drive potential customers to a specific product or service, or earn money directly from the blog.

To monetize your blog, create a good foundation and build an email list. Then, you can implement the indirect and direct monetization methods which best suit your readers’ personality and needs.

Getting started.

Before you prepare to monetize your blog address a few basics. The proper blog setup is essential for anyone serious about making money with a blog. Creating a blog that will be profitable involves far more than simply creating a website, writing a few posts about random topics, and tossing up an assortment of monetization methods. It requires planning from the very beginning, starting with a tightly focused niche and persona. One must also choose a domain name that will speak to the intended audience and consistently write high-quality posts about the targeted topic without becoming repetitive and boring.

The mechanical side of setting up a profitable blog includes choosing the right WordPress theme. While it is certainly possible to change WordPress themes as your blog grows and evolves, it is best to take the time during the setup process and find the one that best matches your needs.

Look at the display options and the user interface and find one you are comfortable working with on a regular basis. It is also important to find the appropriate content management tools to help create stunning content, share it appropriately, track the number of guests and their activities, and more.

1. Build a list.

The importance of a robust email list can’t be overstated. It allows you to connect with your followers quickly and directly, an essential marketing component. It is also one of the statistics potential advertisers will want before investing their advertising dollars on your site.

It is possible to increase an email list in a variety of ways. How you choose to do so is a personal preference and learning what works best for your blog and the types of readers you attract. Remember, while there are many ways to gain access to your reader’s email, it is far more difficult to keep that access. This requires delivering emails to your subscribers that offer them a quality experience.

If you use the list only to promote new products, affiliates or services many people will either opt out entirely or they will delete the email instead of opening it. This means creating quality email content is as important as creating thoughtful and engaging blog posts. Once you have someone’s trust and loyalty don’t lose it by bombarding them with sales offers.

2. Indirect.

Indirect monetization describes all the ways you can earn money by promoting someone else, including advertising, sponsored posts and affiliate sales.

Advertising is probably the most well-known method of making money with a blog. The reason it is well known is due, in part, to the negative association readers have to the overt advertising tactics used by many websites and blogs. There are several ways to successfully make money with advertisements, such as AdWords, private ads and sponsored posts.

Sponsored posts or giveaways are a subset of advertising. The blogger accepts payment to write a post about a service or product. There are many ways to write a sponsored post. Bloggers can create a post the discusses how the product or service may be beneficial to their readers, use the item as a component of a how-to post or simply review the item. The standard agreement gives the blogger the ability to write the post with their honest opinion, and may include negative feedback.

Affiliate sales can be promoted on the blog within the post or displayed on an advertising banner. Essentially, affiliate marketing is earning a commission on sales of services or products made by another vendor that were a direct result of traffic you sent to them. Amazon Associates is one affiliate program most people are familiar with, but it is far from the only option. Many of the most lucrative affiliate sales opportunities come from partnering directly with the companies and providers offering the product or service because the commission is often higher than when one partners with an affiliate company. However, affiliate programs offer a wider selection of products, services and advertising options.

When using the indirect method of monetization, ensure all revenue sources are in line with your niche and reader expectations. Only those services and products that add real value to the user experience should be included, or you run the risk of losing the respect and trust of your followers.

3. Direct.

Direct monetization includes all of the ways you as an individual or business can sell your services or products. The list of options is extensive and is really only limited by your imagination and aptitude. Some of the most popular offerings include virtual products, physical products, and products that promote connections.

Virtual products include items such as courses, ebooks and webinars. Creating a digital course allows you to provide an interactive experience to your readers that teaches them something related to your niche. Writing an ebook seems like it should be as easy as writing blog posts, but the process and goal are different. When writers take the time to plan their ebook and make an effort to give their readers what they really want, the payoff can be impressive.

Many bloggers eventually incorporate videos posted on YouTube as part of their monetization strategy. Yet, this relies heavily on third party advertising. Webinars offer a more personalized solution to video monetization. They allow bloggers to interact with their readers in real-time and in a far more personal setting than social media allows. They can also be recorded and sold for the instructional content later at a reduced price, which reflects the lack of personal interaction the buyer receives from a recorded video.

Selling physical products such as books, art and other merchandise has been something of a risky proposition for bloggers in the past. It is becoming an increasingly viable option due to the ability to partner with print on demand companies. While this is especially valuable for artists, it is also a solid choice for bloggers in other underserved niches. If you know your readers want steampunk vampire refrigerator magnets, design one and offer it through a print on demand service.

The elusive art of promoting online connections has quickly become one of the most effective methods of monetization. Personal connections, such as offering private consultations in your area of expertise, allows you to use your blog to promote your services and highlight your talent. If you want another method to sell connections, create a membership component for your blog. It can be difficult to sell people a membership unless the value of being a member is clearly evident, however. What services, resources, or networking opportunities can you offer that your readers would be willing to pay an annual or monthly fee to receive?

The most dependable revenue model for monetizing your blog is the one that excites you and fulfills a want or need for your target audience. It must excite you if you are going to be able to successfully convince your readers it is worth their time and money. It must also address a need, or a desire the majority of your readers share if they are going to be emotionally motivated to make a purchase you suggest.