6 Key Ways To Monetize Your Blog & Make Real Money
Starting a new blog for a passion of yours is an incredibly exciting time; you’re ready to share your knowledge with the world and start a new business. Problem is, so many people set out to start and monetize a blog but quickly become disillusioned when they realize that everything they’re doing is just guesswork – how exactly are other people making money from their blogging businesses?
The 6 ways below are some of the very best ways to monetize your blog site, and best of all, though there is often a learning curve all of the methods below are easily implemented again and again – which means you can make more money!
(Ps… If you haven’t yet started your blog and aren’t sure where to start, see my step-by-step guide Starting a Successful Blog.)
- Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing has become one of the most popular ways to monetize a blog – and with good reason.
Essentially, affiliate marketing is where you obtain a special link to a product or sales page (for example, to a fellow blogger’s course sales page, or even just to Amazon products you are reviewing) you can put on your site. When a visitor clicks on the link and purchases that product through your link, you’ll earn a commission.
For example, I’m an affiliate for Top Earner Strategy, a great membership for those who want to learn the key to making money in network marketing.
Affiliate marketing is one of the easiest ways to start monetizing your blog as you can continue to build up your site’s content while embedding the links into the posts. Once you’ve got good posts with affiliate links to the services and products you recommend, all you need to do is drive traffic to your site.
One of the best things about affiliate marketing is the people who click on your links (and thus earn you money) don’t have to be long term followers; say someone clicked on a link on Pinterest that led them to your site, but they were just looking for a solution to a very specific problem, they may immediately click on an affiliate link and find what they need.
While, in almost all cases, you’ll be building a site you want people to come back to again and again, it’s great to be able to capitalize on the visitors who don’t plan to return.
2. Display Ads
This is the foundation of bloggers making money – before affiliate marketing and other avenues became popular, putting ads on your site (or selling ad space yourself) was the primary way people made money from their sites online.
Ads on your blog can still be profitable, but you’ll find many blogs have turned away from ads in favor of giving their audience the best experience and selling digital products (which you can read about further on in this post).
3. Sell Downloads (eBooks & PDFs)
Your blog is almost certainly showing people how to do something, whether that’s how to set up a new saltwater aquarium or cook delicious vegan meals. No matter what your blog is about, you can likely share your expertise and package it as a download you can sell.
Kindle books are very popular and convenient form of downloads to imbibe the information on any topics. If you’ve self published your kindle book on Amazon, then make sure, you make the paperback edition and audio version too if possible, because that’s the next thing someone can be interested in.
You have a few options for how you go about this but selling your knowledge as an eBook on Amazon and other booksellers is one option, but you can also sell them directly from your site as a PDF.
Both of these options are a great way to bring in more money – and you can start selling as soon as you have a good level of helpful content on your site. You want to give people a taste of what they may find in the pdf, prove to them you are knowledgeable, and then offer them what they need packaged neatly as an eBook or download.
Best of all, this doesn’t have to be all-new content, you can package up your blog posts with additional information to make your download, as often people are willing to pay so they don’t have to search through your posts for the content they need, but have it presented to them in the most digestible format.
Keep on reading, 6 Key Ways To Monetize Your Blog & Make Real Money
4. Sell Courses
Courses are big right now – people are prepared to pay to take a course to learn what they need to know, and it’s easier than ever to get started selling courses on different areas of your expertise.
There are numerous different platforms you can use to sell your courses on, and Kajabi has become the industry standard for course sellers, but it is expensive. Generally, Teachable is a great platform to start on, as it’s much more affordable to use, you can get started for free, and it’s famously easy to use.
The System I use for affiliate marketing has their new Business Centre where you can create different type of courses once you're a professional member or higher level.
Courses (and eBooks and PDFs, for that matter) really shine because once you’ve created them they can sell on autopilot.
Once you’ve built up a big audience, you may decide to do planned launches with a “cart-open” and “cart-close” period where you intensely promote your courses during that time.
5. Sell Real-Time Coaching or Consulting
You can become a coach or consultant for just about any industry, and it’s become so popular because it’s not only so lucrative but transformative too.
Why coaching? Because it’s the most effective method to go from point A to B to obtain clear, desired milestones that can be hard and can take really a long time to achieve without any coaching.
Speaking of courses, you can check out my #DesignYourBlog bootcamp here, where I work with few select people helping them in starting their profitable blog!
Everyone who has become truly great at something had mentors – a fact ambitious people have become wise to, and so they want someone in the background pushing them to step outside of their comfort zone or guide them about the best way to do something.
If you like the idea of coaching (meeting face-to-face in person or through a call online via Skype or a similar platform), get super clear about what you want to teach people.
One big mistake people make when they decide they want to coach is that their messaging isn’t clearly defined, so potential clients aren’t sure if they are the right coach for them, so make sure you have your messaging down before you start to market your services.
6. Sponsored Posts
If you follow fashion or lifestyle blogs you may have seen sponsored posts – these are posts where a business has paid or gifted the blogger with a product, service or experience in return for sharing it with their audience on their blog. For example, a travel blogger may be gifted a trip to Paris by a hotel in return for a blog post (or series of posts) sharing the details of their trip.
Some of these posts are paid for, which means you may have stipulations in your contract which means you can only talk about the product in a positive light, but often if products are gifted you are free to be honest about your opinion.
If you are uncomfortable being influenced to talk about brands in a positive light you may want to set yourself some rules about accepting sponsored post contracts or avoid them in favor of some of the other monetization methods we’ve talked about above.
Remember, you don’t have to pick just one method of monetization – in fact, you shouldn’t!
Implement more than one of these methods to see the best returns on your efforts, but make sure you don’t start them all at once, become overwhelmed, and end up not doing any one effectively.
The key to blogging successfully (and making a business out of it) is in consistency.
If you’re looking for more guidance and someone who can help you one-on-one, why not book a discovery call with me? I can guide you as you start your blog, build an audience, and start to make money from it.
Check my availability here and book a call– I look forward to speaking with you!
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Blogging Coach & Mastermind Instructor
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