If you’re a writer with a passion for just about anything, you may have considered starting a blog. Blogging is a great way to explore your interests while potentially making some extra money on the side. By monetizing your blog, you could make between $200 and $2,500 a month in your first year alone.
If you’re wondering how to monetize a blog, follow these steps. Eventually, you may be able to make a full-time income or supplement what you already make.
8 Strategies To Make Money With Your Blog
You may think ads are the only monetization strategy available to you. But knowing how to monetize a blog without ads will inspire your creativity. Use these blog monetization tips to get started on the path toward more revenue.
1. Offer Exclusive Content Like eBooks
Whatever your niche, some people will want to read about it. Use your blog to draw people into the subject, and offer something special to your most devoted followers. If you’ve been blogging for a while, look through your most popular posts to find subject matter that interests your readers.
Delve deeper into these subjects through an eBook and sell it through your blog. Or set up a store on an e-commerce website like Shopify. These sites are easy to integrate with PayPal, making it effortless for your readers to buy your book. Offer a discount on your book to email subscribers as a perk for signing up.
If the thought of sitting down and writing a novel is too daunting, set up a premium tier on your blog. Users can pay to access exclusive content like deep dives, videos, and more. Make it more enticing by engaging with your audience.
2. Sell Digital Products
You may be wondering how to monetize a blog without traffic, especially if you’re new to the game. Generating an audience can take time. But you can start making money right away by selling digital products.
Your digital product could be anything from stock photos to templates to craft patterns. If you’re already selling an eBook, add digital products to your online store. Yet, make sure you own the rights to the products you’re selling; the best way to do so is to create them yourself.
When you’re selling digital products, consider your core audience and sell products that they would like. If you’re not sure what your audience wants, ask them. Run polls on social media and use the results to generate ideas.
3. Make Use of Affiliate Marketing Programs for Additional Revenue
Affiliate marketing programs can be an easy part of your blog monetization strategy. In these programs, you partner with a company, creating sponsored posts about their products and services with a direct shopping link. You are then paid a commission on any sales you make through your blog.
Consider products that align with your brand and that would interest your readers. Then, research companies to find those that offer affiliate programs. You can do this by searching, “affiliate programs for (product category)". However, be discerning in your research. Look through other affiliate reviews to see how easy it is to work with the company.
When incorporating affiliate products in your blog, notify your readers. Cover your bases by adding a “sponsored” tag or heading to any promotional pieces. What's more, read the terms and conditions of any affiliate program before you sign up, learn about payment schedules and amounts, and look for legal obligations and restrictions.
It can take some time to sign up as an affiliate, but once you get going, it can offer a steady stream of revenue as people buy products featured on your blog. Partner with reputable companies that offer a good commission and whose products are appealing to your audience.
To add, you could start a blog exclusively for affiliate marketing. Many of these platforms charge you a monthly fee, but you don’t have to buy the domain. In this instance, you’d be limited to posting product reviews, which could eventually stifle your creativity (depending on your long and short-term goals).
4. Consider Advertising on Your Blog
Although there are plenty of ways to monetize your blog without ads, consider accepting them on your blog. It's one of the easier blog monetization strategies. Allowing advertisers to use your blog for reach is a balancing act — you want your blog to offer value to your readers, but too many ads may distract them. Try one of these strategies and choose how many ads you want to display.
Google AdSense (Pay-Per-Click)
Use Google AdSense to place ads on your blog. AdSense tailors ads to your site, pairing relevant advertisers with your content. Your potential revenue is based on your location and blog following. This option lets you customize ads by letting you choose which ones to display on your site. You also have the liberty to arrange them to your liking. Plus, AdSense ads are optimized for mobile devices.
You don’t have to do much to make this work for you; connect to AdSense with your Google account and add a piece of code to your website.
Direct advertising refers to sponsored posts in which a company pays you to post about its products. With this type of advertising, you have to find advertisers yourself. You’re more likely to appeal to companies when you’ve reached a substantial following. But you can improve your chances of getting ad revenue by adding a media kit to your blog with advertiser guidelines and rates.
5. Help Readers Find Your Content Through Organic Search
You may have a unique voice and entertaining content, but you can’t build an audience if people can’t find you online. When you start your blog, think about your reader and write about topics that would appeal to them.
Use keyword research to brainstorm topics and include them throughout your blog posts without stuffing them. Most websites get minimal traffic from search engines, but keyword research helps you stand out. With this, your site looks like a credible answer to various queries, helping you move up the ranks and get more organic traffic. Once you’ve built your following, your monetization strategy gets easier.
Social media and other promotion strategies are good for building a community and helping more people find you organically. Set up a social media profile under your blog’s name, or connect your blog to your social media profile to leverage your existing followers.
6. Use Social Proof When Relevant
Social proof also broadens your reach and makes it easier for people to find you online. It’s all about using other people’s opinions to guide your own. For example, 83% of shoppers recommend their favorite brands to friends or family.
You can use social proof to promote your blog and build a following through various digital channels. It could be as simple as partnering with an expert to cowrite a blog or make a video. Or you could host a contest or giveaway to create user-generated content for your blog.
7. Emphasize Quality Over Quantity
When you start your blog, you may notice an uptick in traffic when you make a new post. However, posting more often won’t guarantee you new followers. The internet is a crowded space, and people are more likely to stick around if you offer them high-quality content.
Plus, it’s easier to create original content when you’re not constantly fishing for new topics. When starting, it may take some time to find your niche and hone your voice. But once you do, aim to produce your best work with every post to build a steady following. Proofread each post before publishing to make sure it flows and that it’s an entertaining read.
8. Build Out an Email List
Email marketing is an effective method of boosting your visibility and attracting new followers. Encouraging people to subscribe to your blog gives you a built-in audience and helps improve your organic traffic.
Add a sign-up sheet to your blog to start your mailing list. Some blogging platforms also let you maintain an email list and send newsletters as well as other content. If yours doesn’t offer that feature, use an email platform to send content to your subscribers.
Offer perks to people who subscribe. Give them access to exclusive content or keep the premium content for your subscribers.
What Makes A Blog Successful?
Anyone can create a blog, and knowing how to optimize your blog for success allows you to earn passive revenue. Although not all will become successful, there are ways to improve your chances of success.
1. Valuable Content
You can write about anything, but to stand out, you need to create value for your reader. Create content that they want to read and share. Once you’ve decided on your niche, research your chosen topic. See which blogs come up consistently in searches.
Reading through these blogs gives you a sense of what they offer to their readers. Value can be as simple as an entertaining or thoughtful read. If you’ve ever read a magazine article that stuck with you later or spurred you to care about an issue, then you got some value out of it.
One of the best ways to add value for your readers is to write about something that moves you. When you’re passionate about a topic, it’s easier to get excited about your posts. Plus, your personality shines through the text, making increased blog traffic more likely.
2. Comprehensive Content Strategy
Before you sit down and write, make a goal for your blog. Figure out who you want to reach and how many of them you can draw to your blog. Then do a little research to see what matters to them. Look through social media groups and online forums and note what people are talking about.
Next, pick a content management system or blogging platform. Read reviews and watch tutorials to find one with features you like. Then decide what kind of content you’re going to make. You could stick with written blog content with photos to make it more engaging. Or you could post a mix of articles, videos, and other content like infographics or animation.
When you’ve decided what you want to post, create a schedule. Planning your content helps you keep it fresh and avoid duplicating ideas. It’s also a great way to prepare for seasonal content and special topics for various times throughout the year.
Although you want to emphasize quality over quantity, you do need to be consistent. Your followers are likely to stay with you when they know you’re posting quality content regularly. Being consistent helps you establish a reputation and increases your credibility to search engines. It also lets you build a relationship with your audience.
When you post consistently, you can share content with your social media followers and facilitate dialogues that are engaging, driving people to your site.
If you’re juggling various responsibilities, posting consistently can be tricky, which is where your content strategy helps. Aim for one to two posts a week and build up from there as your schedule allows. You can also write multiple posts at once and schedule them for release a few times a week.
Being consistent drives more organic traffic to your blog, improving your monetization efforts.
Do You Need Help Building Out Your Blog?
Starting and maintaining a high-quality blog lets you share your passion with the world. Plus, it can help you generate some extra income. These blog optimization strategies make it easier to drive traffic to your website, increasing your chances of making money.
But sometimes life gets in the way, and it’s hard to make time for your blog. If you need help building out your blog, Compose.ly can help. Our professional blog writing services give you access to content that’s consistent with your voice and desired quality. Our network of professional blog writers have experience with SEO, optimization, and much more.