Bloggers blog for a variety of reasons but if you are like many people out there, you want to make some money from all the love and hard work you put into your website. I have some good news for you – you’ve landed in the right place!
Majority of my blogging experience has been with corporate blogs which typically bring people to the website with ultimate goal of selling a product or service. This can be the case for your blog too, as well as a couple other options to monetize your passion.
But let’s make sure your expectations are realistic. Blogging is a long game. You CAN make money from blogging, but it won’t be over night. Blogging takes patience, consistency and persistency. You’ll need to not only keep up with producing stellar content but you’ll also need promote your posts and drive people to your blog.
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Enough talking, let’s dive right in an explore the different monetization options for your blog.
1. Pay-Per-Impression or Pay-Per-Click Advertising
This tends to be an old school, yet still viable, method for making money from blogging. If you are not familiar with the terms, PPI or PPC, it’s the concept of placing ads on your site. You’re paid based on how many clicks the ads get (PPC), or how many overall impressions your ads get (PPI).
Typically, you sign up for an ad network (Google Adsense tends to be the most widely known), locate the ads you feel best resonate with your readers, and then place the ads on your blog. The ad networks then tally the clicks or impressions and pays you. Each ad network is different, but you usually get to determine broad categories of ads as well as the style (boxed, vertical or horizontal header).
From experience, the use of PPI/PPC advertising is become less popular. Visitors to blogs have gotten increasingly annoyed by all the ads. My belief is that for the small amount you would earn from PPI/PPC advertising it doesn’t out weigh annoying your readers or tainting your brand.
- Simple to set up and implement on your website
- No hassle maintenance
- You need a high volume of traffic to make any reasonable amount of money
- You are promoting someone else’s product or service
- Your readers will be directed away from your website
- Not aesthetically pleasing and at times annoying
2. Affiliate Sales
Do you love a particular product or service? why not make some extra cash each time you mention it to your following and they buy it? The premise of an affiliate program is pretty simple. You sign up for an affiliate network, it’s within these networks that you have access to hundred if not thousands of companies who are willing to give you a percentage or a fixed amount per sale that originates from you.
Companies typically offer a variety of methods for you to use including providing images, or just text links that you can use in your copy. When a reader clicks on the link, details are stored in the user’s cookies and when they purchase something from your affiliate advertiser, it’s attributed to you.
- Easy to setup
- Very little upkeep
- You can be selective as to what you promote and how
- You can promote product or services other ways than just your blog. Think in a downloadable PDF, social media, etc.
- Great way to get exposure into the network if you have plans to be on the other side of the coin and wanting others to promote your product
- You are promoting someone else’s produce or service and therefore don’t reap 100% of the revenue
- You have to sell to your readers. This will require an extra level of trust to be built before you start pitching products
- You will need a high volume of followers
3. Selling Your Own Services
Now that we’ve run through ways to promote other people’s products, let’s get to the meat of making money off of your own stuff!!
You may be thinking that selling services only works for certain niches. While it may be more conventional for graphic design bloggers or life coaching bloggers to offer services, there is nothing to say you can’t too (you may just need to get a bit more creative). A fashion blogger as an example could offer 1-hour consulting calls to review your wardrobe and provide expert guidance on future purchases. Or a mommy blogger could provide coaching calls to help parents deal with behavioural issues.
- It’s your service so you get 100% of the revenue
- You’ll get new insight into your target audience that you can then use to craft blog posts, downloadable freebies or even offer different or more expensive services (yeah!).
- You don’t need a huge following to start making money
- Providing the service will eat into the time you currently devote to other things
- The number of sessions will be capped at the amount of time you have available
4. Selling Info Products
You’ve probably stumbled upon, or even purchased, some info products online before. Information products tend to be digital products that have the goal of informing or teaching someone about a specific topic. These can range from eBooks, PDF guides, video trainings or full-blown online courses.
So, where exactly do you start if you want to start selling info products? Well, the nice thing is that they can be big or small, simple or complex, just as long as they provide value to your customer. A great info product is one that answers a SPECIFIC question and provides clear, actionable advice or guidance.
[bctt tweet= “A great info product is one that answers a SPECIFIC question and provides clear, actionable advice or guidance. #reallifeblogging #onlineempire #infoproduct” username=”ericajlerman”]
Start by brainstorming some problems your target audience face. As you go through this list, think about the different types of info products you could create and see which topics fit best with the different product types. For example, teaching someone how to make the best use of a piece of software (think Photoshop, Trello, etc.) is probably best done through video tutorials, whereas the topic of nutritional improvements could be nicely conveyed in an eBook.
- You get to set the price (obviously within reason of what the market will bear)
- Once you create the product you can sell it over and over again
- Depending on the topic, there will be minimal up keep
- You can reuse the content for different purposes. For example, if you wrote an ebook and then later you created a course within the same genre, you can give the eBook away as a bonus to course registrants.
- Depending on the complexity, products can take a while to produce
- You’ll need your own following to promote to
5. Event Participation & Guest Speaking
I left this one to the end as it’s probably not something you’d do right out of the gate, but it’s worth mentioning. As you continue to blog and your brand grows you’ll become more of an authority. If you feel comfortable getting up and talking about your products, services and solutions in front of others, you should be open to speaking gigs.
If you want to proactively get guest speaking opportunities, keep you eyes out for local events applicable to you and reach out to organizers. You can greatly increase the chance of getting a call back or having others reach out to you if you have a page on your website about guest speaking or a PDF speaker’s sheet.
Here are some great examples:
- You can set your own pricing for speaking at events
- Great networking opportunity
- Very time consuming as you usually have quite a bit of work to prepare before the event
- One time only. If you are lucky, a video recording will be available for you to use after the event