Beginner bloggers often focus too much on a single revenue stream, quite often Google AdSense. This is not only a risky strategy (what if Google changes its methods or decides it doesn’t like your site?), but it is also ignoring many other, often better, potential ways to monetize your blog. The old saying, don’t put all your eggs in one basket, should be at the forefront of your mind while you are designing your blog monetization strategy. This not only protects you from potential issues with any single monetization source, but will also allow you to earn more from your blog.
One of the most common reasons for failing to monetizing a blog successfully is the fear of trying something new. If you’re not brave enough to try new monetization strategies, all your hard work creating your content is going to go unrewarded, financially at least. If you’re not using at least three of these strategies, you’re missing out on valuable income.
Six Tried and Tested Ways to Monetize Your Blog
There are many ways to monetize your blog, but these six methods have been tried and tested by thousands of bloggers over the years. Often, the best monetization strategies are those where you do something different from the masses. However, before you start thinking outside the box, it’s better to have a steady flow of income from these traditional methods.
Affiliate marketing is where you promote someone else’s product in exchange for a commission on any sales you generate. The commission varies greatly from as little as 4% (Amazon) to as much as 70% (My Theme Shop), with 30 to 50% being the most common range. There are several ways you can use affiliate marketing to monetize your blog: you can insert banner or text adverts in your sidebar, header area or footer or you can insert affiliate links into your general blog posts (beware of not overdoing this and annoying your readers). But the best way I have found to promote affiliate products is by writing comprehensive, honest reviews. This way you guarantee the person reading the review is interested in the product which leads to increased conversions.
- What Is Affiliate Marketing and How Does It Work?
- ThirstyAffiliates: Affiliate Marketing Tool for WordPress – Review
Email List Building
If you do not have an email opt-in box on your blog, then you really should read this article on the importance of building an email list. The advantage of an email list is you know the people you are emailing are interested in the products you are selling or promoting because they already expressed an interest when they signed up. This results in great conversion rates when you email people about new products. Email opt-in also opens up another potential revenue stream: as an incentive to encourage people to sign up to your mailing list, you could offer a free ebook which contains affiliate links. Two monetization strategies for the price of one!
Direct Ad Sales
Once your blog has grown a little and is getting good traffic, you can start to think about selling advertising space on your blog. This is a very stable form of income, especially if you can sign up advertisers to a six-month or year-long contract. There are programs out there that can manage your ad sales for you, but at first you may like to manage them yourself. This way, you have more control over where your income comes from and the type of ads you display. Once your blog becomes popular, you will probably find advertisers coming to you asking to advertise on your blog. At this point you can start to increase the amount you charge for your ad space.
Following on from above, once your blog becomes popular you may find companies in your niche contacting you about new products. Email them back saying you’d be very happy to write a review of their product in exchange for payment. At this point you must be honest with both the company and your readers: the company must accept before the transaction that paying for a review does not entitle them to a positive review; your readers deserve to know which reviews are paid so they can take that into account before making any purchases. Also, make it known to your readers that all your reviews are 100% honest, paid or otherwise. I’d recommend only accepting paid reviews for products you have faith in. Scathing reviews are of little value to anyone. Don’t forget to insert affiliate links in the review and tell your readers how they can get hold of the product.
If you write well (and if you’re a blogger you should be looking to improve your writing all the time), you can earn a nice income from selling ebooks, courses, how to guides etc. The key to selling ebooks is to write about a subject that people are willing to pay money for. There is so much free information available on the web that you have to convince your potential customers that your content is unique and worth paying for. The best way to do that of course is to write great, valuable content in your regular blog posts. Another way is to give away a sample of your valuable writing in the form of a short ebook to entice people to opt-in to your email list. If the format of your ebook allows, you can also include affiliate links for extra income.
I’ve saved this one for last because in my opinion too many bloggers set too much store by Google AdSense. AdSense is probably the best-known advertiser on the internet and can be a good source of income for your blog. This is how AdSense works: you put AdSense adverts on your site and every time one of your visitors clicks on one of the adverts, you get a payment from Google into your AdSense account. This is known as cost-per-click (CPC) advertising. The amount you receive per click varies greatly depending on the niche your site is in. Rates vary between a few cents and $5 per click, though you’d be very lucky to receive as much as that. If you have a high number of visitors, then AdSense can work well for you. If, however, your visitor numbers are more modest, you’ll probably find AdSense is not the most effective strategy for you. As I said right at the beginning of this post, you need to be brave and try all the methods to monetize your blog, so give Google AdSense a try and see if it works for you.