Just like cracking the code involves working with huge amount of combinations, learning how to make money blogging takes place in the equally vast and wondrous world of the blogosphere. While your blog can deal with wildly variable topics and content, the desire to make a living from your web asset is almost universal, being limited only by your creativity and starting resources such as traffic or audience size. Yet, the means of earning money with blogging are definitely (and luckily) finite, meaning that someone has already cracked the code and came up with several empirically proven methods that allow for blogging for a living or even “livin’ large” with it. Therefore, you are invited to take five minutes and read how these decoded monetization approaches can help you and your business grow in the long run.
1) Affiliate Marketing
First of all, let us define affiliate programs: these are the schemes which allow you to receive commission as a share of sales of products offered by affiliates on your blog. Consider, for example, the case of Pat Flynn as one of the most influential bloggers, who writes about topics such as passive income and blogging. He earns an average of $30,000 per month from his affiliation with the Bluehost company alone. On his blog, he advertises Bluehost as a reliable hosting company and uses their services. The company supplies him with links and banners that he puts on his blog. When someone clicks on them and buys a hosting service from Bluehost, Flynn receives a percentage of the sum. Simple as that.
Make sure to check sites such as ClickBank, which offer valuable affiliate program options for a variety of products, with payout rates going up to 75% of the profits for top affiliates. Some of its alternatives include Rakuten Marketing, Commission Junction, Share-a-Sale and others.
2) Ad Networks
Another avenue on the how-to-make-money-blogging roadtrip is to utilize the services of ad networks. This model involves using your website space to advertise brands and products, with the ads being served by the networks themselves. Take, for example, how Google AdSense works: upon creating your account you’ll receive several lines of code, which make it possible for Google to analyze the content of your site to serve ads that correspond to its content. Yet, none of this would be possible unless you pass AdSense’s own admission requirements. It can ask you for the proof that your blog is at least six months old and that it complies with its privacy policies.
Thankfully, you are free to get in touch with its more than viable alternatives and determine if their policies are more in line with your business goals. Benefits of working with ad networks are rather obvious, in the sense that you do not have to look for advertisers to serve ads on your blog as this is the network’s task. This frees up large resources on your part, which can be used for additional focus on perfecting your content. Bear in mind that your earnings will largely depend on the size of audience your blog serves or on the niche in which you operate it.
3) Independent Advertising
If you feel like going independent, you’ll once again end up with banners being displayed on your blog, with an important difference: you’ll have to look for advertisers on your own and make deals with those who are willing to advertise on your blog. In this case, you’ll also have to take into account their preferred modus operandi in terms of offered advertising models.
A caveat: you’ll have to act proactively and be on constant lookout for potential partners. This means engaging in a lot of cold contacting and being prepared for some serious self-marketing work. Also, you’ll have to be wary of the amount of banners you serve, as having too many of them will lead to a loss of visitors, while having too few can hurt your efforts financially in the long run.
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4) Paywalled Premium Content
In addition to promoting other people’s stuff, you are also free to try your hand at creating yours and the best solution comes in form of digital premium content, which you can put behind a paywall. Among the most popular options for monetization in this manner are video tutorials and courses, together with e-books on the subject that corresponds with the content you already provide for free on your blog.
This approach involves balancing many plates at the same time, as you’ll need to determine what content is relevant for your audience to make them say: “shut up and take my money.” The TimothySykes.com blog dedicated to penny stock markets is one such example. In addition to regular content, its owner Timothy Sykes has created digital premium content that he sells through a membership area together with physical copies of educational DVDs.
5) Sponsored Content and Reviews
Creating sponsored content means aligning your long-term marketing effort with an established content creation strategy. Sponsored content consists of articles that are paid for promotion of a company or product. These articles can be written with oblique or transparent references to your sponsors. Yet, you’ll need to focus on informing your readership about the product in the role of an influencer, rather than convince them to take a specific action in relation to it. The rates you’ll get depend on audience size, social media presence and the blog’s general outreach. This method is particularly popular with fashion and travel bloggers, who are able to turn their lifestyles into long-term business efforts while cooperating brands.
6) Consultancy and Freelance Services
This one can be seen as going the extra mile from selling your own digital products, as your efforts are now taken to a whole new level at which you interact with specialized clients in addition to your regular audience. The key prerequisite is building a substantial audience that has full confidence in your ability to function as an expert in a particular field. These freelance services can include translation, ghostwriting, photography and other skills that you consider your forte.
In addition to these, having a blog allows you to organize webinars as one of the most lucrative monetization avenues available. One of the best platforms available for webinars is GoToWebinar, which has acquired a number of competitors over the years.
Decoding the monetization code for you blog means being left with various pieces of the puzzle whose place in the mosaic of your blog will be ultimately decided by you. Preferably, you’ll achieve this after some heavy-duty field testing paired with a hefty dose of dedication and long-term planning. Whichever method you choose, the best thing you can do in advance is to have a clear vision regarding the balance between your money making and content production efforts, as well as in relation with the status of your blog as an authentic product of love & creativity that you now put on the market.