So you have an awesome audience. But you want to make some money out of your blog? Here are the top ways to monetize your blog – you can use all, one, or a combination. Find what suits you, your audience, and your business model.
#1 Have an opt-in
With the way social media is going, we can’t guarantee we can get in front of our audience members all the time, even though they’ve followed or liked our social media accounts. The best way to do this is to get into their inbox to convert them, whether converting to buy your products/services or to get affiliate links in front of them.
Use a freebie as an incentive to get audience members on to your email opt-in list. Use a program, such as MailChimp, to auto deliver this free product.
A freebie can be something simple as a printable, compilation of your top ten blog posts, or a completely new created product (video, book, etc.).
- Include the product + terms of your site in a folder zipped for delivery
- Use Mailchimp (aff link) or another auto-responder sequence to auto-send the freebie for you so you don’t have to hand do it!
The freebie doesn’t have to be something crazy intricate – simply get something to your audience that represents you and what you can provide. I recommend looking at Envato to find templates to create ebooks and/or accompanying videos.
#2 Be an affiliate
Sharing products and/or services that you fully endorse and believe in to your audience will provide a quick way to monetize your site.
Take for example, you are a recipe blogger and always use specific products to cook with. In your blog post about making apple crisp, you can mention the products, then hyper-link each product for the convenience of your audience but also to help you get tracked to earn money if they purchase.
If you are new to affiliate programs, a good one is Amazon (not an affiliate link!) as it has lots of products readily available to link and works well for most audiences.
I strongly recommend also finding smaller bloggers with awesome products and services to affiliate. These bloggers can provide a higher percentage cut than big programs like Amazon or Commission Junction and allow you to truly provide a service to your audience.
Another example, TheLawTog (a sister site) provides an online business workshop called BizRevamp and has hand-selected some affiliates to receive a cut if their audience members enroll in the course. The course ranges between $400-600 and has a 50% cut. The affiliate who shares the link with their audience stands to make between $200-300 per person who signs up through their specific affiliate link. This shows a greater return and facilitates good will to your readership IF you truly endorse other business owners whose products and services you believe in.
Make sure they have an appropriate Affiliate Program Terms in place to define expectations and keep the relationship rocking!
#3 Take sponsored posts
Some bloggers agree with taking sponsored posts, others are vehemently against it – whichever camp you are in – this IS a way to monetize your blog. Instead of writing a product review or content based article with affiliate link (as #2 shows), a brand may pay you to write these articles with a set rate.
Don’t forget sponsored posts must always be disclosed to your audience!
#4 Guest blog for other blogs
Blogging for others blogs as a guest is a great way to gain exposure and facilitate relationships with other bloggers but also allows you to potentially sell your products and services to a new audience.
Tip: ALWAYS ASK the hosting blog if they allow you to place affiliate links in your guest post. If the answer is no, don’t do it!
#5 Sell a product or service
If you feel confident and have the proper qualifications, it is time to turn your free content into money! You can set up a shop to sell a product or service (including workshops).
Keep in mind, you may want to grow your shop with an affiliate program, so choose a platform that allows you to have an affiliate program and also capture emails from purchasers.
Big BlogLegally Tip: if you are going to monetize, please make sure you have your Terms and Privacy Policies in place to protect your blog!