You may have seen several blog monetization strategies, so what’s different in this one? Well, it’s an Infographic to the point. We also have an alternate version of the Infographic for our subscribers – so two for the price of one, but wait it doesn’t cost you a dime!
It’s important to understand the mentality of new bloggers when they are starting out; they have two major things in their mind. One, produce quality content; two, money – aka ‘show me the money!’
You have to understand money is the end result. Start with great content of course but you will go nowhere if you are simply relying on organic or search engine traffic. You have to build backlinks to your site. The foundation to backlinks is WOW content. You also need to build relationships with fellow bloggers in your niche for your backlinks. Fellow bloggers will not only link to your awesome content but they will also help promote it in their channels.
The end product of backlinks is traffic. When you get visitors to your site you have to respect them and their needs. You can’t simply throw stuff at them and expect them to hand over their hard earned income. Put yourself in their shoes and don’t think of them as merely a source of income.
These are real people with real needs. Give them information they need and help them.
Again, the key is to engage with your website visitors and treat them with respect. This will help build relationship with your audience.
Once you have created some relationships the income will take care of itself as long as you have a plan or at least thought about the following monetization strategies.
You can download this Infographic and use it in your site as long as you give credit to us with a link-back.
1. Google Ads or Similar
Putting up ads is the most popular strategy with new bloggers. It is easy to setup and get started. Don’t forget there are alternatives to Google like Infolinks (affiliate link) who are popular for in-text advertising. Make sure you only approach Ad providers after you have a reasonable site framework as in 5 pages and 10 posts at a minimum. This strategy provides the lowest returns compared to the other strategies discussed below.
2. Affiliate Products
Affiliate products can give you anywhere between 25% to 75% commission per sale. Let’s say the product you are recommending is priced at $100 and a visitor clicks on your affiliate link and ends up buying the product, then you earn a commission of $25 to $75 depending on the commission structure. Be careful of what you are recommending as you don’t want to put your name on the line for a dodgy product. As a rule of thumb, I only recommend products that I have tried and tested. I am focussed on building a brand and not making a quick buck but the choice is yours.
There are plenty of affiliate networks where you can find affiliate products pretty much for any niche. You can use the following search term in google to find them: your niche + “affiliate program”. So if you were in the dog training niche then you would search for dog training affiliate programs or dog training affiliate products.
3. Amazon or eBay products
This is another popular strategy for bloggers. As an eBay or Amazon affiliate you can recommend any products from their vast collection and get a commission. The payout is relatively less compared to affiliate products at 5% to 20% but this strategy is about focussing on quantity.
The best part of this strategy is you can get a commission for any product your website visitor buys on eBay or Amazon and not just the product you are recommending. Let’s say you are recommending a book on Amazon and your website visitor clicks on a link from your site to go to Amazon. The website visitor then decides to buy a large LCD TV then you get a commission on that as well, now that’s got to be a good deal.
4. Mailing List
I love my email subscribers as they are literally the ones showing faith in my ability to deliver. Do not treat this like a money list; it is a list of trust, confidence and true relationship.
Start your list early and engage with your subscribers. Find out what they like and mould your blog content to your readers. I have started to focus more on blogging topics and Infographics based on my subscriber feedback. When I first started this blog it was also about real estate and property investment. I am not saying I have completely stopped writing on this topic but I am moulding my blog to cater for the subscribers I have.
I have read some big bloggers say that even if their blog is gone, they can be back on their feet as long as they have their email list of loyal subscribers. Most new bloggers try to cut this out in their initial blogging path due to various reasons; the most common one being cost. If you are serious about a blogging career or creating a brand then an email list is a must and ideally start this from day one.
5. Your Own Products or Services
When you have traffic and a reasonable amount of subscribers you can create your own product or service and keep the majority of the profit. The most common product is an eBook. The most common service is some kind of consulting where you provide advice and guidance one on one. This could be online or offline.
6. Niche Specific Advertisements
This is an awesome passive income if you have the traffic for it. Let’s say you blog about dog training and you have reasonable traffic, you could approach companies offering products or services for your niche for ad placements on your site.
You can also have a page on your site with traffic related stats so potential advertisers can get an idea. There are websites that make this process easier by connecting advertisers with website owners like buysellads.
7. Membership Site
I like the concept of a paid membership site, simply because you don’t have to do anything different other than produce useful content for your visitors. You don’t have to put ads or recommend affiliate products but creating a membership site involves creating relationships first. Memberships could be lifelong, per year, per month or only for premium content.
A risk of going from a free site to a membership site is that your audience or following may drop and there are some strategies to safeguard from this:
- Have a free site as well as a membership site with premium content.
- Give discounts for loyal subscribers or you could even give them free access for a limited time.
- Start the membership only to new members. Talk about rewarding loyalty.
8. Sponsored Posts
Sponsored posts are where other bloggers or a company wants you to recommend their product or service in return for a fee. This could even be a review of a product or service.
The Truth About Blogging Income [Infographic]
I wish I had known some of these blogging income lessons before I started my blogging journey.
I don’t regret anything, I only wish I had a rough idea of when to expect certain things.
How long will it take for you to earn money with your blog depends on a lot of factors such as your niche, knowledge, blogging time, budget available for marketing, experience and so on.
So if someone tells you – it will take ‘x’ amount of time to make money – it will most likely be an inaccurate answer. Having said that here are some rough guidelines as to how the general population of bloggers are doing. You may not fit into the general population and that is a good thing.
1,500 ProBlogger Readers Surveyed
- 10% percentage of bloggers don’t make any money (Not all survey participants wanted to make money)
- 63% make less than $100 a Month – That’s Less than $3.50 per day
- 13% make over $1,000 a month
- Only 4% percent of bloggers make over $10,000 a month
1 – Blogging Income does not Happen Overnight
Not just blogging income but blogging itself has several components and lessons you need to learn: SEO, social media marketing, WordPress (or other content management platform), content creation and promotion and so on. There are many lessons to learn in blogging and this takes time.
You can start a blog at zero cost – these blogs will most likely be hosted by someone else like wordpress.com. Free blogs come with limitations such as themes, customizations and monetization options.
You can start a blog with less than $100 or even $50 depending on what trade-offs you are willing to make.
How to Start a Blog in 7 Simple Steps
3 – On average, most Bloggers Start making Coffee Money after about 6 Months
There are some big names making a killer earning with their blogs but the truth is unless you are an expert blogger or have some kind of exceptional talent then don’t expect the unexpected! I am not saying you can’t make money by blogging but merely saying understand the average so you can try to beat the average. Obviously, you have to find ways to stand out in the noisy world.
4 – A Part-Time Income can take 1 Year
The lessons in the blogging world are so many; it takes time to learn and implement them.
5 – A Full-Time Income can take 2 Years+
Stay for the long haul. There are fruits to be had if you are passionate and patient.
6 – Google is not the Only Traffic or Income Source
Most new bloggers think and depend on Google. While Google is big, there are other traffic sources like Yahoo and Bing. Social Media can also bring in traffic to your site.
7 – Self-Hosted Blogs have a Better Chance of Success
We talked about the restrictions on a free blog and you can host your blog with a hosting provider to overcome these restrictions. If you want to make money with your blog it is better to have the freedom to monetize the blog any way you deem fit.
8 – You don’t have to be an Expert in your Field
Most people who like the idea of an online income through blogging shy away thinking they are not an expert. Well, you don’t have to be an expert; you just need to be a quick learner who is not shy of sharing your learnings. Find ways to present your learnings in a different way so you can stand out in the ever so crowded blogosphere.
Advertising is not the only income source. In fact, there are quite a few income sources like – offering products, services, affiliate marketing, sponsorship and subscription services. These could include eBooks, consulting, online courses, physical products and speaking. The bottom-line, the possibilities are huge.
How to Monetize a Blog?
10 – Traffic to your Blog does not Flow Automatically – you need to Build it and then Promote it
Search traffic or any traffic generation to a new blog is tough – period! You have to learn how to promote your content and market it. You have to build a content marketing checklist and keep learning so you can add to the checklist. The objective is NOT just to build a blog and produce quality content. You have to constantly learn and find ways to get more attention and engagement. You have to build your mailing list so you can expand your “on demand following”.
Content Marketing Checklist
11 – Diversify your Blogging Income – “Don’t Put All Your Eggs in One Basket”
Depending on one source of income is like burying all your eggs in one spot. If a predator finds the hiding spot all the eggs and the young ling’s lives are in danger. Similarly, if you only have one income source like your wage then it is time to look at an online business or real estate to diversify your income. In the blogging world, you should not depend only on one income source either. If advertisements are your bread and butter then maybe it is time to start thinking about a service or a product.
When you invest in relationships the opportunity for income will follow. Remember, you want to select strategies that suit your style, niche and audience. A membership site is not for everyone neither is eBay or Amazon products. Some strategies work well with some niches than others so think and choose carefully. Start a mailing list from the first day of your blogging journey and do not think about money from day one.
You definitely want to have an idea about the various monetization strategies though as you don’t want to build up traffic and then start thinking how do I monetize my blog?