It has long been established that you can make money blogging.
According to HubSpot, 92% of companies that blog every day have acquired customers because of their blog. As much as 61% of online customers in the United States also purchased something based on a blog recommendation.
But what many experts fail to emphasize is that it takes time to earn a sustainable income from your blog. Like most things, success does not come overnight.
You have to create quality content, increase your traffic, and build an audience to be able to monetize your blog. And all these things take time, patience, and consistency.
Are you willing to commit 100% to make your blog profitable? If yes, then here are the tried and tested strategies for monetizing your blog:
If you’re just starting out…
Offer blogging as a service
Have you been blogging for a while, but you’re not getting the traction you want?
You can still earn money blogging by pitching your blogging services to businesses and becoming an on-demand freelance blogger.
Around 65% of freelance bloggers do this full-time, and 9% of them make $50,000 or more a year blogging for businesses.
That’s because a lot of B2B and B2C companies recognize content as the best tool for attracting leads and nurturing a loyal client base. In fact, marketers spend $44 billion on content marketing alone.
As a freelance blogger, you need to know what niche you’re good at, and then find people willing to pay for your services. You can pitch businesses or use freelance sites like Upwork, Freelancer, Fiverr, Elance, and Guru.
To be a blogger for a particular business, you need to know and understand the audience of your blog. Are you writing to moms taking care of toddlers? Are you targeting working moms? Or is your audience mostly composed of mothers with teenage kids?
Once you know who your audience is, you can create content that can spur them to action. If you’re writing for a business selling toys for toddlers, your content should be able to encourage mothers to buy those toys for their little ones.
Though there are a lot of freelance writers in the market, you can differentiate yourself from the rest by adding more skills to your arsenal. It’s good that you can write, but you’ll be a more attractive freelance blogger if you also have WordPress, social media, SEO, and persuasive skills.
Let people know that you’re selling your blogging services through the following:
- Guest blogging on high-traffic sites
- Maintaining your own blog and using it as a portfolio
- Social media marketing
- Facebook ads
Don’t forget to ask for testimonials and referrals from your current clients to help you build your freelance blogging career.
Offer coaching services
Fun fact: The life coaching industry rakes in $2 billion of revenue every year.
That is why if you are looking to make decent money with your blog in a relatively short time, you can market your coaching services on your blog.
As a coach in whatever niche you choose, your goal is to help your students conquer their challenges. You have to help them react to problems positively and productively, instead of just getting frustrated and giving up.
Coaching services are always in high demand because it sells a dramatic transformation. It helps people get from point A to their much-desired point B.
A lot of businesses also invest in coaching, as statistics show that life coaching services offered to employees have yielded companies a 300% return on investment.
You can use your blog to create awareness about your coaching services. It’s also a foolproof way to nurture a loyal audience. To do this, you need to:
- Create useful, engaging, and high-value content on topics that are relevant to your prospects and clients
- Have a strong value proposition—why do people need to sign up for your coaching services and not your competitor’s?
- Blog regularly
- Include case studies in your blog whenever possible to prove your expertise
Start a consulting business
If “coach” doesn’t feel like the best title for you, then you might want to become a consultant instead.
As a consultant, you offer advice and strategy to your clients to help them reach their desired business goals. Your clients book a call with you to get advice, and you charge then a flat rate per hour for the session. You may also send them a full written report on what you talked about during the call.
You can start offering consulting services on your blog at no cost. Make sure that you also create a page with a form that allows visitors to book a call or request for more information.
Write short e-books
You can also write e-books targeting your blog audience, then sell them on Amazon Kindle—the number one mobile device used by almost half of all the e-book readers in the United States.
What’s great about publishing on Amazon Kindle is the fact that Amazon is already a reputable shopping site. You don’t have to do anything spectacular to convince people to buy your book on Kindle. If your e-book is aligned with the content of your blog, your e-book will stay attractive to your audience.
You can use your blog to pre-sell your books. You can also post a link to your Kindle bookstore in your blog so that people can check it out. You may also give discounts to your readers and give away free copies of your book to generate reviews—important in boosting your Kindle book rankings.
If you don’t want to use a third-party publisher like Amazon Kindle, you can also sell your e-book directly on your blog.
But most of the time, publishing e-books is not a full-time job. With most e-books priced at $0.99 to $4 a piece, you need multiple e-books to make a decent living out of it. What you can do instead is outsource the content creation to a ghostwriter, then spend most of your time blogging and promoting your e-books to generate sales.
You can consider it as a passive income source since you don’t have to spend a lot to promote it on your blog.
Sell products with private label rights
If it makes you queasy just thinking about writing books, here’s some good news: there’s a way to make money blogging without creating your own content.
You just need to find private label rights (PLR) products to sell to your blog audience.
According to Wikipedia, PLR is “a license where the author sells most or all of the intellectual property rights to their work.” It’s basically pre-written content that you can claim as your own without the fear of getting sued.
You can use and combine PLR articles to create a Kindle e-book about your topic of choice—regardless of whether you’re knowledgeable about that topic or not. You can also use PLR content for your blog posts.
Just make sure that the PLR content you’re using has been recently developed, was written by a trustworthy author, and has been published in limited circulation so that people won’t know that it isn’t original content.
Here are some pointers in using PLR content for blog and e-books:
- Tweak it and make it at least 65% unique to avoid being tagged as duplicate content by Google.
- Use PLR products as research sources for your own e-book.
- Use it as a lead magnet to build your email list.
Create online courses
Knowing the readers of your blog involves understanding their problems and challenges. You can provide a solution to those by selling an online course to your audience.
The great thing about online courses is that you don’t need a lot of leads or customers to make money out of it. Even if you only have less than 100 blog readers, you can ask them about what they want and use that as a basis for your first online course.
Remember, it doesn’t have to be perfect. You can make a course about a topic that’s been covered online several times, and people would still buy it. An online course that contains everything they need is more convenient than having to rake through tons of blog posts online.
Plus, since you’ve been blogging, people automatically assume you’re an expert on the topic.
Here’s a quick four-step overview of how to create and launch your online course:
- Step 1: Think of a course idea. Focus on a specific problem or frustration that your audience is facing.
- Step 2: Pre-sell the course before building it. Validate your e-course by asking for people to deposit payment before making it. There’s no point in creating a course if you’re not entirely convinced that people will pay for it.
- Step 3: Choose a platform. You can either use a platform like Udemy and Teachable to sell your online course, or you can create and sell your course at your blog. Some of the WordPress plugins you can use to sell your course through your blog include CoursePress, Zippy Courses, Woothemes Sensei, and WP CourseWare.
- Step 4: Build and launch your course. Organize your course in such a way that it’s ready to be put into action. Make it sound conversational, like you’re talking to another person across the screen. Use videos, games, and interactive activities to drive engagement.
Sell physical products
You can also use your blog as an avenue to sell any physical products. Some even launch a full-blown e-commerce website alongside the blog.
A great example is if you’re writing a blog for a beauty salon. You can start selling wigs and hair extensions by promoting them on your blog posts.
This technique works great for people with an item to sell. You can build your audience as you go along, and you can ask them what they want and need so that you can develop more products to solve their problems.
Sell digital products
If you can sell physical products, then you can also sell software and digital downloads on your blog.
Leadpages—one of the leading landing page builders online—started with a blog. Clay Collins, Leadpages’ founder and CEO, wrote a post about optimizing landing pages. He coupled it with landing page templates that he gave away for free. Through that, he got to know the challenges of building landing pages, leading him to create Leadpages—a business that now generates $25 million a year.
You can use your blog as a platform to sell and promote your digital products. You can create WordPress plugins, themes, templates, and audio recordings to your audience. If it solves a problem they have, they won’t think twice about buying your digital products.
Partner with influencers
As a beginning blogger, you usually don’t have a lot of leads or traffic on your blog. If you want to grow your audience quickly, what you can do is partner with influencers who already have a sizeable following.
The best time to partner with influencers is when you launch a physical or digital product. But asking these influencers outright to help you out isn’t the way to go. You need to build relationships with influencers and leverage their influence when you launch your product.
You can start building relationships with them through the following:
- Following them on their social media accounts
- Commenting on their posts
- Sharing their posts
- Asking to guest post on their blog
Start a podcast
Podcasting is one of the most lucrative online niches right now, with over 700,000 active podcasts and 29 million episodes available for download. Revenue from podcasts is also expected to hit $659 million this 2020.
Thus, if you want to grow your blog audience, having a podcast is a smart way to get more traffic. You can do this even if you’re a new blogger. Most blogs in any industry have more written content than you do, but not all of them have podcasts. There’s a good chance that you can be one of the pioneers for podcasting in your space.
A lot of famous bloggers offer podcasts alongside their regular blog content. As your audience grows, you can start monetizing your podcast by selling sponsorship slots. You may also use it as a promotional tool for any product or service you’re selling.
To start a podcast, you need to have the following:
- A media host for storing your audio files for download, like Libsyn, Buzzsprout, and Transistor. As an alternative, you can use WordPress plugins like Seriously Simple Podcasting and Smart Podcast Player.
- A microphone
- Audio editing software like Audacity and GarageBand
- Podcast hosting
- Zoom or Skype account for doing interviews on your show
Launch a virtual summit
Virtual summits are web conferences that you can attend online, pretty much like a webinar. But unlike a webinar, summits often feature multiple speakers covering specific topics. It often stretches out for a whole day or even an entire week.
Most virtual summits are free for a limited time. Organizers usually make money by selling all-access passes that allow attendees to access the recordings any time they want. You may also sell related products, like membership plans and courses, after the summit is over.
As a blogger, you can host a virtual summit even if you don’t have a huge audience. It’s one of the quickest ways to build an email list. The summit is an opportunity for you to connect and build relationships with influencers. In turn, influencers bring in the reach, credibility, and engagement that your summit needs to be successful.
Don’t know where to start? Here’s a bird’s eye view of how to host a virtual summit:
- Step 1: Choose a topic your blog readers care about. You can ask about their problems and challenges and start from there.
- Step 2: Find experts you can interview on that topic. You can use a tool like Buzzsumo to find influencers to connect with on any niche.
- Step 3: Pre-record the interviews via a webinar host, like Skype or Zoom. You also have the option of doing them live on the actual summit.
- Step 4: Promote the summit through your blog and other marketing collaterals.
But take note that it requires commitment. After all, a whole-day virtual summit takes a lot of work, time, and effort to complete.
Create a high-converting funnel
Reading a blog post is usually the first interaction that a customer has with a business owner. In other words, it marks the start of your relationship with your potential customers.
If you’re selling a product or service, you can use your blog to attract your prospects and convert them from leads to actual customers. It’s the first stage to your inbound sales funnel—a multi-step process that turns leads and visitors into buyers and customers.
To attract your audience, you need to create useful, educational, and entertaining content consistently. You should also make sure that the content is optimized so that people can discover it through organic Google search or social media.
Once your prospects start reading your blog post and find it compelling, they will sign up for your blog’s email subscription. From total strangers, they now become regular blog visitors.
As they continue to visit your blog, you can entice them to download and buy e-books and other online resources. You can email them and send them Facebook ads using cookie-based retargeting.
Consistently producing valuable blog content will nurture your leads, build their trust, and prepare them to buy more high-ticket products and services from you.
If you already have a loyal audience…
Place advertisements on your blog
Perhaps the easiest and most common way to earn from your blog is via ads. You can add pay-per-click (PPC) and display ads on your blog so that every time someone views and clicks it, you get paid.
The great thing about display ads is that they’re a source of passive income. You don’t have to do anything other than connect to an ad network, wait for their evaluation and approval, and install the ads on your blog. You can choose which sites to place ads so that they don’t disrupt your visitor’s viewing experience.
It’s best to sign up for ads that are within your niche or industry so that they stay relevant to your visitors, making them more likely to click an ad. Some ad networks you can sign up for include:
- Google Adsense
If you have a WordPress blog, you can also use WordPress plugins to sell ads directly on your blog. An example of this plugin is AdSanity, which also allows you to manage your Google Adsense account within together with your ads.
Aside from these random ads, you can also display custom ads with affiliate links. With this type of advertisement, you have complete control over what you advertise, making sure it’s the right fit for your blog audience. It requires a bit of customization on your part, but you can always get pre-made banners from your favorite affiliate.
But take note that if you’re a new blogger, this would barely make a dent in your income. Advertisements work best for high-traffic blogs getting more than 50,000 visitors a month.
Have you ever encountered sponsored blog posts? Getting a sponsor for your blog post is a great way to make money from your blog if you already have sizeable traffic and a loyal audience.
With sponsored posts, you get to charge a fee to write a review about a certain product on your blog. The brand’s exposure to the blog’s audience is an excellent way for businesses to generate leads and close sales.
As much as 63% of businesses are using influencers for marketing, and that includes sponsoring posts on popular blogs. Companies want to maximize their exposure, which is why your blog must have a lot of traffic and credibility to get sponsors to trust and pay you.
But writing sponsored posts can be tricky, so here are some pointers to consider:
- Be as transparent as possible when writing sponsored blog posts
- Make sure that you label all sponsored content as sponsored if you don’t want the Federal Trade Commission to take down your article. Some bloggers try to pass off sponsored content as organic, leading Google to penalize them.
- Give your honest feedback when reviewing the product or you’ll lose the trust of your readers
- As much as possible, write about products you use yourself to make your review authentic
Leverage affiliate marketing
You can still earn from blogging even if you don’t have your own products or service to sell. One of the easiest ways to do that is through affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing is the process of promoting other people’s products. You’ll get paid a commission whenever your recommendation leads to a sale.
Commissions usually range from 5% to 75% of the price. Even 100% commissions are possible for digital products. The income you’re going to get depends on how much traffic your blog is getting, how responsive your audience is, and how effective your promotional efforts are.
As a blogger, you just have to select a product or service with an affiliate program and write blog posts about it. Focus on providing value and not just pitching products, but don’t forget to add your affiliate link to every blog post. When someone buys from that link, you get an affiliate commission.
Here are some ideas on what kind of blog posts to write for affiliate products:
- Review the products you’re promoting
- Publish compilation lists where you discuss several products, and place a link on the product you’re an affiliate of
- Create how-to posts and put your affiliate product as a recommendation
You only need three things to start as an affiliate marketer: a niche, affiliate product, and an audience to promote to. You can build your list as you blog and write relevant content specific to your niche.
Need help finding affiliate products? Check out the following affiliate networks:
- Clickbank Affiliate
- Rakuten Marketing
- Amazon Affiliate Program
- eBay Partner Network
It’s possible to become an affiliate for multiple items. For example, if you’re running a weight loss blog, you can look for affiliate programs for weight loss supplements and fitness tools and devices.
When choosing a product, it’s best to promote ones that:
- you use and believe in
- you won’t be ashamed to promote
- your audience will enjoy and benefit from
Develop content related to those products, and you have an automated passive stream of income through affiliate marketing.
Create a membership site
If you already have a pretty sizeable following for your blog, then you might want to offer a membership or subscription service.
With a membership site, members can subscribe monthly or annually to receive gated content and exclusive benefits. These benefits can be special articles, reports, webinars, and even in-person meetups.
Depending on how much you charge for memberships, you might not need that much traffic. It can be anywhere between $9.99 to $49. And you can create a membership for almost anything as long as it’s connected with your blog.
For instance, if you’re managing a blog about freelance writing, your membership site can include resources about how to make a living as a freelance writer. It can have courses, forums, podcasts—all available for members only.
To create your membership site, you can use the following tools:
- Wild Apricot
- WordPress plugins like s2Member and Learndash
Another option is to create a private forum that users must pay to access. It’s an excellent avenue for one-on-one advice, though other members may also pitch in and interact.
Just remember that moderating a forum can take lots of work, but this is something you can outsource.
Get public speaking gigs
If you’re using your blog to promote your brand, over time, you’ll get to establish yourself as an influencer in your niche. You’ll also have a loyal following.
Use this recognition to land public speaking engagements. A lot of bloggers speak at conferences and get paid handsomely for their time and knowledge.
But take note that as a public speaker, you might not get paid on your first few gigs. You can start speaking in smaller and more casual community meetups and events, then work your way up to paid gigs.
Speaking at public events, whether free or paid, is also a great opportunity to build your network, further broadening your reach.
To become a paid public speaker…
- Become an expert in your field
- Be consistent in promoting your expertise on your blog and social media accounts
- Let people know that you’re open to public speaking opportunities through your blog, social media, or by privately reaching out to event organizers
Sell your blog
Being a blogger is a huge commitment. You have to generate valuable content consistently to keep your audience satisfied constantly.
If the time comes that you no longer want to continue blogging, remember that you can still monetize it by selling your blog.
Selling blogs isn’t a novel idea. There’s a whole industry dedicated to buying and selling blogs professionally. Most people start creating niche websites and authority sites with the intention of selling the blog once it starts raking in traffic and revenue.
But not all blogs are going to get a reasonable price. If you’re thinking of selling your blog, remember that it must generate significant traffic and be earning a few thousand dollars per month. That means you need to monetize your blog first before you can get a lump sum selling it.
You can buy and sell blogs using platforms like Empire Flippers and Flippa.
BONUS: 6 Tips on Creating High-Quality and Engaging Blog Posts
No matter which monetization technique you choose, the fact remains that you need to produce compelling content so that your readers will do as you ask.
Here are some tips on how to write blog posts that convert.
Know your audience
The reason why people read your blog is that you give valuable content. But you can only produce relevant content if you know who you’re writing for and what their challenges are.
Aside from directly asking your readers what they want, you can also do market research about your audience. Use keyword analysis tools to know what key phrases they’re always searching for.
Visit forums like Quora and Reddit to know about the questions they’re asking. It also helps you learn their language, which is essential if you want to create content that they can engage in.
Make your headlines compelling
How will your readers even read the rest of your awesome blog post if your headline doesn’t sound enticing to them?
Your headline should grab their attention and spike their curiosity so that they’ll read the rest of your blog post. It should follow the four Us: unique, ultra-specific, useful, and urgent.
Compelling headlines also get shared a lot, leading to more readers and more monetization opportunity.
You may use headline analyzers like EMV Headline Analyzer and Headline Analyzer by CoSchedule to help you improve your headlines.
Break up the page with subheadings
Nothing would turn off your readers more than an impenetrable giant block of text.
Since most readers skim through blogs, you should break your posts into various subheadings to make it easier for your readers to know what the blog post is all about.
You should also use bullet points to itemize information and make your words easier on the readers’ eyes.
Your blog’s formatting is crucial in your readers’ decision to read or skip your blog post.
Optimize your blog
If you want your blog to appear on Google’s first page of search results, you should write your post with SEO in mind.
Here are some quick tips to optimize your blog:
- Insert keywords in your heading, subheadings, and body
- Use related keywords and their variations to avoid spamming
- Add metadata like titles and descriptions
- Add image alt attribute so that Google can index even your photos
- Link your content to authority pages and other content on your site
Visual content can boost your engagement. After all, the human brain processes visuals faster than words, so captivating images on your post can benefit you.
It also helps in breaking up blocks of text, providing your readers with a welcome reprieve, especially if you have a long-form blog post.
You can use free stock images for your posts, which you can find in sites like Pixabay, Pexels, and Unsplash. The only downside is that a lot of bloggers are already using free stock photos.
If you have a budget, you can subscribe to Shutterstock to get premium stock photos that are not yet overused on the internet.
Have a clear call to action
It’s the call to action that makes your audience do what you want them to do.
It can be as simple as asking them to leave a comment, share your blog post, or follow you on your social media channels. You can even ask them to purchase your product directly on your post.
Monetizing your blog is not easy, but it is doable. It can be a great source of extra or passive income, as long as you have the drive and commitment to create quality content for your blog.