If you’re a blogger becoming curious about how you can start monetizing your blog, you’ve come to the right place. I’ve done all the research for you and have some great tips and resources for you to use whenever you’re ready to take the next step.
So, how do you make money blogging?
The first thing you have to realize before you even make your blog is this: it’s going to take time. Lots of it. And you’re probably going to fail a few times before you get anywhere. Even successful bloggers now making a living off of blogging failed many times over the course of several years before they managed to make money. So get prepared for a lot of hard work that won’t always pay off and probably a lot of heartbreak. But if you can get through all the doubt and the long hours, the pay off could be worth it.
Here are some things to consider before making your blog/while you’re blogging:
- Adpushup Blog did some statistics research and found that people are over 60% more inclined to trust blogs with more than one author, so consider starting your blog with a friend. Gaining reader’s trust should be your top priority (and I’ll tell you why in a minute).
- Adpushup also found that if you post regularly, you’ll get more traffic to your blog. Try to at least get a post out once or twice a week. Some people post daily and get 5X more traffic than other blogs that don’t.
- They also say that “if a post is greater than 1,500 words it receives 68.1% more tweets and 22.6% more Facebook likes. Longer is usually better.” I’ve heard elsewhere that you should try to keep your blog posts around 800-1,000 words because people have short attention spans, but the data’s against that advice. People want helpful posts. Those are the posts they share with other people.
- The more posts you have, the more traffic you’ll get. Adpushup Blog found that once you write 24-51 posts, your blog traffic will increase by 30%. By the time you get to 200 posts, your blog is likely to jump 4.5X the amount of traffic you make in the beginning.
The first thing that is suggested that you do is build your credibility. This avenue isn’t the fastest, easiest route to making cash, but it could land you a great job down the line. BloggingBasics101 explains it like this: “For instance, let us say you start a blog in the finance industry. People start reading your content, and your blog becomes very popular. You are now a recognized figure in the finance industry.” It’s the same if you’re a writer. If you dedicate time to a blog, that’s writing experience that you can put down on your resume to get you more writing jobs. Explore the avenues that having a blog can take you down.
Include affiliate links on your site. Advertisers will agree to give you commissions from each sale that comes from a buyer from your site. All you have to do is set up the unique link the advertiser gives you and he or she will know when someone has come from your site to buy something. (This, of course, means you need readers to come to your site and click the ad and then buy the product. Having the reader trust you is a good way to make more money through affiliate links.) Smartblogger says, “On software and information products, affiliates typically earn a 50% commission, or sometimes even more, so it can be quite lucrative.”
Sell digital products. Bloggingbasics101 says you can sell things like eBooks (if you’ve written or plan to write any books), or online courses or workshops, or apps. Just make sure whatever it is that you’re selling, you make it relevant to the reader. Make sure it’s helpful to them.
Bloggingbasics101 also says you can sell memberships. You can sell memberships to your reader, so they’re charged monthly to get better content than the readers who don’t pay. Again, make this helpful and worth the price.
Smartblogger says this is how bloggers make money:
- attract visitors with free content
- offer a freebie in exchange for their email address
- build trust by providing a steady stream of useful content
- offer a product or service that will genuinely help them
This is where your readers trusting you comes into play. If they trust what you recommend, they’re more likely to buy the product, whether it be affiliate links or your own product. Email subscribers are your loyal customers; they’re the people you’ll make your money off of, so Smartblogger says gaining email subscribers should be one of your top priorities.
A lot of people will recommend that you sell ads on your site, but Smartblogger adamantly opposes this idea (since they’re the ones making $100,000 a month, I think we should listen to them). They have a whole post dedicated to why ads are a bad road to go down, and they mention it in all of their money-making tips and tricks posts. I’ll lay their reasons out real quick: you’ll make pennies off of them, they make you look like an amateur, they make your blog look gross, they distract your reader, and they can ruin your reputation. There are a ton of other reasons, all detailed by Smartblogger, so if you want to know more about why they’re such a bad idea, go here. Sure, they might make you a couple dollars on the side, but those consequences outweigh the benefits in this case.
Smartblogger also suggests this:
Host webinars. Webinars are “online workshop[s], lecture[s], presentation[s] or conference[s] available to several users at the same time” according to Smallbussiness.chron. They’re good for traffic, brand building, and lead engagement. To learn about about why webinars are important, go here real fast.
Smartblogger says you should start selling immediately. Even if you only make a few dollars the first few months that you blog, you’ll be more motivated to continue if you see the immediate result of money in the bank.
They also say you should share what you learned. Smartblogger pointed out that blogging is about helping people, even your fellow blogger, so share your experience if you think someone else can learn from it.
Smartblogger has some excellent, in-depth points that I didn’t go over, so click here to learn even more. Smartblogger gives helpful, and inventive ways to make money that I didn’t really see anywhere else so I think they’re a great resource for this topic.
Of course, these are just the steps to make money once you have a blog. If you don’t have a blog yet, check out my post about how to make a blog!
Photo courtesy of Marcela Palma.