Before I lay out the strategies that have helped me monetize my blog, there are a few words of wisdom I’d like to share. Blogging is not a simple way to make money right off the bat. It takes time and a lot of hard work.
Before you even think about making money, ensure your blog has a great foundation.
This means focusing on your brand, style, and content. Great content will attract great readers. And remember, your readers trust you. Don’t post about anything you don’t believe in.
Blogging isn’t a “get rich quick” scheme.
If you started a blog with the sole intent to make money, you probably won’t get very far. Blog about your passions and be patient. Put in the work and eventually, you will reap the benefits. Each blogger’s timeline is different, but monetization is never instantaneous.
*Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. I only promote products I trust and believe in.
While I do not claim to know all there is about monetizing a blog, here are several ways to start making some money as a blogger.
This is a great place for new bloggers to start. Once I had Simply Serene well established, I started placing ads in the footer and sidebar of my site. I found that I wasn’t getting a lot of hits, so I started placing ads within my posts → this is when I really started seeing some progress. Posting ads after the first paragraph of my post tends to bring the most money.
Personally, I find it easiest to get started with Google AdSense, as they tend to do most of the work for you. You can even tailor the ads to match the layout and color scheme of your site. Once approved, simply place your ads where they fit best. AdSense will fill your ad spots with content they believe matches your site and appeals to your viewers. If AdSense doesn’t seem like the right fit for you, there are several other ad networks out there, like Rivit, Sovrn and MediaNet. Just make sure to keep the ads subtle and aesthetically pleasing. No one likes reading a “spammy” blog.
Typically, sponsored posts involve a company paying a blogger a fee to write a post based on one of their products or services. There are several media companies out there that act as middlemen between bloggers and companies looking to find sponsors: Pollinate, BluePrint Social, Massive Sway, Collective Bias and TapInfluence. Once accepted, these companies share campaigns that are a good fit for your blog content. If this seems a bit intimidating, you can always reach out to companies on social media sites like Twitter and Instagram.
Although it may sound complicated, getting involved in affiliate programs is actually quite simple. Once you’re accepted, you can generate affiliate links for products or services to share on your blog. When readers click on the link and make a purchase, you receive a small commission. There are several companies that connect you with affiliate programs, my favorite of which is ShareASale. And if you don’t think using an affiliate company is right for you, try reaching out to companies of products and services you use yourself. Take note that with affiliates and sponsored posts, you must provide disclosure within your post to let readers know the content may affiliate related.
One eBook I highly recommend is Affiliate Action Plan from Seaside Sundays. This eBook truly guided me in joining affiliate programs and determining which ones are most profitable for my site. It provides must-do strategies for increasing sales and helps you capture your readers with cheap sales tactics and gimmicks. If you’re interested in working with affiliate programs, this ebook is a fantastic place to start.
For an in-depth guide on affiliate marketing, read my post on how I made my first affiliate sale.
Do you offer up a unique service to your readers? A membership program may be ideal for you. This is where members pay a regular occurring fee (on a monthly or annual basis) for access to your premium content. This may involve access to a community area or online tools and coaching. Just be sure that your content is worth the price and continue to update content to keep your readers happy.
Providing services to your readers may be a fun and rewarding way to make some extra money from your blog. Are you skilled in logo design? Can you offer health coaching or nutrition advice? Possibly web design or blog theme development? Offer up your services and add to your blog income.
Finally, creating and sharing your own products is not only a great way to drive readers to your blog, but make some extra money doing so. eBooks are the most common product shared, but you don’t need to limit yourself to that. Create printables. Provide an eCourse. Sell photography downloads. All of these methods can help to add income to your blog.
If you’re looking for a place to sell your digital products, SendOwl is my go-to site. They allow you to see digital goods online, automatically delivering the files to the buyers once payment is received. You can see anything digital – software, audio, ebooks, videos, dress patterns, etc. You can even sign up for their affiliate program and help promote digital products of others.
A profitable blog requires an excellent foundation. For a blog to function as a business, branding is critical first step. Before you even attempt monetization, focus on your blog’s brand and style. Create uniform content while focusing on the aesthetic appeal of your site.
If all of this seems a little foreign to you, I urge you to take a peek at Vanessa Gollasch’s eBook, Blog Pretty. Her blog is booming, with page views over 100,000 per month – I think this speaks for itself. She has been blogging for over a decade and wrote this book to assist newbie bloggers in developing a blog that gains momentum. I love this book! It is straightforward, easy to read and full of quality advice on branding, photography, styling, marketing, and monetizing.
And, don’t forget about traffic! If you’re looking to make some money blogging, you’re going to need some site traffic. Don’t believe the hype – massive traffic is not necessarily the key for serious income. But, you do need to take some time to grow your blog and attract your target audience. This is especially true if your main source of income is affiliate marketing.
Be sure to check out my post giving you all the tips and tricks I’ve learned to drive quality blog traffic.