Content is King. If you build a blog that consistently gives valuable advice that improves the life or business or your target customer, you will have more customers than you can handle. In Part I of this series, we discussed how to launch a blog. Once you’ve put in the hard work to build up a significant blog following, you want to develop a plan to monetize the traffic and leverage the trust relationship you have with your loyal readers. In Part II of blogging for business, let’s look at monetizing a blog.
Regardless of the type of blog content you produce, there are a few things to keep in mind; you must keep your content focused on the reader. Help them win, teach them, entertain them, highlight them in your blog stories. That’s how you build loyal blog visitors.
Educate, do not sell. No one wants to be sold to, but people will be willing to learn something that will improve their lives somehow. Your audience is all about “WII-FM” – what’s in it for me. It’s not about you or your business; it’s about them.
A blog can help you extend your brand while giving you a platform to share your expertise and the team inside your company. It’s a lot of work with substantial potential for financial reward.
Before you develop a monetization strategy, answer the following questions about your blog:
- What do you need this blog to do?
- What do you want your audience to get out of the blog?
- How will you research your target audience?
- Why should people visit this blog (what is your unique value prop)?
- What makes this information valuable to your audience?
- What is your content strategy?
- How frequently will you post content? (twice a week, daily, ten times a day)
- Who will be the primary writer or content creator?
- Will you have a budget to hire help?
- How will you market the blog?
- How will you measure the success of your blog?
- How will you leverage SEO to boost traffic and add value to your blog?
Search engine optimization (SEO) has come a long way since the days of keyword stuffing and click bait copy. To rank first in a Google search result, your content needs to match a potential visitor’s intent. Optimizing your blog for SEO can feel intimidating and tedious. Still, it’s all about understanding how search engines work, how searchers use them, implementing that insight into your blog copy, then methodically running through some completely accessible backend tinkering.
Getting your efforts across each SEO discipline to work in harmony is the sweet spot to ranking your blog in search engines. There are onsite, offsite, and technical SEO tactics that will increase the ranking of your blog in search.
Onsite is keyword utilization in content, headers, alt text, etc. Off-site is a strategy to build authoritative inbound links, and technical SEO is what your web developer must do under the hood of the site to maximize SEO. There also apps you can use to increase SEO to your blog.
Here’s a list of the top SEO plugins.
- All in One SEO for WordPress (AIOSEO)
- SEMRush The best overall SEO tool on the market.
- Google Search Console
- Yoast SEO
- Google Keyword Planner
- Rank Math
How will you drive sales with the blog?
When it comes to the monetization of a blog, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, remember your blog’s goal from the beginning. Were you driving leads, direct sales, or brand awareness? Second, suppose you are trying to execute a monetization strategy. In that case, you need to drive a significant number of visitors and unique visitors to your site to execute many of the strategies.
There are several strategies you can use to monetize your blog. One of the first things that come to mind when thinking about monetizing a blog is online advertising. Ads are the dominating factor when it comes to turning your website into a cash machine. Especially since the pandemic, online ads are everywhere.
Here’s how you can take advantage of online advertising:
Engage An Advertising Network
Once you have serious traffic, there are plenty of ad networks for bloggers to monetize the traffic. Google AdSense is the best advertising network. AdSense focuses on text and display ads, Amazon Ads (search & custom ads), Media.net (text and banner ads), BuySellAds (banner ads). Ads are worth investigating, but they can slow down your site and annoy your readers. Also, it only works if you have massive traffic, at least 1K-5K visitors a month.
You can leverage affiliate or referral marketing. With an affiliate program, you sell products or services by integrating links into your content. Then, whenever one of your readers clicks through one of those links and ends up buying something, the company will know that you sent them this customer, and you will receive a commission for that sale.
One of the most powerful methods for making money from your blog is directly engaging leads and pushing them through the sales funnel with email marketing.
Corporate brands will pay to access your audience via sponsored content or links within your blog content. Sponsorships are a great way to make money with your blog, but you need consistent traffic to justify the cost.
Secure Influencer Gigs
As an influencer, you can monetize your reach in social media, your blog subscribers, and your email list to get paid to promote brands and online campaigns. You also need a presentation deck that demonstrates who your audience is, how you have segmented them, and all the ways you work with corporate brands. Some will request a rate card for your services.
Develop A Series Of Digital Products
There are innovative ways to monetize a blog on the rise. Here are a handful of ideas that I believe hold great potential to disrupt the current ad-focused internet experience, and there are clear benefits to going digital.
- There’s no inventory, shipping, or return hassles. This will save you an abundance of time and money on warehouses and shipping.
- Full business automation. It’s easy to use email automation to deliver the file to the buyer, and you’re done. This is the ultimate in passive income!
- Low investment, high return. You are creating a product once and selling unlimited copies. While you don’t have much production cost, you will pay to promote and advertise your product.
- Highly scalable. Add a second downloadable or video course to double your sales.
Here are five types of digital products:
Ebooks offer a relatively quick pathway for making money from your blog. Develop an ebook that’s aligned with the content of your blog. You’ll need a dedicated landing page for your offer, email marketing, and pop-ups to execute this strategy.
Sell Online Courses
Selling digital online courses is another way you can profit from blogging. More people are taking online courses than ever before, and the e-learning industry is expected to grow to about $325 billion by 2025.
Sell Coaching Services
Selling coaching services through your blog can be a great way to monetize a blog. Sometimes people want more detailed and personalized instructions than a book or course can provide, so they’ll be interested in one-on-one coaching. Coaching or consulting services is a natural expansion for those who sell books and online courses to create additional revenue.
Establish A Membership Site
Offer a paid membership plan to provide specialized group coaching to those who want even more access to your live coaching and your library of content. Your membership site is a gated part of your website where members subscribe monthly or annually to receive exclusive benefits and content. Some people will also want to be a part of a community of other people interested in your content. It’s very profitable if you do it right and keep the value high.
Promote A Virtual Summit Or Event
If you want to produce a branded conference online, you can promote it to your blog readers and social media followers. You should also use your email list to promote the event. You should also engage the other speakers at your virtual conference to promote the conference to their email lists and social media followers.
Selling Ad Spaces
It’s like direct advertising. You can sell banner or sidebar ads on your site on your own. You don’t need to have any third party to send you ads, and you can sell ads directly yourself.
Sponsored Product And Software Reviews
Product owners or software providers pay bloggers to write about their products and software. It could be a sponsored review. Make sure to disclose that you were paid somewhere in the post. It’s an FCC requirement to publicly disclose it any time you are paid to develop content if you share it on social media, use #ad or #spon after the post.
Sell Physical Products
If you have books, workbooks, T-shirts, mugs, or other merchandise, you can also sell physical products on your blog. Just make sure you are ready to provide fulfillment services with the ability to print postage and package up your goods and ship them out quickly.
If you provide content as a service to the community, you can ask loyal readers for donations. For example, have a donation button in your site navigation. Wikipedia is a good example of a website that asks for donations.
If you have been blogging for a while and have a steady, loyal following, your readers want more from you. I invite you to use one or more of these tactics to monetize your blog and turn it into a passive income source.