Blogging to make money is an idea that every blogger should embrace. However, only a fraction of bloggers make a consistent, decent, monthly income.
Considering that there are more than 600 million blogs worldwide, choosing the right niche, and knowing your audience will play an instrumental role in acting as a springboard for your blog to succeed.
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Every blog or niche is different, and techniques to turn one blog into a business might not yield equally impressive results for another blog in a different niche.
For instance, using subscription or paid membership is ideal for bloggers with dedicated following who offer unique, valuable content that’s difficult to find elsewhere on the web. However, the same model won’t work if your content is similar to what’s already on the web, and your readers can access it for free.
Luckily, there are more than a dozen ways to make money blogging that almost every blogger can implement. Below are the most effective and rewarding ways to monetize your blog.
How to Turn Your Blog into a Business
1) Set Up Display Ads
If you got into blogging to make money, then monetizing with display ads is one of the quickest and easiest strategies to earn with your blog. The most widely used display ads network is Google AdSense, which allows you to display ads on your blog and generate income from ad clicks.
You need an AdSense account to show ads by Google, so your blog must comply with their policies to be approved. It’s worth noting that AdSense is a Cost Per Click (CPC) network, which means your blog generates income when users click on the display ads.
If you wish to increase your earnings with display ads, then I recommend working with Google-certified publishing partners. They specialize in ads placement and optimization for maximum revenue potential. The best Google Certified Publishing partners include Mediavine, AdThrive, and Ezoic.
2) Harness The Power of Lead Generation
More often than not, what comes to people’s minds when they hear the phrase “blogging to make money” are things like ad revenue, affiliate commissions, and selling ad space among others. However, there is a better and more profitable way to turn your blog into a business that generates thousands of dollars in revenue, and that’s lead generation.
Lead generation is an indirect method of making money with your blog where you gradually turn your blog visitors into loyal customers. Instead of getting them to click on display ads or affiliate links, you convince them to give you their personal information, notably their email addresses.
This is how lead generation works;
- First you create a lead magnet – an enticing, free, appealing offer they just can’t say no to. It could be an eBook, free course, or access to exclusive content.
- Request for their email address in order to receive and/or download the resource.
- Once you have their email address, follow up with them using a hands-off email drip that you can set up with email marketing software such as Convertkit. This could be sending them additional free, resourceful products.
The more free, appealing offers you give them, the more they develop a connection and trust with you. When the right time comes, you can then sell to them your premium product. At this point, they are more likely to purchase because the freebies they have been enjoying have been incredibly useful.
3) Embrace The Power of Affiliate Marketing
Most bloggers who start a blog are open to the idea of making money through affiliate products. It involves recommending products or services (such as subscriptions) to your audience using an affiliate link and you earn referral commission if someone buys a product or subscribes to a service through your link.
The first step to starting a blog is to choose a domain name. Search for a new domain below:
The beauty of affiliate marketing is that almost every niche has an affiliate program. You can either sign up to individual affiliate programs or use affiliate networks where you get access to thousands of affiliate products under one platform.
Some of the best affiliate networks include;
- CJ Affiliates
If you decide to monetize your blog with affiliate products, it’s ideal to sign up for one of the affiliate networks highlighted above. You get access to thousands of merchants in different niches and you can track how each affiliate program is performing.
Apart from being a passive way for bloggers to make money online, affiliate marketing is more profitable than using display ad networks. You can also scale it up slowly by adding one affiliate program to your blog at a time.
4) Sell Your Expertise as Digital Products
Are you an expert in a specific field or niche? Do you have a skill that can make you a decent income?
If that’s the case, why not create digital products and sell them on your blog? For instance, after working online for quite some time, experienced bloggers learn what works, what doesn’t, and how to run a blog like a business. They have tested different strategies and have identified the easiest, most effective ways to achieve their goals.
Eventually, they end up creating digital courses that help beginner and intermediate bloggers scale their online businesses faster. It could be a course on Pinterest Marketing, Affiliate Marketing, or Traffic Generation among others.
You can also sell digital courses and generate passive income for many years. There will always be someone searching for resourceful tools and courses to start and run an online business.
Just be sure to create a digital product based on the needs of your audience. You can conduct a mini-survey on your social platforms such as Twitter and Facebook where you ask them what course they would like you to create or what problem they are currently facing that you can help them with.
This way, you get first-hand responses from genuine readers who will be inclined to buy your course.
Another way to find an idea for a digital course to create is by going through the comments section on your blog or other blogs within your niche. Identify the most common questions and/or problems and create a course to tackle that.
5) Sell Ad Space
If you’re considering blogging to make money by selling ad spaces, then your blog should have enough traffic to convince advertisers to place ads on it. Selling ad space means you can get rid of CPC and CPM display ads and connect directly with the advertisers.
Typically, ad networks act as “middlemen” and take more than 30% of the total amount advertisers pay. For example, when you display ads with AdSense for content, you receive 68% of the revenue Google generates and you get only 51% of the revenue from AdSense for search.
Why not approach advertisers yourself and convince them to advertise on your blog? You get to decide how much to charge for different ad slots such as;
- Header banner
- Sidebar banner
- In-content banner
- Link ads (within a post)
Looking for one more reason to approach advertisers directly? Your AdSense account, for instance, can be disabled or limited for policy violations that you had no idea about. There is nothing more beautiful than being your own boss…and no one can fire you!
If you want to increase your organic traffic, focus on these SEO strategies. With more traffic, you can easily convince advertisers to pay for ad slots on your blog.
6) Specialize On Sponsored Blog Posts
Apart from selling ad spaces on your blog, you can also sell sponsored blog posts and generate additional income. It involves getting paid by an advertiser to write a feature blog post about their product or service.
To use this strategy, your blog should be generating enough traffic to convince advertisers to pay for sponsored posts. You should also have an outreach kit with all important details about your blog such as monthly traffic, audience demographics, traffic sources, social media following, engagement metrics, and other important data advertisers might need.
You then approach potential advertisers (those that align with your niche) and pitch your blog post sponsorship deal. Sometimes advertisers will contact you and request your blog traffic metrics and sponsored post charges.
Most advertisers often use Alexa metrics to make estimations about your blog, so make sure you Alexa data get certified.
7) Offer Freelance Services
If you have specific technical skills, then you should consider blogging to make money. Rather than working on platforms such as Freelancer and Upwork, launching a blog can help you generate more revenue.
You can start a blog to sell your freelance services if you have any of the following technical skills;
- Graphic design
- Web design
- Photo editing
- Video editing
- Content marketing
- App or software development
Landing your first few clients won’t be a walk in the park. However, once you establish your rapport and have an impressive portfolio, you’ll have orders popping up every time. These are just a few examples. So identify your skills and think of ways you can offer freelance services at a fee.
8) Offer Coaching Services
Offering coaching services is another great way to make money with your blog, but it requires one to have expertise in the niche they intend to offer coaching services in.
You can offer one-on-one or group training and charge per hour or session. For example, if you have expertise in digital marketing, then you can offer coaching services on the most effective advertising strategies on different channels such as search engines, social media, email, mobile apps, and websites.
Be sure to offer coaching services only in a field you have real, extensive expertise in or else your clients will brand you a “scam”.
9) Host Premium Webinars
A good alternative to selling your expertise as digital products and offering coaching services is hosting premium webinars.
If you’re successful in a certain niche, you can start by offering free webinars on a weekly basis. After all, your aim should be to generate leads and make sales by talking about premium courses and webinars available for paying clients.
A good example is a free webinar on Pinterest Marketing where you give highly effective marketing tips for Pinterest users. You then proceed to talk about a premium Pinterest Marketing Course with extensively detailed tips that work for all niches.
If someone finds the free webinar to be very resourceful, they are more likely to subscribe to the premium plan to get in-depth strategies.
10) Sell Other Digital Products
Apart from selling your expertise, you can also choose to sell other digital products that your audience would be willing to pay for. A good example is a successful travel blogger who sells their expertise on how to start and run a successful travel blog.
They then proceed to sell travel guides, along with free guides for all the major travel destinations they have visited. Someone wishing to start a travel blog will buy the blogging course while someone interested in traveling will buy the travel guide. That’s more or less killing two birds with one stone.
Affordable internet and easy access to a massive pool of information have made blogging to make money an attractive proposition for most young people. Although there are many ways to monetize your blog, we have chosen to highlight just a few that we believe are more realistic and anyone can implement.
Author: Leonard Rono
Leonard is a passionate freelancer, copywriter, and blogger whose desire is to help young, beginner bloggers to start and grow their blogs to success. Check out his blog here.