Blog Monetization Basics
I just did a bit of research to see how many blogs are out there on the “interwebs” and came back with a number over 150 million! Is one of them yours?
Each of these blog owners has a different reason for blogging. Some are sharing personal stories with friends and family or with whoever happens to pass by and read. Some are promoting their business or organization. Others are creating an online destination filled with information on things they like and want to share with others.
That last type of blog pretty much fits me to a T. And while there are a lot of people who love to write their blog as a hobby, others like me have taken that fun hobby and turned it into a full-time career. The first thing I need to tell you is that it is NOT EASY and it TAKES MANY MANY HOURS OF WORK. Blogging is not a “get rich quick” scheme, but rather a “work hard and build something you love to do and will make you a great living” scheme. The term for turning your blog into something that makes money is called “blog monetization” and there are a few basic ways that you can start to do that.
Before we start talking about ways to monetize, you have to make sure that your blog is READY to be monetized. For many platforms where you don't own your own domain name (an example of this is if your blog URL is in the format person.blogprovider.com) you may not be able to monetize.
In that case, your first step is to buy your own domain name. Don't worry, it is NOT expensive! One option is a .ME, domain name, which will give you a memorable URL ending in .ME. When you're looking to build your own personal brand and create an online persona that directly reflects who YOU are, .ME is a great choice. Domains ending in .ME are particularly good for blogs and online portfolios.
Once your blog is ready to be monetized, then it is time to choose HOW to monetize it. If you're just starting out, these are the types of blog monetization I think are the easiest to implement and help you start to realize some profits. (Don't worry if this sounds vague to you, I'll be back later in the week to share some specifics!)
Blog Monetization Basics:
Advertising: Placing ads on your site is definitely the easiest way to start earning money. All that is involved is signing up with an ad network and placing the code on your site. Don't be intimidated – you don't have to be into coding! It's usually done as a simple plug-in or else the network will give you step-by-step instructions to get started. Go easy with the ads, especially at first. You don't want your site to look like a wall of flashing ads!
Affiliate Links: An affiliate link is when you add a link on your blog that sends your readers to another site where they are able to buy a product. In that link is a little snippet of information that tags the buyer as coming from your site. You then earn a percentage of the sale. You don't have to write posts specifically to sell products to use affiliate links. When you're writing a post about a craft you can link to the materials used. When writing a recipe post, include links to particular tools that are helpful. Some affiliate programs will also offer bonuses just for signing up, writing a blog post or recruiting your blogging friends to become affiliates. You can see a big list of Affiliate Program Per Post and Referral Bonuses here.
Sponsored Posts: A sponsored post (like the one I'm writing now) is a post that is sponsored by a brand who would like to introduce their product or service to your audience. If you have been blogging for any length of time, you probably get emails from companies wanting you to write about them. Respond to them letting them know that you would be happy to do so for a fee and give them a price. Another way to get sponsored posts is through blogging networks. These are a type of middle-man who connects bloggers with brands to create sponsorships.
Different blogs choose to monetize in different ways, but my belief is that the best option is to incorporate multiple types of monetization into your strategy. There is a lot of truth to the old saying “Don't put all your eggs in one basket”. By using a variety of monetization methods you will never become too dependent on just one source of income and you also have multiple opportunities for something to take off and make you a bundle.
BONUS TIP: To be successful with affiliate marketing you need readers to become familiar with your site and grow to trust you. Visiting you site often helps that to grow!
Want some one-on-one guidance as you work on your blog? Join our new Bloguistics Facebook group HERE and I'll help you through any stumbling blocks (and if I can't, locate someone who will)! The group is a place for all of us to learn, discuss and grow.