Monetizing a blog is a monumental task. But it is also an incredible way to generate passive income, something that is a must for anyone looking to improve their lifestyle and financial stability.
As Tim Ferris points out in his bestselling book “The Four Hour Work Week“, it is the dream of this improved lifestyle that drives many people to want to take this step in the first place.
Of course, once monetization is successful there is a significant income boost as a result. The downside is that it takes one of two things to get started: a heavy financial commitment, or a heavy time commitment.
For this reason, many people put it off as long as possible, swearing they will monetize someday, just not yet.
The truth is that it is never too early to begin monetizing your site. It is more important that you find the right tactic, and that you do it as well as possible.
Here are six tactics to help you monetize, and examples of people who are doing them right.
Run High Quality Advertisements
Lindsay Ostrom of A Pinch Of Yum knows the value of advertising. She leverages her position in the food blog community and a wide, loyal audience to sell advertising space at a premium.
She splits those ads between two major companies, and then promotes her own product as a third. This not only gives her good revenue from the rented space, but takes advantage of her traffic to sell her product and further improve her income. As a result, she brings in an annual of $16k+ from the advertising alone.
That doesn't even take into account resulting product sales, and affiliate marketing programs she is a part of.
If you are running ads on multiple sites, consider creating a tracking dashboard for those. I have found Cyfe increasing my productivity by giving all the needed stats at a glance:
Here is a video from Ms. Ileane to give you more insights on How to Use Cyfe.
Follow The Freemium Model
The Freemium Model is a tried and true method of driving profit. It is the digital age's equivalent of giving users a taste, but far beyond just a product sample. It goes further by offering a genuinely useful service for free, and so getting customers to become reliant on that product.
The longer they use the free service, the more likely they are to subscribe to premium accounts to secure new and helpful features. Freemium is also a way to get creative.
The Foundation is a great example of a custom freemium product created by a blogger that provides lots of value for free but also lets the business earn by providing paid upgrades.
Try An Affiliate Program
Think Affiliate Marketing is dying? Think again. It is not just a small potatoes game, but a way to generate some serious revenue.
Eric James is proof of that. His consultancy firm is aimed at small businesses and startups, and that limits his profit margins significantly netting him $39k+ per year only. Instead, he leans on affiliate programs to make up the bulk of his annual income. He makes more than $54k per year on affiliates, and in all after expenses, and walks away with more than $97k.
Starting out as an affiliate is tough! Here are a few actionable tips that seem to work all the time!
- Go with “fun” affiliate programs that also add cool content to your site. One example is this image-based affiliate program: You can use any images and offer your readers to print them as posters (hence making your affiliate referrals). The beauty of this program is that it fits absolutely any niche! Images work great for marketing on so many levels!
- If any of your products seems to convert well, consider creating a niche site to promote it. Creating a niche site around your best-performing affiliate program will let you earn more and rank better too.
- Find which of your favorite tools have referral programs and replace the links in old content. Reclaim your old content power! Most of the books, tools and programs you mentioned in your old articles have a referral program, so subscribe! Use this plugin to add affiliate links where they are due. It's free and easy.
- Write a thorough and honest comparison of two products you are an affiliate of (don't forget to disclose your affiliate links!). [Product A vs Product B] type of content always converts very well, PLUS it ranks high in Google too! (Thanks to David McSweeney for sharing this cool tip over at our #MyBlogU chat.) To get inspired, here's how comparison is done well: check out G2Crowd and Sitegeek comparison:
Affiliate marketing is art: It takes a lot of trial and error but it's well worth it! Don't you want to earn money without actually working every hour of your life? Affiliate marketing is one of the most efficient ways to do that.
Listen to this podcast episode where Ms. Ileane shares her advice about How to Monetize Your Content and Make Money Online. Some examples she uses include James Schramko of Superfast Business and Joe Pulizzi of Content Marketing Institute.
Release A Physical Product
A physical product gives your visitors something tangible to purchase. This might not be as convenient as a digital product, and has more overhead. But the results speak for themselves.
Popular health bloggers Jimmy Moore and Maria Emmerich recently published a cookbook together, and the sales have been steady, generating income for them both. But it has also driven more traffic to their sites, boosting their other monetization tactics and increasing income even more.
Release A Digital Product
Namely ebooks, but any digital product or service would qualify. On the content side, you can take an example from someone like Kathryn Aragon. She has driven profit from her ebooks, templates and courses which she offers as premium content.
Become A Coach
Online fitness and weight loss companies like The Newer You have really been on the rise, lately. While they have both free and paid content, they provide a full keto and low carb online services that emphasizes online coaching, keeping overhead low and maximizing profits.
There is a wealth of contradictory information in every industry out on the web, and many people are wanting experts to help them navigate it all directly. That gives a unique opportunity for more direct monetization beyond passive income.
Do It Right, Or Not At All
Monetization is an important step for anyone with a website. But it has to be done correctly, or you will just be spinning your wheels when time, energy and money could be spent elsewhere. Consider the tactics above. How can you apply them?
- Read a detailed beginner guide on how to make money with your blog
- Check out 2 Ways to Make Money Online with ClickBank
- Make sure to go through ALL podcasts from Yaro Starak
- Here 23 brilliant examples on how other bloggers make money
Comments? Questions? An example you would like to share? We love them all, so leave them below!