Monetization is an inescapable aspect of blogging that often takes the fun out of the activity itself. Sure, there are those who are genuinely satisfied whenever they write and publish a new piece.
However, you cannot really call a blog “lucky” if it does not, at the very least, capture the attention of online readers.
When it comes to monetization, it is all about striking the perfect balance between passion and the profitability of a niche. Being passionate about something makes it significantly easier to write about them. It lets you write relatable, and compelling pieces sprinkled with authenticity. Below are some additional tips that will help you monetize your blog:
1. Redefine Your Target Audience
As a blogger, writing for yourself will grant you a great sense of fulfillment. But if you want to attract a huge following, remember that you are writing for others as well. First, you need to develop a target persona to help you come up topic ideas.
One of the biggest mistakes that [bloggers] make is trying to appeal to everyone. ~ @susanchritton
If you are truly passionate about your niche, then it should be relatively easy to identify the most in-demand information that your target audience will be interested in. If you need a little help, simply get “in-the-know” and actively participate in communities online. You can also meet people in person if you can.
To find the right people, you need to look for those with a strong intention to buy. You also need to consider influencers that can help spread your content and your personal supporters including friends, colleagues, family members, and workmates. Make sure you provide an accurate description of your target persona including details like age, preferences, gender, and hobbies.
2. Find Affiliate Products to Promote
Simply put, ad revenue is not enough to make a blog profitable in the long run. You also need to adopt other monetization strategies such as selling affiliate products. In this model, you get paid whenever a visitor clicks on an “affiliate link” and completes a sale on your affiliate's site.
Of course, the affiliate product you are trying to promote must be relevant to your blog's niche. You can check out affiliate networks on sites like ClickBank, Amazon, and Commission Junction to browse for the best product that fits your blog. Some other strategies include writing reviews, listicles, comparisons, and roundups so you can add affiliate links naturally.
To help improve conversions, you should avoid sounding too salesy when writing content and adding affiliate links. Just focus on being helpful and look for products that offer real value to your target audience.
3. Find Online Channels for Promoting Your Blog Content
Even the best content needs to be shared, says Zac Johnson in this post at HostGator.
[clickToTweet tweet=”You need to remember that blogging is a long term project and takes time to mature. ~@zacjohnson” quote=”You need to remember that blogging is a long term project and takes time to mature. ~@zacjohnson” theme=”style5″]
Your content alone is not enough to drive traffic to your blog. You need to make your target audience that your blog exists and has content that they will be dying to read.
Therefore, the next step is to look for channels that will help you promote your blog. Some simple strategies include searching for subreddits, forums, social media groups, and other online communities under your blog’s niche. You can also use an all-in-one platform like Scoop.it to quickly spread your content in social media networks.
Of course, you must prioritize networks that your target audience frequently uses. For example, if you are targeting professionals, then you need to promote your content on a site like LinkedIn. If your target audience is not always on social media, you can develop an email marketing strategy and keep in touch through personalized newsletters.
Apart from the strategies above, guest blogging is another way to increase the exposure of your content by leveraging the online reach of another authoritative site. In exchange for writing original content for the other blog, you can freely promote your site and build your authority at the same time. A similar strategy is blogger outreach, which doesn’t always require writing original content for the other blog.
Recommended reading: The Guest Blogging Survival Guide
4. Develop a Content Strategy
After redefining your target audience, looking for the right affiliate products, and identifying the best promotion channels, then you have everything you need for a solid content strategy. To piece everything together, you need to establish and work with your editorial calendar. This will ensure your blog consistently publishes quality articles and continuously build relevance in the eyes of your audience.
An editorial calendar requires two components: a list of topic ideas and timing. Again, you must consider your target audience when coming up with great ideas. You can also use a tool like Buzzsumo to find content ideas from the most popular influencers in your niche. Plan ahead for the entire month to ensure you never run out of posts. When it comes to timing, you can refer to social analytics tools like Buffer or Hootsuite to learn the best times to reach your target audience. In this video Ms. Ileane shows how to find Your Top Performing Tweets using Analytics and Buffer.
5. Track and Measure
No matter how careful you are at planning, it is impossible to get a “perfect” blog – not on your first try. To maximize the profitability of your blog over time, you need to track and measure your site’s performance. This phase requires several analytics tools that will help you learn the technical aspects of your blog such as web traffic, search rankings, and social media engagement.
To track these metrics, you need tools like Google Analytics and Open Site Explorer. Remember that you can also use analytics to learn more about your target audience – from their country to the site they originated from.
Keep in mind that the point of blogging is to reach people. Monetization itself may not be the ultimate priority, but it comes naturally to any blog that garners a substantial amount of traffic. After all, if you are not planning to promote your blog to the online audience, then you are better off writing in a personal journal – it will be cheaper that way.