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How to make money blogging
How to make money blogging is probably one of the most common topics that comes up in the networking groups I'm in. It's also a topic my husband regularly brings up. Probably because I'm kind of on the computer all the time so he figures I should be getting money for it. Here's the thing, blogging isn't cheap. There's web hosting, themes, plugins (lions and tigers and bears oh my…) and while not expensive individually, the costs add up. It can quickly become an expensive hobby if you aren't earning some kind of return for your efforts.
Obviously, you can operate your blog on a free platform but it's not something I would recommend if you are serious about your blogging. You won't have control over your content and your blog could disappear overnight if the hosting platform feels you are violating their terms and conditions. I'm also going to assume that if you are wanting to know how to make money blogging you are taking things seriously and you won't be able to monetize your blog on the free platforms.
Let's Dive In
Actual techniques for making money aside the first 2 things you need to do to start making money online is 1) have a good base of high-quality content on your blog and 2) Have traffic to your blog (you know, real live people visiting and reading your stuff).
Without those two things, you will be hard pressed to make money blogging. So let's assume you are on your way with those 2 criteria and look at some actual techniques for making money with your blog.
Having ads on your blog is arguably one of the quickest ways to monetize your blog. Unless you’re selling ad space directly to relevant companies (which is something you can work towards as you grow), you’ll be using a service like Google Adsense. Adsense is not the only company out there but it's a good place to start. I personally use Insticator on my site because I like their platform and how it works on engagement. You can see it in action on the sidebar of my blog.
Unfortunately, although advertising is relatively easy to set up, it’s pretty unlikely that most people will make much money using this model.
There are people who click on sponsored links and banner advertising. However, it's usually a very low percentage compared to the number of actual views your blog receives. Depending on the subject matter of your site, you'll probably find that making a significant amount of money through advertising is a long-term game.
If your blog advertising revenue is part of a plan to create multiple income streams, then this tactic can be working away for you with little effort.
Join Affiliate Programs
There are literally hundreds of different affiliate programs available. The idea with an affiliate program is that you advertise another company or individual's products or services, and you get a commission for successful sales through your site.
The Amazon affiliate program is one that many people are familiar with. Many people offer reviews of products on their blogs and link to the Amazon page using their trackable, affiliate link. You can become an affiliate for your web hosting service, for apps that you use, products, courses, all kinds of things!
The key here is to be authentic. You should only recommend products and services that you genuinely use and support. If you wouldn't sell it to your parents then you shouldn't be trying to flog it off to anyone else! You can see some of my own recommendations on my Resource page.
Ebooks or Digital Downloads
If you’re an expert in your field, or if you have followers who appreciate your opinions and style, an eBook can be a great way to bring in some income.
EBooks, books in digital formats, or other digital downloads are inexpensive products to make compared to physical products. Your main expenses will be your time. Once your book is formatted (you can pay someone to do this relatively cheaply), you can then sell your downloads on autopilot.
Digital downloads are easy to deliver. Customers can buy them from your blog or your chosen retailers (Gumroad, Selz or if you get really fancy Amazon, Kobo and/or Apple), then receive the book on their desktop, phone or e-reading device within seconds, and you don't need to do a thing. Typically, a retailer or distributor will take a reasonable commission of every book sale in return for handling the transaction and distribution of the product.
Sell Your Services
If you have a skill that's relevant to your blog and your visitors then why not sell your services?
Your blog is the perfect place to demonstrate that you know your stuff. Blog consistently and thoughtfully and people are likely to be more persuaded to enter into a working relationship than if they'd never read your content at all.
If your blog is about something that can be taught and lends itself to visual instruction, you might consider selling instructional videos and learning materials. There are numerous platforms you can use to teach courses and you can sell these services through your blog.
Sell Physical Products
If your blog is about crafting or making products, then having an ecommerce site is kind of a no-brainer. If you are not a manufacturer or retailer, are there relevant products you could buy wholesale and sell at retail prices via your blog?
Rather than reviewing products and sending your visitors to other sites to complete their purchases, perhaps you could make some cash (and perhaps more than from affiliate revenue) by offering those products right on your blog. Obviously, this option will take a bit more effort to pull off, but if you do it right it can provide you with significant income.
Setup Membership and Subscriptions
Memberships and subscriptions can bring in a steady income stream through your blog. A membership program is a members-only section of your site. Usually, to gain access to this section, people must pay to join the group, which is how you earn money while building your community. A membership area might include a forum where like-minded individuals can have discussions, network and exchange information. Or you might perform Q&A sessions or provide access to training.
Subscriptions imply that the reader will receive something regularly in return for their money, such as reports, newsletters or a video series. You will need to have your content planned and, where possible, produced well in advance.
Use it as a way to build your reputation for your Business
One of my favorite ways to use blogging to make money is to use it as a platform to connect with customers and clients. You can use your blog as a marketing tool to drive business to your direct sales or bricks and mortar business. Heck, that's how I started this blog!
So there you have it, just a few ideas on how you can make money blogging. Have you got a great idea to add to the conversation? Let us know in the comments below!
Here's to your success,