In the last tutorial, we talked about adding content to your site – blog posts namely. Today, we’re going to walk through the monetization end of it… AKA Making money from your blog, or passive income!
Now, having a website of your own can be a pain. I know. There’s this constant expectation that you’ll be posting new stuff and updating it from time to time.
You get by not putting any time and effort into it, but here’s the thing…
Your audience needs you to add new content to your site so they can get to know you and your business – so they can like you and trust you.
Google DEFINITELY needs you to post new blog posts to your website because that’s how the know you’re relevant and deserving of the traffic that they want to send you.
Your power users – the folks who LOVE you and actively go out and spread the word about what you’re doing for them – want something that they can share from you because they look smarter because of it!
You see, having a website and keeping it fresh with new content is of much greater importance than you might be putting on it…
But, I get it. Your website or your blog isn’t making you any money so why waste the time?
Today, we’re going to cover that.
You see, there are 12 different ways that you can monetize the pages of your site, from selling stuff to posting ads to running a job board.
We tend to by myopic in our thinking that we JUST sell affiliate products or we ONLY post banner ads… What ends up happening though is we cap out our revenue because we aren’t diversifying our cashflow generators!
That, my friends, is a big mistake.
So, let’s get into it. 12 revenue generators to supercharge your site…
12 Blog Monetization Strategies
Admittedly, there are hundreds of ways to make money from your site. You can sell high end consulting or Kindle books or protein powder.
What follows is stuff that I’ve done in the past (and still do) as it’s done pretty well in generating revenue…
1: Selling Your Own Products
Although not the easiest to start, selling your own products and services is (almost) always the most profitable. Firstly, you aren’t splitting the money with anyone else. Secondly, you have an audience and distribution, so you know what they want and what they’ll buy.
I’ve read a lot lately about information and how it’s dying. I don’t think that’s quite the case – but it IS changing! Gone are the days of Clickbank ebooks making a killing for $47 a pop. Sure, some of that still works but we’re seeing far fewer stories like that.
Products that are selling; video courses, memberships, Kindle ebooks, higher end hybrid courses (course plus coaching), and events are all thriving. If you need proof of that, just check out any of the marketplaces, like Udemy or Kindle.
I’ve also done a podcast in the past on effectively preselling products…
Now, the bad news. Running your own offers is awesome, but there are things that you’ll need to be successful.
- Email Copy for your autoresponders
- Sales copy like a webinar or a video sales letter
- A merchant account, whether that be something like Clickbank or Stripe
- Customer support, like through ZenDesk
- A steady source of traffic, especially when you're getting started!
This is a longer path, so it might be smarter and simpler to start out with affiliate marketing or banner ads…
2: Selling Services
Another way you can make an offer to your audience is to sell services. That might be websites, consulting, coaching or masterminds. Your audience will tell you what you need to sell. They’re usually pretty vocal about it.
With me personally, I’ve had a Marketing Done For You Service for years, where I work with clients directly. It doesn’t make a huge portion of revenue but I get incredible satisfaction from it, which is why I still do it. It can be trying at times if a campaign isn’t working out as planned, but those phases symbolize growth, which is something we all need!
Examples of some services you can offer through your blog:
- Coaching on something you are exceptionally experienced in (or what your blog topic is about!)
- Consulting for individuals or groups based around the topic you write on
- Starting a mastermind for like-minded people who all share the same purpose and would benefit knowing each other.
- Hourly services for smaller, freelance types of projects
There are lots of different ways to take this one. Just listen to your audience and figure out what you want to do in the years to come…
3: Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate Marketing is where you sell products that aren’t your own, but you get a commission. Sometimes, that commission can be 75% to 100% of the purchase price.
I’ve done a LOT of affiliate marketing, and written a lot about it over the years. Some of the best material I have can be found here:
- Step by Step Process For Promoting Affiliate Products
- How to Set Up a Hidden Affiliate System (for you product owners...)
- The Lead Fire PDF - setting up Facebook ads to a landing page successfully (screenshot tutorials)
- Affiliate marketing as an additional profit stream
At the end of the day, affiliate marketing is about solving a problem for your audience. It doesn’t matter that it’s not your product – if it’ll help it should be in their hands! You still get paid for it!
As an affiliate, you usually make the lion’s share of the money and you deal with next to zero of the hassle…
4: Banner Ads / Ad Network / Private Sales
A few days ago, I posted a very long, very thorough explanation of ad networks and their place in the blogging monetization ecosystem.
The premise of it is this…
Sometimes, you get paid on a cost per click (CPC) basis (everytime someone clicks, you get paid). Other times, you get paid on a cost per thousand impressions (CPM) basis, where you make money every time someone sees your ad.
There’s another way to profit from the real estate on your website that wasn’t mentioned..
Private Site Buys.
As an advertiser, private site buys are the holy grail of media buying. When you buy ads directly from a website owner, you can negotiate better rates (much better) and you effectively cut out the middleman (the ad networks).
Now, Buy Sell Ads started as a way for bloggers to list their inventory and get paid. They still do some of that, but they’ve grown up a lot. Now, you need a certain amount of traffic and blah, blah…
The BEST way to get private ad requests is to simply put a page on your site, in the main navigation area, detailed your traffic, your demographics, banner sizes, and the cost.
There’s a LOT of money exchanged in Paypal for Private Site Buys every single day… Keep it open as an option for your site as well.
5: Text Link Ads
We talk about text link ads a little bit in the ad network article, but they don’t produce near the volume that they use to…
The idea is that someone gives you money and you put a link to their site in individual articles or on your whole site. It used to boost search engine ranking incredibly well. Now though, it serves as a great way to get native traffic to your landing pages and sales pages.
There will be a time or two that you’ll be approached by someone offering to buy a link on your site. The nice thing about text link ads is they can be upsold pretty readily…
If someone offers you $50, tell them you only do yearly deals, so it’d be $400. They save 4 months and you get all the money in one shot. They’ll pay you and you’ll never hear from them again.
(NOTE: Remember to take the link off your site though!)
6: Sponsored Content
Sponsored content is a bit like a text link ad, but it’s usually more time consuming.
Typically, it comes in the form of writing paid reviews for companies. They’ll give you some money and the product, and you’ll write a review based on your experience.
The vendor hopes to engage your audience and get some business out of it. You, well you get to demo something cool, tell your friends about it and get paid to do it.
Plus, it’ll be a piece of content that you don’t have to think real hard about writing…
These might also come in the form of advertorials, which are content marketing strategies. They’re fine – just make sure to choose wisely!
7: Site Sponsorships
Site sponsorships are where someone sponsors your entire site. I see them a lot in woodworking because I’m constantly trolling through wood projects, looking for weekend projects.
Here’s a great example: Ryobi Nation
Ryobi is a tool company and they sponsor bloggers who build stuff… Simple enough.
They give them tools and (maybe?) pay them for their involvement, and the bloggers share their experiences through the Ryobi tools.
I don’t know what the requirements are, like if they have to take photos with the merchandise on every post or what… All I know is I see Ryobi all over Pinterest in browsing through wood projects.
There’s no reason why you can’t have a sponsor for your site… Maybe a piece of software or a corporate partner who pays some of the hosting bills…
8: Job Boards
Job boards are another great source of income for bloggers who have a strong audience. A great example is Problogger’s.
It’s simple, clean and makes Darren plenty…
The trick is having a blog that has enough traction where you have both people LOOKING for jobs and people who need talent.
9: Sponsored Mailings
Sponsored mailings, otherwise known as ‘solo ads’ are great for a burst of cash too. If you’re building an email list, and you should be, you can rent your list out to anyone who wants to pay for it.
Entire industries have been built on buying data, both email addresses and mailing addresses… And industry that you’d be participating in if you allow other people access to your list.
The prices are largely determined by responsiveness and list size, and can go up to $70,000 for one mailing… That’s for tens of millions of people, of course, but you get the idea :0)
The process? A vendor approaches you for a mailing. You charge him/her money. They send you their email copy. You mail it out.
Done. Doesn’t get much simpler than that now, does it?
As a blogger, you are at the center of the action. You have buyers. You have sellers. You have creators. You have consumers…
All at the other side of your blog.
Connecting them in meaningful, financially benefiting way is what we call brokering. Obviously, it takes getting to know the people who follow you, but the simplicity of this model can’t be overstated.
If you connect a vendor and an affiliate, you should get 10% of everything that’s sold. If you connect a creator with a consumer, you should get a finder’s fee.
You need to wedge yourself in the middle and make the transaction happen, but you can do it because it’s your site!
11: Podcast Advertising
Everyone’s got a podcast it seems. Way back in 2006, I started my first one… Way before they were cool!
Since, I’ve started and stopped a few of them, always getting too busy or caught up which is entirely my fault. Today, In considered starting one for each of our software properties.
Will that happen? I’m not sure. But, if you have one, you might as well be selling sponsorships!
Revision3 started with one show – DiggNation. The stumbled on how lucrative podcast sponsorship was. They were drinking a type of tea on the show and the place that carried it ended up selling out, so…
DiggNation started accepting cash for sponsorships.
Since, Revision3 has grown to be a HUGE brand, with millions of podcast viewers every month with their shows.
There’s no reason why you can’t start selling advertising blocks on your podcast!
12: Video Advertising
This last one is something we’ll see a lot more of. With so much content being created and consumed online, it only makes sense that a lot of those videos will start having ads that the creator is paid for.
Now, Youtube and the video creator split the ads that are before the content… But, ads IN the content are solely paid out to the creators themselves!
Like podcasting, we’ll start to see in video commercials, like what’s on TV, rather than letting Youtube suck up all that space…
If you’re into video, then start thinking of creative advertising packages that you can offer sponsors!
Your Next Step…
If content marketing and blogging is important to you, but you just don’t have time to sit down, do the research, and write blog posts from scratch…
There is a better way. Click here to watch the video.