Do you want to make money blogging? If you do, you’re not alone! Today I’m talking to those who already have a blog and want to make more money from it, but in later posts, I’ll address how to start a blog if you’re still at the beginning stages.
I get a TON of questions from fellow bloggers and coaches about how I’ve built Sublime Reflection, how I get traffic, how I actually make money, and most of all, how they can do it too!
Of course, if you’re a blogger, you know that blogging is a lot of HARD WORK!! But, it’s more than that. Blogging is a platform for your message to the world. I don’t know about you, but it’s almost like my blog is a member of the family. I love it that much. For me, it’s one of the only places I feel free to explore and be whoever I want to be. It’s pretty awesome.
First of all, there’s an important point I want to make. Never say, “I’m just a blogger.” You’re an expert, a teacher, a coach, a mentor, and an entrepreneur. If you look around you at all the bloggers who make a significant income, their blogs are really just a stepping stone to even greater things. They are speakers, authors, coaches, they sell books, and programs, and courses. That’s how they make money. Their blog is just a “freebie” they give away to attract clients and customers. That’s important to keep in mind as you craft a monetization plan for your own blog.
Ready to dig in to the details?
10 steps to monetize your blog today
1 – Build an email list.
The very first thing you need to do if you want to monetize your blog is to start building an email list. I personally use Mad Mimi because it’s less expensive than equivalent providers, and it has a very robust set of features.
There are many others out there as well. I’ve also used MailChimp and Aweber, and I like them both. In my experience, the size of your email list corresponds with how much money you can make. It’s critical. Please don’t skip this step or put it off until later.
2- Use Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools.
Google Analytics and Webmaster tools provide amazing information about your blog traffic. Once I figured out how to see what keywords were actually bringing traffic to my blog, I could write more about those topics. Having a specific keyword strategy is how I’ve grown my blog so quickly.
No matter what monetization strategy you decide to use, you need readers to make it work. In my opinion a content strategy is essential to build your readership.
3- Monetize every post.
If making money is your goal, every single post you write should have a monetization goal behind it. This could be selling products, linking to affiliate products, writing a sponsored post, reviewing products, building your email list, etc. However, be careful not to turn your blog into one giant sales pitch. That will turn your readers away.
In addition to a monetization goal for each post, there should be something of value you are offering your readers as well — for free! That could just be awesome content, a printable, a link to learn more, an opportunity to join you in something exclusive, or a myriad of other ideas.
4- Start with services, before you expand into products.
Brainstorm what you could sell today! Creating a course, or product, or writing an e-book takes time. You want to start making money today, so think of a service you can offer.
When I first started out teaching people about clean eating, I offered the service of reviewing people’s food journal and helping them make healthier choices. All it took was my time. I started out by offering the service to people for free, built up a pile of testimonials, and then sold my services. I didn’t get rich, but I did get a lot of experience, and even more important, I gained a TON of knowledge about what really works for people and what doesn’t.
This experience was invaluable when I later created my Clean Eating Crash Course. There are many things that fall under services: speaking, consulting, coaching, training, design, and lots more.
5- Create your own product.
My husband and I were recently on a cruise and I still made money even though I was out in the middle of the ocean with no internet. Passive income is awesome. It takes work to create your own product, but it’s more than worth the payoff you get in the end.
In my experience, E-books and courses are the simplest to create, have a price point that is manageable for most people, and are in high demand. Other ideas for products include: software, apps, audio, video, webinars, and reports.
6- Selling ad space.
First of all, I hesitate to include this because, depending on your goals, it’s not always a long-term strategy. However, I know there are some big blogs out there who make a TON of money from ads.
One question I often get is how soon should I put ads on my blog. In my opinion, if ads are part of your monetization plan, you might as well put them on from day one. I missed out on quite a bit of revenue because I didn’t add ads to my site until I had reached over 100,000 monthly pageviews.
7- Affiliate programs.
Affiliate marketing involves promoting someone else’s product or service and earning a commission when one of your readers clicks through your unique affiliate link and makes a purchase. In order for affiliate marketing to be effective, you obviously need to have readers, so creating awesome content that keeps your readers coming back is the first step.
When you promote affiliate products, make sure they fit in with your blog niche. A good first step is to find affiliate products you can include in posts you’ve already written. Look for products you’ve mentioned and see if they have an affiliate program. Be sure to include affiliate links within your blog posts and not just in your sidebar.
There are many different affiliate programs out there, or you can choose to promote individual products that have an affiliate program. Some of the affiliate programs I’ve used are Amazon, Shareasale, CJ by Conversant, Escalate, and Glitter.
8- Sponsored Posts.
When I first started blogging, most of the money I brought in was from sponsored posts. Writing a sponsored post means you work with a company and write a post about their product or service.
It’s important to keep sponsored posts to a minimum so you don’t turn off readers. My own personal standard is to write no more than one sponsored post every other week. The easiest way to find sponsored post opportunities is through media companies. Some of my favorites are SITS Girls, Social Fabric, Linqia, Clever Girls Collective, and Pollinate Media.
9- Indirect monetization.
The longer you blog, you’ll realize that through connections you’ve made you’ll start to get offers for other avenues that will increase your income. These include things like speaking gigs, book offers, event collaboration, writing gigs, consulting opportunities and more. There’s not a lot you can do to make this happen other than to spend some time each day focusing on relationships. Be real. Be you, and you’ll be surprised what will come your way.
Through my blog contacts, I ran across the Beachbody coaching opportunity. It’s been a huge blessing in my life and has made all the effort I put into blogging this last year worth it. Since I already had a large email list, my journey as a coach has been a lot easier. I literally have people contact me every single day asking for my help.
10 – Focus on helping people and the money will come.
It’s important to not lose sight of why you started blogging in the first place. Be yourself, and focus on sharing the message in your heart. If I’m ever struggling for a topic to write about, I answer this question:
In the end, that’s what I love most about blogging: every post I write, every course I create, every coaching call I do can change somebody’s life. Maybe not always in a big way, but, as bloggers, we touch thousands of people, and we make their lives just a little bit better.
And the best part?
We get paid for it. It’s our job. How awesome is that?