So, you’ve established a presence on WordPress (or some other blogging platform), you’ve spent months or years posting articles, video clips and images – pouring out your heart on a topic or topics that you know a lot about, and have a great deal of passion for.
But, where’s the money?
Surely, with your level of expertise, you should be raking it in by now? The multitudes should be flocking to your site for advice and great content and paying you for the privilege. Those pesky bills aren’t paying themselves.
Well, there is good news afoot.
You’re right! You can and should be making money from your blogging activities.
But there’s also some real-world news in tow.
Although possible, making money from your blog is not going to be easy. Monetising your efforts will take perseverance, patience, some skill, and the right combination of strategies.
If making money is your objective, then you’re effectively setting up a business venture. So, you’ll be selling something: a product, a service, or simply your own expertise.
You’ll have objectives as to the kind of income you hope to make, and (hopefully) some idea of the type of activity you’ll have to engage in to attract customers and make them part with their hard-earned cash. A business plan, in other words.
Your blog is only a part of this, rather than an end in itself. So you’ll need to view it as a tool to help enable your business. Your blog should be an attractor, pointing your visitors in the direction of what you’re selling in order that you may sell it.
Make Them Pay To See
If you’re putting out a lot of information on your blog which you think may be of value to people, why not generate some revenue from it?
You could, for example, post a certain amount of free content that lets people know what your blog is about. But you could also feature some “high-end” articles that visitors must pay for – perhaps on a page-by-page basis, or as special collections. An extension of this would be selling content for a monthly or annual subscription, or as a membership scheme.
There are membership management platforms that can not only host your blog but also provide transaction and payment processing tools. And the content you sell isn’t restricted to articles – think video courses, digital artwork, and the like.
Educate And Distribute
Whitepapers, eBooks, e-zines, collections of short stories, full-novels: if you’re a prolific enough writer, your blog can be a selling platform for any of these.
Or you could create a number of online/digital training materials for distribution through e-learning platforms like Coursera or Udemy.
In any event, you can use your blog to post extracts from your work, and direct visitors to the appropriate venue (landing page, third-party sales platform, or whatever) where they can purchase the full package.
Sell Your Advice And Expertise
Having set up your blog with ample evidence of your expertise in your chosen subject area, you go on to set yourself up as a “guru”, coach, consultant, or authority in that field.
Provide specialist knowledge or a service that people will want to buy, and you can use your blog as an avenue to sell yourself. Paid-for services typically attract a higher fee than the equivalent digital content – but if you make both formats available, you’ll have an additional revenue stream to call upon.
Software And Merchandise
You could also use your blog as a means of promoting and distributing downloadable commodities, such as your own brand software, streaming videos, or original music. Products may be sold on a “one-off” basis (e.g. for digital media), or with a service aspect in the case of software, where additional charges may be imposed for version upgrades and new modules.
If you link your output to an e-commerce platform with delivery services, you can even use your blog to promote and sell solid goods.
Act As A Conduit
A web search for products associated with your blog’s focus should throw up a choice of goods or services made by reputable sources, some of which at least you’d be willing to endorse and use yourself. With blog content like product reviews and coverage of product launches (together with appropriate links to manufacturers’ websites, etc.), your site can act as a channel for visitors wanting access to these products, themselves.
There are a number of ways you could make money from this. One is to approach the manufacturers with an offer of writing a promotional post or product review, for which they’ll pay you. It’s a hit-and-miss endeavour, and could take some time before you get a positive result.
Another approach is through affiliate advertising. This method requires you to sign up with an affiliate network, where you’ll be given access to links that promote various products. If you include these links on your blog, and lots of people click on them through to the product’s website, you get paid a commission.
Hailed by some as the best way to make money “effortlessly” while blogging, affiliate advertising really only works if your blog sees thousands of visitors per month; the individual commissions aren’t huge. And the obvious argument here is, if you do get that many visitors, why sell them somebody else’s stuff?
Buy Or Sell Advertising
Another popular tactic often used to make money blogging is by hosting adverts from third parties. Again, this method relies on a huge traffic flow through your blog site. And the flow really is “through”; if a visitor spots a banner ad on your blog for a product they want to buy, they’ll click on it, and that’s the last you’ll see of them.
Add to this the fact that so many banner adverts are ugly and distracting, and you’re potentially giving visitors to your blog an excuse to never come back to it again. Use with caution.
Become A Property Developer
It’s often the case that someone sets up a blog in a niche market that gains a lot of traffic, but the blog owner hasn’t the time or the will to keep posting. This is an opportunity for some enterprising individual (could be you!) to step in and offer to buy the blog (and its visitor base) for a fee, and take over the job of running it.
Author: Des Nnochiri