Creating and managing a successful blog is hard work: there are countless hours that go into writing excellent content, promoting your posts on social media, interacting with commenters and dealing with the occasional security or technical issue.
Being a blogger can be a full-time job without the paycheck.
However, there are a number of ways to monetize your blog to capitalize on your growing reader base without being intrusive. Follow these tips to help your blog be self-sustaining and maybe make a little extra cash on the side.
- Declutter Your Sidebar– You want the user experience to be enjoyable on your blog, first and foremost and having a clean area designated for advertising will help with that. Keep widgets and posts to a minimum and allow your sidebar to be a place for all of your banner advertisements.
- Google Ad Sense– This is the simplest way to add monetization to your blog. Google will show tailored ads to your users based on their interests and search history. They make it easy to install ads with a code you can copy and paste into a plugin or widget on your blog.
- Affiliate Marketing or Pay Per Click Advertising– Though sometimes controversial, affiliate marketing when used appropriately can add another level of monetization. Many spammers or questionable sites in the past have used affiliate marketing to create pages with little content and tons of affiliate links in hopes that someone will fall for this bait and click. To avoid a poor user experience on your blog, use affiliate links when relevant. For example, if you’re posting about food or a recipe, use affiliate links to items in your recipe or kitchen tools needed. A reputable program to start with is Amazon Associates. Skimlinks is another program with an excellent plugin for WordPress, which will automatically add relevant affiliate links to your posts.
- Mailing List Opt-In– Generating a targeted mailing list may not provide you with an immediate payoff, but can be a valuable investment that takes very little time to acquire. Having a list of your blog subscriber’s contact information allows you to promote posts, premium content and your products or services directly to a user’s inbox. We’re all very sensitive about spam these days, so use this option sparingly. This list could also be utilized to gather new business contacts and potential clients.
- Sponsored Posts– Many companies will pay bloggers to write reviews of their products through sponsored posts. There are a number of programs you can sign up for, like Social Spark and Sverve. If you have a successful blog with a large following and are considered an influencer, companies will also contact you to review their products.
- Membership or Freemium Program– If you offer a lot of valuable content on your blog on a consistent basis, a freemium model is a great way to monetize your hard work. In this program, you offer a certain number of posts for free to all visitors of your blog, but allow users to join for a membership fee to access your premium content. This option requires more work on your part, but if you have something of significant value to offer your readers then you have the potential to make a fair profit.
- Sell Products or Services– If you run a business of any kind, you can use your blog to promote your products and services in any format: digital or physical. You can sell ebooks, PDF guides or other digital resources as premium content or promote professional consultations, which could lead to potential business further down the line. You can also set up a traditional e-commerce site on your blog to allow people to purchase physical goods. This work especially well for artists or craftsmen.
When monetized efficiently, your blog can easily pay for all the costs associated with designing and hosting. Not sure where to begin with your blog? Check out some of our other posts on the power of blogging, reasons why you should blog, tips for designing a blog and reasons you might need a blog or website redesign.