When you’re just starting out with your blog, it can be overwhelming and frustrating with the number of tasks that need to be done to make it work. With so much information to consume and strategies to choose from, how can you find the time to grasp the art of blogging, driving traffic to your blog, and then figuring out how to monetize that traffic?
Most people ignore the fundamentals of online marketing when attempting to earn any amount of income from their blogs. When you fail to pay attention to blogging fundamentals, you’ll find it difficult to generate any revenue.
Lets touch on the 5 fundamentals of blogging first
Blogs need focus. You need to have a specific industry, niche or topic that you write about repeatedly. One that you have experience with and are passionate about. People want to visit a blog because it fills a need or answers a question. That happens by staying focused on a niche or topic, depending on what you want to call it.
Some think that blogging is about pushing out an enormous amount of content every week. That doesn’t work if it’s thin content or rewritten content. Your content needs to be quality content and original. It needs to be entertaining, educational, and practical. If a study is referenced, it needs to be linked. Don’t skimp on quality if you’re serious about monetizing your blog.
Your blog needs to provide value to the reader. What can you teach other people about? What are you an expert at? Take the time to deliver that value. Create thorough and informative posts that interweave different types of content like Youtube videos and other media to help people understand the topic or figure something out. Value is a prerequisite to income in the blogging space no matter what industry you’re focused on.
How engaging is your content? Does your blog encourage readers to spend time reading multiple articles, watching videos, or signing up for an email newsletter?
The more people that engage with your content, the higher the probability of you earning passive income.
How much authority do you have on the topics you write about? Are you well-known in your field of interest? The more authority you have, the faster you can monetize your blog.
If you’re an expert at something, you already have authority, all you need to do is leverage it. Social media is a great place to start with leveraging your authority.
Now that the foundation is laid, we can get into monetizing your blog
While there are dozens of resources on how to monetize blogs, not all are going to be relevant depending on your niche. There are, however, a few primary methods of monetization that will help you generate passive income consistently, even when you’re sleeping.
One of the most popular methods for monetizing a blog is to use affiliate marketing. This is especially useful when you’re just starting out and you don’t have your own products or services to sell. All you have to do is develop content that will drive traffic to the affiliate offers you plan to push out. Those offers are typically in the form of specific affiliate links.
An affiliate link is a link with a tracking code; when a person clicks on that link and buys the product you get a small percentage commission on that purchase. Affiliate links are the easiest and fastest way to make passive income off your blog.
If you started using Amazon affiliates after you started your blog go back to your top 20 posts and try to add affiliate links where they fit.
Not only does this monetize your older posts, but as soon as you hit that “update” button (if you’re using WordPress), Google will be notified of an update to that page and re-crawl the page.
Remember to add the affiliate links where they naturally fit in order to make your article not feel like a sales funnel.
Advertisements | Pay Per Click
While most people think that adding some pay-per-click (PPC) ads will be a great way to make some quick money with their blogs, unless you have a massive amount of traffic (10k or more per day) the revenue will be marginal at best. The real income here doesn’t start until you cross 100,000 visitors per day.
You could easily negotiate terms directly with advertisers by utilizing display ads as opposed to PPC ads. This is something I did because you’re guaranteed the negotiated price regardless of how well it performs, but it’s in your best interest to ensure that ad performs for the advertiser, so that you can continue to work with them.
As long as the ads are within your specific niche or industry, you can negotiate an amount that would be much more competitive than income from PPC ads.
One of the most powerful methods for making money from your blog is directly through email marketing. But to be successful, you need to build your list.
Whether you promote blog updates or affiliate marketing links, utilize one of the more popular email marketing platforms like MailChimp or Constant Contact to begin marketing via email.
By building a strong connection with your readers via email, you can effectively generate revenue through marketing your products, services, recent blog posts, and affiliate links.
And Last But Not Least, Publish an eBook
This is an option I never thought of before until I had a conversation with my managing editor several years ago. If you have an existing blog with an established number of blog posts, you can use that content to create an ebook.
For example, I have written a lot of content on human performance, so theoretically I could take all those posts and collapse them into an ebook. Each post essentially becomes a chapter. Yes, there is some editing that would need to be done, but the content is there.
You can easily promote your ebook on your blog by creating attractive content that will draw people in, then enticing them to download your ebook. You could also build a dedicated landing page and make it a truly passive income generator.