How to Monetize a Blog & Create a Sellable Asset
People often ask how to make money with a blog before they’ve even created a blog.
There’s nothing wrong with that, since blogging is a hobby for many and a lucrative business for others. For you, it might be both.
How to Monetize a Blog
Many articles will give you 101 ways to monetize a blog. This article will focus on tried and tested methods that have been proven to work instead. We’ll also discuss why it’s important for you to think about creating a sellable asset from the very beginning of your blogging journey.
Here are six blog monetization methods that make not only successful blogs but also successful online businesses.
Out of all the different ways to make money from a blog, advertising is perhaps the easiest revenue stream to implement.
You sign up to an advertising network and they will place advertisements on your website, such as banner ads. All you have to do is copy and paste a bit of code and they take care of the leg work. They will find advertisers and optimize results so that your audience is viewing relevant ads.
These advertisers pay the ad network, who then pays you a share of the earnings. Most ad providers calculate your revenue on a cost per click (CPC) basis. Every time someone clicks an ad, you earn money.
Google AdSense is the most well-known display ad provider. This is because their acceptance requirements are low. Essentially, if you’ve got a blog with content on it, then you should be accepted.
To maximize your earnings, consider creating evergreen content, such as informational posts, as they will earn you money without needing much updating.
You can also go after keywords with higher CPCs. Most keyword research tools will show you the CPC; by driving traffic to these keywords, you can receive higher payments. However, there will be more competition.
Google AdSense isn’t the only advertising network—Mediavine and AdThrive have gained popularity because they are reported to have higher payouts. However, both have minimum traffic requirements of 20,000 and 100,000 visitors a month, respectively. You should consider switching if your blog reaches this point.
Affiliate marketing is one of the most popular ways to make money blogging.
If you’ve ever searched for a product review, you’ve probably clicked on an affiliate site. If you can create a blog post with links to affiliate products that people buy, then you could be earning some affiliate commission.
What makes this a great blog monetization strategy is the number of affiliate programs available. The majority of large retailers and software companies run affiliate programs where you can earn a commission if you can drive users from your website to purchase the product.
Perhaps you could create a niche site that posts reviews of products. It will help your earning potential if you start thinking about your blog as a website.
Amazon’s affiliate program is the most common: it allows you to promote their products and earn a commission from a few percent to ten percent, depending on the niche.
When you sign up for an affiliate program, each product you choose to promote will have a unique URL that tracks results. If you use WordPress as your blogging platform, you can find plugins that add your product link to text and images with a single click.
It’s fairly easy to be accepted into Amazon Associates. All you have to do is make three sales within the first three months of signing up. The downside is that the commissions tend to be lower than that of other affiliate programs.
Other Affiliate Programs
There are many affiliate programs available, and a lot of them have higher commission rates than Amazon Associates.
ShareASale, ClickBank, and Commission Junction are great resources for affiliate offers with lots of programs available. Some commission rates on ClickBank can reach up to 75%. With many other affiliate programs out there, affiliate marketing represents one of the best ways to monetize a blog.
Diversifying your income using different affiliate programs is a good business decision because it provides you with more than one income stream. That said, affiliate programs have been known to change their commission structures with no notice. Using different providers helps negate this risk.
These are products that people can read, view, or interact with that explains how something works.
There are two main variations that you can create: digital products and online courses.
Digital products are downloadable files like e-books and PDFs.
Maybe you could sell a spreadsheet template that uses a formula to help speed up a time-consuming process. Time is valuable, so if people can see its value, then they are more willing to make a purchase.
The pricing points of digital products can vary greatly. Remember, the higher the cost, the harder the sell. If it’s a high-ticket item, then people are going to need to be convinced. This means you’ll have to build up the product with supporting materials, such as case studies, to prove its worth.
Digital products have become somewhat outdated; many websites give away e-books for free as a tactic to build their email list. However, they can still provide a nice bit of extra income if you’re looking for additional ways to monetize your blog.
Knowledge is power, and people now have the ability to learn from the comfort of their own home in their spare time.
While creating a course can be a lot of hard work, platforms like Teachable have made it easier than ever and taken a lot of the technical know-how out of making a course.
You’ll need to invest a lot of time in the initial stages and to market the course, but once it’s done, you’ll be able to run it with minimal effort. The upside to this is that the earning potential is huge. If you have something worth learning and can convey it in easy to understand tutorials, then you could be onto a winner.
Why not branch out and add physical products to your blog?
Business models like dropshipping allow you to ship products directly from manufacturers to customers. This means that you don’t have to store the products—all you have to concentrate on is marketing them.
First, you’ll need to find a supplier. Sites like Oberlo will help source products that you then sell for a markup cost. They are often produced in China, where production costs are lower, and can then be sold to an American audience for a higher price while you keep the profit.
You can create a storefront on Shopify and direct your blog’s followers to it. A blog with a following has great potential for additional monetization opportunities because these people are interested in the same niche as your blog.
When you have physical products you’ll really need to get your marketer hat on to push sales. Consider setting up a capture form to gather people’s email addresses and implement an email marketing strategy. Your email subscribers are a valuable audience as they are interested in your niche so it makes it easier to sell them your products.
Social media accounts can help to create social proof, maybe reaching out to influencers will help to get your products in front of your audience.
Once you have a successful store it opens up the possibility of having your own ecommerce brand. You could even start selling your own products on your store which would help to dives
Sponsored and Paid-For Posts
When your new blog starts growing and your content begins to rank higher in Google, you’ll start receiving requests for guest posts and sponsored posts.
If you want some additional income, you could charge people for a guest post. How much you charge will largely depend on the reach of your blog: a bigger audience will fetch a higher price. If you have low- to mid-range traffic, $40 per post is a fairly standard price.
While this is a good way to make extra money, it should be used with caution. The content you’re posting on your website should be in line with previous quality content and held to the same high standard. You are also potentially helping competitors rank higher than you.
You should look at outreach as both an opportunity and a monetization method. Try to get to know the people behind the business.
If their blog starts to take off, then you’ve got a much better chance of working with them. While this tactic won’t pay off right away, getting to know people in your industry and niche will help you establish your business. This can lead to more lucrative collaborations and opportunities down the road.
For sponsored posts, brands ask you to review and/or promote their products.
They might come to you, but you can also reach out and tell them what you have to offer. This might not work with big brands, but keep an eye out for smaller companies that are looking to grow.
Many bloggers worry that sponsorships might tarnish their blog’s reputation. While this is something that you’ll have to consider, a well-written disclaimer explaining your impartiality goes a long way to alleviate these fears.
Providing a Service
If you have knowledge in a particular area, then this could be used to create something that people are willing to pay for.
Maybe you excel at web design or illustration whatever the service, you can sell it as a package.
You’ll still need to find a way to market this business to get customers. An optimized blog will help make the most of Google search traffic. Due to this, it might be a good idea to include some sort of affiliate marketing within your blog posts to help supplement your income, at least initially.
The downside of a service-based business model is that it can be more difficult to sell. If the person buying your business doesn’t have expertise in that area, then it could be off-putting. Building a team of employees who know how to do the work can help make this business model more appealing to buyers.
When to Monetize a Blog
If you’re just starting out, it can be both inspiring and disheartening to see other bloggers making a full-time income of five figures a month. Reaching this level of success is a very real possibility, but it’s not going to happen overnight.
You need to drive your own blog traffic to generate income. The first year will be important for building up a following and finding your target audience. To give yourself the best chance, you should learn about search engine optimization (SEO) to rank your blog content as high as possible on Google.
You should always strive to create great content. Valuable content has two meanings in this respect. What’s valuable to you and what’s valuable to your visitors, your content should always offer something for the audience but you should also prioritize creating monetizable content. As a general rule of thumb, it can follow the 80/20 rule: 80% monetized content, 20% informational.
The most important step in your blogging journey will be starting! So many aspiring new bloggers get hung up on niche, monetization, and other excuses. Learning on the job will be more valuable to you than jumping from idea to idea and never starting anything.
If you haven’t started a blog yet, then go ahead and think about what you want to write about. Use keyword research to plan out your first 50 articles and write them or hire a freelance writer. If you already have a blog, you can jump in at this step to plan out your next articles.
We would recommend that you begin monetizing by using affiliate marketing. This is simple to use and something you can implement from the start. Once you have content posted, after about three months, consider adding display advertising to your blog.
Affiliate and advertising blog monetization methods are a great place to start and can be scaled up to five figures a month. From this point, with your page views increasing into the tens of thousands, it becomes much easier to integrate the other monetization methods mentioned in this article.
As your blog starts making money, it becomes easier to run and you might consider hiring some help. Once you get here, the hours that you’re putting into your blog will start to go down. This is the stage where you start earning that passive income that you hear som many successful bloggers talk about. This can make your blog business a desirable asset.
Why you Should Create a Sellable Asset
Thinking about selling your blog before you’ve worked out how to monetize it might seem unnecessary. However, running a business and establishing operating procedures early on has many benefits.
If you have a process for creating and posting content that is working, then documenting this will help if you hire someone new. Buyers also like to see how you’re running your business.
Selling your blog might not be something you are considering, but you might be surprised by how much a website can be worth.
We have a free valuation tool that you can use once your site has started making money. If you want to know how you can maximize your valuation, then set up a call with our sales team. Our representatives can help you increase your valuation and boost your earnings. Adding things like an email list and social media will only strengthen your blog.
Now that you’ve found out the best ways to monetize a blog and make money online, it’s your turn to go and create one. When you’ve done this the first time and it’s making money, you might think about creating a second or even a third blog.
Learning how to create a successful blog can turn a hobby into a business.