Now your blog is all setup, you’ve added lot of quality, search engine optimized content and also you have been promoting your blog like craze. Let me show you ways to make money online from your blog.
How I wish it is that easy! I am not trying to scare you, I just want you to wake up to reality.
One thing most people fail to understand about making money on their blog is that blogging is a means for business, not the actual business itself. Let’s say you own a mortal and brick shop, you have the physical address, you’ve decorated the place to look nice and attractive, placed ads in the local paper and magazine. You even have a business card, that you give to people you meet at social event. You didn’t stop at that, you have posters all around town promoting your new shop.
I think that’s a good start, but until you start providing something of value to your market, you’re not yet in business.
You must be offering something of value for sale, before you can earn money and be in business. The same is true for a blog. Until you actually have a product or service that people can pay money for, you’re not in business.
The truth be told…
Honestly speaking this might sound funny, but the truth is that I don’t see myself as the best person to write a post about ways to make money online from your blog. This is because I am also still working at most of the point highlighted in this post.
I am not trying to pose myself as a guru or a superblogger making the most money from his blog.
Most of what I shared and talked about in this article are things I learned from the study of top bloggers blog’s and what I have read from these guys about various ways to make money from ones blog.
With that said lets begin…
The 10 ways to earn money
In this post I will be sharing a brief but detail overview of the top ten best ways to earn money from your blog. Note that not every method that I will be talking about may be right for you, but at least you can pick one or two. I will suggest you read to the end and take note, you might come across something new.
Method #1: Become an Affiliate Marketer.
Affiliate marketing is one of the oldest and greatest business model to make money both online and offline. Basically, you recommend products and services to your readers, and every time one of them makes a purchase through your referral link, you receive a commission. Commissions can range from 30% of the purchase price, to 100%.
You can be an affiliate marketer selling both physical and digital product, the choice is yours to determine what works best for you. Although physical products usually have a lower commission rate, while digital downloads have higher commissions.
The advantage of affiliate marketing is that it’s simple. If you’re established as an expert in your industry or niche, you likely already tell people what products and services you use in the course of your business.
There are a number of widely-known affiliate programs online to find great products and services to promote.
Some of the most popular affiliate programs are:
Amazon Affiliate program
You can also google the niche you’re in, along with the word “affiliate programs,” example “make money online + affiliate programs” to see what other retailers and programs are available for you.
When you are promoting products or services through affiliate programs, there are a few things to keep in mind:
1. Only promote products you trust and believe in.
This is VERY important. If you start promoting any product you can find, whether or not you’ve tried it yourself, you’re going to lose credibility and trust with your audience, bet you don’t want that to happen. You want them to believe that you have their best interests in mind – and that means only recommending great products you know, trust and believe in. Once again this is very important!
2. Make sure you promote the products.
If you are interested in selling your affiliate product or service you can’t just put up links or even review posts and expect to see massive traffic to your sales page or affiliate page with buyers begging you to take their money. Instead, active promotion of your affiliate links through social media, article marketing, forums, paid ads, YouTube marketing, media buy and more are the right way to go.
3. Give value to your audience and customers.
To have a viable online business, you must offer value and I mean real value to give your business value. In a bid to offer value to your audience and customers, you are constantly coming up with ways to make it easier on them to buy the products they want and need, you give details so they can make informed buying decisions, you offer coupons, discount or tell them where to get the best deals. Or maybe you can perform a full product review so they can evaluate products before they buy. Just make sure you work out a way to add value to the buying process.
Affiliate marketing is so versatile and is a perfect way for any blogger to make money. You can spend as much time or as little as you like, but it’s a method worth checking out.
Method #2: Sell Your Own Physical Products.
Actually this question came up in one of my make money online awareness. This question was asked by a young man in the training “can I run an online store along side a blog” to be sincere I have never thought of that, and probably maybe I have not seen much bloggers do that. My answer was “why not”
Selling a physical product is one of the oldest business model of all-time. The sales of physical products, is a concept we’re all familiar with, and we come across it everyday. I have something you want, so I sell it to you. I have the money, you have your product. Simple and straightforward.
What I told the young man is that most of his blogging activities will be product review and promotion. He will put up a product review with a “buy now” call to action to the reviewed product.
But when trying to selling online, there are a few questions to answer:
What am I going to sell?
How am I going to accept payment?
How will I let people know about my products?
How will I handle fulfillment and customer service?
Let’s look at each of those questions in turn.
1. What am I going to sell?
Choose a product that is of interest to the majority of your readers. For instance, if you have a women beauty, health and fitness blog, your readers won’t necessarily come to you for the brand-new after shave for men or any men related product. No doubt a few might be interested, but keeping synergy between your blog theme and your product is essential.
2. How am I going to accept payment?
Several year ago this would have been a problem but with the age of internet now and eCommerce spreading and taking over like a wide fire, accepting payment is no more a problem. You can make use of Paypal, credit or debit card and so many numerous options. You can even make use of bitcoin to make and receive payment, though just gain ground but people are accepting it as a means of payment.
3. How will I let people know about my products?
Marketing your product should be an essential part of your business plan. No matter how good your products are, if no one knows about them, no one can buy them. You can spread the word through forums, search engine optimization (SEO), Google AdWords, Facebook advertisements, and a number of other methods. The key is to know beforehand how you’re going to tell people about your products.
4. How will I handle order fulfillment and customer service?
Unless you enjoy making numerous trips to the post office and answering calls all day, as you grow you will need to have a scaleable plan for shipping out orders and handling customer questions and complaints. You can outsource fulfillment to a local business or individual. Likewise, you can outsource customer service to a virtual assistant, or to a company that specializes in customer service. To even simplify the whole process from start to finish you can use the dropshipping model.
Selling your own goods online is a great way to make money online. And many businesses of all sizes are incorporating a physical sales to their methods of earning money online.
Method #3: Promote Online Auctions.
This is another old offline model replicated online with a big success. Ebay happen to be second online auction platform after onsale which is out of business. Ebay is the biggest aution site online now and whether you were selling used clothes, car parts, or collectibles, eBay promised a lot of traffic, brought directly to your goods, allowing you to sell virtually anything with little trouble.
Adding Ebay auctions to your blog is a great way to earn money blogging from ebay, and eBay makes it easy with their simple developer tool. The best part: You don’t even have to create your own auctions! You can pull in auctions for items related to your topic or subject matter with API from product feeds, or directly from auction listings.
The first thing you have to do is to join the eBay affiliate program. Then you can use eBay’s tools to pull specific feeds into your blog. You can include live eBay listing information, direct links to auctions that might be of interest to your market, and a host of other options.
Of course, if you have your own products to sell, all the better! Sign up with eBay, and then you can list your products and show the auctions in real time on your site, letting your readers know that your products are up for auction and ready for the highest bidder.
Method #4: Sell Information Products.
This is the direct opposite of selling a physical product. Majorly, information products are digital products and it takes any of the following forms; eBooks, audio and video based products, delivered electronically via download.
Tens of thousands of people make money online selling “virtual” products in industries as diverse as Opportunity market, Health and fitness, test preparation and pet care. If there’s a group of eagerly passionate people online and you can identify their needs, you can create a product to meet those needs. It doesn’t matter if you are an expert on the subject or not. Although being one is an added advantage, but as long as you can research your subject you’re OK.
These are some of the common information products:
Consolidate blog posts on a certain topic into an eBook.
You can make use of public domain material or rewrite and repackage a PLR (just make sure you are providing value and solving a problem).
Record a webinar. Hold a free call on your topic of choice, record the event, and then sell it as a digital download with a call guide or FAQ sheet.
Record an interview with an expert. Take advantage of someone else’s expertise by interviewing them, recording the conversation, and then marketing the resulting audio to your readers. And If your interviewee has a huge fan base of their own, you may be able to capture some of them too.
Record screencasts. Are you a Photoshop whiz or video editing expert? Record yourself showing your stuff with Camtasia or Jing and sell the tutorials in a batch or individually.
How to sells!
When selling your information products online, you have a variety of delivery options, including:
Each of these has their advantages and drawbacks, so you may have to do a little bit of research to figure out which is best for you. Well if you’re new to information marketing, start small.
Method #5: Join an Advertising Network.
In the early days of the internet you couldn’t visit a website without seeing a number of pop-up ads. Crazy! Ha! glad, advertising has changed significantly since then. Now, majority of online ads are text-based or include photos rather than some funny pop-up images with blinding colours.
By joining an advertising network, you can reserve space on your website and allow the networks you join to serve ads directly to your site. Ad networks will then pay you per impression (how many people view your ad) or per click (how many people actually see and click on the ad).
Depending on the network serving the ads, you can specify the size, shape, and types of ads you deliver. Some of the most common ad networks include:
Just to mention but few.
The advantages of advertising networks:
They’re easy to incorporate into your existing structure.
Advertisers are brought to you; you don’t have to find them on your own.
You are paid regularly for work you’ve already created, making it a passive income stream.
It doesn’t pay that much unless you have a high volume traffic drawing website or blog.
A chunk of the revenue is taken as a fee-for-service.
You don’t have full control over what sites are advertised.
Too many advert can piss readers off your site.
Many people find ad networks an easy way to start including advertising on their blogs. As you grow your reader base and traffic, you may want to investigate approaching advertisers directly. But in the meantime, picking up some spare change for doing nothing more than adding a little code to your site might be attractive.
Method #6: Accept Paid Advertising.
This similar to Adsense or joining AdNetworks but the difference is that you are in control of the Ads placed on your blog. While placing Adsense ads on your blog can bring you a few dollars, or even a few hundred dollars a month, many people prefer to sell their blog real estate directly to advertisers. By cutting out the middleman, you can keep more of the profits yourself and keep control over the types of products and services you advertise on your site.
When considering opening space for ads, here are some things to consider:
• How much will you charge?
It is always advised to carry out a proper research, to see what other blogs in your industry are asking, and price your spots accordingly. One thing to keep in mind, is that there is no laid down rule on how much you can charge. Keep in mind that the more page views and unique visitors you have, the more your ad space is worth.
• What kinds of ads will you accept?
Will you be taking just any ads, or do you want them to be directly related to your market? If you offer reviews on your site, do you want to refuse or accept ads from sellers of products you might review, Adult sites or online gaming, or competitors. Know beforehand what you will accept and what you will not.
• Will you create the graphics?
If you have to create graphics, then it’s going to take more of your time and energy. And let them know if you will be creating graphics that you will be charging extra fee for the service. Because if you don’t, you could end up with very poor graphics.
• How will you charge and accept payment?
Direct deposit or Paypal is usually sufficient. You can even create recurring payments if someone books for more than one time period at once.
• Where will you place ads, and what size will they be?
Sidebar and leaderboard ads are common. You can Google “blog ad sizes” to see what standard sizes you might offer.
Once you’ve made these decisions, create a section on your blog where potential advertisers can click and easily see your rates and requirements, and the next steps for advertising. If the advertisers don’t come, you can approach them directly with your offer of advertising space.
Method #7: Paid Sponsorship.
Many bloggers offer product and service reviews as part of their regular content. As companies want to leverage the power of bloggers, there are more and more opportunities to receive cash or products in exchange for blog mentions or reviews. Basically, you get paid to include a review or other information about the sponsoring company.
Sounds good right? Well, there are some guidelines to follow:
1. Disclose everything.
If you’ve been paid to review a product, mention a site, or otherwise plug or promote a company, tell your readers! The trust you create with them is hard to replace and easy to damage. Many bloggers place disclosures in each sponsored post; others create a site-wide disclaimer. In either case, be transparent.
2. Have a standard.
Bloggers of integrity will not promote or give a good review to sub-standard products. If you cannot be honest in your assessment or review, it is not worth the money. Many sponsors will have guidelines regarding how you must talk about their product, site, or service. Pick sponsors who are a good match with your standards.
3. Don’t overdo it.
Balance paid content with unpaid content. Also, make sure the sponsorship opportunities you accept are in line with your market. You might get approached by a site which is not inline with your niche or message. The money may be good, but will your audience resonate with the message?
4. Be of service.
Even in a paid post, you can provide value to your readers. Honest reviews, additional information, hints and tips, and case studies are all great ways to put your own spin and unique value on paid posts.
Treat paid opportunities as you would your unpaid content. Make sure it’s valuable to your audience and adds something to their experience. Then you’ll be creating great content AND getting paid for it.
Method #8: Coaching and Consultation.
As a blogger, you are a position of authority. People come to your site to read about what you have to say or offer – whether it’s the latest SEO technique, Weight loss without special diet, making money online, or paper crafting. A natural next step for making money is to offer your expertise in a “live” coaching or consulting format.
Here are some questions you might have about coaching or being a consultant:
1. Do I have to have any specific certification or education?
If you’re an accountant, lawyer, doctor, or even personal trainer, you need to be certified in your particular field. But to establish yourself as a coach or consultant, no certification is necessary.
2. Who would come to me?
If people are reading your blog, people would pay you to coach them. Not every blog reader will become a coaching client, of course, but a percentage will. That’s why it’s important to build up your readership before you launch your coaching program; the larger your list, the larger your potential coaching client base.
3. How much should I charge?
It really depends on your field, what your competitors are charging, and the format of your coaching program. Typically, the more value you bring to a client and the more pressing their needs, the higher rates you can charge. If you can help someone lose 10 kg. in 30 days or make $2000 in a week, you’re going to be able to command more than you could for helping someone select a wardrobe.
4. What format should I use?
Coaches have been early adopters of online technologies such as webcasting, teleseminars, and more. With services like UStream, Freeconferencecall.com, and Skype, you can transport yourself virtually to anywhere in the world. Some coaches work strictly via email; it’s going to depend on your market.
If you are starting out new, one of the most effective first steps is to offer a low-price, fixed-term , group coaching environment for 6-10 people. You could offer one structured call followed by a question and answer session each week, covering a certain segment of your subject. Use the experience to test your materials and gauge interest and response.
At the end of the whole session, evaluate your process and either change things up or offer the same coaching program again. Over time, you’ll be able to better target your offerings and raise your rates as you improve and deliver exactly what your audience wants.
Method #9: Premium Content.
Most people are from the school of thought, that everything online is free. Although offering something “free” can be a great way to drive traffic, it’s not so good when it comes to making money. Moreover consumers are learning that “free” stuff don’t equal great quality. More and more online, people are being asked to pay for “the good stuff,” and you can do the same on your blog.
What can you ask people to pay for?
Deeper, more sophisticated content
Interviews or Questions and Answers calls
Access to training materials such as worksheets, planning guides, spreadsheets, etc.
Here are some hints for offering premium content on your blog:
• Give a taste. If you’re offering recipes, show an image of the completed dish to encourage people to pay to access the full recipe. If you are selling audios, list a few bullet pointed “takeaways,” or provide a sample of the audio. Give people an idea of what to expect and they’ll be more likely to want to pay.
• Keep it simple. Too many options confuses people. Don’t offer too many packages; just keep it basic.
• Educate people. Particularly if you are in a non-technical field, people may be hesitant to purchase something they think they can get for free. Emphasize the benefits of your material – convenience, quality, exclusivity, etc. Point out how your product is superior to others, or how it will save them time or money. This is very important as people want more time to spend with family and loved ones while they make more money to keep them happy.
• Include testimonials. Give people a reason to trust you, and to say “Yes.” By including testimonials of satisfied customers on your blog, you can help potential purchasers over the hurdle of making the decision to purchase. Video testimonials are especially effective.
There are a number of WordPress plug-ins to allow you to restrict access to certain areas of your WordPress blog – or you can keep things very simple and just password-protect specific posts or areas.
Method #10: Sell Technology.
Many of the technologies in the blogging world are as a result of a blogger wanting to do more on their blog. WordPress plug-ins, blog themes, graphics, apps, and the like are all examples of ways inventive bloggers have turned their need into a profitable revenue stream.
You may think that there’s no way you could sell technology because you’re not technologically minded yourself. Not true! Not even Bill Gates and the late Steve job does their own coding. Here’s how to identify and create technology tools your market will flip for:
• Make a list of problems you have. Write them down.
• Seek out competition. A little competition is good – it lets you know that there is indeed a market need.
• Improve on what is. If there’s already a WordPress plug-in for pulling public domain images into your blog, but it’s not working well for you, figure out what you can do to make it better.
• Find a tech freelancer. Sites like Odesk.com, rentacoder.com, and even Fiverr are great places to find people with the skills you need to make your dream a reality. Read the requirements carefully, and get several bids – and several recommendations!
• Test it. After you’ve got a solution, try it out on your own site, and ask anyone you can to test it for you as well. Maybe that new plug-in works great on chrome but makes Firefox crash; you won’t know unless you test!
Once you have a working technology in-hand, take it to the masses. Go to forums, write about it on your own blog, and strut your stuff. The best advertisement is your own blog! You might also give away a copy of your app or plug-in to some other bloggers, asking them to provide you with a testimonial or review on their site.
You don’t have to be a techie to sell your own great device. Instead, you can be the brains behind the operation and pay someone else to do the technical stuffs
Wow I can hear my fingers begging for mercy already. Although their are several ways to make money with your blog. Infact the ways are so numerous, the only thing that can limit you when it come to making money from your blog, is your imagination. This list is just the tip of the iceberg. I hope by reading through these descriptions, the floodgates have been opened and you have a better idea of how you can begin to monetize your own blog.
If you’ve got an idea that isn’t listed here, all the better! The online world is changing and morphing all the time. Use the comment box and let the whole world know about it.