A blogging friend told me that he would like a site that regularly earns him income on a monthly basis.
It is possible to make money from your site, but it is important to have realistic expectations. It takes hard work and is not going to happen over night.
Most sites will fail to earn any money, so it is advisable to keep your day job and work seriously on your project in your free time.
But if you do make it, blogging allows a very flexible lifestyle. You can work from anywhere in the world and you don’t even need to work constantly to make money as your site and content can work for you all around the clock.
Ingredients for making money
These ingredients are needed to be able to to make money from your site and you should work on these first before focusing on monetization:
- Topic. The topic has to be able to be monetized. Some topics are tougher than others so make sure your topic has an audience interested in spending money if you want to monetize the site. See: How to pick your topic.
- Value. You need to create value for your visitors to be able to retain some of the traffic you get, to have your visitors spread the word about your work and to start building trust with your visitors. See: How to create great content.
- Traffic. You need traffic to your site. Without people visiting your site, it will be very hard to get any revenue from it. See: How to grow traffic.
How to make money blogging
There are several different ways you can make money from your site. These are some of the most popular ways. Most commonly you will be able to pick and choose between several of the methods below and diversify your income.
- Become an affiliate
Find opportunity in markets and products you are familiar with. Are you using a product that makes your life easier? Have you read a book that inspired you? As long as the product is targeted and relevant to your blog readership, become an affiliate and promote it.
There are thousands of companies who will pay you commission for sales that you generate through your contnet. This is called affiliate marketing and is arguably the best source of revenue. Finding these companies is simple, just do a Google search for products you like with “affiliate” added on.
Create valuable content about the product, help people use the product better, show how the product can improve their lives, and earn money when they click your link and buy the product.
- Pay-per-click ads
Google Adsense is one of the easiest ways of making money. You place a piece of code on your article and Google automatically lists ads relevant to the topic of your post. Google pays per click and depending on the popularity of the topic you write about, a click can earn you anything from few cents to several dollars.
Negative side of Adsense is that many people have banner blindness (many visitors dismiss banner ads as they find them intrusive), tend to find ads annoying and ignore them.
- Sell your time
You could sell your own time. Become a consultant and charge for people to have one-on-one coaching with you.
You can try your luck and sell banner ads directly to advertisers. Find products relevant to your audience and simply contact the company and ask if they would be interested in sponsoring your site.
- Own product
Develop something that is genuinely helpful to people, that solves some kind of a problem that they have. Package the product in a specific format and sell it. E-books, webinars, courses are some of the popular formats.
- Paid reviews
There are several networks that allow sites to monetize by writing paid reviews. Negative points to this are that you don’t get paid very much and the content you end up creating is of less worth to your visitors compared to the best content.
You will also discover that many people will contact you directly asking to buy reviews or text links. Even though many bloggers accept these, I would recommend to ignore these offers as selling links is not something search engines like and you risk being banned from the search results.
- Donate button
Depending on the topic and the readership of your site, a donate button might be the most effective way of monetizing. PayPal offers these and it just might be the way for you to get rewarded for the help you provide to your readers.
- Use Amazon, YouTube and others
You can use your existing content to earn passive income on other platforms. For example if you produce many videos and upload them onto YouTube, you can become a YouTube partner and monetize your videos.
Similar to this, you can add your site to the Amazon Kindle store and get paid when people read your content on Kindle.
Experiment, test and take your time choosing the best monetization method. Don’t force the monetization and don’t oversell. You will find that the best methods to make money will come to you naturally.
On the way to your first $500
Create the best site you can and grow your traffic, readership and trust. Then strategically monetize using one or more of the above methods and you will be on the way to your first $500 in revenue. If you keep working hard on this, work consistently over a longer term, and as long as you never give up, in due time you will become a success and your site will start making even bigger amounts of money.