Guest Post by Jock Purtle
Many bloggers don’t start out expecting to make money with their blog. The project is usually born from your passion for a certain topic and your realization that you have something to say. Making money is typically far from the top of the priority list.
However, when you consider how much time goes into running your blog, having it bring in a little money would be a major boost. It would hopefully give you that extra justification for why it’s all worth it, encouraging you to keep moving forward.
But how exactly do you do that? The online space is so crowded these days, it seems like a far-fetched idea that you’ll be able to turn your blog into something that generates real income. Well, no one said it would be easy, but it’s certainly possible. Here are some tips to help you make money with your blog:
Quality over quantity
A lot of times when we think about the success of a blog we tend to focus on the amount of people visiting the site. And while it’s certainly a good thing to have strong interest for your content, there is more value in focusing your efforts on appealing to specific people, rather than just the masses.
The reason for this is that the revenue-generating strategies you can pursue when you have a specific idea as to who your audience is tend to be far more effective. Specifically, you can make use of affiliate marketing: selling other people’s stuff in exchange for a commission.
You don’t need to have an immense following for this to work. Instead, you need to attract people who are keenly interested in the information you provide and the products you recommend.
This is where SEO becomes so valuable. Spend some time researching keywords in your niche, keeping an eye out for high-value ones, those that are associated with a product or service. Optimizing some content for these keywords and then leveraging the influence you have with your readers to sell them products they need and want is a great way to make money with your blog.
And this takes you away from the idea of selling ads. Not only are they a nuisance, they really aren’t profitable unless you are able to drive massive traffic numbers, something that is very hard to do in today’s crowded world. Focus on why your readers come to you and then think of how you can point them to things they will use so that you can collect a commission and generate some revenue with affiliate marketing.
Sell your own stuff
The great part about coming up with your own products or services is that your margins go through the roof. You won’t just be getting a small commission on other people’s products.
However, you need to choose stuff that you can create easily. Popular choices for bloggers are: consulting/coaching services and eBooks.
The reason these are so effective is that they rely on your blog’s greatest asset: you. Over the course of building your blog, you’ve gained people’s trust. They come to you to solve certain problems and they believe that you can help them. By providing resources for them that they can use to better their lives, you are offering a service people will want to use and recommend to other people.
In this case, the only expense you are incurring is your time. If you don’t have this, you could outsource the eBook, but the more personal you can make it, the better it will sell.
Consider asking for donations
This one rarely comes to mind for most bloggers, but it can actually be rather successful. If you’ve done your job as a blogger, then people have learned to value you as a resource. Most people understand that there is no such thing as a free lunch, and they will respond to your call to help if you position it correctly.
Now it’s important to be delicate here; you don’t want to come off desperate. A good way to appeal to people for donations is to point out how you don’t take in money elsewhere. You keep the blog ad-free and don’t do any marketing. People value this independence and will support you. It may be better to do this as a campaign, asking for donations at certain times of the year, so that the message won’t go stale and you can secure more stable funding.
There are lots of different ways to make money with your blog, but they all really boil down to leveraging the relationship you’ve built with your readers. They are there for a reason, and if you know them well enough, you’ll find ways to offer them products or services that genuinely help them and that they are willing to pay for.
About the author: Jock is the founder and owner of Digital Exits. He has started, run and sold several blogs throughout his career, and he considers it an extremely reliable way to make money on the internet. He enjoys sharing his experience with others so that they can enjoy success online.
Leslie Truex is an ideaphoric writer, speaker, entrepreneur, social worker and mom trying to do it all from the comfort of her home. Since 1998, she's been helping others create careers they love by providing work-at-home information and resources through Work-At-Home Success.
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