Would you believe there are regular people making tens of thousands of dollars from their blog each month?
If you’ve been blogging for a while and considering ways to diversify your income, monetizing your blog can be a simple way to convert traffic into cash.
You may not be selling products directly from your blog, and you may not want to either, but there are businesses that will pay for the added exposure.
Businesses and professionals competing for local traffic are constantly on the hunt for reliable, qualified leads. Ranking visibly in local search results is critical to increasing online exposure, but popular online sites also offer valuable exposure. Blogs with a niche focus can be extremely rich sources for generating qualified leads beyond the scope of mainstream channels.
Companies investing in the same keywords you already use are often eager to connect with other relevant businesses, particularly bloggers with a successful following, or significant local traffic. If you’ve been steadily working your blog for a solid five – six years, monetizing your blog can be done in a number of ways that enrich your reader’s experience, without being intrusive or annoying.
- Pay Per Click
Ad networks are a popular, easy way of monetizing your blog. Services like Google AdSense, Media,net, and Infolinks connect businesses with consumers through a vast network of websites that display ads based on keyword relevance. Relying on contextual data from multiple sources (i.e. email, texting, social media, browser history) ads are displayed for their relevance, instead of randomly.
Let’s say your blog provides information, tips and helpful product information for motorcycle enthusiasts. You may not actually be a motorcycle retailer, but your website attracts people who love motorcycles. Your readers may not be actively searching for a new motorcycle, but they may be in need of repairs, tools, accessories, or information not found on your blog. A potential reader searching the terms ‘motorcycle repair’ might discover a relevant article on your blog. While reading your article, an ad offering local repairs displays. Every time one of your readers clicks on the ad, you get paid.
- Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is a great way to promote products and services you actually support, while providing your readers with additional value. Businesses or organizations you already interact with are a great place to start. They provide you with a unique URL address that links to a product page. Customers who click the link are directed to the product page, where they can purchase the product at a discount, while you get the credit for the purchase.
So, for example, if you’re a personal trainer with a blog, you can be an affiliate for a particular brand of health shake you’re familiar with. Your readers will appreciate the discount they receive by purchasing through you. As an affiliate, you’re not required to warehouse or ship anything. It’s a good idea, however, to include a disclaimer that informs your customers of your affiliation, and stay focused on products or services you would personally endorse.
- Online Tutorials
Online educational tutorials have proliferated on the internet in recent years. Covering just about every topic you can imagine, online tutorials are attractive because they allow users to expand their knowledge, improve their expertise for much less than the cost of a traditional college education. Offering your readers an online tutorial can really help you carve out your own space as a leading expert in your field or local market.
If your blog already provides expert advice, tips and solutions, an online tutorial can not only add subscribers to your list but additional income. Users pay a fee for a series of tutorials, which you can provide in the form of video, audio, or as e-books.
- Banner Ads
Banner ads were once extremely common and continue to be used as a monetization source for successful blogs. If you’re monthly traffic is reasonably high, businesses that share keywords in common with you can benefit from a banner display, which is typically found at the top of the page. Rather than pay you for click-through’s, the prospective business will pay you a fee for hosting their banner.
- Paid Reviews
Companies will also pay you for an objective review of their product or service. If you’ve established yourself as a local software solutions expert, you might be contacted by a software provider to experience and review their latest offering. Paid reviews are completely legitimate, as long as your review is honest and objective.
There are literally a tonne of self-publishing tools and services available to help you take your book idea from concept to professional product. How-To and Self-help books are the most common, but works of fiction, calendars, photo collections, and directories can also be successful products you can sell directly from your blog. Physical copies of your book can be ordered individually on an as-needed basis, so you don’t need a warehouse, storage space, or shelf room. Services like Lulu.com offer easy-to-use templates, as well as an impressive range of support tools for marketing and selling your book strategically.