While there are various ways to monetize a blog, many of the so-called “proven” and “best” strategies actually require your blog to be at a certain level for them to work.
For instance, if you’re a new blogger, offering coaching services within your niche or launching a virtual summit may sound lucrative, but it won’t be an effective monetization strategy (yet).
So in this article, we will discuss the various ways to monetize your blog at different stages of your blogging journey. There are 3 stages in your blogging journey, and the best ways to monetize in each of the stages are…
- Stage 1: Getting traffic to your blog
- Joining ad networks
- Promote affiliate products
- Sell merchandise
- Sell digital products
- Email marketing
- Stage 2: Building authority in your niche
- Write for other blogs
- Publish sponsored posts
- Stage 3: Be the authority
- Sell your online course
- Offer coaching services
- Launch a virtual summit
Let’s get cracking on each of them.
Stage 1 – Getting traffic for your blog
Every blogger has to start here. At this stage, your blog might only be a couple of weeks old with lesser than 10 articles. And, none of your articles are attracting traffic yet.
Your main focus at stage 1 should be to produce high-quality content for your blog on a regular basis, and build a list of followers so that you can establish a reliable source of traffic.
Nevertheless, it doesn’t mean that you can’t monetize your blog at stage 1.
Here are 5 ways you can monetize your blog at this stage…
1. Joining Ad Networks
One of the best ways to make money from your blog is to earn ad revenues. There are a number of easy-to-join ad networks that allow new bloggers with little or no traffic sources to join and make money through placing advertisements on their blog.
How it works? Ad networks will have a huge list of advertisers who will pay money to place their advertisements, and by joining an Ad network, you are allowing the Ad network to place those advertisements on your blog.
Whenever an advertisement is shown on your blog, you will make money. Ad networks typically pay a certain amount per 1000 views (CPM).
Your earning potential from ad revenue varies from different ad networks. Some of the highest paying ad networks have strict requirements, for example, AdThrive requires 100,000 page views per month from your blog before your application is approved.
So, we have broken down two lists of ad networks:
- Ad networks for new bloggers with little traffic; and
- Highest paying ad networks for high traffic blogs
We recommend that you join an ad network with low requirements for a start, and when your site has more traffic, you can consider joining a higher paying ad network.
2. Promote Affiliate Products
Affiliate marketing is another great way for new bloggers to make money online without owning any products.
How it works? You will be promoting products and services for other people or company on your blog, and you will make a commission whenever you manage to sell a product.
I’ve created a video that explains how affiliate marketing works, but if you choose to read the associated article, click here:
There are millions of affiliate products and services on the market, and how much you can make from affiliate marketing depends heavily on the product(s) or affiliate program(s) you promote.
If you intend to monetize your blog with affiliate marketing, I suggest you watch this video about the success formula of affiliate marketing:
So, to start monetizing your blog with affiliate marketing, the first step is to join either an affiliate network or an independent affiliate program.
To find independent affiliate programs in your niche, you can search for “your blog niche + affiliate programs” e.g., food affiliate programs or travel affiliate programs, etc.
3. Selling Merchandise
This monetizing method works especially well for blogs in the music or creative niches. You can sell your original artworks and creations to your blog readers.
- If you’re a graphic designer, you can print some of your designs on t-shirts, mugs, and apparel and sell them on your blog
- If you’re a musician or a singer, you can sell your original music
- Are you a talented photographer? You can show your portfolio on your blog and sell your collection of photos and even offer your services
- If you’re skilled in crochet, you can sell your crafts on your blog
This strategy can help you make money even as a new blogger because it doesn’t matter if you’re a nobody, as long as your products are unique, creative, and high-quality, people will still buy them.
4. Sell Digital Products
We are not talking about a digital course here. That’s for stage 3. We are talking about digital products you can create like info videos, apps, guides, resources, PDFs, software components, SaaS (service as a software), and others.
Furthermore, if you have a certain field of expertise e.g., music, engineering, psychology, cooking, etc, you can self-publish and sell ebooks to your audience. Self-publishing ebooks these days are easy thanks to sites like Kindle Direct Publishing, Lulu, and Barnes & Noble.
However, self-publishing might take some serious time investment, but we’re just trying to give you as many resources as possible.
The important thing is that you create a digital product that is related to your blog’s content and provides value to your audience.
5. Email Marketing
A steady flow of traffic is perhaps one of the most important things to work on if you’re planning to make money with your blog. Because no matter how excellent your affiliate products are, it won’t matter if no one sees them on a regular basis.
Now as a new blogger, it may take some time to build a solid following and get a steady source of traffic. However, email marketing can help you address this issue.
With email marketing, you can build a bond and loyalty among your audience by providing them something valuable in return, maybe a weekly blog update, early access to some content, a newsletter, exclusive content, what have you.
For example, if your blog is about foods, you can offer your readers “100 homemade recipes using eggs” in exchange for their email. As an audience, I feel like this favors me because 100 recipes for just my email sounds like a steal.
Or if your blog is about travel, you can give them “10 ways to save money when traveling via plane” in exchange for their emails. You get the point.
But here’s where it gets interesting.
Email marketing doesn’t only allow you to build your email list and stay connected with your target audience, but more importantly, you can use this strategy to sell your own products and services along with affiliate products.
But first, focus on providing value to your readers and only sell stuff when you have gained authority and their trust. You also need to prepare and set up an autoresponder by signing up with email marketing platforms like GetResponse or Aweber.
Stage 2 – Building authority in your niche
This is the stage where you might not be the authority (or one of the top blogs) in your niche, but you already have a regular amount of traffic and followers.
Your blog may also have been live for months and some of your posts are already ranking on Google and other search engines for specific keywords.
It’s also possible that you are making money from the monetizing methods discussed above.
If this is where you’re currently at, then these are the additional ways to make more money with your blog on stage 2.
6. Write for other blogs
During this stage, you’re probably well versed in all the topics of your niche. You know plenty of things about your industry and you’ve developed excellent writing skills.
You can use this to your advantage by offering to write content for other blogs (freelance blogging) in your niche. This strategy can help you gain additional exposure for your blog while making money at the same time.
Chances are, other blog owners will know your stuff, and they are willing to have your opinion on certain topics. But, before you write the article, you want to discuss the terms with the blog owner, like the cost of the article, and whether or not you can place a link back to your website.
To sweeten the deal, you can agree to mention the blog owner on your site. Hopefully, you can build a mutually beneficial relationship, while making money at the same time.
At this stage, you probably know who your competitors are, so you can contact them and ask if they are willing to accept your offer.
7. Publish sponsored posts
As your blog grows in authority and traffic, product owners in your niche will value your opinion about their products and brand.
So, you might already have some brands coming to you offering to pay you money to publish a sponsored post on your blog.
A sponsored post or content can be a blog post, a video, a review, or other forms of original content that you create for the sake of promoting a particular brand.
Basically, you will help brands and companies get more audience exposure for their products or services through your blog’s audience. You earn money, brands get advertising. A win-win.
If this strategy interests you, then here are some ways to get some sponsors:
- Create a Sponsor Page on your blog to let your visitors know that you offer this service
- Create superb contents on your blogs that ranks high on searches to attract sponsors
- Find brands and businesses within your niche that you want to work with and pitch them your services
- Look at other blogs in your niche and find out who are their sponsors
However, you must be careful whenever sharing a sponsored content in your blog because you may lose some followers if you’re not careful. Here are some tips to make money through sponsored post while remaining genuine to your audience:
- Don’t write sponsored post for products that are not related to your niche
- Only create a sponsored post for products or brands that you actually like (or believe in)
- Always give your unbiased opinion about the product; even if you’re getting paid for that content, make sure to discuss the pros and cons
- Be transparent to your audience about sharing a sponsored post in your blog; let them know that what they’re reading is a sponsored post
Finally, keep in mind that you created your blog for long term purposes so be careful not to lose the trust of your readers and damage your credibility just to earn a few bucks.
Stage 3 – Be the authority
Being an authority in your niche entitles you to some of the most lucrative ways to monetize a blog.
At this stage, your blog is already well-known within your niche, you already have hundreds of high-quality posts and many of them are ranking on the first page of Google for certain keywords. You also have a solid following and your blog gets hundreds or even thousands of visitors daily.
Another telltale sign that your blog is considered by many as the authority in your niche is when many other blog links to your content as references. And if this is the stage of your blog, congratulations! You’ve just unlocked the most lucrative ways to monetize your blog.
8. Sell online courses
Selling online courses is one of the best ways to make money with blogging, especially if you are an authority in your niche. This strategy works well as long as the course you create is based on a topic that you are genuinely skilled or knowledgeable in and it stays relevant to what your blog is about.
As an example, let’s not step away from blogging, and let’s say you are a successful blogger who’s made your living from blogging.
Then, you can create online courses about blogging and discuss everything you learned in the industry. You can create courses on how to start a blog, creating your brand, how to rank in Google, best monetization strategies you used, etc.
There’s a good chance that your audience who are also interested in blogging will buy your course because you actually have results to show for. Let’s face it, people naturally want to learn from someone credible.
As long as the topic stays relevant to your blog, you can also create online courses about your hobbies like cooking, music, knitting, sewing, and fishing. You can also create online courses for your passion and skills like photography, playing sports, web development, graphic designing, etc.
If you’re set into creating your first online course, here are some things to consider:
- Read the comments on your post to get some ideas about the common problem that people needs help in your niche
- Get a clear idea and outline the possible online courses you can offer to your audience
- Invest in a decent lavalier microphone and a video camera
- If you aren’t comfortable teaching your course in front of a camera, you can use infographics, present your course in a PowerPoint format, or use some screen recording software to record your screen as you teach
- Find out the average price of the online courses similar to yours and use competitive pricing
It doesn’t matter if the topic you’re teaching in your online course is also being offered elsewhere, you just have to make your’s far better than the other courses out there.
And, having an email list of active subscribers helps you very much at this point, because you can gain instant highly-targeted traffic to your online course.
9. Offer coaching services
Your coaching service can be an upsell of your course. Sure, people who bought your course will gain value out of it, but some people prefer to have a coach or mentor to guide them through.
Needless to say, having a successful mentor will drastically speed up the learning process and increase the chance of success.
Everyone of your students have different learning abilities, so you’ll have to tailor your coaching material that suits each individual.
And, because of the personalized service you are offering, you can charge a much higher price than the price of your course.
Perhaps now you understand why I mentioned at the start of this article that some monetization strategies won’t work well at an early stage of your blog.
For instance, offering coaching services is almost impossible if you’re a new blogger and lacking in skills and experience. It will be like a blind leading the blind.
10. Launch a virtual summit
Virtual summits are a lot more interactive and engaging compared to webinars. The audience can get live interaction with people like you and others who are considered an authority in your niche. It kind of works like a mass coaching session.
At this stage, you are known as an authority, and you are recognized by other authority figure in your niche. So, it is much easier for you to host a virtual summit and invite other authority figures to speak on the summit.
Now, while virtual summits are usually free, they are only available live (you can charge money if you want to). So, to make money, you can offer an “all-access pass” that grants attendees the recordings of the summit, so that they can get unlimited access to the conference material anytime they want.
Another way to make more money with the virtual summit is to offer VIP sessions where some audience can get a more in-depth and exclusive discussion with experts, like you.
Finally, you can also make money during a virtual summit by selling products or courses related to the summit’s topic.
So there you have it, folks! The different ways to monetize a blog at different stages of your blogging journey.
We hope this article provides you with insights on how to monetize your blog effectively. If you are just starting out or you are stuck with your blog, then we highly recommend that you check out this blogging course.
Thank you for reading this article and if you know of any other good ways to monetize a blog that we haven’t included here, you can let us know in the comment section below.
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