Whether you’re writing a personal blog as a hobby or running the official blog for your business website, you’ll most likely expect to make a profit from it. Although a blog usually does not generate money by itself, monetizing your work on it is totally possible, and today you will discover how to do it.
There is no exact formula for making money, but you can start by trying out a few strategies to see which one best suits your content, business model, and audience. Keep in mind that this process requires time and effort. If you’re ready, let’s find out how to achieve it.
What does it mean to monetize a blog?
Monetizing a blog means obtaining economic profit from the development, publication and dissemination of content through these digital platforms. This monetization requires the design of strategies that integrate the blog into a broad business plan and that lead the reader to consume a good.
Blogs generally allow you to earn money indirectly since they work as a means of attracting customers and prospects. However, there are also some ways in which the blog can make a profit on its own.
Can a free blog be monetized?
The answer is yes. Normally, a blog is free for readers. When Internet user finds your site on the network, they do not expect to have to pay for the content you have published. With the vast volume of information on the web, the easiest thing for the reader will be to find another option that gives you the information for free.
Furthermore, there is a common misconception that blogs are personal diaries that have no real commercial utility, only creative ones. Although this is partially true, especially during the rise of the internet; today it is one of the favourite tools of marketing professionals. In fact, there are bloggers whose only job and livelihood are to keep their blog alive, provide quality content to their followers and earn from it.
But how can you monetize a free blog? Before moving on to specific strategies, we will tell you what steps you should take to ensure that people are attracted to your content.
- Define your topic: this will help you find a topic that you are passionate about and that you can create competitive information about, it will also be essential to estimate the money you can get. For example, a blog about vintage watches may have less commercial success and traffic volume than one about cars or celebrities.
- Invest in the design: the appearance of a blog is almost as important as its content. The first blogs that emerged consisted of solid text and backgrounds. Today you can integrate incredible images, videos and visual tools into your blog.
- Plan your content: a blog will hardly be successful if it only presents the topics of interest to the editor. On the contrary, designing content tailored to the needs of readers is increasingly important. Knowing about SEO will be essential to guarantee that there will be an audience that follows your blog.
Do not forget that there are tools to create a blog and different strategies to generate a conversion-oriented blog. Read on to find out how to make a profit.
8 ways to make money with a blog
- Talk about your offer (discreetly).
- Develop a sales opportunity funnel for your product.
- Offer sponsored content opportunities to other brands.
- Offers counselling services.
- Promote your freelance writing skills.
- Promote affiliate products.
- Create exclusive content.
- Keep in mind the sale of your blog.
1. Discuss your offer (discreetly)
If you work at a B2B company or have a long sales cycle, reading a blog post is often the customer’s first interaction with the actual purchase. However, it is also the most important stage of the inbound cycle. If you try to capture the attention of your audience with useful, educational or entertaining content, you may reach a larger group of users. Then you can convert them into customers and have sales opportunities. In other words, your blog marks the beginning of a relationship with your customers.
The most advisable thing is that if you offer products or services on your blog, talk about the benefits they have in general, without advertising your brand directly. You can even mention your competition, but always highlight the advantages of your brand’s offer. You can also offer free demos or discounts to attract the attention of your readers.
When your visitors have read enough blog posts, you can encourage them to download different resources, such as ebooks, tools or calculators, which can lead to sales opportunities.
2. Develop a sales opportunity funnel for your product
Ideally, you should create captivating, organic content that your audience can easily find you through a Google search or a social network. But you can also pay to extend your reach on Facebook, which is cost-effective and has the best targeting tools of any social network. Or, you can propel yourself to the top of Google’s search engine results, thanks to paid search, even though some keywords are expensive.
When users start to become more and more interested in the content of your blog and want to read it more often, they will subscribe to it: one day they are strangers to your brand and another day they become repeat visitors.
You can then nurture these qualified leads with more blog posts and lead generators, via emails or Facebook ads that use cookie-based retargeting. Continually educating them and helping them solve their problems will build their confidence, which increases the chances that they will move forward in the sales cycle.
When you find that they’ve searched for your product or service, whether they’re reading case studies, requesting a demo, or trying to get in touch with sales, you can qualify their aptitude as customers and continue to motivate them to convert.
3. Offer Sponsored Content Opportunities to Other Brands
Some publishers, like BuzzFeed and The Dodo, produce a lot of content for social media almost every day and make money by helping other brands grow their profits as well.
Generally, the strategy consists of estimating a fee to do an article in which you talk about the benefits of a product or brand, or in which you comment on your experience. Brands will be willing to collaborate with your video production, social media, and analytics teams to create posts and videos that follow their viral formula. This means that your content will reach a large number of new interested viewers and that interactions between the audience and followers will increase.
If your blog generates a significant amount of traffic, you can leverage your publisher experience and audience reach to help smaller brands tell compelling stories to a larger number of qualified viewers. Partnering with other creative minds in marketing not only generates an extra revenue stream but can also help your team develop an unprecedented degree of creativity. An example of this is T Brand Studio, the native advertising company for the New York Times, which created paid posts that achieved as much engagement as some of the best-performing articles on nytimes.com.
4. Offer counselling services
Your blog posts can serve as a sneak peek at all that readers can learn and achieve if they become customers. For example, if you write about how to play the guitar, your blog posts should show readers a small part of the whole. Readers need to practice these skills in real life to notice substantial improvement, but doing so on their own will only improve so much.
If you really want to learn to play the guitar, ideally you should find a teacher who has the skills, technique and experience to guide you. Think about it. What would improve your guitar playing skills the most? Read the biography and sheet music of the Beatles. Or, read the book and take lessons from it?
Like a qualified teacher, your blog is your very important marketing resource, helping your prospects improve on their own while giving them a glimpse of what they could achieve if they really commit. Your blog inspires readers to pursue their dreams, and when they are most motivated to fulfil their potential, they often look for an expert to lead them to excellence.
5. Promote your freelance writing skills
As a freelance blogger, you need to show potential clients that you can write compelling content. To do this, you could capture their attention by introducing them to your previous jobs and performance. Remember that you have access to post performance metrics and full control over the topics you cover. This allows you to write content that you know will delight your target audience and, at the same time, attract more and more potential customers to your blog.
Once your prospects realize how valuable your advice is, they’ll know they can trust you to help them improve their own marketing content.
For example, Eddie Shleyner, a freelance copywriter and content marketer promote his company, called VeryGoodCopy, by writing articles on creative writing, content marketing, and psychology. His articles are so interesting and insightful that companies like The North Face, Geico, and Mercedes Benz hire him to write articles, ebooks, landing pages, website copy, and email campaigns.
6. Promote affiliate products
Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to monetize a blog and it is also a relatively simple process. It consists of partnering with an e-commerce platform or with companies that have affiliate programs and selecting relevant products to promote on your blog. Your partners will send you personalized links to their product pages, which can determine which customers come from your blog. So if someone clicks on the link and buys the product, you earn a commission.
One of the most popular affiliate marketing programs is Amazon Associates. You can choose from over a million Amazon products to advertise on your blog and can earn commissions of up to 10%. This option is better than just including an ad space on your blog (which will be used by any company and does not allow you to have control of what will appear on your blog, which could lead to a bad image of your brand).
Affiliate marketing is the strategy that requires the least amount of time and money: embedding affiliate links in blog posts is free of charge. However, you might want to develop a post related to the link to encourage people to click and buy something.
7. Create exclusive content
As we stated at the beginning, readers generally expect to find free information through your blog. It is not a good idea to open a blog that charges its visitors to access published articles.
However, capitalizing is a great strategy for content creators with a proven track record or who offer niche content that can’t be found anywhere else. For example, if you have conducted research, market research, or a survey on a specific population (which many people will find useful for their company or business), you can set a blog subscription fee to monetize exclusive content.
It is very likely that this strategy will not generate too much money for you, but it will serve to create unique experiences for your most important followers and will allow you to specialize your content for more profitable niches. If, on the other hand, you offer a membership to access the contents of your blog, it is recommended that you invest in advertising and create a brand identity that leads people to pay for what you offer.
8. Keep in mind the sale of your blog
It might seem counterintuitive to sell your blog if you want to continue making money from it, but it’s actually a strategy that has worked for some professional bloggers.
One option to make a blog profitable is to try to scale it as quickly as possible through a topic of commercial interest. When it’s an attractive site for a good volume of audience, you can sell it to be managed by a company or another content creator.
This strategy requires time and effort, so it is not recommended for those who are just starting to publish through these platforms and in a more organic way. But, without a doubt, it is a profitable business model that serves to grow companies with little scope. If you already have a good platform of followers or customers, you can create your blog and then offer it to other brands for additional income.
Are you ready to start making money from your blog? Remember that there are formulas to write a blog in a simple way and various resources on the net that can be useful.
If you still don’t know where to start, we recommend relying on content management software, such as HubSpot’s CMS Hub, which includes a simple tool to create your blog that will help you publish the best content easily. Write On what has been said!