Blogging has grown into so much more than the thousands of ‘hello world’ blogspots it was originally associated with.
Granted, the ‘me too’ blogs are still out in full force, but there are thousands of people making a decent living from their blog.
Blogs have become a key part of many businesses marketing strategy, too. Having a blog offers a space to express thoughts and reactions to new challenges, or just to update customers on a firm’s daily goings-on. Here’s an example: a company called Best Escapes that have a blog to talk about new holiday lettings they’ve added.
It’s useful for a company to be able to share thoughts and expertise without having to add entire new sections to their site, and blogs are a good way to continually drive traffic by writing about a relevant topic.
For those with personal blogs, there are certain strategies one can undertake in order to transition from a hobbying side-project to a full time money-making venture.
Monetizing a blog doesn’t have to be all about ads. Ads get blocked, they might be a detriment to user experience, and if you don’t get much traffic they just aren’t particularly serviceable.
Instead, here are a few ways that you can really monetize a blog, drive traffic, and get paid for writing your content.
Depending on what kind of blog you produce, you might have a very particular set of skills or a knowledge set that you can pass onto your readers. Producing an informative whitepaper about a given subject is a great way to begin your path to monetization, if you can turn downloads into sales.
By offering a how-to guide or information pack in exchange for an email address, you can quickly build a mailing list of potential prospects. In future, those prospects can be targeted to sell further information packs or guides, or even whole educational courses.
Sell Your Services
Just like the expertise you can share with readers, you can actually share your practical skill set with them. By offering freelance services or having a page dedicated to your business practice, you can use a blog to drive leads and get new clients.
In this way, instead of a blog being an afterthought to a business website, the blog becomes the main event, and its purpose is to draw attention to your services. Not every post has to be about the services you offer, either, opening up all kinds of opportunities for content marketing in different areas.
Direct Ad Sales
Having said that advertising isn’t the only option, it’s worth considering an alternative to selling space to a big display network. Selling your own ad space has the potential to be time consuming, but could also prove very lucrative in the long term.
For starters, you can sell the space for much more than a service like Google’s would pay, because there’s no middle man. Secondly, you can make sure that the ad content is relevant to your readership, and that the ads themselves are displayed in an unobtrusive way.
Paid Posts and Paid Content
A fantastic way to drive revenue is to offer paid post spots on your blog. Essentially, this means taking payment for writing on a certain topic. You could, for instance, write a review on product on behalf of a site that sells that product, or the manufacturer.
You should do so under the agreement that you’ll write an honest review, so your readers still benefit from impartial advice. Taking payment for writing positive reviews is a slippery slope, and is best avoided if you want your blog to have any integrity.
Sell A Product
If you’ve got something tangible to sell, or maybe an ebook, make sure you gear your blog towards driving sales. If you don’t have anything to sell, you should strongly consider the possibility.
Physical sales take time to manage and get right, but this could turn into a steady revenue stream for your blog, so long as you regularly engage readers and slip in the odd reference to your wares. You don’t have to set up an entire ecommerce platform to get started in the world of ecommerce.
If you get a decent amount of traffic, it’s a worthwhile endeavour trying to workout what your general demographic is. There will be a certain section of people that you target, but what’s important is the kind of person that’s actually reading your site.
If you’ve got a good grasp on what your readership looks like, it might be time to seek sponsorship. Approaching a company to sponsor your site for a week or month at a time could be a lasting way to guarantee revenue. Users get a minimum amount of disruption, you get money for the sponsorship, and the sponsor gets a captive, known audience to market to.