When it comes to taking your blog to the next level, for the majority of bloggers this comes down to monetizing their content; yet monetization is something that should come second to the primary goal of creating value to your audience.
Now, everyone will say this, as it sounds like the “right thing to say”, yet, think about it from a commercial perspective. Nobody is going to pay to advertise on your site unless you have strong audience stats, a credible domain authority, and the required engagement metric — therefore, the ONLY way you will ever monetize your site in a sustainable way, is to create massive value to your audience so that they naturally engage with your site.
In this sense, if you’re wanting to take your blog to the next level, the core concept is to create more value to your viewers. There are, of course, many ways you can do this, but for the purposes of this article we’re going to look at the mechanics of monetization in the sense of what you can do actually start to make money from your blog.
The only caveat, and cautionary tale, is that you must first focus on creating massive value – as without stepping up the level of value you provide, none of the strategies listed below will work for you.
The second thing to consider is that you need a robust marketing strategy to get people to visit your site, in the first place, which might sound expensive or time consuming, but there are ways you can manage your PPC campaigns automatically and with some creativity you can find ways to squeeze the most out of your marketing budget so that you don’t have to spend a fortune on advertising.
1. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is where you place a special link on your site that has a tracking code, meaning if one of your visitors were to click on your link and subsequently purchase the product you recommended, you would make a commission for the referral – even if the purchase were made several days or weeks later.
It takes sophisticated technology to keep track of who is referring who and making accurate payments to affiliates, meaning you’ll want to go through a reputable third party such as commission junction to manage the process.
If you consider that a recommendation of a book on Amazon is likely to bring in less than a dollar in revenue, it’s not all that much to get excited about, but when you consider that if you were selling a ticket to a training event which is, say $1,000, you could be making up to $300 for each referral you make – meaning, all you would need is 5 people a week to buy something you recommend at a high price point, to make $1,500 per week; just from that one link.
Therein lies the genius behind affiliate marketing; once you have built your content and start recommending related products you can make a lot of money, very quickly, as passive income – meaning it’s an automated way of generating money.
2. Create A Course Yourself
If you’re looking for a bit more control, or to make more of the profit yourself, you could create an online course in a subject related to your topic. It’s likely that you already have the knowledge required to put together a course that can help people achieve a particular outcome, and all you need in terms of equipment is a lavalier microphone, video camera (if you’re doing it that way) or an application such as Screencast if you prefer to do a more simple course that is essentially a recorded powerpoint presentation with a voice-over.
Courses can sell for anything from a few dollars to over a thousand dollars depending on the value you are able to provide. The one core piece of advice within this area, however, is to ensure you focus on a very specific problem – as people tend to pay more to get a specific outcome than they will a general overview of a topic.
There’s always the option to place ads on your site, though there often isn’t all that much money to be made doing this unless you have very high traffic. The other aspect to consider, on this point, is that you don’t want detract from your high value content and ruin your visitor’s user experience.
There are, of course, ways to advertise that doesn’t detract from the user experience and depending on what you advertise – it could be perceived as added value. Just be careful not to turn your blog into a catalogue of ads, as you’ll quickly lose credibility and engagement.