A Guide on How to Make Money from Blogging
A modern mystery: how do writers actually make money from blogging? To answer this question, we’ve put together a guide to help any blogger generate income from their websites. Even though monetization might seem daunting, blogging can be a source of income. Whether you are a well established blogger, a part-timer, or thinking of starting out, there are a number of ways you can generate income.
The revenue stream you opt for should depend on your blog’s traffic, the content you produce, and your standing. Choosing the right one for you is essential in helping you maximize your earnings. This is why we’ve drawn up a list of seven different ways any digital writer can make money from blogging.
1. Just Launched? Joining an Affiliate Program can be your first step towards monetization
By joining an affiliate program, you are driving traffic from your site towards a third party’s e-commerce website. You generate income through a commission on each product sold to one of your readers, or through affiliate link clicks. This revenue stream is perfect for all types of bloggers because it is effortless and does not require big amounts of traffic. All you need to do is produce quality content, and embed affiliate links within your posts.
Affiliate programs are a particularly good fit for blogs that offer reviews, hold an opinionated stance, or are an expert in a specific field, as it will be easier for them to recommend products. The key is to create partnerships with e-commerce websites whose products are in line with your blog’s identity and subject matter. However, it is often difficult to determine which affiliate program to join. Check out our list of four simple questions that will help you select the best program for you.
2. E-commerce can be a more advanced alternative to affiliate programs
In some cases, bloggers prefer not to join an affiliate program, particularly those who have their own products they wish to sell. As such, you might want to venture into another scheme: e-commerce, which will allow you to sell your own merchandise on your platform. Keep in mind that e-commerce is a much more elaborate venture compared to affiliate programs. Not only will you have to make sure your website has e-commerce capabilities, but you will also have to handle inventory and delivery. So we recommend thinking twice before leaping into e-commerce as it can be a risky and costly endeavor.
3. Want to gain visibility? Maybe Look into Content Syndication
Content syndication means you are selling your already-shared content to another media website. The benefit of this revenue stream is twofold: the first is monetary compensation, and the second is gaining access to a new audience.
By posting an article of yours, your partner website will expose your content to its audience. Do make sure to develop deals with websites that have an overlapping target audience, who are more likely to be interested in your content offering.
When it comes to content syndication, first-time bloggers, who are not yet fully established, will not have enough negotiation power compared to bigger media websites. This is why it might be wiser to join a content syndication network, like Outbrain. Dealing directly with big name media websites, these networks can do all the heavy lifting, while you gain the visibility needed.
4. Already got an established following? Start offering subscriptions
Offering part of your content through subscriptions guarantees a steady source of income. The key here is to have loyal and engaged followers, who are more likely to convert into subscribers.
There are a few subscription models bloggers can choose from, including the Hard paywall model, as well as the Soft Paywall model, and the Freemium Model. For smaller blogs with both an innovative format or subject matter and a niche following, Patreon’s features and audience make it the right platform for you. Make sure to ask yourself the right questions to determine which model best suits your content offering and audience size.
5. Once you’ve produced enough content: Curate, package and sell your content
There is nothing more valuable than good quality content. What starts off as a number of dispersed blog posts, can be curated and turned into a print book. If you have a series of articles that cover one subject thoroughly, you can compile the audio recordings into a podcast, or repackage them into a white paper. So look at every piece of content as a starting point. Repackaging your content into other formats helps breathe new life into them. A great example is the fashion blogger, The Sartorialist who compiled his best street photographs into a best-selling coffee table book, which generated over 100,000 sales.
Admittedly, your standing as an opinion leader plays a valuable role in this revenue stream, so take the time to build yourself a solid reputation before taking this on. Publishing deals come to those who are patient.
6. Once you have gained enough traffic: Consider Advertising
Selling your advertising space can be a lucrative revenue stream. Even though advertising seems to have taken a hit in recent years, three of the four top earning bloggers make their money through advertising, with figures reaching in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. The reason for their success is their high traffic and potential advertising audience.
If you don’t want to get into the nitty gritty of setting up deals with advertisers, you might want to consider joining a publishing network. This means that a third party will secure your deal with advertisers. When it comes to networking, your partnerships will depend on how much traffic your blog attracts, as some networks have a minimum reader base requirement.
7. Once you’ve become an established blogger: you can start selling services
After a couple of years of experience, you can start selling your know-how as a service. At this point, your blog’s success will be used as a main leveraging point in order to attract new clients. Your knowledge can be shaped into copywriting and copy-editing services, consulting or coaching for up and coming bloggers and even social media marketing courses.
Alternately, you can also host events for your loyal reader base, which you will be able to monetize through ticket sales. A good example is Problogger’s yearly conference, where tips and tricks on how to launch a blog are shared with attendees.
Don’t forget to keep analyzing your standing and numbers and to adapt accordingly
Your chosen revenue stream will depend on varying factors including audience size, your renown, as well as amount and quality of content produced. A viable revenue stream for an established blogger, might not be so viable for a first time blogger. Indeed, as you gain more followers, what once seemed as a unfathomable way to make money, will become a lucrative opportunity. To be able to adapt accordingly, keep looking at your numbers, and be willing to pivot when you see opportunity or stagnation.
A crucial part of becoming a blogger, and making money out of this venture is to manage your expectations. You will not be earning millions right away. What’s more, how much you make depends on what kind of blog you’ve created. So remember as you start thinking of monetization, figure out what type of blogger you are: Are you the the part-time professional who’s blogging to supplement their income? The hobbyist who blogs for for fun? The full-time professional who works for a full-fledged blog? The entrepreneur who blogs for their own company? Once you have answered this question, you will be set on the right path.
If you’re looking for an affiliate program to join, make sure to check out the Bookwitty Affiliate Program here.