How to Monetize a blog (Step by Step beginner’s Guide)
Can I earn a full-time income from my blog? How do I monetize my WordPress blog? I haven’t made a dime from my blog, what can I do? if these sound like the question on your mind, this article is for you.
A vast majority of blog owners dream of building a sustainable income out of what they love doing – blogging. However, this isn’t always the case. Many quit even before they start earning, but this shouldn’t be the case with you.
There are a number of strategies you can use to start making money from your blog. It may take time, patience and lots of hard work, but it’s possible.
Let’s dive in.
- What do you need to make money blogging?
- How to make money blogging
What do you need to make money blogging?
- A profitable niche:
Some niches are more profitable than others. Profitable niches include fitness and weight loss, making money online, health, beauty, self-development, etc.
- Valuable content:
Churning out valuable content consistently will help you grow your audience quickly. Your readers would enjoy visiting your site, thereby improving your blog’s traffic. And a busy site is a better moneymaker!
How to Make Money Blogging
Now let’s get into the part we’ve all been waiting for! How can you really make money blogging?
In this section, we take you through some of the best ways to monetize your blog. You don’t have to implement all at once. Study each one and find out which one is most suitable for you.
1. Affiliate Marketing – How to Monetize a WordPress blog
Don’t have a product or service to sell? Consider going into Affiliate Marketing. As an affiliate marketer, you get a commission for linking a buyer to a seller. This means you get a share for helping a company generate more sales.
There are three major parties involved in Affiliate Marketing. They are:
The Affiliate or Publisher
This is an individual or company that helps to promote an affiliate product. They create blog posts, reviews, or videos that could convince a customer to buy the product.
Since you are trying to monetize your blog, this is the part you’ll be playing. You join an affiliate program (there are lots of them on the internet), find a product, promote it on your blog, track sales, and earn commissions.
Here is the principle – the more visitors you get, the more your chances of earning commissions via Affiliate marketing.
Although this process sounds easy, it requires a lot of work. Improving SEO, driving traffic to your site, building your email list, and creating great content are activities you have to engage in.
For instance, if you own a health blog. Your blog is likely to attract people who want to improve their wellbeing. You can promote food supplements, weight loss products, and other health-related items.
Your visitors are likely to be interested in these products. When they click on the link redirecting them from your site to the seller and make a purchase, you earn your commission.
The Seller or Merchant
This is the creator of the product or service. They use Affiliate Marketing as a strategy to improve sales. A merchant could be an individual or a company. A typical example of a company running an affiliate program is Amazon.
Sign up for the Amazon affiliate program (also known as Amazon associates). Place links to Amazon products on your blog. If a customer clicks an affiliate link and makes a purchase, you get a cut. Your commission depends on the type of item purchased. For instance, you get a 10% commission for luxury beauty products and 4% for physical books.
Other companies running similar affiliate programs include:
- VetShop, etc.
This is the final user of the product or service. They complete the Affiliate program cycle. Unless they make purchases, there wouldn’t be any commission.
Sometimes, a network could act as an intermediary between the seller and the affiliate. These affiliate networks include Clickbank, Commission Junction, etc.
Affiliate Marketing Tips and Tricks
- Develop a strong reputation in your niche:
People will buy from you if they trust you. Grow to become a master in your Niche, act with integrity and your audience would be happy to purchase the products you recommend.
- Don’t Hard sell:
Hard selling is a forceful method of persuading people to buy from you. It could drive more customers away.
- Learn from other affiliate marketers:
Don’t attempt to climb the ladder of success alone. Many successful bloggers today started with affiliate marketing, and it has paid off. Learn what they did and implement.
- Sell only products that deliver value to your audience:
Even though your goal is to make some money, avoid recommending sub-standard products. Recommend only products that are of good value.
- Stay consistent:
Many affiliate marketers chicken out too quickly. Stay consistent! Keep posting good content, improve your site’s performance and SEO, and be patient.
Place Ads on your Blog – How to Monetize a WordPress blog
Not everyone appreciates this idea for genuine reasons. One reason is that it isn’t so profitable. However, it is the easiest means of monetizing a blog.
If you are just starting out, you can consider placing ads on your site before you get a better monetization strategy.
There are various types of ads you can place on your WordPress blog. Select one (or more) based on your blog’s traffic, topic, and audience.
- Cost-Per-Click Ads (CPC)
This is the most common type of ad. As the name implies, you get paid only when a visitor clicks on the ad. Over time, this method has proven to be an effective way of driving traffic to an advertiser’s site. And a way to earn money as a blogger.
To start creating revenue via ads, sign up with an online advertising program like Google Adsense.
All you need to do is sign up, choose the kind of ads you want on your site, then copy and paste an HTML code where you want the ads to appear.
From this point on, Google handles the rest. Relevant ads will be sent to your site and if a visitor clicks on the ad, you get your share of the advertising revenue.
- CPM or Cost-Per-Thousand-Impressions Ads
Unlike the CPC ads, you get paid for displaying CPM ads on your blog, even if no one clicks on it.
CPM ads often fail to generate the same amount of revenue as you would generate with cost-per-click ads alone. However, advertisers love to pay for CPM ads on websites with a high reputation.
Flat Fee Ads
With flat fee ads, you get to directly sell ad spots on your blog for a precise period of time, and for a specified amount.
You have the liberty to price your ads as you want. This kind of ad is perfect for sites with higher traffic and reputation.
To start selling ads directly to advertisers, you can create an ‘Advertise Here’ page.
As a WordPress user, you can use the Ad Inserter (a WordPress plugin) to optimize your ad placements. The plugin also helps you test your ads to see which ad performs well and which doesn’t.
Although this monetization strategy may not pay you in six figures, it has its perks. You don’t need to have a product before using this method. As long as your blog has a good number of visitors, you’re ready to earn.
Sell Physical Products to Your Audience
One great way to monetize your blog is to sell products that align with your audience.
To do this, begin by doing research. What would your audience love to buy? You can send a survey to answer this question. Next, create the product. Then, advertise your product to your audience.
This method is profitable if you already have a significant number of dedicated readers. You can tell what they need.
Matthew Inman of The Oatmeal is one of the many bloggers who monetized their blogs using this strategy. He started out as a blogger accepting donations on his site and moved on to sell posters, calendars, greeting cards, signed prints, stickers, badges, etc.
Sell Digital Products to Your Audience
Selling a digital product on your blog is much easier than selling a physical one. This is because digital products have lower overhead. And you do not have to bother about packaging, or shipping the product. Digital products are scalable and easy to update.
So, if you can, start creating digital products for your audience. Digital products include WordPress themes, plugins, digital planners, landing page templates, etc.
You do not need to be geeky to make money through this means. A developer could help you do all the technical aspects while you focus on marketing and generating other ideas.
Create and Sell E-books – How to Monetize a WordPress blog
An ebook is a book in digital format, designed to be read on an electronic device. There are eBooks on virtually everything – photography, health and wellness, finance, etc. They are quite easy to create.
Steps involved in creating an eBook
- Find out what your audience needs:
There is no point in creating an eBook unless it solves a problem. Find out the problems your readers have. You can do this by taking surveys and checking your comments section for clues.
- Product Brainstorming:
Now that you know what they want, it’s time to brainstorm. What will be the book’s title?
- Create an outline:
This could be a list of bullet points. It doesn’t have to be perfect, simply outline what the topics you want your book to cover.
This is the part that lets you convert your thoughts and ideas into words. Although many folks see this part as tasking, you can make things easier by following your outline.
While writing, remember this – your primary goal is to give value to your audience.
So, how long should an eBook be? The truth is, there is no right or wrong answer to this question. Your eBook could be 4,000 or 40,000 words. Just make sure it solves the problem of your target audience.
Also, do not forget to write your table of contents.
Format your Book and add graphics – How to Monetize a WordPress blog
Pictures make your book look more appealing. Represent data and facts using charts, graphs, and diagrams.
Read through what you have written till you are satisfied. You should also let a second person read your text, just to be sure.
- Design eBook cover:
Create a beautiful cover to wrap it all up. You can hire a designer to get this done for you.
- Convert into eBook format:
PDF is the most popular eBook file format. Others include ePub, AZW, and ODF.
- Publish and promote:
Upload, promote and sell your ebook to your audience. There are various channels through which you can promote your book. You could create awareness via social media and also use guest blogging.
Launch a Virtual Summit – How to Monetize a WordPress blog
It doesn’t matter the stage you are in your blogging career, you can launch a virtual summit. A Virtual Summit is an online conference where a host brings together a set of industry experts for interviews.
Virtual summits are not only instruments for increasing your revenue, they are also useful for growing your email list and online community memberships. Usually, the summits are free to attend and can be accessed for a limited period of time.
The organizer of the summit may also generate revenue by selling an ‘all-access pass’ which allows the attendees to have an ‘anytime access’.
To launch a virtual summit, first make a plan. What will be the title of the summit? When will it be held? How long will the summit be available for access? Who are the guest speakers you’d love to host? What will they speak on? This is the foundation for a successful virtual summit.
When you have answered these questions, reach out to the guest speakers, and invite them. You can get your speakers to promote your event.
Next, create landing pages for your summit. And host your summit.
Create and sell online courses
An online course is a series of lessons delivered over the internet. Among other monetizing methods, sell online courses probably is one of the most profitable ways to start monetizing your blog. By the year 2025, the e-learning industry is expected to hit $325 billion. That’s a lot!
Anyone with some skill can create an online course. All you need a little extra knowledge about a particular field, and being able to present your knowledge in a systematic way.
Now, if you own a WordPress site, you have LMS plugins to make your life really easy. LMS plugins for WordPress include LearnPress, LearnDash, Lifter LMS, Sensei, Namaste! LMS, etc.
So, how do you come up with course ideas? Simple! Identify the needs of your audience, by sending them a survey. Also, you can read up comments on social media or blogs. This way, you’ll find out what they really need. Then, create a product around their needs. Add to this a good marketing strategy and you could be making a lot of money from your blog.
Sponsored Posts or reviews – How to Monetize a WordPress blog
You can generate revenue by posting sponsored posts on your blog. This means you get paid for writing a review about a product on your blog. It’s called influencer marketing. You may not be able to pull this off except when your blog enjoys large amounts of traffic.
If you ever use this method, remember to give honest reviews. Even though you want the money, stay true. Otherwise, you will lose your repute and with it your source of income.
Another method of making money with your blog is by offering a paid membership plan. Many successful blogs use the ‘subscription’ model to generate revenues and you can too. It’s so much easier especially if you have a WordPress website. Simply install a WP membership plugin like MemberPress, S2 member, aMember Pro, etc.
Conclusion – How to Monetize a WordPress blog
Truth be told, making a significant income out of your blog is much work. But, it’s worth it at the end of the day.
We can’t over-emphasize the importance of patience, traffic, SEO, and security to you as you monetize your blog. This is why we have put together a couple of tutorials in our WP college. Be sure to check them out.