Maybe you started blogging because you love writing about what interests you, or you are hoping to start your own business out of this. Either way, there’s a good chance you’ve thought about monetizing your blog. The only question is how you can do that. Following are seven of the options you have available to start earning money while blogging, listed from the easiest to the most complex, but also most potentially rewarding:
Ask for Donations
You’ve probably heard of “tip jars”, or “donation” buttons, “buy me a coffee” or “buy me a beer” buttons… It’s very simple. You just add the button you want on your blog, and if you have loyal readers, you can expect enough money to maybe cover your costs for hosting. Not much, right? A drawback is that it can make your blog look kind of amateur, though not necessarily.
You don’t need a “big” blog to have advertisers. You can go directly to Google AdSense, or you can try selling slots for banners. This works great if advertisers are interested and paying well for your niche, and if you already have a solid traffic to your blog. But be careful not to allow too many ads because they’ll make your blog look overstuffed, unattractive and not user friendly. This will chase the readers away from your site.
Join Affiliate Programs
If you have an audience of regular readers that trust your opinion, and if you are writing in-depth articles and reviews about products and services relevant to those readers, you should definitely start with affiliate sales. This is a pretty lucrative and easy way to make money for bloggers. You are given a special affiliate link to include on your pages, and if someone clicks the link and buys something, you get a percent from the sale. There are many sites that offer an affiliate program. Here’s a list of popular for bloggers. But don’t get into it if you are already selling your own stuff because the links may distract your readers from your products or services.
Create You Own Digital Products
One of the first steps to turning your blogging into a real business can be writing an ebook, creating your own software or other digital product that you can sell on your blog. It takes time and effort to do it, but if you can create something of value for your readers and if they trust your recommendations, it can make you good money. One thing to watch is not to overprice your product. A high price can put-off your readers from buying from you again.
Offer Your Services
If you are skilled in a certain field you can offer your services as a freelancer adding a “Hire me” page on your blog. This is actually the alternative of creating and selling a digital product. You are offering consultancy, writing services, design, etc., but be prepared to dedicate much of your time because you’ll have to work one-on-one with each of your clients. Also keep in mind the niche you work in when setting the price, because some of your readers may not be able to afford your rate.
Selling Physical Products
If you already are in the business of selling physical goods, or have previous experience, you can create a blog to promote and sell those products. This is usually an option for existing online or bricks-and-mortar stores which either produce or buy the products wholesale. They also arrange the shipping to their customers. If you want your blog earning this way be also prepared for some upfront costs.
Create a Membership Site
Readers need to pay a fee (usually monthly) to be able to enter a membership site. But you can set the membership on your blog to be required to access only special sections and content. If you have quality and unique content to share (particularly multimedia) that could interest more readers and create a sense of community, you should definitely try this money-making option. You’ll need some technical support and you should also expect tougher promotion since this is not a one-time payment like with digital products.
How about you? Do you make money from your blog? What methods work best for you? Let us know your thoughts and experiences below!