Many people just starting out online wonder how they can use their blog to make money. Not all of the blogs on the Internet make money, but there is a substantial number that do. This post will cover five ways to start making money using your blog.
Is making money with your blog a good idea?
Let’s focus on a few reasons why it’s a good idea to make money with a blog. First off, there’s a very low start up cost. In the past, one of the biggest problems for people to start a business was the startup cost. Many people desire to start a business, but they don’t have the finances actually to begin. This is the beauty of starting a blog. With a blog, individuals can create a business at an extremely low cost.
Another great reason to use blogs to make money is that people can visit you while you sleep. The Internet is always open for business. People from all over the world can access your blog 24 hours a day. Blogs have a good value proposition in that they don’t have traditional store hours. The number of people using the Internet is growing every single day, and that growth means more potential visitors coming to your blog.
Five things that blogs can do to make money.
1. Sell a product
It’s very common for blogs to make money by selling a product. Even if you don’t have many products to sell, one great product can create an entire business. Some WordPress hosting providers also make it easy to integrate a shopping cart into your blog.
2. Software as a Service (or any type of service)
If a blog isn’t being monetized by selling a product, the next most popular option is selling a service. There are many different types of services that can be sold online. Some people will use their blog to showcase (and sell) their skills in a particular industry. Some people even offer to coach interested individuals as part of their offering.
If you sell a service, you (or your team) are the ones putting in the labor. A different take on selling a service is to use the software as a service (SaaS) model. In a SaaS, the website itself completely delivers the service being offered. An example of a Saas could be a cloud backup provider or a search engine rank checking service. A SaaS uses software to deliver the product, but that still means you have to provide the software engineering, marketing and customer support infrastructure behind it. You can integrate a SaaS offering within your blog by hosting the actual SaaS application in a subdomain or subdirectory.
3. Affiliate marketing
Another great way that blogs can make money is by using affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is when a blogger recommends certain products to its users in exchange for a commission. When doing affiliate marketing, it’s important that the blogger doesn’t recommend any scammy products. The practice of recommending bad products can hurt the credibility of the blogger as a reviewer. Bloggers should always be very familiar with the products that they’re promoting, and they should only recommend products that they feel will benefit their visitors.
Unfortunately, there are many blogs out there where the bloggers recommend products strictly because they know that they will make money on the commission. It’s better to keep your website visitors’ trust and only provide them with recommendations to products that are valuable.
4. Charity and crowdfunding
You can also raise money for causes you believe in through your blog. Charity solicitations are often done simply using a Paypal button. Crowdfunding is another option for raising money for charitable causes. Bloggers can leverage online platforms like GoFundMe, or they can ask their WordPress hosting provider to install a crowdsourcing plugin.
Advertising remains a popular form of blog monetization, and many people use advertising as the primary source of income on their blog. Allowing other websites to advertise to your blog visitors is one of the most time-tested ways a blog can earn money. In order to make a living off of blog advertising, a blog has to have a significant amount of traffic.
You can partner as a publisher with many different types of advertising companies in order to make money. Google AdSense remains one of the most popular advertising platforms for publishers. Google takes care of everything for the blogger by automating the ad exchange on websites using contextual advertisements. All the blog owner has to do is place a piece of code into the site. Google will then show ads that are appropriate for that website. You may get some ads that don’t match your blog’s content, but that’s just Google’s retargeting pixel at work.
Every time a visitor clicks on an advertisement, the owner of the blog can receive a small amount of money. A blog owner may only get a handful of clicks every month, but those clicks can start adding up.
Other publishers choose to partner with in-text contextual ad companies like Viglink and Skimlinks. These contextual ad companies take the content on your blog and match certain keywords to advertisers within their network. If a visitor clicks on a keyword phrase on your blog that is linked to a product, you will get paid if they buy the product through your contextual link.
Find your own monetization path
One of the beautiful things about starting a blog is the freedom you have. Although we’ve gone over five different monetization methods in this post, it’s important to find income opportunities that work best for your blog. Once you’ve discovered a monetization method that works, it makes blogging more rewarding knowing that you’re being properly compensated for your efforts.