Blogging Tips A-Z: M for Monetization

Do you dream of making money from your blog? Would you like to monetize your passion and turn your hobby into a viable business which allows you to work from home and be your own boss?

If you’re providing value to your readers monetising your blog should be a possibility, not a pipe dream.

We’ll look at the four most common ways of monetising a blog including the best and worst ways as well as why you should look into all of them if you want to succeed.

Blog Monetization Options

1. Selling Your Business Services

This is the most accessible way for people to make money from blogging which is why the focus of my blogging advice is to help business owners and writers market their services or products.

Using your blog to market your freelance or small business is the most realistic way to make money from blogging, although you might not be able to track your income directly unless people buy direct from your blog.

I sell my web design, blog design, consultation and copywriting services through my blog. I don’t give my readers the hard sell but I have found many new clients through my blog. Or rather, they’ve found me.

I have my own web design business in New Zealand for 10 years and found that I could never get a job unless I met the client face-to-face. Blogging has solved the problem for me and helped me make a real connection with clients all over the world which is fantastic especially if, like me, you don’t live in a large city.

2. Selling Your Own Products

If people like your blog you can then create your own products related to your niche and sell them. Most blog readers are happy to pay for quality products.

This can bring in an additional income stream and in time, as your blog grows you can choose to focus more on that if you wish.

I sell my blogging ebook. Electronic products like ebooks, video courses or podcasts are easy to sell online because there’s no shipping involved, but you can also sell other products like these t-shirts I created for my travel blog.

Print on demand services such as Red Bubble can organise and ship stickers, posters, clothing and many more items direct to your buyers which is perfect for creative business owners. It’s up to you to decide how much markup you want to put on the items and how much profit you want to turn.

As your business grows you can expand your product range and you may want to consider paid webinars or private membership sites. Anything with a recurring monthly payment can provide a valuable income stream.

3. Affiliate Reselling

If you’re an affiliate reseller for a product you get a payment everytime someone uses your link and buys a product you’ve mentioned on Twitter, Facebook or on your blog.

I recommend a handful of products I believe in and know might help my readers such as the Thesis WordPress theme. Make sure you stick to related products you really recommend and always provide full disclosure which is a legal requirement.

This is an additional income stream for me, not a primary source of income which works better here than on my travel blog where there are fewer affiliate products worth recommending. It only works if you consider your readers first and money second.

4. Advertising and Sponsorship

This is the worst of blog monetisation option because you need to have blog traffic before you can monetize your blog by selling advertising and get interest from advertisers. It takes a long time to build blog traffic so this probably isn’t a viable option unless you have endless time on your hands and don’t need an income right now.

Be warned that if your blog traffic doesn’t grow to over 10,000 readers per month you may never be able to exploit this income revenue, however, if you can build up good readership advertising can turn into a useful income stream.

Advertising agencies like NuffNang (for Asia), BlogHer, Federated Media, RocketFuel or Google Ad networks, can help you find advertisers and cut out a lot of the work. Of course they will also take a cut of your profit but that’s fine as long as you are getting a reasonable

If you’d prefer to cut out the middle man you can find advertisers by seeing what brands are advertising on other blogs or targetting blogs or blog readers then approaching them directly.

Create a professional media kit which includes site statistics, reader demographics and information about who you are and why brands should be interested in working with you. Do some research on rates for other blogs or websites with similar traffic and choose your rates carefully. Be prepared to negotiate but don’t sell yourself cheap. I set my rate high as my brand is a quality brand so I’d prefer to work with fewer brands and higher quality products.

Finally, choose only advertisers that are a good fit for your blog and your readers.

When you write sponsored blog posts write in your normal tone, be honest and enthusiastic, not fake, use lots of photos which advertisers love and only write sponsored posts for products you’d buy or use.

3 Golden Rules of Blog Monetisation

1. Diversify – If you want to make a full-time living out of blogging you will need to diversify and use more than one of these approaches.

2. Experiment -You’ll have to play around to see what works and what doesn’t work, to see what is your readers want to buy and what doesn’t interest them.

3. Persevere – As time goes on and your blog grows you should be able to slowly increase your blogging income.

It won’t happen overnight but it can happen. Read the success stories, allow yourself to be motivated and inspired by them and give yourself time to work out the best blog monetisation options for you.