In 2017, 43% of Americans said they spent at least some time working remotely. A separate study predicted that by 2020, about 40% of the workforce will be made up of freelancers, contractors, and temporary workers.
All to say two things: the gig economy is growing, and there are ways to make money blogging. Granted, many bloggers can and have exaggerated their income, but there are ways to make money if you learn the rules of the game.
With that in mind, here are five key tips for monetizing a blog. Keep in mind that these are the tip of the iceberg–there’s a lot going on within each individual method that you need to unpack. But knowing where to look will give you an idea of how to get started and what you need to learn.
1. Affiliate Marketing
What is affiliate marketing? Basically, it’s passive income (the best kind of income, right?)
The long answer is that it’s a type of performance-based marketing. Here’s the basic life cycle of affiliate marketing:
- You sign up with another company to be an affiliate
- Said company gives you a special link to use on your site as an affiliate
- You spread that link to your followers by various means
- Some of your followers click on the link
- Some of those followers end up buying the product through your link
- Since they used your link, you get a cut of the earnings
A huge affiliate program, for example, is Amazon Associates. But whenever you’re considering becoming an affiliate marketer, there are a few things to keep in mind.
First, you should only become an affiliate marketer for companies that are relevant to your niche. Otherwise, your followers will think that you’re spamming them to make money (which you kind of are).
You should also only promote products that you have personally used and would recommend to your dearest friends as a great product (otherwise, your followers won’t trust you). And on the note of trust, make sure to include a disclaimer telling your audience that you’re an affiliate.
2. Offer Coaching to Motivated Clients
And while we’re talking about trust, that brings us to our next topic: offering to coach to your motivated clients.
Here’s the thing: your clients, customers, and dedicated readers are going to run into issues and challenges at some point in their lives. When that happens, why not be the expert they can turn to for good advice?
After all, a coach’s job is to help people manage their challenges and react in a way that’s effective and positive.
It doesn’t even necessarily matter how long you’ve been blogging–if you’ve spent some time in the business, you’ve garnered a bit of experience in the meantime. You have a few of your own tips and tricks and insider knowledge that you live and die by.
That’s all valuable information that you can share with dedicated clients.
3. Become a Freelance Blogger
Freelancers are a huge part of the gig economy. The truth is, companies don’t have the time to do all of the tasks they need to complete in order to keep their site running successfully.
Blogging is exactly one of those tasks. In order for it to work, you need to do if often and in depth. Most companies simply don’t have time to set aside for that purpose, and many of them aren’t willing to pay a full-time employee for those duties alone.
That’s where you come in.
Once you know what your niche is and have a portfolio you can refer your potential clients to, you can start reaching out to companies and websites about blogging on their behalf.
4. Offer Courses and Services
This is related to the premise of coaching: everyone is an expert in something.
Maybe you know a lot about how to make a great video. Maybe you know all about coding.
This is valuable information that you can distill into a course or a service.
Maybe it’s an SEO service or a course in affiliate marketing. Either way, take a critical look at what you know the most about and start assessing how you can offer that expertise to your devoted followers.
Think of it this way: what’s the subject you’re most passionate about? How can you benefit others based on that passion?
If you were going to distill everything you needed to tell someone about that subject into 40 minutes or an hour, what would you say? What concepts would they need, and how would you explain them?
5. Email Marketing
Finally, everyone’s other favorite form of blog monetization (besides affiliate marketing, of course): email marketing.
But wait, you’re thinking. Why use email marketing? Isn’t social media marketing more effective?
Think of how many times a day you check your email on your phone. Think about how many times you check your email on your phone in an hour.
That’s part of why email marketing is effective–it’s a great way to reach mobile readers.
It’s also a great way to keep your readers informed about your latest posts, offers, and sales. After all, think of how many times you went to a website or store because you were emailed a coupon.
Plus, email marketing is cost effective–you can reach a lot of people for a bit of work and not very much money.
The key to effective email marketing is to avoid the used car salesman effect. You know, that instinctive feeling of anger and repulsion you feel when a used car salesman tries to sell you something every time you take a breath.
Don’t be that person. You might get a few people to buy in, but most of the time you’re going to irritate your customers.
Making Sense of Monetizing a Blog
Ready to start monetizing a blog and earning money by doing what you love?
Great. We’re here to help you figure out how to do it (the smart way).
If you’re brand new, check out our how to start a blog page. You can also check out our blog for more tips and tricks, like this post on how to manage multiple WordPress sites without losing your marbles.