Having a website of your own can be a pain. I know. There's this constant expectation that you'll be posting new stuff and updating it from time to time.
You get by not putting any time and effort into it, but here's the thing...
Your audience needs you to add new content to your site so they can get to know you and your business - so they can like you and trust you.
Google needs you to post new blog posts to your website because that's how they know you're relevant and deserving of the traffic that they want to send you.
Your power users - the folks who LOVE you and actively go out and spread the word about what you're doing for them - want something that they can share from you because they look smarter because of it!
You see, having a website and keeping it fresh with new content is of much greater importance than you might be putting on it...
But, I get it. Your website or your blog isn't making you any money so why waste the time?
Today, we're going to cover that.
You see, there are 13 different ways that you can monetize the pages of your site, from selling stuff to posting ads to running a job board.
We tend to be myopic in our thinking that we JUST sell affiliate products or we ONLY post banner ads... What ends up happening though is we cap out our revenue because we aren't diversifying our cashflow generators! That's how to make money blogging...
That, my friends, is a big mistake.
So, let's get into it. 13 revenue generators to supercharge your site...
How To Make Money Blogging: 12 Blog Monetization Strategies
Admittedly, there are hundreds of ways to make money from your site. You can sell high end consulting or Kindle books or protein powder.
What follows are my quick tips for how to make money blogging... Stuff that I've done in the past (and still do) as it's done pretty well in generating revenue...
1: Selling Your Products
Although not the easiest to start, selling your products and services is (almost) always the most profitable. Firstly, you aren't splitting the money with anyone else. Secondly, you have an audience and distribution, so you know what they want and what they'll buy.
I've read a lot lately about information and how it's dying. I don't think that's quite the case - but it IS changing! Gone are the days of Clickbank ebooks making a killing for $47 a pop. Sure, some of that still works but we're seeing far fewer stories like that.
Products that are selling; video courses, memberships, Kindle ebooks, higher-end hybrid courses (course plus coaching), and events are all thriving. If you need proof of that, just check out any of the marketplaces, like Udemy or Kindle.
I've also done a podcast in the past on effectively preselling products...
Now, the bad news. Running your offers is awesome and it's one of the best ways to answer the "how to make money blogging" question, but there are things that you'll need to be successful.
- Email Copy for your autoresponders
- Sales copy like a webinar or a video sales letter
- A merchant account, whether that be something like Clickbank or Stripe
- Customer support, like through ZenDesk
- A steady source of traffic, especially when you're getting started!
This is a longer path, so it might be smarter and simpler to start with affiliate marketing or banner ads...
2: Selling Services
Another way you can make an offer to your audience is to sell services. That might be websites, consulting, coaching, or masterminds. Your audience will tell you what you need to sell. They're usually pretty vocal about it. That's how to make money blogging... For them at least!
I've had a Marketing Done For You Service for years, where I work with clients directly. It doesn't make a huge portion of revenue but I get incredible satisfaction from it, which is why I still do it. It can be trying at times if a campaign isn't working out as planned, but those phases symbolize growth, which is something we all need!
Examples of some services you can offer through your blog:
- Coaching on something you are exceptionally experienced in (or what your blog topic is about!)
- Consulting for individuals or groups based around the topic you write on
- Starting a mastermind for like-minded people who all share the same purpose and would benefit knowing each other.
- Hourly services for smaller, freelance types of projects
There are lots of different ways to take this one. Just listen to your audience and figure out what you want to do in the years to come...
3: Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate Marketing is where you sell products that aren't your own, but you get a commission. Sometimes, that commission can be 75% to 100% of the purchase price.
I've done a LOT of affiliate marketing, and written a lot about it over the years. Some of the best material I have can be found here:
- Step by Step Process For Promoting Affiliate Products
- How to Set Up a Hidden Affiliate System (for you product owners...)
- The Lead Fire PDF - setting up Facebook ads to a landing page successfully (screenshot tutorials)
- Affiliate marketing as an additional profit stream
At the end of the day, affiliate marketing is about solving a problem for your audience. It doesn't matter that it's not your product - if it'll help it should be in their hands! You still get paid for it!
As an affiliate, answering the question, "how to make money blogging," you usually make the lion's share of the money and you deal with next to zero of the hassle...
4: Banner Ads / Ad Network / Private Sales
A few days ago, I posted a very long, very thorough explanation of ad networks and their place in the blogging monetization ecosystem.
The premise of it is this...
Sometimes, you get paid on a cost per click (CPC) basis (every time someone clicks, you get paid). Other times, you get paid on a cost per thousand impressions (CPM) basis, where you make money every time someone sees your ad.
There's another way to profit from the real estate on your website that wasn't mentioned...
Private Site Buys.
As an advertiser, private site buys are the holy grail of media buying. When you buy ads directly from a website owner, you can negotiate better rates (much better) and you effectively cut out the middleman (the ad networks).
Now, Buy Sell Ads started as a way for bloggers to list their inventory and get paid. They still do some of that, but they've grown up a lot. Now, you need a certain amount of traffic and blah, blah...
The BEST way to get private ad requests is to simply put a page on your site, in the main navigation area, detailed your traffic, your demographics, banner sizes, and the cost.
There's a LOT of money exchanged in Paypal for Private Site Buys every single day... Keep it open as an option for your site as well.
5: Text Link Ads
We talk about text link ads a little bit in the ad network article, but they don't produce near the volume that they use to...
The idea for how to make money blogging is that someone gives you money and you put a link to their site in individual articles or on your whole site. It used to boost search engine ranking incredibly well. Now though, it serves as a great way to get native traffic to your landing pages and sales pages.
There will be a time or two that you'll be approached by someone offering to buy a link on your site. The nice thing about text link ads is they can be upsold pretty readily...
If someone offers you $50, tell them you only do yearly deals, so it'd be $400. They save 4 months and you get all the money in one shot. They'll pay you and you'll never hear from them again.
(NOTE: Remember to take the link off your site though!)
6: Sponsored Content
Sponsored content is a bit like a text link ad, but it's usually more time-consuming.
Typically, it comes in the form of writing paid reviews for companies. In terms of how to make money blogging, they'll give you some money and the product, and you'll write a review based on your experience.
The vendor hopes to engage your audience and get some business out of it. You, well you get to demo something cool, tell your friends about it, and get paid to do it.
Plus, it'll be a piece of content that you don't have to think real hard about writing...
These might also come in the form of advertorials, which are content marketing strategies. They're fine - just make sure to choose wisely!
7: Site Sponsorships
Site sponsorships are where someone sponsors your entire site. I see them a lot in woodworking because I'm constantly trolling through wood projects, looking for weekend projects.
Here's a great example: Ryobi Nation
Ryobi is a tool company and they sponsor bloggers who build stuff... Simple enough.
They give them tools and (maybe?) pay them for their involvement, and the bloggers share their experiences through the Ryobi tools.
I don't know what the requirements are, like if they have to take photos with the merchandise on every post or what... All I know is I see Ryobi all over Pinterest in browsing through wood projects.
There's no reason why you can't have a sponsor for your site... Maybe a piece of software or a corporate partner who pays some of the hosting bills...
8: Job Boards
Job boards are another great source of income for bloggers who have a strong audience. A great example is Problogger's.
It's simple, clean, and makes Darren plenty...
The trick is having a blog that has enough traction where you have both people LOOKING for jobs and people who need talent.
9: Sponsored Mailings
Sponsored mailings, otherwise known as 'solo ads' are great for a burst of cash too. If you're building an email list, and you should be, you can rent your list out to anyone who wants to pay for it.
Entire industries have been built on buying data, both email addresses and mailing addresses... And an industry that you'd be participating in if you allow other people access to your list.
The prices are largely determined by responsiveness and list size and can go up to $70,000 for one mailing... That's for tens of millions of people, of course, but you get the idea :0)
The process? A vendor approaches you for a mailing. You charge him/her money. They send you their email copy. You mail it out.
Done. Doesn't get much simpler than that now, does it?
As a blogger, you are at the center of the action. You have buyers. You have sellers. You have creators. You have consumers...
All on the other side of your blog.
Connecting them in a meaningful, financially benefiting way is what we call brokering. It takes getting to know the people who follow you, but the simplicity of this model can't be overstated.
If you connect a vendor and an affiliate, you should get 10% of everything that's sold. If you connect a creator with a consumer, you should get a finder's fee.
You need to wedge yourself in the middle and make the transaction happen, but you can do it because it's your site!
11: Podcast Advertising
Everyone's got a podcast it seems. Way back in 2006, I started my first one... Way before they were cool!
Since, I've started and stopped a few of them, always getting too busy or caught up which is entirely my fault. Today, I considered starting one for each of our software properties.
Will that happen? I'm not sure. But, if you have one, you might as well be selling sponsorships!
Revision3 started with one show - Diggnation. The stumbled on how lucrative podcast sponsorship was. They were drinking a type of tea on the show and the place that carried it ended up selling out, so...
Diggnation started accepting cash for sponsorships.
Since, Revision3 has grown to be a HUGE brand, with millions of podcast viewers every month with their shows.
There's no reason why you can't start selling advertising blocks on your podcast!
12: Video Advertising
This last one is something we'll see a lot more of. With so much content being created and consumed online, it only makes sense that a lot of those videos will start having ads that the creator is paid for.
Now, Youtube and the video creator split the ads that are before the content... But, ads IN the content are solely paid out to the creators themselves!
Like podcasting, we'll start to see in video commercials, like what's on TV, rather than letting Youtube suck up all that space...
If you're into video, then start thinking of creative advertising packages that you can offer sponsors!
Your Next Step...
If content marketing and blogging are important to you, but you just don't have time to sit down, do the research, and write blog posts from scratch...
Hey, what's up? This is Jason Drohn. Welcome to GSD Daily, number 45. So if this broadcast gets cut off halfway through, or at any point, there's some... So our internet went out last weekend. So we called and they came out, and they had to run a new cable from the road to the house. And so the cable, literally it has been just hanging out on top of the yard, waiting for somebody to come to bury it. And today, right now, somebody is outside of burying the cable. So if it gets cut off, then they screwed up. So there's that.
Today we're going to talk about how to make money blogging.... 12 tips that will supercharge your website. So this serves two purposes. The first is to recap the last nine episodes, which we went through and talked about creating products, selling services, selling coaching, selling consulting, building software. So we went through and dove deep into nine business models. Huge business models that you can use in your business if you choose. We're also going to dig into some additional things, affiliate marketing stuff today. So this kind of serves as the capstone for this last couple weeks' worth of material.
Now, there is a blog post that we're going to be kicking through, so I'm going to add this over into the comments. For those of you who are new to me, my name is Jason Drohn, and I am the creator of doneforyou.com. And we specialize in helping people build and sell their stuff online. So we create and sell. Create their digital products, their coaching programs, everything else, and then also automate the sales process to make it easy from a growth and scalability standpoint.
So the article that I just sent you in the chatbot, or the comments there... I'm going to go ahead and just pull it up on the screen real quick. So here we go. So how to make money blogging. Let's make this a little bit bigger so you can follow along with me. So we talked about nine of these revenue generation strategies in the last nine episodes.
So the first couple of days we talked about selling your products. And you can sell your products. You can either sell eBooks, you can sell video courses, membership sites, the things that you create. And those things would be information-based. So if you have a particular skillset or something you're good at, or an experience that you have, or something you lived through or something you worked through, and you can help other people make that same transformation, then they will pay you money for it. They will find you online, and then whether it's a book, whether it's a course, they will learn that from you.
And right now in this pandemic that has never, ever, ever been more true, because people are learning stuff and they're spending money on education. They're pivoting, they're upping their own game. They are on this self-development, personal development kind of journey. And everybody is all at the same time. So information products are selling better than they ever have. And more people are more comfortable with spending money because they have to now. So selling your products is a great way of generating some cash flow from your website. It's also the most scalable way, and you're not trading time for dollars. So you're not trading hours for money. In terms of how to make money blogging, you're a trading product for the money. You're creating a product, you're packaging it once, and then you're selling that thing 10 times, 100 times, 1000 times. You're still selling that knowledge or that information, but you've replaced yourself. You're learning how to make money blogging because you're able to sell a lot more of it and you're not personally responsible for delivering it and fulfilling it.
Number two is selling services. And we talked about selling professional services, I think it might've been yesterday. And this is selling... I mean, it can be accounting, it can be legal work, it can be web design, it can be coding, it can be graphic design. You name it, you can sell services online. The primary kind of way that you generate those leads is you have a video on your website and then you have them click the button below the video to apply, or fill out the form underneath the video to apply to then talk to you. That's the modality of how you sell services. With services, they're highly complex and they're expensive, services are. They're more expensive than a $67 digital product. Do you know what I mean?
So you need somebody to express interest, and then you're probably going to be closing on a sales call, or at least some sort of a consultative sales thing because people want to know that you're able to customize your offer for them. Even if you're selling logo design. You're rarely going to get top dollar for logo design and also be able to sell it without talking to somebody. You can think of Fiverr as a great example. For them to sell services, they have to only charge $5. So is your design work rather than $5? Well, I'd hope so. On Fiverr, sure, you can sell a great volume of things and then upsell as you create a relationship with somebody, and that's an entire business model all unto itself.
But at the same time, when you're trying to figure out how to make money blogging, you're not going to come right out of the gate, charge a $1,000 for logo design and then hope to sell it through an add-to-cart page. So selling services requires a relationship and it requires handling. So somebody when they come to your website, they need to have a way to raise their hand and say, "Yes, I'm interested. How can I get more information?" And then you call them. So that's how you sell services.
Affiliate marketing we've touched on a little bit in the past. Not necessarily in the previous series, but in these sessions we've talked about affiliate marketing. So you can sell affiliate products, and if you go to like ClickBank... ClickBank.com. This is an affiliate network. You can go and sell digital products through ClickBank and then get paid 50%, 75% commission on those products. You can also go to an affiliate network like [CPA.com 00:07:20] or commissionjunction.com. You can become an advertiser or a publisher, and you can promote things on commissionjunction.com and get paid a commission. You can do the same thing with Amazon. So you can link to anything on Amazon. Amazon affiliate program. It's called Amazon Associates. If you're an Amazon affiliate, you can link to anything on Amazon and get paid as an affiliate.
One quick want to learn how to make money blogging...
So if you're recommending a book on Facebook, you can make 4%, which isn't a lot, but it's still something. And then you get paid for everything somebody orders within 24 hours. So if they buy the book and they also buy dishwasher detergent and supplements and a TV, then you get paid on all of it within a 24-hour window. So that's another way figuring out how to make money blogging. I used to do a lot of affiliate marketing. We still do a little bit here and there. I don't go out of my way to do affiliate marketing anymore. Even if I post something on Facebook, like a book or something, I don't go track down any affiliate link and then post it. But if it's there, then I will. Sometimes for CRMs and stuff, you can get affiliate links and software, and they pay monthly recurring. So when you get a sale, then that sale continues paying you for a long time.
Banner ads are great when you're learning how to make money blogging. Banner ads, ad networks, private sales. Whenever you have a banner ad on your website, you can go to a company called BuySellAds. And on your website pages, you can put banner ads. BuySellAds is a place if you have a lot of traffic coming to your website, you can submit your site to BuySellAds and then they might include you. Probably the best and easiest way to just get started though is if you go to Google AdSense. Google AdSense is a way to earn money on your website by showing ads. And Google manages it. It's the other side of their AdWords platform. So businesses come in and they spend money to advertise to people. So here they're spending money in AdWords, and over here we have bloggers who are posting those ads on their website. So Google is then taking that money and then splitting it with the publisher.
In answering the question, how to make money blogging, a great way is AdSense is. So you can go to, I think this is adsense.google.com. And that's just google.com/adsense. Sign up for an account, and then you can generate money from the people who come to your website. Then they click ads and then you get paid per click, or sometimes you get paid per 1,000 impressions. You're not going to make a lot of money with AdSense. That's not a great way of going about how to make money blogging. I mean, you can, but you're going to make far and away more money selling services or selling products. But it is a way to generate revenue. And there's an entire school of thought that you can just have 300 websites, and then each website is generating $100 bucks a month. So then that adds up to some pretty significant revenue. Which is fine if you want to manage 300 websites, with the content and everything else. So you just have to figure out what it is you're looking for.
TextLinkAds is another one that I used to make a lot of money on. When I got started trying to figure out how to make money blogging, TextLinkAds huge for me... TLA was a website. It was kind of a broker service that, what they would do is they would give you $50 bucks or $100 bucks to put a little text link on the sidebar of your website. And this was way before the SEO stuff started cracking down. It was my absolute biggest way of generating revenue before I knew what the hell I was doing. So I was making $600, $700 a month just with this little block of TextLinkAds because my site had a pretty good page rank on it. That was 12 years ago, 11 years ago, maybe. That practice has since kind of gone away because Google found out that people were doing it to artificially rank in the search engines, which was the primary reason people were doing it.
But now, some people are going to email you on your... So I probably get four or five of them a day now. People are wanting me to put an article on my website and they'll give me $50 bucks for it. Or they'll want to put a link in my content or they'll scan through my blog posts and find a keyword phrase they're trying to rank for. And then they'll email me and say, "Hey, I'll give you $100 bucks if you can put my link right here." That's a quick way of figuring out how to make money blogging! Or sometimes they just want it for free. But oftentimes they tell you they'll pay, they will pay. So if you want to do that, that's fine. My strategy is different. I mean, every keyword phrase in the site is there for a reason. A lot of the keyword phrases that they're looking to monetize, I also want to monetize, and it's worth more to me not letting them monetize that because I'm ranking for it. So, there's that, but it is a way to generate revenue.
Another one is sponsored content, kind of in that same TextLinkAds vein. People will pay you to place their content on your site, or also for you to write content promoting them. So it's all content-based, but they might pay $50 an article for you to review their offer or review their product, whether it's physical or digital or whatever. Or they will send you a full article and it'll have three or four of their client links in it and then they'll pay you $50 bucks for that article. $50 or $100, or whatever. So just know that they're getting something out of it too. I mean, they might have three or four clients all with links in this article, and each of those clients paid them $100 to then pay you $50 to put it on your website.
So there's always that. I mean, sometimes you can reach out right to the end-user and say, "Hey, I have a lot of content if you want a link." So there are lots of things around sponsored content, but it's just an important understanding of how the money transfers in this so that you can then maximize your revenue. Do you know what I mean? So like here, the vendor hopes to engage your audience and get some business out of it.
Another one is site sponsorships. Site sponsorships and podcast sponsorships are big. Well, they were. They were big. There was an article I was just reading yesterday morning. I might have posted it somewhere. But it was talking about how the podcast revenues are down because advertisers are pulling out of the market. So, how to make money blogging... And so if you want to start up quickly, podcasts are great ways to do it right now, if you want to drop some money in a podcast sponsorship. That's a good way of figuring out how to make money blogging... And how very few things fuel a startup quite the way a podcast sponsorship does. I don't know that that is true or not. I've never sponsored a podcast, so I don't know. I think the article was in Ad Week. But it was interesting because podcasts and site sponsorships are kind of in that same vein. There's a lot of advertisers that are pulling out of the market right now.
So if you want to sponsor the posts of a website or the podcast episodes... Which podcasts live on in perpetuity. So do posts, but podcasts you still get traffic from those sponsorships forever. I had a podcast like 10 years ago. It was just dumb and I was just playing around with it. And I think I had like 13 or 14 episodes, and it was a site that I first started called JD's Blog. And the content was... it was random. I just kind of talked about whatever I was thinking. So the content wasn't very focused, but I stopped updating that site. And then like two years later I logged back in and there were like 50,000 people who had downloaded that podcast over like the two years that it was just sitting there.
That was well before a lot of podcasts started. But podcasts have this incredible longevity, this incredible lifespan to them. So a podcast sponsorship wouldn't be a bad idea. But the site sponsorships are a little bit less sticky. Because the site sponsorship, unless it's attached to like a post, you're probably not going to get any long longterm traffic from it.
Job boards are another one. If you have a site with a lot of traffic, you can get away with adding a job board. A great example is a ProBlogger job board or anything content marketing related. So if you have a lot of content marketers who are coming to your site, you can go to the job board, and then other businesses know that they can come to you for content marketing.
Sponsored mailings is another one. Solo ads. So if you have an email list, then you can charge $20 per email send or whatever. Not $20, but like $200 per email sent, or $1,000 per email sent. And what you're going to do and how you would kind of base that metric, is you know that if you send an email, you're going to get roughly... Let's say you get roughly 2,000 clicks. Well, each of those clicks is worth roughly $0.50. So that mailing will cost $1,000. So that's typically how people end up pricing their sponsored mailings.
Some other passive ways, you can broker deals. As a blogger, you're really at the center of the action. So you have buyers and you have sellers, you have creators, you have consumers, so you can create opportunities around the content. If you contact the vendor in an affiliate, you can get 10% off everything. So this is where some of the second-tier affiliate marketing comes into play. So you have content, you might have an affiliate, and then you have a publisher. You can bring those two together and make 10%. It's glorified business development, is what it is. And then we talked a little bit about podcast advertising up above, and I said something about... I wrote this article four years ago.
So video advertising is another way. Video advertising. The two big ways now, the two big, easy, low cost, easy ways of getting started with video advertising is you just upload a video, either a video or a bumper ad, to either Facebook or YouTube. And then your video is served up before the actual video starts, or it's sort of up in the stream, depending on the length. So you have a video that is presenting itself as a commercial, and you're only paying like $0.01 per view or $0.02 a view. I had a webinar last night and we were digging through some video engagement. And there was one live stream that I did that we kind of went through the stats, and I had spent $120 promoting this live stream. And for the $120, I got 122 people who watched the entire live stream beginning to end.
So, somebody is on Facebook and they're just scrolling through and then they see my live stream. And the live stream is like 27 minutes long. And then they just sit back and then they watch it. And it's like, I can't say that I have done that in a very, very long time. I don't know what I would have. I don't think I would just grab a live stream and then watch it for 27 minutes. And my live streams aren't all that entertaining, so yeah, it was interesting. But video advertising, it's easy to get into, especially when you start with a live stream and then you promote it. Or you do clips or bumper ads, little six-second video clips and then you upload them. Yeah, that's pretty nice.
Now, next week we're going to talk about going in and selling online, selling on the phone. It was an idea that struck me yesterday. I think we're going to have some guests. We're going to have some guests who are going to come on and talk about some phone selling strategies. I'm going to reveal some of my tips for selling on the phone, and this is going to be high ticket stuff. So some of the things we talked about during the week were selling coaching, selling consulting, selling high ticket digital products, all of those require a sales call.
So next week, it's going to be entirely about selling high ticket offers on the phone. And I'm going to walk through some of my processes and then there's going to be some guests who are going to walk through some of theirs. I'm excited about it, it's going to be a lot of fun. I'm still waiting back to hear from a couple of people to see if they want to share some of their strategies because they're pretty behind-the-scenes people. And I know they sell the lights out and they know they sell the lights out, but I don't know that they want to get on publicly and share their strategies. So I'm kind of hitting them over the head a little bit.
But yeah, I think that's about it for the week. If you have any questions at all, go to doneforyou.com/start, and I will be glad to get on the phone with you, answer any questions, build up an action plan, all that good stuff. And if there's anything else we can do, just let us know, okay? All right, thanks. Bye.