No matter what topic your blog is about, you can always find ways to make money from it.
If you can't, send me a message on Twitter and I'll help. Seriously, do it.
There's so many ways you can make money with a blog, but not all of them work well.
In this post, I'll show you some of the most common methods for earning money with a blog.
They're common, because they work.
Let's get into it.
1. Build a mailing list
Hands-down, the best way to make money.
You'll no doubt have heard the saying "the money is in the list".
There's a reason this is said a lot.
If you have a website, you need to focus on building an email list.
Sadly, people don't pay as much attention to email now as they used to. Having said that though, email marketing is still insanely powerful.
People on your mailing list will already be aware of who you are, and have signed up because they're interested in what you have to say.
Because of this, these people have some degree of trust already built with you. This means they'll be more willing to buy a product or service from you than just a regular visitor would.
You can write to your email list when you;
- Create a new blog post.
- Want to tell your readers about a product you've launched.
- Want to promote a product you use (you could slip in an affiliate link).
- Want to tell your users about one of your new sites (or move domain).
Your email list is your most valuable asset. Treat it as such. Your main focus should always be to get more subscribers.
2. Affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing is a very quick and easy way to make money.
I made $1225.35 using Amazon affiliate marketing, with only 3 hours of work.
The process is simple;
- Signup to an affiliate network.
- Find a product to promote and promote a special link
- Get people to buy the product using your link and get a commision.
That's it. This is probably one of the easiest ways to make money online and you see it everywhere.
Affiliate marketers usually build a 'micro-niche' website based around a certain product. Like a specific make of lawnmower, a specific type of kids toys, car accessories for a specific make of car, etc.
Building a micro-niche website around a certain type of product allows you to target users with buyer intent. You can target keywords like;
- Where to buy <product> for teenage men
- <product> reviews
- <product> accessories under $30
Naturally, it's far easier to promote products you use and love, than ones you've never tried. This will make writing content and reviews much easier.
This is a fairly obvious point, but it's amazing how many people forget. You should choose products that are as related to your blog topic as possible, of course. There's no point in promoting products that are only slightly related to your content.
3. Banner adverts
One of the best ways to make quick, easy money is of course through banner adverts.
Personally, I would stay away from banner adverts. There was a time many years ago (around the turn of the century) where people would willing click on banner adverts through interest. Sadly, as time has went on, we've become used to banner adverts and don't click them as much.
Here's some facts to consider;
The average click-through rate of display ads across all formats and placements is 0.06%. Not 0.6, 0.06. That means that on average, it takes around 1667 people to look at an advert before one clicks.
There are now 198 million active ad block users around the world. That's 198 million people that have purposefully disable adverts from showing in their browser.
- According to Adobe, a whopping 33% of internet users find adverts completely intolerable.
Still want to show banner adverts? I know banner ads excites you because they're quick and easy to put on your website, but as you can see, banner ads are dieing. They make you lose credibility and trust with your readers. You'll find that finding other, more natural ways of generating revenue will end up better in the long-run.
That doesn't mean you can't make good money with adverts though. Some people are still making a killing from banner ads.
4. Sell a White-label Product
If you're willing to invest a lot of time and effort (if you're not, what are you doing here?!), you can look into white-labelling a product.
As you can imagine it's not the easiest thing. You'll have to find a product that you can purchase in bulk, and from a company that will allow you white-label their product.
You'll then have to pay for labeling, designing of the labels, storage of the product, distribution of the product, etc. You'll need to make a few calls and do a bit of paperwork to get this all sorted out, but the pay-off can be really high if you execute the process well.
5. Build a Membership site
If you plan to have exceptionally good content, or want to provide some kind of 'master mind' coaching, building a membership site is ideal.
You could make certain content only available to subscribers. This could be blog posts, a forum, a wiki, etc. The members have to pay a monthly fee in order to access the content.
Think about this for a few seconds. This is recurring revenue.
Let's say you have 100 monthly members, each paying $10 a month. That's 1000 big ones a month from one revenue stream. Not bad. Not bad, at all.
You'll most likely need to build a large following first and build a lot of trust with them before they'll be willing to pay you a recurring monthly fee.
6. Selling your own eBooks
Selling eBooks is a nice little earner. The best part about it, is that once the book(s) are made and marketed, the income is passive. The book(s) will generate recurring revenue without you having to do any further work.
Making an eBook can take a long time though. Not only do you have to write the book, but you'll have to find places to sell it. You'll also have to design a cover for it, or pay someone to design it for you.
You could even go one step further. You could pay people to write the books for you.
Are you ready for this?
Saeed Rajan makes $2700 per month completely on autopilot by hiring ghost-writers to write eBooks or him. His books aren't written by him, or designed by him. Everything is outsourced. That's truly passive income.
There's a good post on Tim Ferriss' blog about selling and promoting eBooks. There's a treasure trove of information here. Read this post multiple times.
Chris Guthrie did a post with a 1 year case study of a book he had made and sold on the Amazon kindle store. He took a similar approach to Saeed above, but didn't earn as much. It's still a very interesting read with lots of information you can learn from.
7. Taking donations
Taking donations is a great way of making a little extra income from your website.
The thing is, nobody is going to donate money to you without getting something first.
Basically, you have to provide so much value up-front to basically guilt the user into giving you something back. If a visitor to your website feels you have given an incredible amount of value to them, they'll likely donate.
8. Sponsored guest posts
When you have a large enough following, you may find people want to guest-post on our blog. If the content of their post is related to your blog's topic, then you can essentially have content for your blog written for you AND get paid for it. Not bad, huh?
You'll have to manually skim over each post before you publish it to make sure the person hasn't gone overboard with affiliate links, or something similar. Apart from that, there's not much more work to do. It's a quick, easy way to make money. Again, you need a rather large audience base first.
Making money from your blog isn't hard, but requires lots of effort, and most importantly, patience.
I've listed some great ways you can monetize your blog, but there's loads more methods.
You should try as many methods as you can to make money from your blog. Some may work for you, and some may not. Through trial and error, you'll find the methods that work best for your blog.
Putting too much time and energy into only one method can have a bad outcome if that revenue stream goes away. If you have 4 or 5 streams, you can keep making money from them if some of them stop making money for whatever reason.
It's better to have a few different income streams, than one income river that dries up.
Over to you.
Do you have any suggestions to add? Did I leave anything out? Let me know in the comments