How to Monetize your blog and improve your blogging income!
Whether you’re a completely new beginner or perhaps even an old hand at blogging, you’ve probably heard seasoned bloggers shout from the mountain tops “Make sure to monetize your blog!”.
Monetize your blog? Do you mean to say there are other ways to make money blogging than just through display ads on your site? Well yes, in fact, there is.
If you are serious about your blogging business, then listen up. In this post, we’re going to outline exactly how to monetize a blog, cause let’s get real, you probably want this to be your full-time career so badly and as such monetization is key.
What is blog monetization?
Before we jump in, let’s just clarify exactly what blog monetization is. Well, simply put it addresses the question most bloggers have on their lips, which is, how do you make money blogging?
There are in fact a number of different exciting and creative ways that you can make money from your blog. Some perhaps more surprising than others.
So, let’s hone in on the best ways to monetize a blog so you can get started today and have every opportunity possible to make a pretty penny from your blogging passion!
Do you need a large blog following to make money?
I do feel, I want to quickly address this question. The answer, in a nutshell, is NO! Contrary to popular believe, you don’t need a large blog with thousands of monthly visitors to start making money.
If the various monetization methods are applied correctly and if you are able to engage your audience, no matter how small, you will be able to still earn a decent income from your ‘smaller’ blog.
I digress, so without boring you any further, here are all the best ways to monetize your blog today.
Monetize Your Blog With Display Ads
Probably the most popular and well-known way to monetization your blog is to showcase display ads on your site. These are managed through different ad networks who act as a mediator between you and the advertiser.
Once you’ve built up a solid following and manage to reach levels required to get into premium ad networks (think AdThrive, Mediavine or Ezoic), you truly have the potential to earn good money from these ads on your site.
If you’re interested to learn about the different ad networks and their respective requirements and levels, then check out our post on the various ad networks you may want to consider signing up to.
Okay…Display ads and ad networks, oh, I can already hear the critics jumping up and down.
Essentially, there are two different schools of thought out in the blogging world today regarding this method.
On the one hand, the first camp is 100% for display, compared to the second camp that strongly opposes this method of blog monetization.
Some bloggers feel that showing ads on a site is spammy and may deter your audience from visiting your site again.
To be completely honest, we lean more towards the first camp which is very much pro-display ads. And here’s why…
Many of the premium ad networks out today have spent a lot of time and effort on perfecting how ads are displayed and how the user experience is affected by display ads. They also tend to attract premium advertisers and have strict restrictions on which ads they will display or not.
Let’s face it, most of the major sites we visit in our own personal day to day lives have advertisements on them, and does it deter you from immediately clicking out? Most likely not.
So, adding display ads is a great way to earn a decent blogger income from your hard work.
Think of it this way, your site is online real estate. You’ve put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into creating your awesome, amazing, shiny, beautiful blog and built your following to a decent size. So, why should you not be rewarded by selling that ad space and earning a decent buck?!
In a nutshell, don’t knock display ads, for some bloggers the ad revenue alone is a lifechanging sum of money that will enable them to continue on their blogging journey.
Selling private ad space on your blog
Of course, another approach is to sell your own private ad spaces on your blog. This is often the case when brands or companies stumble upon your blog or recognise your site as a key authority within your niche.
In this case, many of these companies would agree to pay you to host their ads on your site for a fixed term and price that you manage directly with the company/advertiser.
A word of warning, this method does involve a lot more work in managing contracts, legalities and collecting the ad money directly from the company or brand. It does end up being much more labour intensive compared to Ad Networks who do all that work on your behalf.
The other key thing to remember is that some Ad Networks may stipulate in your contract that you may only serve their ads on your site. Be sure to check your contract carefully in order to avoid any disputes over this point.
Undoubtedly the second most popular way to monetize a blog is to join up for various affiliate programs whereby you will earn a percentage commission or a set amount for each sale or lead generated through your affiliate link.
Can you really make money blogging and adding affiliates I hear you ask?!
Yes, yes and yes!!
Affiliate programs if implemented correctly can earn you a sizeable income each and every month.
Of course, affiliates need to make sense and be highly relevant to you site, niche and audience in order for them to really convert into decent sales.
Affiliates also vary vastly from niche to niche. In the travel blogging sphere you may expect affiliates from insurance companies, hotel and flight booking sites or even the very popular Amazon affiliate program through whom you can advertise travel gear, best backpacks and cameras, guide books and ton more.
So, the opportunities are endless in regards to the affiliates you can add to your site or blog.
But, as we mentioned, make sure that your affiliates are highly relevant. Nothing bugs us more than seeing a site or blog that has hundreds of affiliates linked all over the place in the hope that someone will click and buy through one of these hundreds of links.
Make sure your affiliates offer products and services that you trust and believe in and would add real value to your audience. That’s the key to really mastering affiliates on your site.
Sponsored Posts & Brand Sponsorship
Yet another popular way to make money from a blog is to do so in the form of writing sponsored posts or working on brand collaborations.
This is very prominent in the travel blogging niche where brands would pay or sponsor a blogger to travel to a specific destination and try out different tours and experiences and then subsequently blog about it, providing the brand with highly targeted exposure.
But just because you always hear of travel bloggers and travel influencers travelling around the world, doesn’t mean you cannot use this method in your blogging niche.
Let’s suppose you manage a Food or Recipes blog. You may collaborate with brands launching new products relating to food or cooking. Or suppose you run a tech site. You may be approached by a company launching a new smartphone and ask you to blog about your experience using the device.
These are just simple examples but it shows the potential of this blogging monetize method has for just about any blog niche out there.
It is also important to keep in mind that different brands and companies will negotiate different terms. It is vital that you agree to those and also negotiate and set your own rules and terms. Don’t simply accept every collaboration thrown your way, they may not all be worth your while and time when all is said and done.
Design & Sell your own products
Another way to make money from your blog, and one that we absolutely love, is to design and sell your own products.
Whether these are physical products (think fashion lines) or electronic/online products, this is the space for you to truly flourish and shine and show the world the value that you can offer.
When setting out on your blogging journey, think about your niche and how you can tie different products such as E-books, Online Workshops or Online Courses into your portfolio of products.
This is where you can showcase your range and knowledge and truly ad value, building trust with your following.
Sell your services
Last but not least, and following on from selling different products, you may also decide to sell your services.
This may be in the form of consulting, freelancing or perhaps you’re offering your services as a Virtual Assistant.
Having a blog where you’re able to have your voice heard, display your achievements or awards and having an engaged audience that truly trusts your voice and opinion, is a phenomenal way to leverage your services and convert your audience into not just your followers but also your clients.
Of course, your blog may very well be linked to a commercial company that sells different products and services too. As such, a blog is a great way to convey your products and services without actually selling those outright or shoving it the faces of your audience.
Monetizing your blog is one of the key things you should do, particularly if you plan to run your blog as a proper business and want to start earning a full-time income from it.
Consider all the ways in which you can up your blog monetization game and above all else, don’t be shy to monetize. You have worked darn hard and deserve to be rewarded for your skill, knowledge and above all else the value that you are adding to the lives of your readers.
So, go forth and monetize today!