Now here’s where it starts getting exciting. Because unlike those bloggers where teenagers share their angst-filled thoughts, you’re blogging as a business.
You’re looking to turn your content into cold, hard cash. And that means you need to create a plan as to how you’re going to monetize your blog.
Let me share with you the following three ways to do it:
1. Sell Your Own Offers
Do you have your own products or services? If so, then your blog is a natural outlet for advertising these offers. And best of all, there are plenty of ways for you to promote your offers on your blog, including:
Using graphical ads. You can place banners and graphics of all sizes in your header, side bar, footer and even between the content.
Note: A word of warning, however: Just don’t stuff your blog so full of graphical ads that it looks like a circus rather than a blog. You want a new visitor to notice that you have great content – not that your blog is full of ads.
Using text ads. You can place your text ads in the same places you put your graphical ads. Same rules apply – don’t overdo it. Your blog should be about great content and not be overwhelmed by ads.
- By embedding promotions in the content. This is often one of the best ways to advertise your offers, because it puts your ads directly in front of your readers. In other words, you can create blog posts which contain promotions.
Now, this doesn’t mean that you fill your blog posts with direct promotions. While it’s ok to post a direct promotion from time to time, it’s certainly not something you’d want to do too much. After all, your blog readers are coming to your blog for the great content – not the ads.
Instead, you can weave your offers directly into useful content.
Example: If you’re writing a “how to” article about how to lose weight, you might have a step that talks about reducing calories. You can then include a link for your low-calorie cookbook.
If you don’t have your own products or services to sell, no problem.
Another option is for you to promote affiliate products on your blog. This includes:
Digital products, such as those found at Clickbank.com. These are often some of the best products to promote, simply because they usually have high commission rates (50% or more).
- Physical products. Because of the overhead and fulfillment costs associated with physical products, these tend to have low commission rates – as little as 5% or 10%. However, depending on what you’re selling you may have high conversion rates, especially if you sell through a trusted vendor like Amazon.com.
- These also tend to have lower commission rates, simply because the vendor is trading his or her time for dollars. There are exceptions, such as certain services which the vendor may have automated or otherwise found out how to do at a low cost.
- Some programs (such as membership sites) rebill their members on a weekly or monthly basis. And some of these programs also award recurring commissions to affiliates. This means that if you sell the program once, you get paid again and again for as long as your referral remains a member of the program.
Here’s a hint: Whether you’re selling your own offers or you’re promoting affiliate offers, it’s a good idea to start a mailing list.
That’s because only a very tiny minority – we’re talking single digits – will buy what you’re promoting.
So if you send your visitors directly to the vendor’s sales page, you won’t get any benefit. The visitor won’t buy, so you won’t get any commission. And the visitor may not return to your blog. Thus you should seek to get your visitors onto a mailing list so that you can follow up with them again and again.
Yet another way to monetize your blog is to sell advertising to other marketers in your niche. Here you can sell banner ads and other graphic ads, text ads, links (especially if your blog has a high Google Page Rank), and even ads embedded directly in your content.
The benefit of this particular monetization method is that you get cash in your pocket no matter what happens with the offer. In other words, you’re not in charge of writing ad copy or trying to figure out how to get your visitors to buy an offer. All you have to do is sell the advertising space and let your advertisers take care of the details.
And of course you can certainly use more than one method at any time. You just need to do a little testing to see which methods bring you the greatest revenue.
Once you’ve planned out your initial monetization plans, then move on to the next step…