While I realize that many of you are in different lifecycles with your blogs – some are in the startup phase, others the product development, and still others the community growth and engagement phase we all share a common need, and that is the need to make a profitable income with our sites.
- NOTE: If pulling an income from your blog is not a priority or even a requirement you fall into the hobby blogger category rather than the Pro Blogger category. Generally people looking for an outlet to express their artistic and expressionist side will write to a different audience, and for a different reason than the professional blogger will.
I was tempted to start from the easiest and work down in difficulty, but I’ve found that when people start off that way they tend to settle into a state of complacency and end up leaving money on the table. For that reason, I’m going to start with one of the most profitable components, if one of the most difficult that is overlooked on 90% of all sites.
Education – Specifically Sales Copy
The art of writing sales copy is one of the most overlooked tools in a blogger, or marketer’s tool box. There are tons of great books, courses etc. you can take to further your knowledge and this is probably the single skill that will determine how much money you’re able to make online.
The ability to write compelling ads and titles ensures you get the attention of the reader. The ability to write compelling sales copy then allows you to touch on every objection they may have, while showcasing each of the features and benefits that will appeal to them and allow you to push those hot buttons and earn yourself a sale.
Of all the skills you’ll need to succeed online, this one has the most potential to change your bank account balance and set you apart from other bloggers and when you consider what a copywriter typically charges for a sales letter you have to admit it’s a skill worth having.
Product Sales – Yours!
Selling your own product is one of the best ways to monetize your blog, and to set yourself apart from the rest of the pack (mainly those without a product, but also from those with an inferior product) and allow you to showcase your expertise in your field.
Once you have a product online life becomes much simpler. You are continually innovating and improving your existing product, and marketing it in order to get it into the hands of those who need it most.
Affiliate Marketing – Promoting products and services
Promoting other people’s products and services for a percentage of the take is a much quicker way to get started since you don’t actually have to invest the time in making the product first, and you can pick and choose the best ones in your industry.
There are plenty of people online making full time livings doing nothing more than this one monetization method, and who do quite well at it.
Affiliate Marketing – The other side
Rather than being an affiliate yourself (or perhaps in conjunction with) why not leverage the power of the masses to promote YOUR product? Getting a handful of super-affiliates promoting your quality product can be a great way to put money in both your pockets.
Think about all the hard work you’ve invested in building up an audience, a list, and following for a second. Now realize that there are hundreds of thousands out there doing the same with their own online businesses. Imagine being able to tap into their customers and leads as well as your own?
Allowing others to market on your site is a great way to lose traffic, however it is also a great way to make some decent money if you take the time to align your clients with your topics appropriately. Don’t just think “wow! PayPal is advertising on my site”. Instead take the time to show those ads on the articles (and hence hopefully to a more interested audience) that are being read by those online business owners interested in either accepting payments online, or those online customers looking to make purchases safely and securely online.
Banner advertising has the unfortunate habit of falling into the “set it and forget it” category when just a little extra effort can really make the difference for you.
Creating high quality content and products and keeping them behind closed doors in exchange for a monthly fee is a highly lucrative method that still hasn’t hit the mainstream like I would have expected. Perhaps because the onus is on you to both create the product and ensure that your members are getting value from it on an ongoing basis so they remain members.
With technology today it’s quite easy to setup and maintain a membership site, but the hard part is what lies within. It’s a good practice to over deliver in order to sustain membership levels and ensure people (members) are talking about all the great stuff to be had inside!
Google AdSense – Contextual Ads (was not counted as part of the 6 methods) :)
I’ve saved this one for last, because while it has its place in history it isn’t as useful or powerful as it once was. Over the years the system behind AdSense has been tweaked and refined to perfection by the able team over at Google and because of that there is very little in the way of inefficiency. (Ps. The best time to make a ton of money is when a system is new enough to still be inefficient. You can make a lot of money, even while still making mistakes. Once that system becomes efficient you need to be quite adept at utilizing it in order to turn a profit.)
I only list AdSense because it is a favorite with new (aspiring Pro) bloggers because of the ease with which it is set up and the almost instant validation of an income stream however small it may be.
There are much more lucrative ad networks available and once you’ve built up your traffic you should start approaching alternatives.
This list is by no means complete and your income is dictated more by your own creativity than by the articles you’ll find online. We tend to make the concept of making money online more difficult than it actually needs to be. First create something of value that fills a need, and then find those who need it most, and tell them about it.
“Money is nothing more than a representation of the exchange of value” ~ Tony Robbins
What method do you use with success?