You are finally going to start that blog you’ve always talked about. And you know it will be the perfect thing to earn you that independent income you’ve always dreamed of. But how is it done? How do you make money on a blog? There are several ways to monetize your blog, but just like any DIY project, it’s nice to have step by step directions.
Step 1: Do it yourself
First thing to do is to get your own domain. You want your own, which you will have to pay for, rather than a free one that someone else controls. You want to be in control, not have someone else make decisions for you.
Step 2: DON’T do it yourself
But you don’t have to build the internet from scratch just to have a blog. Save your energy for making great content. Buy a good framework and theme and use them. There’s no reason to DIY your blog if that’s not what your blog is about. Just use the tools already built by experts and add your own flair to it. Hmmm, that sounds kind of familiar, doesn’t it?
Step 3: Gather the troops
Drive traffic to your site. Don’t know what that means? Make your site interesting, informative, and valuable so that readers will go there and read it. Then let people know it is out there so they will come to read it. Those readers are ‘traffic’ and having them come to read your blog is ‘driving’ them to your site.
Spreading the news on Social Media is a great way to find readers. DIY creates some beautiful images, so take advantage of networks that focus on images, Pinterest or Instagram for example, and let people see what you can do, and follow you back to your blog to see more. Join groups with a similar focus to your blog and let the members know you have something interesting to say.
The point here is you need many readers in order to make the next steps worthwhile. Think of it like the lemonade stand selling one glass for a hundred dollars. How likely is it to meet the expectation of “but if I can just sell one glass!” You need lots of people who might be willing to spend a few dollars, otherwise you’ll be stuck with your one glass of very expensive lemonade.
Step 4: Help others sell their stuff
This is a really general step, but it’s the one where most of the action happens. You see, companies are willing to pay you money if you help them sell their products. Yes, you knew that, it’s called advertising, but there are lots of ways it can work now.
- Sponsored Blog Post: You write a post that mentions a company or product you recommend
- Sponsored Social Media Posts: You write a post for a social media channel for a company you recommend
- Affiliate Links: Links on your page lead to companies selling things and you get a small percentage if your reader buys there
- Actual Ads: You’ve seen these in sidebars, footers, headers, popups, everywhere. Try not to bury your valuable content under these
The more readers you have, the more likely companies will approach you with offers to sponsor posts or have you join an affiliate program.
Step 5: Sell your own stuff
You make stuff, right? You could even make a book about the stuff you make. And then sell that through your site. Physical stuff means shipping and inventory and making more. Ebooks are a nice idea since you can write it, then sell as many as you want with no shipping. If you can write a bunch of them you start to have a library where something in it will appeal to someone.
So that’s it, own your site, concentrate on what you do, not web design, bring in a lot of readers, tell them about companies you like, and offer to sell them things you make. Sound simple? Like any DIY project, the details will get you every time. But is it worth it? You bet!