|If you're already blogging, why not seek a little income?|
After you've started building traffic to your blog, then it's time to consider ways to monetize your blog. Personally, I haven't put too much effort into monetization yet. Instead, I've been focused almost exclusively on providing quality content that increases traffic. Sooooo, this post is going to share links to other resources who are generous with their experiences.
How to monetize a blog:
- Sell content. By selling content, I'm thinking of your words and/or art. These can be packaged in e-books, white papers, print books, exclusive newsletter subscriptions, etc. If you blog, you're a content creator. Why not package some of that content and make a little money from it. Of course, the more exclusive and valuable the content is to your readers, the higher the price point.
- Offer education. Related to selling your content, you can package that content as educational opportunities through tutorials, webinars, podcasts, and videos. Btw, each of those links shows how to tackle each of those tasks. You could also offer online courses related to your specialty.
- Write sponsored posts. Be careful if you're dealing with sponsored posts, because they're basically advertorials--or at worst, blatant advertisements--for other companies and services. As a result, these have the potential to kill traffic. If done well however, they can add value to your blog in more ways than one. Here's a list of sites that pay for blog posts.
- Share affiliate links. I have a little experience with affiliate links--mainly through my use of Amazon Associates--and it's an easy way to bring in some extra money. Again though, an abuse of affiliate links can turn readers off fast--so only pursue this method when it adds obvious value for your readers. As far as which affiliate program is best, you can go with a general program (like the Amazon one mentioned above) or a more specific one, since many companies offer affiliate programs. For instance, my employer Writer's Digest has a writing product affiliate program.
- Place ads. There are so many different ways to serve ads. You can use an ad service or solicit them yourself. Around the middle of this 101 Ways to Monetize Your Blog post, several advertising options (and links) are provided.
- Provide services. I mentioned education above, and really, that does fall under providing services. But there are many other services you could provide as a blogger depending upon your specialty. For instance, some popular services include critique and consulting services. Or speaking services.
- Sell merchandise. If your blog is truly popular and has a personality, selling blog-related merchandise might make sense--like T-shirts, coffee mugs, mouse pads, etc. Here's a list of some companies.
- Ask for donations. Of course, there's always the option of just asking for donations. If you go this route, be sure your blog does two things: First, make sure it offers an amazing experience for readers; and second, make sure you're not monetizing in any other way. If you are, it's doubtful you'll be able to secure donations on top of those other methods.
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