Transforming Your Blog From a Hobby to a Money Making Machine

While it’s nice to start a blog as a hobby, there are numerous monetary possibilities associated with creating a blog or website. Whether you choose to sell a product, service, or take advantage of the benefits of affiliate links, blogging for fun can quickly transform into blogging as a living.

But how is it done and what do you need to know about earning money on your blog? This article will answer those questions and many more.

Choose Your Approach

When it comes to monetizing your blog, the first step is to choose an approach. Are you going to sell a product or service or try to make money through affiliate links, PPC (pay per click) advertising, or other ads and banners? Once you choose your method of making money, you can start designing a site that supports your goals. If you plan to craft an e-commerce site, you’ll need a marketing plan including your goals and budget. This may also require you to higher additional staff or knowledgeable professionals to help build out your site and streamline the process. On this site, you can learn more about business to business (B2B) and business to customer (B2C) marketing.

Let’s first take a look at how to monetize your blog through content alone. If you don’t plan to sell a product or service, you can still make money using a few different tactics.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is one of the easiest and most popular ways to monetize your current blog. It’s basically making money in your sleep. With a little preparation and crafting thoughtful, relatable content, you can easily bring in some extra funds through affiliate marketing. So how does it work? It’s pretty simple really. Depending on the subject of your blog, you recommend and link to products for your visitors and readers to purchase. If they make a purchase using the link you provide, your receive a percentage of the money. It’s that easy. If your blog is about yoga, you can link to yoga mats, water bottles, instructional manuals and books, or even yoga classes. The hardest part about affiliate marketing is to find sites that offer an affiliate program. But these are growing in popularity so all it takes is a little research and building relationships with affiliate sites. While the percentages you make are small, if you link to numerous sites, those small percentages quickly add up. Then your job is to drive traffic to your site and convert those visitors to sales by making your blog stand out from the rest.

Pay-Per-Click Ads

These types of ads are a little more difficult to turn into a profit and that’s because of the large amount of clicks you’d need in order to make money. But if you have a blog that is bringing in over 100,000 visitors per day, PPC ads might be a viable option. When it comes to PPC ads, you’re the one paying money to have your ad published on a more popular website. When someone clicks on your ad and visits your site, you have to pay a fee. This fee is negotiated with the publishing site. So you’re basically spending money to hopefully make money. For small websites and bloggers just starting out, this may be too difficult to work into your budget. But don’t worry, there are other advertising options available including banners and other display ads. Don’t be afraid to negotiate a price that works for both you and the advertiser.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is a huge part of any marketing plan and is something you should consider and incorporate when trying to monetize your blog. There are countless ways to build a useful email list — some more effective than others. We’ve all visited a site where the host asks for your email address in return for information you want, whether it’s exclusive content, sales, coupons, or other perks. This is a great way to build your email list. Once this is done, you should utilize an email marketing platform that will help you organize and execute your plan. This way, you can easily reach the masses with one click. Your emails will not only draw readers in and encourage them to visit your site but also promote your product or service. But try not to bombard people will multiple emails a day. Your visitors and customers should feel valued and not feel pressured to purchase anything.

Sponsored Posts

Once your blog or website becomes well-known and popular across the internet, you may actually get approached by outside sources asking to provide content for your site. These types of posts are different from guest posts. When someone uses a guest blogging service and asks to guest post on your site, it’s usually for free. It gives the author exposure for their writing and a byline and gives you free, quality content for your pages. But if your page space is limited and highly sought after, you can (and should) charge for that space. This means that contributing writers would pay a fee to you for allowing them to post their content on your site. This fee is determined by you and should reflect your site’s popularity and success including traffic, monthly visitors, media exposure, and domain authority.

Sell a Product or Service

Whether you start out with one of the monetizing tactics above or decide to sell a product or service from the start, there are certain elements your website needs in order to be successful. Make sure that your domain name clearly reflects your product or service. People shouldn’t have to guess what it is you’re selling. If your current domain name doesn’t fit with your new e-commerce vision, you may want to purchase a new, more relevant one. The same goes for your domain host. Certain hosts are more conducive to e-commerce businesses than others. Some of the best include Shopify or WooCommerce. Unless you’re a web design master, hiring a web developer to ensure that your site is properly built out may be in your best interest. This will help ensure the entire user experience from inception to sale is a positive, easy one. The theme you and your web developer choose should also be in line with your product and vision.

Starting a blog or website isn’t just about following your passion. Although this is the bases of any good blog or project, monetizing your efforts will only make the entire process more enjoyable. If you have a current blog that you want to monetize, start with some of the easier ways to bring in revenue like affiliate marketing and crafting an email list. If you’re just starting out and already have a product or service to sell, you have the advantage of creating a well-designed website from the start. Whichever describes you, just remember to stay dedicated, consistent, and up to date on new and changing internet statistics and algorithms. Before you know it, you’ll be a blogging superstar!

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