Can I Actually Make Money- Monetize Blogging?
You know what I really didn’t like when I started blogging?
All the white lies. I would see headlines like, “Learn How to Drive Loads of Pinterest Traffic for Free.” I would click on the article and they were selling a guide on how you could supposedly draw in loads of traffic for free. The guides, however, cost anywhere from $30-200.
That is not free in my eyes. And I don’t begrudge people trying to earn money off sharing their expertise. But be upfront. Don’t use the word free if it isn’t actually free. The best bloggers I know share free knowledge, usually plenty of it, which allows them to sell even better courses at a premium price.
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If you want your blog to become a full-time income that sets you free from your 9-5, you are going to have to make some investments. Hosting and Email Marketing should be investments that you don’t skimp on.
But what about the moms, dads, and broke college students who are about to sink every dime into hosting, a web domain, and an email provider? Those who need a hand getting some simple questions answered? Those who are not in a place of being able to invest more than the bare minimum yet?
These Bloggers Deserve a Chance to Succeed Too.
There were nights when I was up until two or three in the morning searching for answers that I wouldn’t have to pay for. The internet is a vast land that’s easy to get overwhelmed and lost in.
I spent over $1000 the first two months on training and seminars that were not all they cracked up to be. And often I was left with more questions than they answered.
I have been there. Seriously wanting change. I know how hard it is for those on a tight budget with a big idea and a whole lot of hopes. I remember the day I finally bit the bullet and started my blog. It was one of those days where in my head, I had already punched my boss in the face and quit. Alas, I was trapped and didn’t have that option.
I also know how hard it is to not have anyone in your corner. To have family shrug it off like a hobby that will never get you anywhere. To not want to tell your friends until you have “made progress”. Those fears are fairly normal among the bloggers I have spoken to in the past.
The biggest question on most newer bloggers minds is:
How Can I Start to Turn a Profit Blogging?
Ready for your no b.s., no lies answer?
WORK YOUR BUTT OFF.
Blogging is not a get rich quick scheme and requires a ton of trial and error and hard work. This is why so many people believe bloggers can’t make money. Because at one point they or someone they know tried it, and couldn’t hack it.
Blogging is exactly like starting up a business and it requires overhead, passion, drive, and hard work.
This post is meant to give you a short peek into the most common ways bloggers make money. I have included the pros and cons of each method so YOU can decide where you’d like to put in the most time and effort.
As with any venture, if you are trying something for a few months and it is not generating results, you either need to try a new method or make some tweaks to the current one. Don’t continue doing the same thing without results. You’ll get discouraged and quit. Be flexible in your approach but committed to your outcome.This is why so many people believe bloggers can't make money. Because at one point they or someone they know tried it, and couldn't hack it. Click To Tweet
Make Money from Your Hobby, Passion, or Full-blown Obsession.
There are quite a few ways bloggers can start earning a little side-hustle. And why not earn an income from spending time doing something you enjoy. There is, however, only a couple of ways a blogger can create a full-time income. If you are ready to start a blog, click here for a very step-by-step simple guide. While not every method will be discussed here, I am going to list a few of the pros and cons to some of the more common money-making and monetizing methods for bloggers.Don't continue doing the same thing without results. You'll get discouraged and quit. Be flexible in your approach but committed to your outcome. Click To Tweet
I truly hope this cheat sheet of sorts will help you decide what’s best for you and your blog goals! Let’s get started, shall we!
Ads: MediaNet, AdSense, Amazon, BuySellAds, ShareASale…..etc
Pros: Ads are super easy to get set up. Amazon, which is the only ad company I use, is widely popular. Tip: use Amazon links inside a roundup or favorites post. It keeps the ads from overrunning your site and when people click on the photos or links inside your post it results in a possible sale, especially if you did a good job promoting the product.
Cons: Ads don’t look all that great on your site. Ads pull the readers’ attention away from your content. Ads require you to keep track of several separate accounts and payment options. And sadly, ads will never make you more than a tank of gas in a month, maybe a small car payment if you have tens of thousands of readers. Sure you can earn a little change, but this will not replace your day job.
Merchandise: Create and Sell Your Own Goods
Pros: If you are creative this can really give you a sense of creation and satisfaction. You envision your products sitting in other peoples homes and your brand is seen in person. Some newer companies will create as orders come in reducing your need for inventory.
Cons: For bloggers, this idea of monetization doesn’t really make sense. Etsy owners yeah, bloggers, no. Again, you rarely will make the kind of money you are seeking. Merchandising comes with a slew of customer service issues, like refunds, exchanges, inventory, shipping, and other consumer-driven guidelines that serious bloggers really don’t have much time for. And if you create your own product, labor and time are going to be sucked up. This is not residual, one and done income.
Coaching: Offering a Service
Pros: You are offering up your knowledge. Coaching can bring a huge amount of satisfaction knowing you have helped someone else succeed in whatever service they have paid you for.
Cons: You are exchanging hours for dollars. Coaching services are not residual income. You have to continually exchange your time for money. When you reach your maximum client/hour ratio, which can take years depending on what your service is, your income has hit its ceiling. Services are time intensive. Once a person has purchased an hour of your time, there is no guarantee they will come back for more. Hence you are always looking for more clients and referrals. It’s a never-ending cycle.
Affiliate Marketing: Sell Other’s Products
Pros: You don’t have to create anything yourself. You promote and sell someone else’s great products or services. Affiliate marketing, when done correctly can create a full-time income. Just ask Michelle Schroeder who clears like 50k a month. Although if that feels too unrealistic for a beginner you can start with Krista Aoki’s book Career in the Making. She’s making what most of us would consider a successful start to blogging (+$1300/mo) after a mere six months into her blog. Her ebook is full of strategies you can implement today! Oh, and her customer support is phenomenal.
You will need to put in the effort to write good promotional content and market it well. This income is often residual if you attach it to evergreen content. Search for affiliate programs that are reputable. My favorites are ConvertKit, BlueHost, and Framework (all blogging resources/tools).
Cons: You again, are directing someone away from your own content. Affiliates can also lower their commission rates or cancel their affiliate programs altogether. Suddenly your income takes a devastating blow or dries up completely.
Sponsored Posts: Writing About a Product or Service.
Pros: You can negotiate your wage up front. Sponsored posting can increase your blogging network and if you are running a product review type of website this can be a great way to earn an income. As your readership and audience increases, some companies will pay you quite well for sponsored content.
Cons: Sometimes you feel like a sell-out. Nearly every post is you, encouraging your readers to buy a certain product or service based on your opinion of it. For a serious writer, or someone looking to genuinely help others, this sell, sell, sell approach can feel a little sleazy. I suggest that if you use sponsored posts, make sure it is about 1/3 of your posting schedule. This is highly competitive so you’ll need to really stand out as a blogger before serious money can be made. Another con is feeling like you are chasing sponsors. Trying to land sponsored posts can be exhausting and disheartening.
Courses-Email, Webinars, E-books.
Pros: This is hands down the best way to create long-term residual income. Your readers are staying on your pages. Once you create an ebook, video series or course people can continue clicking and buying for years to come. You can start your own affiliate program set on your terms and get other people to help direct traffic to YOUR site.
You don’t have to be an expert in any field. Usually, your knowledge of something, especially if you just went through a process, is more relevant to someone than an expert who went through the same process years prior. Teach what you know and love and I promise it will help others and create some income for you.
Cons: The initial time investment is going to be more. You need to do your research and create truly helpful content. Whether it’s a webinar, e-course, workbook, or e-book, you’ll need to write, edit, design and promote your product. If budget allows you can outsource someone to design or proofread your material. I do proofreading for fairly inexpensive rates and know another blogger who is great with design. Throw me an email if you’d like a referral.
Overall, this method is the one any true blogger would want. Go ahead and check out some massively successful solo bloggers. They likely have multiple offers to buy or opt-in to their own products and services. They do this for a reason.
So I hope this helps you decide which ideas might be best for YOUR blog. We all have different ideas and goals so get after it already!
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