Your blog can be your most powerful digital asset. It drives traffic, builds your reputation, adds value to readers, and – if you play your cards right – it can be a great source of revenue.
How do you turn your blog into a moneymaker, and into something that can support you financially or grow your business?
Lots of people and businesses have figured out how to make money from their blogs. Some sell their products through it. Others use it to nurture leads and turn them into customers. Various other strategies work, too.
What are these people doing?
They're each using their blog as a platform to share their expertise. You can do the same thing on your blog by sharing your experience and niche knowledge to bring in visitors. Then use one of the five options below to earn revenue from those visitors.
1. Gate premium content.
Gated premium content means that you have some content on your blog that's free to everyone, but the really good stuff costs money. Usually people who successfully gate premium content charge a small fee (like $5 per month) for an all-access pass.
The key to doing this well is providing a lot of value to viewers. There's free content all over the web. If you want people to pay you for it, your content needs to be one of three things:
- Amazing and super helpful
- Unique and intriguing
- Or you need a loyal and engaged community of readers
With time and experience, all three are possibilities. Platforms link Ning make the logistics of gating content easy to do, even without tech experience.
2. Display ads through Google AdSense.
If your blog has a good bit of traffic, you might want to start using Google AdSense.
Essentially, you add "display sections" to your blog. Then Google uses these sections to display ads they think are relevant to your site and to your viewers. You can earn money two ways:
Impressions. Earn money every time an ad is displayed. If you have one ad on a page, that means $1 for 1,000 page views you get. If you have five ads on every page, that means $5 for every page view.
Clicks. Earn money when someone clicks on an ad. You'll earn more per click than per impression, but how much you earn is up to Google's bidding algorithm. For more details on AdSense pricing, view this guide.
One thing to note is that Google has recently been cracking down on invasive and annoying ads. If you choose this route, try to ensure your ads flow naturally with your pages.
3. Sell your own products or services.
Many people will create a "knowledge product," like an ebook or a course. You create the product once. Then unlimited people can download or access it for a few bucks.
Knowledge products do really well for blogs with lots of subscribers. Let's say you have 10,000 subscribers and you provide a short but helpful online course for $50. If 10 percent of your subscribers sign up for that course, then you make $50,000.
Another option is to sell your services through your blog. For instance, a marketing consultant can blog about how to be better at marketing and encourage readers to reach out to work together.
Before long, your blog turns into a lead generator for clients. What you can earn is based on your own rates and how many clients you bring in. The one thing you'll need, though, is an online portfolio. Nine times out of 10, people check out your previous work before reaching out. If you don't already have one, view this guide to create your portfolio.
4. Get paid to give reviews.
A lot of businesses are willing to pay you to review their products on your site – especially if you have a decent level of traffic.
Bloggers and businesses both like this setup because it feels genuine. Viewers assume that money is changing hands somewhere, but they also get a candid view of a product from a trusted third party (you).
It can be profitable, too, with paid reviews ranging anywhere from $100 to $500 per article or more (maybe $10 for every 100 unique viewers). There's also the perk of (normally) getting to test out a product without paying for it.
Giving candid product reviews is a great way to turn your blog into a moneymaker, but you have to disclose any payments you receive with viewers. You can often do this with a line of text at the top or bottom of the page. For more details, view this FTC guide.
5. Become an affiliate.
Affiliate marketing is when you link to products throughout your blog posts and then earn a commission on people who purchase or become leads through your link. It's a similar concept to getting paid for reviews but different, because products are normally referred to in passing, as opposed to getting their own review.
A lot of businesses love affiliate marketing because they can just pay you a commission instead of having to do the marketing and sales themselves. The better your reputation with readers and the more traffic you get, the more you stand to make.
A couple recommendations to do this well:
Only promote products relevant to your audience. If your readers are mostly sales professionals, promote products that help people do better in sales. If your blog focuses on businesses services, the products you mention should do the same.
Promote products you've already used. Recommendations are always more valuable (and more profitable) when you've actually used the product.
Turning your blog into a moneymaker isn't so hard, but there is one thing you have to have first.
You can build traffic by blogging consistently, by adding real value in your blog posts and by optimizing your posts for search engines. For more details, view this guide on how to create blog posts in a time crunch.
As you grow your traffic and implement any (or several) of these five moneymaking strategies, you'll watch your revenue start to climb. Before long, your blog could be a significant source of income or perhaps your only source of income!