There are blogs out in the world that bring in thousands, and hundreds of thousands of dollars a month for their owners. At the most basic level, the formula that creates a money making blog is very simple: write valuable content, create relationships with readers, and sell products to those readers. But anyone who has ever tried to monetize a blog knows that there’s more to it than that. So how do you create a blog that can change your life?
Create valuable content
One of the biggest, and most obvious keys to creating a moneymaking blog, is by providing content that offers value to readers. Great content brings readers back again and again, after all; without that value, readers won’t return to your page.
Content can provide different types of value. Your content might be informative, funny, educational, or a little bit of everything. Whatever you decide, be consistent, and don’t get distracted from your true mission. Readers won’t want to guess at what they’re going to get on any given day. Pictures of your cat one day, followed by a video on how to change your car’s headlights the next, will confuse readers.
If you write it, the money will come, right? Not exactly. Once you’ve created valuable, interesting content, the next step is to build relationships with readers so that they think of you as an expert on your topic. Sharing articles on social media, authentically interacting with other people as your professional persona, and responding to comments, are all ways to build relationships with your readers.
Create income streams
How would you like your blog to make money? Allowing other companies to show ads on your site is one way to generate a little bit of income; affiliate marketing is another; setting up a digital store to sell products or services is a third. Different blogs will thrive with different approaches. In general, the most successful income streams will dovetail with the topic of your blog. For example, a knitter who is blogging about knitting, might begin to sell knitting patterns. A book blogger who writes reviews and how-tos, might decide to sell their services as a beta reader or editor.
As you build your audience, you might be approached by companies who want to pay you to review their product or service. This is perfectly acceptable, as long as you are honest with your readers about what’s going on, and abide by search engine guidelines. If you’re writing the post yourself, admit that it is a sponsored post, and that everything presented is your own honest opinion. If the company is giving you a post, introduce the sponsored post, and then let their content take over.
Either way, avoid overusing sponsored posts to the point of drowning your own content. After all, your blog is successful because of your voice; don’t forget to keep your own content front and center.
Sell your expertise
Many bloggers, once they have developed a successful blog, find that a logical next step is to sell their expertise in the form of white paper or ebook. There are two options for these; if you have the time and are comfortable writing long form, you can write a document yourself and upload it to your blog to sell. If you’re less comfortable, or have the financial ability to pay someone else to write it for you, ghostwriters are available by the dozen on platforms like Upwork.
Many bloggers find this to be their most impressive revenue stream over time.
Some bloggers find that they can offer a certain amount of content for free, but then offer higher quality or deeper content behind a pay wall. Customers pay for a membership to access the full content of your website. For this to work however, you have to have a devoted readership that doesn’t feel it can get the same content anywhere else. You also must have an impressive offering behind that pay wall. Many people feel very frustrated by subscription sites, and will avoid the site altogether rather than browse even the free content available.
Some bloggers have found success by using services like ko-fi, which are micro-donation sites. You sign up for an account, and place a button on your website. You periodically point it out to readers in your writing; many people use a suggestion like “if you like what I have to say and want to support my work, buy me a coffee.” Their payment goes to your Paypal account.
The most important thing to realize is that blogging will never be passive income. You will spend a great deal of time developing content that customers want to pay for. If you’re willing to put in the work however, blogging can provide an impressive supplemental income source for your family or yourself.
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