Hey hey! Today I’m excited to have a special post for you guys. I’ve been sharing lots about the legal side of blogging lately, but I also love sharing general tips and info on making your blog better too. Awesome blog content + keeping it legal = an amazing blog biz. So I asked my friend Gemma from The Sweetest Digs to share some of her blogging knowledge. She’s been blogging about home and diy for over 5 years, runs her own Etsy shop and is an overall blog and biz maven! Today she’s sharing some great info about monetizing your blog!
What’s up you guys! A big thanks to Jackie for having me over on the blog today. I’m excited to be here!
So let’s chat money, mm’kay? Something every blogger would like to make a little more of, right? Well, I want to break it down for you today. Whether you are new to the blogging scene or have been doing this for a while, you need to think about your overall monetization strategy.
The key to successfully monetizing your blog – for most bloggers – is to have a diversified revenue stream. This means that you need to dip your toe into multiple avenues for income. Doing this means is just a safer bet. Some months might be better than others in different streams, so by having such varied sources of income you can make sure you bring home enough bacon.
Generally speaking, there are 4 main streams of income generation: display advertising, sponsored work, affiliate marketing, and selling products and services.
STREAM 1: DISPLAY ADVERTISEMENTS
Display advertisements are the ads you see on blogs – in their sidebars, in the header, within the posts, and even sometimes within videos or on images.
Some blogger’s sell advertising space directly themselves, but the majority of bloggers work with ad agencies. Basically they act as the middle man between you (the blogger) and the brand to sell your ad space. The most popular ad network? Google Adsense.
Unfortunately unless you have super high page views, display ads aren’t going to bring in huge bucks. But they can bring in some money, and on the positive side, are SUPER passive for the blogger.
STREAM 2: SPONSORED WORK
The basic premise behind doing sponsored work is that the blogger works with a brand and promotes their product(s) in some way. This can look really different from blogger to blogger, and campaign to campaign. The collaboration might include a blog post, social media outreach like Instagram photos, facebook mentions, pins, snaps, etc, newsletter mentions, or any combination that the brand and blogger feel would be a good fit.
Generally the blogger is paid a fee, and potentially some free product if it’s a review. Bloggers can seek out these opportunities with brands by sending them pitches (don’t forget to attach your media kit!), or brands reach out directly.
Check out this post for more on how to make a media kit, and this post for how to pitch sponsored work!
(media kit post: http://thesweetestdigs.com/create-blog-media-kit-brands-love/)
(sponsored work post: http://thesweetestdigs.com/pitch-sponsored-post/)
STREAM 3: AFFILIATE MARKETING
Affiliate marketing refers to integrating affiliate links into the content you write so that when a reader clicks that link and purchases the item, you receive a commission. Commission levels vary enormously from around 5-10% for a physical product to 50% for a digital product like an eBook or eCourse.
As a blogger, you want to integrate affiliate links into your blog content, on social media, and into newsletters to increase your chances of earning.
The more you can build a trusting, loyal, and engaged following of readers, the better your affiliate links will convert. Be sure to always provide a lot of value to your reader and so when you do recommend something, it doesn’t come off as sales-y.
The biggest affiliate network out there that you should definitely join is Amazon Affiliates. If you are a Home and DIY blogger, head on over to this post where I outlined the top 11 affiliate networks to join for access to great home decor brands!
(affiliate post: http://thesweetestdigs.com/affiliate-networks-bloggers/)
STREAM 4: SELLING YOUR OWN PRODUCTS + SERVICES
You guys, THIS is the secret sauce to building a blog biz and really making money. In this stream you aren’t selling anybody else’s products – you are selling your very own. Yes, this stream is going to take more work, but the potential for major revenue is soooo much greater. This is where you are turning your blog into a brand and thriving business.
There are so so many potential product and service ideas.
Some suggestions to get you brainstorming?
- Write an eBook
- Develop an online course
- Freelance writing gigs for other brands
- Create printables
- Sell digital artwork
- Sell stock photography
- Sell handmade goods
- Offer interior design e-services
- Become a Virtual Assistant (VA)
- Web design
- Sell graphics, fonts, or clip art
- Sell other 3rd party fulfillment products (think Society6, Zazzle, Spoonflower, etc)
- Subscription service or membership community
I have tested and tried out various monetization strategies myself over the last 5+ years of blogging and have found different levels of success with each.
The bottom line?
Unless you have super enormous traffic (which can bring in high ad revenue income), you are going to want to utilize each of these streams if you want to make full-time income. And yes, that means coming up with a product line or service.
Products or services can seen daunting to some folks, but here’s the thing. You don’t have to take on the whole world at once. Start small. Test the waters. See what your readers go for. Check in with them and find out what they need.
It will probably take some trial and error before you figure out exactly what you love doing that also brings in the return on investment, so don’t hesitate and wait until everything is perfect before you get started (“don’t is always better than perfect”!!).
Dream big and hustle hard. You got this.
Want more monetization tips? Click here to sign up for Gemma’s (totally free!!) 7-day email course. She sends you a lesson each day to help you build a profitable blogging biz.
And for other blogging biz tips and DIY projects, head on over to Gemma’s blog THE SWEETEST DIGS – her home is seriously gorgeous and I love her DIY tips. Plus since she’s been blogging for awhile too, she has got this thing DOWN. Go over to her blog and say hello!