This is a contributed post.
When we first start blogs, we often fall into one of two camps.
There are those that want to turn their blogs into businesses and make money from them, and those that want a creative outlet or online diary and have no idea that it’s even possible to make money from them.
Whichever camp you started in, your views might have changed slightly over time. You may have learned that it’s much harder to make a decent income (or even get views!) from your blog than you thought it would be.
Or, you might have noticed other bloggers making money and decided to take a look at how to do the same. You might have even had some offers from brands and companies for paid work.
Whatever you thought at the start, and whatever your blogging intentions were, it’s entirely possible to turn your blog into a money-making machine, and the good news is, if you’ve already got a blog, you’ve already done some of the hard work.
Let’s take a look at some of the things you need to do to get ready to make more money and some of the ways to earn.
Build an Audience
You might have heard other bloggers say things like “you don’t need a massive audience to make money” and thought to yourself “that’s easy for you to say, with your massive audience.” In reality, the statement is both true, and not quite true.
No, you don’t need millions of page views and unique visitors. But, you need some, and they need to be loyal.
Brands aren’t going to pay you to advertise their products or services if only your mom is reading your content. But, if you consistently get 4000-page views a month and have over 10k social media followers that regularly interact with you and leave comments on your posts and pages, they might.
However, it’s important to remember that loyalty and interaction are essential here.
Influencers can be powerful because readers trust and value their opinions. So, don’t be tempted to buy followers for an easy fix.
Instead, take your time to interact with people and to build your following naturally.
Give Your Blog an MOT
If you want to start bringing in more views, taking your blogging seriously and earning money, it’s crucial that your blog is excellent.
It needs to look professional and well thought out. Think about what you write about, spend time working on your designs and presentation. Work to create a brand across all of your feeds and make sure your pages work at a good loading speed. Use Web Optimizers to make sure your SEO is good, and people can find you.
Go over older posts, checking the content and updating the photographs.
Before you start pushing forward, it’s a great idea to check your foundations so spend some time checking over the old basics. Especially from older posts that you wrote when you didn’t know as much about SEO and blogging practices in general.
One thing that many bloggers struggle with is pitching and selling themselves. Especially in the beginning. They don’t feel like they can apply for work or ask for payment because their blog isn’t as good, or as big as some others.
But, you need to. Remember, everyone starts somewhere, and you have got something to offer.
Think about what makes your blog stand out. Is it in a particular niche? Does it have a very popular post or category?
Do you have a social channel that really stands out or a unique way to reach your audience?
Are your email sign-ups high, or do you get a lot of engagement from your emails? A lot of bloggers find the emails they send to their list never get opened so this could set you apart.
Do you have experience in a useful field? Are you an authority on a subject, however small the niche?
The things that make you stand out are things that could be useful to brands. Think about brands in your niche, or that your readers would love, even smaller, local shops, and tell them how you could help them. Pitch an idea that would benefit both of you and sell yourself.
Some people won’t reply at all. Others will say no. This is something that you need to get used to if you want to make it as a blogger.
Advertising is an easy way to make money.
Sure, you won’t make a fortune unless your readership is enormous, or you advertise something that they really want. But, you could start making a little pocket money even with a few thousand-page views.
If you’ve got a broad readership, using something like Mediavine could be a good idea. But, they won’t let you register until you hit 25000 sessions per month. Google AdSense can be installed as soon as you start, but the earnings won’t be massive.
Another idea is selling advertising space privately. Advertise a space for an advert, perhaps in your sidebar and rent it to brands and companies for a monthly fee.
Become an Affiliate
Affiliate marketing is another excellent option. Like advertising, you’ll earn more as your readership grows, but there’s nothing to stop you starting straight away.
Affiliate marketing basically means that you link to a product or store on your blog, either as an advert in the sidebar, a banner in posts, picture links within posts, specific widgets or text links. If someone buys something from your link, you’ll receive a small commission.
Amazon and Awin are great places to start, but many brands offer private affiliate schemes. Why not contact some of your favourites to see if they work with affiliates? Smaller companies might be willing to work with you even if they haven’t in the past.
Affiliate marketing is easy to initiate, and you can link to near enough anything. But, to make money, it’s always a good idea to stick to products that you love, feel passionate about or use yourself. Your audience trusts you and your opinion.
Work Directly with Brands
Brands are starting to catch on to influencer marketing and its values. They’re starting to see that bloggers can help them grow their audience and develop trust.
There are many ways that you could work with brands. You could write about them, photograph their products on social media, advertise them directly, review their products and many other things. Your imagination is the only limit to what you can do.
But, you need to get in touch. Bloggers have a habit of thinking that they need to wait for the brand to contact them. Often brands are doing the same and waiting for bloggers to make the first move. You’ve got nothing to lose by sending a pitch.
Sell a Product
Selling your own product is a great way to earn money and build your business. Think about your talents, your audience and your niche.
What can you offer that your readers would pay for? This could be services like blog help and advice or your tech skills, an online product like an eBook or physical merchandise.
Remember, the best way to turn your blog into a money-making machine is to utilise as many income streams as you can.
Things like advertising are quite passive. Once they are set up, they don’t take much of your time. They just run, steadily earning in the background.
Selling a product is also quite passive once the product has been created and is available, you just need to market it. Spend the rest of your time pitching ideas to brands and businesses and adding affiliate links to posts.
Use your time wisely, don’t rule anything out, and make money from as many sources as you can to maximise your earning potential.