Repeat after me – “I only make money when I sell!” If you want to monetize your blog you have to sell.
It’s a simple truth, and yet, it’s often forgotten by marketers and bloggers who miss the point as they bog themselves down with a myriad of inane details which are part and parcel of running an online business – but are not the only thing.
I see many bloggers do their best to overdeliver insane value in an attempt to build trust and credibility with their audience. It seems like a constant content creation race to outdo the competition.
You may be checking off all the required boxes except the one which brings you money– selling.
You must keep selling at the forefront of your mind to be sure that you don’t have a blog with lots of content, but no sales.
The secret to avoiding this problem is to monetize your blog effectively. You have to sell, sell and sell some more to be profitable. How else will you make money?
This may not be something you want to hear as some believe that they only have to put good, quality content on their blogs to make money. There is so much more to running a blog and being profitable then just creating and posting content.
Now, there are many monetization methods with varying degrees of efficacy. But ultimately, someone has to buy something (or click on an ad) for you to actually receive money. It’s not enough to just be passionate about a subject, post about it, and then magically hope someone will click on your affiliate link and buy whatever you’re offering.
And that’s what this article is all about. Let’s talk about 5 ways to transform your blog into a money-making machine that works round the clock for you.
Selling products as an affiliate
This is probably the easiest monetization method of the lot because all you’ll be doing is selling other people’s products and collecting commissions from the sales you generate.
You don’t need to worry about the tech details or customer service. Your focus is only on pre-selling and creating persuasive reviews.
Once you’re registered with these platforms, it’s just a matter of adding your affiliate links (on your blog) to RELEVANT products in your niche.
There must be congruence with your niche and the products you’re recommending. You wouldn’t want to promote a health product on a finance blog just because the health product has a high pay-out.
Ideally, you should promote a mix of both tangible and digital products. It’ll also be wise to promote products on different platforms. This will ensure that all your eggs are not in one basket.
Far too many bloggers rely entirely on one affiliate program. Please do not be one of those bloggers. Just using Amazon as an example, what will you do if Amazon or some other program you are relying on bans you from their platform? There goes your earnings overnight.
Unfortunately, this does happen, and the affiliates are not even given a reason as to why they were banned.
Diversify, diversify, diversify.
Sell your own digital products
This is a highly lucrative way to generate an income from your blog. It’s more technical because you’ll need to set up a sales page, funnel, etc. You’ll also need to create a product and have good sales copy so that your sales conversions are high.
All this may seem like a lot of work… and it is… but the rewards are great.
You could do a lot of it yourself by using page/funnel builders such as Thrive Themes, ClickFunnels, OptimizePress, etc. These types of software will help you immensely because they’re relatively simple and intuitive to use.
The truth is that you don’t need to do it all. The good news is that you can outsource the different parts of the process to freelancers on sites like Fiverr and/or Upwork, or hire a virtual assistant, while you only focus on what you’re good at…
… and when it’s all completed, you just put the moving parts together and VOILA! Your very own product that you can sell on your blog.
After all, with all the content you’re posting and the credibility/authority you’ve built, it’ll be much easier to sell a product created by you than by someone else, because your audience likes and trusts you.
When you’re creating and selling your own products, you’ll have a lot more flexibility and be in control of:
- Product pricing
- The depth of the sales funnel (upgrades, downsells, etc.)
- What the product will be about
- Customer service
It’s more work, but it’s also more freedom from a business standpoint… and exponentially more profit, if you’re good at it.
Selling tangible products
This is similar to the earlier point, but now you’re selling physical products. You’ll need a store with a shopping cart that calculates shipping and so on. This is slightly more complicated because you’ll need to fulfil the orders. However, it doesn’t have to be difficult if you use a platform like Shopify, or WooCommerce.
You’ll have to decide if you’re selling print-on-demand products or dropshipping which are relatively hands-off processes… or will you be maintaining inventory and mailing the products yourself? Or will you use Fulfilment By Amazon (FBA).
There are several options here and you’ll need to do your research and see which method is best for your business. You don’t want to end up in a situation where you’re making lots of sales, but the post office has become your second home.
It looks like no online marketing article can ever be complete without paying homage to email marketing – and that’s because it really does work. Unlike social media marketing which can be blocked by your audience, most people check their emails – and you want to show up there… to sell!
Yes! Don’t forget the selling… but always remember to deliver value in your emails. You’ll have to find the right balance here.
But first things first – you need to build a list from your blog.
The easiest way to do this will be to use software like Thrive Leads to display opt in forms, pop ups, scroll mats and so on. This is a fantastic software that most marketers will benefit from.
Another excellent plugin is Post Gopher. It allows your site visitors to download your blog posts as PDFs which they can read later – in exchange for their emails.
Both have a great feature that lets the subscriber double opt in with just one click of the mouse (to download a product, etc.). This will ensure that more people end up on your list vs. other autoresponders which require a 2-step process to confirm the opt in and you end up losing subscribers who don’t follow through.
All tech talk aside, just ensure that you have a way to collect emails on your blog and you have an autoresponder sequence in place to nurture the audience on your list.
Do remember to promote your own products (if you have any) or affiliate products in your emails.
Because you need to sell! That’s why!
Sell your own services
This point was saved for last because it has one downside.
If you’re providing a service which requires your direct involvement, you’ll be trading your time for money.
Common examples of services are content writing, copywriting, graphic design, video creation and virtual assistant services. You could make top dollar although it’s not passive.
You could also provide software as a service and still make a hefty chunk of change without much involvement.
Alternatively, you could be a middleman and use service arbitrage to sell services that others deliver. You’ll charge a higher rate and hire a cheaper freelancer to do the job for you.
You’ll then deliver that job to the person who hired you and you’ll pocket the difference. Of course, you’ll need to ensure that the freelancer did a good job before delivering the work, so that your reputation is intact.
Arbitrage is perfectly legal, and people do it all the time.
Two honorable mentions that don’t involve selling but are self-explanatory are ads and blog sponsorship. With ads you apply with platforms such as Mediavine, Monument, and Media. Some of the ad companies require you have a certain number of visitors or sessions to your website each month. Others do not have these types of requirements. You should shop around to find one that fits with your current blog success level. Those that get a lot of traffic to their blogs stand to make a nice amount of money each month from ads placed on their websites. As a word of caution however, don’t overdo it with ads on your website. Too many ads can turn your audience off and can also cause your blog to look unattractive.
Blog sponsorships is when a company pays you to write a blog post about their product, company, or service. The pay can vary depending on the amount of traffic you have as well as your following on your social media accounts.
In conclusion, the 7 methods above are really all you need to make money six with your blog/s. You can apply 2 or 3 of the methods above and skyrocket your income in a couple of months.
Don’t be shy about selling and offering your products and services. After all, the whole point of your business is to help, and part of helping is to provide the tools, resources, products, and information needed to be successful.
Start working on these methods today. And remember to… SELL!