The Philosophy of How to Monetize Your Blog
Monetizing one’s own blog is mostly about striking a balance between what you are passionate about and what you know in terms of your business skills. So, yes, the best starting point here is to understand that blogging both “can be” and “is” a business, as this was known to respectable names in the industry even more than a decade ago.
What happened in the meantime is that the need to approach and perceive it as a business or even a startup has become even more pronounced. The proliferation of competing blogs and persistent naysayers for this model can appear like an obstacle, but the best way to exorcize your fears is to look at your blog as a monetary asset and use monetization to leverage it. Become a professional, if you like. Let us look at the best ways to go ahead with this while learning from past experiences of others.
In Absence of Shortcut, Be Dedicated
The first premise that you need to imprint on your attitude towards monetization is that successes do not come easily or fast. This may depend on whether you want to make blogging your main means of making a living, or something in line with additional income. In any case, living off your revenues generated in this manner entails an understanding that there are no shortcuts to success, as it involves going through several stages in a painfully slow manner.
The initial step to be taken on this quest is to understand that, just as all roads lead to Rome, all blog monetization roads lead to the content you produce.
Getting Paid for Your Passion
Once you decide that you have sufficiently developed it together with your audience, you can consider becoming part of an affiliate marketing program, which will allow you to turn your blog into an income generation platform. In this case, monetization revolves around receiving a reward in the form of commission paid to you by a business (say, Amazon) whose products and services you promote to your visitors. Whenever your visitor becomes a customer by making a purchase, you’ll receive a commission according to an agreed rate.
In addition to having healthy numbers in terms of traffic, your monetization by means of affiliate marketing will be greatly helped by aligning your content with the nature of ads you promote in this manner. Depending on the niche you operate in, you can get in touch with businesses whose products and services correspond to the content you write about. The same goes for profiling your audience in order to target them better and ensure higher conversion rates. In any case, affiliate marketing has proven itself as a valuable monetization model that allows you to earn money “in your sleep” at little or no cost, without compromising the content you create.
Running Ads as a Monetization Quick Fix
Yet, imagine that you need to earn a quick buck, and you have neither marketing skills nor perfectly aligned products to promote alongside your content. You should not despair, as the cavalry comes to the rescue in the form of monetization via running ads on your blog.
For many bloggers and laymen, this is what you’ll get as the first answer if you inquire them about squeezing cash out of one’s blog. This involves going on one of two preferred paths: either approach advertisers directly or become part of an ad network such as Google AdSense or its alternatives. Bear in mind that while both approaches may include meeting some requirements in terms of the level of traffic or type of audience, some ad networks offer quick or instant approval, making them a preferred choice for a startup or new blogs. Also, keep in mind that simply placing ads on a site does not necessarily mean success. Make sure you keep track of how your audience reacts to the ads if they see them as a nuisance, or as an enrichment to the overall UX. One way to do it is to employ the powers of a website visitor recording tool which can quickly tell you if users are fast to move away from the ads or not.
Measure Twice and Cut Once: Paid and Premium Content
At the same time, being passionate about the content you create will get you nowhere unless you manage to create a lasting impression that you are the master of your creation and a ruler of the niche you reign over, no matter how small or big it may be. In short, you need to convince your audience that passion comes with the knowledge or expertise that you can ultimately put to good use by writing paid reviews or creating premium content.
In the case of paid reviews, your credibility and prowess will be put to use by describing your experience with sponsored products for your audience. In addition to their standard format, these reviews can also be presented in the form of advertorials, in which the paid content is seamlessly integrated into the one you usually produce for your blog. Make sure to consider the ethical aspects of this approach as the boundaries of its coexistence with unpaid content need to be clearly demarcated.
You will have to exhibit similar finesse in separating content if you decide to adopt monetization by way of creating premium content. Once you decide that the number of your returning visitors warrants setting a paywall between them and exclusive content, you’ll need to put a lot of effort into deciding what should be put behind it, and what you’ll continue to offer as regular content.
Monetizing Personal Skills
Still, bear in mind that blog monetization paths can take you away from content per se if you decide that your web asset can also serve as the platform for the promotion of your personal skills. Once again, your success in this regard will largely depend on the degree to which you can impose yourself as an expert in a particular field, be it creative writing, translation, or even offering to consult or coaching services to your audience.
This means that you’ll have to attract and keep clients that are not necessarily recruited from the ranks of your visitors, making establishing a connection with other bloggers and a larger audience a viable strategy.
Its outcome will be influenced by your readiness to engage in a self-education process, particularly in getting to grips with establishing your presence in the world of social media. It goes without saying that this ensures closer ties with your audience, but the oft-neglected segment is its utilization for connecting with other like-minded bloggers. These more or less formal arrangements can allow you to share knowledge, content and support efforts with others, thus pooling your resources without hurting anyone in the process.
To Sum Up
Generally speaking, your philosophy of blog monetization can be unique, yes, but there are some eternal truths that you can hardly ignore if you are to succeed in your efforts. And that means doing what needs to be done, through affiliate programs, ad networks, premium content or pure monetization of your own skills through tutorials, coaching and guiding. Unless your blog for altruistic purposes or an unnamed cause, these truths will be efficiently utilized only if you clear your headspace for both accepting and building on them. Blog monetization is not an easy feat, yet it can be rewarding in a professional and financial sense, and you’ll do yourself a great favor if you fit together all the puzzle pieces within yourself before making the first and the hardest step.