Blogging is by far the simplest way to build an online presence, especially if you build your blog around a topic you are passionate about. It’s simple but not necessary easy though. It does take time to be a successful blogger and grow your audience to the point where it’s getting tons of traffic. But while this is highly rewarding, it’s not going to give you the freedom that you’re looking for. This will not be enough to enable you to quit your day job and to start lying in in the mornings/spending more time with your family/travelling.
To do that you’re going to also need to monetize your blog – in other words ensure that it’s bringing in cash.
So how do you do that? The answer might surprise you…
Consider This Before You Spend A Single Cent On Advertising
Many people believe that the best way to make money from a website is by putting ads on it – specifically like Google AdSense that will pay out every time they get clicked (this is ‘PPC’ advertising meaning ‘pay per click’).
Simply sign up for an account at https://www.google.com/adsense, create your campaigns, paste the adverts you create onto your site to embed them in your content and then ensure that lots of people are going to your site.
Problem is though, you’re only going to earn a few cents per click from those ads. If you’re getting hundreds of thousands of views per day, then this can be a good way to earn a fair amount of passive income – but even then there are smarter and more effective ways you could be earning more.
The thing to keep in mind here is that those advertisers are willing to pay you that much for your traffic. What this tells you, is that the customers are worth more to them than the small amount they’re paying you. That means they must have found a better way to monetize their site – likely by selling a product or perhaps an affiliate product that they’ll gain commission for.
Either way, this now means that you’re selling something for less than it’s worth. How do you get to the top of the pile?
Creating and Selling Products
The very best way to make money from a blog is to sell something. You can do this by purchasing inventory in bulk and then selling it on for more than you paid for it but this is a rather involved and complicated process with a number of challenges.
What’s much easier then and what’s particularly well suited to blogging, is to sell an informational product. That means an e-book, a book, a digital course or something else.
(Above: an information product created by DigitalMarketer.com)
As a digital product, these options will have zero overheads for you and no delivery costs. What’s more, you’ll be able to demonstrate value and build trust in your product through your content marketing very effectively. Throw in some adverts for your product and some promotion within the body of your content and you can make a lot of money this way.
Note that if you aren’t confident enough or don’t have the time to write an entire e-book, you can always outsource the process using the likes of UpWork (www.upwork.com), Freelancer (www.freelancer.com) and Elance (www.elance.com).
Or if you’d rather not invest the time or money in creating products, another choice is to skip that part and instead sell someone else’s product. You can do this by becoming an affiliate marketer, meaning that you’re now selling a product for commission. If that sounds like a step-down from selling your own product, bear in mind it gives you a much wider selection of things to sell and that it means you can choose products that are already highly successful.
If you find an affiliate product through a site like ClickBank (www.clickbank.com) or JVZoo (www.jvzoo.com), you’ll be given an affiliate link to promote and every time someone clicks on that link and buys the product you’ll get around 40-60%. A great strategy then is to include product reviews as blog posts, or to have a list of ‘key resources’ for your readers that promote these items.
Another option is to choose Amazon’s affiliate scheme. This pays out a much smaller percentage but on the other hand, it gives you access to a gigantic selection and it lets you sell through a retailer that people already use and trust.
Look for widgets and plugins that will let you add your adverts in the sidebars and under the headers of your site. These key spots bring in more clicks and more money without being distracting or disruptive for your visitors.
You can use a plugin like “Amazon Product in a Post Plugin” to add formatted Amazon products to any page or posts. It’s free: https://wordpress.org/plugins/amazon-product-in-a-post-plugin/