Many people start a blog with the intention of making money – either directly, or by drawing in new customers to buy their product or service – but they often struggle with how to do so. Let’s face it: getting traffic can be difficult in the first place, so how do you gain more visitors and make money?
While each blog is completely different, there are a few universal rules that apply to all sites. We’ve put together a list of tried and true methods for monetizing your blog that will work no matter what industry you’re in or who your target audience is.
Let’s jump right in:
There’s no way to make money off of your blog if no one visits your blog, so priority number one should be making sure you show up in search rankings. One of the easiest and best ways to do that is through the proper use of keywords.
- Research: You can’t just guess at keywords. If you want to properly optimize, you have to do a little research. Start out by using the Google Adwords Keyword tool to find words related to your product or service and then go from there. (Tip: you can also use the tool to spy on the competition and see what’s working for them!)
- Utilize keywords: Once you have a list of words to use, start peppering them throughout your content. As a good rule of thumb, keywords should be included in the following places:
- Headings and subheadings
- Introductory sentence
- Concluding paragraph
- Title tags and meta description
Your content should be useful and informative and read naturally, and if Google can tell that you’re intentionally jamming it full of keywords, they’ll knock you down in ranking.
Interact With Your Audience
People are more likely to recommend and do business with someone that they like – and that’s why you publish content, right? So you can create a connection with your audience and foster a more personal relationship.
Beyond publishing information, you can also create ways for your audience to interact with you and really take it up a notch. Two of the best and most popular options include sending out an email newsletter and utilizing social media. Both provide opportunities for your customers and prospects to chat with you directly, ask questions, send comments, and generally be more engaged.
Use Pay Per Click Ads
This is a more direct way to monetize a blog – and highly popular. With pay-per-click ads (or PPC), you make money anytime a user clicks on one of your ads.
Available in a variety of options, like banners, sidebar text links, and pop-ups, the cost of a PPC campaign can vary greatly. In addition, because many web users are using ad blocking browser extensions these days, there’s a good chance that not many people will even see your ad in the first place.
Best bet? Experiment a little bit and see if it’s for you.
Run Sponsored Posts
When people think of a monetized blog, sponsored posts are often the first thing that pops to mind. Dozens of sites (like PayPerPost and ReviewMe) exist to link writers up with advertisers. Typically, the writer will create a blog based on the advertiser’s desired topic for a fixed rate (although, some publishers will negotiate). Just remember: what you’re paid is often related to the number of visitors your site receives, so try to build up traffic for a while before using one of these services.
Take Advantage of Affiliate Links
If you’ve ever visited a blog, you’ve seen an affiliate link. It’s when the author places a link for a product within their content and then they make money every time someone clicks on that link. Typically, the author will disclose that they are sharing affiliate links in order to avoid conflict of interest. Some of the top affiliate link programs include Amazon Associates, ClickBank, and Commission Junction.
Now that you have some ideas for how to draw in traffic and monetize your blog, try out one or two and see how it goes. Once you have the basics down pat, it’s not that hard to make a little money off of your writing.
Have you done anything to monetize your blog that’s not on our list? How did it work out for you? Let us know in the comments!