You are a savvy blogger: you started your blog and were able to cut your costs wherever you could; you did the website design yourself instead of paying a designer, and what’s more, when in search for the best web hosting you were able to find a reliable provider that was reasonably priced. Finally, so far you have managed to stick to a regular posting schedule and develop a small readership. Bravo! So what’s next for the savvy blogger? Now you should monetize your blog!
Keep Your Content Meaningful and Consistent
Of course blogs have always been about impeccable content. You can have the catchiest blog title or domain name in the world and publish a new post every single day, but if you aren’t generating meaningful content – if you aren’t writing a blog that people will read – then you are just spinning the wheels and going nowhere. So, step number one is naturally writing outstanding, relevant, and meaningful content on a consistent basis; keeping your content creation high keeps readers engaged and helps your blog rank authoritatively in search engines. Put simply, there is no way to monetize your blog if you do not have web traffic – aka a loyal readership – and you cannot have a loyal readership without good content.
Brand and Network: Develop Authority and Ranking
As you establish yourself as a voice of authority in your industry, you will gain more and more loyal readers. Getting yourself out there, however, requires active networking and blog branding. Branding is really just the image that you want to present about yourself. Present yourself as unique and confident, and as having something valuable to offer that is different to everything else out there – be distinct. Once you have this brand image, it is time to network. It is a good practice to reach out to other industry influencers and bloggers in your field who you can collaborate with. Offering to guest post on their blog or site and having them guest post on yours not only increases your reach – as you can gain followers from the other blog’s readership pool – but it gives your blog important back links (potentially leading to increased search engine ranking) as well as getting other industry professionals to know you and trust what you have to say. The more that you get yourself out there, the more traffic you will bring to your site, and the more people will trust and value what you have to say.
Sell Baby, Sell!
This last point is important. Once you have established yourself, you have also positioned the information that you make available to your readership as valuable. If you have a significant amount of subscribers that consistently read your content, then perhaps it is time for you to sell that information in the form of an eBook, one-on-one coaching sessions, online courses, or consultancy fees. If what you have to say is worthwhile and people are already responding to it well, then they may well pay for the extra services that you are offering.
Furthermore, now that you are an established blogger with a following, your virtual real-estate has become extremely valuable. Carefully consider affiliate marketing options. Be sure that you only choose affiliates that are relevant to your blog. When it is done correctly, the benefits of affiliate marketing far outweigh the costs, but be aware that selling space to anyone who wants to target your traffic without there being a logical association can actually hurt your authority ranking and compromise your blog, not to mention confuse and potentially aggravate your readers.
Of course this all requires hard work and dedication, but when approached in the right way, monetizing your blog can not only further your career, but it can also give you a side cash-flow that is rewarding all on its own.