The Best 5 Ways to Monetize Your Blog

Most of us dream of owning our own passive income business and making a few dollars. Heck, I would say that most people want to become financially independent from your website. Me too!

This article is written for those people who have no problem writing posts and getting traffic but have a hard time monetizing their website to produce viable income.

There are lots of ways to produce an income from your website. I’m going to talk about some of those ways and some of the tools you could use to help reduce that income.

I’ve done a lot of reading on the topic and some of the ideas that people come up with are just not practical for smaller websites. For instance who would pay you for ad space when you’re not getting half a million or more page visits per month? So I didn’t include ideas like that in this post.

The ideas that are in this post are practical ideas that you can start using today and that will help you change your income quickly.

I’m going to start out with ideas that work the best for micro sites that is having less than 10,000 visitors per month with a limited number of articles and then talk about some of the average sites that get over 10,000 visits per month and have their website build-out.

The one thing that I would caution you about if you have a smaller website is not to clutter your website with ads. In building your brand you need to provide your readers with excellent information and provide a good user experience.

So I would recommend it to any website owner to try and keep a clean appearance on your website without a lot of distracting flashing banners.  It is my opinion that tackey promotion will serve to hurt you in the long run.

So let’s start with a few ideas for smaller websites:

1- Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is providing links to products that will pay you a commission.

The simplest example I can give is Amazon products.  While the program does not offer huge commissions you can make some money as a small site owner by reviewing products word seems appropriate.

Amazon’s commission rates start as low as 0 for some small subscription purchases and the App Store to as high as 10% on Amazon fashions. Some examples of commissions are furniture and home Improvement supplies at 8% commission, musical instruments at 6% commission and televisions at 2% commission.

Amazon also does not require you to have a website and they give an example of just sharing links on Facebook and Twitter.   While technically this can be done it’s probably not going to net you very much money for the effort that you put into it. I truly believe through my experiences, that you need a website or at least an article that relates to the item you are directing your buyers to buy.

Amazon has changed their commission structure overtime to be less attractive for many website owners. I can remember a person who use my link for picture hanging hooks and then went on to buy other items it amounted to over $1,000 and my commission what’s about $75 on that sale.  I don’t think today you could make that kind of a commission from a link. Today I may have gotten the commission on the picture hanging hooks and maybe nothing else.

You’re linked with Amazon lasts only as long as people are on their site. The maximum time the link is active is for 24 hours. If however a buyer adds the product to his or her shopping cart the link will last for up to 89 days.

Another affiliate company is called JV Zoo. JV Zoo acts as a middleman between affiliate product creators and affiliate products sellers. Selling products from JV Zoo is way more profitable then selling Amazon products. Of course there they are two separate and different entities what’s different buyers as well.

Many JV Zoo products are geared towards internet marketers looking for new ways to find clients or training on how to run a website. I am looking at JV Zoo top selling list while I am writing this portion of the article and here are some of the products that they are selling:  Traffic Builder, Social Video Suite, Big Audio Club, EZ Magic Video Club and more.

Many of JV Zoo products pay upwards of 50% commission. In fact some may pay as high as 100%. The reason the commissions are so high as you get paid on the first product that your reader buys. But then the reader is offered more and more products and upgrades so that initial $17 purchase now becomes $200 to $300 or more.

JV Zoo, in my opinion is a bunch of slick marketers who are often selling to the uninformed. There is no way a product claims to build traffic will actually work on your website to build the amount of traffic they imply unless it is under very specific conditions. It makes me feel the need to take a shower to wash the “ick” off.

Now I am not knocking every single product that is on JV Zoo.  I’m sure that there are many products and courses on this site that are of true benefit to your readers. My advice on JV Zoo is to be very careful about offering their products to your readers if you are in it for the long term. If the company won’t give you access to see and try the product stay away.

One of my favorite affiliate brokers is Shareasale.com. They offer honest products and pay reasonable commissions. Commission rates for software are often 20% to 50% many other products are between 10% to 30% commission.  

Some other affiliate brokers I recommend are

  • Commission Junction
  • Share-a-Sale
  • Affiliate.com
  • Rakuten
  • Neverblue
  • Clickbank
  • Walmart (maybe better than Amazon for some things)

2) Pay per Click (PPC)

Pay-per-click is exactly what it sounds like. Every time somebody clicks on one of the ads on your website you get paid a small amount. This could be from pennies per click to $5 to $10 per click, depending on the industry. For instance the insurance industry pays a lot for advertising and therefore the clicks are worth more to you as a publisher.

The granddaddy of them all is Google AdWords.  With Google AdWords you sign up for a Publisher’s account and start placing add blocks on your website. Google will provide advertising that relates to the topic you’re writing about. Mostly Google AdWords look a little like classified advertising. You can get banners but most people ignore banners when reading articles.  

Google AdWords is one of the less profitable programs for publishers.  I have read that some publisher’s website owners make only about $100 per month after getting 50,000 page views. This is appallingly low.  With a company like Taboola, these website owners could be making $500-$2000

You need to be careful not to click on your own ads because Google can detect this and after you hit an unspecified threshold you will lose your commissions.  I can remember reading a story about a publisher who was about to reach the payout level and his program membership was cancelled by Google for falsifying clicks.    

Some companies will provide you with “pop behind banners” and other companies specialize in contextual links which are links on words in your content.  Many companies are now offering full service where they will actually place the links into your website for you. You probably won’t get this level of service until you reach about 50,000 page views per month.

For smaller publishers it’s a matter of pasting code in the right spot. For those of you who are afraid to code it’s simply a matter of cut and paste and following simple directions.  In fact Infolinks, and I’m sure PPC brokers offer a plug-in for WordPress users that makes the process simple.

3 Publish a Book and Sell It on your Site. (Info Product)

An info product is almost 100% pure profit.   By carefully crafting your blog posts and then adding more detail to them you can create an info product that is worthy of a $10 to $15 sale.   A 3000 word blog post could turn into a 15,000 word info product. You can sell a book or info product easily through Woocommerce or even with PayPal Buy Buttons.

There are hundreds of info products that are available for you to download through companies like IDPLR.com IDPLR is a “Private Label Rights” publisher who allows you to sell their products under your own name.  

I like IDPLR but you need to watch the quality of the content like you would with any content you use.  My advice is to use their content as a starting point and then improve upon it. It’s nice to have a 60 page report to start and then build it out to something you would be proud to sell.  

Info product have vast differences in price and it’s a matter of your philosophy. I have seen a “Master Traffic Encyclopedia” selling for $995.00 and a “Traffic Rolodex” selling for $5.00. Do you think there is much difference? The former is sold by a purported “master marketer” and the latter, “cheap” version is sold by anyone.

Now I didn’t spend money on the $995.00 version because the information is out there on the internet but I would spend $10-$20 for someone to organize it into an info product. If I found that product useful, I would be tempted to buy more from the same author.  

The more value you add to your info product the more likely you are to get further sales of other products you create. Adding value could be updating the product, expanding on the detail of a vague point, creating “How to’s” and creating templates and checklists.  

4 Work On Building an Email List

An email list has always been an essential part of online marketing. Some people have described their email list as a way to turn on the money tap.   Are you going on vacation and need a few bucks? Then send out an email to your list with a great offer and watch the money roll in. That’s not how it works,   but some marketers treat their list that way.

Your email list are people who have put their trust in you enough to allow you to send them offers in their inbox. Don’t break that trust with your subscribers.

That is not to say that you cannot sell to your list.  Your subscribers should expect that there will be offers from time to time for products that you sell.   After all your business does not run on thin air!

Do not try to run an email list out of Gmail or other free email service. It won’t work and your emails will be put in spam automatically instead of inbox of the recipient.  Instead look for a service provider like MailerLite. MailerLite allows you to build your list to 1000 members for free.  It includes all of the features of most of the big names in the email marketing niche.  Check out the features and you will be surprised by what you get and how inexpensive it is once you need a paid plan.  

5 Online Courses:

What is your blog about?  For instance, if you blog is about gardening there are several courses you can create from posts.  Do you talk about soil types, companion planting, profitable crops, flowers, bugs, hot houses? You could put all of this into a slideshow course

Even with Google Slides you can embed sound and make a presentation that you can sell to your readers and it will look a lot like a UDEMY course.   

Many people think that because they are not formally trained as a teacher that they cannot teach.  You can absolutely teach a course to someone. Now don’t go offering medical degrees (snicker) but there is nothing wrong with showing someone how to learn a new skill.  We all do it every day. Each blog post you write teaches and there is nothing more natural than extending that into a formal course in your niche.

If you are unsure if your information is accurate or if the quality is good enough to ask readers to pay for it just research the topic or get some books from Amazon to help you through the creation of your course.  Remember however not to plagiarize and if you follow one author’s information closely remember to give recognition in your credits.

Remember to organize your thoughts into usable chunks and use adult learning principles along the way.  

Producing an online course also gives you another reason to be on social media like Pinterest and YouTube promoting your course. These two social media platforms can provide you with hundreds if not thousands of page views and if only 1 person 1000 buys your course you could be selling 10 courses a month at $20 each or a number of courses in a membership site for a higher amount of money.  

As a result of some sites giving courses away like some of the major sites that sell social media posting tools and UDEMY which has sales on regularly for $14.99, it may make your sale harder if you ask more than $20.00.  You can get more however if your knowledge is specialized and hard to obtain.

While a few sales a month might not seem like a lot, there are still major bloggers, who depend on small volume low value sales as part of their overall revenue strategy.  Most bloggers have dozens of revenue streams and even here on my tiny blog I have close to 20 revenue streams, most making a tiny amount and not regularly.

The idea is to keep at it and build until you get to a larger number of page views. Now if you’ve been reading my blog for sometime you know how I believe you get more and more page views.

If you know my method to getting page views post your answer in the comments section.  I’m anxious to see if you’ve really been paying attention!

Conclusion

There are a number of different methods for getting more revenue to your blog. Today I’ve touched on just a few of them that most small blog owners will be able to implement.  Remember that a blog takes time to grow. In the beginning it can seem like a labor of love but as time goes on success will come to you. Don’t give up.

I’ll be publishing a follow-up to this post in the near future and we can discuss further ways that exist to make even more money once your blog is established and growing.  

If you liked this post and you want to see what’s behind “Door #1” subscribe to my emails.  Email subscribers can follow along and see the ups and downs of my site and even read my journal on what is working and what’s not.  Subscribe now to get a closer look.

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