Blogging is a proven money-maker in today’s digital landscape for everyone from solopreneurs to big brands. Here are seven ways you can make money and receive real returns on your digital publishing investments.
In the early days of the internet, if you couldn’t write programming code yourself, you needed to be able to pay someone to write the code in order to bring a website to digital life. As the world wide web evolved, more and more platforms emerged making it possible for people to create a website without knowing how to write code, using tools whose cost was minimal (or even free). This development leveled the playing field in many ways, enabling the solopreneur, small business or any individual who had something they wanted to say to publish their own blog right alongside those of much larger brands and publishers, find and engage followers, then get those followers to take desired actions such as buying, subscribing, sharing, etc.
If you aren’t writing your own content, or if you need more content than you’re able to produce yourself, you many need to hire additional writers or pay for content from outside sources. Even if you need to finance blog site development and content creation, the return on your investment could be well in excess of the monetary investments made. These seven ABC’s prove the point that your blog can make money and produce measurable ROI (return on investment).
7 ABC’s Prove Blogging Can Be Profitable
1. Adsense and Affiliate Links
There are many ways you can make money from paid ads and affiliate links on your blog. It’s easy to install programs like Google Adsense on your blog and you can even customize the program, blocking ads you don’t want to see on your blog (such as those of competitors), deciding what size and where ads will be placed on your site.
Affiliate links are another way you can make money when your readers click through to other sites and buy product. They are also very flexible – affiliate links can be displayed as ads or can become an organic part of your site’s content when you make product or reading recommendations. When your readers click through to these sites and buy, the seller recognizes your affiliate I.D. and rewards you with a portion of each sale, in essence paying you a commission on any sales your site drives.
2. Brand Credibility and Sales
An Ignitespot infographic titled The Blogcomony notes that eight out of ten U.S. consumers trust the information they read on blogs. Businesses that blog build credibility and generate as much as 67 percent more leads. Perhaps most importantly when it comes to measurable ROI, more than six out of even ten U.S. consumers have made a purchase based on a blog post.
Nearly half of all marketers (45 percent) cited blogging as their brand’s most important content in a 2015 Social Media Examiner study. That number rose to 57 percent when evaluating the responses of B2B marketers. Especially if your business sells products or services to other businesses, blogging can be the means of:
- Customer discovery and prospecting
- Educating buyers in every phase of the buying cycle
- Client acquisition – converting prospects into buyers
- Customer engagement and retention
3. CPC / CPM
CPC (cost per click) and CPM (cost per mission impressions) refer to visual display ads which are integrated into a blog’s site design. Unlike ads where you only receive money if one of your readers clicks through to another site and makes a purchase, with CPC and CPM ads you receive monetary compensation if your audience members click on an ad or even based on how many times an ad is viewed by your readers.
4. Digital Services and Software
You can use your blog to publish content that produces sales of your digital services, software, apps and other intangible products. Examples of digital services could include anything from virtually-provided services (marketing, bookkeeping, tax preparation, legal services, administrative assistance, consulting, etc.) to software and apps buyers can use in their own businesses or for entertainment purposes.
5. E-Books, Education and Expertise
Just as the evolution of the internet eliminated barriers to website development and blogging, it has eliminated barriers to publishing. If you self-publish e-books or provide education resources, you can use your blog to publish content that attracts and converts potential buyers.
In addition, your blog provides the public speaking platform you need to establish your own credibility as an expert in your field, since 77 percent of internet users read blogs. By publishing content on your blog, you can attract and persuade potential buyers to do business with you.
Freemiums are resources that are free to specific types of users, such as members and subscribers. You can use your blog to persuade readers to subscribe, upgrade to a higher level of service or become members by attracting them with free services or products made available only to those individuals.
7. Google Search
Blogging helps your business get found in online search in several ways. Additional content earns your site clout with Google’s search algorithm since companies that blog have 434 percent more indexed pages and websites with 401-1000 pages get six times as many leads as those with 50-100 pages (Hubspot.com). Additional exposure in search earns your business more sales since 15 percent of search engine-obtained leads convert vs. leads obtained through direct mail or outbound advertising have a 2 percent close rate (Search Engine Journal).
Blogging can put your business on the map and give you the ability to compete with organizations of any size. Make sure that you take advantage of all the ways you can use your blog to make money so you can produce a significant return on your blogging investment over time.