Since the early 80s, people have been trying to figure out how to make money from the internet as a side-hustle. eBay started as an idea for collectors to buy and sell Pez dispensers. YouTube began when three guys wanted to share a video, and there was no way to do it. Since the mid-90s, a big way to make money has been by starting a blog. Some people care about the subject matter and leave it at that. But if you’ve ever wondered how to monetize your blog, you’re in the right place.
So whether you want to make a living as a blogger, or are just looking for a little extra scratch, here are 5 ideas to get you started monetizing your blog.
1. Sell Advertising
Many people think of “the a-word” as a negative, but most realize it’s a fact of life in this day and age and accept ads, as long as they don’t get out of hand.
Gone are the early days of the internet when pop-up ads were the frustrating rage. Banner ads are common and expected by your readers. Just start slow and don’t add too many too fast.
Seek out products that have a natural connection to your blog and contact those companies. Ads like these are a benefit to your readers and help them find the information or products that they would already be interested in.
2. Offer Your Services
Readers come to your blog because they find you a credible source on the topic. The more serious some readers get about your information, the more willing they are to pay for your expertise.
Pick a price you think is fair for your information, time, and effort, and start there. If you don’t think you’re getting enough interest, try lowering the price. If you’ve got more work than you want, raise the rates.
Charging for your services also lends credibility to you and your blog. Just the appearance of people willing to pay you can give you “expert status.”
3. Create an eBook
The best part about this is that you’ve already started! You don’t have to create something from scratch, just organize and put together blogs you’ve already written.
The steps after that are relatively easy, and you can find lots of templates online to help you.
And like offering your services, an eBook also lends credibility to you and your blog.
4. Get a Virtual Assistant
The phrase “you’ve got to spend money to make money” has been around a long time for a reason. In the beginning, getting by on the cheap seems like the way to go. But to see more results you may need to invest in yourself and your blog.
The world is littered with “former” bloggers who knew a lot about their subject matter, but next to nothing about the blogosphere. Spending a little on someone who knows their way around can save you time and headaches.
The right virtual assistant can help create email newsletters that can be monetized, or set up a “members only” section on your blog that you can also charge for.
They can even help with editing posts or handling your social media accounts. Pass off any tasks that you struggle with so you can concentrate on the content.
5. Accept Donations
You may have more casual readers that wouldn’t be interested in a membership, but they still find your blog entertaining or useful. Setting up a virtual tip jar might be a good idea.
Lots of people love the thought of being able to support a “struggling artist,” or an idea in its infancy. Some of them are people who wish they could do what you do, so they get satisfaction from observing your creative process.
Sires like Patreon make it easy for fans to donate and become active participants in your work, which strengthens your relationship with them. Making these kinds of connections can also lead to your fans becoming promoters on your behalf. They tend to share their passion in their circle of influence and get your work seen by more people.
Having a PayPal and/or Venmo link on your blog page also makes it easy for people to pay you for your work.
And making it easy for people to give is key. Even your most ardent supporters will give up if there are too many hoops to jump through.
Figuring out how to monetize your blog and then actually making money is doable, but it doesn’t happen overnight. Staying focused on the blog basics is important. And remember that content is king. Don’t get so distracted by trying to make money, that is what makes your blog special in the first place.