Setting up a blog, regularly creating and posting interesting content, and advertising it to the right audience is a lot of work. You do it for passion, as a hobby, or as an investment into your future. However, the goal in most cases is to make your blog a source of income – whether active or passive. Some people hope to find work through their blog, while some others aim to get donations or subscription fees, or even to monetize the website itself.
It takes a while before you’re at the stage where you can seriously think about monetization, but it’s good to know your options in advance. Plus, who knows – maybe you’ll be one of the lucky few who makes it big quickly. You could have a post go viral, or hit your target better than you’d expected.
So in this article, we’ll discuss how to monetize a blog, and everything the process entails.
When are you ready to monetize your blog?
The first thing you need to know is when’s the right time to monetize your blog. As you probably know, except in rare cases building an audience base is a slow process. Time is money, so you have to convince people, one by one, that they should give your blog their time. You need to be regular and consistent, provide value, and entertain your readers. You want them to look forward to your posts. It takes time.
However, it makes things a lot easier when you have a figure in mind to look up to. Most blogging gurus agree that if you have at least 10,000 monthly visitors (i.e., 300+ daily visitors), you’re ready to monetize your blog. You can technically monetize your blog a lot earlier than that, but the conversion rate will be poor. You have to consider the fact that of 100 people who read an article, maybe one or two will go ahead and make a purchase – and that’s a fairly optimistic percentage.
If your blog’s small and doesn’t get that many visitors, don’t be disheartened. You’ll get there. Always remember that luck plays a large part in these things, so if you’ve been working hard and still don’t have enough visitors, it doesn’t mean you aren’t a good blogger. Just keep at it, find ways to optimize the writing process, and trust in yourself.
The best ways to monetize a blog
Here are some of the simplest and most effective ways to monetize your blog:
1. Accepting donations
This isn’t the coolest way to do it, but if you’re looking for a simple way to earn some pocket money and want to know how to monetize a WordPress blog, this is probably the best solution. Just add a widget with a link to your PayPal or Venmo in the sidebar, and you’re all set! It’ll take less than five minutes to do.
Of course, you’ll want to spread the word that you’re accepting donations, because if you wait for people to notice the widget and send you cash you’ll be waiting a while. I’m all for gentle nudges, so you can create a short note to add to the end of your blog posts, which says something like: “If you’d like to contribute to help this blog grow, you can send me donations by clicking this link.”
This will inform people so they have the option to donate if they want to. If you want to go one step further, you can post about it on social media. You don’t want to annoy your followers, so don’t post this message oftener than twice a week, and try to keep it short and funny. Patreon works on a similar concept, except supporters get access to extra content.
2. Putting up ads
This is a fairly popular way of making a quick buck off your blog or YouTube channel. Most people are aware of adblockers and use them on the internet, but the idea is that if someone likes your blog and wants to support you, they’ll disable their adblocker on your website so you can earn a little without them losing any money.
When trying to monetize a blog some people actually prefer to disable ads altogether and instead monetize in other ways. This is because they assume other people don’t like ads. However, if you opt for ad revenue you’re not doing anything wrong or bad. Think of it this way: People who don’t know about adblock are used to seeing ads everywhere, and for those who do use the software, they have the option to disable it if they’d like to support you. How cool is that?
3. Finding work through your blog
Even if your blog’s past the 10,000 visitor milestone this will involve some luck, because you need your work to be seen by the right person at the right time. However, when it happens, it’s simple and wonderful.
Since you’re on this website reading about how to monetize a blog, you’re clearly interested in becoming a blogger and/or writer. You can get the best of both worlds if you land a writing gig through your blog. You might have to wait a bit, but that’s more time to establish yourself as an authority! Writers often talk about establishing yourself in a niche. It’s important because that way you’ll have a demonstrable portfolio and skillset to share with clients, and you’ll be able to write on a subject you love.
So make sure your blog’s about something you’re interested in. Your passion will shine through, and familiarity with a subject can’t be faked. Create a page on the website that mentions you’re a writer and lists your rates, qualifications, etc. Sooner or later, you’ll get your first break!
4. Affiliate links – selling someone else’s product
Wondering how to monetize your WordPress blog? Affiliate links are your answer! You’ve probably heard the term in the blogging biz. Everyone’s doing it, and when they explain it to you it does sound rather technical and complicated, doesn’t it? But really it’s super simple – you advertise someone else’s product on your blog, and they pay you for it. We specifically mentioned WordPress, but this’ll work on just about any platform that doesn’t have a no-promo rule (like HubPages, for example).
Say you like to write about gardening. You can approach gardening companies and startups, and offer to review their products or link them in a peppy blog post in exchange for a fee. In fact, if you have enough local readers, you could even reach out to local service providers to advertise them. It’ll feel a lot more personal, and less like promo.
So you could write an article titled “The 12 Best Succulent Varieties” and link a website that sells succulents, or write reviews, buying guides, care tips, how-to articles…anything. You’d be surprised how easy it is to sneak a link in.
5. Selling your own product
When listing ways to monetize a blog, we’ve tried to list ideas based on ease in execution. This method, therefore, is the hardest of all the ones listed so far, because it involves quite a bit of extra work. In addition to blogging and advertising, it entails creating a product quite apart from the blog articles.
If your interests lie that way, or if you have an idea for a product you want to create and sell, this is the right option for you. Create your product and spend time perfecting it while you get your blog off the ground. Then, once it’s ready for distribution, use your blog to direct potential buyers. You could conduct sales through the website itself (in which case you’ll need the website designed differently), or you could simply direct them to your store on Etsy or similar.
This is excellent for those who’re interested in creating books, courses, t-shirts, or other products of any type.
So this was an article on how to monetize a blog. We hope you found it helpful. If you have any questions on this subject or would like us to cover similar topics in the future, please send us an email. Happy blogging!