Part 04: How To Earn Money As A Blogger
Enda McLarnon’s Beginner’s Guide explains monetisation of a site…
- How to assess your blog’s potential for making money
- About passive income
- About other monetisation methods
Is it possible to make money with my blog?
Before we look at the different options available, I want to answer this very important question. Many new internet marketeers who build a new website or blog want to be able to create an asset that will make them money – yet almost any type of website or blog has the potential to earn money. As I mentioned earlier, there are a lot of different ways to monetise a blog.
Just before we look at those, the most important thing to understand is generating one-off money versus generating a passive income. Let’s have a look at the difference, as it’s crucial to fully understand these two monetisation methods.
The simplest way to understand passive income is to consider the following: if you wrote a book, that would be a one-time activity. You do a piece of work one time and it’s finished – that book may continue to sell for many years, generating what is called a passive income. That is, it will generate sales without you having to do anything else.
On the other hand, if you create a website that sells services to a local business, then you will only get paid when one of those local businesses purchase one of your services. As an example, say a local business hired you to create a business plan for them. You’d be paid to do that one-time only.
The only way to earn more money is to do more business plans for more businesses, which means doing more work. There is a very big difference between the two methods of generating an income from your website/blog. In some cases, you can mix both earned income and passive income.
Seven Popular Methods Of Monetising A Blog
- Product And Service Sales
- Membership Websites
- Selling Your Own Information Products
- Consulting And Coaching
- Flipping Websites
- Affiliate Marketing
Product And Service Sales
Also known as e-commerce, this is a simple concept to understand. If you have a product or service to sell, then you can build an e-commerce website and sell your products and services online. Having built your website, you’ll then need to add specific e-commerce elements, such as a shopping cart, checkout and payment options.
All larger-scale businesses will do this and many small- to medium-sized businesses, too. There are also many small home-based or craft-based businesses who do this – whether you need to do it depends on the number of products or services you’re selling. These types of websites require a lot of work and regular updating.
With this method, you set up a website offering free information to those interested in a particular subject, eg, Learning Spanish. You then create a section where members pay for access to more detailed content. Typically, this will be a monthly subscription, which enables the website owner to set up a steady monthly income stream.
The good thing about this model is you can get all of the work done and set up as a one-time activity. The downside is that members will come and go, so you’ll need to work on attracting new members.
Selling Your Own Information Products
This particular monetisation method has grown in popularity. The selling of knowledge is a huge industry, and the principle behind this method is to build up your position in a particular market. You can then sell quality information to that market. For most website/blog owners, this information is produced in various formats, such as:
- Webinars, or…
- A combination of all of the above
If you are the author and own the product, then you keep 100 per cent of the profit. You can also ask other people to promote your product, and share the revenue with them. As with the membership method, you can carry out all of the work in one go, then purely focus on promoting the website or blog.
Consulting And Coaching
Similar to the previous method, this requires you to establish yourself as an expert in a target market. You’ll use your website or blog to build up your reputation, build your brand and attract an interested audience. You can then monetise your website or blog by offering your services to offline businesses.
So, as an example, you could own a website or blog showing small businesses in your local area how to set up a website, use Facebook etc. You could then offer to do this for them for a fee. This is often referred to as local consulting. This can be quite lucrative, but the downside is you’ll always need new work and each job will largely be a new one-off activity, so passive income is not really an option with this method.
A favourite method for many bloggers is to host advertising on their website. It’s the first method many new people start with – I did it myself. It’s also the simplest method of monetisation. With this method, the site or blog owner concentrates on writing good-quality content, which will then begin to attract visitors. Once that happens, the website owner can begin to place adverts relevant to their visitors.
There are various network-advertising opportunities such as Google AdSense, Kontera or Tribal Fusion. You may also be contacted by other businesses that will pay you to place banner adverts on your website; you get paid when someone clicks on one of the displayed adverts. This method really only works well when you have large numbers of visitors to your website, but it is also passive income.
Last but not least is Affiliate Marketing and it’s my favourite method. Affiliate marketing is a great way to build up your income – you offer the products of others to the visitors to your website/blog and you get paid when they buy the product. You can write about something you have an interest in, recommend a relevant product or service to your visitors, and include an Affiliate Link on your website.
You’ll be able to see this in action on the case-study website/blog that I’ve built at theperfectgrind.co.uk. This is true passive income. I use Amazon Associates as my affiliate partner, but I’ve also included some Google AdSense adverts, as they neatly fit in with the structure of the website. I don’t use a lot of adverts, though, as that can put visitors off and also become very distracting from the content.
Those are the main methods of monetising a website. The one you decide to go for will depend on the type of online business you want to create. My preference is as an Amazon affiliate, as I find that the most enjoyable.
I’ve also discovered that Amazon is excellent at converting visitors into buyers. When you add some Google Adsense adverts to your site, too, it can generate two very good generators of passive income.