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Editor’s Note: UPDATED as of October 19, 2016 for relevance and accuracy.
If turning your blog into a money making machine sounds like a dream come true, you are not alone.
Everyday, people all over the world create new blogs and websites, hoping to turn their hobbies and interests into profitable income streams. Some of the bloggers do incredibly well. They become well-known in their community and earn enough money to quit their 9-5 jobs.
But, this isn’t always the case.
Despite their best efforts, some bloggers just can’t get their blogs to make a profit.
So, how do you increase the earning potential of your blog?
There are so many different ways to make money from it. These include advertising, affiliate links, ebook sales, sponsored posts, subscriptions, and more. For every possible way to earn an income with your blog, there is someone out there who has had great success – and many others who have not.
Unfortunately, there is NO right or best way to monetize your blog. What works for others may or may not work for you.
Successful bloggers do have something in common: they take the time to get to know their options. Then, they choose the best way that works best with their audience.
If you are willing to do the work, you can turn your blog into a successful business. Here are some ways you can use to maximize the earning potential of your website.
Turning Your Blog into a Money Making Machine
#1 Use Ad Networks like Adsense
Most bloggers start making money with their blog by using an ad network like Google Adsense. This method of monetization is dependent on how much traffic you’re getting and what are the CPM rates.
Once you get your account approved by Adsense, you can simply insert the code in your website and Adsense will do the rest. It works well with most blogging platforms.
Here is a great article on where to place ads on your website.
For this to work, focus on:
- Optimizing your page for SEO so that you can benefit from the organic traffic.
- Creating high-quality content that gets shared on social media.
- Reaching out to influencers and try and get them to link to your articles or share it on social media.
If you’re just starting out as a blogger, you may find it difficult to get the Adsense account approved (mine was rejected twice). While you work on getting it approved, you can also try other ad networks such as Infolinks or Chitika.
You can also use more than one ad network. Just make sure you don’t violate any AdSense policies (if using with Adsense). Also, avoid aggressive tactics like pop-ups and full-page ads that can turn off website visitors.
#2 Sell Ad Space Directly to Advertisers
Once your blog is consistently bringing in traffic and you’ve built a decent sized mailing list, you can start selling advertising space directly to your advertisers.
Put together blog details, such as daily, monthly, and yearly traffic, as well as details about your target audience. Then reach out to the advertisers in your industry.
You can also use platforms such as Buy Sell Ads to find advertisers. This way of turning your blog into a money making machine ensures that you’re showing relevant ads to your audience.
#3 Add Affiliate Links to Your Posts to Earn Residual Income
When you start out as a blogger, you may not want to invest time and money in developing your own product.
Using affiliate links to generate income is a good way to get you going and build your audience at the same time. Many companies and programs, like Amazon Affiliates, offer a percentage from every sale resulting from one of your affiliate links.
You can also reach out and enroll in the affiliate programs of the influencers in your industry. That will help you generate income and build a relationship at the same time.
You can insert affiliate links in reviews, product roundups, guides, and tutorials. Just make sure to let your readers know that you get a portion of the sales, but that all opinions and recommendations are your own.
Also, it is highly effective to show your audience exactly how the product works. For example: if you are using an affiliate for a software, create a video and show your readers how it works. Or create additional bonus that will help the readers when they purchase the software from your link.
#4 Write Sponsored Posts for Advertisers and Affiliates
Sponsored posts are a bit like affiliate links – except that the company actually pays you for the post and would want to review it before it goes live.
As with affiliate links, you’ll want to make sure your readers know that you’re getting paid for the post. If you’re upfront about it and only write about products you would use yourself, your readers won’t mind the occasional sponsored post.
#5 Create and Sell Your Own Product
While there’s nothing wrong with advertising the products of others, you are likely to turn your blog into money making machine by selling your own products. For most bloggers, this means creating a virtual product, like an ebook, audio book, webinar, video course, or an email course.
You can combine content from your blog posts with new information to create helpful guides that your readers will be more than happy to pay for. If you create tools for your own use like templates and apps, you can easily sell those, too.
#6 Offer Your Services
This is the fastest way to get started and you don’t need a huge audience for this.
If you’re an expert in your field or have a great deal of experience, your blog readers might be willing to pay for special access to personal services, such as coaching.
For example: if you are a copywriting expert, you can offer to help people create sales letters, email sequences, posts, press releases, etc.
Facebook can be your best friend in such cases. Hang out in groups where people talk about online businesses. Sooner or later, you’ll find someone who needs help in your area of expertise. Also, try and make yourself visible by participating in the discussion and offering some advice for free. That builds credibility and would help you in getting clients.
#7 Invite Your Readers to Support You with Patreon
If you want to make all of your content available to everyone, but also want to turn your blog into a money making machine, try Patreon. Invite your readers to support your site by making individual or monthly donations.
Sponsorship programs are growing in popularity as they allow bloggers and other content creators to earn money without costing individual sponsors more than a few dollars at a time. This works really well for creators of entertainment based content, like videos, art, comics, and music.
It can also allow bloggers to keep their blog ad-free, resulting in a better experience for their followers and readers.
All these monetization techniques discussed above have worked for someone or the other. You’ll need to try and experiment with some or all of these to see what best suits you.
When you find something that works, stick with it and start looking for the next opportunity. Turning your blog into a money making machine isn’t always easy – but if you’re patient, persistent, and do your research, you can make a nice secondary income.
If you’re lucky, you might even be able to quit your 9-to-5 job.