9 ways – How to Make Money with a Blog for Beginners and Non-beginners
I’ve come across so many bloggers who got no idea their blogs can be monitized. Some keep asking to know how to make money with a blog. If you’re a blogger and you don’t make money via your blog [except you don’t want to] or you are thinking about owning a blog one day, then this is for you.
So many “newbies” want to start a blog and still nervous because they feel they are not good in writing. I want to break it to you that, I’m not a good writer either; you don’t have to get a degree in English or literature in English to make good content. If you can express your self with words when you speak, then I don’t think you’ll have any problem making good write-ups.
1. Become an Affiliate
If you are thinking how to make money with a blog for beginners then, this should be your first option. Affiliate marketing is a popular and lucrative online business. Affiliate marketing is the perfect addition to any blogger’s repertoire of money-making methods. It basically involves you advertising someone’s products and services to your readers, and every time one of them makes a purchase through your referral link (a piece of code inserted in your blog), you receive a commission. Commissions can range from a few percent of the purchase price, to upwards of 50%.
Physical products usually have a lower commission rate, while digital downloads have higher commissions.
The advantage here is that you don’t need a product; all the challenges with selling product/ service is left for the owner of the product/ service to worry about. If you’re established as an expert in your industry, you likely already tell people what products and services you use in the course of your business. You’ll continue to do the same… only now you’ll get paid for it!
Here are some very popular website you can affiliate for:
You can Google online to find out more affiliate programs available online. When promoting products through affiliate programs, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Only promote products you believe in. If you start promoting any product under the sun, whether or not you’ve tried it yourself, you’re going to lose credibility and trust with your audience. You want them to believe that you have their best interests in mind – and that means only recommending products you know and trust.
- Give value. To have a viable business, you must offer value: Make it easier on your readers to buy the products they want and need; give more details so they can make informed buying decisions; Offer coupons or tell them where to get the best deals; Perform a full review so they can evaluate products before they buy. Figure out a way so you’re adding value to the purchasing process.
- Promote the products. You can’t just throw up a bunch of links or even review posts and expect to see massive traffic and sales. Instead, actively promote your affiliate links through social media, article marketing, and more. For instance, if you write a blog post comparing two popular android product, link back to the post from other blog entries and promote it on Facebook, Twitter, and even YouTube.
2. Sell Your Own Physical Products
It’s a good start to begin with affiliation, but as you mature in the business it’s advisable to get your own product where you get to keep 100% of the profit and not commissions. This is one of the oldest business model of all-time it is also the most familiar. It’s a concept we’re all familiar with: I have something you want, so I sell it to you. Pretty straightforward. Before starting, here are few questions you need to ask:
- What am I going to sell?
Choose a product that is of interest to the majority of your readers. For instance, if you have a Hawaiian vacation blog, your readers won’t necessarily come to you for the brand-new flea collar you invented. A few might be interested, but keeping synergy between your blog theme and your product is essential. Any disconnect will lead to confusion on the part of your blog readers, and confusion leads to distrust.
- How do I accept payment online?
There are lots of payment gateways available these days. Many years ago it was much more complicated than it is now: with the light of paypal you can do online transaction comfortably. PayPal will allow your customers to pay using their credit card, debit card, or PayPal balance. Go to www.paypal.com and click on “Business” for more information. PayPal can help you create “buy now” buttons for your site, issue invoices, and more, and it is easily integrated into your blog.
Apart from paypal there are numerous options out there like: 1shoppingcart.com, Americart.com, vshoppingcart.com, paystack.com and many more. These services will add functionality you may eventually desire, such as affiliate management.
- How will I let people know about my products?
No matter how wonderful your product is, you are not going to make sales if no one knows about it. Marketing your wares is an essential part of your business plan. You can spread the word through forums, search engine optimization (SEO), Google AdWords, Facebook advertisements, and a number of other methods. The key is to know beforehand how you’re going to tell people about your products.
- How will I handle fulfillment and customer service?
Selling your own goods online can be a profitable and satisfying way to make your mark on the online space – and to make money. To grow your business you need to develop a strong bond with your customers to make them patronize you in the future; try to convert customers into client. You can create email list and contacts of your customers to track them.
3. Promote Online Auctions
One of the very first ways for “ordinary” people to make money online was through eBay. Whether you were selling used maternity clothes, car parts, or collectibles, eBay promised millions of eyeballs, brought directly to your goods, allowing you to sell virtually anything with a minimum of hassle.
Adding auctions to your blog is a great way to make some extra cash, and eBay makes it easy with a plethora of simple tools. The best part: You don’t even have to create your own auctions! You can pull in auctions for items related to your topic or subject matter with RSS feeds, product feeds, or directly from auction listings.
The first thing you have to do is to join the eBay affiliate program (go to www.ebaypartnernetwork.com for more info). Then you can use eBay’s tools to pull specific feeds into your blog. You can include live eBay listing information, direct links to auctions that might be of interest to your market, and a host of other options.
Of course, if you have your own products to sell, all the better! Sign up with eBay, and then you can list your products and show the auctions in real-time on your site, letting your readers know that your wares are going, going… sold to the highest bidder!
When promoting auctions as an affiliate, the advice to know your products, provide value, and promote your affiliate links holds true. And if you’re listing your own products and showing your auctions via your blog, it’s even more important to spread the word and drive traffic to your website and auction. More traffic will result in more action on your auctions, which in turn leads to higher selling prices.
4. Sell Information Products (virtual Product)
Information products are digital, audio and video based products, typically delivered electronically via download. Tens of thousands of people make their living online selling “virtual” products in industries as diverse as eldercare, test preparation, scrapbooking, and pet care. If there’s a group of avid people online and you can identify their needs, you can create a product to meet those needs.
Selling information products is a natural extension of blogging. You’re already building your audience and creating information for them, so sometimes creating a product is just a matter of pulling together information you’ve already written or recorded and repackaging it. Here are some of the most common information products:
- Consolidate blog posts on a certain topic into an eBook. You can research topics from different block post and repackage as a product for sale.
- Record a webinar or teleclass. Hold a free call on your topic of choice, record the event, and then sell it as a digital download with a call guide or FAQ sheet.
- Record an interview with an expert. Take advantage of someone else’s expertise by interviewing them, recording the conversation, and then marketing the resulting audio to your readers. Bonus: If your interviewee has a rabid fan base of their own, you may be able to capture some of their market’s ears – and wallets!
- Record screencasts. Are you a Photoshop whiz or video editing expert? Record yourself showing your stuff with Camtasia or snagit and sell the tutorials in a batch or individually.
Each of the above stated ideas does have draw backs. It’s expected you make an online research to make a decision on the products that best suits you.
Also see: How to make money freelancing
5. Become a member of an Advertising Network
Joining an advertising network is one of the commonest methods to make money online. The advantage of this is that you don’t have to do anything than to put their ads on your website and relax. It’s one of the easiest ways to make passive income online. By joining an advertising network, you can reserve space on your website and allow the networks you join to serve ads directly to your site. Ad networks will then pay you per impression (how many people view your ad) or per click (how many people actually see and click on the ad).
The disadvantages are:
- You need a lot of traffic to make reasonable profit from it.
- You don’t have control over the ads that appear on your site.
- You can easily get banned just for clicking on your ads whether intentionally or mistakenly.
- You direct traffic from your site to someone’s site.
Apart from the above disadvantages advertising networks seem like a good idea. Its easy and require little effort. As you grow your reader base and traffic, you may want to investigate approaching advertisers directly.
Here are some popular sites:
- Google Adsense. Probably the most well-known and versatile network.
- Kontera. An in-text ad network that provides links directly in the text of your already-created content.
- Text Link Ads. Another in-text ad network.
6. Accept Paid Advertising
You can make money from accepting paid advertisement from client. Many people prefer dealing directly with advertisers than using adsense. By cutting out the middleman, you can keep more of the profits yourself and keep control over the types of products and services you advertise on your site.
When considering opening space for advertising, here are some things to think about:
- What kinds of ads will you accept?
Will you take any ads, or do you want them to be directly related to your market? If you offer reviews on your site, do you want to refuse to accept ads from sellers of products you might review? What about adult sites or online gaming? What about competitors? Know beforehand what you will accept and what you won’t.
- How much will you charge?
A good rule of thumb is to see what other blogs in your industry are asking, and price your spots accordingly. Keep in mind that in general, the more traffic (page views and unique visitors) you have, the more your ad space is worth.
- Will you create the graphics?
If you have to create graphics, then it’s going to take more of your time and energy. But if you don’t, you could end up with – to put it bluntly – lame graphics.
- How will you charge and accept payment?
Paypal is usually sufficient. You can even create recurring payments if someone books for more than one time period at once.
- Where will you place ads, and what size will they be?
Sidebar and leaderboard ads are common. You can google “blog ad sizes” to see what standard sizes you might offer.
Once you’ve made these decisions, create a section on your blog where potential advertisers can click and easily see your rates and requirements, and the next steps for advertising. If the advertisers don’t come, you can approach them directly with your offer of advertising space. One thing you should know is that advertisers will prefer dealing with website with reasonable traffic.
7. Provide Paid Sponsorships
This simply means you get paid when you make a review about a company product. Many bloggers offer product and service reviews as part of their regular content. As companies want to leverage the power of bloggers, there are more and more opportunities to receive cash or products in exchange for blog mentions or reviews. Basically, you get paid to include a review or other information about the sponsoring company.
Sounds good, eh? Well, there are some guidelines to follow:
- Have standards. Bloggers of integrity will not promote or give a good review to sub-standard products. If you cannot be honest in your assessment or review, it is not worth the money. Many sponsors will have guidelines regarding how you must talk about their product, site, or service. Pick sponsors who are a good match with your standards.
- Disclose everything. If you’ve been paid to review a product, mention a site, or otherwise plug or promote a company, tell your readers! The trust you create with them is hard to replace and easy to damage. Many bloggers place disclosures in each sponsored post; others create a site-wide disclaimer. In either case, be transparent.
- Don’t overdo it. If every post you put up is a paid sponsorship, your readers may be wondering, “Where’s the beef?” Balance paid content with unpaid content. Also, make sure the sponsorship opportunities you accept are in line with your market. You might get approached by a dating site or – the latest for me – an anti-meat movie. The money may be good, but will your audience resonate with the message?
- Be of service. Even in a paid post, you can provide value to your readers. Honest reviews, additional information, hints and tips, and case studies are all great ways to put your own spin and unique value on paid posts.
8. Offer Coaching
As a blogger, you are a position of authority. People come to your site to read about what you have to offer – whether it’s fly fishing, vegan cooking, making money online, or paper crafting. A natural next step for making money is to offer your expertise in a “live” coaching format. Here are some questions you might have about coaching:
- Do I have any specific certification or education?
If you’re an accountant, lawyer, doctor, or even personal trainer, you need to be certified in your particular field. But to hang out your shingle as a coach, no certification is necessary.
- Who would come to me?
If people are reading your blog, people would pay you to coach them. Not every blog reader will become a coaching client, of course, but a percentage will. That’s why it’s important to build up your readership before you launch your coaching program; the larger your list, the larger your potential coaching client base.
- How much should I charge?
It really depends on your field, what your competitors are charging, and the format of your coaching program. Typically, the more value you bring to a client and the more pressing their pain points, the higher rates you can charge. If you can help someone lose 20 lbs. in 30 days or make $5000 in a week, you’re going to be able to command more than you could for helping someone plan a beautiful garden. What format should I use? Coaches have been early adopters of online technologies such as webcasting, and more.
For beginner coaches, one of the most effective first steps is to offer a low-price, fixed term (4-6 week), group coaching environment for 6-10 people. You could offer one structured call followed by a Q&A session each week, covering a certain segment of your topic, such as, “Planning your organic garden,” or “Financial planning for retirement.” Use the experience to test your materials and gauge interest and response.
At the end of the time period, evaluate your process and either change things up or offer the same coaching program again. Over time, you’ll be able to better target your offerings and raise your rates as you know – and deliver – exactly what your audience wants.
9. Restrict Access to Premium Content
Freebies are a good way of getting recognition and traffic but you shouldn’t dwell on that always; except you are not interested in monetizing your blog. We’ve gotten used to thinking that everything online is free. But businesses are learning that while “free” is a great way to drive traffic, it’s not so good for making money. And consumers are learning that while “free” is great for the pocketbook, it’s not always so great in terms of quality. More and more online, people are being asked to pay for “the good stuff,” and you can do the same on your blog.
What can you ask people to pay for?
You can ask people to pay for Videos, replays of interviews, deeper and more sophisticated content, step-by-step tutorials, access to training materials such as worksheets, planning guides, spreadsheet, e.t.c.
Here are some hints for offering premium content on your blog:
- Give a taste. If you’re offering recipes, show an image of the completed dish to encourage people to pay to access the full recipe. If you are selling audios, list a few bullet pointed “takeaways,” or provide a sample of the audio, like iTunes does. Give people an idea of what to expect and they’ll be more likely to want to “pay to play.”
- Keep it simple. Too many options confuses people, and a confused mind does nothing. Don’t offer too many bells and whistles or packages; just keep it basic, especially at first.
- Educate people. Particularly if you are in a non-technical field, people may be hesitant to purchase something they think they can get for free. Emphasize the benefits of your material – convenience, quality, exclusivity, etc. Point out how your product is superior to others, or how it will save them time or money.
- Include testimonials. Give people a reason to trust you, and to say “Yes.” By including testimonials of satisfied customers on your blog, you can help potential purchasers over the hurdle of making the decision to purchase. Video testimonials are especially effective.
There are a number of WordPress plug-ins to allow you to restrict access to certain areas of your WordPress blog – or you can keep things very simple and just password protect specific posts or areas. In any case, just as a velvet rope at the entrance to the hottest nightclub in town indicates that something good is going on inside, barring entrance to certain areas of your blog will make visitors very curious – maybe curious enough to pay!
There are lots of ways to make money online through blogging. The number of ways to make money through your blog is limited only by your imagination. I have been able to give a tip of the iceberg . I hope by reading through these descriptions your mind will be ajar to new ideas. The online world is changing and morphing all the time. Remember one of the major way to make money is to solve a problem.