Since many of my readers are also fellow bloggers, I recently started a Facebook group as a means of connecting with bloggers and sharing some insights. Every Wednesday, I’ll be responding to one of the questions that was sent to me by a group member. The first question comes from Laurie of Morning, Laurie. Laurie is interested in how to monetize her blog. She’s not sure how to go about advertising, etc. since her audience is relatively small. This is probably one of the most common questions that bloggers ask: how do I make money?
There’s no simple answer since all blogs are different. Let me start by saying that as a blogger, what you are selling is your audience. This includes your monthly traffic stats, as well as social media followers, and maybe an email list (which I highly recommend starting if you don’t already have one). Therefore if you don’t have a large audience to “sell” to brands, it’s very difficult to monetize.
Top bloggers make the majority of their blogging income from brand partnerships. Affiliate links and any ads on their site are only a nominal revenue source. But, how do us smaller bloggers make money until our audiences hopefully reach that level? I personally get blogging income from many different sources. So to answer the question, here are some ways to monetize that are accessible to bloggers at all levels.
1) Unique and local brand partnerships: Maybe you don’t have a large audience to sell, but you have an interesting niche audience that could be marketable. Use Google Analytics or another tool to find out the demographics of your blog readership.
2) Affiliate links: I like ShopStyle Collective because it’s easy to use and has a great widget builder. This isn’t going to make you rich, but every little bit adds up. Anyone can join ShopStyle, while RewardStyle is much more exclusive.
3) Google AdSense: This is so easy to install that it’s worth just placing an ad or two in your sidebar or footer to see what happens.
4) Blogger networks: There are so many sites dedicated to connecting bloggers with brands. Many of them are willing to work with smaller bloggers as well. Depending on the site, you may just be offered free product and not monetary compensation, but this is a great place to start. Just type “blogger networks” into Google.
5) Local blogging communities: I’ve connected to a lot of brands through my local blogging community. Do a quick search to see if your city has a blogger network. If they don’t, start your own!
6) Sell something else: In addition to selling their audience, many bloggers sell to their audience. This could be a great option if you have expertise in some area and want to publish an ebook or online course. Have a knack for coding or graphic design? Offer logo or blog design services.
Also, learn about the best blog design tricks that will optimize your earnings. As always, comment below with any additional questions.
Want more? Request access to my Bloggers Supporting Bloggers Facebook group.