So you decided to take the plunge and start blogging about your passions. Good for you! You may have thought it would be a piece of cake setting up a blog and churning out some awesome content that would lead to tons of revenue in no time, right?! So what happened? You set everything up and waited just to realize that your blog isn’t bringing in the cash flow you’d hoped.
Like many online business ventures and optimization strategies, blog cash flow takes time, effort and patience. This does not mean you should sit around staring at your Google Analytics waiting for that perfect hockey stick spike in revenue. Below are 7 ways you can help turn your blog into cash flow. Keep in mind that your blog should currently have some traffic for these strategies to work well.
- Affiliate Product Sales –An example of this would be if you sold tennis rackets and I referred a customer to you via my blog. If they end up purchasing the product, you would have to pay me a percentage of the sale. Sort of like a finder’s fee. A lot of major brands have their own affiliate programs you can sign up for. Shutterfly has a great affiliate program through Shareasale. This would be perfect for crafty mom bloggers, or bloggers who have a niche in either photography or stationary. There are tons of other brands that offer similar affiliate programs. You should look into finding one that best fits your brand. There are also several other platforms you can use for these types of product sales that allow you select the most relevant categories for your blog. Here are a list of some of the more popular ones:
- Email Subscribers – Email subscriber lists is one of the oldest and probably the most unattractive strategy in online marketing however, email marketing still proven to be one of the best. Here’s why: most people log on to their email several times a day, some people even have it running 24/7. The majority of mobile users also have at least 1 or 2 email accounts hooked up to their phones. Over 70% of all emails on a mobile device get opened. That’s amazing! Most companies would even agree that email marketing is more beneficial than social media. Make sure that one of your website goals and call to action (CTA) is geared towards collecting an email address and increasing your subscriber lists. Continuing to market to your email lists helps the traffic and revenue increase more consistently. You also want to be sure to send useful information or even coupons to your lists so you can limit the numbers of unsubscribes.
- eBook or Premium Content – We all know that content has become the forefront of the internet. Everyone is seeking valuable information via the web. Content creation can be a lucrative channel in increasing revenue for your blog. I know it seems like a daunting task to sit down and write an eBook, but if it is done correctly, it can be a piece that continues to be a source for email collection as well as a traffic driver to your blog. To summarize here are a few reasons why you should start writing eBooks:
- eBooks establish you as an expert in the space – your readers will gain trust in you and your credibility will increase.
- eBooks help to increase your email lists – see above regarding the importance of email subscriber lists
- eBooks are cheap to create – If writing an eBook still does not appeal to you, you can look into purchasing content from content writing platforms, where you can assign a topic to a copywriter that will create it for you. Below are a few websites that offer these types of services. Most of them are reasonably priced but keep in mind that you get what you pay for.
- eBooks are easy to read – a good eBook is clear and concise, with relevant imagery and helpful charts if applicable. They can also include lists and provide utility for a reader who can reference the eBook periodically. The reader should be able to access the eBook from their phone, tablet, and computer.
- Sidebar Optimization – Believe it or not, the sidebar of your blog contributes a lot in generating blogging revenue. Bloggers usually utilize the sidebar with social media icons, Google+ link, popular posts, recent reviews etc. While those elements can be good for user experience, you should try and focus on using this valuable blog real estate for monetization opportunities, high-converting affiliate products, or other call to actions that lead to email or subscription sign-ups.
- Google Ad Sense – Ad sense has been around for a long time and yes if you want a strategy that generates thousands of dollars a month, then ad sense is probably not the way to go. Keep in mind though that the Google algorithm is really good at showing the best and most relevant ads on your site. Also remember AdSense is a free and simple way to earn money by displaying targeted ads next to your online content.
- Subscription Services – if you can fulfill a unique monthly need try offering a subscription service. It can be something very simple and at a low cost. For example, if you’re a photographer you can take a handful photos and send them to everyone that subscribed for your services. A lot of web designers are constantly looking for new images that can often add up to large costs. Imagine a web designer signing up for a monthly subscription for $10 a month. In return, they receive unique file of images on a monthly basis. If you can get 100 people to sign up that’s a $1000 a month in just subscription services.
- Physical Product Sales – If you own a blog about yoga, create an online store and sell yoga mats. There’s a whole host of different products you can sell on your blog and setting up a merchant store if fairly easy. You can also sell through Amazon and eBay which are both very good options that make things simple to set-up.
Turning your blog into cash flow isn’t going to be easy; otherwise we’d all be rich. Remember it takes time and hard work along with staying on top of trends within your niche as well as online behavior. Try out the above listed strategies and see how you fair. A lot of it will be trial and error until you find what works for you.
Let us know if you have any questions getting started, Teknicks would be happy to help!