In this episode, I am flying solo and talking about one of my favorite topics: monetizing your blog.
In this 60-minute show, I dive into some thoughts, and maybe even a little rant here and there, as I take you through several different ways to make money on your site.
We have an extensive post here on our site called How to Monetize Your WordPress Blog. An In-Depth Guide. It’s a lot to digest, but people have found it incredibly useful. I am not promising you the world, just a bunch of solid tips on all the different ways you can monetize your WordPress blog.
I encapsulate the post into a podcast and give you some insights into what I do, what I’ve learned and how you might take those first steps.
I start out the podcast by sharing the four essentials for monetizing.
- Your Niche
- Community & Fans
If you are looking to bring in any kind of income, these will play into your success.
Running Ads on Your Blog
Love them or hate them, we are all conditioned to seeing them. You need to look at several aspects when it comes to the kinds of ads you choose and how you place them. I talk about the fine line between promoting other products for profit and making your blog look so spammy that the ads distract your readers from the actions you want them to take.
I dive more into placements, banners vs. text and those ads within your posts. It’s tough to put yourself in your reader’s shoes, but you really need to do that. In addition, I chat a bit about intent-driven ads.
The Cost of Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is different from using a service to place random ads on your site. You take more ownership because you are actually affiliated with the product. In a sense, you become an outside salesperson for the vendor.
Of course, some affiliate marketers, the ones who care only about making money and don’t care what they promote, have made people wary. But there is a right and wrong way to do affiliate marketing.
I chat about how you need to make your own rules and guidelines on what you feel is acceptable when it comes to products and services your promote. Equally, if not more, important is the need to think about your readers.
Affiliate ad placement is critical and I share my own experiences here. In fact, I run through three things to keep in mind when you are adding affiliate links to your site, including the important piece of affiliate link management.
I close out this topic with a few final thoughts on affiliate disclaimers and policy pages.
Considering Sponsored Posts and Reviews?
This is another area I have several years of experience with and I share what I have learned (in a nutshell). When you are doing these, there are five considerations that I expand on in the podcast:
Five Considerations When Doing Reviews and Sponsored Posts
- Your Style
- Your Guidelines
- Your Reputation
- Your Transparency
- Your Goals
To round this off, I give you a single tip if you are doing this for your SEO.
Protected Content Through Lockers and Gateways
I’m not talking about membership sites here, but those sites that have you pay for premium content. I’m sure you have seen this on larger news sites. It may work for them, but do tread carefully. I share some red flags you will want to be aware of.
We all know how popular membership sites have become over the last few years. Whether it’s on your blog, your site or your online store, there are many routes to take.
I start with what I consider the myth of membership sites. Remember, I told you I would be brutally honest. Then I quickly cover what I consider to be the 10 steps to adding a membership site to your blog.
- Discover Your Niche
- Research Your Competition
- Build Your Community
- Choose Your Theme
- Add the Membership Plugin
- Create your Content
- Launch the Site
- Find Your Members
- Keep Your Site Fresh
And continue to market your site.
Jumping on the Online Course Bandwagon
Online courses are the rage. There are a lot of promises. In a way, it’s like the wild west. Now many say that anyone with a passion can do an online course? Well, blah, blah, blah. But seriously I think it takes more than that. In fact, I recommend that you ask yourself these questions:
- Do I know how to teach?
- Will I offer my courses for free or paid?
- How will I structure my content?
- What about quizzes, tests and certificates?
- How will I market them?
To wrap your brain around online courses, check out our series from this podcast.
Should You Start a Podcast?
Podcasting is a rage right now. Seems that everyone wants to start one. Or everyone is telling you to start one. Whatever the case, there are many reasons behind why you might start a podcast and many ways to monetize it. I will touch on those as well as give you my number one reason why you may want to start a podcast.
Thinking of starting one for your business? Check out this post: How to Start and Run a Podcast for Your Business
Asking for Donations
There are different aspects to fundraising or seeking donations. Typically I look at it in three areas, although the last two seem to have blended together.
- Personal Donations
I will talk more about these and how to technically accept donations on your blog.
Your Professional Services
Guess what? We have been selling these online for years, and to be honest, indirectly through our blog.
I talk about this being one of the best ways to monetize your blog and share the different ways you can do this to make it easy for people to hire you through your blog.
And, of Course, Selling Products
I probably don’t need to spend a lot of time talking about selling downloadable or physical products on your site or blog because we talk about this a lot on our podcast. But I will touch on some of the important aspects.
So when it comes to monetizing your blog, I will recap and leave you with these insights.
- Balancing the free stuff
- Considering the freemium concept
- Making it easy for customers to pay you
- Offering payment options
- Creating a catch-all page
- Using end-of-post sales
- Deciding on popups
- Avoiding the clutter
And you may want to check out this post: 7 Tips When It Comes to Selling Products or Services on Your Blog