Penny For Your Thoughts: Five Ways To Monetize Your Blog
Editors Note: This is a guest article contributed by Oraine Matthews.
Even though you love to blog, the process takes a lot of time and effort that you could otherwise be using to build your savings account. But what if you could do both? Despite the country’s general devaluation of the written word, your blog supplies readers with information, inspiration and sometimes both. This is a commodity that deserves more recognition. If you want to continue doing what you love without pinching pennies every month, check out these five tips for monetizing your blog.
How to monetize your business blog:
1. Create Something Valuable
Although it may sound easier said than done, there are some concrete goals you can set toward making your blog something readers and advertisers will value. On a very basic level, this starts with the quality of your content. Objectively look at your content and ask for feedback from friends and family. Is it truly original? Is it readable? What sets it apart from the thousands of other blogs out there? For example, if you have a fashion blog, offer specific tips for matching outfits and ways to save money while shopping.
2. Allow Donations
This measure is especially useful if your blog is related to social or political advocacy. For example, if you work and blog for a nonprofit organization that raises awareness about mental illness, many readers would be happy to donate for a good cause. You can simply copy and paste a PayPal donate button into your home page to make it easy for readers to support your cause and transfer money directly to your account. Just having the donation button there will remind readers that they are consuming valuable content and that they should offer some kind of compensation in return.
3. Create a Website
Although WordPress, Blogger and other hosted blogging sites are certainly easy to use, owning your own website can improve the credibility of your blog. Research information about choosing a domain and using HTML at WebHostingBlueBook.com, and use Adobe’s DreamWeaver to assist with web design. Make sure visitors can learn all about you and your brand on your site, including an about me page and links to all of your social media accounts.
4. Contact Advertisers
Or better yet, let them come to you. Often, brands and PR companies will contact popular bloggers and social media accounts to negotiate a partnership. Never comply if a company asks you to partner up with them for free. However, be willing to negotiate for other benefits, such as trade and a future relationship with the company. For example, you can cross-promote with a brand to gain more exposure for your blog. Amazon Associates is a good place to start for monetizing your blog. The company pays a commission between four and 15 percent depending on the volume sold and product type.
5. Keep it Relevant
If you want to maintain readers and keep the value of your blog, make sure that the ads you choose to run on your site are relevant to the topic at hand. An advertisement for WWE tickets might look a little spammy on a mommy blog. Seek out targeted affiliate programs at sites like Commission Junction, LinkShare and ShareASale, which allow you to submit applications to relevant potential partners. Remember that relevance can be stretched to different, yet related products and services. For example, readers of a sports blog might also be interested in beer and pizza ads too.
What strategies have you done to monetize your blog? Let us know in the comments.
About The Author:
Oraine Matthews is a business and marketing consultant that works for Blue Fire PR. He is passionate about networking and helping others find success in today’s competitive business environment and an advocate of quality content creation.