Blogging for a living sounds like a dream come true for many. But how can you make it reality? It takes time, effort and money to create a high quality blog and gain a solid readership. But once you’ve gotten the ball rolling, it’s time to start monetising. Here’s everything you need to know to turn your hobby blog into a money-maker.
1. Affiliate marketing
If you’re not selling your own products or services, affiliate marketing is a great way to make money with your blog. It usually involves promoting third-party products in return for commission. Some companies, like Amazon or ClickBank, allow you to apply directly for their affiliate programs. Here, you are typically given links to add to your articles that come with a click-through rate. Top tip: In order to not compromise your authenticity, only choose products or services truly relevant to your target group and you can recommend in good faith.
2. Blog advertising
There are different ways of incorporating paid ads on your blog. One of the most popular ones for bloggers is using an advertising network, such as Google AdSense. Here, advertisers bid for space on your site (e.g. in your header, footer, or sidebar) and you get paid per click. How much depends on factors including your niche, and the popularity and quality of your blog. Other options include selling spots to brands directly, or placing a call-out on your website to attract advertisers.
3. Brand collaborations
Brand collaboration involves teaming up with brands to help them promote their products for mutual gain. While tricky to instigate as a newbie blogger, it’s not impossible. Start by identifying some small, lesser-known companies that make sense for your niche. Then put together a compelling proposal, detailing what you’ll be able to offer their brand. Once you land a collaboration, it’s good practice to mark the relevant posts with a #sponsored hashtag in the spirit of full transparency.
4. Influencer marketing
The idea behind influencer marketing is simple: an influencer gets paid to create positive content around a particular brand and their products. This will boost the business’s brand awareness and purchase consideration among the influencer’s followers. However, income can vary tremendously, depending on your ‘level of influence’. While a newbie might only receive a free product sample, an established influencer with thousands or even millions of followers can set their own price per post. To get in the game, your best bet is to sign up with an influencer network that can match you with brands.
5. Product development
As opposed to what most aspiring bloggers think, advertising isn’t the only way to monetise your blog. Many bloggers create their own products to complement their content offering. Some food bloggers, for example, have taken the opportunity to develop and sell their own cookbooks, while others offer webinars, tutorials, ebooks or online courses. Selling your own products can be a more reliable stream of income rather than relying on other brands to give you business.