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5 Best Ways To Monetize Your Blog

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ways to monetize your blog

More traffic, more money? Wrong!

There was a story about the fake Steve Jobs blogger who revealed his real identity in 2007. The New York Times wrote about him. Almost every news outlet wrote about him.

The New York Times article sent him half a million visitors in a single day.

Do you know how much he made from that traffic?

Just a hundred dollars!

He made $1,039.81 for the entire month from Google AdSense. Disappointed! Daniel Lyons the fake Steve Jobs became a celebrity blogger and all he could show for it is $1,039.81.

Lyons wrote in the Newsweek two years later:

I learned the hard way: while blogs can do many wonderful things, making huge amounts of money isn’t one of them.

I disagree with Lyon.

Blogging can make huge amounts of money. I know bloggers who are making thousands of hundred dollars from their blogs every month. Pat Flynn is one of them. Darren Rowse is one of them. Neil Patel is one of them. These guys do the right thing, monetizing the right ways.

Please, forget about AdSense. Forget about building a site and populating it with ads. There are different and better ways to do it.

Johnny B. Truant described his experience with AdSense in this blog post on Copyblogger:

Right around a year ago now, I made my first cent online. It was literally a cent — $0.01 — and it showed up in my Google AdSense account after a certain number of people had viewed an ad for dog food or a shiatsu massager or whatever on my old humor blog.

That first cent was exciting, because it proved that you really could make money online in the way it seemed that everyone said you could — by creating sites populated with ads, and then sitting back and letting the earnings pile up. Then, if the gurus were to be believed, it was only a matter of time before I would be living in Hawaii, while bikini body girls used the Mona Lisa to wax my Lamborghini.

But that dream never came true with AdSense. It was only an illusion that never materialize with AdSense. In fact, Truant was disappointed with AdSense.

Then he changed course.

Truant built a funny blog where he writes funny blog posts. He offered website development service on the funny site. This felt like a real business.

Nine months passed. He was building his 180th website for a client when his first ever AdSense check came in from Google. It was $111.

Imagine $111 for a whole year? Isn’t that crazy?

Maybe he could have done better. But even if he made $888, it still doesn’t worth the effort.

Let’s assume he charged $1,000 for each website he built. He would have made $180,000 at the end of the year. Or, maybe he charged $500, he would have made $90,000 at the end of the year. Compare that to $111, you’ll see that it looks idiotic to stick with AdSense.

I’m not criticizing AdSense. I still see AdSense as one of the quickest ways to make money online. But not a huge money your living can depend upon.

The problem with AdSense has nothing to do with its ability to make money. So many people have made a bunch with it. Zac Johnson is an example.

The problem with AdSense is you have no control over your earnings. You can increase your site’s traffic by 1,000% and still be making the same amount you were making before. You may even make lower than that.

You need something you can call a business. Blogging can surely give you that. But monetizing your site with AdSense isn’t a business model. It doesn’t add value to your blog. You can do 500 times better than AdSense.

There are five best ways to monetize your site. Whether it’s a low or high traffic site, you can monetize it and build a source of income you can depend upon through your blog.

I will like to say that it’s always good to have a high traffic site that’s getting at least 500, 1,000 to 2,000 visitors per day. If you have this kind of site, then congratulations to you. But if your site isn’t getting that much traffic, then you can learn how to build a high-traffic blog here.

So, what are the five best ways to make money from your blog?

1. Create Membership Sites

A regular monthly income, nonstop. How would that feel like?

You’ll feel good, of course. You can travel the world, see different amazing places and still have enough time to be with your loved ones. That’s the kind of life I wish for you. Creating your own membership site can give you that.

Copyblogger is doing it with their Authority membership program where they teach people how to become better content marketers. Ali Luke is doing it with Writers’ Huddle, a membership program where she teaches writers new writing techniques, help them get inspired to write and share their work with the world.

The membership fee for Writers’ Huddle is $19.99 per month. That may not sound a lot for each member, but when you calculate that by 1,000 members, she could be earning $20,000 just from that membership site alone.

Imagine your membership site only has 500 members each paying you $10 per month, how much is that at the end of each month?

$5,000! Easy.

This is better than having over a million of web users hit your site, and you have less than $500 to show for it at the end of the month.

You can learn how membership site works from sites like Copyblogger and Writers’ Huddle. Join them! Learn how they deliver their contents, how they treat each member. Learn what makes them good, what makes people like them and keep paying each month. Learn how they market their membership program.

Steal their strategies. You can use it in a different niche your blog is about. You can even do it better than them.

One thing is certain:

You’ll have a reliable income source that allows you to work from anywhere in the world.

2. Create And Sell Information Products

Information products are hot cakes online, especially ebooks.

In the comment section of this post on his personal blog, Joe Konrath said he made $14,000 within 5 weeks from selling ebooks on Amazon through their Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) platform.

Joe Konrath

Nathan Barry made $12,000 within 24 hours of launching his ebook. In fact, Barry’s blog was only receiving around 100 visitors per day. He only had 100 RSS subscribers.

Nathan Barry

Barry went on to make $85,000 that year from selling just two ebooks. 2012, that was his first year of being self-employed.

You can sell your own information products on your blog. And you can make thousands of dollars doing just that. You don’t even have to quit your job to get started. If you can write in your spare time, then you can do this.

Your blog is a good place to start from. You don’t need to have thousands of monthly readers before you can begin making money selling information products like ebooks and video tutorials. As you can see from above, Nathan Barry only receives around 100 daily visitors on his blog.

You have to create something people can’t wait to buy. How do you know what people can’t wait to buy on your blog?

If your blog has a decent traffic, you should look for the most popular articles on your blog. What are they about?

If people are reading a particular blog post on your blog, it means they are interested in that topic. You can turn that blog post into an information product like an ebook. It has to be a high-quality resource that people will be willing to pay for. Release your ebook on your blog, reference it in your popular blog posts and others, and watch the sales roll in.

You just have to write, create that information product.

You can also self-publish your ebook on Amazon through their KDP program.

Even if an ebook generates $400 per month and you have like 10 ebooks, that would produce $4,000 per month.

3. Promote Affiliate Products On Your Blog

Long ago back in September 2007, Yaro Starak reported he made $10,899.83 in that month alone. $4,400 of that came from affiliate sales.

Take a look at the image of that income report:

yaro starak affiliate income

Today, affiliate marketing still remains one of the lucrative ways to make money from blogs.

Pat Flynn reported he made $144, 777.37 in the month of September 2015, and $101,998.49 of that came from affiliate marketing.

He made $70,350 as an affiliate of Bluehost.

You can see the full details of his affiliate income in the image below:

affiliate income

You can do it!

4. Sponsorship: Make Money From Brands

Brands are always willing to work with bloggers who have a relevant and an engaged audience.

Whether you’re popular on Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, many brands will want to do business with you. The same is true for Blogging and Podcasting.

In the month of September 2015, John Lee Dumas had a gross income of $271,612.50. $110,402 came from sponsorships. Though this is podcast sponsorships, but it applies to blogging too.

You have to build an audience. Brands don’t work with bloggers that have zero or little audience. So you need a relevant and an engaged audience if you want to make money through sponsorships.

Helen made $7,360.10 from her blog in the month of September. And as you’ll see below, $1,275 of that came from writing sponsored posts.

Helen income report

Doesn’t look too interesting, but it tells you that you can make money from writing sponsored posts on your blog.

5. Email Marketing

Email marketing has an ROI of 4,300% according to a study conducted by Direct Marketing Association.

You’ll often hear internet marketers say that “the money is in the list”. It is true.

Your email list is your most valuable asset as a blogger. The biggest mistake you can make as a blogger is not building your own email list.

Email helps you connect deeper with your blog readers. But people won’t just give you their email address for nothing. You have to bribe them. You have to give them something valuable for free. I mean something they can’t get for free elsewhere.

Just putting your opt-in form on the sidebar of your blog and asking people to subscribe for nothing won’t work.

Imagine you have like 10,000 people on your email list and you decide to release a product, and 200 people ended up buying the product at $50 each. That would net you $10,000 at the time of launch.

With your an email list, you can sell again and again.

Email marketing isn’t a product or a service itself. It only gives you the privilege of marketing to your readers anytime you want.

No doubt, blogging can help you quit your boring job and become self-employed. You have to do the right thing by monetizing the right way.

These five methods are great ways to monetize a blog that makes over $5,000 per month.

Don’t wait to get started! Get started today. Right now!

Have you been making money with your blog? What are you doing right?

Tell me your answers in the comment.

Michael Akinlaby is a Freelance Writer and SEO Consultant. He's the founder of RankRain, a marketing agency that specializes in Content Marketing and Search Engine Optimization.

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Blogging

Listen to Pro Bloggers

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I received a pitch from a stranger a few days ago. The entrepreneur offered me free file space – I think; I forget, among the thousands of pitches I get – in response for a review. I think. Genuinely, I do not remember. Why? Thousands and thousands of strangers try to pitch me stuff or ideas. Strangers want valued space on Blogging From Paradise. But strangers have nothing of value to offer me. So I ignore their pitches. If I am not too busy, I offer help, so these folks experience more success and make more money. Alas, my pro blogging advice often falls on deaf ears. Because if you program yourself mentally to fail, you WILL fail by ignoring successful advice. Guaranteed. Every time.

Look at the featured image for this post. Said pitcher offered me free storage or something. Never heard of her. Never heard of her site. I know she is awesome. Site solid, too. Nothing personal. But the second I see a cold pitch, I lose trust in the individual and in their business. If business were TRULY booming, ALL business would flow to you and you ain’t cold pitching strangers. Real talk. Anyway, I suggested she buy my eBook:

13 Tips to Make Your Blogger Outreach Campaign Sizzle

because she obviously struggles, following the amateur blogger approach of blindly cold pitching strangers. Of course she has no interest in buying and reading my eBook. Successful advice evades bloggers who think, feel and act like unsuccessful bloggers. I believe she is awesome. But I share this real world experience to teach, to inspire and to wake up bloggers with the truth. Listen to pro bloggers. Pay close attention to pro blogger advice. We teach you how to blog the right way. We teach you how to succeed. If this person bought my eBook, read it, and followed my advice, she would place her guest post and business links on hundreds of respected blogs, over years. She would gain serious trust. She would make a bunch of money for her business. But alas! Since she ignore my successful advice she will keep following her failing advice, and, will fail, cold pitching strangers, never building strong bonds with pros, burning out, and failing.

Blindness

Are you completely blind to pro blogger advice? Observe your blogging career. Do you struggle? Struggling bloggers blind themselves to pro advice because fear clouds your mind. I advise new, struggling bloggers routinely. Being filled with fear, most foolishly question my advice. Why? Obviously, you are a new, inexperienced, struggling blogger. Your strategy sucks. Now it’s time to follow a new, successful strategy. Pro bloggers succeed. Pro bloggers teach you successful strategies to succeed. Listen to them. Buy their eBooks. Follow their advice. Position yourself to succeed.

I am not right. Struggling bloggers are not wrong. But I know what works and teach what works. Do not be a fool; if a pro teaches you what works, buy the eBook. I instantly saw the thousands of hours and years of struggle this entrepreneur faces because she has zero interest in spending $7 to get excellent blogging advice. Ego errs because ego sees illusion. Ignore it. Be humble. Listen to pro bloggers. Succeed.

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Blogging

Cheapies Never Go Far in Blogging

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Someone wrote me a few moments ago. I quoted my sponsored post price. He replied asking for my best price. I told him all prices are final. Literally, I told him kindly but clearly to take it or leave it. He replied, asking me to accept his offer for $10, which is absurdly lower than my $11 sponsored post rate. I am joking; just seeing if you pay attention LOL 🙂 Anyway, his $10 offer is MUCH lower than my sponsored post fixed price. PLUS I already told him twice my fixed price, and to take the price or to leave the price. I *also* mentioned how all prices are final. Of course, I immediately labeled his email “spam” so all future emails, barterings and silly cheap-ness flow directly to my spam folder. I will never see him or his emails again. Nothing personal. But I have no time or energy for cheapies because if you are so filled with the fear of poverty that you completely ignore my emails, I cannot respect you as a blogging business partner.

This is why cheapies never go far in blogging. Imagine this lost blogging soul. He ignores my emails to ask for a ridiculous price on a sponsored post. I label his email “spam”. After 10 or 20 more pro bloggers label his email as “spam”, every single email he sends to bloggers winds up in the blogger’s spam folder. Almost all bloggers never check their spam. Most delete all spam emails without checking the emails. Imagine sending 500 emails to spam folders daily? That marks 499 to 500 emails no blogger will ever see, only to be deleted immediately.

Pay Up to Play Up

Moving up in blogging circles requires you to invest more money into your blog. From paying for your domain and hosting, to paying for your theme, to paying for your blogging education, to investing in sponsored posts advertising your business, the bigger money and greater traffic awaits in higher blogging circles, where money flows freely. Prospering people who buy your products and services without hesitating meet you through friends in higher blogging circles. Same thing happens offline. Jeff Bezos does not do business with someone who cannot afford my $7 eBooks. He does business with serious entrepreneurs who freely invest money in mutually beneficial ventures. Life works that way. Birds of a blogging feather flock together. Imagine if the $10 sponsored post cheapie paid my full price instead? I place the post, his business gets greater exposure in front of prospering eyes and he nets more sales and profits. He makes $100, or $1000 or more, earning more money to boost his sponsored post budget and to move him out of poverty. But the mental illness of poverty prevents him from seeing beyond “I HAVE NO MONEY! I NEED TO ***ONLY*** PAY $10 FOR EVERY SPONSORED POST I PLACE!!!”

He may place a few $10 sponsored post on terrible quality blogs with broke readerships. Truthfully, he should just donate the $10 to bloggers who place his sponsored post for $10 because said bloggers have either 5 daily readers or readers who cannot afford to spend $1, let alone, $100 or $1,000…or perhaps, both. Yikes. Pay up. Play up.

eBook

Multiply your blogging success. Buy my eBook:

10 Reasons Why Fijian Fruit Bats Would Be Absurdly Successful Bloggers

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Blogging

How Much Confidence Do You REALLY Have in Your Blog?

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Watch this video I recorded in Brooklyn Heights today:

Sweet view, eh? I made a powerful point too. Bloggers sometimes boast of their confidence and clarity. Puffing themselves up, they believe deeply in themselves and in their blog. Critics? Who cares? These dynamos seem unstoppable. Belief! Success is on the way, right? Awesome. Then, after mentioning their blog in front of a parent or sibling or cousin, their loved ones make fun of “blogging”, telling these idiots to “get a real job”. OUCH! Like a balloon being popped, your loved ones took a pin to your ego, deflating you. AND showing how you genuinely have little confidence in your blog. Turns out, you feel filled with doubt and pure uncertainty about your blog AND in yourself, blogging-wise. This is a good thing. Critics trigger and unearth deep fears you need to face, feel and release, to reach the next stage of your blogging career. So…how much confidence do you REALLY have in your blog? Talk about your blog to friends and family members, or to strangers. You will find out. Fast. Because these folks are non-targeted and often highly NOT interested in blogging.

I recall mentioning my blog to my fam about 10 years ago. Before doing this, I believed I felt super confident about my blog and self. I BELIEVED in myself! Wild-eyed, ignorant, deluded newbie blogging excitement covered up the fact I doubted myself and my blogging abilities, horribly. After that little chat – even though no family member seemed terribly critical – I felt like crap. Awkward, and lost, my family’s questions triggered deep fears in me. I doubted myself. I doubted my blog. In truth, I had no idea what I was doing because I refused to learn from pros. Bad idea. Naturally, I gained confidence after this session – eventually – because I faced and felt doubts eating into my blogging confidence.

The quickest way to gain blogging confidence is to discuss your blog and what you do with anybody on earth, from friends, to fam, to strangers. Never try to convince or influence or convert folks, because doing so shows your lack of confidence. Let people live their lives and make their choices. Your job is to see how shy or clear you feel discussing your blog. Shy bloggers feeling awkward chatting blogging with folks simply feel filled with fear. Blogging fears need to go for you to succeed. Speak about blogging in public. Broadcast live in a public spot. Record videos in busy spots with heavy foot traffic, as I did above, in Brooklyn. Face, feel and release self-conscious fears that need to go for you to reach the next stage of blogging growth.

One way to be a smarter and richer blogger is by facing your blogging fears routinely. Speaking to or in front of fam or strangers about your blog certainly unearths some of those deep fears. Do it. See where you are at, confidence-wise. Being straight with yourself is hands down one of the quickest ways to accelerate your blogging success. Relax, share your blogging exploits and honestly assess how you feel, to increase your blogging success.

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