Creating a popular blog is no easy feat, but once you have one, you’ll have many options for how to monetize it. Monetization, in case you aren’t familiar, just means you’ll be using your existing traffic to generate revenue in some meaningful way.
As you might imagine, each monetization strategy has strengths and weaknesses. There isn’t a single monetization strategy that’s strictly better than another, but some may be more appropriate for your blog than others.
One of the most common options is hosting display advertising on your site. Depending on how many recurring visitors you get, you could generate a significant amount of revenue this way. In some systems, you’ll get paid for the number of impressions you generate for each ad; in others, you’ll get paid for the number of clicks you get. Either way, this is a mostly hands-free system, and a powerful one for revenue generation. However, it may also annoy your regular readers, or detract from the quality of your content.
In an affiliate link model, you’ll include links to online products in the body of your content. If someone clicks that link and buys the product, you’ll get a portion of the proceeds. This is commonly done by online product reviewers, as this approach isn’t appropriate for every type of blog. Additionally, if you don’t disclose your position as an affiliate link builder, your audience may perceive you as being deceptive.
If you want to keep the focus on your content as much as possible, you can monetize your blog by selling premium versions of your content. For example, you might sell an ebook for $2.99, covering a topic from your blog in much more exhaustive detail, or you might have an entirely separate “premium blog” available to paid subscribers.
Alternatively, you can rely on the kindness of your readers to keep your blog going. This is a common choice by people who don’t want the invasiveness of advertising or affiliate links, and who don’t want to sell something extra.
Other products and services
You can also monetize your popular blog by selling other products and services. For example:
- Sell T-shirts, mugs, or other promotional items with your blog’s branding on it, or other products related to your content in some way. It also doubles as a way to advertise your blog further.
- If you consider yourself an expert in y0ur subject area, consider teaching a paid course. You can take on students one at a time, or teach them in virtual lectures as part of a group.
- Similarly, you can serve as a consultant or a personal coach for people hoping to learn more about your area of expertise.
The key here is to include compelling calls-to-action, which encourage your readers to follow through with a purchase or revenue-generating meaningful action.
What if your blog isn’t popular?
All these strategies are dependent on an important quality; your blog has to be generating a consistently large stream of traffic. But what if your blog isn’t popular enough?
- Question your niche. Sometimes, blogs are unpopular simply because nobody is interested in reading this type of content. If you’re going to be successful, you need to be solving some kind of problem, or at least entertaining people in some way. If your niche isn’t appealing, you won’t have many options for success.
- Examine your competitive landscape. Is your blog too similar to another blog that’s getting the lion’s share of traffic? What is your competition like? If you face significant competition, you’ll need to find a way to differentiate yourself if you want to survive. If you have no competition, something else may be the issue.
- Improve the quality of each post. This should go without saying, but try to improve the quality of each post you write. Too many bloggers get hung up on quantity, churning out as many posts as possible, but it’s better to have a smaller number of highly effective posts.
- Get social. Finally, get on social media to distribute and promote your content. More than that, start interacting with the people who make up your readership; the more you engage with them, the more likely they will read your work in the future.
Even with high-quality posts in a valuable niche, there’s no guarantee your blog will become popular. Try not to be discouraged if you don’t see the results you want early on and channel your efforts toward continued improvement.