So, you’ve started the journey to blogging. For some, it’s just a habit or something that you do for the love of it. Unless you are doing it professionally, the main purpose of your WordPress blog is not for money.
At least that was the common perception for a long time. Thankfully, the things have changed.
You see, with advent of new tools and strategies, it has become far too easier to generate income from the tiny WordPress blog you started on a lazy Sunday evening. In fact, it’s almost like leaving money on the table.
But before we jump the gun, let’s just ask some basic questions. This exercise will help you streamline the thinking.
What are the problems that you solve through your blog?
Why should anyone subscribe to your blog and share it further?
Is there a specific audience that you cater to (for advertisers)?
Do you have the ability to partner up with other brands to sell directly?
If you’re looking for the answers, read on.
Just to observe how times have changed, let me share an important figure with you. In the old days of early web, banner and text advertisements could easily achieve 5% CTR (which means 5% of people who viewed the ad, actually clicked on it). CTR these days has gone down to as low as 0.2%. This means that the old and beautiful days of easy PPC advertising are truly gone away.
As rightly pointed out in those questions, what you need is audience and engagement. With this frame of mind, let’s quickly go through 5 ways to generate income through your WordPress blog in 2017.
It’s a process where you enter into an arrangement where you get a commission when driving sales to the product or service provider. For this, you need to work with select businesses in similar space that complement what you’re already doing.
Most commonly, you link to products from the blog, which when visitor clicks on to make a purchase, you get a commission on. Just ensure the item you are linking to has a healthy affiliate program (possibly with a good history). For example – you can easily send the visitors to Amazon and get the small percentage of the cost of whatever they buy through your channel.
The best part is the little upfront investment. In a way you monetize your content, and get paid for it for a long time.
The day you own a blog, you automatically become a publisher. When a company agrees to pay you to get their own messages in front of your readers, that’s called advertising.
Direct advertising is closely linked to the quantity and quality of traffic and engagement that you’ve created with their audience. This direct advertising model always works if you worked out how to scout out the potential advertises in your particular niche.
Let’s simplify the process,
First create an amazingly successful WordPress blog in a particular niche. Once you have traffic, you attain the powerful position to demand hefty prices for advertising on your blog.
Another common medium is Google AdSense. It’s the perfect passive way of making money where you only have to worry about bringing the traffic on your site. You simply earn a proportion of income from each person that clicks on the adsense ad visible on your blog.
Sell your own products
The most common examples for your own products could be an e-book, even a theme or plug-in. Everything depends upon your own capabilities and also what you can offer to your readers. You can also develop a software application. The basic idea is to solve a problem for your readers. Trust me, when you offer something which is not available in the market and at a good price, customers will quickly find you.
It is also a viable option for WordPress users as you can add a store or a e-commerce functionality to your blog just by adding a plug-in. It’s as simple as that. Another advantage is that it becomes a great source of passive income once the work is done. Yes, you need to update your products and launch new versions but that’s simpler than the initial work.
Yes, you can make money through Podcasts. You can easily find proofs all over the Internet. If you already run a successful WordPress blog in your niche, it’s so easy to integrate the podcast capabilities in the blog posts.
It’s relatively easy to scale up your podcast operations as well. Videotape it as a YouTube video and you can also use it across the social media channels. Trust me, top bloggers end up earning a lot of money tying up with the sponsors or looking to advertise their own services.
Offer members only content
When working on a WordPress blog, most of us offer our content for free. Let’s say you’ve grown your blog to a limit where the users are craving new content all the time. You’ve got it right on the button and this will be the perfect time to offer the next level premium content ‘on a member only basis‘.
If you’re really offering something that adds immediate value. Something that solves a problem and saves time and resources for your readers. It is not difficult to generate even a recurring membership fee from your loyal reader base. You could offer video and audio interviews with the experts, private tutorials, or seminars. This is an advance content marketing strategy that works well especially in difficult niches.
Conclusion (with a cheat sheet)
All of this sums up with two words. Audience & Engagement.
- If you don’t have either one, probably it’s time to grow your blog further.
- If you are high on audience reach but less on engagement, think about different facets of advertising.
- If you have engagement but not necessarily a huge audience look at affiliate marketing or someone that pays you for clicks and impressions.
Well, if you’re one of those lucky ones which has both, you potentially have all the options in the book. I would really advise selling directly to your customers and making the best use of your own lists. Honestly, why would you sell someone else’s stuff when you can sell something of your own.
Once you’ve decided a path, choose the revenue model that is best for you and follow that. It could get confusing if you try multiple channels. Once you start making enough money, you can easily diversify.
Hope you do well.