Monetizing your blog may be on your mind right now, whether it’s because you need to pay the bills or because you are already spending hours each day working on content and want to see some tangible return on your investment. The good news is that you have options – lots of them, in fact! There are new blogging trends every year that increase potential revenue, and 2022 will be no different when it comes to innovation in monetization strategies. Take a look at this list of six new ways to monetize your blog.
1) Monetizing with affiliate links
If you’re an expert on one topic, why not provide affiliate links for products and services related to that topic? This can be a great way to make passive income. You simply put a link or banner for another site’s product or service in your own content, and then when someone clicks on it and buys something from that company, you get paid a commission (usually between 4% and 10%). That’s easy money.
If you’re not familiar with affiliate marketing, here’s a short rundown. Affiliate marketing is a form of online advertising where a company pays its affiliates for any traffic or sales that they drive. It works similar to referral marketing but instead of sending customers directly to your site, they click on links in your content (i.e., an image) and are taken off-site where they can buy or sign up for things like insurance, credit cards, etc.
If you’re an expert on a certain topic, you probably know what type of products or services your readers are looking for. Provide links to these related products in your content and they’ll make a commission when they click on them and buy something. It’s a great way to provide value to your audience while also making some easy money.
If you have a decent following and want to monetize your content, it’s important that you only recommend products or services that you actually use. If you’re just providing links for companies because they give you a commission, your audience will see right through it. If people trust and respect what you have to say, however, they’ll be more likely to click on your affiliate links—and in turn, buy things from those links—when they find them valuable.
2) Promoting sponsored content
Advertising is one of your main ways to monetize your content, especially if you’re in a niche where there are big brands that are willing to pay for unique sponsored content. When it comes time to publish sponsored content, you have three main options: paid product placement (the most common), native advertising, and advertorials. Each type has its own strengths and weaknesses, so here’s what you need to know about each. Read on …
Paid product placement:
This method involves writing a post about a brand-name product or service and tagging it as sponsored. Then, at some point in the post—either at top or bottom—include language like This post was made possible by [insert company name]. The method is simple because readers can easily recognize when something is an ad versus just good information.
Paid product placement is an easy way to make money because you’re simply making use of your existing content by adding a few lines of text. It’s also good for brands because they get their product or service in front of relevant audiences while still maintaining that editorial integrity. The biggest drawback, however, is that it can be extremely expensive; big brands are willing to pay high prices for sponsored content so you have to do a lot of negotiating and have plenty of cash on hand.
Another type of sponsored content is native advertising, which doesn’t necessarily involve mentioning a brand-name product or service. Instead, you work with brands to create original content that fits seamlessly into your niche. The goal here is for readers not even realize they’re reading an ad; that’s why it can be difficult and expensive if you want to make a good living from it.
Finally, there are advertorials, which are somewhere in between paid product placement and native advertising. With advertorials, you write an original post that includes either a brand-name product or service or something similar. Then, when you publish it—either on your own site or someone else’s—you note that it’s sponsored content so readers know upfront.
3) Add a shop section to your blog.
Selling your own branded products is an excellent way to earn money from your site. Adding a shop section gives readers more incentive to visit and return, and allows you to make money if they do. Plus, many WordPress themes offer integrated shopping cart plugins that will make it easy for you to set up. For help choosing a theme for your new shop, check out our post How To Choose The Best WordPress Theme For eCommerce.
Tools like PayPal, Shopify, and Etsy make it easy for you to set up a shop. If you’re just getting started with your online business, we recommend checking out these three platforms first – they’re popular among many different types of bloggers because they’re easy to use.
You can even sell digital products on your site. For example, you could create an online course and charge for access or sell a membership site with original content. Setting up a subscription-based income stream is one of our favorite strategies because it’s easy to scale when you have more free time. It also adds value to your content by helping you grow your audience over time.
4) Giveaways and contests
People love free stuff, and contests are a great way to build excitement around your brand. Offer some sort of giveaway or contest, and let people know about it—not only will it get more eyes on your content, but you’ll also be encouraging engagement. People will be more likely to share your content if they feel like they have a chance at winning something!
You could also consider selling branded merchandise or offering a subscription service. People like feeling connected to brands, and giving them a way to do that through your products or services can be rewarding both financially and emotionally.
The key is to offer something of value, whether it’s a digital product or some sort of physical gift. But don’t stop there—make sure you talk about your giveaway or contest on all your social media channels! You want as many people as possible in on the action!
There are a number of different services out there that let you create contests, including Rafflecopter and Wishpond. These give you all kinds of options for setting up your contest—make sure you customize it so it’s both compelling and appropriate for your audience. You’ll also want to make sure your entry requirements are specific but not too strict because people will be less likely to enter if they think their submission isn’t good enough.
Make sure you promote your content on social media, as well as through your other marketing channels. You want everyone who’s eligible to be aware of it and have a chance at winning! You can even set up a dedicated landing page for all your contest-related information so that potential entrants know exactly what they need to do.
5) Create courses and eBooks
You don’t have to be an expert at a topic to create courses or eBooks about it. Because you become an expert by educating yourself, if you already know something, there’s no reason why you can’t teach it. But first, understand your target audience and how they learn best before putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard).
In order to create your eBooks and courses, you’ll need either: a) subject matter expertise, or b) strong skills in research and data analysis. If you don’t know enough about your topic area to write a detailed eBook on it, consider hiring someone who does—either an expert in your niche or freelance writers (many are looking for content creation projects). Then take what they’ve written and make it even better.
The easiest way to create your eBooks and courses is by using ready-made solutions like Teachable and Skillshare. You can either host them yourself or on one of these sites. All you need to do is outline what you want to be included in your online learning material, and they’ll take care of everything else. They’ll even offer analytics on how well your course is performing—both in terms of engagement and conversions (how many people are paying for it).
After your course or eBook is finished, all you need to do is market it. Consider using social media ads and remarketing campaigns on your website. You can also publish your eBook on Amazon Kindle, which will allow you access to millions of readers (although they take a big cut).
As a business owner, you’re not just selling a product or service. You’re also selling your expertise and experience. And what better way to do that than by providing additional learning materials for your audience? Courses and eBooks are great ways of doing that—and monetizing them can give you some extra profit on top.
6) Paid membership site
Google, Facebook, and Twitter all have their own forms of monetization. But if you don’t want to fill your site with ads (and most people don’t), you can use a paid membership model. With a paid membership site, you can offer up specialized content in exchange for membership dues (think $10/month or something similar). As an example, Software Advice has a paywall that allows visitors access to several case studies and some other features.
There are several ways to go about creating a membership site. You can use any membership platform, or you can build your own with WordPress and make it completely standalone. In addition, if you’re looking for ready-made themes or plugins, there are some great ones available that make setting up a paid membership site pretty easy (like MemberPress).
Another benefit of a paid membership site is that it can give you more time for what you really love – creating content. If people are willing to pay for access, it means that they truly want your expertise, not just any content on your topic. This will likely mean that you won’t need to create as much content. Instead, you can spend more time researching and writing posts your members find useful (and hopefully engaging).
One thing to keep in mind with a paid membership site is that you will need an effective funnel that leads people through your sales process. If someone lands on your page and can’t see how they’re going to get any value from joining, then it’s unlikely they’ll take action (and thus unlikely you’ll generate revenue). As such, make sure you have some kind of lead magnet available or a strong call-to-action in place.
Finally, you should also make sure that you have a way of communicating with your members. That could mean setting up email autoresponders or hosting a members-only Facebook group, for example. If people are paying you to be part of your community (whether as a blogger or just as an author), they’ll want to know that you appreciate them – and one good way of doing that is being available for questions, concerns, comments, and so on.