Blogging can bring more reward than just intrinsic self-fulfillment. What kind of reward? Money. The real revenue, though, is often rewarded after a long marathon of determination and hard work. The point is, you can generate income when you combine your passion for blogging with a solid strategy and consistent efforts.
Put yourself in the shoes of a 5K runner who's eager to push himself harder to conquer a marathon. Move from blogger to entrepreneur by training your site into being a lucrative moneymaker.
Monetary Marathon Training
Novice runners and first-time marathoners can't cross the finish line without consistent weekly training. Without the proper preparation, a runner could fail to finish and even develop an injury. As an Internet entrepreneur, you wouldn't want to risk your website's credibility, integrity and financial stability by trying to monetize your site before it's ready. How will you know when your blog is ready? Impressive Google Analytics stats, a community of loyal readers, superior hosting and a properly functioning and well-designed site are all indicators that you're ready to monetize. Keep reading to evaluate what kind of shape your site is in.
- Solid platform: Just like a quality pair of running shoes for safe running technique, your site needs a quality foundation for proper operation. Investing in a hosting account is first and foremost, advises Search Engine Journal. Reliable, private virtual servers or hosting services prevent your site from being vulnerable to attacks and ensure dependable uptime and secure backup. Also, your site's design should reflect your brand and attract your target demographic.
- SEO: Optimizing your blog with healthy links and keywords keeps it relevant and boosts search engine rankings. An irrelevant blog hidden in the shadows of the virtual universe isn't attractive for business, readership or Google. Avoid being a static site by updating content to generate regular inbound links and authority. Authority should also exist in search engines as well as social networking sites. Do your Facebook and Twitter accounts have followers and make an impact?
- Content: Publishing and promoting valuable and informative content is a commitment — and no one said running 24 miles a week is easy. Rather, it's about consistency and keeping your eye on the prize. Create a content strategy for excellent user experiences, incoming traffic and a loyal community. Connections with brands and products start with content engagement, according to The Guardian's Media Network, and "content is the ethos." Execute a robust content strategy, and the body of your site will transform into money-making shape.
The Fiscal Starting Line
After evaluating your site and ascertaining it's adequately prepared to make some money, get excited because you're at the profit starting line. Here are ways to monetize your blog mile after mile during your marathon.
- Affiliate Marketing & Advertising: Now that you're an established and trusted site, engage in an affiliate marketing program. Without pushing readers, enlighten them about products and services you like and support. Offer a product or service resource page and promote affiliate products using an email subscriber list, recommends Search Engine Journal. You can also earn commission with Amazon or eBay affiliations, for example. Blog about products or highlight a sidebar feature, suggests PageCafe Internet Consulting, Inc.
- Merchandising: Want to make money? Sell products or services within a niche that meet a specific need. Then boost sales and earn commissions by signing up with Commission Junction or Shareasale.com to partner with affiliates. A site remodel may also be necessary to accommodate a shopping cart module and e-commerce add-ons.
- Selling Ad Space & Content Opportunities: You've trained hard to acquire healthy traffic (10,000 unique visitors a month is a good measurement). Sell your community of followers to advertisers. Ease into advertising with Google AdSense placeholder ads. Chitika and Bidvertiser are reputable third-party advertising platforms. Offer guest blogging and fee-based memberships to bring in some extra cash.