Do you remember the moment you started thinking about monetizing your blog? That moment, sipping on your morning coffee, perusing through your Facebook feed and wondering how do all these bloggers make a living off their blog.
Then logged on to Google Analytics to check your meager traffic per day, and notice you only had ten visitors the previous day. You then started questioning this journey you have embarked on.
Well, I want to tell you, by the time you started thinking about when you should start monetizing your blog, it was already too late.
Do you have a monetization strategy in mind?
Actually, if you launched your blog without a monetization strategy, you were already late to the game. Stop panicking. I have a reason to say that.
When you started blogging, you were passionate about the topic you chose. You did not consider blogging as a career path. Maybe you thought this could be of importance later down the line. But you never gave the blog the chance to be a business. Or accorded it the same respect you would have accorded starting a business.
After all, the barrier to entry is so low unlike starting a business. Starting a blog probably set you back around five hundred dollars. With a basic blog layout, paying for hosting and if you didn’t DIY, hiring someone from either Freelancer.com or UpWork.
Or maybe you went all out and hired a professional developer who set you back an extra two thousand dollars.
This is much cheaper than hiring a lawyer, registering a business and becoming tax compliant. If you had to go through this process, you would have come up with a business plan. A plan that already stated what exactly you offered that will keep your business afloat.
That is the same thought process you should have had when starting your blog.
So how much traffic should you have before monetizing your blog? Zero
I will soon venture into the methods you should use to monetize your blog even with the meager three to five-person traffic you are getting from your blog.
As of now, I want to tell you why you should start with monetizing your blog rather than waiting until you can have ten, one hundred or one thousand visitors per day on your blog.
First off, you establish your blog in your reader’s mind as a business. You create a mentality, that as much they can get this and that free resources and value from your blog, you are actually in business.
This prevents the hurdle that other bloggers have had to go through by monetizing their blog later on in the journey and their readers started to feel cheated.
You alone trained their minds that they do not have to give something to achieve or gain a solution to their pain points. What you did, you created a bunch of freebie hunters.
Here is an example, if you go to Wikipedia right now and are expected to pay to keep reading the information, how would you feel?
After all, Wikipedia has extensive valuable content. What if you visited some coaches or consultant website? Would you feel offended if you found you had to fork out a certain amount of coins so as you can learn how to be persuasive?
No, you would not. Because that coach has already trained your brain that as much as I am offering value to you, I am also doing this as a business. As my bread and butter.
Secondly, you get clear on what exactly you are offering and your blog has some kind of structure. Rather than blogging about personal style today and interior design tomorrow (nothing wrong with it) you will now be clear on who your customer is and what their pain points are that you can resolve.
Once you know your customer’s pain point you can hit at it from different angles. While providing the same solution.
How much traffic do I need to start?
I know most of the people reading this article are wondering is it time for me to monetize my blog? Some are benchmarking their numbers with the numbers I have on the blog. And a minute few, are also industry leaders and are looking at what someone else has to say about this topic.
So when creating promotion tweets for the article, I know who would be most ideal for this article and I could create a couple of tweets like the one’s below:
- If you haven’t started monetizing your blog, you are already losing. This is why
- Don’t miss out on these exclusive tips on how you can start monetizing your blog today
- I spent six months not monetizing my blog so you do not have to. Here is what I learned.
And I could probably add more tweets to it. I could pop in a statistic tweet, a quote from a well-known blogger and many more.
Why is that?
Because I am clear on who will benefit the most on this topic and I am trying to attack the point from all points possible. Because people respond differently to different exposures.
Also, with A/B testing, I can see what tweets are getting more impressions and a higher engagement. In future, for other posts, I will write my headlines using the same formula as the ones receiving more impressions and a higher engagement rate.
Thirdly, and most importantly, you create and harness the right target audience. When you create a business plan, what you have as your ideal customer is just prospecting.
You may be targeting a twenty-eight-year-old but once you launch your business, you realize a thirty-six-year-old is your most ideal market.
And because you do not fall in love with the process but focus on your goal and objectives, you do not keep trying to target the market that you had envisioned but market to the audience that you already have.
I know I promised ways you can start monetizing your blog. But before we get to that, let us talk about how much should you be targeting now that you have decided to monetize your blog.
If you haven’t made that decision yet, I would like to know the reason why. What is holding you back? Let me know in the comments below.
Different monetizing strategies that we are going to talk about shortly also influence how much you will make with the amount of traffic you are currently getting on your blog.
So how much should you expect to make with three people visiting your blog? The right answer will be zero.
So why do it, if you are not going to make money right away? Because you want to set out the right processes and funnels that will work together easily with little touch-ups every now and then.
You may make zero on your first week, two dollars in the next week and probably close your blog that month making nineteen dollars. Not much to live on. But it is more than what you will be making if you do not apply a monetization strategy.
And here is the next truth, this money only grows month after month. The range of it, that is. Once you get into the three-figure range, expect to make money within that range. The same as four figures, five figures, and the most coveted six figures.
So pretty much, you have nothing to lose implementing a monetization strategy on your blog.
To what you have been waiting for?
The different strategies you can start implementing today, to make money from your blog.
There are three core ways you can make money from your blog. And I will briefly go into each strategy. And how you can use it to make money.
- Affiliate Marketing
- Selling of your own products and programs
I have listed it based on how much traffic you should have to make a significant amount of money. So with advertising, you will need a ton of traffic and with the selling of your own products and programs, you can start making money with the least amount of traffic.
Also, the list is based on the amount of work that is required to make money. You need less effort monetizing your blog through advertising and more effort monetizing your blog through selling of your products and programs.
It is no longer 2005 when people would make a significant amount of money through advertising on your blog.
Advertising can be done in two ways:
- Sponsored posts
- Using third-party ad networks like Google Adsense, BuySellAds.com, AdClercks.com, and countless others.
If you are going to go use this be careful not to cut on user experience by having ads every single white space you have on your blog.
For example, if you visit Kenyans dot co dot ke, this is the welcome page. There is just too much noise, thanks to the number of ads displayed on the site.
As much as you would like to make money, do not do it at the expense of your site guest. This is probably one of the most viewed sites in Kenya. And I would bet most of the site visitors, have some kind of ad block on their browsers.
When it comes to sponsored posts, you will also need a significant amount of traffic before some of the big bucks agency give you their products to advertise.
If you use third-party tools like Google Adsense, you have very little say on what can be advertised on your site. You will have to keep moving back and forth the Google Adsense dashboard to check what ads are being displayed on your blog. Sometimes, you may have to do away with some of the categories.
Affiliate marketing is simply making a commission from sales generated from your unique link. It can be a percentage or a flat fee.
Before jumping into affiliate marketing, and to avoid jumping on every affiliate marketing deal that you come across, you need to decide what will be the best value-add to your user without looking like you are just trying to sell them.
Best affiliate marketing plans you can start joining are those services that you are currently using.
If you use SiteGround for hosting, you can sign up for their affiliate marketing plan. This way it is more natural to your readers. Rather than it seems to be forced.
So start from products or services you are currently using. Next, choose products or affiliate plans that add to what you talk about on your blog.
Especially when you are starting out and nobody knows about you. Or not a significant amount of people that is.
For example, it would be really stupid of me to share my beauty products on my blog and I blog about blogging. Not only that, most times than not, in a week, my blog audience is mainly male. So I creeping in an affiliate link to the facial scrub I use is not relevant to them.
And if what I am sharing is not relevant to them, then there is no need for me to share it.
After all, the number three rule of blogging is to always add value to your web visitors.
Sell your own products and services.
This is currently my favorite way of making money from blogging. Yes, I have implemented all the above. Right from when I started blogging in 2008 and I would use advertising to 2013 when I started flipping amazon sites/blogs to 2016 to making my own products and programs and selling them.
You can choose to offer high ticket items from consulting to creating easy to consume and low ticket items like e-books and masterclasses.
Each of these methods will start making you money with the current amount of traffic you have.
- Masterclasses – similar to webinars and mini-courses but longer around ninety minutes to one hundred and twenty. Your buyers, achieve the results that they want within that time they are working with you.
- Books (digital or otherwise)
- Mini-courses – short course on how your clients start achieving results they want.
- Co-creation products (such as fill in the blanks copy) Here you set a laid out plan/structure and all the visitor has to do is fill in the blanks to make the template laid out for them unique to them. It could be a graphic image and they just have to paste their quote on it.
So what is the next step?
This may seem like an overwhelming to absorb all at once, that you may not know where to start.
My best advice is to work with your goal in mind. Try out one thing at a time.
So say, I want to close one consultancy client each fortnight, I come up with a strategy from that end goal. So what have my readers been asking help for the most?
They would like someone who would help them in coming up with the Facebook plan strategy that will work for them. Where they can see an increase in their engagement rate.
You now have a solution to their pain point. The next step is to create a chain of events that would lead them to your ultimate solution. Which is you want them to pay you to be a consultant?
What if you do not know what is the pain point of your current readers?
What’s the one thing you wish you knew before you started [what your blog about] and why?
How else do you think I came up with this article idea?
We have now covered how you can start monetizing your blog. From advertising right to creating and selling of your own products and programs.
We have also covered why you should do so if you would like to make a living from your blog.
My question to you is, which of these strategies are you going to use and why?
If you are not ready to monetize your blog, why is that? I would love to hear from you.