Given the time, effort and research it takes to build a successful blog, it’s only natural to want to build revenue for your efforts by monetizing your blog.
Any blog can be monetized regardless of niche or industry. Whether you’re selling software, a physical product or offer personal training of any kind, you can use a blog to drive traffic and buyers to your products.
However, not all blogs are created equal. In fact, many monetized blogs often fail to covert due to a lack of planning.
If you want to build a money-making blog that stands the test of time, make sure that you have crystal clear answers for the following questions before you get started.
1. What Is Your Content Strategy?
At the end of the day, a blog is a blog; therefore, you’ll need a solid content strategy in order to back up your organic search efforts and drive traffic. For example, you’re going to need to know:
- Who’s going to write your content? Will you do it yourself or hire an affordable writer from platforms such as Upwork or Fiverr?
- How often will you post? Daily? Weekly? Remember that content creation is an on-going process that establishes value for your blog over time.
- Where will inspiration for your blog come from and how will you create content that ultimately outranks your competitors?
While content creation takes ample time, energy and resources, it’s undoubtedly the most important aspect of your blog. In fact, many affiliate programs won’t accept your site unless it’s backed up by quality content.
2. Have You Done Your Keyword Research?
Much like your content strategy, SEO remains a crucial component of monetizing your blog and building backlinks. For starters, you’re going to need to know what keyword to focus on to help drive your content creation.
New bloggers should focus first on low-competition (think: only a few hundred searches or fewer monthly) and long-tail keywords, which are often overlooked by bigger players in your space. By starting small in terms of SEO, you can build and compete for more competitive keywords over time rather than punch above your weight.
3. Where Will Your Traffic Come From?
Traffic is much more than just a numbers game. While it’s impressive for sites to drive hundreds or thousands of visitors in a matter of months, such traffic means very little if it’s quickly bouncing or failing to convert.
The number one goal should be to get traffic from Google. Historically, it’s the highest converting and quality traffic you can get. Reason being, you’re providing an answer to the question the user posed in the search box.
Another great source of traffic is from referrals (links on other blogs). This source is great because it provides social proof – other thought leaders in your industry giving you a mention.
Finally there is traffic from social media. Most of the time this traffic bounces (leaves very quickly without visiting multiple pages). On the plus side, there’s ways to get massive traffic from Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. It just takes one great article to go viral and get shared hundreds of times for you to see a massive spike in traffic.
4. Where Will the Money Come From?
If you want to start monetizing your blog, you’re going to need an affiliate program or monetization platform to make it happen.
Thankfully, modern marketers have options when it comes to monetization, each of which has its inherent advantages. For example, you could rely on a proven program with name recognition such as Amazon Affiliates, or use a platform with a higher payout such as ClickBank. Google’s AdSense is still utilized by many marketers as well, and perhaps is an attractive option for those without a clear-cut affiliate for their niche.
Lastly, you can either find or create a product you want to market to your audience. This could be an something non-physical such as an ebook or a course.
5. How Much Traffic Do You Need?
When you begin monetizing your blog, cash comes as a result of taking advantage of quality traffic. Therefore, you need to understand and project how much traffic you can realistically acquire and convert in order to turn your visitors into dollars and cents. For example, you’ll need to hash out:
- The competitiveness of your niche in terms of traffic and keywords (how many other competitors are in your space?)
- Your ability to produce content versus your competitors (based on your budget and resources)
- The price point of your product (a product or affiliate lower price point will need more traffic)
While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to monetization, consider that any blog can be monetized with the proper strategy in place. By asking yourself the aforementioned five questions and having answers in mind, you can keep your expectations realistic and turn your blog into a money-making machine.