Apart from advertising how Quora makes money
How To Monetize A Blog In 2021 (13 Profitable Ways)
Starting and monetizing a blog has never been easier than it is today.
Not so long ago, building a website would have cost thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollars to set up and maintain. It was just as difficult to monetize a website. PayPal was still in its infancy, Stripe didn't exist, and email marketing wasn't nearly as flexible as it is now.
Today, however, you can start, maintain, and monetize a blog on WordPress for as little as a few hundred dollars (this can vary based on your needs). But just because it's easier to make money from your blog today doesn't mean most bloggers will.
According to ConvertKit's 2017 Status of Blogging Report, professional bloggers reported an average profit of $ 138,064 last year, while amateur bloggers (who made up 86% of respondents) made just $ 9,497.
This is terrible, especially considering that most bloggers start blogs so they can be their own boss and quit their boring 8 to 5 job.
Why did you start your blog? (Image source: ConvertKit)
So how do you go from being an amateur blogger to being one of the pros who cash out six figures every year?
You need a solid marketing plan that includes the content, a profitable niche, and a great monetization strategy.
You will also need to do some quick math.
When should you start monetizing your blog?
There is no specific number for how much traffic or how much email list it takes to make money on your blog as it all depends on what you are selling and how you are selling it.
(Bibliography: How Much Is My Website Worth? And 77 Best Practices for Getting Traffic to Your Website.)
However, it will help you a lot if you clarify two things first:
- Get steady traffic: You don't need tens of thousands of visitors, but at least a thousand visitors a month means you're doing something right.
- Grow your email list: Again, you don't have to strive for anything crazy. We'll show you examples of people who had a small list but used it to their advantage.
Now, those two things are important, but first and foremost, monetizing your blog efficiently is about the numbers.
For example, if you need to make $ 6,000 on your blog:
- You can sell a product worth $ 200 (such as a course) to 30 people.
- Or sell a $ 600 course to 10 people.
- And even with a $ 6,000 fee for consulting a client, it works.
Monetization is math, not magic.
This does not mean that the key to monetization is simply to increase the price of what you are selling. Rather, it means that you choose a monetization strategy based on where your blog is currently or where you want it to be in the future.
In this article, we'll show you how to monetize a blog and make money online, whether you're getting thousands of page views a month or just starting out.
We're going to reveal some solid strategies other bloggers are using to generate income from their own blogs in various niches, and teach you how to do the same with your own blog.Tweet: Monetization is math, not magic. 🧙♂️ However, you have to choose a strategy that fits your goals. Click to Tweet
1. Become a freelance blogger in your niche
One of the easiest ways to make money from your blog is to a freelance writer for more prominent blogs in your niche.
Think about it, you probably started your blog because you have experience / knowledge in this area. Why shouldn't you use this to your advantage?
Companies are looking for people who can create content to power their marketing, and who better to produce that content than someone with knowledge of this niche.
Freelance blogger Bamidele Onibalusi used his Blog Writers in Charge to show off his content marketing skills while growing his audience. He is now making a full time salary blogging for other companies.
According to Glassdoor, the average freelancer in the US makes about $ 40,000 a year. Keep in mind that this number will depend on your level of experience and the niche you are writing in.
Here's a breakdown of how much you can make in different niches, according to the Editorial Freelance Association:
What does a freelance writer earn on average per niche? (Image source: Contena Community)
You may not be able to set off these prices at the beginning, but the more experience and credibility you gain, the higher your rates will be. However, make sure that you do at the beginning not asking too little.
Selling $ 10 for an item may seem like an easy way to get customers, but the truth is, it can put off high quality customers as your skills will be questioned. Besides that, asking so little can kill your motivation to move on.
Since we're into pricing, it's better to charge your clients by project than by the hourly rate, as it can be difficult to determine how long it will take you to get a job done, especially if you're just starting out as a freelancer .
If you charge a fee based on the project itself, you'll be rewarded for getting it done faster, and your clients will know how much they'll be paying right from the start.
According to WriteWorldwide, in your first year as a freelance writer, regardless of your niche or previous writing experience, you can charge this much per project:
How much can you ask for writing? (Image source: Write Worldwide)
The best thing about freelance writing is that you don't need a lot of traffic on your blog to make money. All companies really value is that you can write great content.
Jorden Roper, for example, made $ 5,000 in her fourth month as a freelance writer, and Jennifer Gregory pulls about six-figure amounts a year from her freelance writing business.
As a freelance blogger, you need to create written content and attract visitors to a company's website in order for some of those visitors to become customers for the company.
According to the Content Marketing Institute 2019 report, marketers will spend even more money creating content going forward, and 50% of marketers surveyed expect their content marketing budget to increase in 2019.
B2B increases expenses for content creation (Image source: CMI SlideShare)
If there are companies out there making money in your niche and for as long as those companies are creating content, you can bet they need writers.
Notice that I mentioned that the company needs to make money. One of the worst mistakes you can make as a freelance blogger is choosing a niche where companies can't afford to pay you.
For example, writing about art may be your idea of fun, and you may have a thorough knowledge of it, but how many blogs can you regularly pay you to write about?
The path to profitability as a freelance blogger is to find the right market to position you.
A quick way to test whether there is money to be made in your niche is to find at least ten authors who cover the niche you want to write in. You can do this by simply doing a search on LinkedIn using the keywords for your niche.
For example, if I search for people with the exact title "freelance personal finance writer" on LinkedIn, I get about 42 results. You can also do without quotation marks for a more comprehensive search, which will result in even more results.
“Freelance personal finance writer” search on LinkedIn
This is an easy way to validate your niche.
We've already found that as a freelance writer, you don't need a lot of traffic to make money, but that doesn't mean people will just find your blog and hire you.
You have to go out there and advertise your ministry.
Once you've created sample texts on your blog and possibly guest posts on other blogs, you can start reaching out to companies you want to write for.
You can also use marketplaces for freelancers like Upwork, SEOclerks and Fiverr. But while there are a few freelance writers out there who make big bucks, like Danny Marguiles, who makes over $ 100,000 a year with Upwork, most freelance writers make very little money on these platforms.
In order to avoid the race to bottom out in these marketplaces, you have to do most of the public relations yourself.
How to find blogs to write for
The best way to find companies or blogs in your niche that you want to write for is to simply search Google for keywords related to that niche and see what comes your way.
Because the blogs that appear on the first few pages of Google are clearly investing a lot in content marketing.
For example, when I was looking for blogs that I could write for in the fitness niche, a simple search term like "fitness blog" would tell me:
Fitness blog google search
You can also search for terms that are specific to your niche, e.g. B. in the case of fitness, something like "workout plans":
Workout plans Google search
Now all you have to do is contact the blog owners and suggest your freelance writing service to them.
Use your own site
In addition to looking for new writing experiences, you should also use your own website, after all, you are a writer.
Use inbound marketing and SEO to attract people to your website where you can offer them your writing and blogging services.
Freelance writer Maddy Osman does this on her freelance website, The Blogsmith.
Maddy Osman is a freelance writer
2. Sell e-books to your audience
Selling ebooks is one of the most popular ways for bloggers to monetize their blogs. It's perfect because it's relatively easy to make, and it's usually reasonably priced for most visitors to buy.
But e-books offer more than just a way for bloggers to quickly monetize their blogs. As a blogger, selling an ebook can be the fastest way to test if people are interested enough in what you cover to pay for it.
E-books are also a low-risk way for your website visitors to assess the value you are offering before they buy more expensive products.
Contrary to popular belief, you don't need a lot of traffic on your blog to make money from your books. For example, David Oudiette converted the knowledge he gathered while creating landing pages into a $ 39.00 252-page e-book.
He didn't have a lot of traffic on his blog since all he was doing at the time was advice, but David was able to generate over $ 13,000 in revenue from his e-book.
Here's what David had to do to sell so many books:
- He asked his blog subscribers about their landing page, gave them free tips, and then referred them to his book.
- He answered questions and provided feedback on Quora and Reddit landing pages. Then he suggested his book as an additional source of information.
- David also added the book on Product Hunt.
- More impressively, David emailed companies and gave them free feedback on their landing page. Then he answered the answers and linked them to his book.
So David didn't have a lot of traffic, but he did a lot of work.
There's also Taylor Pearson, who sold over 5,000 books in four weeks and made over $ 60,000 from that book alone in 2015. Taylor only had 700 email subscribers at the time.
Taylor attributes the success of his book to a few things:
- Getting fans of his blog to become beta readers as you write.
- Creation of a Facebook group to communicate the progress of his book with key readers. (Read: How To Create A Facebook Page)
- Send the book to all members of the Facebook group so they can leave an honest review on Amazon.
- Keeping everyone on their list updated on the book's progress, which will make them more involved and more likely to buy later.
- Sync social media messages during and after launch.
- Send a personalized email about his book to each of his Gmail contacts.
- Given a giveaway to promote the book.
The book became a bestseller in the Amazon Small Business section and the rest is history.
The End of Jobs e-book (Image source: Amazon)
The great thing about these two examples is that they show that with the right marketing and a good book, you don't need that many subscribers, and that you certainly don't have to be a seasoned writer.
Neither of these authors published and simply hoped; instead, they both put a lot of work into making their books a success.
Where can you sell your e-book?
You can then either sell your e-book directly on your blog or through platforms like Gumroad or Podia.
Selling your e-book on your own website can be beneficial as you can keep 100% of the profits. For example, ShoutMeLoud's Harsh Agrawal has devoted an entire section of his website entirely to his various e-books.
With the WordPress plugin Easy Digital Downloads you can easily create something like this.
If you publish your e-book as an Amazon Kindle, you can only keep 70% of the profit. The benefit gained, however, is that the more books you sell, the more attention you get, which leads to even more sales.
The sale of e-books isn't limited to any particular niche either. There are e-books out there about blogging, photography, fitness, and anything else you can think of.
For example, if you had a blog teaching gardening, you could sell an e-book that teaches your audience in more detail how to grow their own gardens or a specific plant.
You can even reuse some of the content you've already written on your blog for this purpose and then add more details and context.
How to do the book
If you don't have the time or the ability to write a book yourself, you can hire ghostwriters to do it.
You can find ghostwriters on LinkedIn, Scripted, Upwork, and even Fiverr. Remember, you get exactly what you pay for. Experienced ghostwriters cost you more than beginners.
You can also create your own book cover using tools like Canva, Photoshop and Snappa, or you can pay for a service like 99designs and have a professional do it for you.
3. Create and sell online courses
Another way to monetize your blog is by selling courses online. What prevents most bloggers from creating their own course is that they believe you have to be some kind of expert to teach a course.
However, this is not true. All you need to really teach a course is to know more than the people you are teaching and to be able to present that information in a way that people get value from it.
IWT's Ramit Sethi makes millions on his courses, not because he's a certified financial planner, but because he helps people solve problems in their lives.
You don't have to be a certified chef to create a course that teaches people how to cook. If you can cook better than most people and can create your course material so that people can really learn how to cook, then nothing prevents you from creating your course.
More people than ever are taking online courses. The e-learning industry is expected to grow to around 325 billion US dollars by 2025.
You also don't have to be an influencer like Ramit Sethi to earn a decent income from your courses.
There are people like Joseph Michael, who was a freshman who made $ 40,000 teaching writers how to use the popular Scrivener writing software.
Joseph didn't have thousands of visitors or a huge email list. He sold his course by reaching out to influencers and promoting his course in webinars where he spoke.
How do I find course ideas?
If you already have an audience, all you need to do is identify a problem that many of them have in common and that you can solve.
Ways to identify pain points that your target audience wants to resolve:
- Submit a poll: The quickest way to find out what problems people in your audience are having is to ask them. You can do this by sending a simple survey via email.
Here is an example from Ramit Sethi who did just that in one of his emails just before the New Year:
- Read blog comments: Your comment area can be a treasure trove of ideas if you pay attention to it. And if you don't have that many comments on your blog, you can read comments from other blogs in your niche.
However, if you don't have an audience, you can come up with course ideas by making a list of things you do better than most people.
Here are some questions to help you find out:
- What do your friends congratulate you on?
- What do people come to you for?
- What is everyone around you complaining about, but you don't seem to have a problem with it?
- What did you learn from your last job?
- What can you do better than most of the people you know?
Joseph knew how to use Scrivener, which most people found too complex. In your case, it could be an instrument or a fashion. As long as you can do better than most people, you can teach them.
Hosting your courses
You can host your courses on WordPress. In this case, you can get most of your course profit, but you'll have to set it all up yourself or hire a developer to help you.
There are also third party platforms that you can host your courses on. These platforms either charge a monthly fee or a percentage of sales. In return, you will receive a more professional platform for organizing your course.
WordPress extension for your courses
Third party platforms to host your courses on
4. Start a coaching / consulting business
Sometimes people want more detailed and personal instructions than they can find in a book or course, so they turn to one-on-one coaching (or advice, depending on the type of service you are providing).
Coaching, or advice, is a monetization strategy that most blog owners who have successfully sold books and courses turn to when looking to create an additional source of income.
However, it's not just for established bloggers, it can also be your monetization strategy from the get-go.
Coaching, like most of the monetization strategies we've covered, requires that you use your skills and experience to help people solve problems in their life.
Brennan Dunn, for example, helps companies sell more with marketing automation, and charges around $ 9,000 for a consultation. Nagina Abdullah makes over $ 100,000 a year from customers looking to lose weight.
Here is a snapshot of Nagina's merit throughout the year:
If you are already generating income from books and courses, you can offer one-on-one counseling to people in your audience.
If you're just starting out, the low volume of advice means that you can generate revenue without large amounts of traffic.
Consulting is not just about how much traffic you are generating, it is also about getting the right type of traffic, that is, reaching people who need your services and can afford to pay you.
That means writing targeted blog posts on topics your customers care about, speaking on podcasts that your audience will listen to, and going to events where they'll gather to hear about you.
5. Offer a paid membership plan
Subscription-based companies are growing in popularity, so some people are starting to speak of a subscription economy.
Everything from Netflix to web hosting providers to membership sites is part of the subscription economy.
Subscription economy (Image source: Emma)
A member site is an area of your online business where members take out monthly or annual subscriptions for exclusive benefits.
The people in your community share a common interest. The benefits they pay for include exclusive articles, advice, reports, webinars, face-to-face meetings, and sharing with like-minded people.
The membership websites not only allow you to reach more people, but also give everyone a sense of community and belonging.
One thing I love about member sites is that everyone is part of a group whether they realize it or not.
That means, if you are interested in something, the world is big and the internet is networked enough that you can find other people like yourself.
For example, Ryan Levesque loved orchids and knew how to grow them. That's why he created Orchids made easy, where he offers his members exclusive content and a platform where they can meet and learn from other orchid lovers.
Ryan's members pay $ 9.95 each month and since he has 1,800 members, his earnings are a cool $ 18,000 per month.
Ryan’s members pay $ 9.95 every month and since he has 1,800 members that put his revenue at a cool $ 18k a month.
It gets even better: Depending on how much you're asking for your membership, you may not need that much traffic.
Fuzzy Yellow Balls' Will Hamilton teaches tennis players how to improve their game, and he once had 600 members who paid him $ 25 a month. That's over $ 15,000 a month with just 600 people, and that was in 2010.
You can create a membership page for almost anything, as long as the people you are targeting have money and are committed.
For example, tennis players spend many hours training to get better and also spend money on tennis equipment, so they are committed and willing to pay.
Another good example are golfers. Golfers are ready to make efforts to improve their skills, and they also spend money on equipment.
Because of this, Sean Ogle from Breaking Eighty was able to attract 150 members to his golf membership within 8 months of starting his blog. Breaking Eighty members pay between $ 250 and $ 500 per year.
If you have an audience that is engaged and already spending money to improve, creating a membership site is possibly the most profitable thing you can do. With just a few hundred members, you can easily make thousands of dollars.
If you want to create and manage your membership site, you can use WordPress plugins or third party platforms.
Managing member sites on WordPress
Manage membership sites with third-party tools
6. Make money with display advertising (banner advertising)
There is a lot of hatred of display ads in the blogosphere. Most people say it's a bad monetization strategy because you can't do anything decent with it.
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For the most part, they're right, but there's a reason display ads are still popular despite the bad press.
The reason for this is that they work and are the fastest, if not the most profitable, way of monetizing a website.
Some bloggers start with display ads until they find more profitable monetization strategies. For some people, those first few dollars are enough motivation to keep the blog going.
For example, Car Expert's Alborz Fallah was just starting monetizing his website when a friend got him to run Google Adsense display ads on his blog. Thanks to the advertising, Alborz got away from making nothing on his blog to making a consistent $ 200 a day while keeping his full-time job.
Recommended Reading: 22 Best AdSense Alternatives To Consider For Your Website In 2019
Alborz later began working directly with automakers who paid up to $ 30,000 in sponsorship deals. All of this would not have been possible if this friend hadn't convinced him to monetize his blog with Adsense first.
Alborz isn't the only one who has had success with display ads, as is Fat Stacks entrepreneur Jon Dykstra, for example.
Here is a snapshot of Jon's Adsense earnings in 30 days.
Not bad for a bad monetization strategy, right?
According to Jon, the secret to his success with Adsense is the optimal placement of advertisements, the lots of traffic generated on the numerous websites he owns and the selection of niches in which display ads work.
A great free WordPress plugin that you can use to optimize your ad placements is Ad Inserter. This tool is an easy way to A / B test your ads to see which ones are performing better. You can also customize how and where your ads appear on your website.
For example, if you want an ad to appear in your article, but only after the first two paragraphs of the content, you can do so easily.
You don't have to sell your own product with ads, but you do need traffic. The more of it you can generate, the better your performance.
It may take time for ads to work for you once you start growing your blog and improving your content marketing, but eventually you will.
Ads don't even have to be permanent, they can just be a temporary way to make money on your blog until you find a better way to monetize them.
But we live in the age of ad blockers and these have a negative impact on your income.
7. Become an affiliate marketer
You can't write an article about blog monetization without mentioning affiliate marketing. This is one of the most common ways bloggers make money online.
In fact, much of the web is powered by affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing accounts for around 15 percent of sales in the digital media industry. In the US, there are as many e-commerce orders as there are emails.
With affiliate marketing you advertise the products of other companies and receive a commission for every sale that you bring in.
Affiliate marketers work just like most salespeople. You promote and sell a company's product and receive a commission when someone buys.
Here is a visual breakdown of how it works:
How Affiliate Marketing Works (Image source: HubSpot)
It is really that easy! For example, let's say your commission is $ 5 on every sale and you get 200 people to buy that product. That would have earned you $ 1,000.
What excites people about affiliate marketing is that you can just piggyback a great product and sell it to your audience
You only need three things for affiliate marketing
- A niche (that seems to be mentioned a lot, doesn't it? 😉).
- An affiliate product.
- And an audience to promote the product.
You build your audience by writing about topics related to your niche. Once you have an audience, you can find products from affiliate networks, e.g .:
We also have an affiliate program here at Kinsta. Kinsta's affiliate program comes with 10% recurring commissions for life and many bloggers are already making a ton of passive income from it.
You can also check out which affiliate products other blogs are promoting in your niche and reach out to those companies yourself.
One thing to keep in mind when monetizing your blog with affiliate marketing is that you should focus on adding value to your readers, not just placing products so you can make a sale.
Example: The best affiliate marketers don't even act as affiliate marketers.
Take Ryan Robinson, for example, who makes tens of thousands of dollars in affiliate income every month on his blog.
Ryan creates a lot of valuable content for his readers and emphasizing products that he likes and uses seem like a natural part of it.
As more and more companies offer affiliate programs, you can promote products no matter what niche you are in.
8. Generate income with sponsored posts / reviews
Making money from sponsored posts and reviews is one of the least common ways to monetize a blog. This is likely because you will need a lot of traffic and credibility to achieve this.
For sponsored posts and reviews, a blogger charges a fee to write about the product on the blog and give his or her opinion. The product is introduced to the blogger's audience, and the brand becomes better known and receives new customers.
When you think of influencer marketing, images of the influencers that you know on Instagram and Youtube are quickly called up in your head.
However, writing sponsored posts on your blog is influencer marketing and is exploding right now. More than 63% of companies already using influencer marketing plan to increase their spend this year.
Influencer marketing has already seen tremendous growth and is expected to have a market size of around $ 6.5 billion in 2019.
If you post a product on your blog, please provide honest feedback as it is not worth losing your readers' trust for a few dollars.
For example, Matthew Woodward, who charges close to $ 1000 for a sponsored review, clearly states on his promotional page that a paid review is not a good review.
Being transparent with his audience preserves the trust he has built with him, which is far more valuable than $ 1,000.
Michelle Gardner of Making sense of cents, who bills around $ 5,000 per sponsored post and makes $ 10,000-20,000 a month from sponsored posts, writes primarily about products and services that she uses herself. That way, she can make sure that the people in her audience will love it too.
Here is a comment from a product she reviewed on her blog that shows what I mean by that:
As I mentioned earlier, the only downside to sponsored posts is that you need a solid online presence before you can get companies to pay you substantial amounts.
Businesses need to know that paying a Sponsored Post will result in sales in order for the investment to be worthwhile. So, sponsored posts may not be the best monetization system for beginners, but they are great for more established bloggers.
If your blog is already generating traffic, you can reach out to companies in your niche whose products or services you already use and offer to write a sponsored post or review.
For example, if you write about technology, you can leave sponsored reviews for companies that make smart doorbells, laptops, cameras, and more.
Alexis Schroeder from Fit Financials writes about fitness and personal finance. When she got enough traffic, she turned to personal finance and fitness companies.
Alexis charges between $ 750 to $ 1500 per post and makes an average of $ 3000 per month from them alone.
9. Sell physical products to your audience
You can also monetize your blog by selling products directly to your audience. Some bloggers are even moving from selling a few articles to starting full-fledged ecommerce sites alongside the blog.
The popular Beardbrand e-commerce store, for example, began as a blog where founder Eric Bandholz wrote about beard grooming before selling the beard grooming products that Beardbrand is known for today.
Eric turned his beard blog into a company featured in the New York Times, Inc and Shark Tank, which now makes over $ 100,000 a month.
Eric isn't the only one who realized that selling products to your audience is a great way to monetize your blog.
The Oatmeal's Matthew Inman makes about $ 375,000 a year selling merchandise related to the comic he draws on his blog.
Both Eric and Matthew can monetize their blogs this way as they have built an engaging community that really wanted what they offered.
If you've already built an audience, one of the most profitable ways to monetize it is to sell products directly to those people.
They already trust you, and since you care for them, you probably know more about them than most manufacturers and retailers.
Shari Lott started Spearmint Baby as a blog for mothers, and as she grew her online presence, she learned more about what her mothers' audience wanted.
Shari started Spearmint LOVE, an e-commerce business that sells baby clothing, and built it into a business in less than five years that grossed $ 1.5 million in 2016.
If you already have an audience, pay attention to the problems they are facing and try to sell something that will help them solve them.
10. Sell digital products to your audience
Sometimes the best way to solve your audience's problems is not a physical product, but software and digital downloads.
Clay Collins came up with the idea for Leadpages through his blog, where he wrote about optimizing landing pages. When Clay started giving out landing page templates for free, he found that people wanted more of them.
They wanted to customize it, integrate it with their tools, and even split test it, so he created Leadpages. A company that now has $ 38 million in funding and generates $ 25 million annually.
If you have skills other than blogging and e-book creation, don't miss out. If you know your way around code, you can create software or WordPress plugins and then sell them to your existing audience.
Even if you don't know how to program, you can always hire a developer. Omar Zenhom from Webinar Ninja built the first version of his product with developers whom he hired from Freelancer.
You can even sell digital products like templates, themes, and even audio recordings to your audience if that helps solve a problem.
For example, Relaxing White Noise sells audio tracks that help listeners relax and fall asleep. The Luxe Lens sells Lightroom and Photoshop templates to photographers. Camera Gear website Shotkit sells Lightroom to earn a commission.
The Luxe Lens
You can even sell prints like Jennifer from lifeismessyandbrilliant, who sells digital planners and stickers on her blog.
11. Start a virtual summit in your niche
If you keep up with internet trends, you've probably heard of, or even attended, virtual summits.
Note that virtual summits or web conferences are different from webinars.
The main difference is that virtual summits are much more interactive and engaging. These are essentially conferences that you can attend online with a moderator, Q&A sessions and several speakers on a specific topic.
While the virtual summits are usually free, you can only access them for a limited time. The organizer earns most of its income from the sale of an "all-access pass" with which the participants can view the conference material at any time.
Tom Morkers, who heads the $ 100k Launch School summit, made more than $ 20,000 selling all-access passes after a summit.
$ 100k Launch School summit
Virtual Summit hosts also make money selling related products such as membership plans and courses on the topic after the summit is over.
The aspect of virtual summits that makes them a great monetization strategy, even for newbies, is that you don't have to be a well-known blogger to host one. Mainly because you increase credibility by interviewing other influencers in your environment.
For example, Jon Schumacher only had about 2,000 email subscribers when he started his webinar Mastery Summit.
Not only did the summit bring in just under $ 26,000 in revenue in just 10 days, it also added 2,854 subscribers to its email list.
There are virtual summits for almost every niche imaginable. In publishing, for example, there is the bestseller summit, which teaches how to write and publish a bestseller book.
At the Membership Site Summit, entrepreneurs learn how to set up and expand a successful membership site.
If you've already built an audience, even if it's not large, you can create a virtual summit by working with influencers in your sphere.
The best way to find influencers to connect with in a niche is by using a tool like Buzzsumo.
All you have to do is go to the Buzzsumo homepage and enter your niche keyword.
For example, if I wanted to hold a virtual book publishing summit, I would type book publishing in the search box.
Enter a keyword into buzzsumo
Then make sure you click on the Influencer tab:
You can then filter according to the number of followers, response rate and the criteria relevant to you.
Once you've found the influencers in your niche, it might be tempting to contact them right away and ask them to speak at your summit, but that rarely works.
Instead, you should slowly develop a relationship with them before asking any questions. Start by following them on Twitter, then reading, commenting, and guest posting on their blog. In other words, you want to provide value before asking a question.
12. Accept donations on your blog
You can also monetize your blog by allowing your audience to make donations. This works especially well if you are a nonprofit organization.
You can accept donations with WordPress plugins such as Give, Charitable and PayPal Donations.
This is what the charity donation plugin looks like on the Uganda Water Project campaign page:
Uganda Water Project
Now that accepting donations is the norm for nonprofits, they can also be used to monetize blogs that are not nonprofits.
Maybe you're a little skeptical about how well donating to a blog can work. Until I started reading about bloggers like Scott Alexander of Slate Star Codex, who makes $ 2,493 a month from just 410 fans on Patreon. Keep in mind that Scott only blogs part time and still has a job.
Scott Alexander creates blog posts (Image source: Patreon)
There are also bloggers like Tim Urban of Wait But Why, who makes over $ 12,000 a month on Patreon alone.
However, this doesn't mean that every blog can make money from donations.
It took most of the bloggers I mentioned some time to generate significant income from donations.
That's because you need to have a really engaged audience in order for donations to work for your blog. To do this, you first have to provide a lot of valuable content free of charge.
For example, Tim Urban spends between 40 and 80 hours writing and researching to create one of his blog posts, some of which are longer than the e-books people are selling.
That's a lot of work to create something he'll give away for free.
His audience recognizes this and loves Tim's work so much that they support him with donations. Tim couldn't have received donations if he'd only spent 100 words a week.
How to accept donations on your blog:
So far I have given examples of people who accept donations via the Patreon platform or via WordPress donation plugins.
But which one should you use? It depends on what is most important to you.
Accepting Patreon donations can be more expensive as there is a 5% fee on your incoming earnings and you have to pay an additional 5% in transaction fees.
In return, you have a platform that handles all chargebacks and declined payments. Plus, it's easy to accept donations and manage your donors with minimal effort. Patreon even has a WordPress plugin that you can use to make money from the content of your blog.
If, on the other hand, you choose to use WordPress plugins, you pay less fees, but you have to do most of the setup yourself. You also need to handle the transaction errors and create a way to manage donors yourself.
So if you want to get started asap and don't mind paying extra for a platform that's already built, Patreon is a great option. If you don't mind setting up donations yourself and managing donors yourself, the WordPress plugins are perfect for you.
13. Start a podcast
Podcasting is exploding right now. According to Paid Insights, as of April 2019, there were over 700,000 active podcasts and over 29 million episodes.
More and more people around the world are listening to podcasts. Here is the percentage of the population around the planet now listening to podcasts:
The status of podcasting (Image source: Statista)
If you already have a blog, embedding a podcast can be a very smart way to get more traffic by letting the growth of podcasts help you.
Podcasts are great, especially if you're a newbie, as most of the established blogs in your niche have more written content than you do.
But how many of them have a podcast?
With podcasts, Entrepreneur on Fire's John Lee Dumas grew revenue from $ 69,879 in 2012 to $ 1,545,090 in 2018.
Podcasts are doing so well that even popular bloggers like Noah Kagan and Darren Rowse are now offering podcasts alongside their regular blog content.
Podcasts not only help you make a name for yourself and generate more traffic to your blog. They can also be an additional source of income for your blog.
With a large enough audience, you can sell sponsorship slots in your podcast to companies that want to reach the people in your audience.
Mixergy's Andrew Warner generates additional revenue by giving businesses the opportunity to reach their entrepreneurial audiences through his podcast.
Here are two of his sponsors for an interview he did with the founder of Codementor:
Podcast sponsors (Image source: Mixergy)
Where can I host my podcast?
To start podcasting, you need a place where your audio files will be hosted in a similar way to your website.
A media host is a company that lets you store your audio files for listeners to stream and download.
Some media hosts for podcasts are:
- and transistor
There are also WordPress plugins like Seriously Simple Podcasting, Smart Podcast Player, and Simple Podcast Press that you can use to manage and even host podcasts.
What you need to start a podcast
Most people overestimate what it takes to start a podcast and thus never start. However, if you already have a computer, there are just a few more things you need to do to get started, such as:
- A microphone: You can get one on Amazon for just $ 10.
- Headphone: You probably already have that.
- Audio editing software: There are free options like GarageBand (Mac) or Audacity (Windows).
- Podcast hosting: You can get plans for just $ 12 a month.
- A Skype or Zoom account: If you plan to do interviews on your show.
Now you can create episodes for the world to listen to.
While starting a blog is easier than ever, most bloggers, as the ConvertKit study shows, struggle to monetize it. Blogging alone won't generate revenue unless you find a monetization strategy that works for your blog.
As most of the examples have shown, you don't need as much traffic or leads to generate income from your blog. And while your niche matters, it's not the most important factor that determines whether you will succeed.
We've seen people make money playing tennis, beards, golf, baby clothes, cars, and even orchids.
What you need is an understanding of the numbers required for your monetization strategy to be successful and a determination to work hard to promote what you have to offer.
If you are reading this, this is the first step. We hope that you now have the strategies and tools to start making money on your blog.
Do you have any other great tips on how to make money from a blog? If so, share them below.
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