I’m Karly de Lange, Digital Marketing Specialist and Founder of Influence Media Inc., and I’m so excited to partner with the Jilly Academy to help you turn your personal or business blog into a multi-revenue stream generator! I’ve worked with Team Jilly to provide training on Paid Media and Facebook/Instagram Ads to reach a new audience for their business objectives, so this is my jam!
First of all, I want to start by saying blogs are not dead so if you’re still thinking about starting one, it’s not too late! In fact, blogs are a major source of information for the millions of people searching on Google at any given time of day. (Did you know there are 89,409 Google Searches per second?*)
Bloggers have a big influence over what we consume. In fact, “46% of people take recommendations from bloggers into account”* so it’s not surprising that blogs have become a major source of income for many bloggers. If this is something you want to dig into further, I’ve created a free blueprint on How to Structure Your Blog to Make (More) Money to get you started.
While blog traffic will be an important factor for how much you can earn from your blog, you can start working toward your financial goals if you know the various ways to make money from blogging. If you want to increase traffic to your blog, check out these traffic boosting tips.
So, grab a cup of coffee (or wine) and let’s dive in!
1. Offer Consultations & Services
If you have a blog or are considering starting one, chances are you have a passion, interest, ability, knowledge or perspective that is unique, aspirational or insightful in some way. Whether your niche is in home design, fashion or nutrition, there is likely someone who would love to get your help! So why not offer one-on-one consultations or a service that you know your audience could benefit from?
To determine your offerings, start paying attention to the questions your audience asks most frequently. Does your audience ask how you perform a specific task or about your process? Do they ask how you got started? Or perhaps they ask for your input or need your help to solve a problem. Are there trends in how they engage with the various topics you share? Track their questions, problems and the topics that pique the most interest in a Google Doc and then check for themes to help you determine the demand and how you can structure a service or consultation.
PRO TIP: If you’re not sure how much to charge, do some research! Check out the competition. Poll your audience to get insight into whether your new offering would be helpful and ask for input on pricing. Remember, you can test the offer and change it anytime so there’s no risk to getting started!
2. Become an Affiliate Marketing Pro
Did you know that the average monthly income from affiliate marketing in 2021 was $3000/month? Not bad if you consider that’s only one passive, monthly income stream!
So, exactly what is affiliate marketing? Affiliate marketing is when you promote other people’s products and services and earn a commission when it leads to a purchase.Affiliate marketing is one of the most common revenue generators for bloggers because it allows for content creators to share links or promo codes to items or services with their audience in a way that feels natural and authentic.
If you love, use and swear by something that you want to share, check to see if the brand has an affiliate program or if they are represented by any of the affiliate networks like LTK, or Shareasale so that you can include affiliate links in your next blog post. When people click on those links and make a purchase, you’ll get paid a commission – YES PLEASE! And now with the ability for all Instagram accounts (including those under 10K) to include links in Instagram Stories, there’s no better time to join a few affiliate programs!
PRO TIP: I recommend carefully picking and choosing which items you promote and only share those you love, wear and/or have actually tried. You will build/maintain trust with your audience and they will be more engaged to actually buy when you give it your stamp of approval than if you are spamming your audience with too many products/services each week.
3. Earn Advertising Dollars
If you’re getting a decent amount of traffic to your blog, you could earn a passive income with relatively little to no extra work. Sounds good, right?! Creating an account with an online ad network like Google Adsense is very easy and will allow banner, text or native ads relevant to your niche to be displayed on your site. You can earn revenue on a per-click or per-impression basis which is paid monthly usually by direct deposit. When you just begin, money earned from ads may not be enough to quit your day job. However, as your blog grows and traffic increases, ad revenue has endless potential! CHA-CHING!
Typically, you can choose ad formats that blend in with your content and some ad networks like Revcontent even allows you to choose the fonts or colours so ads do not stand out for being “off-brand”. While Google Adsense is one of the most commonly known ad network programs, there are many others to choose from like PropellerAds, Media.net, InfoLinks, etc. so check out the pros and cons and make sure you read their rules and policies.
PRO TIP: Test various ad types and placement on your site to see what generates the most clicks. For example, if people don’t tend to scroll to the bottom of your posts, make sure ad placements are integrated higher on the page.
4. Create Sponsored Posts
Does partnering with brands you love sound like a dream? Brand collaborations and sponsored posts are not only a great opportunity to get paid for creating content but it’s also a very effective way to reach a new audience since brands will likely cross-promote your content across their marketing channels. That’s what I call a WIN-WIN!
Sponsored posts can be structured in various ways where the items are gifted and/or you get a flat rate for the one post. Or you may be offered an amount for the post plus a commission for purchases using a promo code or affiliate link. There may be a social media content requirement depending on the contract but either way, it’s up you to negotiate your rates based on audience engagement, site traffic, content assets the brand will receive, time for content creation, etc.
PRO TIP: Ask the brand how they plan to promote the sponsored post. Suggest that they include a link to your post on their website and in their newsletter. Offer to do an Instagram Takeover or Live to answer questions for their audience. This may be additional work for you, but it’s a great way to boost your brand awareness and it will build a long-term relationship with the brand you’re collaborating with. Hello repeat partnerships!
5. Sell Digital Products
We have covered how to discover your unique talent that you can offer in one-on-one consultations or via services. Now let’s take that one step further and develop digital products that align with your zone of expertise! These can be templates, guides, workbooks, illustrations/graphic designs, prints, e-books, pre-sets, etc. Oftentimes, these products might be derived from your own process, like for example, do you have a checklist for organizing your workflow or a template that you follow to achieve something? Or perhaps you’ve designed a template or print for yourself that your audience would love.
Brainstorm ideas by looking at your most popular content, services and most requested information from your audience to see what could be turned into a digital product. Ideally, the product would be a downloadable PDF or image or a template you can share from Canva, Google Docs/Sheets, Lightroom, Photoshop, etc. To price your products, do some research to get a sense of market value and consider the value of the outcome or takeaway.
PRO TIP: Add a link to shop your digital product(s) in your Instagram bio and don’t be afraid to promote them across various platforms. Share in static posts, Instagram Stories, in your own blog posts, in newsletters, etc. a few times per month. Selling doesn’t have to feel icky if you focus on how your product will benefit your audience; maybe it gives them a quick win, brightens their day or saves them time.
6. Sell Physical Products
Have you noticed there’s a theme here? It’s what I call “layering”! Each monetization strategy takes it one step further! So, let’s say you have a best-selling digital product, consider offering a hard copy like a notebook, book or physical print. Alternatively, create your own product line based on curated items you love with your branding or touch. You’ll often see merch fall under this category too.
Or if you’ve collaborated with a brand or influencer you love, you could create a product together! There are many ways to structure a potential product collaboration and while most of the examples we see are with bigger influencers, (like Jillian Harris x Melanie Auld or Jillian Harris x Joe Fresh) there’s room for smaller scale collaborations if the concept, numbers and pitch is right!
PRO TIP: Brainstorm: What are your best-selling digital products? Are you known for a vibe or a style, that you can lend to a collaboration? Which brands are your ultimate faves? Which brands do you love but are more attainable? Are there any products you can’t live without or use every single day? Note down any potential physical products and the actions and/or investment required to make it happen.
7. Memberships & Courses
If you’re still with me, you’ll realize by now that you have a talent, perspective or knowledge that is unique that can serve or help someone. Through brainstorming and reflection, you’ll be able to identify topics that your audience LOVES, needs help with or wants more of. Oftentimes, blog posts can only scratch the surface and developing a course or membership would allow you to delve deeper. Consider creating a course or membership that would give your audience the keys, blueprint or road map to achieving/learning/becoming x.
Courses and memberships can be daunting for many due to the technical set up but it doesn’t need to be complicated. You can start by offering live courses taught over Zoom or Google Meet and then consider recording your course once you’ve ironed out any kinks in the structure or content.
PRO TIP: Ask a trusted peer or friend to try your course for free in exchange for honest feedback. Were they able to follow the steps clearly and easily? Did the flow of information make sense? Was more background info (or less) needed? And most importantly, did you deliver on the outcomes promised? This insight will help you adjust and improve the content to ensure happy customers!
Did you see one or more ways to monetize your blog that you’re going to try? If so, I want to help you increase your potential earnings! Check out this free blueprint on How to Structure Your Blog to Make (More) Money.
Questions? I’m over on Instagram @influencemediaco so feel free to come say hi and shoot me a DM.
Karly de Lange, Digital Marketing Specialist & Founder of Influence Media Inc. grows small to medium sized businesses through SEO, Email Marketing, Online Ads, Content Marketing and more. By expanding their reach, raising brand awareness, acquiring new customers and nurturing their community through strategic campaigns, Karly gets clients found and loved with a holistic marketing approach.