I'm about to drop some hot tips that are current and applicable to monetize your blog in 2021.
I've been making a full-time income online for the past 6 years, and have learned a thing or two about how to monetize a website.
Currently, I make six figures per year in passive income, but not from affiliate links on a blog site lol.
Before I give you some of my best tips, check out the box below if your interested in the business model of local lead generation.
So You Want to Start a Blog, huh?
Making money as a full time blogger can sometimes sound like an illusive and even impossible dream world.
You envision yourself working on your laptop from a beach in Bali, while sipping some fruity drink.
Spending your days however you see fit, and being free to do the things you want to do.
I am here to tell you that becoming a full time blogger is not an unattainable goal.
Even in 2021.
Blogging is not dead.
A lot of other articles out there and so called “experts” will tell you that you can reach this goal through using ads and affiliate marketing or other such nonsense.
But if you really want to see a salary that will allow you to leave your day job…
That’s just not going to cut it.
I’ve personally tried out multiple different methods of online business, and I currently make $50K+ per month in passive income.
So, if the whole “how” portion of monetizing a blog seems kinda vague and fuzzy to you…
Read on, because I’m about to map out 9 key tips for making money with your new blog.
1. Change Your Mindset
Ok, ok, but for real.
In a world that is ripe with the whole “manifesting” trend…
Trust me when I say, there is a strong correlation between success and a rock solid mindset.
When it comes to starting a blog, most people approach this sphere of the online business world from a completely wrong mindset.
Which basically means that they forget the “business” portion.
Most people think that successful bloggers just woke up one day and decided to take their passion and turn it into a blog.
And then BOOM:
They magically started making six figures while sitting behind their computer in the living room.
That simply isn’t reality.
If you want to be a “successful blogger”, and one that actually makes money, you need to go into it with the mentality of a business owner.
You are on the same playing field as any other entrepreneur launching out into the unknown with the hope of making money and escaping the 9-5 grind.
Which means you have to start thinking, planning, and grinding like you OWN a BUSINESS.
You are now a CEO.
Let that sink in, because it's time to start acting like one!
Unless you are content with being added to the 81% of hobby bloggers who never make more than $100 off their blog. (https://raelyntan.com/how-much-do-bloggers-make/)
In that case, go right ahead.
You do you.
(Or whatever the cool kids are saying now.)
2. Pick a Viable Niche
This goes hand in hand with the above tip.
If you want to be more than a hobby blogger raking in a handful of change here and there from their blog…
You can’t rely on turning your hobby into a blog.
Sometimes you can, but before you just jump right in with your most obvious passion as your blog niche, you need to carefully evaluate.
Let’s face it, if you’re stuck in 2003 and your passion is extreme ironing (look it up, I swear it’s a thing)...
Then you’re going to be in for a rude awakening when the rest of the world doesn’t live and breathe extreme ironing, and your blog stats are an embarrassment.
Finding the perfect niche is about finding a need, and then filling that need.
The people who have this specific need are your target audience.
If you can’t provide value to people, then your blog is doomed before you’ve started.
But you are also going to need a healthy dose of experience and expertise if you’re going to be able to serve up that value.
Just because you find a niche that you are convinced is dripping with unfilled need, doesn’t mean you’re qualified to fill that need.
There is going to be a healthy sweet spot where your own experience and knowledge base (and potentially passion!) will fill a need and offer value to your target audience.
This is your viable niche.
3. Start Off on the Right Track
There are so many different opinions out there about the “right way” to start a blog.
And most of them recommend vastly different things.
Some sources will tell you that you need 20-30 blog posts ready to go before you launch.
You can even find places that will tell you that the minimum number of posts needed to gain authority is 50!
For most people, this is extremely unattainable and intimidating.
But don’t worry…
There really isn’t any need to go about starting your blog this way.
First up, you need to decide what website platform you're gonna build your blog on.
We recommend WordPress.
While there are some important factors to consider, 30+ blog posts written and ready to go simply isn’t necessary and honestly isn’t even the best approach.
Like we talked about when picking your viable niche, your number one focus has to be providing value.
So just dropping out 30 aimless blog posts ain't gonna cut it.
You need to be thinking about value, value, value.
Quality over quantity every time.
So how many blog posts do you need to begin?
We would recommend having 3-5 high value, thoroughly researched, and well written blog posts ready to post the moment you launch your blog.
This will give your readers some space to explore.
And you won’t run the risk of looking like you have no idea what you’re doing because you launched your blog with only one (or even zero) posts.
If you really want to go the extra mile, whip up 3-5 that you hold in your que.
So that you never get too far behind on your posting schedule, and you already have more quality content ready to go.
So what do I mean by thoroughly researched and high value?
This means that you need to take the time to make sure you’re writing something that other people want to read.
Check for search volume on the article topic you’re planning to use, and make sure that their is an established interest.
Then go over the three top ranking articles in that subject area, and evaluate how difficult it will be to out rank these articles within Google.
A great place to start would be looking into the keyword difficulty of the article, and checking the total word count.
Don’t attempt to out rank an article that is ranking above a 70 or 80 in keyword difficulty.
When you’re first starting out, that will just end up being a discouragement and a losing game.
If you want to come out with a piece that can eventually out rank these articles with time, you’re going to have to get strategic, and preferably beat out their total word count.
The goal is to create a piece of content that is markedly better than anything that has currently been written on that same topic.
This might sound difficult, and it can be.
But it’s definitely possible.
Think along the lines of writing something you would want to read and find helpful.
Things like “list posts”, “ultimate guides”, “how-to’s” and the like.
Try to write something that people will bookmark and refer back to over and over again.
4. Clearly Defined Sales Funnel
It’s time to get friendly with your inner salesman.
I know that the word sales can often put sour taste in peoples’ mouths…
But sales don’t have to be dirty.
When you are confident in the value that you provide, making a sale is how you help people.
How exactly does sales play into your blogging business you ask?
Well, in every business, there has to be some form of sales.
Unless you are thinking of monetizing your blog strictly through ads (which I highly discourage because you won’t make anything and it’s annoying)...
You are going to have to sell something.
And more importantly, you are going to need a clearly defined sales funnel.
A sales funnel is the predetermined path that you want your potential customer to travel down before they feel confident enough to purchase from you.
Bottom line is, you can’t expect people to already know how you can help them.
You have to show them.
And you show them through the sales funnel.
- Attract Your Target Audience: Gain awareness of your brand and establish yourself as the expert. You are already working on this one by creating high quality content!
- Create Your Lead Magnet: This step is specifically designed to get people onto your email list. The simplest method is to create a small but valuable piece of free content (think PDF or e-book) that you give away for “free” in exchange for their email.
- The Initial Offer: Now that you have them on your email list, leverage this through continuing to offer helpful, value packed content (that will preferably also point back to your product). Then craft a compelling initial offer and slide into their inbox.
This is all just a basic sales funnel model.
You can definitely work on adding more to this as you get a feel for what works for you and the people you are serving.
The golden rule of marketing is that your best customer is the one that has bought from you in the past.
If you've done a good job, they will already be your fan, and you should already have their contact details so that you can market to them, without having to pay for advertising.
You need to be nurturing the customers who have already made a purchase.
Serve them well, and they won’t disappoint you.
So now let’s dive into all things email lists and these handy-dandy products you’re going to create!
5. Start That Email List
Current studies are showing that 59% of respondents are saying that marketing emails influence their purchase decisions! (https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/email-marketing-stats).
So if you hear someone tell you that email marketing is dead...
The currently accepted average is that you can expect to make $1 per subscriber per month. (https://contentwonk.com/email-subscriber-value-2/)
So, if you have 10,000 email subscribers, you would theoretically be able to make about $10,000 per month.
But if we’re being honest, you should probably be taking those numbers with a grain of salt.
It takes hard work to build an email is consistently offering you that kind of income.
So how do you start growing this email subscribe list to infinity and beyond?
It all starts with those pesky pop-up windows.
I know, I know, you hate those.
But they are actually a huge part of successful marketing for bloggers.
When used correctly they add immense value to both you as the business owner, and to your target audience.
And ideally they don't need to pop up right after someone arrives on your homepage.
Give them some time to engage with your content first!
Or add that pop up at the end of a blog post, so that you know they’ve already received value from your content before you offer them anything.
Then when they do see your pop up offer, they have already started to build trust with you.
You gotta make sure that you have a welcome email series ready to!
Because recent studies have shown that welcome emails have an average read rate of 34%.
This is a whole 42% higher than the average read rate for all other types of emails according to a recent study by Return Path.
Which states that the average read rate for normal emails is only 24%!
Your Welcome Email Should Include:
- An initial welcome email delivered the same day that they subscribe.
- A clear and engaging subject line.
- A personalized greeting that includes their name.
- Direction for them on where they will want to head next on the blog.
- If you want to spice it up some more: throw in another small freebie!
- Ask them to add you to their safe sender list, but also include an unsubscribe button.
As your email list continues to grow, make sure you are consistently utilizing it to make your subscribers aware of new posts, recommended content, and yes: your products.
6. Sell Courses/Workshops
So what in the heck are these products I’m expecting you to create?
To start: courses and workshops.
Eventually you can add in some applicable templates and e-books as well.
Don’t get scared off!
If you have an experience and knowledge base deep enough to start writing a blog…
Then you do this too!
Websites like Udemy are a super simple platform to get started on for selling courses!
When asked, 60% of Internet users reported that online courses are preferable to fit their lifestyle and schedules. (https://skillscouter.com/online-learning-statistics/)
Plus, the e-learning industry is expected to triple its size from 2020 to 2025. (https://skillscouter.com/online-learning-statistics/)
For those of you terrified to show your face…
Don't sweat it.
There are so many other ways to create courses and workshops without ever having to get in front of a camera.
Courses and workshops are scalable and ultimately passive income.
Once you’ve taken the time to create something of value, the only thing you have to do is potentially update it once in a while.
Beyond that it can be sold over and over and over again… indefinitely!
...and that my friends is passive income!
When you compare this to providing your own freelance services, the difference is striking.
Your services are at the expense of your time.
With courses, people are paying for the value that you no longer have to invest your time into.
Even compared to affiliate marketing…
This is an amazing tool!
When you are an affiliate marketer, someone else is getting the majority of profit from your sale. But when you sell your own product… it’s all yours baby.
Plus, you can recruit others to become affiliate marketers for what you’ve created if you want to scale it even larger!
Although there are a lot of scammy, unreputable online courses out there: creating a course actually has some of the largest potential to provide value to people.
At the end of the day, that’s what blogging should be about.
Yes, you need to take home a paycheck, but if you aren’t doing that by providing authentic value, then you might need to check yourself my friend.
Here are some examples of the types of courses, workshops, and e-books you can create.
- For an Interior Design Blog: a crash course on mixing color and pattern without overdoing it.
- For a Fitness Blog: An e-book on your favorite home workouts: no equipment required!
- For a Parenting Blog: An e-workshop on how to communicate effectively and calmly with your toddler when they’re having a meltdown.
- For a Graphic Design Blog: A template for creating an amazing website.
7. Sell Consulting/Coaching
Another incredible way to scale your blogging business to the next level is through offering high end consulting and coaching.
For many people this is the entire reason they started a blog in the first place!
Having a blog that is packed full of amazing content sets you up as the expert in your field.
Which means that people will want to learn even more from you!
A key to selling yourself as an online coach or consultant is linked to confidence.
If you are second guessing your ability to guide someone from a place of need to a problem solved, then they will be second guessing you as well.
Dive into this with full confidence that you are perfectly suited to help people solve their unique problem.
YOU can get them from point A to B.
That is what consulting is about.
I highly recommend using your blog to offer your own specialized consulting services.
If you’re still drawing a blank as to what this could look like for you, here are some more examples:
Coaching and Consulting Ideas:
- For a Dog Training Blog: Offer one on one zoom coaching calls to help your clients work through specific pet behavioral problems!
- For a Business to Business Blog: Offer business consulting sessions in which you help your client build a unique business success plan!
- For a Photography Blog: Offer personalized online mentor sessions that help other photographers up-level their business!
If you can truly deliver on your promises, high end coaching and consulting can take your blog from a side hustle or hobby to the six figure income you’ve been dreaming about.
8. Guest Posts
When it comes to SEO…
It’s all about that link building, baby!
But for real, guest blogging helps to establish you as an expert in your field.
Which can be extremely useful when your own blog is fairly new, and you need to gain authority.
It’s like opening for a big name band when you’re still just the indie solo artist.
Speaking of authority, guest blogging can be absolutely crucial for establishing trust within Google.
When you write a guest blog post on another site that has strong authority rankings within Google, the organic backlink that will result can greatly improve your own SEO rankings.
Basically, their good reputation will rub off on you a little bit in Google’s eyes.
You can’t simply try to obtain guest blogging slots for the purpose of getting a strong backlink, though.
That has been tried, and it gave guest blogging a bad name.
If you can’t commit to providing some absolutely killer content…
Don’t guest blog.
You’ll only hurt yourself and your chances of guest blogging for other sites if you do.
Another beautiful part of guest blogging is that if you are guest blogging for a site that has a similar audience as your target audience (which hello, you should be!)...
Then you also gain a valuable opportunity to pitch yourself to a vast audience that will find value in your blog as well.
Hint: this equals fresh leads!
You can also intentionally cater to blogs that would complement the niche and target audience of your blog.
For example, if your blog is all about holistic parenting, rather than reaching out to other parenting blogs…
You could go get a guest blogging slot for a site that sells organic baby clothes and linens (or whatever).
Which would put you in front of an audience of people who could potentially greatly benefit from your content.
Then they will hopefully head right on over to your blog, and enter your sales funnel!
9. Affiliate Marketing
So what about affiliate marketing?
I've intentionally put this topic last as it can be a complicated beast.
To put it simply, affiliate marketing comes down to making a cut of a sale that you make on someone else’s behalf.
Like when you recommend your friend to your hairstylist, and then she gives you a $20 off your next haircut if your friend books.
What Is Affiliate Marketing?
- Affiliate marketing is the practice of promoting the products or services of another person or company in exchange for a commission on the resulting sale. Affiliate marketers join affiliate programs, find reputable affiliate products to promote, and then share those products with their audiences.
When you advertise someone else’s product in your blog post, and then your read click’s on that product through your post and buys it…
That’s affiliate marketing.
But usually you’re only going to make between 1-10% commission off a product that you’re marketing.
Unfortunately, affiliate marketing is often flaunted as the primary “get rich quick” scheme of internet marketing and online business.
It isn’t to say that you CAN’T make money from affiliate marketing…
But it isn’t going to be what you probably think.
Unless you’re planning to scam people and rip them off, affiliate marketing isn’t going to have you swimming in cash and ordering gold leaf steaks.
Affiliate marketing has its place within the blogging world, but please don’t expect to leverage affiliate marketing as your primary method of blog monetization.
Unless you’re willing to work on it for years.
Because that’s how long it takes to see any significant financial success off of affiliate marketing alone.
It is best used as a supplementary addition to all of the other tips and ideas listed here in this blog post.
Spend your time acquiring weighty backlinks, getting your blog posts to outrank their top competitors, creating quality courses, and offering your specialized consulting services.
Then add in affiliate marketing as the cherry on top.
How Does Blogging Stand up to Other Business Models? Like Lead Generation?
As I mentioned at the beginning of this article…
I want to show you how monetizing your blog can stand up to my number one favorite method of online business:
When I talked about picking your viable blogging niche in tip number two, I explained how important it is to hone in on what people need.
If there is no need for the information or the products that you’re offering, your efforts will be fruitless.
With lead generation, need is basically guaranteed.
Because the one thing that businesses will always tell you they need more of is leads.
I've scaled my lead gen business to over $50k a month!
When you obtain the skillset to give them those leads, they won’t be hesitating to fork over the cash for it.
That’s the beauty of the lead generation model.
You serve the business with valuable leads, the business gets the quality leads they’ve needed, and their customers’ problems are solved with excellence.
It’s literally a win-win-win situation.
The only real barrier to entry (the thing that is potentially stopping you from starting) with blogging, is skillset.
That and maybe some doubt.
But mainly skillset.
If you don’t feel that you have a skillset that can be turned into a valuable blog, or maybe you just hate writing…
You might want to consider lead generation instead.
Most people aren’t going to go out and develop a whole new set of skills and experience just so they can start a blog.
But despite the initial intimidation factor that comes with learning the in’s and out’s of SEO…
Learning how to generate leads and leverage the platform that Google has created is actually extremely simple.
When you’ve gotten even a handful of websites ranking on the first page of Google, finding a hungry business owner to snap up those leads will be a piece of cake.
Depending on your lead-gen niche, it can be very easy to get recurring clients between $500-$1,000 each a month!
Plus, if you really hate writing, you can actually just contract that work out to copywriters and focus on the parts of lead generation you will probably love...
Connecting businesses with the biggest resource they need to thrive:
Hey I hope you enjoyed this list of tips for monetizing a blog.
I've made my fair share of $$$ with affiliate marketing but after grinding at it for almost 2 years I've realized that this biz model is not that great long-term because anyone with a computer can get started today. Plus, I spent more money in that time than I made.
I have invested in a lot of courses but regardless of all the tips & tricks from these coaches, there's nothing you can do about the fact that affiliate marketing can take upwards of 2 years to become profitable with all of the competition worldwide.
This is why today, I have quit affiliate marketing altogether and do local lead generation instead. Click on the button below where I go in-depth on the main reasons why I believe local lead gen is a better business model than affiliate marketing...
Local Lead Generation
Schedule your coaching call today