There are a lot of different strategies on how to make money with a blog – and many of them work to some degree or another.
Websites are unique in their ability to provide an “always on” environment for you to market yourself or your business. Unlike brick and mortar businesses who require someone to be paid to keep the store open during specific business hours – the awesome thing about a website is that you can reach your target audience 24 x 7 x 365!
This makes for a unique monetization opportunity – in that your blog can be used as a tool to provide scalable and consistent income.
But the vast majority of the bloggers I work with, don’t have much in the way of consistency or scalable income.
Let me explain.
If you do a quick search on “making money with a blog“, you’ll come up with thousands of blog posts on the topic – many of which promote the same basic strategies. You may have heard of these before…
- Sell ad space
- Sell sponsorships /sponsored posts
- Promote affiliate products
- Offer paid services
- Sell Digital Products
- Sell Physical Products
A vast majority of the bloggers that I work with, are using the first 2, maybe the first 3 methods.
They are relatively easy to implement, and are often the first approach people take with a new blog – throw up some ads, write some sponsored posts, and wait for the big bucks to roll in.
Except that it rarely does.
So instead of focusing on creating more scalable types of income to capitalize on their existing traffic, they concentrate on getting MORE traffic – thinking “If I could just 10x my traffic, then I can 10x my income”.
So what do they do?
- They decide they need to increase their posting schedule – writing 2 or 3 times as many blog posts per week – because more posts MUST equal more traffic, right?
- They join link ups and participate in blogger sharing groups and spend HOURS upon hours each week asking for other people (usually other bloggers who are doing the same thing) to engage with their post.
- They spend hours upon hours on Facebook or Twitter or Pinterest or Instagram promoting their blog posts and then commenting on other bloggers feeds to try to win more pageviews.
Its the pageview hustle!
Whoever can get to 5 million pageviews first, wins – right?
Does that sound like your blogging schedule?
If so, I bet you are exhausted!!
And what happens if they get sick, or something in life comes up and they can’t maintain this overloaded schedule they’ve become accustomed to?
The traffic goes away.
Not all of it of course – the organic traffic you’ve earned from your regular reader base will still be there.
But this 10x increase you are striving for is likely the result of other bloggers (who are probably not your ideal target marketl) sharing your post from one of the endless group shares or link ups that you participate in. You see a boost for a day or so, and then it all goes away, until you go through the whole thing all over again.
Because these efforts aren’t scalable or sustainable.
Those shares and visits are primarily not going to come from people who are part of your fan base. They are coming from other bloggers who agreed to do a share trade so they could promote their own stuff as well.
Which means most of that traffic is a 1 and done visit – and really isn’t helping to sustainably grow your business in the long run.
The number of bloggers I work with who get over a million pageviews per month, while earning less than $1000 a month in their business, is staggering.
Think about that – That translates into over 3000 pageviews per day, each of which is worth less than $0.001!
Without changing their monetization methods – they’d have to get 10 million pageviews in a month just to bring their income up to $10,000 a month – and thats “if” their current ad rates stick.
That is crazy pants!
There is a MUCH better way to approach the income growth of your business. It involves a big mindset shift, and a bit of comfort zone jumpage (and way way less time on the social media treadmill!)
Growing the income of your blog isn’t about 10x-ing your traffic. Its about…
- Leveraging your existing traffic /fanbase (i.e. the people who TRULY follow you on a regular basis – regardless of how many linkups or social shares you do)
- Leveraging the authority you’ve built within your niche through your blog
- Using all of that leverage to bring in passive, consistent strong income.
Leverage and consistency.
Your blog inherently has the ability to offer both – but so many are failing to take advantage of them.
And that brings us to my original point….
The #1 Reason Why Your Blog Isn’t Making Any Money, Is Because…
You Don’t Have ANYTHING To Sell!
Am I right, or am I right?
Don’t worry, you’re not alone in this. The vast majority of blogs are in the same boat.
Thankfully, the fix is a “relatively” easy one.
Its easy to do once you are committed, but it relies on you being open to leaving behind that comfy zone where you can hide behind your site, and you don’t ever have to put your real self out there at all. You know, the same you that all your fans have come to love and want to hear more from, as they’ve gotten to know you through your blog.
I totally hear you on your hesitations and fears.
That used to be me too – for the first 8 or 9 years of my online marketing career. .
And it was a BIG mistake.
So what do we do?
1. Make a Mindset Shift
We have to stop thinking of ourselves merely as “bloggers”. We are online business owners and market authorities with services or products to offer (rather than just bloggers with great content to read).
People don’t become successful online merely because they have a blog. They become successful because they’ve learned how to use their blog to market and leverage their unique expertise, knowledge, authority into sales for related services or products that they have to offer. They use the blog to build trust and authority, so that when they begin lauching products of their own (whether its service based or physical products) – they already have a fan base that is eager and ready to buy!
So lets all recite the Blogger Mindset Shift Mantra together:
“We are not bloggers – we are business owners with unique talents in our given field. Our blog is a TOOL that helps highlight on our expertise and authority which we can leverage when selling related products or services. Products or services that will provide immense value to our fans and followers, while at the same time providing sustainable and scalable income for our business!”
Wasn’t that fun. 🙂
2. So now… as business owners with a blog, we need something to sell!
Can you think of any traditional businesses that don’t offer a product or service? Blog posts aren’t a product or service that we can sell. Yes, you can sell sponsored posts – but what you are really selling is your opinion and your endorsement – which is established as trustworthy through the relationship you’ve built with your readers through blog. Unless you are Oprah, selling sponsored posts can be a difficult way to reach your income goals, as it is not very scalable.
Instead, why not look into the passive earning potential of your blog – and create income opportunities that are “always on”, and don’t require you to have to post any more frequently than what is manageable.
This brings us to the much neglected items 4-7 from my list above: affiliate marketing, selling paid services, selling digital products, selling physical products.
The difference between the first 2 items on the list and last 4, is that they promote actual products and services that you can directly earn income from, and they are not directly impacted by whether or not you post 2 times a week or 10 times a week.
When you use your blog as a means to establish trust and authority –
any products you offer will all but sell themselves.
- Affiliate products: affiliate marketing is a great bridge and the least “out of the comfort zone” way to monetize by promoting products and services that are relevant to your niche – because they are other people’s products (you don’t have to put your own stuff out there… yet!). So long as you follow the FTC guidelines and use your affiliate marketing in a helpful and non-spammy way, this can be a great way to add passive income to your existing content. A top tip is to go through your most popular posts and look for ways to integrate affiliate links/products into that post in a way that provides the most value.
- Selling paid services: the online market for consulting and coaching is HUGE. There are a lot of people making 6 and 7 figure salaries within months of taking their services business online – most of whom use their blog to establish their expertise in their niche and build up a fan base. Think about the types of comments and emails you get from readers, praising you for your expertise in a given area. How could you turn that into a paid service that you offer to others who are in need?
- Selling Digital products: if you have expertise in an area that could be taught through words or video – have you considered writing a book, or creating a workshop or video series? As I mentioned above, one of the unique and awesome benefits of building an online business, is the ability to create products that don’t require inventory or something to be shipped. With most digital products – you write it or film it once, and then it can be sold over and over and over again – there is no “cost of goods!” One of the best ways to jump into selling digital products, is to pre-sell a 6 or 8 part workshop series on a given topic that is done via webinar. Each week, hold your workshop and record the webinar. When you’re done, you’ll have a fully recorded workshop series that you can package up as an e-course and sell over and over again!
- Selling physical products: whether you sell via your own shop, or take advantage of the instant traffic found on sites like amazon or etsy – it has never been easier to open up your own store to sell your products. You may choose to sell products that you make, or import products that are in high demand. With plugins like woocommerce, you can very easily add an online store to your existing Wordpress blog to create a HUGE income opportunity for your business.
So here is your homework:
Start thinking of products or services that you could offer, that can support your growing audience. Growing your traffic is great – there is nothing wrong with that. But its not the only means to growing the profitability of your blog.
Once you begin to see your blog not as the purpose of what you do, but as one of many marketing methods for what you do – you’ll begin to realize the scalable success and consistent income potential that is there.
Who’s committed to making this mindset shift, and create your first product?
I’m planning an upcoming free webinar to go into some best practices for creating your first product. If you want to be notified when the sign up is open, please submit your email below.
I’d love to hear your ideas for products to sell for bloggers – or things that you’ve done, that worked well. Tell me what your thoughts or ideas in the comment field below!
I'd be grateful if you would share it with others who may find it valuable. Thank you!