To make money blogging, always remember that your blog is a business. It’s taken me a while to inculcate this into my brain, but it’s just as true for me as it is for you. I usually laughed along when people rolled their eyes and said, “Oh you’re just a blogger.” The truth is, I make more money and have more longevity than startups that have failed and were a waste of funding.
Next time someone dismisses you as just a blogger, GET MAD! I don’t see these same people making thousands of dollars a year sitting in a bar watching football or whatever interest that captivates them. Sure, maybe all of us bloggers started out blogging simply as a hobby, but there is so much untapped financial potential that we can capitalize on, it’s exciting!
Don’t sit on the sidelines while people talk about their latest startup ideas. Get in on the discussion. Your blog is a business and you are an entrepreneur. Now let’s MAKE SOME MONEY!
The key to making money blogging is to run it like a business. Learn and continue practicing how to sell and market yourself. Then go out and get customers.
Do you deliver value to your readers? Is your blog informative, educational, or entertaining? If your readers derive value from going to your site, then harness that power by monetizing. Ask readers, brands, and local businesses to SHOW YOU THE MONEY!
How do you get people to show you the money? It’s simple. You ask!
To me, making money blogging is like finding a job. We’ve all had to look for employment several times in our lives. Use the steps to finding a job as your template.
|Finding a Job||Make Money Blogging|
|Know yourself and your skills||Really understand what makes your blog unique|
|Create a resume||Put together a media kit|
|Apply for jobs||Canvas for opportunities|
|Interview||Approach potential brands, partnerships, customers|
|Close the deal||SHOW ME THE MONEY|
|Don’t get fired||Follow-up with metrics; ask for continued business|
It’s up to you to do the above legwork as I can’t say what differentiates your blog from others. But let’s walk through the steps.
Really understand what makes your blog unique
The first step in conducting a job search is to fully understand yourself. What are your interests and qualifications? Can you clearly articulate your work experience and skill set? Same thing with blogging. Who is your audience and how well do you know them? Why do readers follow your blog over others? What differentiates your blog and makes it unique? What is your expertise? What’s your value proposition?
Put together a media kit
Determine what your features and benefits are and put together a media kit. You don’t necessarily have to create a media kit, but it’s a good disciplined task for listing out what’s noteworthy about your blog. Frankly, I don’t have a media kit; I don’t need one because I have enough ammunition to succinctly craft emails to potential clients. Yet if you do it right, a media kit can be very beneficial as it’s an added layer of professionalism. I’ve heard that brands ask for them, but I work with big brands and never once have I been asked to provide a media kit.
List out the highlights, not the lowlights! This may seem obvious, but I can already see people putting together a media kit, noting that they only have 100 pageviews because that’s what you’re supposed to put in a media kit. WRONG-O! You don’t list your IQ on your resume if it’s bad. Only put good things on your media kit, whatever they may be. Spend a lot of time researching and brainstorming. Only you know what your highlights are. Mentioned in a publication? Tons of comments? Low Alexa ranking or high Google page rank? Ellen Degeneres follows you on Twitter? Brainstorm every single item you can think of and get it down on paper. Don’t sell yourself short.
Network and Canvas for opportunities
When you’re jobless, do you scan the Want Ads then call it a day? I get the sense that bloggers wait for opportunities to present themselves, whether on Sverve, BlogHer or the Sway Group. That’s fine to apply, but don’t twiddle your thumbs waiting for campaigns to come through your email. I think most of those are a waste of time.
Network with readers, bloggers, colleagues, family, friends. Look at blogs in your niche and reach out to those same sponsors. Many of my own sponsors often ask me to recommend others blogs where they can advertise. Tell everyone that you blog. Market yourself!
Approach potential brands, partnerships, and customers
Let’s say you’re a small blog and you don’t get a lot of pageviews. You have other redeeming qualities right? Even if you’re the only blogger in Small Town, USA, this is a major coup! Canvas every single business in Small Town, USA and get them to advertise on your blog. I’m already seeing the dollar signs!
What if you’re one of a gazillion bloggers in Chicago, but you’re an LGBT blogger who lives in Bucktown. Canvas LGBT-friendly businesses in that neighborhood. The possibilities are endless.
Here’s a guaranteed strategy. Make a list of all the products and services that you cannot live without. Contact the PR reps at those companies and tell them how passionate you are about their product. You are willing to write a post on your blog in exchange for product, because that’s how much you love them. No dent to their budget for a simple shout out on your blog. And you get product in return, which is just as good, especially if you love their product. It’s a win-win! Your phone will be ringing off the hook. Then after you’ve written the post, this client is now part of your media kit arsenal because they’re a satisfied customer.
The examples I mentioned above are for getting businesses to advertise on your blog, but there are many other monetization opportunities. What is your expertise? Be a consultant and charge for your time! My mom, as an example, is a financial wizard. If she could get her hands on your finances and put you on a plan, you could retire without a care in the world. I always tell her that she should be a money manager and charge for her skills.
Same thing when I look at all these blogs. So many beautiful photography, design, or writing blogs. Put a link on your site and tell people that you are available for consultation. Package up your services and market for a set price or charge by the hour. Sell an e-book or guide. We all have skills that others are willing to pay for.
Do you know how I found my virtual assistant? I was so impressed by a blogger’s posts on social media and SEO and graphics (seriously she’s a jack-of-all-trades), that I asked her to help me with small tasks. I asked to hire her. Again…untapped potential! There are so many skills out there, and I guarantee people are willing to pay for your knowledge.
SHOW ME THE MONEY
- Learn how to sell and market yourself and your blog.
- Impressions matter: the most important criterion for a brand in determining the credibility of your blog is your website design. Please do away with the templated Mickey Mouse designs and hire a professional graphic designer. Example: I know of a blogger who has the most beautiful blog. It should be nominated for awards, it’s that pretty. I did some sleuthing and she barely has any traffic. Yet her site looks so professional that she has a whole slew of advertisers lining her side bar.
- If this is your business, everyone should know about it. It should be in your email signature. You should be handing out business cards like they’re going out of style.
- The best way to make money is to ask for it.
- Do not fear rejection. Rejection tells me that I’m in motion vs stagnation. The more rejections I collect, the more success I’ll have. Rejection is awesome.
- Have confidence.
Follow-up with metrics; ask for continued business
Once you start monetizing, make sure to keep your clients happy by providing metrics and analysis. Collect testimonials to add to your media kit. Brainstorm additional ways to continue working with the same brands.
I’ve shared lots of advice and given specific examples on how you can start making money right now. If you found this helpful, please share or click on the Tweet button below. Otherwise, would love to hear your feedback on monetization in the comments.
Here is a link to my previous post on How I Make Money Blogging.