Making a living from a blog is a rare privilege. Most often, for those who manage to do so, it’s a full time job. One thing is certain: it takes years to build a large and loyal audience of thousands of unique daily visitors, offering attractive recurring revenue. That being so, your blog can remain a part-time activity, and provide you with some handy extra income, sometimes in the order of €1000, a month. How? You can find the answers below.
Sell access to your content (Training, Webinar, Ebook)
Content is king! And it can be your main source of recurring revenue. It’s not a question here of blocking access to your articles: they are the magnet that attracts your visitors in numbers. Once you acquire a sufficient audience, it’s possible to offer additional, high quality, content, against payment. In this way, you will monetize a part of your audience who want to continue the journey with you, to benefit from your expertise on a specific topic.
What kind of content other than articles? It must be content rich and useful enough to justify payment, versus your usual articles. Video is a first possibility. To be useful, it can take the form of educational content, such as training related to your chosen field. For example, a blog on digital marketing could offer a recap of the best SEO tips. Are you afraid of not being expert enough to propose training? You’re looking at the problem the wrong way round, because by creating that content, you’ll become an expert in the subject. This is the famous mantra of Learning by Doing.
External platforms like Udemy allow you to monetize your online courses. If you want to stay in the environment of your blog, there are WordPress extensions to monetize your videos, including WP Courseware and CoursePress Pro.
Agreed, creating a quality video is not so simple. However, your training course can take the form of a live webinar, displaying your screen in real time. No editing is necessary, and your viewers will be more tolerant about quality since it’s live! They’ll also be delighted to have the opportunity to interact with you. There are many services, such as Clickmeeting, which has the added advantage of letting you test the product for free.
If you’re really more comfortable with writing, another possibility is to offer an ebook to your readers. A turnkey solution to market them can be found naturally with Amazon. If you propose your ebook for €1.99 and sell 200 copies a month, the income will be around €400 monthly, not a fortune, but a start. That’s the reason why it’s advisable to write several ebooks. Some bloggers have about twenty files available for sale. The income thus generated then becomes more interesting. Do the maths… And check out Amazon to find out more.
Affiliation without an intermediary
Affiliation is a very popular method. You have an affiliate link to a product page. If a user follows your link and makes a purchase, you earn a commission. A common practice is to place the link in an article dedicated to the product, for example a review. But nothing prevents you from sharing the all-important link on your social networks or in your newsletter.
Concretely, you publish a (rather flattering) review on a new set of speakers. Some convinced readers click on the link in your article, land on the partner site and buy those wonderful speakers. You earn a commission on the selling price, typically 5 or 6%. Ok, it’s not a lot, when you consider that you did all the promotional work. That’s why going through an affiliate platform (like CJ) may seem easier, but they also take their cut. Therefore, as much as possible, avoid an intermediary, and get an affiliate link directly from the seller. Most big e-commerce sites have their own in-house program.
Among them, the most popular non-intermediary affiliate program on the web is without a doubt that of … Amazon (again!). They’re not the most generous, but certainly one of the most reliable, and given the size of the Amazon catalog, you are certain to find products to promote in connection with your blog.
What leads bring to brands
Direct marketing is the oldest branch of digital marketing and yet, no other channel has managed to dethrone it in twenty years, no less! Yes, web users continue to read their emails, and this is true in the personal as well as the professional domain.
Therefore, qualified emails addresses are worth their weight in gold. To obtain them, brands can launch lead generation campaigns. But they can also directly buy leads on dedicated platforms. It’s with these same services that you can sell your lists. Examples in France are TimeOne, Eolead and Newdeal, to mention but a few.
The more your blog is specialized in a specific area, the more likely you are to sell your leads to a brand. Some are ready to buy them for €10 a lead. In other words, a list of 200 qualified emails is already worth it’s weight in gold!
Sumo proposes several turnkey tools to implement email capture modules on your blog, in the form of pop-up, banner, or embedded. Simple!
Sponsored article platforms
Sponsored articles are a great way to monetize your audience without degrading the user experience. The only disadvantage is that unlike other sources of income, it is a little uncertain and often very irregular. You might well write three sponsored articles a month, and earn a thousand euros, then bring in nothing for the next two months.
To maximize the chances of receiving orders, don’t wait for a brand to approach you. That will only happen if you already have a huge audience. If you want to show up on the radar of potential customers, sign up to a dedicated platform. There are some in France, but your number 1 selection criterion should be the number of clients.
In this regard, getfluence.com has a thousand active advertisers, with on average fifty orders a day! Registration is free. You fill in your site details, your domain, and if your registration is accepted you just have to wait for the orders to come. The more your blog is specialized, the more you increase your chances of receiving proposals.
Either a customer will come directly to you, or the platform will act as a facilitator and connect you with a potential customer. What more could you ask for?