Forget Ads and Affiliate Marketing: Try These Alternatives

Last Updated on by Eddie Kremanis

Monetize blog

Ways to Monetize Your Blog

As a serious blogger, you’re probably very well-aware of the typical ways to monetize a blog. Advertising and affiliate marketing are two of the most well-known, overused forms of blog monetization. For well-established bloggers with huge followings, these methods of monetization might prove to be lucrative, but for others, the earning potential can be as low as pennies on the dollar – sometimes even less.

For up and coming bloggers, those with less than 20,000 page views per month, the earning potential with advertising and affiliate networks can be rather low. If your blog is still in its infancy or if you’re still working on growing those numbers, you might want to explore alternative forms of blog monetization.

Sell a Digital Product

If you’ve been blogging for quite some time, chances are you have a decent grasp on what makes your audience tick. This is advantageous when it comes to blog monetization because it provides you with the information needed to know what your audience wants.

Creating products to meet the needs of your readers is one way to earn a little extra cash. The best part about selling products is that you don’t even have to sell physical products. Because this is the digital age, digital products work well if not better than most products that people can hold in their hands, depending on your niche.

Selling e-books is one way to provide helpful information to your readers at a low price. These books can be self-published through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing platform and immediately delivered to your readers’ reading device after purchase. You can advertise the link to purchase directly on your blog.

Online courses are another option for blog monetization. Online courses allow you to interact with your readers in a way that feels personal, without having to interact one on one. What’s so convenient about online courses is that you can create them ahead of time and then schedule them to be sent out to subscribers on a weekly basis (or as frequently as you’d like). Not only does this allow you to maintain a relationship with your subscribers, but it also provides them with tons of relevant information at a low cost.

Online courses are used to teach your subscribers something.

A well-known blog, Making Sense of Cents, provides dozens of free and paid online courses for personal finance. The courses are sent via email after sign-up, along with printable worksheets to make the experience even more hands-on. The courses are scheduled via email and sent out regularly until the course’s completion.

To help build a reputation for your e-books or online courses, consider offering a freebie or two. One free course or one free e-book will give your readers an idea of what to expect from the paid services and also helps get the word out about your digital product.

Sell a Physical Product

If digital products just aren’t your thing, or if you feel that your niche would earn more by selling physical products, then by all means, start selling. Some examples of blog niches that might do better selling physical products include, but are not limited to, blogs dealing with fashion, crafts, health supplements or scrapbooking.

Let’s say that you run a blog about crafts. Physical products that you could sell might include bundles of handmade blank cards that you’ve created, handmade adornments for scrapbooks, or even stickers that you created in an image-editing program.

Blank t-shirts, children’s onesies, and canvas bags can be purchased in bulk at a low price and then embellished with an iron-on design that you’ve created. You can sell these products directly on your blog or create an online shop and link to it from your blog.

Provide a Service for your Readers

If the idea of keeping inventory, taking orders, and shipping costs don’t appeal to you, then consider offering a service instead of a product. Offering a service to your subscribers is one of the easiest ways to monetize your blog without getting caught up in a “warehouse” mentality. The best part about offering a service is that it doesn’t require money, nor much time or effort to get started.

One example of an in-demand blog service is life coaching. If you have an area of expertise and enjoy helping others, you can offer your services to your readers. One-on-one coaching is typically done via video services like Skype, over the phone, or through email or instant messaging services. This type of service typically requires personal interaction, so it’s important that you’re regularly available for your paying customers. There are several different online coaching services that you can offer, but it should align with your blog’s niche.

For example, if your blog is fitness related, you could act as a personal fitness or nutrition coach. If your blog is about fashion, you could potentially offer services as a fashion coach–perhaps helping your readers make decisions about which fashions work best on their body type, or which brands fit into their budget.

Like coaching services, but a little more focused, consulting services are another option for earning money with your blog. Both coaching and consulting services typically require day-to-day interaction, but consulting is typically focused on a single topic like personal finance, small business, or law, to name a few. The opportunities for consulting are virtually endless and as long as it is relevant to your readers, your earning potential can be quite lucrative.

Another benefit of offering online coaching or consulting services is that you can take notes about what your clients are asking and then use it to create targeted content in the future.

Monetize your Skills

Do you have any special talents that you could put to use in order to earn some supplemental cash? Why not advertise those talents on your blog? From serious, technical tasks like promoting freelance writing services to more laid-back, humorous tasks like calling someone on their birthday to sing to them in the style of Marilyn Monroe, the opportunities are virtually endless.

You want and deserve to be rewarded for the amount of time, effort, and love that you put into your website. Advertising and affiliate marketing always seem like an easy way to earn cash, but in reality, it’s far more time-consuming than it’s worth. Don’t clutter your blog with ads and affiliate links and instead, start putting your expertise to good use by offering products, services, and your talents to your loyal readership.

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