A lot of people dream about starting their own blogs, becoming a hit, and start making lots of money with little work. In the past, it might have been possible, but these days, monetizing a blog isn’t as simple, and if you want to succeed, you’ll need a plan.
The good news is there are still ways to make money blogging in 2017, but they all require you to put in some work. However, in most cases, the bigger the effort you make, the more passive income you can expect down the road.
In this article, I’m going to walk you through three solid ways to make money blogging, why they work, and how to get started with each of them. I can’t promise you that you’ll start making money overnight, but there are no shortcuts when it comes to blogging, so let’s get to work!
1. Create a Service Website
As the name implies, this type of site is one that’s made for the purpose of promoting your services. For example, if you create a website with the sole purpose of promoting your work, and you center all its content around it, then technically – you’re running a service blog.
These types of blogs are simple to monetize for several reasons, including:
- You can directly pocket all the profits. Since you’re promoting a service of your own, that means there are no added costs unless you’re paying other people. It’s the digital equivalent of owning a local shop and promoting it on your own.
- They enable you to establish relationships with your visitors. Most service blogs don’t just promote their own wares 24/7. Instead, they educate their visitors about topics they might find interesting and use the opportunity to engage with them, which leads to better relationships.
- You can establish yourself as an authority. If you can blog about a particular field for months or years on end, then you’re probably an authority on that subject. This often means your visitors will be more open to becoming customers since they’ll trust you.
This very blog is a good example of a service website. While we do strive to help all of you get your freelance careers started, we also promote our services from time to time, such as the Paid to Blog Jobs board.
If you’re a freelancer and you want to start a service blog, you need to ask yourself what kind of work you want to offer. Once you have an answer, you can start writing blog posts that will attract potential clients.
2. Come Up With a Product and Advertise It
In this case, you’re not using your blog to market your services, but instead, a product that you created. Ebooks and online courses (such as Paid to Blog) are two great examples of the type of goods that you can market with this kind of site.
At this stage, you might be asking yourself what the difference is between service and product blogs, so let’s break it down:
- Products are easier to scale. If you’re performing a service, you need to invest time into it, but if you’re selling a digital product, for example, you can scale your operation much faster.
- You can sell digital or physical products. It doesn’t matter if you’re promoting an ebook or your handmade scarves – a blog can help you do it if you can write eloquently about the topic.
Another upside is that if someone’s reading your blog, chances are they’re already interested in your products (or similar ones, at the very least). That means that your chances of turning them into customers are higher.
Just as with service blogs, it’s often not a good idea to devote all your content to promoting your products. Instead, people respond better when you share interesting information about their interests or help them solve problems.
Take our handmade scarves niche example. Instead of just writing about how great your product(s) is, a smarter route would be to talk about what types of scarves go better with different styles, what some of your favorite designs are, and more. If you can connect with your audience, your Calls-to-Action (CTAs) will probably convert more of them.
3. Start an Affiliate Blog
Affiliate blogs are very similar to those based on products and services. The main difference is that in this case, you’re not promoting your own products but those of third parties using links. Each time someone makes a purchase, you get a cut of that sale or a fixed fee for your marketing efforts.
These types of blogs are prevalent for several reasons. Let’s walk through them together:
- They have a low barrier to entry. In most cases, anyone can start a blog of their own and use it to promote outside products in any way they see fit. Technically, all you need is to find a web host, buy a domain, and to start writing (although it does take effort).
- Small startup costs. Since you’re promoting third-party products and services, you don’t need to spend time and effort developing your own.
Unless you’re familiar with this type of business, then you might not notice it, but there are tons of affiliate programs in almost every field. For example, web hosts regularly reward referrals to their service, which is one of the reasons why we’re able to offer the Blogging Mentorship Program for free.
If you’re thinking about starting an affiliate blog, the main caveat is that you should only recommend products or services that you know are good. Once you find them, try not to name-drop them unless they’re relevant to the topics you’re discussing in any particular post. Otherwise, your content may come across as too ‘salesy’, and your audience might lose confidence in you and your recommendations.
Some people might think that blogging isn’t a serious job, but that isn’t always the case. If you’re willing to stick with a reliable business model and put in the work, there’s no reason why your blog can’t become a reliable source of passive income. In time, it can even replace a full-time job if you choose a profitable field and get a good user base.
Let’s recap three of the best ways to make money blogging in 2017:
- Create a service website.
- Come up with a product and advertise it.
- Start an affiliate blog.
Do you have questions about any of these blogging business models? Let’s talk about them in the comments section below!
Image credit: Pixabay.