Whether you run a personal blog or manage the official blog on your company’s website, monetizing your work is entirely possible – it just takes a lot of time and effort.
While there isn’t an exact formula for making money, there are some proven strategies you can experiment with to see which will work best for your content, business model, and audience.
Below, we’ll dive into some of these monetization ideas and get advice from HubSpot’s own blog leaders.
When you think about blogging, you might think that it’s a lot of work for little reward. However, blogging can be one of the most important ways to grow your brand or business’s sales. With blog monetization, you make money from your blog, whether it’s for a personal brand or your business.
How do blogs make money?
Before we dive into monetization strategies, you might ask yourself: “How is my blog going to make money?” Well, your blog can make money in a number of ways including lead generation, affiliate marketing, brand partnerships, collaborations, or advertising. To learn more, you can read up on the types of blogs that make money and which strategy is best for your blog.
Now that we know some of the ways blogs can make money, let’s dig into the top monetization strategies for your blog.
How to monetize a blog
- Assign blog posts to specific conversion points.
- Include information about your product or service in your blog posts – but do so sparingly and thoughtfully.
- Build a lead funnel for your product.
- Offer sponsored content opportunities to other brands.
- Offer coaching services.
- Market your freelance writing skills.
- Take part in affiliate marketing.
1. Assign blog posts to specific conversion points.
As a business, you can use your blog to generate leads and conversions.
AJ Beltis, Marketing Manager on the HubSpot Channel Monetization Team, says, “Conversion is the foundation for blog monetization. Whether it’s an e-commerce purchase, a demo request, or a content offer download, Make sure your blog posts indicate an intent, related next step in the buyer’s journey. “
You may be wondering: “How can I do that?”
Beltis recommends asking yourself what someone reading this particular blog post wants or needs from your company. Then you should create the assets that you need for the conversion in the form of web pages, forms or content. After that, of course, place your Calls to Action on this next step in the blog post so that readers are reminded what your recommended next step is.
“By placing these CTAs in appropriate sections of the blog, you are more likely to grab high-intent readers’ attention. The process will encourage more readers to become paying customers for your company,” added Beltis .
2. Include information about your product or service in your blog posts – but do so sparingly and thoughtfully.
When writing blog posts, it is important that each post is not just a sales tactic. Your blog posts should contain educational content that can benefit everyone, not just your customers.
However, this does not mean that you should never mention your product or service.
Caroline Forsey, Editor of the HubSpot Marketing Blog, says, “If you are writing content on the best tools for X and your product or service is a good match for that user’s search query, I would highly recommend including it on.” This is one of the most effective ways to monetize your blog in the long run, especially since the same content can potentially make money for your business. This is one of the most effective ways to monetize your blog in the long term with leads 3-5 years in the future. “
Again, this does not mean that you should only promote your own product or service over and over again.
Forsey adds, “You risk damaging your blog’s reputation if you do this too often or out of context. Readers don’t want an accidental” Buy my product! “See. CTA in content irrelevant to your product – and if they get the impression that your content is really just a gimmick or hidden advertisement, they distrust your brand as a whole.”
To avoid this, Forsey suggests only mentioning your product or service where it makes sense and on a list of other tools you suggest to companies so that they feel like you’re providing them with useful information, so that they can best make their own decision. suitable for your needs.
“Trust me, if readers enjoy reading your content and think your brand is really helpful, they’re giving your product or service a second look,” she says.
3. Build a lead funnel for your product.
When you work in a B2B company or have a long sales cycle, reading a blog post is usually a customer’s first and most distant interaction from their actual purchase. But it is arguably also the most important stage of the incoming funnel. When you grab your audience’s attention with helpful, educational, or entertaining content, you create a larger group of people who can be converted into leads and closed as customers. In other words, your blog marks the beginning of a relationship with your customers.
Lestraundra Alfred, the executive editor of the HubSpot sales blog, says, “If you want to get your blog better known, your content should help bridge the gap between the problem the reader is trying to solve and your product that can serve close.” As a solution, by creating content that your ideal customer is looking for and interested in, you can build a solid community of readers who will be a good fit for your product and, if promoted, will become customers for your business. “
Ideally, you want to create compelling blog content that your audience can easily discover through a Google search or social media. You can also pay to increase your spread on Facebook, which has the best targeting tools of any social media website and is inexpensive, or paid search that can get you to the top of a high volume Google SERP for some keywords are expensive.
After people have read more of your blog content and want to read it consistently, they sign up for your blog’s email subscription. Once strangers to your brand, they are now regular visitors.
If these visitors read enough blog posts, you can trick them into downloading conversion offers like the Beltis mentioned above. Then you can nurture qualified leads with more blog posts and lead generators through email or Facebook ads. If you consistently train them and help them solve their problems, you will build their confidence so they are more likely to move to the center of your funnel when they are ready. Once you see them researching your product or service by reading case studies, requesting a demo, or trying to contact sales, you can move them to the bottom of the funnel where sales qualify them as customers.
Sales will close some of these leads for customers and they will thank you for doing so. Your blog introduced your brand to its customers.
4. Offer sponsored content opportunities to other brands.
Publishers like BuzzFeed and The Dodo produce content that floods social media every day. And they make money by helping other brands do it.
Brands will work with their video production, social media, and analytics teams to create posts and videos that follow their formula for virality. Publishers also distribute this sponsored content to their massive social media and website followers. This content is similar to the publisher’s native content in that audiences enjoy reading it, exposing their clients to large, engaged, and new viewers, and increasing their followers and engagement.
If your blog is generating a significant amount of traffic, you can use your editorial expertise and audience reach to help smaller brands tell compelling stories to bigger and better audiences.
Getting sponsored content right can pay off for your brand. Not only does this create another source of income, but partnering with other marketing minds can also help your team develop unprecedented creativity. In fact, T Brand Studio, the New York Times-based advertising business, created paid posts that garner as much engagement as some of nytimes.com’s top performing articles.
5. Offer coaching services.
Your blog posts can serve as a guide to how much your readers can learn from you on a particular topic. Because if you write about improving certain skills like sales, people skills, sports, cooking, and music, then your blog posts can only teach so much to your readers. You need to practice these skills in real life to see any significant improvement.
But if your readers practice these skills on their own, they will only get so much better. If they really want to improve, training with a trainer will lead them to success faster than anything else. Think about it. What would improve your basketball skills the most? Do you read Michael Jordan’s book about shooting and practicing his tips yourself? Or read his book and then take shooting lessons with you?
If you run a personal brand as a coach, your blog is your most important marketing tool. It helps your prospects improve themselves and gives them a glimpse into life if they actually achieved any of their lifelong goals. Her blog inspires readers to pursue their dreams. And when they’re more motivated to reach their potential, they usually want an expert to point them out on greatness, not just themselves.
6. Market your freelance writing skills.
When you’re a freelance blogger, you need to show potential customers that you can write compelling content. To do this, you could try to get their attention with your previous work, but you usually have no control over these topics. What if they don’t pique your interest?
The best way to show potential customers that you can write compelling content is to keep them engaged with your own content. When you start a blog, you have access to your post’s performance metrics and complete control over the topics you cover. That way, you can write content that you know your target audience will devour and attract more and more potential customers to your blog. And once they find that they rely on you for content marketing advice, they know they can trust you to improve their own content marketing.
For example, Eddie Shleyner, a freelance copywriter and content marketer, markets his business, called VeryGoodCopy, by writing articles on copywriting, content marketing, and psychology. His articles are so engaging and insightful that organizations like The North Face, Geico, and Mercedes Benz hire him to write articles, eBooks, landing pages, website copies, and email campaigns.
7. Participate in affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to monetize a blog when you’re not selling a product or service. It’s a relatively simple process too. You are working with an ecommerce platform or company that has affiliate programs and you choose relevant products to promote on your blog. Your partners will then send you custom links to their product pages that you can use to keep track of the customers recommended by your blog. And when someone clicks the link and buys the product, you get a commission.
One of the most popular affiliate marketing programs is Amazon Associates. You can choose from over a million ecommerce products from Amazon to advertise on your blog and you can earn up to 10% commission.
Of all the ways that you can make money blogging, affiliate marketing requires the least amount of time, money, and resources. There’s no need to build, market, or sell a product or service, and there is no money to be paid to including affiliate links on your blog posts. All you have to do is wait for people to click on them and buy something.
Make Money From Your Blog
Choosing your monetization strategy will depend on the type of blog you run and the type of product or service you offer. To improve your blog, learn how to prepare for success and avoid the most common blogging mistakes.
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in March 2018 and has been updated for completeness.