Blog monetization questions like to rear their heads around the Kuno lab occasionally. So, rather than answering every new question about inbound marketing blog monetization I thought I’d write a post about it in order to send the link out when these questions come up. Keep in mind, people only go to the internet for two reasons – to solve problems and/or to be entertained. If your blog doesn’t do either of those two things, nor do them well, the likelihood of blog monetization providing a significant income is poor.
1. Building Personal Brand Equity
This is an indirect way to monetize a blog. By providing valuable content on a blog, distributing it via social media, building a loyal group of subscribers and fostering community you can reach “thought leader” status in your area of expertise. This is an indirect form of monetization because it leads to speaking invitations, book and job offers.
2. Google AdSense
By signing up with Google to be an ad publisher you’ll be able to publish ads on your blog. You’ll have several options when choosing ads. From text ads to banner ads, Google offers an ad for every type of blog. You’ll earn revenue every time a visitor clicks on one of the ads.
3. Affiliate Marketing
There are thousands of affiliate programs on the internet you can use. By agreeing to be a publisher for a business or an affiliate network you are agreeing to publish their content with the hope that your blog visitors will click on a link, text ad, banner ad, or widget in order to opt-in or purchase an item or service from that business. Most affiliate revenue models are measured or paid based on a cost per action (CPA) model. One of my favorites is Linkconnector.
4. Banner Ads
You may be approached by a company interested in purchasing banner ad space on your blog. Some blog publishers solicit companies in order to sell their banner ad space. This is somewhat similar to affiliate marketing; however success metrics are measured in cost per click (CPC), cost per thousand impressions (CPM), or cost per action (CPA). Expect to share your blog metrics and demographics in order to close the deal.
With the dozens of ecommerce blog plugins available it has never been easier to sell something online. You can sell an ebook, book, guide, white paper, apps, plugins, mp3, designs, images, software, or the knitted blanket your grandmother gave you for Christmas. Anything that your blog community might find valuable can be sold.
About every six months I run across a story about a blog soliciting donations that truly hit the jack pot. If you feel comfortable asking for donations on your blog than creating the functionality is as easy as doing a Google search in order to find the appropriate free plugin.
7. Lead Generation
This is perhaps the most common form of blog monetization. By pushing out valuable problem solving content and allowing people to opt-in in order to download it you’ll have a steady stream of people you can contact and solicit your services to. Whether this is done over the phone, face-to-face or with email you’ll have the ability to earn an income through lead conversion.
If your blog community is large and robust you can offer them a membership to your blog for a fee. This membership will be in the form of portal access via a username and password. In the portal you’ll want to offer a robust mix of valuable content that includes user generated content, videos, downloads, how-to’s, white papers, ebooks, forums, etc.
In most cases you'll want to consider deploying several of the monetization steps mentioned above in order to provide yourself with an appropriate amount of revenue. However, if step number one is ignored the likelihood of ever earning a significant revenue stream with your blog is slim.