Blogging is at the heart of the story of my business.
I first started blogging back in 2013 when I did a 365-day project ‘Operation Author: 365 Actions to Become an Author.’
I completed one action a day for a year and blogged about my seven actions weekly. The most momentous of those actions was to publish my first book, The Bronze Box.
For me, blogging was a way to get social proof for my ideas and writing, to declare my intentions and hold myself accountable in a public space, build an audience and build a business around my words.
The greatest benefits from blogging have been to improve my writer’s craft – I blogged about that HERE – but also to generate income.
There are many ways you can potentially generate revenue from your blog:
- Advertising (i.e.: GoogleAdSense)
- Sponsored posts (i.e.: IZEA, BloggersRequired)
- Product reviews
- Sell content (i.e.: charge people to download a document)
- PayPal ‘donate’
- Membership fee to access content
- Affiliate links (i.e.: Amazon affiliate.)
- Driving traffic
- Repurposed content ie: eBook sales, workshops, talks, online courses etc.
Some, such as advertising, encourage you to promote another brand on your website in exchange for money. More often than not, your website becomes so cluttered with adverts it is unusable and the revenue generated is tiny.
Product reviews can be another way of generating income. There’s a whole community of ‘mummy bloggers’ who review brands and get to keep products (which they can then eBay on) and are paid to write reviews and sponsored posts. This can work well if your business is built around such brands and products.
To build your blog in of itself into a business, as with anything, you need a solid plan. For most of us, however, and certainly the businesses I support, your blog is a way to build your own brand (not everyone else’s).
Sell Content and Membership Fees
The basic concept is to offer something of value that can be downloaded as a file/document and charge people for access to it. The difficulty with this approach is that you will need to invest in a professionally built eCommernce enabled website and decide if this is a worthwhile investment. Alternatively, you could use another platform, for example ‘Expertise.tv’.
You could also offer downloadable content and have an ‘honesty box’ or ‘pay as you feel’ option by asking people to donate via PayPal in exchange for the download, of course, the risk is they will just download it and not pay but is that a risk worth taking? I also include a PayPal Donate button on most of my blogs, you never know, someone may be grateful enough for your content that they share the love and donate a few quid to the kitty!
<Set up your PayPal Account, got to the ‘widgets’, copy the HTML code and paste it into your blog code. >
Essentially, you can direct people to another organisation’s ‘shop’ and get a kick back for referring them.
If there are products and services that you know your customers would benefit from, this is a great way of building it into your service. The link to ‘Expertise.tv’ is an affiliate link. Expertise.tv is a webinar platform I use and if someone links to it from my affiliate link and then subscribes, I get some money back (it’s only a couple of quid, but hey, ‘look after the pennies’ and all that!).
I also use Amazon affiliate links. I publish my books through Amazon and if someone buys one of my books through one of the links on my website, I get a small commission back (again, only a few pence!)
You can scatter affiliate links into your existing content seamlessly, and although you won’t make much money from it, it’s better than nothing so you might as well use them!
While these are all small things you can do – unless you intend to build a whole business around an eCommerce site, membership site or product blog – the way most businesses make money through blogging is by ‘Driving Traffic’ to their website and converting visitors into customers and by ‘Repurposing Content’.
There are two main ways blogging brings people to your website:
1) It’s the single biggest thing you can do to boost SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), in other words, getting to the top of Google. Keep your website active and stuffed with those all important cross links and keywords.
2) Give people a reason to come into your online shop and hang around for a while. As shoppers, we know the longer we hang around browsing the more likely we are to buy something.
Information has value. If you blog regularly, over time you will build up a library of content and this can add value to your business.
I wrote a blog on ’16 Ways to Repurpose Your Content’ earlier in the year.
My most lucrative ways to make money this way are:
Running workshops for small businesses. I run regular workshops for Brave Enterprise Agency, among others, and the basis of the workshop materials has come from blog content I’ve written and repurposed into workshop slides and handouts.
eBook Sales. My ‘Blogging for Business’ book developed from a collection of blog posts I expanded on and built into a book
Webinars and Online Courses. This is my next project, I’ve already run some free webinars to get used to the technology and as I build up the videos I can turn them into instruction videos for online courses. Creating downloadables, checklists, printables and eBooks from my blog content and bringing it together into online learning tools.
How does blogging earn its keep and make income for your business?
If you enjoy my blogs, say thank you by topping up the coffee kitty. £2.50 / $3 will get me a cappuccino. Thanks!