Ready to start making more money from the content on your blog and beyond in 2014? In this guide, we’re going to look at 50 ways you can monetize your content both on and off of your blog.
Monetize Your Blog
We discussed several strategies for monetizing your blog through ad placement and product sales in our recent collection of 101 ways to make money online. Here are the top strategies plus a few new ones to try. Remember that monetizing your blog is all about experimentation; there is always more than one way to do it. Most of the top earners online monetize in a variety of ways. (By the way, if you’re enjoying this article, you may want to subscribe to our free newsletter; we’ll send monetization tips straight to your inbox each day.)
- If you are earning money on your blog through promoting affiliate products or your own products, remove any Google AdSense or other low cost per click advertising. Do not lose $50+ in commissions or sales for a $0.01 click.
- If you write content for other sites, consider the topics you submit carefully. Any topics where the post would directly lead to sales of affiliate products or your own products should stay on your blog. For example, a post entitled “10 Great Tools for Freelancers” where seven out of the 10 tools have affiliate program options should be posted to your blog. Any other topics should be used as guest posts.
- Add a “Hire Me” page to your blog that outlines services you can offer to your blog readers. If you’re not sure what to offer as a service, think of the things that people ask you to do the most. Maybe it’s help them configure their blog, evaluate or customize the design, review the content, promote the content, etc. Whatever you get asked to do often could make for a great service offering.
- Add an “Advertise” page to your blog that outlines what advertising options you have to offer — banner ads, text link ads (nofollow, of course), sponsored reviews, sponsored tweets, sponsored infographic placement, etc. — so that people know how they can get more exposure for their businesses on your website. Be sure to include a media kit [click here to use our customized media kit generator tool] with stats on traffic, mailing list subscribers, RSS subscribers, Twitter followers, Facebook fans, and so forth.
- Attract advertisers by keeping a high fill rate. If a potential advertisers comes by and sees four “Advertise Here” boxes in your sidebar, they will know the site is not popular enough to receive advertising offers. Leave one available “Advertise Here” box in your sidebar in the smallest space possible (usually a 125×125 space) and use affiliate product banners for the rest until the spaces get legitimate offers.
- Consider paid placement of content on your blog. Networks like PostJoint connect bloggers to marketers who have guest posts they will pay to place on relevant sites.
- Share your blog audience with quality publications to earn income. Networks like LinkSmart help bloggers create revenue-generating links to relevant content within their blog posts to sites within their publisher network.
- Monetize the area beneath your content with third-party content links from networks like Outbrain, Taboola, and even comment platforms such as Disqus.
- Want to try affiliate marketing, but not sure how? Start with any products or tools that you have paid for to build your blog such as premium WordPress themes, paid SEO and social media management tools, e-books you have read or courses you have taken to grow your blog, and similar. Just search for the product, tool, e-book, or course name plus affiliates or affiliate program on Google to find out if they have one you can join.
- Already promoting several affiliate products? Cater them to your content by using the Widget Logic plugin for WordPress. It allows you to add PHP code in order to only display sidebar widgets in certain areas on your website. For example, if you write about several different topics within different categories, you can create multiple widgets for the top and bottom of your sidebar that will show affiliate products that match the topic of your posts based on the category (see example targeting options here). You can also have a default widget in both of those spots that show a general affiliate product that fits the theme of your blog for any posts or pages that don’t match the specific topics. This can help boost your affiliate commissions by showing the right products to the right readers.
- Include a call to action at the end of each and every post, whether it is a call to action to buy an affiliate product, learn more about your services, or purchase one of your own products. When a reader thoroughly enjoys a piece of your content, they will be primed to buy something from you.
- Turn your blog into a lead generating machine by adding mailing list opt-ins in all the right places: your header using plugins such as HelloBar, near the top of your sidebar, at the end of posts, on your about page, and on your thank you pages not related to newsletter signups such as your thank you for commenting page using Comment Redirect or your thank you for contacting me page using any comment plugin that offers a redirection URL after a form is submitted.
Monetize Older Content
Go into your Google Analytics program and look at the top pages for the last year. Notice a few pieces from several years ago that are getting a consistent amount of traffic? Make sure those pieces of content are monetized in the following ways so that you are capitalizing on all of your hard work throughout the years.
- Find an affiliate product that matches the topic of the post and add a pitch for it near the end of the post. If your post is still getting a lot of traffic, then it is considered a good source of information. Help people discover more information related to that topic that they can purchase through your affiliate link.
- End the post with a strong call to action for your own products or services if relevant.
- At the very least, make sure the post drives people to sign up for your mailing list. Consider having subscribers go to a special mailing list that is set up for an autoresponder series that leads them to purchasing an affiliate product or a product of your own.
- Have an older technical post that is still receiving a lot of traffic? Turn it into a whitepaper or report and offer it as a lead magnet of your mailing list.
- Notice a series of older posts that are thematically linked and still receive traffic? Turn those posts into an e-book that you either offer as a lead magnet for your mailing list or for sale on the Amazon Kindle Store.
Monetize Your Videos
You don’t have to create written content in order to make money through your blog. Video content can be monetized as well, no matter what network you place it upon. We’ve previously discussed 101 ways to make money on YouTube. Here are the top strategies plus a few new ones to try.
- Enable the option to monetize your YouTube videos with Google AdSense ads. You’ll need to log in to your YouTube channel in order for the link to work.
- Include links within your video description on networks like YouTube and Vimeo that direct people to the products or services mentioned in your video.
- Take advantage of Associated Website Annotatations on YouTube to get links directly to your website in your YouTube videos.
- Consider premium tools like Viewbix that allows you to add apps directly to videos from YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo, and other third party video platforms. These apps allow video viewers to engage with your video in ways such as subscribing to your mailing list or learning more about your products and services. Note that apps are viewable on videos embedded on your website within the Viewbix player, not on YouTube itself.
- Capitalize on the audience of networks like YouTube and Vimeo by turning posts about affiliate products or your own products into videos. People who may not want to read a review about an affiliate product or your own might enjoy a video review or walkthrough of the product instead.
- Monitor your video comments. If you notice a particular set of videos are increasingly popular and people are asking for more information, consider creating more in-depth videos from those and selling them as a video course.
Monetize Your Podcast
Podcasting is continuously increasing in popularity, and it is a medium that allows you to tap into an entirely new audience if you have only been using written or video content up until this point. If you use podcasting as a part of your blog content in any way, here are some ways to monetize it.
- Have a popular podcast? Start looking for sponsors. You can look towards other popular podcasts in your niche to see who is sponsoring them (usually announced at the beginning of an episode) and reach out to those advertisers. You can also add it as an option in your advertising page so advertisers know they can reach a larger audience on iTunes.
- Create show notes for each of your podcast episodes that you direct listeners to. This will be a great place to include affiliate product links, links to your own product sales pages, and links to your services page as mentioned through the podcast.
- Do you think portions of your podcasts could be compiled to make an interesting audio book? Try your hand at converting your podcast clips into an audio book for platforms such as Audible.
- Turn an insanely popular podcast into revenue by hosting private podcasts for members only.
Monetize Your Presentations
Do you have presentations that you use for speaking or to supplement your blog content? If so, you can place those presentations on Slideshare and monetize them in a few different ways.
- Links within presentations are clickable on Slideshare, so be sure to link to any affiliate products, sales pages, services, or squeeze pages mentioned in the slides.
- End each presentation with a few links that people can click through to learn more about you, including links to your lead magnets, products, and services.
- Premium Slideshare members can add a lead generation form into their presentations. This form will be shown at the end of your presentation on Slideshare itself, on any social networks the presentation is shared upon, and on any websites the presentation is embedded in. If your presentations are popular, it’s a great way to generate leads for your business.
Monetize Your Kindle Books
Amazon Kindle has provided everyone with the opportunity to be a published author. Regardless of whether you want to be an author, having a Kindle book allows you to reach a massive audience on Amazon. Of course, unless you’re a bestseller, you won’t actually earn a lot off of the Kindle store from book sales themselves as most by unknown authors are sold for $2.99 or less. Here are some other ways to monetize e-books through Kindle.
- Make each Kindle book a lead-in to a product or service that you have to offer. Think about the topics your ideal customer would be seeking information on from Amazon and create your e-books accordingly.
- Offer Kindle books that are acting as lead magnets for your products and services under the Kindle Select Program. This program means that you are exclusively offering the book on Amazon and gives you more options for promoting it, such as the ability to offer it for free for a boost in sales rankings and reviews.
- Interlink each Kindle book you create with others. This way, if someone discovers one but isn’t necessarily interested in the product or service it promotes, they will still be invited to read your other books and learn about the products and services associated to those.
- End each book with a link to your squeeze page so that readers can become mailing list subscribers. Create a list with a specific autoresponder series that leads the reader into buying a particular product or service.
- Add links to supplementary content within your Kindle book that are fully monetized. For example, if you mention a product that you are an affiliate for, link to a YouTube video or blog post where you demonstrate the value of the product and have an affiliate link for it.
Monetize Your Infographics
Infographics have been heavily used by the SEO industry as a way to build backlinks in exchange for better rankings. High quality infographics also have the potential to become viral across social networks and sites as large as Mashable. Learn how to use infographics for monetization in a number of ways.
- Place an infographic on your sales or squeeze pages. Because of the high likelihood that the infographic will be shared, you will get a lot of links back to your sales and squeeze pages, increasing their rankings and conversions.
- Place an infographic within product review posts. Because of the high likelihood that the infographic will be shared, you will get an increased volume of traffic to your posts, increasing their affiliate sales.
- Include shortened links throughout your infographic in relation to mentioned affiliate products, such as an infographic about the top tools for a specific purpose.
- Include links at the bottom of your infographic leading back to your business website, sales, or squeeze pages. This way, no matter where the infographic is posted, people can find a way back to your business.
- Turn product reviews into infographics, posting them on sites such as Flickr and Pinterest. Include links from those networks that lead to the products themselves. Watch out for Pinterest stripping affiliate credentials in some cases.
Monetize Repurposed Content
People like to learn in different ways. While some people like to read posts on a blog, others might want to hear a podcast or watch a video. Here are some ways you can repurpose your content on an on-going basis and monetize each piece of repurposed content.
Repurposing Text-Based Blog Posts
- Turn blog posts into podcasts simply by repurposing the text within them as a script. Monetize your podcasts in the ways discussed in the section about podcasting above.
- Turn blog posts into videos by turning tutorials into screencasts or a little facetime with the camera. Monetize your videos in the ways discussed in the section about videos above.
- Turn blog posts into presentations by taking the main points and turning them into visually impressive slides. Monetize your presentations in the ways discussed in the section about podcasting above.
- Turn a series of blog posts into an e-book. Offer the e-book as a lead magnet or sell it on Amazon Kindle.
- Turn technical posts on your blog into whitepapers and reports. Offer the whitepapers and reports as lead magnets, adding new subscribers to lists with an auto responder series designed to sell a related product.
- Turn each podcast episode into a written post for your blog if you haven’t already. You will want this to be more than just at transcription. Find someone who can turn the podcast content into a unique piece of written content, then monetize it with relevant links to products and services.
- Turn a series of posts created from your podcasts into an e-book. Offer the e-book as a lead magnet or sell it on Amazon Kindle.
- When applicable, strip the audio from your videos (such as interviews and Google+ Hangouts) and use them as podcasts. Monetize your podcasts in the ways discussed in the section about podcasting above.
- Turn each video into a written post for your blog if you haven’t already. You will want this to be more than just at transcription. Find someone who can turn the video content into a unique piece of written content, then monetize it with relevant links to products and services
- Update a series of older, popular videos with additional details and repackage them into a video course. Link this course to the older videos.
There you have it — 50 ways to monetize the content you create for your blog, your podcasts, your presentations, and your videos. With these tips, you should have a very successful and profitable content marketing and monetization strategy. Have additional tips? Please share them in the comments!