So last time we talked blogging, we talked about how to grow blog traffic and how in less than one year I grew my blog traffic by more than 350%.
Today I want to share the strategies I used in the same time period to more than quadruple my blog’s business income.
(These “how to blog” posts are NOT meant to brag. Quite the contrary! I’d really like to show you how to get your own blog (if you have one) to a great place, so I’m sharing what’s worked for me.)
(This post contains affiliate links)
The biggest and best business advice that there ever was – advice that happens to apply to every kind of business – is to diversify.
Never place all your eggs in one basket.
Do NOT rely solely on ad income alone for your blog business.
There may have been a time for that. But not anymore. Not with the saturation that exists with blogs these days.
Also, no matter how genius it may seem, do not rely solely on your own products either for income. UNLESS you have something incredibly unique.
You, me, we all need to make sure that we are protected if one source of income fails or takes a temporary dip.
Ad income is one of those things that ebbs and flows with the seasons. The fourth quarter is notoriously good and the first quarter is notoriously bad for ad revenue. Likewise product and affiliate income will dip at times too.
But if you diversify and have a few income streams, even a bad quarter can be a good one for your business.
4 Ways to Make Money Blogging
1. Display Ads with Ad Networks
There are so many ad networks out there.
Google Adsense is the easiest to start with and can start earning you money right away while you investigate other options. And I have to say after trying many other options, I've gone back to this in 2017. The ads load quickly and I'm never left with a slower site because of ads.
However you may want to make more from your ads, so you may want to into the best premium ad network you can given your blog size.
Premium ad networks are so-called because they offer one or more of a few things: better fill rate (no one company can fill all available ad spots so fill rate is that rate), better CPM/CPC (the amount you make on each ad impression or click) or more targeted ads (more relevant to your niche).
Some examples I personally recommend in my niche are:
- The Blogger Network
- Haven Home Media
- Gourmet Ads
So find and join the best ad network you can for each stage of your blog growth.
Ad Income accounted for about 10% of our overall blog income these days.
2. Sponsored Posts & Projects
Working with brands is a great way to earn income while offering valuable insight and recommendations to your readers.
That is if you choose wisely.
And set a high standard for sponsored post writing. (Which admittedly takes a lot of learning a great deal of effort to come off sounding natural.)
Some projects were a result of the ad networks I belong to sending pitches to me and many were a result of me sending pitches to brands I admire.
Either way sponsored posts and brand partnerships are very important to AKA Design’s business model and growth.
Sponsored Posts (paid, not including product) accounts for about 65+% of our income on average.
Another way to ensure income grows and is protected through ebbs and flows are products.
For you that may mean actual physical products (I temporarily dabbled in those before the Holidays but decided that packing and shipping REALLY aren’t my thing.)
Therefore products for me means digital products that I can spend a great deal of time, effort and creativity on the front end creating and designing them…and then have them be basically self serve after the sale.
Sort of like residual sales.
For example, our shop includes art printables, planners and ebooks.
I design and create when I can carve out the time. Then I offer them for sale as digital downloads that people can buy for a very reasonable price.
I’ve written two ebooks and I’m currently working on a couple more.
Again these are a ton of work in the creating but they equal revenue for months and hopefully years after that initial slaving is done.
Sales of our own products accounted for 17% of overall AKA Design income last year.
4. Affiliate Income
The final strategy I began implementing is affiliate links.
I used affiliate links for:
I’m sure there’s much more I could do with affiliate links because I didn’t really use a plan. Essentially I just used available affiliate links where I’d naturally use a regular link.
But every little bit adds up!
Affiliate links accounted for 5% of our overall blogging income last year and I plan to increase that going forward.
Now all I need to do is keep up the momentum and continue to grow this thing!
How about you? Are you making as much as you’d like? Have you implemented these ideas? Or are there others that are working for you?