Majority of the bloggers still rely upon AdSense, affiliate programs, banner ads etc to make money from their website traffic. The problem with these traditional monetization methods is that you need to bring a lot of traffic from search engines.
And even if you get massive search traffic, your income mainly depends on the CPC (if you run AdSense) or your blog’s niche (if you promote affiliate products). At the most, you would make $1 to $2 for every 1000 visitors you drive to your blogs. That’s really one of the worst ways to make money from blogging.
You are not only giving a bad experience to your blog audience by pasting ads all over your sites but you are also killing your website reputation. What if there’s another way to make money?
In this detailed guide, let’s talk about how you can make money the smart way by setting up a proper blog monetization model.
Setting up the right blog monetization model is not a rocket science.
Of course, making money from a blog is hard until you treat it as a business. The #1 reason majority of the bloggers don’t make money from their blogs is they don’t consider it as a serious business. They fail to invest both money and time.
If you want to make money from blogging, you need to remember one important fact: blogs NEVER make money, businesses do!
Now, let’s talk about how you can set up the right monetization model for your websites in 5 easy steps. Are you ready? Let’s get into the details without further ado.
How to create the right blog monetization funnel
Step 1: Invest money on your blog design
Here’s why your blog design is in step 1: “first impression is the last impression when it comes to online”.
If your blog design is not unique and compelling, your blog visitors don’t find it interesting to read your stuff. Blog design is the king when it comes to capturing the audience attention. Here are two things you should focus on.
Theme: Invest in your blog design. Either hire a professional designer or buy a premium framework such as Thesis, Elegant or Genesis. Don’t use free themes, never! They not only add cheap look to your design but they don’t give you theme updates or additional features like SEO friendly design, mobile responsiveness, easy customization etc. It doesn’t matter if you want to make more affiliate sales or increase your revenue, your design should be impressive.
Logo: The first thing noticed by your blog visitors is your logo design. Don’t use messy logos, if used right, having a compelling logo can easily create a huge impact on your audience. Make sure to get a professional looking logo. If possible, clearly use your elevator pitch or a tag line under the logo to make it easy for your audience to know what your site is all about within seconds.
Go mobile: Google is always rewards the sites with better user experience. After the mobile related update from Google, majority of the sites that are mobile responsive have increased their traffic. This is because Google started showing up “Mobile Friendly” feature under the title of the links on Google search results (so people can easily decide whether or not to click on the links).
Step 2: Define who you want to attract
Nichify your blog topics: You can’t jump into an ocean full of niche and become an expert. It’s really impossible to establish as an authority in a broad topic or niche. To make more sales and gain trust online, you need to become a go-to guy in a small area. Make sure to nichify your blog topics.
For instance, instead of talking everything about marketing, you could focus on covering “affiliate marketing tips for yoga experts”. You can make much more sales and build rapport with the target audience in that way. Are you getting me? Nichify your blog and you will quickly become an expert by creating problem solving content!
Aim for the beginners: Any blog that aims at the beginners won’t fail to make money. It’s much easier to educate beginners and make money by offering them your services or products than targeting the advanced audience. So if you want to make money from your blogs, make sure to focus more on targeting the beginners always.
Step 3: Create the right content framework
Your blog’s monetization model majorly depends upon the content you create.
You can’t attract more audience to read, like, comment, share or linking to your stuff without creating captivating content. You need to learn the art of creating amazing content that goes viral.
Majority of the bloggers spend 80% of their time on creating content and 20% or less on promoting it. If you are one among them, stop doing right away. Reverse engineer the process and start spending 80% of your time on promoting your stuff and remaining on creating it.
So how to create content that creates a lot of buzz? “Create content that’s already proven to go viral”. Wondering how?
Use Skyscraper technique.
This was originally coined by Brian Dean from Backlinko. According to this strategy, this involves in 3 simple steps.
Finding content that’s already popular: You shouldn’t guess the content that might goes viral. You should spend your time on finding content that is PROVEN to create a lot of buzz in your industry. To do this, you can use tools like Buzzsumo. Enter any keyword relevant to your blog’s topic and it will give you a list of most popular posts. Then, choose one topic among them to create content around it.
Making it even better: Once you find the most popular blog post idea that’s proven to work, you need to make it more detailed, better and insightful. For instance, if “5 writing tips for professional writers” is your theme, you should write something around “51 writing tips for professional writers to make money”. The idea here is to take a post that’s already worked well in the past and making it even more compelling, detailed and up to date.
Promoting it to the right people: Once you create your masterpiece, you need to promote it to the right people to increase your blog’s exposure. How can you do that? You can use free tools like Topsy to find out the relevant posts around your blog topic and find out who tweeted it. Go and reach out to all of them telling about your new content. If they find it useful, they will definitely give you a shout out.
If you are a beginner to using this technique, I highly recommend you to check out this beginner’s guide to Skyscraper technique.
Step 4: Collect your visitors emails
All the above 3 steps are the pillars of a profitable site that makes money. But all the money you make from your blog or website really depends on step 4 and 5. So make sure to NOT miss these two things.
An email list is the surefire way to increase trust and sales no matter what your niche is. By having an email list, you can not only educate your subscribers about the content you promote but you can promote the products you really believe in.
This way you will make more money by creating awareness about the products you promote or create. Here are few simple ideas on increasing your email subscribers without irritating your audience.
Create a lead magnet: A lead magnet is nothing but a free incentive such as eBook, video, plugin or a theme given away in exchange of your subscriber’s email. A freebie is the most effective way to double or even triple your email subscription rates. You can either write an exclusive report around the topics your audience are interested in or compile all of your popular posts at one place and turn that into an eBook to make it as a lead magnet.
Create dedicated landing pages: Most bloggers who build their email lists don’t usually use specific squeeze pages or dedicated landing pages. But the people who use landing pages usually notice huge growth on their email lists or sales. It’s because landing pages are golden, they don’t give your audience too much distraction. More importantly, they always focus on just one call to action. So if you want to boost your email subscribers, use landing pages. I highly recommend you to check out LeadPages as they have few of stunning pages that convert like crazy.
Show more email opt-in forms: If you want to double your email subscription rates, double your email opt-in forms. Put your opt-in forms on your about page, footer section, top of the sidebar, above your logo by using Hellobar, end of the every post. These are the most visible places on any blog and if you place your opt-in forms on them, you will see huge subscription rates every single day.
Step 5: Create a blog sales funnel
Now, this is the final step of your monetization model that makes money. Have you ever wondered why few top blogs don’t use ads at all but still make thousands of dollars every single month? Because they all use blog sales funnel that help them make more money by running in the backend. I’ll tell you how.
Create an email autoresponder series: Once you started building an email list, don’t stop it there. You need to create a broadcast or an autoresponder series that sends automatic emails to your subscribers every week (or whenever you want).
The key point here is not to send any sales pitches but to build awareness and educate your subscribers about the type of products you want to promote. For instance, if you want to promote SEO related products, instead of pitching directly to your subscribers from day 1, educate them about how they can increase their traffic and sales using SEO.
Then, once you got their attention after a month or so (after sending 5 to 7 emails), you can start recommending them paid SEO tools that you personally use. You can then send them to your own product review pages so they can decide whether or not to buy your products. This is the most smart selling strategy that helps you increase your sales without sounding like a sales guy. Make sure to increase your affiliate product sales by promoting them on special days like Cyber Monday, Black Friday etc.
Build rapport with your subscribers: Without creating an awareness, trust and rapport with your subscribers, no one likes to even open your emails. You should make them wait to read your emails. It happens only when you create extreme value to them by sending epic newsletters.
Ask them to buy: Once you got their attention and trust, you can ask them to buy your products. If they really find your emails useful, they will start liking you and they genuinely think you are helping them by promoting the products you love. This is where the money rolls in. Don’t pitch too many products. Only recommend the products you personally use and believe.
The money you make from your blog’s sales funnel majorly depends on the products you promote. If you have your own products, you can really make a lot of money when compared to making money from affiliate products (where you will only earn small commission). The key here is to provide as much value as you can before even sending any promotional sales letter.
We spend a lot of time in creating blog posts but we often forget to create the monetization sales funnel which is the most powerful factor in creating a profitable blog online.
If you are one among them, start focusing your time on defining your audience and setting up the right monetization channel to increase your sales.
In online, the money you make is directly proportional to the people you help. If you remember that simple thing, you are ready to roll!
By Anil Agarval