How to monetize your blog

How To Monetize Your Blog In 7 Proven Ways In 2020

Last Updated on by Joe Barger

Once you’ve started a blog and are drawing more visitors to your website each month it’s time to monetize your blog.

In this guide I’ll show you how to make money by monetizing your blog.

Are you ready to make money online by monetizing your blog? Then this guide is for you.

A bloggers guide on how to monetize your blog (more than just ads)

Monetizing your blog can be as simple as placing AdSense ads on your site and calling it a day.  There are so many more ways to make money from your blog, so why stop short?

In this guide I’ll show you how to make money with AdSense including Auto Ads.  We’ll also explore a whole range of other ways to profit from your blog.  Making money online should include as many different revenue streams as possible.  Start slowly by focusing on just one of the methods below to generate your first stream of income.  Once that begins to become profitable you can add another method which generates a second stream of income.  Continue monitoring all of your streams of income and improve upon them wherever possible.

As the content of your blog grows so will the opportunities to monetize your blog.  Use as many of the methods covered in this guide as are appropriate for your website.  I’ll show you different money making techniques that apply whether you’ve just started your blog or you’re looking to add additional revenue streams.  This guide doesn’t get into the details of the sales funnel or the psychology of buyers.  Perhaps I’ll expand this guide or create another one in the near future to address those topics.  For now, this article focuses on the many different ways there are of generating income online via your blog.

Lessons Learned

I’ve been developing web applications since the early 2000’s.  Not every site I created has made money.  Some of the sites I created have made a lot of money and they continue to do so.  In this guide I’d like to share my experiences with the different money making strategies.  I’ve implemented these strategies over the years and want to pass on my lessons learned.  That way it will give you a better sense of where a particular strategy might be applicable on your blog.

A lot of the sites I build are created on top of WordPress.  It is most popularly used for blogging, but it has so many great core functionalities and modifiable features that you can easily create all kinds of powerful websites with it.  Under each money making method in this guide I’ll be sure to mention any WordPress plugins that were used.

I create these different guides to give you the web development skills in addition to the marketing and monetization skills needed to grow your blog.

 

Making money online blogging doesn’t have to take forever

We can make your blog profitable in a matter of months by implementing the right strategies.  The first step is to get people to your site.  Follow my guide on how to grow your blog to do that.  Once you start getting a steady stream of site visitors, which can happen in the first two to three months, you can begin monetizing your blog.

Everything on your blog grows together.  It doesn’t make sense to start monetizing your blog before you have any content. On the other hand you don’t want to wait too long to start making money from your blog.  Otherwise, you’ll miss out on potential revenue.  Once you have a handful of articles created and the number of backlinks to your site is increasing, it’s time to begin monetizing your blog.  As your content and number of site visitors grows, so too should your monetization methods.

Follow this guide for tried and true blog monetization methods.

 

Disclaimer: Keep in mind that this post includes affiliate links where I receive a commission at no cost to you when you click and make purchases. However, the links I post are for the best software and services you need to start, grow and monetize a blog. I do my best to keep things unbiased in order to help you make the best choice for your situation.

So what’s in this guide on how to monetize your blog?

This guide will show you how to make money online through different monetization methods.  That includes advertising, affiliate marketing, digital downloads, selling services and also recurring subscriptions.

 

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How To Monetize Your Blog (Make Money Online)

How you monetize your blog depends on the strategy you implement. For example, when you make money by placing someone else’s ad on your blog then you’ll get paid by the company running the advertising program.  If it’s AdSense then you’ll get paid by Google.  The same is true for affiliate sales. You’ll get paid by through the affiliate program.

On the other hand, direct sales from your website and even recurring subscriptions can be something that you setup without a middleman.  In these cases you’ll most likely have your site visitors select products directly from your website before clicking a Buy button that takes them through an integrated third party checkout process.  That could be PayPal, Google Pay, Square, Stripe or any other payment app.  After completing the payment process the app will send the user back to your site where your database gets updated with the details of the purchase.  That could be a digital download, access to premium content or anything you decide to host behind a paywall.

Most of the monetization strategies below are simple to implement.  Some, like third party payment app integrations, may be more challenging depending on your level of web development skills.  The simplicity of the solution and how you get paid are worth considering before adding it to your blog.  The simpler the solution the more the provider of that solution is going to take a cut.  The more you can implement and oversee the more revenue you get to keep.

 

Advertisements (Google AdSense)

Advertisements are text, images or both that are placed on your website and have a link to an external product or service.

Google AdSense is the most prominent advertising platform. It allows publishers of content to serve automatic text, image, video, or interactive media advertisements, that are targeted to site content and audience. These advertisements are administered, sorted, and maintained by Google.  As with most things Google does, they make it very simple to setup AdSense on your website.

1. Sign up for an AdSense account by entering your website, email and opt-in preference.

2. Select the type of ad you want to display on your site

AdSense Display Ad In-Feed Ad In-Article Ads

Display ads can appear anywhere on your site.  In the header, between content on your blog posts or in the sidebar.  Display ads are responsive by default and it’s recommended to keep them that way.  Responsive ads automatically adapt their size to fit your page layout and your users’ devices.  For display ads, you can choose between square, horizontal or vertical.

Below is an example of a display ad.



 

In-feed ads match the look and feel of your site.  On a blog you’ll usually see them displayed on the Posts Page where a list of your blog posts are displayed.  The in-feed ad would attempt to look very similar to how the blog post summaries are displayed.

Below is an example of an In-feed ad.


 

In-article ads are displayed among the content of an article.  If you’d like to place more than one In-article ad on your page, make sure you allow sufficient content between ads to minimize disruption to your readers.  You can modify the ad settings (font-size and style, button colors, padding, etc) to match your theme settings.  This makes the ad look more native to your blog.

Below is an example of an In-article ad.


 

3. Choose where you want the ads to appear

Copy the javascript ad code and paste it where you want ads to appear on your site.  When using WordPress to edit a post, select the Text tab and place the code where you want the ad to appear in the article.  If you paste it in the visual editor it will just display the code and not the ad on your site.  Paste the code in two or three places on longer articles to have different ads display (usually).

 

4. Advertisers bid for your ad space in a real-time auction

This is where your keyword rich blog content comes into play.  Advertisers want to reach the audience that is most likely to buy their products and services.  They want to spend their advertising dollars where it will make the most impact.   Google automatically determines the subject of pages and displays relevant ads based on the advertisers’ keyword lists.  The more eyeballs you have viewing your content the more ads are going to be seen and the more money you’ll make.  Continue publishing keyword rich articles and pepper in the AdSense ads at just the right intervals.  Generate revenue without upsetting your readers.

 

5. Earn money when ads are seen or clicked

Google is not exactly transparent with how much money you’ll make by displaying AdSense ads on your site.  In their words, “AdSense earnings are dependent on many factors such as how much traffic you get, what type of content you provide, where your users are located, how you set up your ads, and so on.”  Google does provide an AdSense revenue calculator that estimates your potential annual revenue based on the content category of your site and the region where you get the most visitors.

There are a few ad related metrics to understand.

CPM

Cost Per Mille.  Mille is Latin for thousand. Therefore, CPM means cost per thousand impressions.  It’s what an advertiser pays every 1,000 times their ad is viewed.

CPC

Cost Per Click.  This one is more straightforward.  This is what an advertiser pays each time their ad is clicked.

AdSense will display a mixture of these ads on your blog.  You really won’t know if you’re looking at a CPM or a CPC ad.  Google has a vested interest because they get a portion of all ad sales.  They’ll display whichever ad is expected to earn more revenue for you.

This is an AdSense screenshot about a year after starting one of my other blogs in the tech category.  I had AdSense displaying ads on all pages except a few.

AdSense Revenue Example

There were 447,081 ad impressions and 642 ad clicks that generated $450.63.

RPM

Revenue Per Mille.  In other words, how much revenue will you earn for every 1,000 ad impressions.  The screenshot above shows that this particular site makes $1.01 for every 1,000 impressions. Simply divide 447,081 by 1,000 and multiply that by $1.01.

447,081/1,000 = 447.081 * $1.01 = $451.55

$451.55 is very close to the estimated earnings of $450.63.

The discrepancy might be due to the fact that some ads were CPC instead of CPM.  We bloggers have no further insight into that.

When do you get paid?

The AdSense payment cycle is monthly. You accrue estimated earnings over the course of a month.  Then at the beginning of the following month your earnings are finalized and posted to your balance on your Payments page. If your balance exceeds the payment threshold ($100 in the US) and you have no payment holds, you’ll be issued a payment between the 21st and the 26th of the month.

Auto Ads

Google wants to make it as simple as possible to place ads on your website.  Auto ads offer a simple and innovative way for you to monetize your content. With Auto ads, you place one piece of code on all pages across your site. Auto ads will then scan your site and automatically place ads where they’re likely to perform well and potentially generate more revenue.

Whether you choose to create and place the ads yourself or you select Auto Ads, Google AdSense is a great way to begin making money on your blog.

Banner Ads

Banner ads are images or multimedia objects displayed on a website that link to the advertiser’s website when clicked.  Typically, you’ll see these at the top of a page in the form of a long horizontal image. You may also see them in the sidebar as a square or skyscraper image.  The images could be static or dynamic meaning they rotate in some manner.  Usually, banner ads display a current promotion like “25% off” or “New Year’s Sale”.  They often include a call to action like “see more” or “shop now”.

One of my other websites is an informational sports betting site where I place banner ads at the top of the page and in the sidebar. Below is an example of a top of the page banner ad that I might run on that site.

 

Technically, AdSense ads placed on your website are banner ads, but I gave banner ads it’s own section here because they’re much more than just AdSense ads.  Banner ads can be served from any number of sources.  That could be AdSense, an affiliate, a third party sponsor or even in-house links to your other websites and applications.  We’ll get into sponsors and affiliates next.

Sponsors

Once your website is growing and starts ranking higher in search results you’ll probably start receiving solicitations for advertisements.  Some requests will be for guest posting, which I covered in my article on how to grow a blog.  Others requests will be to place a text/image/multimedia ad within your content.  Below is an example of one of the many requests that I receive to place ads on my sites.

Sponsored Ad Request

I don’t participate in buying and selling backlinks.  It’s difficult at the moment for search providers to differentiate between paid and non-paid posts.  However, it’s only a matter of time until an algorithm improves enough to do so.  When that happens it’s very likely the sites participating in buying and selling backlinks will see their SERP rankings get instantly degraded. I don’t want that to be any of my sites.
On the other hand, I do think sponsored ads are a good revenue stream.  They should be used wherever they make sense on your site.  There are a few things to consider with sponsored ads.  Each of these considerations will affect the rate you charge for an ad.

 

Ad size, type and location on the page

The larger the ad and the more prominently it is displayed, the more you can charge for it.  An above the fold ad is seen more often and therefore generates a higher CPM. It will receive more views (perform better) than the same ad placed in the footer.

Rotating ads

The header is coveted space for advertisements.  One option is to rotate through similar sized ads in order to generate revenue from multiple sources.  Doing so will reduce CPM per ad, but it adds to the user experience.  Yes, your site visitors are viewing ads, but at least it’s not the same advertisement over and over again.

Ad Placement

Will the ad appear on every page of the site (aka run-of-site or ROS) or only on specific pages. 

Display length:

How long in days/weeks/months will the ad be active?  In the case of rotating ads you could include how long each ad is displayed.  Does each ad display for 10 seconds and then rotate to a new ad or do the ads only rotate when a user views a new page?

All of this information should be available for potential advertisers.  Either on a page on your site or in a prepared email response for when you receive ad requests.  In the email I included above, the potential advertiser was asking about unique visitors and average number of clicks.  The ultimate question every potential advertiser is asking is how many times can I expect my ad to be viewed and clicked on.

So how much do I charge for advertising on my site?

This is a sample pricing chart for reference.  As you can see the cost goes up as the size increases.  Cost is reflective of CPM.  For example, you could charge $33 every time a leaderboard ad sized at 728x90px received 1,000 views.

Sample Banner Ad CostSource: Digital Information World

Newsletter

Don’t forget about your newsletter as a potential source of revenue.  By creating value for your users in the form of a newsletter you’re also creating an additional medium upon which you can place ads.  The format of your newsletter will determine the types of ads to include.  Text heavy newsletters should include textual ads.  Newsletters with images, headlines, content summaries and links to read more are more appropriate places for multimedia ads.

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Always remember the user experience when placing ads on your site.  Visitors are there for the content not the ads.  Ads that support the content are more acceptable to end users.  It’s good also practice to test your site across multiple screen sizes and browsers, especially when using AdSense Auto Ads.  On one of my sites I had to remove Auto Ads because they were blocking links on a cornerstone page.  I figured I could either lose revenue from the ads or lose site visitors due to frustration.  Losing site visitors ultimately leads to lost revenue anyways so it was an easy decision.

 

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is one of my favorite ways to make money online.  It can be one of the more lucrative methods to generating passive income online.  Affiliate marketing is an advertising model where a company pays you, the content publisher, compensation to generate traffic or leads to the company’s products and services.

When you register as an affiliate for a company they’ll usually have a separate affiliate portal where you login.  Sometimes it’s a subdomain such as affiliate.company.com.  In any case, the portal will have everything you need to promote that company’s products and services on your website.

Affiliate Marketing Dashboard

For example, the dashboard will show you metrics in the form of impressions, hits (clicks), signups and deposits.

Affiliate Metrics

Affiliate dashboards will include reports where you can view detailed metrics.  Those metrics include income on a daily, weekly, monthly or yearly basis.

The dashboards always have a tab for marketing.  They provide multimedia galleries with all sizes of images and links for you to include on your blog.  Below is an example of a multimedia image provided by via my affiliate dashboard.  All I had to do was copy and paste the code here.

Lastly, your affiliate dashboards will have a financial tab.  There you can view your commissions earned, payments made and modify your payment settings.

 

How to find affiliates?

When you get into affiliate marketing you’ll want to find affiliates that complement your website and your content.  For obvious reasons I don’t recommend establishing an affiliate relationship with a direct competitor and then promoting their products and services on your website.  On TrailSix.com I publish articles to help you start, grow, monetize and measure the performance of your blog.  There are products and services that I truly believe will help you get your blog to where you want it to be.  I list them on my resources page and I highly recommend you create the same type of page and add a link to it in the top navigational menu of your blog. The resources page provides an easy way for site visitors to view all of your top recommendations for products and services.

Now that you’ve thought about a few niches that complement your blog it’s time to do a quick search.  Search for “best affiliate programs for <xyz>” where <xyz> is a complementary niche to your blog.

Affiliate Marketing Programs

Not all affiliate programs are created the same.  There are good affiliate programs and not so good ones.  The good ones tend to offer

  • small commissions for leads ($5)
  • large commissions for sales (>$100)
  • an affiliate manager to contact for promotional materials and ideas
  • multiple ways to get paid (bank wire, transfer to account with that company, crypto, etc)
  • solid marketing materials with a simple javascript or html code to copy/paste on your site

There are also affiliate marketing networks, which handle the heavy lifting of affiliate marketing for companies.  They provide the infrastructure and framework for the affiliate business where companies simply have to join the network to promote their products and services.  Then affiliate bloggers like you and me also join the network to be able to market the products and services of any of the member companies.  Upon finding a complementary affiliate company, sign up on their specific affiliate registration page.  Sometimes the page redirects you to an affiliate marketing network.  Some of the more popular affiliate marketing networks include:

  • Commission Junction
  • Rakuten
  • ClickBank

Affiliate Marketing Downsides

What’s the downside of affiliate marketing?  The biggest downside can be the customer acquisition costs without return sales.  You do a lot of the leg work to get a visitor to your page.  The visitor clicks a link for a product or service that they need.  You get a one-time commission for that lead, but the receiving company might get a customer for life.  As an affiliate marketer, the best affiliate programs are the ones that continue to pay you, as the affiliate lead generator, for all purchases made by the customer you referred.  Be sure to review the program details before partnering with an affiliate to avoid any surprises.  Look for win-win-win situtations.  Some industries are better than others when it comes to recurring affiliate payouts so make sure you do your homework.

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One Time Purchases

A one time purchase is when someone visits your site and purchases a product for a non-recurring fee.  Once they find a product or service they’re interested in and they click the buy now button they’ll be taken to a third-party payment processing system like PayPal, Stripe or Square. The transaction is completed on the third-party website after which the user will be returned to your site.  Behind the scenes your site will communicate with the payment processing site to determine if the transaction was successful or not.  If so, your site visitor will then be allowed access to the product or service they just purchased.

Think about someone visiting your site who is not logged in.  They select a product to download, successfully go through the payment process and are returned to your site. They download the product and then leave your site to continue about their day.  Later on they want make use of their download, but it’s on a different computer or they just can’t find it.  They return to your site to access the download again and are frustrated to see the buy now button displayed instead of a download now button.

One Time Purchase Isn’t A One Time Downlaod

There’s no way for them to access the download unless they go through the payment process again, which defeats the purpose of a one time purchase.  A one time purchase doesn’t necessarily mean a one time download.  Have your site visitors register as users on your site before entering any transactions.  It’s much easier to update their user entry in your database with access permissions than it is to respond to all the trouble calls you’re bound to receive if you don’t track access permissions.

One time purchases come in the form of digital goods or physical goods.

Digital Goods

Digital goods are essentially software or data delivered as products or services.  Below are a few examples of digital goods.

Digital Downloads

Digital downloads offer you the ability to publish digital goods directly from your own website. You can offer them for free or host them behind a paywall. A common example of a digital download is a pdf document. Normally, you’d create the document in Word or some other document editor and save it as a pdf. Then, depending on the length of the document, you’d provide access to the beginning of the document for your visitors to read. To access the entire document they would need to go through the payment processing transaction after which they could download the pdf document.

Compare this with e-books. e-books require you to publish with a third party e-publisher like Amazon or Apple and they are only available on that publishers e-reader (Kindle or iPad). Of course, e-readers are able to adapt to many different screen sizes to make the font and size of the text more legible whereas pdf documents don’t adapt so well. When publishing via an e-publisher you’re going to have access to a wider audience, but you’ll also lose revenue from each sale to the e-publisher.

Digital downloads come in many more formats than just pdf documents. They could be games, software, videos, ads, design, art, you name it.

If your visitors pay anything from $0 on up then it’s a digital download. And it’s a great way to create additional revenue streams on your blog.

Courses

Creating an educational course around your niche topic is another excellent way to make money online. There are many Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) providers where you could host your course such as Coursera, Udacity or Udemy.  You could also host your course right from your own website and charge a one time fee for access to it. Doing so means your audience reach will be more focused and you’ll be responsible for managing the entire system not just the course content.  You’ll then keep the additional revenue charged by those platforms for overhead (per student!).

Plugins

As a WordPress blogger then plugins will be very familiar. WordPress plugins provide a simple way for you as a blog owner to add functionality to your website. The WordPress Plugin Directory is a huge directory of all kinds of free and open source plugins. Developers create plugins and add them to the Plugin Directory. Blog owners can search the Plugin Directory right from the admin panel of their blog.

If you have development skills you could create plugin software for your niche market as an additional means of revenue.  The Freemium model seems to be the most popular revenue model I have seen used with plugins.  You’ll probably also notice a lot of free plugins offered with requests for donations.  Whichever model you choose, developing a plugin and adding it to the WordPress Plugin Directory is another very nice way to make money online.

 

These are just a few examples of digital goods that you could offer via your blog.

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Physical Goods

Physical goods are tangible items delivered as products or services. Think about the majority of items for sale on Etsy, Ebay and Amazon.  As a blogger, I don’t get into the habit of offering physical goods because with physical items come physical delivery.  You either have to ship a product or deliver it yourself.  It’s a lot more time intensive to offer physical goods than it is to offer digital goods.

If you do offer physical goods think about sourcing them from an affiliate or even a dropshipper so that you don’t have to manage the packing, shipping, returns, complaints, etc. There’s certainly money to be made in offering physical goods if your margins are high enough and your systems are efficient.  That’s why I include it here as a way to make money online. Blogs, however, tend to be information oriented and therefore align more with offering digital goods.

Coaching Services / Consulting Services

Another way to monetize your blog is by offering coaching or consulting services.  At a very high level, coaching and consulting services help a person or company get from where they are now (point A) to where they want to be (point B).  A coach does this by guiding the client along a path where the client can determine their own answers and solutions.  A consultant on the other hand is an industry expert who provides answers and solutions to the client.

Your blog can provide coaching and/or consulting services focusing on your specific niche.  To do this effectively is a matter of walking the site visitor (potential client) through a series of steps (sales funnel) to generate a lead and determine their stage in the buying process.  The further they progress through the sales funnel the closer they are to becoming a client.

Your job is to capture their email and track where they left off in the process so you can reach back out to them with more focused messages to get them to the next step in the sales funnel.  Keep track of where a visitor is in the sales funnel.  Add their email address to your database and update that record each time they progress to the next page.

Here is a quick look at a possible sales funnel.

Page One: The Landing Page

Provide a catchy headline offering alluding to what they can expect followed by a few sentences or a bulleted list with more specifics.

“EXCLUSIVE FREE TRAINING FOR BLOG OWNERS”

  • How to get more site visitors
  • The biggest mistakes most blog owners make
  • The Simple 2 Step Funnel To Get High Ticket Clients

Then capture their email and include a call to action button:

Email:

 

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Page Two: The Value Page

Now you have a lead and they’re viewing the value page.  The value page describes in even more detail what the client will receive.  This can be text, but is much more impactful if it’s multimedia.  Create an infographic or a video full of value.  Define the problem

“You’re a website owner who is struggling to get more visitors”

Then provide extremely useful and actionable tips about each of the points you mentioned in the landing page.

First Step: View this Infographic or Watch This Video Right Now

Directly follow the multimedia pitch with another call to action to move them to the next step in the sales funnel.

Second Step:

 

Page Three: The Schedule Page

Site visitors that make it to the scheduling page are warm leads.  The goal of this page is to get them on your calendar for a call.  Include a calendar that shows your availability and let them schedule their own call.  Also include a form beside the calendar that collects any information that you need to make the call more efficient such as name, website, problem, goal, preferred contact (phone or email), etc.  And of course follow that with another call to action button that takes them to the next step in the sales funnel.

The Contact

Reach out to your prospective client at the predefined time via their preferred mode of contact.  The goal is to get a clear understanding of where they are and where they want to be.  Then explain how your coaching or consulting services can get them there.  The last call to action is signing up for your services.

The Client

Now you have a client with whom you can provide coaching or consulting services and it all started with turning a part of your blog into a sales funnel that generates revenue for you.

 

Subscriptions (Recurring membership plans)

Subscriptions are by far my favorite method of making money online.  We saved the best for last! Previously, in the affiliate section of this page, we talked about customer acquisition costs and how you spend time to get people to your site only to generate a one time revenue from an affiliate sale.  Don’t get me wrong, I like the affiliate model, but I like subscription models even better because they generate recurring revenue and they keep people coming back to your website.  When someone signs up for a subscription through a membership plan on your blog, they are paying you money on a weekly, monthly or yearly basis until they cancel the plan.  A membership plans’ length, rates and cancellation policy are all determined by you the blog owner.

It does take planning and time to create valuable content that people are willing to subscribe to. There’s also some work to create different user roles, assign content access permissions and integrate your membership plans with a payment processor.  But once it’s setup it takes very little of your time to maintain.  You can set it to auto-pilot and continue making passive income month after month.  Maybe you can use that time to create even more content for existing users or to create additional content at higher paying membership level.  The choice is yours.  Build the framework and scale it from there.

How do subscription based membership plans work on a WordPress blog?

There are plenty of membership plugins you can leverage to provide subscription based access to different content on your blog.  Search for “membership” when adding a new plugin and select your favorite.  Once activated, a membership plugin will typically create multiple new user roles.  They are Level 1, Level 2, Level 3, etc.  Subscribers are assigned one of those roles based on the membership plan they select.  Higher membership plans include access to all content  that the lower level plans can access.

Membership Page

Create a membership page that displays the different plan options and pricing.  It’s best to present three different plan options detailing what is included in each and then highlight which one is the most popular. I’ve used the plugin “Pricing Table by Supsystic” with success.

Pricing Table by Supsystic

Next, you’ll integrate your pricing table buttons with your payment processing system.  When the payment processing system confirms a successful transaction and returns the user to your site, the database gets updated with their new membership level role.  Every time they login to your blog, as long as their subscription is still current, they’ll have access to additional content based on their role.  To restrict content to certain roles is as simple as surrounding the text, image, video, etc with a permissions check.  If using the s2member plugin it would look something like this:

[s2If current_user_can(access_s2member_level1)]
This content is only visible to those with membership level 1 and higher

[/s2If]

 

What types of membership plans can you offer on you blog?

You can customize the different membership levels and pricing as you deem fit for your niche market and your blog.  The types of content that are most suitable for membership plans are…

Informational

Informational blogs can easily offer membership plans.  These follow the Freemium model where you provide really valuable content to generate the SEO necessary to initially draw people to your website.  Then you offer membership levels for access to additional information.  Typically, the higher the membership level the more detailed content or the more content in general a member has access to.

Individual

Are you an industry expert?  If so, you can create a membership plan on your blog that provides access to you as an individual.  Perhaps the lowest tier is email access, the middle tier is phone access and the highest tier is in-person access.  Your time is valuable.  Once you’ve established yourself as an expert in your field you can charge for access to YOU!

Community

Does your blog bring people together?  Another option for a membership site is to establish a forum or social community on your blog.  You can setup membership tiers for access to different levels of the forum.  Structure it as free, bronze, silver, gold.  Change the names of the levels to fit your blog.  You’ll find people will join at each level because they have different motivations for doing so.  Your job is to provide the environment where they can thrive no matter which level they join.

Services

Lastly, there’s membership plans for services.  This is where someone signs up to receive a certain level of service on a recurring basis depending on their membership level.

For example, accountants in the United States need to comply with the FTC Safeguards Rule and they also need to maintain PCI compliance.  Your blog provides free, updated information concerning those safeguards and compliance measures.  Focusing on relevant content generates a lot of visits from accountants to your blog.  You’ve also written a bit of software that can evaluate a client’s network for vulnerabilities against the recommended safeguards and compliance.  You can offer access to the software through a recurring membership.

Let’s say Level 1 activates the software to run a safeguards review whereas a Level 2 membership activates the software to provide both a safeguards and PCI compliance review.  You can also cater the subscription based on the frequency of the reviews.  Let’s say you offer reviews every 3, 6 and 12 months.  Therefore, you have two different membership levels at three different frequencies giving you a total of 6 different options for your subscribers to choose from.

 

Whichever model you choose, subscriptions are absolutely an excellent way to make money online because they generate recurring revenue and they keep people coming back to your site time and again.

 

How To Monetize Your Blog: Summary

First of all, thank you for reading this guide on how to monetize your blog.  I hope you agree that there are many ways to make money online by blogging.

You can make money with your blog if you’re willing to put in the hard work to create valuable content for your niche market and apply the money making methods explained in this post.

I have gone through a number of ways to monetize your blog. I will be updating this page frequently with new information and resources as required so that you always have the latest guide to review.

Are you ready?  Start a blog today with A2Hosting for only $2.99/mo (66% off your hosting plan)