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September 14, 2021

How to Monetize a Blog in 4 Steps

Do you want to make money while you sleep? Don’t worry. This post isn’t an ad for multi-level marketing. Instead, we’re talking about how to monetize a blog.

Building a successful blog and loyal audience is hard work. But once you establish your blog, you can start generating income. In this post, we’ll look at the steps you need to take to monetize your blog. We will begin with the basics of how to monetize a blog, then end with our top ideas for monetization.

How to Monetize a Blog in 4 Steps

Monetizing a blog requires you to have a decent amount of web traffic and an established audience. You can put ads on a blog as soon as you start publishing. But if no one is visiting your blog, you won’t make much money. If you have an established blog with steady traffic, skip ahead for ideas for monetizing your blog. But if you’re just starting with a blog, follow the four steps below.

Step 1: Set Up Your Blog

Monetizing a blog begins with setting it up. Setting up a website intimidates many people, but the process is simple, even for non-technical people. WordPress is the most popular blogging platform and is easy to set up.

If you use a managed WordPress hosting service, your hosting provider takes care of WordPress installation and setup. Then, all you need to do is customize the look with a theme and start publishing your content.

Step 2: Publish Quality Content

To make money from your blog, you need to create content that people want to consume. By creating engaging content, you can increase the chances someone will complete an action you can monetize, such as clicking on an ad or making a purchase.

Tips for creating blog content you can monetize:

  • Find a Niche. You’re most likely not an expert on all topics. Narrowing your blog topic to a niche helps you focus your content creation efforts around your target audience. For example, successful travel bloggers don’t write generally about travel. Most bloggers focus on a specific type of travel such as RV life, backpacking through Europe, or taking children to Walt Disney World.

  • Answer Questions. The best way to engage your audience is to answer questions they are curious about. Use tools like Google Trends, AlsoAsked, and AnswerThePublic to discover what people are searching for and build content that addresses those questions.

  • Focus on Quality. Your blog content should be valuable and beneficial to your audience. The content also needs to be well-written. Search engines will prioritize well-structured, natural-sounding blog posts over poor-quality content stuffed with keywords. Many ad and affiliate networks will review a blog’s content as a part of their initial approval process. Try to publish 30-40 quality blog posts before submitting your application.

Step 3: Build a Loyal Audience

After you create content, you need to make sure people see it. Follow SEO best practices to make sure your content shows up in search results. Successful bloggers also build up social media followings and their email lists.

To get an idea of how large of an audience and what type of web traffic you need to generate significant revenue, try this calculator from Google AdSense. In the next section, we’ll review other ways to generate income from your blog, but this gives you a starting point for determining how much traffic your blog will need.

Step 4: Monetize Your Blog Content and Audience

Building a large audience makes it easier to monetize your blog through advertising, sponsorships, and even selling your content. In the next section, we’ll review some of the most common techniques for generating blog revenue.

Options for Monetizing a Blog

After establishing your blog, you can pick which business models you’d like to pursue for monetization. Most bloggers can’t make a full-time salary off of their blog at first. But, bloggers with high traffic volumes can generate significant revenue.

The top ways to monetize a blog include:

  • Advertising. You can sell ads directly or use an ad network like Google AdSense.

  • Affiliate Marketing. This popular monetization strategy involves linking to products on ecommerce sites. The retailer then pays the blogger a commission for any sales generated by their referral. Bloggers must disclose their affiliation status. Be sure you review the latest Federal Trade Commission guidelines to ensure your blog is compliant.

  • Sponsored Blog Posts or Reviews. Companies pay bloggers to review their products or promote a service or product in a blog post. Federal Trade Commission guidelines on endorsements also apply to sponsored content and reviews.

  • Membership or Exclusive Content. In this model, not all of a blog’s content is available for free. Some content is behind a paywall in a members-only area that requires a subscription. Setting up a membership site is simple with WPQuickStart by Nexcess.

  • Sell Merchandise. Create and sell your own merchandise. This technique works best in niche markets with a loyal fan base. StoreBuilder by Nexcess makes creating an ecommerce website easy.

  • Coaching Services or Online Courses. Leverage the content and expertise of your blog to create a coaching business or a series of online courses.

  • Ask for Donations. Some bloggers ask for donations if readers enjoy their content. The adoption of Patreon by bloggers and other content creators made this more common.

Start Your Blog Monetization Journey

If you want to monetize a blog, you’ll need a quality hosting service. Managed WordPress hosting makes the technical part of setting up a blog simple. Then you can focus on creating quality content and monetizing your blog.

At Nexcess, our managed WordPress hosting service offers improved speed, security, and support for your blog.

Sign up for a free trial to get your blog up and running.

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