If there’s one mantra that every beginner marketer needs to repeat every single day, it’s this – “I only make money when I sell!”
It’s a simple truth, and yet, it’s often forgotten by marketers who miss the point as they bog themselves down with a myriad of inane details that are part and parcel of running an online business – but are not the MAIN THING.
They do their best to overdeliver insane value in an attempt to build trust and credibility with their audience. They’re in a constant content creation race as they try to outdo the competition.
They check off all the required boxes except the one which puts money in their pockets – selling.
They fail to keep ‘selling’ at the forefront of their minds and end up failing miserably at it. Now what they have are blogs with lots of content, but which are about as useful as a one-legged man at an ass-kicking contest.
The secret to avoiding this problem will be to monetize your blog effectively. You have to sell, sell and sell some more to be profitable. How else will you make money?
Even if you’re displaying sponsored content on your blog, you’re still selling space on it for ads to appear.
Now, there are many monetization methods with varying degrees of efficacy. But ultimately, someone has to buy something (or click on an ad) for you to actually see money landing in your bank account.
And that’s what this article is all about. You’re going to learn 5 ways to transform your blog into a money-making machine that works round the clock for you.
- Selling products as an affiliate
This is probably the easiest monetization method of the lot because all you’ll be doing is selling other people’s products and collecting commissions from the sales you generate.
You don’t need to worry about the tech details or customer service. Your focus is only on pre-selling and creating persuasive reviews.
There are several platforms that allow affiliates to promote products. The most common ones are Amazon, ClickBank, ShareASale, Rakuten, and so on.
Once you’re registered with these platforms, it’s just a matter of adding your affiliate links (on your blog) to RELEVANT products in your niche.
There must be congruence with your niche and the products you’re recommending. You wouldn’t want to promote a herpes cream on a toy blog just because the cream has a high pay-out.
Ideally, you should promote a mix of both tangible and digital products. It’ll also be wise to promote products on different platforms. This will ensure that all your eggs are not in one basket.
Far too many bloggers rely entirely on Amazon Associates (with its paltry commission rates). Then they see their earnings dry up overnight if Amazon bans them from the platform.
Unfortunately, this happens all the time and the affiliates are not even given a reason as to why they were banned. The sheer indignity of it all.
Diversify, diversify, diversify.
- Sell your own digital products
This is a highly lucrative way to generate an income from your blog. It’s more technical because you’ll need to set up a sales page, funnel, etc. You’ll also need to create a product and have good sales copy so that your sales conversions are high.
All this may seem like a lot of work… and it is… but the rewards are great.
You could do a lot of it yourself by using page/funnel builders such as Thrive Themes, ClickFunnels, OptimizePress, etc. These types of software will help you immensely because they’re relatively simple and intuitive to use.
The truth is that you don’t need to do it all. The good news is that you can outsource the different parts of the process to freelancers on sites like Fiverr and/or Upwork… while you only focus on what you’re good at…
… and when it’s all completed, you just put the moving parts together, and VOILA! Your very own Frankenproduct that you can sell on your blog.
After all, with all the content you’re posting and the credibility/authority you’ve built, it’ll be much easier to sell a product created by you than by someone else, because your audience likes and trusts you.
When you’re creating and selling your own products, you’ll have a lot more flexibility and be in control of:
- Product pricing
- If it’s a one-time fee or a recurring monthly/yearly membership
- The depth of the sales funnel (upgrades, down sells, etc.)
- What the product will be about
- Customer service
It’s more work, but it’s also more freedom from a business standpoint… and exponentially more profit, if you’re good at it.
- Selling tangible products
This is similar to the earlier point, but now you’re selling physical products. You’ll need a store with a shopping cart that calculates shipping and so on. This is slightly more complicated because you’ll need to fulfill the orders.
You’ll have to decide if you’re selling print-on-demand products or drop shipping which is a relatively hands-off process… or will you be maintaining inventory and mailing the products yourself? Or will you use Fulfilment By Amazon (FBA).
There are several options here and you’ll need to do your research and see which method is best for your business. You don’t want to end up in a situation where you’re making lots of sales but the post office has become your second home.
- Email marketing
It looks like no online marketing article can ever be complete without paying homage to email marketing – and that’s because it really does work. Unlike social media marketing which can be blocked by your audience, most people check their emails – and you want to show up there… to sell!
Yes! Don’t forget the selling… but always remember to deliver value in your emails. You’ll have to find the right balance here.
But first things first – you need to build a list from your blog.
The easiest way to do this will be to use software like Thrive Leads to display opt-in forms, pop-ups, scroll mats, and so on. This is a fantastic software that most marketers will benefit from.
Another excellent plugin is Post Gopher. It allows your site visitors to download your blog posts as PDFs which they can read later – in exchange for their emails.
Now it’s just a matter of connecting your opt-in form to a reliable autoresponder platform like ConvertKit and you’re good to go.
ConvertKit is one of the best autoresponders in the business and their feature of letting the subscriber double opt-in with just one click of the mouse (to download a product, etc.) will ensure that more people end up on your list VS other autoresponders that require a 2-step process to confirm the opt-in and you end up losing subscribers who don’t follow through.
All tech talk aside, just ensure that you have a way to collect emails on your blog and you have an autoresponder sequence in place to nurture the audience on your list.
Do remember to promote your own products (if you have any) or affiliate products in your emails.
Because you need to sell, sell, sell! That’s why!
- Sell your own services
This point was saved for last because it has one downside.
As long as you’re providing a service that requires your direct involvement, you’ll be trading your time for money… which in itself places an invisible ceiling on your earnings, unless you have special royalty/commission arrangements in place with those who hire you.
Common examples of services are content writing, copywriting, graphic design, video creation, and so on. These are time-consuming tasks. You could make top dollar, but ultimately, it’s still a job and not passive. But it’s your call.
You could also provide software as a service and still make a hefty chunk of change without much involvement.
Alternatively, you could be a middleman and use service arbitrage to sell services that others deliver. You’ll charge a higher rate and hire a cheaper freelancer to do the job for you.
You’ll then deliver that job to the person who hired you and you’ll pocket the difference. Of course, you’ll need to ensure that the freelancer did a good job before delivering the work, so that your reputation is intact.
Arbitrage is perfectly legal and people do it all the time.
In conclusion, the 5 methods above are really ALL you need to make six or even seven figures with your blog/s. You can apply 2 or 3 of the methods above and skyrocket your income in a couple of months.
Start working on them today… and remember to… SELL SELL SELL!
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