How To Monetize Your Blog: The Secret Is In The Foundation
When I started LadyBossBlogger I didn’t think blogging for money was possible.
I had read a little bit about it online, didn’t think it was attainable for me, and had no clue how to tangibly achieve something like that.
A year prior to starting my own blog, I had worked as an intern for Halfstack Magazine for a year and half and didn’t make a cent. In fact, I spent money on gas and parking to attend exclusive press events and then wrote their articles for free afterwards.
Even though I wasn’t paid, I loved every second of it and learned so much!
(If you’d like to intern for LadyBossBlogger to build your blogging experience, apply here).
I worked full-time as the National Wedding Sales Manager for a global company and loved what I did there too, but blogging was my creative outlet.
Through Halfstack I got to meet celebrities such as Lauren Conrad, had lunch with celebrity stylist Sarah Potempa and got to try her brand new hair styling product @thebeachwaver that she uses on the Victoria Secret Angels!
I interviewed former NFL player, Israel Idonije, and got a bunch of the razors he was promoting. I also got to eat at the best restaurants in Chicago for free, such as Roy’s Filet and Lobster and Seadog Sushi. And I was always able to bring a friend!
So that was my concept of blogging—exchanging your writing services for a free product, exclusive event, or something of that nature.
BUT BLOGGING CAN BE SO MUCH MORE THAN THAT!
Here are the points I am going to touch on in two sections:
- First, how to build the foundation of your blog so it can generate money
- Second, list of things you can sell on your blog after you build your foundation correctly
After you’re done reading this and know that you’ve set up your blog correctly, read exactly WHAT and HOW to sell stuff on your blog in this post: How To Make Money Blogging – The Most Comprehensive Guide Online.
Ask yourself these questions.
1) Is your blog topic easy to explain?
When things are complicated people tend to disengage.
Be able to explain your concept in 1-3 easily understood sentences.
Remember to include who you are, what you do, and who you serve.
“LadyBossBlogger is a blog and online community for female entrepreneurs worldwide. We showcase women’s businesses in interviews and their expertise in guest posts. We post entrepreneurial resources daily at 6PM CST.”
2) Does your domain name capture that idea?
Make sure people can understand, at least generally, what your blog is about right off the bat!
There’s no need to be clever, just clear and concise.
“LadyBossBlogger is for Ladies who are, or want to become, their own Boss and learn how to become Bloggers.”
3) Who do you want reading your blog? And more importantly, how can you can help them?
Your blog must have actionable content and be result-oriented.
This is why “HOW TO” posts do so well; you’re sharing your expertise with your readers and providing them with tips to implement on their own.
If your tips are helpful and your readers get the results they want after reading what you have to say, you’ll gain their trust and become credible in their minds.
THIS IS THE SECRET TO MAKING MONEY ONLINE.
Once you have their trust, they will be willing to buy from you because they value what you have to say.
However, that is why it’s so hard to make money online, right?
We come at it from a transactional perspective vs. a relational one.
We have to remember that there is a human behind every username.
We all know it can take years to build up trust and just one error to knock it all down.
Trust isn’t something that we can “speed up.”
We know this, yet we are often so impatient and unwilling to put in the time to treat our blogs like we would a good relationship.
When you’re trying to establish a new friendship, your focus is never how can I make money from this, right?
Instead, it’s usually more along the lines of how can I build a relationship and get to know this person.
That is why producing good and continuous content is so important.
It’s a conversation.
By showing up and providing quality, actionable advice consistently (like a good friend would), your readers will naturally start to engage with you and ask you more questions on the topics you’ve written about that they have found to be really helpful.
When people start asking you questions on the topics you blog about, you’ll know that you’re onto something.
This is the turning point in your blogging journey when you transition from being knowledgeable in some areas and become the expert in one general area.
Expertise is what sells.
I mean, look at all the books on Amazon of people selling their knowledge!
A blog is a digital book that keeps evolving.
Additional reading: How To Build A Credible Blog And Stand Out From The Rest.
I’m going to reiterate this one more time because it’s so important.
Let your audience direct your blog.
You blog will honestly start becoming less about what you personally want to write about and more what your audience wants to hear from you.
Why is it important to make the shift?
Because your audience will determine if your blog thrives or dies.
Without an audience, you’ll have no traffic, and your blog will die!
If you stay tuned to what works and how people are responding to you (or not responding to you and adjusting accordingly) your blog will continue to grow.
The more you give them what they want, the more reasons they will have to trust you and stay engaged with you—a.k.a. “follow you” in online terminology.
And this will help you carve out your niche.
Download my list of the 12 Most Profitable Niches and HOW TO MONETIZE THEM below.
How can you stay consistent?
85% of bloggers struggle to stay consistent with their blogs.
Why? Three reasons;
- They feel that they have to create ALL the content themselves.
- They don’t prioritize blogging over their other activities.
- They don’t have a blogging community.
Start thinking of blogging as a communal thing instead of just a personal one.
On that note, if you’d like we can do an interview swap!
You qualify if you’re a female entrepreneur, so sign up below.
For an entire year all I posted on my blog was interviews.
I didn’t write a single post, I just gathered information in one place.
I didn’t write anything, partially because I simply didn’t like writing, and partially because I had nothing to say.
I didn’t know what to blog about; I didn’t have any direction. I just knew I wanted to learn about how to become an online entrepreneur, and that was what my blog was about.
I interviewed current female entrepreneurs and learned from them for a whole year.
I didn’t fail to post on my blog for 365 days, because all I had to do was edit posts rather than write them.
I was a publisher, even though people called me a blogger.
Now, if you DO like to write and DO have something to say, you simply must prioritize it.
Discipline yourself to either give up some activities or do other tasks more quickly so that you can blog.
You must see blogging as work and not just fun if you want to monetize it.
Even if you don’t want to do it, just like work, YOU MUST, because it’s now your job.
Having a blogging community will help you stay motivated and keep you accountable.
You can find other bloggers by joining Meetup.com groups or Facebook groups.
Here are a few good ones on Facebook to get you started:
- Female Entrepreneur Resources – this one is mine ?
Another way to get involved in a blogging community is by guest blogging.
The majority of big bloggers out there started out by guest posting on bigger bloggers’ sites to bring that blogger and their audience value.
In so doing it was mutually beneficial, because the big blogger got an original piece of amazing content, and the guest blogger was able to tap into the other blogger’s audience and grow their own readership.
How does that help you grow your readership?
If you’re not getting any traffic on your own site, you need people to see your posts. If people like the post you wrote and gain value from you, they will check your blog to read more from you!
How can you stay consistent with posting on both your site and another bloggers site?
You don’t have to write a brand new post, you can simply add two or three of your old posts on similar topics into one post, then restructure and reword it so that it flows.
Now that you know the best way to name your blog, to build trust, and to stay consistent, it’s time to talk about how to maintain readership so your blog keeps on growing.
4) How are going to excite readers and leave them wanting to hear more from you?
Create an extension of your blog post that ins’t on your post. What I mean by that is create an opt-in to your email list with an enticing offer related to your blog post.
You’re in essence exchanging information to both get what you want. You want their email so you can stay connected with them and they want whatever you’re offering to send them via email. The best way to create an opt-in is through an email marketing service.
If you don’t have an email marketing service already, I recommend checking out ConvertKit.
I used ConvertKit to create the email capture form below.
I’ve tried capturing emails through pop-ups not linked with an email marketing service, and though it was free, it was just a mess, and I had no way of tracking how well my emails were performing.
Make it easy for yourself—your email list is your biggest asset.
This is your money maker, so invest in that up front.
Why is this your money maker?
Because this is how you communicate with your readers!
But what about social media?
Social media plays a part, but it’s not going to be your money maker.
Well, you don’t pay for Facebook or Instagram, therefore you don’t own any of the information on there.
Plus, what if they shut down tomorrow?
Or what if they shut your account down for some reason?
How are you going to stay in contact with the people you have worked so hard to engage?
Honestly, I was too focused on building my social media presence that I neglected building my email list.
Read about how I remedied my situation below so that you don’t make the same mistake!
If you love what you’ve read so far, please PIN the iconograph I created for you guys on the topics I just talked about boiled down to 5 easy steps, then continue reading!
Now why did I just talk about your blogging foundation for 4/5ths of this post before I listed what you can sell?!
Because without the right foundation, you can kiss this list I have for you goodbye.
Below is (finally) step five: creating a product you can sell to your audience.
You MUST go in order from step 1 to step 5 for monetization to work.
Remember: You’re building a business, so your foundation must be solid if you want it to last!
List Of Things You Can Sell On Your Blog
There are loads of products and services you can sell on your blog, but I’ve boiled them down to the top four that do the best.
- Digital Products
- Physical Goods
The easiest online store platform to use is Shopify.
The best online course creation platform is Teachable.
Now that you know what you can sell, you need to learn how to sell them.
Sign up for the waitlist below to learn the step-by-step process!
Now it’s time to read HOW TO MAKE MONEY BLOGGING – The Most Comprehensive Guide Online to learn exactly HOW and WHAT to sell on your blog now that you have it set up properly.
If you have any questions about monetizing your blog, feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I would be glad to answer any questions you may have!
If you loved this post, PIN the pic below!
<3 Elaine Rau
*Disclosure: There are some affiliate links in this post, but these are all products I highly recommend. I won’t put anything on this page that I haven’t verified and/or personally used.