There are a ton of great blogs that struggle to generate a significant amount of revenue to make a profit. Take the Huffington Post for example. Even with millions of readers and dozens of unpaid freelance contributors, the site is only now in the black after several years of operation. However, your blog does not have to be just a hobby that is limited to the intrinsic rewards alone. Having the right monetization strategy in place can help generate income from your writing so that you can turn your passion into a part-time or full-time job – or just pay your hosting costs.
Recommend relevant books from Amazon’s affiliate program
If you write about a specific topic, it’s can be useful to provide book recommendations that are also affiliate links through the Amazon Associates program. These are very common on blogs about writing, but play well to a number of topics, as readers may want to learn more about the subject. More importantly, you can offer recommendations or reviews of a variety of products outside of books, music and movies because of the breadth of offerings on Amazon includes almost anything you can think of from basketballs to lawn mowers.
Request donations TheOatmeal.com is a great example of a site where the content creator has built a loyal and enthusiastic following. By providing great value to your readers, it’s much easier to make direct calls to action, such as a simple “Buy me a cup of coffee,” or something similar. In a recent interview session in Seattle, The Oatmeal creator shared with the audience that he felt a little guilty because the donations amounted to a surprisingly high amount of money. Leo Laporte of the TwIT network of video and audio shows on technology announced that his salary this year would be based only on donations.
Sell banner ads to local businesses
Buy two of your local newspapers that have a fairly wide reach, and tear out any advertisements that are relevant to your industry. You can call the advertising sales department at the newspapers, or look on their website, in order to find their rates. You may be able to offer more impressions for a lot less to local businesses who are advertising in traditional print. Call up the businesses, ask to speak to the owner, and pitch your website and its traffic numbers. You can also promote ad space on your site with a link to your rates page or send targeted emails to people you think would be interested in advertising to your niche of readers.
Take advantage of affiliate marketing services like Commission Junction
A lot of times, products or services online dovetail into what you write about. You choose products that fit within the content of your website. For every visitor that purchases a product, you get a portion of the revenue that’s generated. By using a service like Commission Junction, you take a lot of the guesswork out of working with individual retailers. Like the Amazon program, it is a way to help your visitors find more resources without having to do a lot of your own legwork in establishing the relationships.
Whether your site is seeing skyrocketing traffic numbers, or you’re just starting out, having a plan on how you can turn traffic into dollars can mean the difference between having a hobby or having a job that you absolutely love.
Justin Davis is a staff writer at Criminal Justice Degree Schools, a resource for individuals seeking information on criminal justice degrees, schools, and careers.