This post contains affiliate links.
Most of us have grand visions of making a full time income off our blogs. As well we should! You work hard on your blog, and should absolutely be rewarded financially for all the great content you are putting out into the universe. If you aren't quite making money yet, or you would like to make more, or consistent income (who doesn't want that, right?), there are a few things that need to happen first to get you there.
5 Steps To Making More Money With Your Blog
Let's ask ourselves a few questions and review a few things we may be doing to stop ourselves from generating an income with our blog or website. Ready?
1. Become an expert at something (anything!):
Is your blog representing you as an expert in your field? Have you narrowed down what you excel at? Does your audience know that you are an industry leader?
Chances are you may not feel comfortable screaming from the rooftops that you are an expert in your niche. Unless you are a super self confident woman (which you should be! You are amazing!) you may downplay your abilities. Don't sell yourself short! If you do, chances are your readership won't fully know your capabilities. Are you a food blogger with the best Sunday Funday recipes? Are you a mom blogger that has nap time routine down to a science? Are you a travel blogger that knows one particular area like the back of your hand? If you have a specialty, you absolutely need to tell the blog world about it - constantly! How else will they know to come to you when they have a specific question about your area of expertise?
Make a dedicated section of your blog to showcase your best capabilities, and update it more frequently than you do the rest of your site. Use keywords in your blog posts so that your SEO skyrockets in that sector of Google. Make a dedicated Pinterest Board for that content, and add to it frequently. Add some info on your social media bios letting people know exactly what you are good at.
Once you do these things, you will open yourself up for more specific (and better paying) sponsored posts, you will have more content to add affiliate links to, and more people that are interested in your expert field will sign up for your mailing list, where you can sell them personalized products, host a give-away and invite them to engage, or to send them your latest blog posts.
2. Are you spreading yourself too thin?
I know that everyone says to pick a niche, but do they go into detail about why choosing a niche is important in order to make money with your blog? Let me tell you: When your blog does not have a specific niche many brands will shy away from working with you. Why, you may ask? Well, if you are branded as a 'Lifestyle Blogger' because niching down seems scary to you, you may be all over the place with your content, which is no bueno for brands you are pitching.
Let's say you are blogging about food, weddings, kids, blogging, fashion and travel because you love it all, and then you pitch Maytag with your media kit to line up a collaboration for a new washing machine. When Maytag checks out your site, the first few things they see are about floral arrangements, taco dip, and a wedding you went to last weekend, they are *most likely* going to turn you down.
Now let's say you are a niched-down video game blogger. You pitch Sony for a new tv, Nintendo for a new WiiU, and Playstation for a new custom controller. They look at your site and see that your audience is actively engaged in a site that is specific to the demographic that they are looking to market to. Chances are, with a great media kit and good blog traffic, you will get a yes, and a happy payday. Boom!
3. Are you utilizing affiliate links the right way?
Now if you have the first two tips on this list down, you shouldn't have any problem adding affiliate links that make you good consistent money. Now the first two steps are critical for this to work well for you though, so make sure you follow them first. If your readership is too wide, and your brand is too all encompassing, your affiliate links will also seem too diluted. When people don't know exactly what they are going to get from your site, they won't necessarily trust that you could be an expert in all of your subjects, and therefore may not respect your professional opinion and affiliate recommendations.
On the other hand; if you are a dedicated photography blogger, and you recommend the Nikon b700 (exactly what I purchased from a niched down photography blog recommendation!), chances are people will respect your suggestion and click your link! Makes sense, right? I would never buy a bra that was an affiliate link on a hunting blog, would you?!
Are you adding affiliate links to every single blog post? If not, go back in and see what you can link up in some older posts.
If you need help choosing the best affiliate programs to use here are the only two that I use:
4. Are you looping readers through your site?
You are an expert. You niched down. You added affiliate links.
Now how do I get people to click them??? Ok - so no matter how great your blog post, or how in depth your recommendation with great affiliate links; studies show that the average person needs to see something seven times before they take action. So let's say you have a bunch of niche specific blog posts, and you are getting traffic on them. That's great! Have you looked at what your bounce rate is doing? Ideally, you want to keep people on your site for long enough to see 7+ affiliate links specific to what they are looking for so that you get a click-thru. The best way to keep people engaged on your site is to loop them through your related blog posts throughout the post they are reading. Chances increase that they will click an affiliate link the longer they are on your site.
(If you need an example of what I mean, check out what I did at the end of the previous paragraph.)
5. You're the expert - now sell me something!
You chose your niche specific role in the great wide world of the internet. Show us your expertise in a way that creates income! Why should you be giving it all away for free???
There are plenty of options for setting up digital products that you can sell directly to your readers from your blog or website. An eBook, a Workshop, a paid FB Group, a Members Only section of your site, an eCourse, consulting services... What is the best way to give people what they need?
The reason people are coming to you because they have a question. Think: Any time you go on Pinterest or Google are you typing in a question or looking for some kind of answer or solution? Imagine what your readers may be needing help with - and give it to them!
Become an expert in your field.
Chose a niche.
Loop your content.
Make your own product.