The idea of making money might not be at the forefront of every blogger’s mind. However, for those bloggers who do want to make money writing, there are many ways of doing it. Because not every monetization technique is perfect, here’s a quick guide to four of the best.
1. Monetize Websites by Merchandising Your Brand
If you’re a blogger who wants to make money, it’s time to start thinking of yourself as a brand. You are more than a blogger with a laptop. You are a business with values, ideas and a trademarkable image. With all that in mind, there’s no reason why you can’t start selling branded merchandise.
This is a common way for bloggers and internet creators of all kinds to make money online. DFTBA.com was set up as a way for internet creators to monetize their online activity through merchandise sales, and plenty of internet creators jumped at the opportunity to sell stuff through DFTBA. Of course, if you don’t want to sell something physical, a branded eBook is also a great way of monetizing your blog.
2. Monetize Websites Through Donations
Openness goes a long way, which is why asking users for donations is another popular monetization model for bloggers and other kinds of internet creators. Patreon was a website set up to help creators do this, but you don’t necessarily need Patreon.
The Guardian takes donations directly and so too does the fifth biggest website in the world: Wikipedia. In summary, it doesn’t matter whether you’re a small-time blogger or the world’s largest online encyclopedia; the donation model can and does work. Wikipedia fundraisers raise more each time. This is what has allowed the site to grow.
There’s no set way of asking for money. Just ask and see what happens.
3. Monetize Websites Behind Paywalls
Not everyone likes paywalls, but there are some strong arguments for them — and not just from business-minded people. Before David Simon created The Wire, he was a journalist at the Baltimore Sun for several years. He left at around the time online journalism took off. It was his opinion in 2009 that if newspapers don’t put up paywalls, journalism will die.
Journalism didn’t die, but many news websites did put up paywalls. The Times, The Telegraph, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the Harvard Business Review all have paywalls with varying degrees of hardness. Soft paywalls allow people to sample a handful of free articles, whereas hard paywalls need your money straight away.
Do paywalls work? Some say yes, and some say no. Either way, they remain immensely popular. Perhaps the best paywall model comes from streaming websites. By offering a month’s free trial, websites like Netflix and others retain a third of customers after the trial ends. It’s hard to say which type of paywall — if any — would work for your website, but they’ve certainly helped some websites to make a lot of money.
4. Monetize Websites with Affiliate Marketing Experts
Affiliate marketing experts specialise in helping people to monetize websites. By connecting advertisers with bloggers and website owners who are looking to make money, affiliate marketing experts take away a lot of the legwork needed in order to find reputable and relevant advertisers.
If you work with trustworthy affiliate marketing experts, you don’t need to worry about bad, spammy, or otherwise strange adverts appearing on your website. Instead, you can start making money straight away. It’s a simple idea, and it’s probably because of its simplicity that advertising is the longest running website monetization model. Affiliate marketing experts have built upon the years of success and failures that have defined the ad-funded internet. It’s because of this wealth of wisdom that using affiliate marketing experts to monetize a website is such a popular model.