Most blogs are created to support a business, and more than half of marketers say that blog content is their top priority when it comes to generating leads.
As important as blogging is for driving sales to an existing business, you may be missing a great opportunity if you don’t start looking at your blog as a way to help influence buying decisions towards your products and services.
There are a ton of great ways to leverage blog traffic and create a significant revenue stream, and what starts out as a secondary source of income can quickly grow to dwarf other channels of earnings.
Here are 8 proven ways to turn your blog into a legitimate money-making enterprise:
1. Consulting Services
Your goal with every blog post is to build your reputation and set yourself up as a thought-leader in your niche, so why not offer your expertise as a consultant? Blogging and consulting require many of the same skills, similar planning and research, and consulting is often the perfect fit for bloggers looking to turn their search ranking into a real business.
People are willing to pay good money for one-on-one time with reputable experts, and independent consultants earn an average income of $97,000 per year across a variety of fields
2. Sponsored Posts
If your readers value your content, you can be sure that companies will pay handsomely to get their products and services in front of your audience. Sponsored posts are the norm on any high-authority blog, and you don’t have to “sell out” to start cashing in.
More often than not, you’ll be covering topics you would have blogged about anyway, and it’s always up to you to decide what you want to support. According to the New York Times, sponsored content is just as valuable and engaging to readers as editorial articles.
3. Ebook Sales
It shouldn’t be a surprise to hear that well-written blogs have no trouble selling ebooks, but it’s shocking just how few bloggers are taking advantage of the format. Good ebooks don’t have to be hundreds of pages long, and many are really just in-depth blog posts that people will happily pay a few dollars to dig into.
On top of the potential money to be made selling ebooks to your existing readers, you can grow your audience quickly as your book reaches new readers and helps to solidify your reputation. There are close to a billion ebook readers out there, and it’s a market you can tap into as a part of your blogging strategy.
Depending on the niche of your blog, selling merchandise can be a great way to generate a passive income with your own online store. There are a lot of bloggers these days who make a serious chunk of their money selling simple items like t-shirts and mugs.
If you have designs and ideas that suit your brand, you don’t have to take any chances getting started with selling merch. Dropshipping eliminates any risk or need for investment, and about a third of online retailers are taking advantage. Why shouldn’t you?
5. Premium Content for Members Only
Many blogs with unique and high-quality content can get away with charging a monthly subscription fee for full access. You may see major newspapers going this route more and more often, but it’s something that certain blogs can take advantage of as well.
If your blogging is consistent and provides real value to your readers, they’ll be happy to pay for exclusive content or unlimited reading. About 48% of US news outlets charge for access, and readers are increasingly willing to pay for entry.
6. Online Courses
Similar to the idea of becoming a consultant, teaching skills relevant to your niche with video lessons can be a lucrative opportunity. Your visitors are very likely to respect your opinion and want to learn from you, or they wouldn’t be reading your blog.
On a global scale, the e-learning market is expected to grow to a $325 Billion industry by 2025. Perhaps not for everyone, but if you’re comfortable in front of a camera you can make great money sharing your expertise on your own site, and through top skill-sharing platforms.
7. Social Media Marketing
When you’re starting out with a blog it’s tempting to think of social media as a means of driving traffic to your website. While it’s true that you can pick up new readers this way, the real power of social media is working in the other direction by converting your Google traffic into followers.
Your subscribers, whether through social platforms or email lists, are your most engaged readers and return customers, and they’re asking you to sell to them again. Research shows that a 5% increase in customer retention equates to a 25% increase in profit.
8. Ad Networks
We can’t go through a list of ways to monetize your blog without mentioning ad networks. Around a third of blogs that earn good money report that ads are their bread-and-butter. Just like with social media, though, the real power here is unlocked when you realize that ads work both ways.
You can make money simply serving ads to your readers, but when you monetize your blog with one of the other methods on this list, driving quality traffic to your content is worth a small investment. After all, paying a few cents to make a few dollars is a no-brainer.
Finally, we come back to where we began. If your blog was created to support an existing business, finding new customers is definitely one of the best ways to make money through blogging.
Just remember that blogging isn’t always about selling, it’s about building authority, and every positive engagement with your content directly impacts the ranking of your products and services.
Writing consistent, quality content has always been the key to success for bloggers, and when you combine that with one of the other ideas on this list the sky is the limit.