Did you know that more than five million blogs are created every day? It’s a shocking figure, right? But it is that we read blogs to inform ourselves, give opinions, learn and buy. It is a very effective marketing tool and its potential is enormous.
A profitable blog for your business
Having a profitable blog with enough income to become a livelihood is not only possible but is a reality today for many people. It involves understanding the blog as a business, with a defined strategy and stop seeing it as a simple hobby. Because the blog is a powerful content marketing tool, a showcase where your potential clients will get to know you and come to trust you as a professional. There are many opportunities that a blog can generate for you. However, the internet has become very professional So in order to have a blog that is really a business, it is recommended:
to create quality content regularly, an essential requirement but not a guarantee of success for it to be profitable.
b) View and mount your blog as a professional activity, like a business. It is a task in which it helps a lot to rely on an entrepreneur mentor.
3 types of business models for a blog
In this post I present the 15 most common ways to make your blog profitable, which I have divided based on three possible business models:
1) Advertising-based business model: includes affiliation, click advertising, action advertising, display space, sponsored posts and paid links. The problem with advertising-based models is that you first need to get a high volume of traffic so that you can make a living from it.
2) Business model based on the sale of products and services: includes the sale of info products (ebooks, guides, online courses), consulting services, memberships and physical products in an online store. Even the collection of donations on social and altruistic issues. Without a doubt, the fastest way to live from your blog is to sell services first and then infoproducts.
3) Business opportunities: I allow myself this little mixed bag to include the opportunities that your blog can generate for you in the offline world (trainer, speaker, sale of services), in the online (vlog, podcast, influencer) and the sale of the blog itself.
Typically, you run a combination of several of these revenue streams and business models. For example, the sale of consulting services plus the sale of an info-product plus affiliate income and a sponsorship.
15 ways to generate income from a blog
Income streams based on advertising and recommendations:
1) Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is equivalent to the recommendations of a lifetime, in exchange for which we take a percentage or commission of the purchase. If you recommend a product or a course on your blog, you can earn money every time your reader buys through the link that you put. They are the dreamed or desired “passive income”.
There are well-known affiliate programs such as Amazon or Aliexpress, but with a little research you will find many more options.
For example, you can speak directly to the company you would like to refer to and negotiate a commission. Or sign up for affiliate programs offered by numerous companies and experts. Of course, obviously they must be related to the theme of your blog and your posts to generate income.
2) Direct advertising per click (CPC)
The best known CPC system is Google Adsense. You can easily use it at any time to add advertising to your website. You choose the exact place where to put the banner and the size. Keep in mind that you will not be able to choose the exact advertising that will appear on your website and that you need many visits and clicks on your blog to have significant income.
3) Advertising per share (CPA)
This system is similar to the previous one, only that instead of pay per click, you pay per share. For example, you put a banner on your blog to sign up for a newsletter or share a post. Each reader who takes the expected action generates a commission.
4) Sell advertising space on your blog
Another way to advertise is by selling a space on your blog. It is what is known as display space. You can directly negotiate with the merchant a price to put the banner on your page. This form of advertising allows you to have a fixed income per month and to choose more exactly what is going to be advertised on your page.
5) Sponsorships and sponsored Posts
A sponsorship is a fixed income that you receive from a company that wants to sponsor your blog and have a certain visibility in it.
A sponsored post consists of writing an article about a service or a product that you have tried and that you liked. The income comes from the publication of the post itself and not from a sales percentage as in affiliate marketing.
My recommendation is that you be consistent and sincere with what you write. Do not lend yourself to all kinds of sponsorships if you are not convinced or you have not tried it, because you will end up losing credibility and it can harm you in the long run.
6) Paid links
If your blog already has some SEO authority, you can help other pages to improve their positioning (link building offline) and charge for that link. Whenever you put a link, it has to have a meaning and be related to the theme of your page. Beware of the Google penalty.
Income streams based on the sale of products and services:
7) Sell ebooks or guides
You work like nobody else on your content, they are original, they provide great value and on top of that they are entertaining. Have you thought about making them profitable? If your followers like what you do, why not sell your content or resources?
It can have many formats: a manual, a guide, templates … It doesn’t have to be expensive, but it is a good way to start scaling the business and generate passive income.
8) Sale of courses
Another format to offer quality information is online courses, which are probably the most profitable info products. You will need visibility and work hard to achieve an attractive, structured and value-added course. You can then use many platforms to create, post, and sell your course.
From a lean startup approach, I recommend that you work in pre-sale, that is, try to sell the course before creating it, lest it not be accepted and you have invested a good number of hours in it. Once you validate its acceptance and have it ready, it will start working for you and generating income.
By the way, the simplest training format that you can sell is webinars, which are not always free, sometimes they are paid.
9) Consulting services and as an expert
The blog also serves to position yourself as an expert and gain authority in your sector. If, for example, your blog is about architecture, perhaps you can offer an hourly or packaged advisory service. The more specialized you are, the more likely you are to make yourself known in your niche.
If your goal is to position yourself as an online expert, a good business mentoring can be of great help. The sale of high ticket services and courses and info products are one of the best ways to make a blog profitable and make it your way of life.
Imagine that you have a copywriting blog and that every week you publish an article on how to learn to write the texts for your website. What if you create a private payment space where you contribute information and exclusive resources?
It is a space that would allow you to create a community through quality content and also obtain monthly income on a recurring basis. It is a very attractive model, although it is demanding due to the effort involved in creating content and updating it.
A well-used blog is a great visibility tool where you can sell your own products online. Whether you have a physical store or not, whether you do it in dropshipping or not, selling your products through a blog will open up many possibilities since it will help you to enhance your image and your positioning.
Getting started is simple and the initial investment is minimal thanks to the possibility of working with WordPress plugins like WooCommerce.
Another option, which you have surely seen on some pages, is when instead of creating a paid space, donations are asked for the blog. You can put a banner on one side with your Paypal address.
Keep in mind that for this you have to have a very consolidated community of followers and be very transparent with what you do. It is also advisable that your blog is dedicated to an altruistic theme and with a certain social character. If not, you will end up creating mistrust and it will be detrimental to the blog.
Other opportunities and business models
13) New online opportunities: Influencer, Youtube, Podcast
Setting up a blog and getting an impact usually goes hand in hand with a good positioning in one or more social networks.
And if you get an important community, you can become an influencer and earn additional income by giving visibility to third-party products and services on your social networks.
You can also complement your blog with a YouTube channel or a podcast and over time get to generate additional income through advertising and sponsorships, probably a small amount, but it all adds up.
That is why there is talk of Vlogs and vloggers, which are based on the creation of content through videos.
And is that YouTube is the second search engine and it can be very difficult to get a good position in it. As a complement to the blog or as a main channel, it is a great way to make your business visible and to share content in an attractive format that is increasingly being consumed.
14) New offline opportunities
Let’s now see the range of opportunities that can open to you in the offline world. Because a good blog opens doors. Quality content, with visibility and a good strategy, allows you to make yourself known and indirectly create new income streams.
Clients may arise for your services, collaborations with other experts, conferences, trainings and even the possibility of organizing your own events with the community that you have created.
15) Sell the blog
The blog world is a business unto itself and it shows itself on a daily basis with all blog buying and selling transactions. If you are very attached to it and it is your source of income, this option may not interest you.
But it is good to know that it is a relatively widespread and possible practice and that if one day you decide to take a new professional turn in your life, selling a consolidated blog, which is not a personal brand, can lead to good income.
Javier Santos Pascualena
CEO of Business Mentoring and founding partner of Infoautónomos. I help professionals and SMEs to create and consolidate scalable online businesses that allow them to live as they really want. I invite you to the free masterclass «The 12 keys to success to create and consolidate a scalable online business«.