Work these three online income sources into your blogging strategy for consistent income every month
More than 300 million new websites are created every year, that’s nearly 600 a minute. The total number of sites on the web has been pretty static around one billion over the last few years.
That means that just as many websites close down as are created, and the majority are those newly created sites.
There is money in blogging but it’s not the passive income miracle many people would have you think. Derek does a good job of pointing this out in his definitive guide to blogging.
Making money as a blogger and developing your piece of online real estate means finding the best online income sources for new bloggers as well as the ones that will make you the most money. Derek lists some great options in his guide including advertising, sponsored posts and freelancing.
I wanted to share my favorite three online income strategies, three that helped me make $86,000 last year through five blogs I own.
Making Self-Publishing a Natural Fit for Thousands
Self-publishing has been, by far, my favorite source for online income. It’s not my largest revenue source but is easily the most passive.
I made a total of $22,290 in 2017 from ten self-published books through Amazon, paperback and audiobook. Monthly income was very consistent, and I did nothing but spend around $200 a month in Amazon advertising and promote the books through my blogs.
Self-publishing is a natural fit for bloggers. You’re already creating content and developing your expertise in a niche, why not monetize that expertise?
Besides publishing books through platforms like Amazon, you can also convert posts or guides into pdf printables to sell through your site. Creating printables of just a few pages is a great idea because you can hyper-target your marketing with printables directly related to your high-performing posts.
Try this self-publishing strategy to seamlessly work the income source into your blogging:
- Choose a popular topic on your blog that you can turn into a book, a topic that you can create a transformation around.
- Brainstorm the process behind causing this transformation in readers including major steps, frequent questions and hurdles.
- Research books within the topic on Amazon. What are other authors talking about, what are they missing and what can you add? Check out reviews for each book as well. What did readers like and what else did they want to see?
- List out 8 – 12 chapter ideas for your book. These should offer a natural path to your reader’s transformation including everything you found through your research.
- Outline each chapter, the relevant topics in each and what you want to cover, then publish one chapter a week as a blog post.
- After a few months, collect all the posts into a single document and reformat into a book. Once the book is published, add a call-to-action and a link in each post to your Amazon page.
This strategy breaks your book into manageable chunks and keeps you on track to finish it. It also turns your blog into a ready-made marketing channel. Each post will start drawing Google search visitors, readers that are targeted and interested in your book’s topic.
Self-publishing won’t make you rich but it’s a solid online income source. After launch, just a few sales a month from advertising and your blog should be enough to keep the book ranked and generating sales from the billions of users on Amazon.
Sales on each book are different. I make between $100 and $500 on each of my published books but they average out to stable monthly income. Don’t give up if one book isn’t a best-seller. Publish a few books and the numbers will work out for you.
An Affiliate Strategy for Max Effect
Affiliate marketing, linking to a product on your blog and receiving a commission on each sale, can be a great income source but is also a lot of work. I make just over half my online income from affiliates, averaging $3,062 per month in 2017, but it wasn’t without a lot of hard work and stress.
The problem with affiliate marketing is that it takes time to write posts targeted to affiliate products then even more time to promote those posts so they rank on Google. Affiliates may only offer their commission for a year or two meaning you only have a limited time to monetize all that work.
Affiliate marketing benefits from higher blog traffic, whereas you don’t need as much traffic to make lots of money from self-publishing. You might only convert one reader out of 100 for an affiliate sale meaning you’ll need significant blog traffic to make real money.
I don’t want to scare you from taking advantage of affiliate marketing. It’s a great revenue source and there are some tips you can use to make strong monthly income.
- Concentrate on just a few affiliates, products that serve your target reader’s most critical need. I earned commissions from 45 affiliates in 2017 but just five accounted for 78% of my income. Spend your time on developing content around your best affiliates.
- Only recommend affiliates which you have personally used. First, you don’t want to burn your readers with bad products even if it means a little extra cash now. Also, readers respond much better to a personal recommendation than to a generic review of a product.
- Plan on doing three types of posts for each of your best affiliates; a review of the product, a demonstration where you walk readers through how to get started, and an interview with someone else that has used the product. These three types of posts are easier to rank on Google and really focus your reader on the affiliate.
- Comparison lists work great as well and you can include several related affiliates. Be sure to really detail out the list including non-affiliated products as well. Make it a great resource for readers and the sales will come.
Taking Your Blogging Income to the Next Level
Self-publishing is great but you’re looking at about $3 for every copy sold. I sell over 600 copies of my books every month for a profit of just under $2,000…not bad but there’s a way to make even more on fewer sales.
Video courses are truly the next level for a blog and a natural progression from self-publishing. You’ve already created the content to drive a transformation in your reader, why not show them how to do it?
Whereas most ebooks on Amazon sell for between $3 to $5 a copy, you can price your courses between $99 and $300 each. I’ve seen video courses and workshops sell for $1,000 though I prefer the lower range.
Creating a video course is a lot more work than publishing a book but you’ve already got some of the work done. Try self-publishing first to see which books are popular with readers then consider converting those books into courses.
- Just as you created marketing channels by posting your book chapters to your blog, consider uploading a few of your course videos to YouTube.
- Start developing a YouTube channel now for your courses so you’ll have an audience that is used to following you on video.
- Use your YouTube channel to start the learning curve for video production. Believe me, there’s a lot more that goes on in producing a good video than you see by watching it. Practicing with videos on your channel will help you get proficient before you start recording course material.
These aren’t the only income sources you’ll want to target for your blog. The best blogging strategy is one that includes many online sources to diversify your income. It can be devastating seeing your only source of online income drop off. Being able to rely on multiple sources helps keep you in the game without getting discouraged. There’s no secret to being a successful blogger. Keep at it and you will make money!
Joseph Hogue worked as an equity analyst and an economist before realizing being rich is no substitute for being happy. He now runs five websites in the personal finance and crowdfunding niche, makes more money than he ever did at a 9-to-5 job and loves building his work from home business.