Congratulations on your new blog!
A blog serves us with so much variation these days; it can be anything from a personal blog where you jot down your thoughts to a platform that can help you in making some extra money. Many bloggers in our Pakistani Lady Bloggers community have asked about this so we will strive to make the process easy for them in these monetization series. This article focuses on the different ways of monetizing a blog, without going into the technical how-to’s which is something platform specific.
Before we look into some of the ways you can start earning from your blog, let us stress upon the fact that earning through a blog is not simple. It will take a lot of time and effort on your part and success is not guaranteed right away. Depending on your niche, on your direction and your audience, the time it will take you to reach your goal varies a great deal.
Some quick per-requisites to monetizing your blog are:
- Being Focused: This is by far the most important step. Choose a niche for your blog very carefully and keep it focused on that. If your blog/website is going to discuss everything under the sun, it is hard for your audience to relate to what actually are you trying to put across. A reader will return if your website has something that interests him. So choose a niche and stick to it. Time and again, reflect upon which direction your blog/website is taking, and steer back if you find it is dwindling off course.
- Quality of Content: Blogging is not simply about churning out article after article. Even if you post once a week, or even two weeks, an article of quality will definitely attract users and get shares. Always remember this rule: quality over quantity. Stressing on quality will take you longer but also, ensure success in reaching your goal.
- What are you offering: A reader will come back to your blog/website if it offers them something. What is the value your website or content is adding to them? What knowledge do you offer? How do you guide readers into solving a particular problem? Each time you post, go the extra mile and reflect on what your article or social media post is offering your readers in terms of value.
Let’s move on to different monetization options available for bloggers.
Monetization Options for Bloggers:
Assuming your blog/website is optimized for monetization, let’s dig into some ways you can use your blog to earn some extra cash.
Monetization for small blogs/websites:
When you start off, you don’t instantly get a lot of visitors. It takes a while till your blog/website starts getting a significant amount of visitors daily. This section is dedicated to new blogs or the blogs that have not yet acquired a lot of page views daily.
1) Freelance writing/blogging:
No I’m not kidding! There are countless startups around the world who are looking for content writers. While people with the correct grammar and language skills are not very easy to find, that is where you step in. Most writing or blogging gigs request for writing samples, and what a better sample you can show them than your own blog? That is, of course, if your blog is not too random or personal and can be shown professionally.
There are different ways this can work for you. For example, you can use your blog to serve as a portfolio for potential employers. Add a “Hire Me” page that is like an online resume, listing all your details and a contact me widget. Or you can keep it separate and simply offer it as your sample work on request. Either way, you’ve got a skill on your hands and there are many ways you can use it to your advantage.
2) Write Kindle eBooks:
Kindle may not be very popular in Pakistan, because sadly, Amazon doesn’t operate here, but that doesn’t mean you cannot make use of this option. If you are into writing short stories, or can write nicely on a topic you feel confident about, write a short eBook on it and publish it using Kindle Direct Publishing. Your ebook will be available in soft copy to be bought by millions of users who use Kindle.
Publishing on KDP does not ensure sales write away, unless you wrote one heck of a, ebook that was automatically well received by the audience. Sometimes it takes time, and even some promotion on your part.
3) Online Courses:
This may sound a little far fetched, but believe me, it isn’t. Do you have a skill that you believe can help others? Structure a course out of it. While choosing your course topic, make sure it is inline with your audience and what they are interested in. As a teaser, you can also offer part of the course for free. If a certain reader is intrigued with the free version, he or she just might make the effort to buy the complete version.
And let me make it clear, your first course need not to be awesome, you will improve gradually. Do consider this option very seriously.
Monetization for bigger blogs/websites:
This section discusses blogs that have a reasonable number of page views daily. This does NOT mean new blogs cannot follow them. We invite all bloggers to try and use these options as well as we don’t want to leave any option unused if we want to monetize our blogs.
4) Google Adsense:
Google Adsense is the most commonly known monetization option among bloggers. The reasons that make Adsense such a well known monetization option is its hassle free process and the way it is adaptable to every kind of blogging style. They have strict rules while processing a new Adsense account request but once you are approved, you are good to go and can manage this option easily.
Here’s the official detailed guide to Google Adsense if you are looking to get started.
Please note that even if you have a bigger audience, you will need to work towards building your income with Google Adsense. Some tweaking in your blogging strategy may be required after you study your audience trends and their interests in order to get full advantage of what Google Adsense has to offer. A brilliant tool for this is Google Analytics, which is considered a must-have for smart blogging, especially if eventually your goal is earning.
5) Affiliate Marketing:
Affiliate marketing is also a very powerful way to make money from blogging. In simplest terms, affiliate marketing means you are promoting sales for another company by blogging about it effectively. If the company gets sales from you, you get a commission on each sale. The amount of this commission varies from company to company.
This downside to this is that there are little to no affiliate marketing options in Pakistan. Daraz.pk offers an affiliate program that is reliable and people are actually making money from it. Each affiliate marking program requires use of a sophisticated tracking mechanism to track the source of each buyer. Probably that is the reason for lack of such programs in the Pakistani e-commerce market. Tip: If you sign up for any affiliate program in Pakistan, make sure they make use of the proper tracking system so that you get your end of the bargain.
6) Paid Reviews:
Paid reviews, or PRs as they are commonly known, are becoming common in Pakistan. Most companies who seek out PR bloggers will look towards Instagrammers for this as it offers a quick and visually appealing review of this products. Depending upon the reach of the blogger either on social media or on his or her blog, the blogger can charge for this product review.
PRs can be done in return of the same products given as gifts to the blogger or in return of cash. The blogger will then review the product. Bloggers who are committed to their audience will always strive towards an honest review, rather than a biased one.
Here’s a quick info on how much should you charge for a paid review.
7) Banner Ads:
Lastly, we talk about banner ads. Banner ads are ad spaces on your blog which you reserve for showing ads by interested companies. You can think of this like renting out space on your blog/website. As it is obvious, this option is very feasible only if you have a large number of daily page views.
Different locations of ads can have different pricing. For example, a banner that shows right on top of the blog is very much visible, so the blogger can charge more for it. Or, a banner ad that is hardly visible, or is smaller in size can cost less. Here’s a quick guide on how much to charge for a banner ad space.
Pro tip # 1: Highlight places on your blog or website which you want to reserve for banner ads. That way, a potential client will know where exactly his ad is going to be placed.
Pro tip # 2: Make an Advertise page on your blog or website that explains different ad sizes and ad options available on your blog. Here is a sample of Advertise page.
As mentioned, we have tried to explain the different monetization options for all kinds of bloggers in an easy to understand manner. This is, by no means, a complete list. If you have more options in mind, tell us about them in the comments section and we will think about adding to this list.