How To Monetize A Blog And Start Your New Life
This is your goal, your big dream.
You get up, look at your sales numbers, and see that you’ve made it. Your blog is monetized. It’s generating a significant and steady income. Plus, you have the satisfaction of helping your audience with your products. And all with just a computer and an internet connection. This allows you to work from your living room or a hotel pool on the other side of the world.
That’s the point. It’s idyllic. And let me kill the suspense: yes, living this life is entirely possible.
You’ll be led to believe that it’s easy. That the money will flow in a matter of weeks. And they’ll hammer this message into you with racy videos. You are not a sucker. You know it’s not that simple. And you are right. Setting up an online business is not as easy as setting up a “real” business.
I’ve been making a living from blogging since 2015. Since that year when my life changed, I’ve talked to many people in the same situation as me.
The common thread?
Every time, financial success results from learning and hard work. It never falls from the sky, thanks to a so-called miracle method. To succeed in your monetization, I will already give you the first valuable advice: stop giving yourself goals.
Instead, make habits.
Imagine that you start swimming. You want to compete. What will make you successful?
- Wanting to win a regional championship
- Decide to train hard four times a week
I think we’ll agree. Instead, to progress, a swimmer will need to commit to four practices a week. Wins will be the consequence. It’s the same with blogging. Don’t say to yourself, “I will make $100,000 this year.” Instead, say, “every week, I will publish good content, promote it, and make a great offer to my audience.”
Goals don’t move you forward; they’re a flash in the pan. Habits are the key to accomplishing great things. I’m trying to tell you that monetizing your blog successfully results from a process of habits repeated repeatedly. If you apply the proper technique, you’re like that swimmer who practices four times a week. You’re putting all the chances on your side.
That process is this. I’m going to tell you how to monetize your blog in 9 steps:
1. Never Put A Display On A Deserted Street
I’m sure you’ve seen those movies where kids try to sell lemonade in front of their house. The basics: to sell drinks en masse, you have to have traffic. It’s so obvious. So I don’t understand why so many bloggers make this mistake: selling when their list is too small. I strongly advise against monetizing your blog before you have 1000 subscribers. Otherwise, you might stay in the hobby stage and never go professional.
It’s a simple mathematical calculation. Imagine that 3% of your subscribers buy a product from you and that your product costs $100. With 1000 subscribers, that makes $3000 of sales.
$3000, you may think that this is already very comfortable. That’s true. But you will get less than that. Your blog has operating costs, and the state will take its share.
What if you don’t have 1000 subscribers yet?
Get the word out about your blog. Don’t waste a minute creating a product or a sales page. You can do that later.
But it would help if you made a choice now.
- Invest in advertising and get known fast
- Invest your time to get known for free
There are many ways to grow your list. Guest posts, Facebook advertising, and contests are sure ways to get traffic and subscribers. It’s a business decision, a resource trade-off that you have to make.
Tip: almost all beginner bloggers get the positioning wrong
I know you are a hard worker. That you are motivated. That you want to help your audience, sincerely.
Yes, you have the blogger’s fire. And like most bloggers who start, you’ll rank your blog poorly and sell almost nothing.
There are 2 mistakes:
- You started blogging without asking yourself what you could sell. And the day you have an audience, and you want to have fun making money (yes, selling is fun), you have no idea what would work. You find out the hard way that some themes do not monetize well.
- You’re in a theme that you could monetize, but you’re doing it like a fool. Your blog isn’t niche enough, or you’re targeting the wrong segment, or you think you’re targeting one piece, but you’re targeting another. In short, the purpose of your blog is not clear, and we don’t understand it.
Positioning is the most complicated part of blogging. The one that requires the most experience. I know very quickly if a blog idea is juicy or not. Some themes and niches are worth gold, others silver, and many leads with the same traffic.
My advice? Blog. Fail. Try again. And the more you continue, the more you’ll accumulate that experience. Don’t get attached to your blogs because the next one will be even better.
2. To Monetize Your Blog, Make Sure You Have The Level
Many bloggers think you have to be an expert in a topic to make sales. They are right.
Logic: if you want to last, your product had better be valuable. Otherwise, you risk getting a torrent of criticism on social networks. And see your business sink. Another argument: online competition is fierce. To exist in this market, you have no choice but to be among the best. The good news is that a lot of theoretical knowledge is enough to create a quality course.
The best example is that you can be an excellent soccer coach and a bad player. You can be an expert in tactics in motivation and not know how to dribble. Being a good teacher does not mean being good at a subject topic.
Unfortunately, that’s not all. In addition to expertise, you will have to learn how to sell. Create sales pages, campaigns, and tunnels. Convince.
Ask yourself that question now because you can’t afford to miss the beginning of your monetization. Are you one of the best teachers in your field? Do you know the tricks of the online sales trade? No? It’s not too bad; here is the solution.
What if you don’t have the level?
Train yourself. Here are the three steps I recommend.
- Read all the books you can find in your field.
- Buy books on pedagogy: because you will have to be able to make your clients understand you. Organize the information so that it is easy to apply.
- Buy some Internet marketing training. Or better yet, subscribe to the WebsitetTool blogging area to access all the resources you need.
Tip: without confidence, "magic" tricks are nothing
Would you like to discover a great new tip that will magically boost your sales? The particular word that will convince? The hack, the trick, the trend, the new strategy that will make you a prosperous blogger?
You make me laugh (or despair, I’m not sure). Anyway, many webmarketers are responding to your need, and every week they come up with a “new cool trick” that is supposed to make you sell more.
Let me tell you something. It doesn’t matter if you’re doing print. Video. Podcasting. Whether you have a blog or not. It doesn’t matter if you’re on Facebook. No matter what format or medium, they all have advantages and disadvantages. It doesn’t matter if you put countdowns on your pages, whether you do surveys, promos, and packs. Whether you use persuasive words to influence readers.
It doesn’t matter because you’re trying to build a framework on the sand. If your audience doesn’t trust you, no amount of magic will save you. You’ll never make it. And opening a YouTube channel tomorrow won’t change anything. The mechanism is well known: would you buy a used car from a shady guy? No. Even if he breaks the price. It’s the same with your blog. No trust, no sales.
Your priority is to prove you’re worthy of your readers’ money.
How do you do that?
- Create good FREE content. Long. Accurate. Documented. Numerical. Proven.
- Never promise the moon.
- Answer your readers’ emails.
- Offer money-back guarantees.
Show that you’re serious and not some quack who’s out to sell his junk. And the miracle will happen: even a basic sales page works if you are honest. Trust first, optimization tips second.
3. Get Rid Of All Problems
Your audience doesn’t care what you sell. They only care about one thing: what they want to buy. I’ll give you an example because this point is essential.
Let’s take decorating as an example. You could set up a blog about decorating and get maximum traffic. Indeed, millions of people are interested in that. But I’m sure that hardly anyone would buy your home decorating guide because such a course does not solve any problem.
However, there is a blogger who has sold more than 8 million books in 40 countries on the theme of interior design.
In short, she made her fortune by explaining to people how to organize their closets by recycling an old industrial method called the 5S, a stroke of genius.
Then, she extended the scope of her business to personal development. Because organizing your home is also organizing your life. Marie Kondo understood that to monetize her blog, her approach to decorating had to solve a problem: the clutter in our drawers.
This example shows how a simple change of approach makes the difference between success and failure in the same niche.
What if your offer doesn’t eliminate a problem?
Stop everything. You are heading for disaster. You’ll never monetize your blog if your audience isn’t convinced that their lives can change. Go to the forums, and find the problems that come up repeatedly. And ask people what their main concern is in your topic.
Sometimes it’s as simple as changing your product title and sales page. Other times, it’s more severe, and you have to start from scratch. If this is the case, don’t be desperate because it’s better to waste time redoing everything than to experience a massive commercial failure.
4. Bet On The Right Horse To Monetize Your Blog
You are often tempted to start with ebooks when you begin your blogging business project. This is a very, very bad idea.
It’s true; ebooks sell well because they are economical. But that’s the problem. If you want to generate $3,000 or $4,000 a month, you will have to sell astronomical amounts of them. It’s unlikely that your current blogging traffic will be enough. You might have an excellent first month, and then it will be a mess. Plus, ebooks take a risk. They take a long time to write, and if you’ve designed it badlymisdesigned (read the previous point), you’ll take a big hit to your morale. But there are much simpler and more profitable ways.
What to do if you choose the wrong product format?
That’s easy: do some coaching.
Coaching does not require any product creation. So, if you are not very experienced in blogging, it avoids the pitfalls of a poorly positioned product. Coaching gives you a lot of credibility in your field since you will help people directly.
They sell for a minimum of $100, and by applying a few innovative strategies, you can create a sustainable income without any problem.
Even better: coaching does not require a bigan extensive list. If you have a few hundred subscribers today, you can start your business next week. At the beginning of my blog, I was only doing coaching. This allowed me to earn $4,000 or $5,000 per month when my list was not yet huge.
Tip: Selling expensive is more profitable than selling a lot
I know you’re scratching your head when it comes to pricing. And I’ve long wondered about that too. For example, will you make more by selling an ebook for $7 or $27? Should you sell your coaching for $199 or $399? And for your premium training, is it better to price it at $197 or $597?
I’ve sold all these kinds of products on my different blogs, and I’ve been able to test several prices over the years. My conclusion is always the same: it is better to sell at a high price. It is clear that the quantities sold tend to decline with the price, but in the end, in terms of turnover, you will earn more by increasing your costs.
Because there is what I call the bottom-up customer, let’s say you want to make $1000 with your blog. You have an excellent selling course, and you put it at $97. So you’ll need to make 11 sales to reach your goal. Well, you know what? Among those 11 customers willing to spend $97, there were probably 7 ready to put in another $100 and 4 people who couldn’t. With 11 customers at $97, you make $1067. Not bad.
With 7 clients at $197, you make $1379. Almost 30% more. Much better.
Upwardly mobile customers are those who continue to follow you with higher prices. And what’s interesting is that there are strategies to increase their number and thus maximize your profits.
The number of upstream clients depends on you
And now, I’m going to share my most extensive sales discovery with you. The one that allowed me to quadruple the price of my coaching and double the price of my training. All the while maintaining my unit quantities sold basically, what’s making me a guy who’s happy to be beaten up by the IRS.
Let’s say you love red meat. And you want to treat yourself to a Kobe beef fillet. You might hesitate because of two things—the price. And also because of your lack of mastery in cooking. Wouldn’t it be a shame to turn your choice piece into an overcooked sole? You’ve created objections to the purchase. Blockages. And so, you may fall back on a slice of cheap meat.
Now, let’s imagine that your butcher makes you pay for the piece of Kobe in 3 installments and that, in addition, he gives you the DVD “Cooking Beef for Dummies.” There is no longer any obstacle to buying. You’re hooked. This is what bonuses do when they are well designed. They break down objections.
I admit, there’s an art to choosing bonuses well. I now think of them as just as necessary as the rest of my training, right from the start of the design work. And the results are compelling.
Affiliation is smart
Selling training and coaching are my primary sources of income. I don’t advertise them directly here since they don’t bring in much additional revenue and would clutter my site.
But there is another source of income that I use: affiliation. I do it on two different levels:
1. I recommend the products of others
This is a straightforward way to generate income as soon as you get some traffic without creating a product. You get a commission on every sale you bring in.
2. I started building an affiliate network
I tell you this a lot. Having good relationships with your peers is very important. It will not only help you to get known but also to do business. So, I proposed to 2 bloggers to join me as affiliates to promote my excellent traffic training.
The result? These 2 bloggers promoted one of my webinars. I had twice as many participants as usual, and I exploded my sales counters. I only had to pay them half of the sales they brought me. There’s something in it for everyone.
A tip for beginners: offer a good product in affiliation if you don’t know what effect to design yet. And if you have a good product and good relationships with your peers, try to find business partners.
5. Make Sure Your Audience Likes You
Take a moment and try to answer this question: why would someone buy a product from you instead of a competitor?
Not so simple. You could tell me about the price, but I don’t want you to play the cheapest game. You could tell me about the quality, but how do I know that your product is better than the others? After all, everyone claims (rightly or wrongly) that their product is quality.
Perhaps this question deserves several answers. Here is mine; it’s up to you what you want to do with it.
People buy from bloggers they like. It’s an emotional decision. The little extra thing will make people read and re-read your articles. That they will come back every time, you send an email. That little something will make people share or comment on your content. It’s that little thing that will give them trust.
It can’t be measured, it can’t be defined, yet it exists. You get that feeling when you read an article that blows your mind.
What if you feel like your audience doesn’t like you?
You’ll have to learn how to create that connection. Specifically, you’ll have to learn how to write. And not just informative articles. But also pieces that convey emotion.
This is not easy to do. Worse, it will take at least a dozen well-crafted articles to create this link. So it’s a problem that can be solved in a few weeks. Again, I can help you with this writing training. No obligation, but if you want your blog to have that little extra something that makes sales take off, take a look.
Tip: A person who criticizes or unsubscribes is just an "off-target" person
You get a scathing message on Facebook or a killer comment in an article. Or an email that tells you, “you’re a pain in the ass.” It’s always very unpleasant. And the strange thing is that one negative message will leave more of an impression on you than 15 encouraging emails. That’s just human nature.
I’ll cheer you up. Because there are only two kinds of people who criticize: Trolls and people who are “off-target.”
Trolls will never agree with you. The more you respond and try to convince them, the less they will let go. If you identify such a pest, delete the post without reacting to it. Their goal is to break your candy. His worst enemy is silence.
For “off-target” people, it’s a bit different.
Imagine Paul and James. Paul and James want to lose weight. On the other hand, Paul watches a TV show where he buys an ab machine that promises to give him a great body in 6 weeks. He believes it, being confident that his belly will melt away. On the other hand, James sets up a running schedule and learns about nutrition. He changes his diet and starts to exercise. He is sure that he, too, will lose weight.
I don’t know who will lose weight, Paul or James.
What is certain is that if James had seen the TV shopping show, he would never have bought the ab machine. He would have thought it was an ass grabber. And Paul would never have done a sports and diet program. Too complicated. Both people have the same goal, but some offers will result in rejection. It’s the same with your blog. The one who criticizes is not the one you aimed at. His criticism is therefore not severe.
A blogger looking for a “miracle money online” solution will not like WebsiteTool. He will find his happiness with other webmarketers and vice versa.
My advice: make sure your free content is consistent with your paid offers. So that your offers do not destabilize those who follow you.
6. To Monetize A Blog Successfully, Check The Technical Side
You need to be able to collect the money safely. There are very safe and economical solutions, such as PayPal or Stripe.
In exchange for a commission, these companies will be happy to act as intermediaries between you and your buyer by offering a reliable payment solution. I also advise you to subscribe to a sales management service. Indeed, it will be necessary that your buyer accesses his invoice and that he receives the download links in his mailbox.
What to do if you are not technically ready?
Open a Stripe account. Stripe pays you a commission; it won’t cost you anything if you don’t make any sales.
Before you launch for good, I advise you to make some test purchases the day before. Create a fake product at one euro and buy it. Or ask someone you know to buy it for you and then pay them back. You will be able to check that everything works properly, and especially that your customers receive the product.
Tip: Segmenting your lists is essential to boosting your sales
To go the distance, you need to be able to resell the products you’ve already created. Otherwise, you will fall into the trap of having to design product after product. This is not always possible in many areas.
Problem: if you still offer the same product to people who have already bought it, they might find you too intrusive. It would be a shame if customers unsubscribed, right?
Worse: imagine you were to run a flash promotion. 50% off for a week. What would the people who bought the product at the total price say? There is only one solution. You need to segregate your customers into a specific list. This will allow you to exclude them from your promotional emails.
How I do it. Every time I create a product, I make a specific list on my autoresponder. Then I set up my sales system so that every product customer is automatically included in the customer list. It’s simple, allowing me to re-launch a product without annoying those who already have it. Or to make an offer only for the customers of a particular product. Or to quickly contact customers to get testimonials. In short, my marketing is becoming more refined and practical.
7. Report Your Income Properly
When you monetize a blog, you generate revenues on which the State will take its share. You will have to set up the legal and banking structures that will allow you to operate correctly. Don’t be afraid: even if we are a very bureaucratic country, the reality is very different. It is straightforward to start a business today. But before you take the plunge, I’ll give you a piece of advice that I shouldn’t: if you make a small amount of money, don’t say anything. It should fly under the radar, and I doubt anyone will come and ruin your life because you made $10 or $60 last month in the testing phase.
On the other hand, do things by the book as soon as you earn significant and recurring amounts.
How to monetize a blog is to comply with the tax authorities?
You will need two things.
One: create a company. This is done on the internet in less than an hour. Every month you will declare your turnover online and pay its share to the State. It is very flexible, and it will not cost you anything if you do not make any sales. It’s a very flexible system and perfect for just starting bloggers.
Two: open a business bank account. This will make it easier for you to manage. This account will allow you to pay your web host, autoresponder, etc., and will allow you to collect your sales. Go around to the agencies in your area and compare the costs. Because some banks are cheaper than others. The best is the online banks.
8. To Earn More Money With Your Blog, Include An Element Of Scarcity In Your Offers
I wanted to finish by giving you a very profitable marketing tip. You have no idea how much people procrastinate. You will always get better results by getting them to buy right away.
What if your offer doesn’t contain a purchase incentive?
That’s easy. Inject one of these 4 elements into your sales page and your offer.
- Price scarcity: your product is always available, but it just so happens that its price has been significantly reduced this week.
- Time scarcity: your product is sold at an average price, but it happens to be available only this week. You then take it out for several months.
- Quantity scarcity: buy now because the product is withdrawn as soon as I have made 30 sales.
- Bonus scarcity: your product will always be available, but it just happens to be available this week only, with extra content offered.
Of course, you can combine several of these rare elements and increase your sales even more.
9. There Is No Talent, Only Hard Work
In short? Persistence will make you successful. My first blogging posts were terrible as hell. Those sites? Closed. It took me a long time to practice writing like I do on WebsiteTool. My blogs were poorly positioned. My offers were clumsy. My results sucked.
I learned by dint of it, to the point of sharing my findings in this webmarketing blog. Don’t give up. Don’t give up. You can make your mark in your chosen field and make sales there.
You’ve done the most challenging part: taking action instead of dreaming of success.
Blogging does NOT generate passive income.
The plan you may have been sold? Create a site. Get the word out. Put a product on sale—cash in from the beach in Cancun. The passive income they tell you. You know what? Another lie. Blogging income is never stagnant. Creating a site and making it known is a big job. You are creating a product, too. But then you’ll tell me: the income falls by itself.
Here’s another thing I learned the hard way. Your revenue is directly related to the intensity of your sales campaign. If you just put your product on your site, you will sell peanuts. You will be a fisherman who puts his hook in the water and waits for the fish to bite. To make a living, you will have to become a hunter. Set up your autoresponder to run a campaign. Create content to attract new readers. Promote. Run promotions—follow-up sales.
Simply put: you’ll have work to do. And if you stop doing that work, your sales will go down.
This is not the mine. Blogging requires 20 hours a week, concentrated behind your computer. You’ll be free. You will be independent, and by doing things right, you will make a very comfortable living.
My advice: if you have a product to sell, send at least 3 or 4 emails. You will get unsubscribes (a little). But you will have more income.