Depending on how you choose to define the term, I’ve been “blogging” since the late 1990s. I didn’t have any blogging software or a content management system at the time, but I was sending out semi-regular updates from a first person perspective. I offered my opinions on things with no real expectation of getting anything in return. A lot has changed since then.
And even if you only got into a blogging a year or two ago, you also have to recognize that the Internet continues to change and evolve with the times. If you’re still running the same theme and working with the same blog monetization strategies, you will inevitably fall behind the times and your income will eventually fall to zero. You probably want to avoid that fate.
So, as we look ahead to the rest of 2017 and beyond, what are some of the key ideas and questions you should have about your blog monetization strategy? Where should you go?
Shifting to New Platforms
In chatting with a few of my fellow bloggers, many of whom have worked with a number of different brands on a broad range of marketing campaigns, they’ve found that these companies are now starting to look for a different kind of return on investment (ROI) on their marketing budgets.
They recognize that if you want to get the most bang for their marketing buck, they need to go where their audience is. They need to go where their potential customers are. And that’s social media. This most certainly is not a new trend for 2017, but it’s one that’s really starting to filter through the industry of monetizing a blog successfully.
What this means is that it is more important than ever to focus more of your efforts on building your following on the major social networks. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube… these are all important. Depending on your audience, other platforms like Snapchat and Pinterest could be very important too.
Is Blogging Dead?
The short answer? No. While it is true that many of the most successful Internet “celebrities” are best known for their efforts on one platform or another — especially YouTube — it is positively critical that you don’t build your brand on rented land. Use the platform, but your main website, your blog, should always be your “home” on the Internet.
Imagine if you threw all your eggs into the basket of Meerkat or Periscope. They were both hugely popular at one point, but more and more people are turning to Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live video streaming instead these days. Making that kind of transition can be difficult if you don’t have a home base where your followers can find you again. And it’s also where potential brand partnerships can be forged too.
Blogging is not dead and it will continue to exist in one form or another for years to come.
If you’re already a big brand and you’ve got advertisers crawling all over one another in hopes of getting featured on your blog or through your social channels, all the more power to you. For everyone else, it can be challenging to attract direct advertisers if not enough people know who you are or value what you are able to offer.
Yes, it’s true that whenever you work with any advertising network that they will take a cut of your earnings. However, it’s far better to take home 80% of a payday than to earn 100% of zero dollars and zero cents.
In addition to more traditional ad networks like Google AdSense, you might also consider applying for the myriad of so called influencer networks. These include such examples as Influence Central, Linqia, Content BLVD, Revfluence, Influenster, TapInfluence, and Izea, among others.
Affiliate Marketing Still Applies
Regular readers of John Chow dot Com will already know that affiliate marketing continues to be one of the best and most lucrative ways to make money on the Internet. The key here, in the context of blogging, is to provide real value to your readers and to earn their genuine trust.
This way, when you do promote a product or offer, possibly through a review, your readers are far more likely to click on the link and convert, generating a healthy commission for you. It’s about pairing the right product with the right audience at the right moment, promoted in the right kind of way. Be creative and ensure that the content you’re offering is better or different than everyone else.
How are you adjusting your blog monetization strategy this year?