How to Profit From a Blog

How to make a profit from a blog

Blogs can be for profit or non-profit but most bloggers blog for the purpose of making money. There may be some contents published to simply provide an outlet for voicing out the bloggers’ opinions and share their thoughts. However, the general population of bloggers has the intention of profiting financially. Fortunately, there are several methods of profiting from a blog and applying these methods can help you gain money.

how to profit from a blog
photo :pixels.com/Andrea Piacquadio

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The Advertisements

Selling space for advertisers is one of the most common ways to profit from a blog. Since blogs that have a considerable amount of traffic can make income with ad sales, make sure that you have a target audience. The reason why bloggers choose to sell advertising is that it is a passive form of income once the traffic has progressed. Although it takes work to look for advertisers and maintain the ads on the blog, those who can achieve it can gain reasonable amount of money with the ads.

Compared to other forms of profiting from a blog, selling advertisement space can be one of the most consistent revenue streams. If you are able to maintain your ad slots filled, you should have a very good idea of just how much you can make every month.

On the negative side, selling ads requires you to have some kind of established traffic. Traffic is important because it draws interest from potential advertisers. You might find it hard to sell an ad space without traffic and it will most likely not produce much revenue. Additionally, the blog must have a target audience in order to achieve the maximum amount of cash for advertisement space. Remember that advertisers are more likely to pay if your target audience is a match to theirs.

Requirements for Selling Ad Space

Before selling advertising space to advertisers, online publishers must meet the following requirements:

Traffic publishers

To be appealing to advertisers, traffic publishers should have a sizable audience of visitors. The greater the number of page views, the more eyes advertisers have on their content. There are no overall traffic requirements for selling ad space on your website, but specific affiliate networks or ad platforms may have them.

Content of High Quality

Your website must contain unique, high-quality content that keeps visitors on the page and returning for more. For example, if you run a niche blog in your industry, you might share expert knowledge, thought leadership, exclusive interviews, and one-of-a-kind personal experiences.

Take, for example, Ashleigh, the creator of Sewrella.com, a knitting and crochet blog. She attracts readers and subscribers by providing unique designs and a free crochet pattern series.


Take Ashleigh, founder of Sewrella.com, a niche blog for people who knit and crochet. She offers unique designs and a free crochet pattern series to build her audience of readers and subscribers.


Ashleigh earned more than $10,000 + from selling ads on her website, according to her most recent income report.

Design and Usability

The website of a publisher must be user-friendly and intuitive, with a visible navigation bar and clear indicators of how to navigate between pages and access information.

Design and Usability blog
We and the Color, an art and design blog, includes clear navigational cues at the top, side, and bottom of its homepage, inviting visitors to explore new content that matches their interests.
Google AdSense also suggests adding features that increase engagement, such as comment sections and eye-catching visuals.

Audience

A devoted following is more valuable than an increase in traffic. Why? Because a loyal audience engages with your content on a consistent basis, whereas a one-time increase in numbers is fleeting.

Show that you have a consistent audience of readers who trust your content and recommendations, and advertisers will be willing to pay for advertising space on your site.

How to Sell Ad Space on Your Website Online

Publishers can sell ad space on their websites in a variety of ways. After all, websites are dynamic digital properties that evolve to drive revenue and provide readers with personalized experiences.

Consider using one of these four popular monetization strategies to generate passive income from your growing audience.

#1. Ad Networks 


Ad networks are useful for publishers looking for guidance and regulation when selling ad space.

What exactly is an ad network?

Through a single, managed platform, ad networks connect publishers and advertisers. They are a convenient solution for website monetization and provide publishers with consistent, supervised ad content.

Capital One, for example, used an ad network to place this ad on the Forbes homepage:
Forbes homepage
forbes homepage
Ad networks typically charge advertisers by the cost per thousand impressions (CPM), cost per click (CPC), or cost per acquisition (CPA), and take a cut of each ad sale.

Why do Ad Networks Exist?

Based on criteria such as content type, audience size, and budget, ad networks match the right advertisers with the right publishers.

They may also screen participants and categorize them as premium or top-tier for more accurate pricing and brand-safe placements.

How to Set Up an Ad Network

Publishers with the time and resources can create their own ad networks to avoid losing a portion of their revenue to a third-party ad network. This entails establishing their own ad server and domain. They must then recruit and screen advertisers, as well as monitor campaign performance.

#2. Native Advertising


Native advertising entails selling ad space that blends in with the publisher's website's content and design. Sponsored articles, videos, or recommended content are examples of native ads.

This Delta-sponsored New York Times article is an example of native advertising.
how long does it take to profit from a blog

And the recommended content on Animalwised.com provided by Adsence Discovery platform is a type of native advertising:

how long does it take to profit from a blog

What is the significance of native advertising?

Native advertising is significant because it reaches audiences with personalized ad content while not interfering with the user experience.

As consumer ad fatigue worsens, brands are looking for new ways to engage readers and viewers. Publishers can provide these marketers with native advertising opportunities in order to generate revenue from their visitors.

Is Native Advertising Beneficial?

According to MediaRadar ad analysis, native advertising is more trustworthy, engaging, and profitable than other ad formats.

It also has an 8.8x higher CTR than standard display ads. Perhaps this is why US advertisers are increasing their spending on native ads, increasing from $35 billion in 2018 to $44 billion in 2019.

how long does it take to profit from a blog
Taboola connects publishers to a large network of high-quality advertisers in order to place native advertising on their websites. These sponsored video and recommended content units can appear on the publisher's homepage, mid-article, or below the article, allowing readers to engage with something new when they're ready.

Publishers can also control their ad experiences through keyword filters and precise targeting, ensuring that visitors are exposed to the most relevant content.

#3. Selling Advertising Space Directly

Publishers who are still growing or do not want to use an ad network can sell ad space directly to brands on their website.

How to Sell Ad Space to Advertisers Directly

To sell directly to advertisers, publishers must first identify brands in their industry that are willing to collaborate. They can look into similar blogs in their field to see which companies are purchasing website advertisements. They can also introduce themselves and make an offer through cold calls and email campaigns.

What will entice advertisers to visit your website?

Publishers can also attract advertisers by featuring specific products in organic posts, linking to the brand's own website, and connecting with brand representatives on LinkedIn.

What do Advertisers Need to see When Selling Ads?

By providing advertisers with a media kit, publishers increase their chances of success. This should include site analytics like page views and bounce rates, as well as audience personas, social reach, rate cards for various ad types, and even sample ads so brands can see how their content will fit into your site.

Take a look at this page from Fast Company's digital media kit for ideas:
how long does it take to profit from a blog

Affiliate programs

Affiliate programs are also a major resource of profits for several bloggers. Affiliate programs are excellent in a sense that they enable you to have the opportunity to make money even if your blog has a small audience. However, one bad side to affiliate programs is that there can be instances where you cannot make any money at all.

Newly created blogs feature affiliate ads most of the time compared to selling space directly to advertisers. Since selling ads is hard to do without much traffic, affiliate programs are perfect for new blogs. More so, they can be easily maintained and only take very little time.

Publishers use affiliate marketing to promote products on their websites in exchange for a commission. Influencers and bloggers frequently use this advertising strategy.

TechStyle Fashion Group, for example, which owns fashion blogs and retail brands JustFab and Fabletics, has its own affiliate network and pays publishers $2+ per new lead generated:

how long does it take to profit from a blog

What is the Process of Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing can be done by publishers using a variety of ad formats such as sponsored blog posts, videos, and display ads.

The ad is usually accompanied by a link and possibly a promotional code, inviting readers to visit the brand's product.

If they click on the ad or purchase the product, the publisher receives a percentage of the sale.

Promoting and Premium Content

Bloggers who are service providers at the same time have an excellent opportunity to look for clients and increase their rates. Maintaining a blog that focuses on your area of expertise can help you easily become a recognized authority in your field. Additionally, it can aid potential clients to find you. You can also benefit from the increase in demand of your services and improved reputation that you build, which enable you to charge more for your services.

Aside from promoting your services, selling premium contents are also excellent ways to profit from a blog. Blogs are a massive source of information and remember that not everything has to be free. There are bloggers and business that attained success by selling some of their work. There are blogs that sell memberships on their Web sites. Although selling premium content is possible in any field, you must have the capability to give something to the reader that is worth paying for.

Online marketing

Content discovery networks

In the aforementioned study, paid distribution came in fifth place. If you want to give your clients assurance that their content will reach X number of people and earn Y clicks for Z dollars, a large scale content distribution platform like Taboola should be at the top of your paid list.

Promoting and Premium Content
Taboola is not the only content discovery platform, but it is trusted by thousands of brands because it reaches over one billion relevant users per month through a network of premium publishers.

promoting and premium content business

Advertised content
Sponsored content, as defined in our glossary of advertising terms, is a type of native advertising that appears in an online publication and resembles the publication's editorial content but is paid for by an advertiser and labeled as such.
promoting and premium content blog

Because it is, well, sponsored, sponsored content is a type of native advertising. You can think of it as both a content creation and distribution strategy.

Google AdWords
Google Ads (formerly Google AdWords) is the most popular network for paid content promotion and is part of the "search engine marketing" (SEM) category.

The network targets audiences based on keywords entered during searches and earns fees through a pay-per-click (PPC) model. Advertisements appear on 2 million websites in its display network, as well as on the results pages of billions of daily searches.

Retargeting advertisements
Retargeting (or remarketing) works differently depending on the content distribution network, but the general idea is to target people who have previously expressed interest in your brand and bring them back to your website.

Facebook advertisements
Facebook has a massive audience, and for a variety of reasons—targeting, efficiency, flexibility, and so on—Facebook advertising remains a popular option for paid content distribution. It's a good idea to spend your Facebook ad budget on your best-performing content.

promoting and premium content

In contrast to the most popular type of Google Ads, Facebook ads are visually appealing.

Of course, in addition to Facebook, there are numerous paid content promotion programs available across the social media landscape, including:

Instagram advertisements Instagram advertisements come in a variety of visual formats, including video. To get started, you must have a Facebook Page and an Instagram business profile.

Pinterest advertisements
According to Pinterest, 61% of Pinners have made a purchase after seeing business content on Pinterest. Ads are integrated into the Pinterest experience and appear in the same way as regular pins.

LinkedIn advertisements
Sponsored content, sponsored InMail, and text ads are some of the LinkedIn ad formats. Because LinkedIn is a business-only network with highly targeted ad programs, many B2B brands promote various types of content on the network.


Twitter advertisements
Twitter is also strong in ad targeting and has no minimum campaign spend requirement.

YouTube advertisements
Want to reach out to teenagers? Consider YouTube's dominant position and its video advertising platform. Of course, YouTube has content about everything, so you'll find the audience you're looking for—young or old. Furthermore, you only pay for a view on YouTube if the viewer watches for 30 seconds or more.

Marketing through influencers
Should a content distribution strategist categorize influencer marketing as paid, earned, owned, or shared? That's a difficult one. As evidenced by the data presented earlier, influencer marketing now accounts for the lion's share of the content distribution strategy pie.

However, it is done—and defined—in various ways. I'll keep things simple by separating "paid" from "organic."

Influencer marketing for a fee
Whether you like it or not, paying people with large social media followings to promote a brand has become a big business. According to an April 2017 ANA and PQ Media study, it is expected to reach $101 billion by 2020.

While paid influencer marketing can be shady, there are many legitimate content distribution services, tools, and networks that handle the process of partnering with influencers.

So, if your content is a cookbook, you might want to hire some well-known cooking experts. If you have a fashion guide to distribute, I believe there are bloggers, Instagrammers, and YouTubers who would be willing to help you expand your reach.

instagram promotion

Influencer marketing on its own
Another perspective on influencer marketing does not include paying marketing partners. It's direct marketing.

You put time and effort into cultivating relationships with true influencers who have a track record of expressing objective and highly credible points of view. Mentions, backlinks, endorsements, recommendations, and possibly mutually beneficial efforts to create and/or promote content are the rewards.

Email
You work hard to generate leads and email lists for clients, which you do own as a marketing asset. In fact, the quality of your content is likely to have the greatest impact on the size and growth of your list. Are you making good use of it for content promotion? There are numerous ways to accomplish this, including:

Email notifications
One of the most basic and low-cost content distribution strategies is to notify your subscribers when you publish new content. Most marketing automation platforms make it simple to accomplish this.

Digests or newsletters
Digests or email newsletters that list multiple content assets can also be part of your email-based content distribution strategy. Handle this in whatever way works best for you (and your publishing schedule):

  • What we published this week, month, and fiscal year
  • Highlights from a particular time period
  • A collection of content on a single topic

Nurture as a leader
Marketing automation clearly provides information about what prospects and customers read and download. You can use this information to promote related content. Simply put, you could respond to readers by sending notices that say something like "if you liked that, you might like this."

Signatures on emails
Promoting new, timely, or even evergreen content assets via email signatures is an incredibly simple content distribution strategy. Request that your clients update their email signatures with the most recent posts.

The blog and website

There are numerous ways to promote your client's content on their brand's website and blog.

The footnote
Is there a sidebar on the company's website? It can be an excellent location to highlight "most popular posts" or to present any type of content by category, recency, or popularity.

CTAs in your articles and pages
In your posts and pages, promote related content. This can be accomplished in a variety of ways, including graphics, callout boxes, simple links, and other call-to-action elements (CTAs).

At the end of the page
Free plugins (such as Disqus) and value-added features in content management systems and themes make it simple to automatically append listings and links to additional relevant content to your pages and posts.

Sticky situations
With welcome screens, pop-ups, or slide-in offers triggered by exit intent, scrolling, or a specific time on page, all types of applications make it simple to promote content on websites. You can also promote sticky content by installing a header bar.

Page of thanks
Here's a strategy you might be overlooking. The site and brand are most likely using various lead collection tactics and then delivering thank you pages. These pages (and any subsequent triggered emails) can promote any and all content you deem relevant and potentially useful in the sales funnel.

Chat rooms and chatbots
I'm assuming you've noticed the enormous popularity of on-site chat options, that some are "manned" by humans while others use bots, and that you've never considered using this hot and relatively new channel for content distribution.

Take a chance.

It's easy to imagine the numerous opportunities to provide visitors and customers with useful content when they come looking for answers.

Podcasts If your client has a podcast and has a section on their website dedicated to promoting it, each episode is an opportunity to promote relevant content. In the show notes or transcripts, include links to the content.

Opportunities earned

Beyond social media networks, channels you own and control, or those you pay for exposure on, where can you distribute content? There are probably more answers than you realize.

You should not expect to pay for any of these strategies in order for them to be classified as earned or shared media.

Posts by visitors
Guest blogging has always struck me as one of the best and (potentially) most authentic ways to promote your brand, brands you represent, and relevant content. It's how I grew my following.

However, guest blogging can also be unethical. Brands and the agencies that represent them far too often make shady and insincere pitches.

A successful guest blogging strategy entails collaborating with relevant sites and providing relevant content for the audience of the website hosting your posts. If you're a good guest and provide value, it's unlikely that anyone will object to you promoting useful content.

Syndication
The process of pushing and publishing content to third-party sites for republication is known as content syndication. It is similar to guest blogging in some ways, but it also adds automation to the process, making expanding the digital footprint of your digital content much less work.

Platforms for online publishing

Online publishing platforms, such as Medium, HubPages, Listly, LinkedIn's native platform, Pulse, and many others, allow members to easily publish or republish content without the need for editors to act as gatekeepers.

Communities and niche websites
Vertical markets are characterized by specialty sites and various forms of community-based information sharing and activity. Houzz, for example, is a huge draw for those interested in home renovation and design. In the marketing industry, Zest.is is a rising star. Whatever industry your clients are in, there is a good chance that community-based sites are worth considering for content promotion.

Groups on social media
You can create member-based social media groups on any topic you want on LinkedIn and Facebook. Those who are active and rally around a common interest are ideal candidates for content sharing.

Question and answer communities come and go, but Quora has been around for a long time. Quora posts all types of questions on every conceivable topic, providing content creators with a free, easy, and sometimes ideal opportunity to post content and/or links.

H/A/R/O
HARO, which stands for "Help a Report Out," is a service that connects journalists and bloggers with relevant expert sources and allows brands to tell their stories. According to the HARO website, it distributes more than 50,000 journalist queries from reputable media outlets each year.

Public relations newswires
Have you heard anything? PRNewswire and other press release distribution services provide direct delivery into editorial systems and newsrooms of major media organizations and trade publications.

Reddit maintains its position as "the front page of the Internet." The massively popular site (or message board) provides a constant stream of breaking news, stories, photos, memes, and videos. Members' submitted content is rated positively or negatively by their peers. Subreddits are forums on the website that are dedicated to a specific topic. There are millions of them.

Events
Having attended numerous industry conferences, I've seen brands use events of all sizes to distribute printed content, sign visitors up for email deliveries, and send visitors home with preloaded thumb drives.

Social networking sites

Finally, we'll look at the earned and owned spaces that comprise social media. And, because such channels come and go and the rules of the road change all the time, I'd like to remind you that this is a post about content distribution strategies and tactics.

I'll try to avoid the "where" and instead concentrate on the "how."

Consistent posting
Posts on social media disappear quickly. Examine the networks you'll use to promote your clients' content and figure out how to keep a consistent presence without annoying the audience.

For example, you can easily get into the habit of posting hourly on Twitter and multiple times per day on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, but be wary of overdoing it. Playing by Twitter rules on LinkedIn will almost certainly backfire.

Automate
This is a sticky situation. You want to use services to help you schedule and post social media updates, but you also don't want to appear robotic. Automate as needed. If you're promoting the same content over and over, switch up your posts by using different copy and images and rearranging your schedule.

Hashtags
Hashtags are alive and well on most popular channels, so spend some time learning how to use them to promote your clients' content.

Mentions
Wherever possible, use the @ function to draw the attention of collaborators, customers, or anyone else who had a hand in creating the content and should be aware of its distribution.

Encourage people to share.
This drives me insane: I find content I want to share but have to look for the buttons I need. Consider the following suggestions to make it simple—and compelling—for readers to share:

  • Instead of placing those social chiclets above or below your content, provide a social share bar that is always visible.
  • Use plugins like "Click to Tweet" to make it simple to share content highlights.
  • Request that readers share your content. It is beneficial.

Demand distribution
Demand? Perhaps that sounds harsh. But what I'm talking about here is a powerful strategy: you can use a plugin like One Press Social Locker to make a'share' the cost of accessing your most valuable content.

Thank you for sharing.
This rarely used strategy is common sense, but it is rarely used. Thank (send a thank you) to those who share your content. When fans, followers, loyal readers, and customers know they are appreciated, they are far more likely to stay engaged with the brand.

Take pictures.
It may be simpler to simply click social media share buttons and post a headline and URL, but it can be far more effective to grab or create, if necessary, an image, GIF, or video that increases the stopping power of your posts.

Be perceptive.
Similarly, your text-based social shares do not have to be driven by a headline. When distributing content via social media, you can increase engagement by extracting interesting nuggets from the content, such as fun sound bytes, data points, and quotable passages.

Be genuine.
The more your content promotions appear to be promotions, the less traction you will receive. Work to build a transparent and candid brand, and inspire content from sources that can only be perceived as authentic.

Boost employee advocacy
Employee advocacy is one of the most underutilized social media strategies that can make a significant contribution to content distribution. Set aside the fancy marketing jargon; you want your employees who are active on social media to contribute to the cause.

Provide them with guidelines. Provide them with instruction. Provide them with incentives.

To make social media advocacy even easier, look into platforms like GaggleAmp and EveryoneSocial. Consider using a simple collaboration platform like Slack to notify your team when you have new content to distribute and promote.

Improve your knowledge.
My final piece of advice is to use the tricks of the trade to learn from and constantly improve the organic content promotion you're aiming for on social media.

  • Examine your analytics to determine which channels are directing traffic to the pages where your client's content resides, as well as which content types and topics are most effective.
  • Use Buzzsumo to examine what is shared, where it is shared, and who is sharing it. (That is a very brief summary of Buzzsumo's benefits. The service is invaluable for agencies and brands looking to improve content creation and promotion.)

That is sufficient (but it is never sufficient).

My, my… I'm at a loss as to how to finish this beast. 45 ideas seems like a good starting point for improving your content promotion skills.

But it also appears that "enough" is an elusive concept.

As you are probably aware, a staggering amount of content is published every day, making search, social, owned media, and every channel a noisy war zone.

It should not leave you feeling defeated, but it should make you more eager to learn about and try new content distribution tactics and strategies.

Of course, without great content, you can't be a great content marketer. However, having great content has become a given. Those who sweep the chips into their stack are also masters of distribution.

Conclusion

By selling ads on their websites, publishers can generate revenue and earn passive income from their audiences.

This can be accomplished by joining ad networks, selling ads directly to brands, becoming affiliate marketers, and establishing native advertising partnerships.

Whatever strategies you choose, make sure to provide high-quality content, functional design, and engaging audience engagement.



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