October 10

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Unique Ways to Monetize a Blog – 5 Tips that even Neil Patel won’t tell you

By Martin Angila

October 10, 2020


Isn’t it depressing and frustrating?

Out of the 600 million blogs available today, 69.4 % don’t know how to monetize a blog. What do they make in return? Nothing.

Source: Copyhackers

I can imagine the amount of cash you’ve pumped to start the blog, the many hours you’ve spent working, the writers you’ve paid, but you get nothing in return. All these for nothing!

Listen guys; you don’t have to continue experiencing the nightmare. Soon the frustrations will get the better of you and you’ll pull down your blog.

Is it by coincidence or divine connection that you’re reading this? Either way, I think you’ve suffered more than enough. You need to start getting some ROI for your hard work.

Warning: I won’t talk about Google Ads

I’ll share with you some of my tips on how to monetize a blog. These aren’t the usual “Use Google ads” advice you’ve read everywhere on the internet. 

Google ads are no longer a reliable way of making money from a blog. I know this will ruffle a few feathers, but I’m just saying as it is. 

Indeed, ads were the primary way of monetizing a blog in the past, but they’re becoming horrendous to readers today. 

For this reason, a chunky 25% of readers in the US won’t spare an ad popping on their screens now and then.

Source: eMarketer.com report – Demanding a better Ad experience.

Besides, ads increase your page loading time and ruin your trust factor. If you want to make money blogging using ads, your blog must pull in at least 100,000 views, and achieving this isn’t a pipe dream.

They’re unique ways that I’ve learned through the years since I dived into the online marketing world. I’d like to share them with you today.

Are you excited like me? Let’s check them out.

Before we dive right in, I’d love that you skim through our Thrive Themes vs. Clickfunnels article as it’ll form a strong foundation for this post.

The 5 Commandments of Successful Blogging

I hate bad news, more so when I’m the bearer. But I’ll tell you the truth anyway since I want you to succeed. 

These five laws aren’t easy to crack and it will take you some time. But there’s lots of gold inside that you’ll enjoy after you succeed.

There’s no magic genie that will grant your wish and make your blog start splashing money from the blues in an instant.

  • Blogging Success = Hard work 

Adam Enfroy is one of my favorite bloggers. 

When he started his blog in January 2019, he worked 100 hours per week, juggling his full-time job. Although it was hectic and mind-numbing, he was already making $35k/month by month 9.

He is now raking in over $80,000, and his story has been featured on Forbes.

Is he different from you now? Not really.

Is he doing the same thing you’re doing right now? Not really.

I took some time to go through his story and couldn’t imagine the amount of work the guy was doing.

In 2019 alone, he published 85 articles on his blog and 82 guest posts on high domain authority blogs. That amounts to over 500,000 words of content in the year. If you do your math well, that means he was pumping 10,000 words every week.

Have a look at some of his stats below.

Source: Adam Enfroy

Why I’m I telling you this? You need to know that making money blogging is hard work. You have to invest the required hours before you start getting those huge traffics and welcoming affiliate commissions.

  • Have Patience

The number of hours you invest in your blog is directly proportional to your success curve.

Blogging isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme. You need to work hard and wait before it starts paying off.

As I was doing my research for this post, I came across this article where 11 bloggers gave their personal experience of the time they took before they started bringing revenue.

Most of them started getting paid to blog after six months (backed up with long hours of working). A few took up to 1.5 years.

In most cases, bloggers start to get a real income after one year of work. That’s why the first year is critical.

  • Be Focused

“Always remember, your focus determines your reality.” — George Lucas

Lions and cheetahs have different kinds of hunting styles. Cheetahs use their speed and agility to take down the faster animals. Lions use their power and strength to take down bigger animals.

But Cheetahs beat lions in two things – accuracy and focus. They tend to catch 50% of their prey. On the other hand, lions need to hunt in groups because they can’t focus on one target.

It’s similar to blogging. You can’t go all over the map as you’ll spread yourself so thin. For example, this blog’s purpose is to educate you on environmental matters as we earn a living by recommending the best internet marketing software. 

We make comparisons like Thrive Themes vs. Clickfunnels, Thrive architect vs. Clickfunnels to recommend the best software that will sky-rocket your business. 

We wouldn’t be making any progress if, at one point, we compared Thrive Themes vs. Clickfunnels or Thrive Architect vs. Clickfunnels, and then next time we talked about cryptocurrency.

With blogging, you can’t be a jack of all trades. Focus on one niche, hunt it down till you make a kill. 

  • Aim to be an Authority

Why do you love to listen to your favorite comedian while there’re thousands out there? Why do you pay him money to tell you trivial things as you laugh your heart out? 

It’s probably because he’s an authority in the comic industry.

A strong reputation can launch your blog for the stars. It shows that you’re an expert in the niche and readers will come to you for advice.

Let’s take a look at Neil Patel, for example. When you talk of SEO, the picture that comes to your mind is the bald, ever-smiling man, always on a white shirt.

It’s for this reason that his blog receives over 3 million organic visitors per month.

So how do you become an authority blogger? I went over to brian Clacks’ Copyblogger.com and stole some advice that has helped him become an authority.

  • Write blog posts that have a personal connection with your readers.

  • Use your audience for marketing your blog

  • Be consistent in delivering the best content that’s not available anywhere on the internet.

Now that we’ve cemented the foundation, it’s time to start blogging for money using the unique tips I’ll share with you.

  1. Affiliate Marketing

I know, I know.

Everyone has said affiliate marketing is the best way to monetize your blog. And I couldn’t agree more. 

But here is the million-dollar question. Which products are the best for affiliate marketing?

Getting a viable product to promote is always a hard nut to crack. There’re so many products available, and you don’t know which products are in high demand.

Here is a secret I’ve learned. Look for a product that you love and will passionately promote to solve your readers’ problem.

You can sign up at Clickbank or JVzoo for upcoming products. Or you can join the Amazon associates program. 

But if you’re looking for a ready product, I’d love to recommend a few options on high demand now.

  • Clickfunnels Affiliate

We’re huge fans of Clickfunnels. It’s the software we use to create our sales funnels. We’ve done a lot of comparison reviews with other products in the same industry. Check out our Thrive Themes vs. Clickfunnels comparison.

Why promote Clickfunnels as an affiliate?

Two reasons.

It’s a great product with fantastic affiliate commissions. 

Thousands of online businesses want to make sales. But they don’t have the right technique to transform all their site visitors to customers.

While traditional ways of creating sales funnels have worked for a few, Clickfunnels is the new funnel god in town.

How would it feel to promote this product as an affiliate? You get a recurring 40% commissions for anyone that signs up under your affiliate link.

If you’re good at it, you can become like my mentor Spencer Mecham who has been raking in affiliate commissions in hundreds of thousands. Here is a screenshot of his earnings.

And by the way, we’ve teamed up with Spencer to give you Clickfunnels and affiliate marketing courses that go for hundreds of dollars for free. Click this link; it will lead you to our member area to get direct access.

I’ve talked more about this in my ultimate guide to become a Clickfunnels affiliate.

  • Designrr Affiliate

Are you a good writer?

Do your blog posts get thousands of reads?

If you said yes to the questions, then you can make good money as a designrr affiliate. 

What is designrr?

Designrr is a tool that allows you to transform all your blog posts, videos, or podcasts into eBooks in a few minutes. 

The tool is the perfect way to brand your business by creating “instant books” that you’ll use as a lead magnet. Check out my designrr review to get an idea before you continue reading this post.

You can make money with the designrr partner program. They pay a whopping 50% recurring commission if anyone signs up with your affiliate link.

  • ActiveCampaign Affiliate

Which email marketing software do you use? 

I hope it’s not GetResponse or Mailchimp (No hard feelings). Don’t get me wrong, both are fantastic email marketing tools.

But just like Clickfunnels takes the cake in Thrive Themes vs. Clickfunnels, ActiveCampaign is unmatched.

If you’re starting a blog and don’t know which email marketing to choose, I’d advise that you choose ActiveCampaign.

Why I’m I obsessed with ActiveCampaign? I mean, the software is robust while the other two are like a child’s play. The automation flexibility is something other email marketing software can’t keep up with.

The automation turns your message into a personal experience. You can quickly get the right information to the right audience at the right time.

If you’re an experienced blogger, you probably know that personalization is vital in affiliate marketing.

Apart from this, you can make some cash to recommend the product to your mailing subscribers. You get a commission for anyone that registers using your affiliate link.  

  1. Paid Membership Plans

Your blog posts are valuable to many people out there. 

That’s why they registered to become a part of your subscribers. But let’s be honest – some things aren’t given out for free.

Let’s take two examples.

  • Freelance Writers Den

Carol Tice offers valuable writing tips. She is an authority in freelance writing and has a pool of writers munching her every word.

But if you need more than just the occasional emails and the over 1,200 posts on her blog, you must join her membership platform going for $25 a month. 

In return, you get access to valuable resources, writing training, and meet incredible freelancers from all over the world that will answer all your questions.

  • Medium Corporation

Medium is an online publishing platform with thousands of writers posting different stories about anything under the sun. 

From business tips to politics to health, you get it all here. I just found out that the platform receives over 20,000 articles every day.

I subscribed to their mailing list since I’m an avid reader. But they only allow you to read two free stories every month. You have to upgrade to the membership plan for $5/month to read as much as you want.

After a year of reading two stories per month, my reading affinity was getting unquenched, and I was yearning for more. I couldn’t help but upgrade to the membership plan. 

The two examples are how paid memberships work. 

First, you have to provide exceptional value, whether it’s professional advice, personal empowerment, or life-hacking tricks. 

When you’ve gained enough readers, you lock them out (in a good way) on irresistible offers that they need to pay for to access.

It’s the same thing we’re doing here. And you’re lucky that you’re reading this. Our membership is still free. Imagine getting affiliate marketing and Clickfunnels training from Spencer Mecham for free.

This is a golden opportunity that you need to pounce on now before we start charging.

  1. Sell Sponsored Blog Posts

Since using ads is no longer a reliable way of monetizing a blog, selling sponsored posts is now a hot cake.

I’m a proud follower of Alexis of fitnancials.com. Her blog brings over $10,000 every month and a third of it comes from selling sponsored posts.

Sponsored posts are articles that a blogger is paid to publish on their own site by brands related to their blogging niche.

It’s similar to the ads you see on TV shows and sports. You’re basically representing a product by talking about it and recommending it to your pool of readers.

How to get a sponsored post on your blog

  • Work on your audience

You can’t sell sponsored posts if your audience number is still wanting. Besides, brands only prefer to work with blogs that are authority. 

Once you’ve gained a couple of thousands of visitors per month with thousands of page views, you’re good to go.

  • Create high quality-content

Content is indeed king. But I’ll counter by saying that the best content is the ultimate king.

There are billions of words on the internet, but only a handful gets to be read by millions of people. These are in-depth articles meant to generate shares and backlinks.

Your content should be aimed at providing value. 

For instance, we provide value at land & watersheds by comparing tools like Thrive Themes vs. Clikfunnels and Thrive Architect vs Clickfunnels.

Our readers love our content because it enables them to get the right tools to incorporate in their marketing strategies.

Once you’ve generated enough quality content, you can easily grow your audience with your content base. Brands will soon start to notice you.

  • Always start small

A significant mistake many bloggers make is approaching big brands. The money is in the small silent brands. They’re on their way up. They’ll do anything to make sales.

Besides, most of the big brands you’re eyeing might even have a bigger audience than you. 

The advantage of smaller brands is that they’re easy to access and pose a better chance of getting long term relationships.

Another essential tip you can do is making friends with your local businesses. Look for small businesses located near you, pitch them your idea, and see how they respond. Also, note that you shouldn’t go overboard with your pricing at this point.

  • Keep the Relationships sealed for Future Opportunities

Accepting sponsored posts is a one-off deal. But you can make it a systematic way of monetizing your blog for the last long. 

It’s simple – make your clients love your work so much that they will keep coming.

Apart from helping them grow, cultivate your relationships with them. You do this by being courteous, professional, and having a positive attitude to the project. 

  1. Use the Power of Email Marketing

Email marketing answers every question revolving around a blog.

Do you want to drive traffic to your blog? Email marketing is the answer.

Do you want to make affiliate sales? Email marketing is the answer.

Do you want to monetize your blog in the simplest way? You already know the answer.

Email marketing is the act of sending emails to your subscribers to increase the ROI for a specific product. It may be an affiliate product or your product.

Since I’ve talked about affiliate marketing, I’ll touch on marketing your products using the power of an email marketing campaign.

How to Build an Email List

Have you already set up your blogging site? Good. It’s time to create an email list.

  1. Choose your Email Marketing Software

There are many email marketing software available. They have different features that will determine your choice.

We’ve built our email list using ActiveCampaign, the most powerful email marketing tool there is today. Check out ActiveCampaign vs. GetResponse comparison to get an idea.

The tool knows the trade well. My favorite feature is the high deliverability rate and the automation level.

The surprising thing is that the charges are relatively very cheap. The lowest pricing plan goes for $9 for a list of 500 contacts.

With the plan, you can send unlimited numbers of emails, get chat, and email support with robust marketing automation.

  1. Create an Opt-in Page

This step comes after you’ve created an account with ActiveCampaign. You want to give people a platform where they’ll sign up to get your newsletters.

ActiveCampaign has a form that you will create and add to your WordPress site. In the form, you’ll describe briefly what you’re doing and what your subscriber will expect after signing up.

As you’re reading this, a pop up must have appeared asking you to sign up to emails. This is what I’m talking about.

  1. Start Writing Awesome Emails

The emails you send will determine if a subscriber will buy a product (in the long run) or hit the unsubscribe button after a few emails.

They haven’t given you their email so that you start spamming them with affiliate links on every word. 

If you don’t know how to start, subscribe to newsletters from the people you admire. In my case, I’d subscribe to renowned bloggers like Jon Morrow. 

Scrutinize their emails and see how they make them stand out.

The focus here is to get as many subscribers that will help you to monetize a blog. Basically, you’re good to go with as low as 500 subscribers.

How to Monetize a blog With Email Marketing

Let’s get down to know how to make money blogging using email marketing.

  • Selling Your Product

We haven’t tried selling products here, but I know a few guys making good money selling their products to subscribers. And it’s the most popular way of monetizing your email marketing.

It can be an ebook or course. But remember, they have to be products of high value. Subscribers will be willing to pay if they find help in the product.

Start by grooming them with informative free content. It can either be one of your latest blog posts, videos, and free training. Once they’re hooked, present them the product.

  • Get Paid to Send Subscribers to other Sites

This is new, but it’s working for a couple of bloggers.

Some companies or publications will pay you for referring them to your subscribers. Most of these are ether paid membership sites.

If this works, you can earn up to $1 for every person that goes to that website and become a member or purchases something.

  • Upsell Premium Products/Services

Let’s say that you’re a life coach. You have a membership site with access to a community of users with a library of resources. You also have a blog where you publish lots of valuable content.

Since emails are your main marketing method, you can sell your subscribers your products. In addition, you can upsell your core service by offering one-on-one coaching at a fee. That’s a double win.

5. Make Money Blogging with Flipping Websites

I never knew flipping websites is a reliable way of making money blogging until I came across this article. Jen made a whopping $30,000 from just creating and selling blogs.

So what is website flipping? This is the act of buying or creating a new website/revamping it and selling it at a higher price to get a profit. 

Let’s be honest here. Starting a blog and growing it till it starts getting 1000 organic traffic per month isn’t a cup of tea. 

A brand new site is impossible to break the top 10 Google search results for very competitive keywords. Your blog should be at least three years before you start getting sizeable organic traffic.

 

Source: alphainvestors

And you know what? Many bloggers don’t want to work hard.  They want an already finished product to start monetizing with affiliate marketing.

This is where you come in (if you can endure the hard work). You already know how to build a WordPress blog, and it’s even better if you know how to drive traffic to a blog.

How to Start Making Money as a Website Flipper

The whole website flipping business consists of 3 Steps;

  • You either identify a website or create a new one from scratch. If you’re purchasing a new blog, it should be promising to make more money with a few technical improvements.

  • You start improving the site content by optimizing it to rank high. You can also enhance the site’s content or anything else that can drive traffic to the blog.

  • Once the site reaches new heights, you sell it to another investor at a higher price. Or you can keep it if the cash flow is impressive.

Here is a graphical representation of how this works.

Source: Alphainvestors

Conclusion

The biggest takeaway of this article is that starting a blog is as easy as cooking a batch of chocolate chip cookies. The real task comes in growing and monetizing it. 

And there is no better way of monetizing a blog than the tips I’ve given you. You can start by comparing software like Thrive Themes vs. Clickfunnels to get affiliate commissions. Or you can sell your products like courses or ebooks to your subscribers.

You don’t have to be an expert blogger to monetize a blog. If you follow my tips, you’ll start getting the thousands of dollars you’ve only seen on Youtube videos.
And by the way, I don’t have anything against Neil Patel. Ignore the heading. He’s my best mentor in SEO and writing killer headlines. I learned this trick from one of his articles.

Martin Angila

About the author

Martin is an SEO content writer by calling who loves to write content that make readers beg for more. He’s passionate about digital marketing, SEO, and SaaS. Martin enjoys singing and playing the keys.

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