The biggest problem facing great bloggers is they don’t know how to sell to their community without switching them off.
If you’ve got a brilliant relationship with your audience it’s good to consider the options before diving in and monetizing your blog. Sponsorship, affiliate advertising, creating your own products, membership schemes, monetizing video content - there are many possibilities to choose from, but which is best for you and your community?
It’s what’s best for your community that’s key. It’s your audience that makes your blog unique - your shared enthusiasm and passion creates a site your audience values. You know what makes them tick, and it may be that a mix of approaches would suit your site best.
Advertising or sponsorship?
Rather than putting all your eggs into the advertising basket and risking irritating your community with too many endorsed product reviews, slow-to-start videos and in-your-face pop ups, you could look at sponsorship instead. Overall endorsement from a brand your community loves could be the win-win you’re after.
Create your own products
Devising your own products and selling them on the site has the potential to make you more money than advertising, with the benefits of keeping your creativity in the center of the frame.
Take a look at Copyblogger , they don’t advertise other people’s stuff on their site, they create their own products and sell them instead.
“There’s a shift that happens when you make something for your audience. You start to look different in their eyes. Not just as someone who has interesting things to say. But as someone who actually comes up with solutions to the problems that are bugging them. Someone who’s in the business of helping them out.” Sonia Simone, Copyblogger.
Membership schemes work well for some bloggers. If the standard of your content is high, and people are always desperate for more, they may be willing to pay for access to something exclusive. You could run that alongside your own products – if you can demonstrate you are genuinely adding value to your community you’ll keep them with you.
Video monetization tools
For bloggers with lots of video content, adding some of the new blog monetization tools to the mix means you can earn an income from your site without irritating your audience. They work alongside any of the other methods, or as a stand-alone way of keeping your site’s integrity while making money.
Keep offering value
So, mix and match but keep your community firmly in mind. Offer value - whether it’s your creativity, your ideas, your support, or your personality that keeps people coming to your blog, make sure that the value doesn’t slip. And then why not diversify? Test out some monetization techniques and find the right mix for you.