Well, that’s an understatement; I was livid, on the verge of throwing in the towel.
In that moment I’d convinced myself that all this blogging malarkey was just nonsense. Just a pipe dream; something for other people to figure out, but not me.
I’d tried everything I could think of, nothing worked.
But the thing is, my metrics looked solid. Traffic wasn’t a problem, but making an income from it was a struggle.
And it still took years for things to ‘click’ properly.
So today I want to give you a shortcut and maybe it will save you years of the same struggle.
You’re about to learn how to monetize your blog the right way.
And I’m going to take you down a slightly different avenue than you might be expecting.
Table of Contents:
- Phew! You Can Forget The Usual Suspects
- The System Perfect For Low-Traffic Blogs
- Common Problems You Didn’t Know Existed
- How to Listen To Your Visitors
- Smart Lead Generation
- The Marketing Funnel
- Top of Funnel
- Middle of Funnel
- Bottom of Funnel
- The Follow Up
- The Entire System
- Retargeting Campaigns Demystified
- What’s Next?
Phew! You Can Forget The Usual Suspects
Pretty much every other blog post about this stuff will tell you to monetise your site with CPM (banner ads / Adsense) so we’re going to avoid that today, and we’re not going to worry about Click Through Rates (CTR) or ‘earnings per impression’.
Instead, we’re going to focus on building a machine a system that will monetize your website the right way – even if you don’t have much traffic.
Other common monetization strategy we see bloggers raving about is sponsored posts and product reviews, both of which require you to have a real high-traffic website if you want to make decent money from it.
Today we’re going to look at a method that works or even if you have a low traffic blog. I know people who are making a killing from this, even from around 50 visitors a day.
And that’s because it’s the right kind of traffic; ultra targeted.
The System Perfect For Low-Traffic Blogs
That means you’re going to do pretty well from this method, without too much extra work; you’ve already done the hard bit.
I know that because this is the exact system that use on most of my websites now, so I’m speaking from hands-on experience.
For example, I’ve built websites that have huge followings… tens of thousands of people visiting every single day, while some of my others websites (that I spend less time on) receive less than 100 visitors a day.
So this works right across the board, no matter where you’re currently at with your blogging journey.
To help me illustrate this I’m going to examine one of my students’ websites.
Sanjay sent me an email asking if I had any advice to help him monetize his blog so of course (because he’s one of my students) I’m going to go out of my way to help him out.
And as a result you might benefit from this too.
Common Problems You Didn’t Know Existed
So, this is Sanjay’s blog, and we’ve got a few problems here.
The first one really leaps off the page, can you see what it is?
Sanjay isn’t collecting email addresses.
This is important.
Ok, looking at this page there’s some awesome space at the top, and I would do is replace that space with an opt-in form and a strong call to action.
Typically, you’d offer some kind of freebie in exchange for email addresses, this is called a lead magnet, or an ethical bribe.
Secondly, instead of using the empty sidebar space (that’s waiting for banner ads), I would also use that space to start collecting email addresses.
That gives blog visitors at least two opportunities, above the fold, to subscribe to your email list.
Now, it’s easy to start collecting email addresses but that advice on its own is a little bit useless unless we know exactly what your
blog visitors want.
How to Listen To Your Visitors
Finding out what your visitors want is easy, and you don’t have to ask them either – they’re already telling you, once you know how to listen.
How do you listen?
By looking at the right metrics in Google Analytics because all the data we need to know is already there for us.
Why don’t we run a survey?
Well, we can – and it’s a good idea if you have a sizeable following that’s willing to give you honest feedback, but I’m going to assume that you don’t have a massive audience yet.
So we turn to Google Analytics – the data is solid, and it gives us an accurate picture about our blogs.
And there’s only 2 metrics that we really need to pay attention to, at this stage.
First, take a look at the most popular pages on your website.
This tells you exactly what people want and why they’re coming to your website.
Secondly, we can look at the most popular traffic sources – then we know what type of content our visitors are consuming before they land on our blog.
Smart Lead Generation
There are two strategies when it comes to collecting leads on your blog.
The first way is to have one general lead magnet running across the entire site.
This is the easiest way to get up and running. Start with one lead magnet that solves one problem.
Another way to do is to segment your traffic and run different lead magnets for each topic you cover. For example, you could create a specific lead magnet for each of your blog categories, so it becomes highly targeted and matches each article.
If you were to go down this road, I would encourage you to choose the most popular categories to begin with.
Listen if you’re not willing to invest in an email marketing platform at the moment you have plenty of free options out there:
I haven’t used any of these personally so I can’t vouch for their ease of use, or deliverability.
If you’re willing to stump up a few bucks then I can recommend:
Out of those, the ones I recommend most are ActiveCampaign or Kartra – they have the most advanced features, but they might be overkill.
And read the Terms of Service of every single platform before signing up and before following my advice.
It’s your duty to make sure that they allow the stuff that I’m going to suggest, the ToS can change overnight.
Ok, now I’m going to assume that you have your email platform selected, you’re up and running (with the opt-in forms on your site) and collecting email addresses.
The Marketing Funnel
You’ve probably heard of marketing funnels, (they’re sometimes called pipelines).
Here’s an easy way to understand funnels; you only really need to know three parts – although some insist there’s at least nine parts, I like to keep things simple.
- Top of the funnel (ToF)
- Middle of the funnel (MoF)
- Bottom of the funnel (BoF)
And each stage of the funnel has a corresponding type of traffic:
- Cold traffic (ToF)
- Warm traffic (MoF)
- Hot traffic (BoF)
Let’s go through each stage, so you get the full picture.
Top of Funnel
At the ToF stage were we are making visitors aware of their problem; this is the awareness stage.
Your visitors might be asking search engines ‘how to’ questions, for example “how to monetize my blog”.
See what I did there? Now you’re getting it.
It’s the first point of contact with you; your blog posts should be ToF content to attract the right kind of visitors.
Once they’ve landed on your blog, received value from your content, it’s time to move them down to the second stage of the funnel; MoF.
Middle of Funnel
This is where your lead magnet steps in.
We can use the ethical bribe to entice visitors to subscribe to the email list.
This is the interest stage of the funnel.
The lead magnet should be something closely related to the ToF content. We could use short ebooks, cheat sheets, checklists, videos, mini courses, there are dozens of lead magnets we could use.
No matter what format you choose, it must be desirable to your visitors and deliver a quick win.
If you embed affiliate links inside your lead magnet, you can generate extra profit.
But that’s not the MOST effective way to increase your revenue. Which brings us to the BoF stage.
Ok, let’s stop and take a look at the journey you’ve just taken your visitors on.
You’ve educated them about a problem, and given them a quick win to help them solve it.
You’ve delivered a lot of value, for free – and you haven’t asked for anything in return. You’ve started to build a relationship with them, and demonstrated that you’re able to help them.
So now at the bottom of funnel stage we’re explicitly asking them take action and buy something.
This can be your own product, a service, coaching, or affiliate offers.
At this stage the traffic is at its warmest and (ideally) ready to move forward.
But only a small percentage will actually do that.
Remember they can always choose to do nothing – and that’s what most people will do, they’ll continue to struggle. Or they’ll move onto someone else, and that’s fine too.
We only need a small number of people to take action, anyway.
So to re-engage the people who initially said no, which is the majority, we need to have a follow up sequence.
The Follow Up
This is where you make the most of your money, it’s through the back end of a funnel.
It’s the invisible stuff that we don’t really see unless we’re in a funnel.
I’m going to show you how to do that now. Let’s build the actual engine that drives profit.
This is the process so far; a visitor lands on your blog post, then they will fill-in your opt in form.
Now two things will happen.
The first one; they’re redirected to Thank You page or a Sales Page. They have the immediate option to buy.
The second thing; they’re added to an email list.
Most people will not be ready to buy so they’ll go directly to their inbox to get the free download you sent them.
And that’s okay.
So we send them a series of high value emails to continue building the relationship and increasing the trust.
I recommend giving LOTS of value in that email sequence.
Useful, actionable information that your leads can get results with is best.
Once you’ve delivered enough value, you earn the right to pitch. People will tolerate sales pitches if you provide enough value first.
In most instances making the pitch is pretty easy because you’re just making a product recommendation that matches with the value you’ve already delivered.
Here’s a few angles you could use:
- Day 1 – ‘Download your free report’
- Day 2 – ‘3 easy to ways to X’
- Day 3 – ‘7 common mistakes’
Inside each email you can embed affiliate links to relevant products.
It can be a different product recommendation in each email, or it can be for just one. That’s entirely up to you.
And you can run this type of campaign for as long as you like.
It’s an incredibly profitable engine to build.
The Entire System
Here’s how it looks when it’s completed:
It’s a pretty simple and elegant system when we zoom out and look at the bigger picture.
Ok, this is going to take a little bit of time to get up and running it’s gonna take you a couple of hours to put all the pieces together, but once you know what your visitors want and you know how to help them – that is where you will make your money.
All you have to do is break it down step by step, into little manual manageable chunks.
Each chunk, which I’ve given you here, is easy to do.
So go ahead and get an opt-in form installed on your website.
Find a relevant offer on ClickBank (or even on Amazon if you don’t mind earning 4% commission rate instead of a 50%).
Then give you blog visitors solid and actionable tips that help them move them forward.
Finally, follow up that value with a little pitch.
This works really well.
Just look at anyone who’s successful online and you’ll probably notice they’re all doing this kind of thing.
And doesn’t matter if they’re running traffic straight to a squeeze page or to a blog post, this is the system most successful bloggers are using.
Retargeting Campaigns Demystified
One of the best ways to get traffic to your website, quickly, is to use a Facebook retargeting campaign.
You’ll need to install the Facebook pixel – a small piece of code that ethically tracks your blog visitors.
It works like this; when a visitor lands on your blog it tells Facebook about it.
If you have a retargeting campaign set up, you can have an advert displayed to just those people on Facebook, through creating a custom
You can also create a lookalike audience based on your visitors, but that’s beyond the scope of this post.
So to make use of this info could be to run an advert that promotes your lead magnet to all the people who didn’t opt-in while they were on your blog.
Because these visitors are now warm, they know who you are, they’re more likely to subscribe.
And since you’re only using a custom audience it means your costs are going to be low and you’re not going to spend a fortune on Facebook ads with this method.
It’s a quick and easy way to get traffic.
Next I want to show you how to get more traffic to your blog, using free methods.
I’ve got a free video series that’s going to give you brand new traffic methods that you’ve probably not seen before. You’re going to learn how to build an audience quickly, I’m going to show you how to double your traffic instantly.
If that sounds good you can get the free training here and start driving traffic to your website today.