Today I will share 5 ways I’ve monetized my blogs – without Adsense.
Listen, I did make my first dollar online with Google Adsense way back in 2004. But I don’t recommend doing that. It takes too long and the earnings are pretty low.
So this is how to make money from your blog. But it does take a lot of work, and with enough persistence you could earn the equivalent of a part-time job within a year or two. And from there, who knows.
Table of Contents:
Number 1: Sponsored articles
I started making money from sponsored articles in 2006 and I still make money from them today.
They are native adverts that match the interest of your audience, in the form of an article or blog post. But they can also be videos, infographics, podcast episodes, and social media posts.
Take a look at how Hot Wheels and Buzzfeed work together
Now, I don’t allow sponsored content on any Profit Copilot properties, nor do I accept them on my personal web properties, but I do accept them on my niche blogs.
And I typically earn between $100 and $200 for every sponsored article I publish.
But how do you get people to pay you?
Well, when your traffic level reaches a certain point you will start receiving emails from advertisers.
But do not accept their first offer. They will try to low-ball you, so always negotiate. You should be able to get 25% – 50% more than they are offering.
Another way to attract advertisers is with an ‘advertise page’ on your website.
Take a look at how Tay Talks Money does it. It’s just a simple form than anyone can make.
You can also take this a step further by adding a media kit to your website, to highlight your demographics and psychographics.
Number 2: Affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing has got to be the easiest way to make money online. If it’s done right.
Most people get it wrong, and so I did I when I first started.
It was 2007 and I didn’t really know what I was doing. So I went to Amazon, I chose a product I THOUGHT my audience would like, and then I put links on all my content pages.
I even put big banner ads right across the top of the website.
Now, my website was getting around 4 million hits a month. It’s crazy high numbers, right?
Anyway, even with all that traffic I was only making around $3,000 a month from affiliate marketing. When in fact, I should have been making 10 times that.
And this is what I see a lot of affiliate marketers doing today, and they are missing out on a lot of money.
So what’s the solution? First of all, survey your audience. Find out what they REALLY want. The answers might surprise you.
Secondly, capture your traffic on an email list. This mistake cost me thousands of dollars every month. I tried to sell to cold traffic, and only a small number of people were willing to buy. And the ones who don’t will leave your website forever, and you’ve lost an opportunity.
But with an email list you can sell to them as many times as you like
And then finally, sell digital products instead of physical products. Digital products have a much higher commission. Which takes us to…
Number 3: E-books
I sold my first e-book in 2009, and I immediately saw how powerful they are.
E-books are quick and easy to make. If you can use Microsoft Word, or Google Docs, then you already have the skills you need.
If you want to get fancy, then Canva has some professional templates you can use.
And the great thing is, you don’t have to write hundreds of pages. With ebooks, less is more.
And my e-books are usually less than 30 pages long, but they are jam-packed with actionable information.
But here’s the thing. Nobody wants to buy e-books, they want to buy solutions. They want a system, a tutorial, a how-to guide. So e-books need to be educational.
And they usually sell for anywhere between $7 and $50.
But, you can use them as a tripwire product to trigger an impulse purchase and then sell more expensive products further down the funnel.
Number 4: Educational courses
I sold my first course in 2009, a few months after seeing how profitable e-books can be.
Now, courses are a little bit more involved, and video content tends to perform the best.
The important thing with courses; you have to pay close attention to the structure. You need to take your customers on a journey. So start by assuming they have limited knowledge on the topic, and gradually take them to a more advanced level.
Finding the balance can be difficult because if you move too quickly, people could miss out on vital information.
But if you move too slowly, and take a deep dive into every single tiny detail, then you risk creating overwhelm, and they won’t get the results.
This is how I structure my courses. I start with all the steps my students need to take, in the order they need to take them.
These are the big milestones. Then I break each milestone into smaller steps. And that’s how I find the right balance.
The tools I use are; screen capture software so I can record my computer screen. I also use PowerPoint, Google Slides, or Keynote to create presentations.
At the moment I’m hosting the course content on Vimeo and Kartra, but I have used plenty of course software over the years. Teachable is probably the easiest, but it’s not as fully featured as I’d like. MemberPress is a decent WordPress Plugin, so is LearnDash. And I’ve even built courses with S2Member, although it can get a little technical.
Courses are a good way to learn digital product creation before you move onto the next business model; memberships.
Number 5: Memberships
Memberships work in a similar way to courses, and they use the same technology. But they create recurring income.
Memberships are best suited for ongoing education, where the learning is never really finished.
And for best results, I recommend front-loading your membership with at least 10 videos so your members can access a good amount of content.
Then you can drip feed the rest of your content over the next few months, and then keep adding to it whenever you have something new to share.
Think about this for a second. Look at how all these income streams connect together. They each monetize different types of traffic.
And that is the key, because traffic equals money.
So if you want to learn the secret traffic methods I never share anywhere else, for free, go to profitcopilot.com/traffic and see how I got over 30,000 visitors a day for free.