Monetizing a blog is nothing new. There are a number of ways to do so, but many bloggers fail to understand that with a few hours of work a week, a blog can legitimately be a passive source of income. For those who are digital nomads, work remotely, or are simply trying to add another stream of revenue to their freelance business this is good news.
Of course, before you make a dime you are going to have to invest some time and money in a few things. You will need to purchase a domain name, set up hosting services, and either design your website using a theme builder or hire someone to design it for you.
Secondly, you will need to build a following, at least a respectable one. Until you do, you can follow some of the steps below, but you will not start to make money until you have a steady stream of web visitors. To gain that audience, you will need to blog often, be active on social media and in relevant forums, and maybe even pay for ads to promote your site.
Once you have a domain and an audience, you can start to make passive income. Here is how.
Selling ad Space
When building your audience, you may have paid for ads, and some of the ways you paid ads will also be the way you make money on your own site. Think about the ways you may have promoted your own blog posts and website.
- Google Ads: You may have done a Google AdWords campaign. This is a pay per click campaign, and just as you paid every time someone clicked on your ad, you will get paid every time someone clicks on one of these ads that appears on your site. Since Google controls these to a certain extent, they will be relevant to your site or to other things the user has been searching for, making them less intrusive and more likely to get clicked on.
- Selling Ads: You may have paid for ads on specific sites related to your niche, and once you have an audience, brands will want to reach your readers as well. You can sell these ad spaces in a variety of ways, but you can make it possible for the ad buyer to upload and run their own ads, paying you as they go, making this a pretty passive form of income.
- Site Sponsors: Get popular enough, and your blog might draw the interest of a site sponsor, a brand that wants to be featured regularly on your site. This can be a great source for both regular income and significant revenue.
These methods can all be pretty passive. Once you have set the ads and the code, they will appear regularly, and the clicks on each will earn you money, or your sponsors will simply continue to pay. Your only work will be to continue to create content for your page.
Unlike a site sponsor, sponsored posts are when a brand just wants to sponsor a specific post. These can come in a couple of types. One is when an SEO company wants to place a link on your site, and does so with a post they pay you to put on your site. This content may simply be related to your site theme, and might not be advertorial at all.
The second is essentially a blog post that is an ad for a company’s product or services. They simply pay you to put it up on your blog. There are rules for these types of posts, and that you must reveal to your readers in some way that this is a sponsored post, and not just normal blog content.
However, this type of post can be pretty lucrative as long as you don’t overdo it. Your readers do not want to feel advertised to by you or any other brand. They just come to your site for good information, so make sure sponsored posts provide that just like your regular posts would.
If you have enough good information on your site, you can run your blog like many news sites. Users can read a certain amount of the content or certain pieces for free, but they must pay to read the rest, usually a minimal subscription fee per month. This can be something you offer for a very low price, but a number of subscribers can add up to a nice little income over time.
To make this work, you must have a lot of good content both from you and from others, content that inspires readers to want more. This can be a little more work than other methods, but those subscriptions bring in a good deal of passive income.
Another source of passive income is an e-book, and your site can be the perfect portal to sell them, along with other sites. If you can write a book that is related to your theme, you can sell eBooks no matter where you are or what you are doing. The books can keep selling even when you are on vacation or sleeping.
Since they are delivered electronically, there is no shipping or additional work to do. A good, well-promoted eBook will continue to generate income for a long time to come.
These are listed separately from ad space as they are different and can come from preferred partners or products and services that you use yourself. When someone makes a purchase through your unique link, you get paid a percentage of those purchases.
These can be a great source of passive income, especially if you are writing about those things anyway. Placing these carefully in posts, and letting readers know when they are there works very well for most bloggers. Just be sure you are transparent with your readers about them.
It is possible to create passive income from blogging. It takes some initial investment and work, but once you get things rolling, you can collect your earnings with just a few hours of work a week.
Rachel Slifka is a freelance writer and human resources professional. She is passionate about helping fellow millennials find success with their finances and careers. Read more by checking out her website at RachelSlifka.com.