Blogging is one of the best platforms to express your ideas to the world. Most times, if you are an expert in certain niches, people will actually seek out your opinion.
Most people may think that blogging is dead, but that is because they do not spend a few minutes of their time each day optimising their blog which, if done properly, allows their readers or search engine to bring traffic to their blog. With the right focus niche, you will be amazed at the number of advertisers who will be interested in promoting their products on your website.
Monetizing could not be any easier. Here are the top 5 ways which are free and bring significant value to your blog.
1) Get your own domain and server
We couldn’t emphasise on this more – it is important to get your own domain and own hosting for your blog. Why? The reasons are simple really, because (a) you own it, and (b) you own it.
It looks more appealing not only to your readers (having your own domain shows that you are taking blogging seriously) but also to search engines such as Google. Building up your own hosted blog might take some time, but investing your time into something that you own is way better than hosting on a free Blogger or WordPress domain.
Don’t get me wrong, you can still use Blogger platform but you’ll have to make sure you have your own domain using their custom domain in Blogger settings. However, I personally recommend WordPress because they have a huge community with many plugins which you can insert into your blog.
One of the benefits of having your own hosting is that just in case your traffic doubles or triples, you can always increase your server size to increase your site load speed and accommodate this increase in traffic. Most hosting providers provide WordPress “PHPMyAdmin” on their hosting, so it basically comes free with hosting.
Issues arise for free blogs when you want to sell them. The value will be lower and not to mention that there will always be a huge limitation when it comes to what you can do with your blog. Nothing is free in this world, so they say.
2) Do research on your niche
Are you an expert in a certain field? You do not need to be a working professional to be an expert. Maybe it is something you have a huge passion for such as healthy eating. This is where you do your research beyond any other normal person would do and convey it to your readers.
Getting into a niche is always better than doing something too broad and general. Advertisers in your space will always seek you out because of their product relevancy and you will soon become a “guru” to your readers. This, in turn, will bring you a huge potential to leverage yourself as a marketing tool to monetize on many things such as affiliate products, your own products and sponsored products in the future.
Once you are done with your research, try to name your blog something which is relevant to your niche, such as “The Healthy Junkie”. It is also important to optimise the title of each page with what people are looking for. For example, if people in your region are looking for “healthy food tips”, try putting your homepage title as “Healthy Food Tips, Diets and Affordable – The Healthy Junkie”. Also, do not forget to add relevant keywords into your description!
3) Join an affiliate network
When you start seeing increased traffic to your blog and begin building a solid readership base (remember to always get them to subscribe to your posts), it’s time to start monetizing your blog. You will not need to actively seek for advertisers as they would be able to easily come across you online if you optimise your blog correctly.
However, you cannot depend on just waiting for them to come to your doorstep. There are many other ways for you to fully utilise your blog such as joining an affiliate network which is in your country. Local affiliates are easier to deal with as they will be there to support you within the same time zone. Furthermore, it is also way easier to build relationships with them and to have meetings over a cuppa when you’re in the same country.
Since these networks are well connected with advertisers, get them to introduce you to relevant advertisers so that you can start running big campaigns with them!
4) Providing rewards such as coupons to your readers
Besides providing relevant and quality content to your readers, it is always a good incentive to provide your users with coupons from big e-commerce brands out there. One of the best ways is by hosting a giveaway for your readers by allowing them to leave a comment on your post and have one lucky winner picked by yourself.
You may give prizes such as Lazada voucher (since they sell almost everything) which you can purchase from Lazada. Alternatively, you can also contact your affiliate manager if you’d like to run a campaign with the merchant in the hopes that they would be willing to be a sponsor. Aside from partnerships, you can always give your users something valuable created by yourself to gain user acquisition. In fact, this gives you the highest margin. For example, if you are a health junkie, maybe writing a small e-book for your readers will be good!
Make them insert their email in order for them to receive the e-book through their email. Everyone loves free stuff, and if they value the information from your content, they would not mind exchanging their email for the e-book as long as it brings them the information they seek.
5) Get feedback and answer your readers’ questions
It is extremely crucial to building that relationship with your readers if you want them to return to your website frequently for more updates.
Take advantage by sending them an email once a week to keep them updated. You can always ask them about a problem they are trying to solve or get them to suggest some content they would like to see on your site. This will create amazing content ideas for you to write about that would save you so much time in the researching stage!
Your user-subscriber base is one of your biggest assets besides your domain and is a selling point to potential advertisers. Hey, these are the guys who are gonna be buying your products!