When you think about blogging for your business, you probably see it as a way to build a loyal audience, better connect with potential clients and buyers, show off your expertise—all that jazz. Have you thought about the fact, though, that blogs can also help you boost your business’s revenue?
Obviously, blogs help boost revenue in that they help potential buyers get to know and trust you, which means that they will be more likely to click through your blog to your company website and hire you or buy the products that you sell professionally. That is not, however, the only revenue that a blog can generate for you.
There are all sorts of ways that people can use a blog to bring in revenue to a business. Really, the only limit is your own creativity. Unfortunately, so many entrepreneurs get so caught up in “thinking outside of the box” when it comes to this that they forget about some of the most tried and true methods of earning money with a blog.
Let’s start there.
You can create merchandise that is directly related to your blog and sell it online. You can either buy large quantities of inventory and send everything yourself (aka the long way), or you can set up a shop on Zazzle, RedBubble, or CafePress and let them handle all of the leg work (aka the easy way).
These shops are a great place to sell t-shirts, coffee mugs, mouse pads, etc., that feature blog-centric stuff. For example, if people say they loved one particular line from a recent post, create a few items that feature that quote!
2. Affiliate Sales
Your blog is a great place to turn readers on to affiliate offers that you have decided to promote. The best example of this is Amazon. Whenever you mention a book or product that you have purchased recently, create an Amazon affiliate link for it within your blog post. Whenever someone clicks on the link and buys the product, you’ll get a commission from the sale.
Another great Amazon tool is the sidebar button. This is a fantastic source of affiliate income. Whenever someone clicks on that button, you will earn a commission off of whatever they choose to buy.
There are literally thousands of different affiliate programs that you can join and promote in your blog (in posts or in your sidebar). Take some time to search out the programs that best complement your blog and your business.
3. Advertising Space
You have space in your sidebars. There is space below the headline and above the footer in every post. Why not sell that space to advertisers who would benefit from tapping in to your audience? You can set this up easily enough with Google AdSense.
If you want to truly earn money through advertising, though, you might want to think about managing those spaces yourself. This will allow you to set your own rates and contract terms and, instead of earning a commission, you’ll earn the whole sale.
Start here, with these. Test them out and figure out what works for you and what doesn’t. Ask your readers for feedback and ideas. It’s okay to make changes as you go. If something doesn’t turn a profit, move on to something else. Remember that a blog is fluid, and making changes over time is something that your audience isn’t just used to – it is something they will expect.
Erin Steiner is a blogger (and vlogger) from Portland who is a big fan of fellow artists and writers who are set up for accepting credit cards online because it means that she can buy more of their stuff!