Monetization for Bloggers: Make Money Blogging on any Subject | Holly Wade | Skillshare

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Monetization for Bloggers: Make Money Blogging on any Subject

teacher avatar Holly Wade, Entrepreneur, Blogger + Creator

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

10 Lessons (27m)
    • 1. Overview of Monetization for Bloggers

    • 2. How to Start Monetizing

    • 3. Sponsored Posts

    • 4. Affiliate Programs

    • 5. Banner Ads

    • 6. Guest Posts

    • 7. Knowledge Sharing

    • 8. Selling Products

    • 9. Diversification

    • 10. Conclusion

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About This Class

Today's bloggers are more than just writers behind a computer - we are marketers, small business owners and influencers. If you want to begin monetizing your blog so that one day you can comfortably live on a salary from your own online business, this course is for you! You'll learn how to make money blogging on any subject and explore new ways to earn money online.

In this course, we'll cover:

  • The different types of blogging income
  • Developing a growth plan for your monetization efforts
  • What types of income work for different types of blogs
  • How to diversify your income streams for long-term success

By the end of this course, you should feel confident to explore a new monetization strategy and begin making money through your website. 

For more information about the legalities of blogging monetization, be sure to review the FTC guidelines about sponsored and affiliate content.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Holly Wade

Entrepreneur, Blogger + Creator


Holly Wade is a Southern California writer, blogger, baker and crafter. She is the founder and editor of Club Crafted, a DIY, food and lifestyle blog that shares tutorials and recipes for creating a happy, handmade life. As an all-around crafter, Holly is dedicated to sharing her ideas with others and spreading creativity through a variety of colorful craft ideas.

In addition to her creative pursuits, Holly is a freelance writer and marketer. She earned a degree in Journalism and Marketing and enjoys using her degree to grow her small creative business.

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1. Overview of Monetization for Bloggers: Hi there. I'm Holly Weight, and welcome to my newest course monetization for bloggers in this court's we're gonna go over the different ways that you can make money through your website, no matter what topic you blogged about. I personally have been blogging for less than two years, and several months ago I was able to take the plunge and began freelancing full time doing what I love, and I want to help you be able to do the same. So no matter how long you've been blogging, no matter what you blogged about, there is a way for you to earn money through your website, and I'm gonna help you find what works best for you. First, you need to understand is that everyone's going to be different, especially based on some smaller blog's versus of larger blog's. Or maybe you're just getting started or you're very experience in your blogging efforts, and that's okay. There's going to be something for everybody. But the most important thing you need to know is that your audience is most important, so you want to think about what they want, what they would respond to so that you can give them content that still earns you money but gives them what they want, so they continue to come back to your website. So we're going to discuss everything from sponsored posts to affiliate marketing advertisements, digital and physical products, knowledge sharing, guest posts and anything else that might help you make a buck through your website and continue growing. So without further ado, let's get started. 2. How to Start Monetizing: okay, if our first lesson, we're gonna talk about the different ways that bloggers can begin monetizing their websites . So in the coming lessons, we're gonna go into more details on each type of monetization strategy. But just as an overview, we are going to talk talking about as thoughts or posts affiliate links, advertisements on your website, digital and physical products, knowledge sharing and guest post. So first thing and the most important thing you need to remember when you're beginning to monetize is who is your audience. You always want to keep your audience in mind when you're coming up with a new strategy because they're gonna be the ones who are responding to your monetization and clicking on it and determining whether or not you're going to see any success. Do you need to consider who your audience is and what types of monetization they will actually react? Teoh. It's going to be different for every type of content every blawg, every person, every audience. So think about it in terms of making a plan of your growth strategy. So, for example, my growth strategy waas. When I first started blogging, I use Google AdSense to put advertisements on our website. I felt that they would make me look a little bit more established and just be a start and it does help me or in a passive income, which is nice, but still two years into it. I don't make a lot of money and that's okay. But my next step was starting to guess post for other websites, so I would create a lot of D i y and food content for websites that were similar to mine and not only get paid per post, but it helped me to establish myself as ah blogger and get those links back to my website, which was good for S e O. Over time, I felt like I was ready to begin taking on sponsored posts. So I was said a lot of time reaching out to sponsors, hoping that they would be willing to partner with me on a project for my website and that is still my biggest source of income. After I began working with sponsors, I moved into the realm of affiliate marketing, which is a really growing field right now. Affiliate marketing can be done through your website or through social media channels in different ways, and we're gonna go into more details about that in a future lesson. And right now, as you can see here on the scale, share and practicing knowledge sharing and the next step in my growth plan is hopefully going to be beginning to sell some digital or physical products through my website. So that's an example of what works for me, and we're still gonna go through all our list to find out what works for you. For example, if you have a say, a frugal living blogged, you might make your money through affiliate marketing because you might be promoting a sale that's coming up with affiliate links. To try Teoh, encourage your readers to purchase while big sales going on. Or you might have a digital product about saving money or coupon ing, as opposed to me, earning the majority of my income through sponsored posts. So we're gonna go through this course and hopefully help you figure out what is going to work for you, but also help you to create that plan of your different steps that you could follow for your 1st 6 months, your first year and so on. So you have to think about not only what works for you, what works for your website in your content, but you have to be willing to adapt and change. So when you begin a new strategy and a new monetization effort, you can look back on it and see. Is it working? Is it worth my time? Do I want to move on to something else and just be willing to adapt and change? And who knows in six months, something brand new come out that we can use to monitor? They monetize our websites, so let's move on to the different types of ways you can begin monetizing your website. 3. Sponsored Posts: All right, let's talk about sponsored posts. Now. Sponsored posts are essentially getting paid by a brand for a creative mentioned of their company or one of their products. Now sponsor pose are, personally what has worked best for me and for my brand. But again, it might be different for you, but hopefully some of these examples that'll give you help. You understand how you may be able to incorporate sponsored posts into the type of content you that you produce, so some examples might be if you are doing a D. I Y or a recipe. You can incorporate that brands product into maybe your supply, list your ingredients or somehow incorporate that into the deal. Why that you're producing or the recipe that you're creating? You might be doing a lifestyle post, and you can relate that company's product into your life, something that you do with your family. Maybe if you're fashion blogger, something that you wear something that you use all the time, or maybe just some other type of how to article. You might also include a product of that companies for review article, or you might use their product for a giveaway and In some of those cases, you might find that you're doing more of a product for post type of sponsorship rather than a monetary number, luggage or a check or a gift card. Whenever starting out longing, you might find that the product for post is a little bit easier to get. Often, brands are fairly willing to give away some free products for some advertisement with bloggers, so it is a great place to start. It might not always work for you, and you probably don't want to do it long term. If you really are trying, Teoh make a living off of your blawg. But starting out with that product replacement can be a great way to get started. In general, as much as I hate to say it, sponsored posts are often about the numbers they brands do somewhat care about the numbers on your website, whether you know you have a huge amount of page views or, you know, newsletter subscribers, things like that. But I can attest to the fact that numbers are not everything. I am not a very big website, but I am able to do sponsored posts because I haven't engaged audience I have a niche and it works for me. So long as you can prove to brands that you are seeing engagement, that your audience is involved in the care about the content you create, and they might be especially interested in that brand. You shouldn't have a problem being able to work with Salter's on your website. So don't let that discourage Dio Brands come to bloggers because we're trustworthy. So rather than a an advocacy on television or movie, the sidebar of a website bloggers can be an authority figure in our niche at to provide some kind of trustworthiness or a personal example for a brand. So obviously, in that case, you want to make sure that you're only taking on content and brands that you completely believe in and support. So, for example, if you are vegan website, you're obviously not going to want to work with a company that makes leather goods. Your audience wouldn't buy it. They wouldn't believe that it's something that you really use or really be interested in. So you always want to make sure that your true to your brand in your loyal to your audience , if your audience cares about that product where that company, then that is a good partnership. Otherwise, sometimes you just have to say no. No matter how much money they're offering to pay you. You also wanna make sure that your work when you're working with sponsors, always always, always get a contract. I myself have been burned many times and have learned my lesson. When you commit to a project with a brand as soon as you've decided on the cost, the timeline and everything else you want to make sure you get something in writing that you both sign so oftentimes, especially with larger companies, the brand will probably send you a contract right off the bat. But if they don't create one yourself and make sure that you get the contract signed by the partner, that's gonna protected both of you in the long run. Also, to protect yourself, you must always follow the FTC guidelines with sponsored posts, disclosing that you were in some way paid to promote that brand. You always make sure you do this on your blog's as well as on your social media channels. So I included the link below Teoh, learn more about the FTC guidelines. You always do want to make sure you follow those FTC guidelines. Otherwise you might see fines or even potential legal action. Now let's talk a little bit about how to begin contacting brands. I realized that when you're new to this, it is a little bit scary. It can still be scary for me sometimes, too. But when you begin reaching out sponsors to try to get sponsorships for your website, you can't really be afraid of hearing the word. No, the chances are that you are going to send out many, many pitches, and you might only get a few responses, and sometimes it's going to be a no. And sometimes that's gonna be a yes. So in order to begin finding finding those sponsorships, I highly recommend thinking of the brands that you would want to work with no matter how big, how small and looking into their press, releases their media contacts online and see if you can find somebody in their their marketing department or their PR team or communications and reach out to them with a pitch describing your brand. How you want to work with them and say, You know, I have a great idea. I want to work with you and hopefully you can get a response and start building out a relationship. If you cannot find us this if it contact, you can always try social media. So on instagram or Facebook or Twitter, you can go on and send a direct message to a brand saying Hi, I'd really like to work with you. Can you please let me know who best to contact to discuss the partnership or sponsorship? And more often than not, they will give you some kind of response. You can at least try to reach out to the appropriate person to get a relationship going. The best case in these types of situations is that you do a sponsored posts and everything works out well, and you can continue working with that brand maybe on a monthly or quarterly basis, so that you have some sort of consistency going on. So you can filled out a calendar and keep earning money through your website and not have to stress about your finances so much. And that just about covers the basics of sponsored posts again. This is something that works really well for me, and hopefully it'll work for you, too. But if not, we sell a lot more to discuss 4. Affiliate Programs: in this lesson, we're gonna talk about affiliate programs. Affiliate programs essentially include tractor links to a product or service where you get paid when a visitor from your website makes a purchase. So if you send somebody through a link on your website, there is a tracking system and please so that when they make a purchase, even if it's not right away, maybe it's a day from now. You can still get a small percentage of that person's purchase. The percentages will vary based on the program or the retailer that's participating. But they could be a really, really great way to get passive income, because all you ever do is put that link out there in the world and you can begin making money from it now. Of course, because it does, it does require links and getting clicks to those links in order to get any kind of money out of it. It does mean that the more visitors you have to your website or to that social media platform that you're promoting the link on, the more money you're going to earn. But it is still a great form of passive income, regardless of your audience size, so I do have a recommend it no matter what you're doing. Much like we discussed with the sponsor post, you always want to disclose when an affiliate link is an affiliate link. So whether using that on a social media platform, maybe use the hash tag affiliate or if you're on your website, you have, you know, a post, ah little section at the bottom or in your sidebar, something that states clearly that you may make a percentage when somebody clicks on those links from your website. You do need to disclose that properly, and you can learn more about that in those FTC guidelines that we discussed in the last lesson, examples of using an affiliate link might be when you're reviewing a product, you want to make sure that include that link to it or similar products so that your visitors can check those out. You might do around up, maybe of shopping ideas for Mother's Day, you concluded Phileo affiliate links in there. Or if you're doing some kind of how to article or a D I Y project or a recipe, you can link your supplies or ingredients as affiliate links. Same thing goes for any type of recommendation that you provide to people you can, including an affiliate link there. Or if you're fashion blogger, you want a link to exactly what it is that you're wearing in a post, and you can do that through about instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter on and your website directly. Sometimes you'll find the best way to do it is with direct affiliate programs. With certain retailers. I find that that's often the case with certain services rather than physical products. You'll also find that often times you are maybe mixing the programs that use because not all retailers will use all programs that there will be some overlap. So some examples of programs for you to check out maybe, as Amazon affiliates rewards style shop style, share a sale piquing CJ affiliate. A swell as those direct programs with certain retailers. So if there's a retailer you wanna work for or work with, rather, you can look into those affiliate programs and see which one will work best for you so that just about covers everything you need to know about affiliate links and at least how to get started whenever possible. You always want to use an affiliate link on your website. It will help you learn a little bit of passive income with pretty minimal work involved, especially over time. So go back to those old posts. Look at your top performing boats, and if they don't have an affiliate link in there and one makes sense, Go ahead and put it in there and save it and you'll see that those results will come back to you. 5. Banner Ads: the next form of monetization is probably one that you're very familiar with and that if banner ads you're probably used to seeing them in a you know, websites sidebar at the top of the page bottom of the page in between pages, maybe even popping up on a photo there many different types of ways that advertisers put these ads on Web pages now and their different ways. You can go about it. As a blogger, you can start with some of the most common, and that is Google AdSense or an ad network, or working with direct placements through specific brands or retailers. So you want to think about what's gonna work best for your audience. So obviously, when you're doing an advertisement, you need to be needed to be in a visible place, and that's most likely at the top of your page or in your sidebar or what you might consider the above the fold on your website without someone having to scroll down. So you wanted to be in a place where it's going to get the most attention, but at the same time, you don't want to alienate your audience. There's one thing we've learned is that nobody really likes adds, so you want to find a way to include ads. Eso. It's not going to hinder your experience on the website. Otherwise, you might see that your audience doesn't want to come back to see them. For some websites, you'll see that there are no ads. There are many bloggers that maybe started with ads and eventually get rid of them because they don't need them anymore, and that's great for them. But at the same time, ads are really great waiter and some passive income, because once you set it up, you can kind of just let him go. Over time, those clicks will add up, and you could get a little bit of a paycheck out of it, Much like affiliate links. Advertisements are going to depend on the traffic coming to your website. The more collects you get, the more money you earn. So you have to understand that if you are a smaller blogger, you're probably not going to see a lot from the beginning. But again, it's a great place to start. A Google AdSense is the first thing that I did when I started blogging and I still get a little bit of a paycheck from it now and then for not really doing anything so it can definitely benefit someone. In that sense, they're also ad networks, which will manage all of the ads on your Web site for you and rather than those as being targeted, the way that Google does its ads, where it doesn't based on the user and what they're what they've been searching for. Looking at online and add network might place ads on your Web site that are more related to your content. You know, retailers that you often talk about on your block and things like that, so they could definitely have their own benefits. But a qualifying for an out ad network usually means that you need to hit a certain threshold. So if you're smaller longer, you may not be eligible for that just yet. But it is something to look forward to as your numbers grow. You also have direct placements, and that would mean working directly with a brand or retailers and kind of company to put a post on your on your Web site somewhere and in those cases, rather than getting paid per click. You would probably just get a monthly fee for having that banner on your website, so that's another way to earn. I find that there probably most common if you're doing some kind of local thing or you have a geographic specific kind of blawg. So if you only talk about local things, you could work with local businesses and get average headings on your website. Otherwise, you'll see that there's probably not a whole lot going on with those worm of direct ad placements anymore. Again, your audience is not necessarily going to love seeing ads on a website, but it is a great way to earn passive income, especially when you're just starting out. So do you recommend it as the first step into beginning to monetize your website? 6. Guest Posts: so guess posting is a form of monetization. Probably seems pretty straightforward and it kind of is, but I'm gonna go over some of the pros and cons that I think will help you determine whether or not this is something you'd be interested in. So essentially guest posting means you are getting paid to create content for someone else's website. So I as a d i y and food blogger often contribute other websites in my niche. I started doing this before I started my current website on. It has become a great way for me to establish my credibility meets new people, get new opportunities. And what I find most important is that it has established back links for my website, which is very good for my S CEO and establishing my websites credibility. So this council be a great way to be in monetizing when you're first starting out. Now, as far as some of the pros and cons of guest posting, as I said, it is great for your CEO. So every time you guest post and you have you yourself out there is an author that can be one extra link to your website that helps build its credibility with Google. So that's important and you can help. You can begin meeting people in your niche through those opportunities, which leads to more and more opportunities in the future. You can also use these opportunities to establish yourself as a subject matter expert. So regardless of what you blogged about, you would probably consider yourself some form of expert and what it is you blogged about. So find a website that speak that talks about that as well. Or maybe even that doesn't talk about it. That doesn't know anything about it. And that's a great opportunity for you to slide in and establish yourself a subject matter expert in your field on the con side. Unfortunately, guest posing opportunities do not always bring a lot of traffic back to your website. Even though they established the links that are good for a CEO, People don't necessarily always click on them to get back to your website. You might still get a few here and there, and that's great. But it is also going to depend on the the traffic that that particular website gets often. Guest posting opportunities can take up a lot of your time. So if you don't have time to create extra content on top of what you're doing for your own blogged, that can be very difficult. And because you are reporting to someone else for this final editing approval to publish that post that may not always set while with certain blogger so that that's really up to you, whether or not something that you feel you want to pursue. Generally I find the guest post don't always pay as well as sponsored posts or some other opportunities. But as I said, it is more of, Ah, way to establish yourself when you're first starting out. When you do want to work with brands, often you could do guest posting opportunities for that brands blawg because they want content for their website rather than sponsoring content to put on your website. So this is another type of guest content that you may also get paid a little bit more for, and it's a good way to get in with that brand so that you create content for them, and in the future they could sponsor content for your website as well. When it comes to finding these guest content opportunities. I know that can seem a little bit daunting. I think of the websites that you frequent. Think of what you read, what you use as a resource and in general, any kind of website that you've always dreamed of writing for, you can probably reach out to them and see if there are opportunities. Guest post on that could be just a great opportunity for you to do something different and earn a couple extra bucks. 7. Knowledge Sharing: next is knowledge sharing, which is what having right now on skill share so skill share is a great example of how you can pass along something that you know something that you have experience with other people so you can participate in knowledge sharing through teaching. These are 1,000,000 digital classes or courses you can teach in person classes or hands on workshops. You can participate in Webinars or you can host Webinars or you can be a speaker for conferences. All of these are great ways to earn extra income by simply sharing the knowledge that you have with other people. So you can also use this as an opportunity to share specialties that you don't necessarily use for your website. So, for example, on my website, I don't talk about blogging. I don't talk about marketing and social media and journalism, which is what I studied in school so I can use what I know and the things that I've learned through my experience to teach other people. You can also practice knowledge sharing by combining it with what we're gonna talk about in our next lesson, which is digital products. So keep on going with the next lesson, and let's keep the conversation moving along 8. Selling Products: Finally, it all comes to selling digital or physical products, so I think of selling digital or physical products as kind of the last stage and monetization for bloggers. But that's assuming that you're a blogger. First, if you originally set out to sell products and your blonde was kind of secondary than this particular section may not apply to you. But if you are a blogger and you send a lot of time creating an audience and building your brand and having that recognition, then you can finally feel ready. Teoh put out some form of product, and you already have an audience at your fingertips that might be interested in that and might make a purchase. So this could be a great final step in your process when it comes to monetizing your website, and you can do this in the form of designing your own types of products, maybe you want to sell a jewelry line or design your own clothes. On the other hand, maybe you want to begin selling digital products. You can write your own e books or design principles that people can download. You can also partner with other brands or other bloggers to create products and collaboration. So combine your knowledge to create an e book together, and then you can share audiences for promotion that way. Or you can use your creative knowledge to create a product in collaboration with somebody else. So these would be great ways to begin selling products for lower costs and a little bit less risk. But one day, maybe leave in, uh, get all the way to the point where you can get a book deal on being selling that as well. So there's a lot out there when you become when you get to the point that you really feel like you're ready to start selling products. 9. Diversification: in this lesson, I'm gonna talk about diversification and why it's important. Have a diverse strategy when it comes to your monetization of your wog. Unfortunately, blooding income does fluctuate. Clients are gonna come and go. Ad networks are going to change, and even your website traffic will probably fluctuate throughout the year. So you always want to be prepared in case something happens. One of your income streams a. Norton she of financial stability. As a blogger, you want a plan ahead as far as possible. Know how much income you have coming in and know that they're coming from multiple streams . So, for example, if you your primary focus is, say, sponsored posts or guest posts and suddenly you lose that sponsorship or, you know an opportunity doesn't come through that month hopeful you can fall back on your other income streams things like your passive income from affiliate links or ad placements . Or maybe you sell digital products. Those kinds of things can help a lessen the blow when one income stream fails. Unfortunately, there wasn't incident a while back where a very large out no work suddenly disappeared overnight, and bloggers off thousands and thousands of dollars. So you don't want to find yourself in a situation like that where you don't have any other form of income. When you are relying on your blog's as a full time job, you want to make sure you're as prepared as possible. So think ahead. Make sure you have different forms of income coming in that way. In case something goes wrong, you have a backup plan. 10. Conclusion: all right, you made it through. And I hope that this course has helped you learn how you can begin monitoring your website so that hopefully you can take the plunge one day and blogger as a full time career because I know you'll love it as much as I dio when it comes with long, you always remember that your audience comes first every single time. Make sure that your monetization efforts line with who your audience is and what they're going to accept, and you'll be just fine. Always think about diversifying as much as possible so that you have different incomes coming in from different places in case one of them fails. And don't be afraid to try new things. When there are new opportunities available, give them a try, see what works and don't spend a lot of time on the things that aren't working. Find ways to diversify with those passive income opportunities, like affiliate links and banner as and let him just sit in the background and make you money. This is how blogging should be. Now take a second to come up with what you're blogging. Plan is going to be in order. Monetize your website and be sure to share it in the class projects