How I Monetize This Blog …
and You Can Too!
I’m going to take a little break from talking about health and wellness topics to talk about something else: Blogging.
Recently, I was contacted by someone who asked a simple question: How do you monetize your blog? And I was about to respond to her privately when I realized that this was a great question to answer publicly. Someone else might want to know the same thing someday. And maybe there’s someone out there who’s thinking about starting a blog and trying to make money with it, but they don’t know where to start. This post might help them.
Is that person you? I hope you find this helpful!
Seven years ago, I began my blogging journey with a site called HubPages. At that time, I signed up as an Amazon affiliate, because HubPages and Amazon were partners. Since then, HubPages has started its own advertising program, so you make money whenever anyone visits your hubs (articles). It’s not a whole lot, but it adds up after a while, and the steady PayPal payments are nice.
I don’t make much money with Amazon using HubPages anymore, but the beauty of the Amazon Associates program is you can use it with your own sites, and this is where the bulk of my Amazon traffic and income comes from now.
Need more information about how to make money as an Amazon affiliate? Check out this book (and, yes, this is an affiliate link, but the beauty of me sharing it is you can sign up as an affiliate of this book and make money with it too!).
My Own Direct Sales Businesses
When I first began this blog, I wanted it to be a place where I could highlight some of my favorite products from the companies for which I’m a consultant (there are several – I’m kind of a direct sales junkie). So, from time to time I’ll post articles about, or link to products from:
*Note: LinenWorld and NuSkin are ABSOLUTELY FREE to join, so if you’re looking for an inexpensive home business to start, you can’t go wrong with one of these. Being a direct sales consultant is kind of like being an affiliate. You earn commission for every sale you bring to the company. But you have a little more ownership of a Jewelscent business, for example, than you do your Amazon affiliate relationship. Obviously, in the latter case, Amazon is going to be the one calling the shots. All of them. All the time.
So, by linking to my direct sales sites, I’m monetizing this blog, in a way. Any sale I get from any link I post in this blog is going to be, quite literally, money in my pocket.
Skimlinks and Other
Affiliate Marketing Solutions
I was recently introduced to Skimlinks. As soon as I heard about it, I just had to sign up. Skimlinks gives you access to 18,000 merchants across 37 different affiliate networks (including Amazon, but if you’re already signed up as an Amazon Associate and have the toolbar, you can – and probably should – continue to use that). What does this mean for you? You don’t have to sign up for all those individual affiliate programs (either those that are merchant-specific, or the larger sites like Commission Junction, ShareASale, and Rakuten LinkShare).
The approval requirements for Skimlinks are pretty easy to meet. I think you have to have, like, 30 hits a day total … and you have to have mostly original, useful content. They really stress that in their business model, which is fine with me because I love writing about stuff. Content is no problem for me. I just got approved a few days ago, and I started this site less than two months ago, so Skimlinks is an excellent affiliate marketing platform for new websites. Plus, Skimlinks is really, really nice for bloggers because it automatically takes the links on your site that point to one of its partner brands and turns them into trackable affiliate links that make you money when anyone clicks on them. If you’re pressed for time, like I am, that “automatically” part sounds REALLY attractive!
I do still use Amazon (obviously, because it’s such a biggie it’s a no-brainer), ShareASale, and LinkShare. The latter two have some sites with products that are relevant to the scope of my blog that are not part of Skimlinks … yet, so it’s worth it to me to keep going with them. Note the key word, relevant, there. Relevance is so important when you’re talking about affiliate marketing. Don’t just copy and paste a bunch of links to products that have nothing to do with the scope of your site. It’s a major turnoff … and it’s called spam. Just not cool.
Email List, Books, and Online Courses
One of my latest books is a 30-day diet, exercise, emotion, and water tracking fitness journal. Click on the link to check it out, if you want, but don’t buy it. You can get the same book (PDF, minus the fancy cover) for free if you sign up for my email list (which is another tool I use to monetize the blog). Just scroll up to the top of this blog post and click on the book cover in the top right. That’ll take you to my email list sign-up form, and you’ll be able to download the journal immediately.
Now, please know that from time to time I’ll send you blog posts, reviews, etc. of products in the hopes that you might buy them if you sign up for my list. But I promise that I will not be pushy (I HATE pushy salespeople), and I promise to only promote products that I love and use myself, whether I’ve created them or not.
And, speaking of creating… I’m currently working on an online course that will (hopefully) be uploaded to Thinkific by the end of this month, just in time for the new year. It’s a ten-part course focused on improving health and losing weight by cutting sugar from your diet (better known as the sugar detox diet). UPDATE: The course release has been delayed slightly. Now I’m hoping to have it out by the end of January 2018, and I’m still hoping that more will follow.
More will come in the future. I’m hoping to release one course per month in 2018, and I don’t think that’s outside the realm of possibility.
And That’s About It
Now you know what I’m currently doing to make money with my blog. In the future, I hope to add some blog advertisements and, possibly, some sponsored posts. I don’t quite have the traffic at this point. Some of the major players I’m looking at with this goal in mind require 10,000 hits per day, and I’ve got slightly over half of that, at this point. I’ll update this post in the future once I get up and running with those monetization tools.
At any rate, I hope I’ve given you a little sense of what’s possible in monetizing your blog. I’ve published 14 posts in a little over 6 weeks (so, just two blog posts a day, on average, and I’m well on my way to making this blog a major source of income for me and my family. I’m not there yet, but I can see it being a possibility in the not-too-distant future.
Any questions? Let me know in the comments below. I’ll do what I can to help!