You’re doing the work. You’ve got your blog, social media channels, and your training business. You should be proud! But hey, a little financial incentive is always nice too. To keep your blog in peak physical shape, the next step after a content strategy and editorial calendar is to monetize.
Monetizing your blog is a great way to develop a secondary revenue stream to your business. That way, when other streams are interrupted, you’ve got backup income! And when you’re already doing the work for marketing purposes, it’s a no-brainer! Regardless of your blog traffic, here are three ways you can monetize your blog—plus a few bonus suggestions. Let’s do it!
1. Implement Affiliate Links to Earn a Commission
Many bloggers monetize their content through the use of affiliate links. The most popular affiliate program is Amazon’s, which allows writers and bloggers to include tagged links to products in their content, which, if purchased, provide a small commission to the writer or publication. As with other types of sponsorships and advertisements, you should identify the links as affiliate links and include a footnote that explains how the affiliate program works and that you could earn a commission from clicks and purchases.
Affiliate links are especially useful because they provide passive income. Once you write the article and include the links, they can continue to earn revenue, without much engagement or energy from you. Plus, there are fitness brands who directly utilize affiliate programs, like Life Fitness and Under Armour. Do some googling on the products you already love—they may already have a program in place, and you can sign up on the spot.
2. Develop Sponsored Posts on Behalf of Like-Minded Brands
If you’ve built up a following on your blog, you may be able to integrate some sponsored content into your editorial calendar. By partnering with like-minded brands or organizations, your readers will learn about new products and you will be able to earn some revenue. Just remember to maintain your editorial voice and continue to provide clear takeaways to your readers—they’ll know right away if your sponsored content is just a sales pitch for a product, and done poorly, it could turn them off.
Be sure to partner with brands that are relevant and useful for your readers, and crucially, products that you like. Authenticity and transparency is important and effective in this context, and your readers will notice.
As with Instagram sponsored content, it’s important to be upfront about the arrangement. Be sure to mark the post as sponsored—not only on your blog (both at the top of the article near the headline and at the bottom of the article as a footnote) but also on social media when promoting the piece (Instagram and Facebook have a built-in feature for this! Make sure you’re on a Creator or Business account!). It’s okay to monetize your blog, and your readers will likely understand that you need to make a living too. Be honest and keep it up!
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3. Pitch Articles to Other Publications
If you’re writing regularly on your blog and readers are engaging with your content, why not try writing for other publications? Start by making a list of magazines and blogs that you think would be interested in your expertise, and then try your hand at crafting an editorial pitch.
Crafting Your Pitch
A successful pitch is thorough but succinct, and knows exactly who it’s talking to. You’ll need to do some research on the editor and the publication. Talk to the editor like they’re a person, and present the angle, the topic, and yourself clearly. Explain why you should be the one to write this piece, and also consider timing—why now?
Magazines and Blogs
If it’s a digital magazine, turnaround will be quicker. If it’s a magazine with a print version, remember that publication could take a few months, and plan your content accordingly. One key thing to remember is that magazines, newspapers, and blogs prioritize editorial integrity. Don’t go thinking magazines want to publish a shining sales pitch for your training business. Consider your expertise and how it could help their readers, and pitch a topic that will provide value to them (an organization that probably doesn’t have a fitness expert!) and their readers (people who need advice!).
Writing externally serves a dual purpose—not only will you earn some additional income, you will also earn brand recognition with the publication’s readers, which could help grow your blog’s readership and your business. Start pitching!
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Quick Hits: 5 More Ways to Monetize Your Blog
- Implement Google AdSense (every click gets you money!)
- Create an online course or training session that you can sell at a low price (try a five-day email workout or a weekly stretch video)
- Create a membership program with a low monthly fee (offer special content or early access to tools)
- Provide readers with a link to “pay” for content (you might be surprised how many will!)
- Sell your training via the blog! (We know you’re already doing this… but keep it up!)
The great thing about these monetization strategies (besides the revenue!) is that they’re low commitment. You’re already writing and publishing, so adding a few links, finding a sponsor, or externally pitching an article isn’t a ton of extra effort. Affiliate links have the potential to earn revenue for months or years, sponsored pieces provide upfront income, and pitching? If a pitch doesn’t get picked up, add it to your editorial calendar. No loss.
Now that you have some suggestions for monetization, get at it! This is a perfect task for a time where your other business endeavours are a bit slower. And hey—let us know on Facebook what monetization strategies have worked for you, and what you’re planning to try next.