In part one we looked at how to get your blog ready and when you should start thinking about monetising it. And in part two we took a look at the first way you can monetise a blog by using advertising.
In this post we’re going to be looking at how you can monetise your blog using digital products.
If you’ve followed leading internet marketers then you’ll already know that this is how the majority of them make their profits. It’s a powerful, and very profitable, method for monetising your blog and… you do it by giving readers exactly what they want.
Which means they love you for it!
Monetising Your Blog With Digital Products
A digital product is anything that can be delivered online, doesn’t require anything that needs to physically be delivered and is a product rather than a service.
Providing services is something that we’ll come to in next week’s post 😉
So let’s take a look at the types of digital products that are out there…
If you have a skill for being able to create graphics, music or video then you can sell stock content. This is where you create your art and then allow people to use it, for a small fee, on their websites, as intro/outros on podcasts or videos, as background images etc…
Audio Jungle and BigStockPhoto are two examples of sites that will sell your creations on your behalf, but of course…
…if your site is about how to use that kind of content then you can also sell it directly from your blog.
Apps, Plugins and Themes
With blogging now a huge market both for business and personal use, there is now massive demand for apps, plugins and themes for blogs.
If you are a talented coder then you can generate a good income selling these types of products.
If you’re thinking about creating plugins or themes then I would focus on creating them for WordPress. WordPress is the largest blogging platform and that means it’s going to be easier to sell them.
Themes will need to be well designed and if you’re not sure you have the design skills, or don’t know somebody who does, then I would stay away from it.
Plugins are huge and there are a number of routes that you can take. If you have a mailing list in a specific niche and know that they need a plugin to make something a lot easier to achieve what they want. Make that plugin and sell it to them directly.
However, you can also make more generic plugins that would suit anybody that has a blog. Some examples are SEO, Contact Forms, Drag And Drop Page Design etc…
Think about the things that you struggle with or go and browse through the WordPress forums and find out the difficulties that people are currently having and make a plugin to fix it.
The trick here is to make your plugin free (but ask for donations) that solves the initial problem, and then have a “pro” version which solves a load more problems along a similar line.
If your plugin is good then you will get thousands of people downloading the free version and a percentage will upgrade to the pro version. This can start to generate a very good income for you.
I love apps. It’s one of the things we create the most of, but I’ve learned some hard lessons along the way.
The key thing to remember when developing an app is…
Focus each app on doing one thing and one thing only.
Of course there may be a few other features but the primary focus should just be on one thing. Don’t make your app complicated. People don’t like complicated and complicated costs more money and time to release.
It doesn’t matter whether your app is a mobile app or a web based app. It should just be solving one problem.
When developing apps use a method of development known as agile. This means you start by building the most basic version possible to get it released. Then you listen to your user base and rapidly release updates based on what they’re telling you.
Following this process will allow you to get your app released as fast as possible and prevent you wasting time building functionality that nobody is going to use.
If you have a ton of domains, and are still buying them, then maybe it’s time you started selling them!
Domain buying and selling can generate a good profit but you need to do it in quantity to make good money.
There is some stiff competition out there now from companies who only do this so I would only recommend getting involved if you’re prepared to invest in a lot of domains.
E-Courses are one of the best ways you can monetise your blog. After all, your blog is teaching people how to do something. So… teach them in a more personal and structured way by selling them an e-course.
E-courses include everything from PDF courses to video courses to webinars and online workshops.
Look at the posts on your blog that have generated the most visitors and solicited the most comments.
These are the problems that your readership is most keen to solve.
Take these posts and write them down on a piece of paper. Next to their name write bullet points of what you could do to train people how to succeed on this one specific area. Expand this out until you have five to ten bullet points.
Congratulations, you’ve just written down an outline of a course. All you now need to do is decide on how your audience would most like to consume that course and put it together.
E-courses can be sold from a few dollars up to thousands. Although at the high end your customers are going to be expecting a lot of bonuses, webinars and strong support to get them up and running.
Another big, and very popular, way to monetise your blog is by writing an ebook. An ebook is simply a book that is downloaded digitally, usually in PDF format.
While ebooks probably don’t generate as much revenue as they did in the past, they can still generate a good chunk.
And… they don’t take very long to create!
You can use a similar process to the e-course to decide what you’re going to write your ebook about and create an outline of what should be in it.
Once you’ve got this you need to get cracking on writing it. If you outsource the writing stage then make sure you go through it with a toothcomb in the editing process to keep it very high quality.
Don’t forget that the quality of your products and content that you sell will reflect on you.
When writing ebooks make sure that they’re timeless. Write them in such a way that you can continue to sell them for years to come without having to go back and edit them.
Membership Sites and Premium Content
If you’ve got something very unique then you can create a membership site or a premium content section to your blog.
Membership sites require you to not only provide your members with premium content but also help them action this content to achieve their desires. They can be time consuming but, when successful, a very profitable business.
Premium Content is like a membership site without the community aspect. This makes it easier to run but they’re usually cheaper to your customers.
Often premium content sites sell a membership where you can get access to all the premium content or sell different pieces of the premium content off at individual prices.
There is free content all over the web but if you’ve got a good brand name on your blog and you only provide very high quality content then people will come to you because:
- They feel like they have a connection to you
- Your content is good
- They don’t have to spend hours searching for how to do something
These three reasons will allow you to sell premium content. Yes, it may be available for free somewhere on the web (after all most things are). But the time it’s going to take to find it and then understand it is worth paying someone they trust a small fee to tell them how to do it in easy bite-size steps without having to spend hours searching.
Oh yeah, and they get the benefit of your support when they gets stuck 😉
This is becoming a more and more common practice. Selling websites is something that can generate you a good income if… you can create a popular website or blog.
First of all you need to be able to create a blog, build a strong brand and following and then monetise it. Once you can do this then there is nothing to stop you building blogs and websites in multiple niches, following this process and then selling them off as a running business.
Sites like Flippa will help you to find someone to sell your site to.
Monetising your blog with digital products is definitely something you should seriously consider. Not only can it generate you an income, but it can also be a way to build even more trust with your readers by providing them with high quality products that solve their problems.
It will take you more time to create these products than simply putting up advertising on your blog, but it’s going to be worth it. Particularly if you have been building a mailing list (which I hope you have been).
For many internet marketers it is the digital products that provide them with their bread and butter.