In the last few months, I’ve run into many disillusioned bloggers who’ve been blogging for a while and are at their wit’s end because they can’t figure out how to level up. By leveling up, I mean making at least a nice side income and working towards a full-time income. Now we have the COVID-19 looming over us — making everything — even blogging, worse. Here is the easiest way to make money from blogging.
The uncertainty of how to make money stems from not being clear on your mission.
Almost always, the uncertainty of how to make money stems from not being clear on their mission, their skills, and what value they provide. Rather than getting laser-focused on these mission-critical-basics, it seems many bloggers put the cart before the horse.
What will your reader enjoy?
Bloggers spend a lot of time creating content and products they think readers will enjoy. Then they try to circle back to find readers and buyers — all with little success. Thinking in this manner may work if you’re an anomaly creating cutting-edge content, with products, or services that attract people on its own.
But, for many of us (including me), this is a backward approach that makes earning money feel very difficult and even impossible at times.
Your life can be much easier right now than struggling to get your readers to buy your latest ebook or course.
The Two Blogging Business Models
There are basically two business models in blogging.
- There’s the volume model which takes a lot of effort and time to build. Coincidently, this is also the model that bloggers tend to gravitate towards because they see other seasoned bloggers doing it successfully.
The volume model is where you create a big and engaged following. The large following trusts and respects you, and is itching to buy whatever you sell (or recommend) every time you launch.
Bloggers who build this type of platform can make a very high income from very low priced products (think $10 to $100), ads, and affiliates because thousands of people check out their stuff.
The key here is having the appropriate following and investing a lot of time in the beginning. Many of these bloggers push out free and targeted content for years before fine-tuning their voice and reaching a level where the readers are hanging off of their every word.
No need to get frustrated and assume you’re doomed to be a failed blogger if this model isn’t working for you yet.
- The second business model — having a smaller audience and offering higher-priced services — is where you can make easier money until you have the audience volume.
Sell Services — Even If You Don’t Want to Do It Long Term
So I get it. The online community for the last few years has been moving away from offering one-to-one services. Trading time for money is something no one wants to do anymore, but there is equity in providing a service to start off making money from your blog.
I decided to freelance at the beginning of my blogging journey because I wanted quick money. I made $25 the first month blogging and grew that income to $1,000 within just a few months. Then I incrementally increased rates and kept a consistent client roster to grow a full-time income.
I would have had to sell 100 units of a $10 product to earn this same type of initial income. There was absolutely no way with my small following that I would have been able to do that.
Services gave me the start I needed to realize earning money online is possible. Freelancing also has given me a ton of business experience, knowledge, and insight into my target audience that I wouldn’t have gotten any other way.
Here are some examples of services that niche bloggers can offer:
- Bloggers who blog about interior design can provide design services.
- Wedding bloggers can plan weddings remotely or provide consulting for wedding planners or vendors.
- Vendors can advertise on your blog.
- Clean eating bloggers can sell accountability and mentorship services.
Always remember to keep building your own platform while selling services. The building is essential. You want to eventually make the transition into a combination of both business models, selling low priced at high volume, and selling high ticket items (speaking, coaching, consulting, etc.) to those who want to work with you one-on-one.
It seems the consensus is that evergreen products are always the way to go. It all depends on where you’re at in your business. My recommendation for struggling bloggers is to concentrate on the service side of things to start earning quickly. Then you can make adjustments when you have more experience and build an audience who wants to buy your products or services.
Remember that with any business — you have write — you have to have written content in order to bring your product or services to your public.
[Related: How to Take a Hiatus From Blogging Without Losing Readers]