You pour hours every week into your online space, invest in blog design, photography gear, and maybe even e-courses and books and over time it’s become way more than just a hobby to you. Blog monetisation will either confuse or excite you, and if you’re at the stage where you’re starting to consider opening up income streams on your blog you may feel a little overwhelmed at the options in front of you.
There’s no shame in monetising your online space. When done with integrity and careful thought and planning, it can be a great way to take your online space to the next level and give yourself more time and resources to pour into your content and online presence. If you’re thinking about taking those first steps into monetising your blog, I have five questions for you today to help you get started.
Why do I want to monetise? Be really honest here, as there’s no point in running away from the truth of the matter. Is it to support creative endeavours and projects? Or as an incentive to pour more time and resources into your online space? How about to take that first step to turn your online presence into a business? Whatever your reasons, be clear on them from the start. Not only will this guide the decisions you make in the long run, but also how you share your intentions with your audience as well. Monetising your blog doesn’t mean you have to lose your integrity, purpose, and ‘sell out’, but it’s super important to be honest, open, and transparent with your audience if you want to make sure you’re sincere every step of the way.
Do I want a blog that makes money or a business with a blog? Because the two are very different. A blog that makes money usually isn't a set in stone business, and income streams usually look like advertising revenue, sponsored content, and affiliate marketing. Of course these income streams can make up a business with a blog too, but a blog that makes money will most likely have income streams that are mostly passive and opportunities that have come its way instead of a business plan pursued and strategised over time. A business with a blog on the other hand has a very intentional plan and focus behind it, with a desire to convert readers into customers or clients and a very strategic content and marketing plan in place. These look like blogs alongside design studios, shops, and other service/product based entrepreneurs. Once you open up your blog to income streams, knowing whether you’re a blog that makes money or a business with a blog will make all the difference when it comes to the decisions you make and where you prioritise your focus.
What are my core blogging goals, intentions, and values? These are super important, as the best way to monetise with integrity and feel excited by your income streams instead of compromised by them is to be guided first and foremost by your core goals, intentions, and values. The purpose of your blog, the reader experience you want to create, and the overall intentions and aims of your online space really can help show the way in terms of which income streams to explore. Know your core ethos, build a manifesto, and let your values guide you every step of the way.
What income streams are suited to them? Once you’ve pinpointed your goals, intentions, and blogging values, you can then start to explore the best income streams for you and your blog. Regina has an awesome post on 10 Non-icky Ways To Make Money Blogging that will probably be great jumping off points for you, and my biggest piece of advice at this stage is to take the time to really explore the options available to you instead of jumping in head first without a plan. Ask yourself: what’s my big dream with my online space? Do I want to create my own products? Or work with exciting brands? Or maybe make a difference with the work I feel called to do? Or do you want passive income streams so you can focus on other creative pursuits? Whatever it is, explore which income streams suit your intentions and values, but also get specific on the routes you don’t want to take too. For example, I knew last year that monetising Jennypurr via brand work and sponsorships was against my own values and intentions as this space exists as an online creative resource and I believe that branded content cannot really offer any extra value to my readers experience. This doesn’t mean I think sponsored content is bad, but just that it goes against my specific intentions for this space. Know what income streams excite you and feel suited to your overall goals, and also be clear on the ones that you don’t want to pursue.
Is my blog ready and if so how do I get started? I don’t think being ready to monetise is universal across the board. Some may say you need a specific amount of readers, or traffic, or time spent blogging, but I think it’s subjective and unique to each and every blogger. There are some things that can’t be avoided, for example if you want to make a big bulk of your income from affiliate links, sponsored content, and advertising revenue then a certain amount of readers and traffic will be needed to start making a profit. On the other hand, if you want to monetise via products, services, and other outlets not depending solely on traffic then it will come down to when your brand is ready to take that next step. If you’re serious about turning your blog into an income stream, taking the time to craft an in-depth business plan, research your income streams, and even investing in your space via a designer, blog coach, or Ecourses are great steps to take to help you take that leap into the future of your blog.
My best advice? Monetise with purpose, integrity, and passion. Don’t rush the process, take the time to craft a brand and income streams you can be really proud of, and don’t be afraid to think outside of the box from time to time.
If you have any questions, if you want to pick my brain, or just share your own experience of monetising online then make sure you comment below!
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