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Category: Monetization

How To Make Money Blogging Selling Products and Services

How to make money blogging. It’s one of the most popular questions I get asked.

Blog monetization can look different from blogger to blogger, genre to genre. Everyone has a slightly different revenue mix, depending on what monetization strategies they have put in place.

There are 4 main streams of income generation as a blogger:

#1 // Display advertising
#2 // Sponsored work
#3 // Affiliate marketing
#4 // Selling products and services

Streams 1-3 are the more “traditional” forms of direct blog monetization, but if you want to have an income stream that YOU are in control of, has the potential for large growth and major financial reward, then #4 is where it’s at.

The most successful bloggers know that the keys to really making money blogging is diversity and selling your own product or service.

Want to make money blogging? Here is why you NEED to sell products or services on your blog and how to get started. Blogging biz tips you don't want to miss! Click through for the blog post and FREE eBook download!!

Selling your own stuff is all about using your blog as a vehicle to highlight your product or service and sell to your readership. This is the “secret sauce” to making the dolla dolla bills, you guys.

You need to think of yourself as an overall brand – not “just a blog”. If you look at the most successful bloggers out there in the DIY and design space, they pretty much all sell something. Even the blogs that get insanely high traffic aren’t just relying on display ads and sponsored work – they want in on a piece of that selling action themselves! From apps, planners, eBooks, interior design services, coaching, prints, pillows, mugs, whatever – most are selling something.

Here’s the thing. As a DIY + design blogger, you are a creative person by nature. I can pretty much bank on that. And because you have started a blog and are thinking about monetizing, that also tells me that you are entrepreneurial. I know… it’s like I know you, right? Ha.

Well, this combo is epic. Creative + Entrepreneur = BOSS.

 

THE ADVANTAGES:

In case you haven’t already guessed it, you have so much opportunity with this stream! It can be easily the most rewarding and exciting part about your blogging biz. If you really want to make a full-time income, then you NEED to think about this stream of revenue. With the other 3 streams you are relying on other brands and companies to pay you, whereas here you are paying yourself. YESSSSS.

The biggest pro’s:

Highest Income Potential

You are selling your own stuff, so the sky is the limit here. Figure out the right product or service, hustle hard, and this could be hugely rewarding financially!

You are in Control 

No relying on other brands for sponsored work or ad agencies for campaigns, this is ALL YOU. You decide each biz move you want to make.

Major Creative Opportunity

I can safely bet that part of the reason you started blogging was because you wanted a creative outlet. Take that one step further with a product line or service. You’re going to love it!

Better able to rely on Income

Sure you still can’t rely on this revenue stream as you would with a 9-5 paycheque, but once you are selling, you will be able to get a good sense of what you can expect month over month. Plus, if it’s a service that you are offering, you can book yourself ahead of time with clients and have a clear idea of what your pay will look like.

 

THINGS TO THINK ABOUT:

If you haven’t already guessed it, this stream is also going to be the most time consuming and daunting. Figuring out what products or services to sell, manufacturing, liaising with customers, marketing, and all of the elements that go into operating a successful business are going to be hard work.

Some of the con’s?

Time Investment

Obviously developing, manufacturing, shipping a product line or offering a service, plus all the marketing and other elements that come with those, is a big time investment. Are there things you are currently doing in your blog biz that aren’t seeing a good return on investment? If so, I would try to eliminate those tasks so that you can free up your time to focus on this. Are there other tasks you can streamline better (like for example, scheduling social media or writing your blog posts in batches)? Get those systems in place.

Potential Start-Up Cost

Whether it’s materials, website development, software, courses, whatever … there is likely going to be some level of start up cost associated with developing this new arm of your biz. I suggest trying to bite off only small chunks at a time so that you aren’t going in way deep right from the get go. It can take a few try’s to figure out what is and isn’t going to work.

Higher level of Risk

Both in terms of money and time. But highest potential pay-off, too.

Scary!

It’s hard enough to put yourself out there on a blog, let alone trying to sell something that you created. It feels all kinds of personal and scary. But you know what? You just need to put it aside and get out there. You’ll never know until you try.

Yep, I went and created a free eBook on the topic! Scroll to the bottom of the post to snag it. 

Want to make money blogging? Here is why you NEED to sell products or services on your blog and how to get started. Blogging biz tips you don't want to miss! Click through for the blog post and FREE eBook download!!

 

WHAT COULD YOU SELL? 

I listed a whole bunch of ideas in this blog post, but there are generally 3 categories of things you might sell as a blogger: Physical Products, Digital Products, and Services.

1 // Physical Products

I would recommend starting with a base product line of 10 stellar items. These can be the same general item, but with variations (for instance – a pillow line with 10 designs).

One of the great things about physical products is that you can sell online through your existing blogging biz and potentially a third party site (like Etsy), but then also move some of those sales offline and sell at craft shows / trade fairs and wholesale to boutiques. This is what I have done with my own shop and it has been a good way of testing different avenues of selling, and building up a solid income.

Think back to some of your fave projects. Are any of them things you could potentially make, sell, and ship?  Are the cost margins good? Could you scale up and make many at once (or hire parts of it out) if you got big order volume? Is the product easy enough to ship? Could you develop a base product line of 10 items and then potentially introduce seasonal product lines a few times a year? These are all questions you’ll want to consider as you decide on a product.

2 // Digital Products

Digital products are items that are virtual – there is nothing physical about them. The product is sold and delivered online to the customer. The best thing about digital products is how passive they are. The time commitment upfront can be huge in terms of prepping the product, but once you’ve completed it and have it for sale, there is usually almost no activity required on your part. Just listening to those cha-ching’s, as the cash hits your bank account. YESSSS.

3 // Services

Like with products, the sky is the limit here on what you could offer. Here are some key questions to consider:

  • What are you especially skilled at?
  • What do you love doing?
  • What is it that your readers are always asking for your help on?
  • Are there other folks offering the same or similar services? If so, what would your unique slant be?
  • Do you want to offer your services solely online, or are you interested in in­-person services as well? 

If you’re really stumped, or want some feedback on a few ideas, I suggest surveying your readers. They are your target audience and you want to be sure that whatever you offer would appeal to them and answer a problem they might have.

Obviously there is a cap in service-based biz in terms of how much you can do. If you have a clear idea though of the number of clients or hours of work you need per month to make the income that you are shooting for, then this will be your goal. Down the road you could always look at hiring parts of your services out to an employee in order to expand and take on more clients.

 

FREE DOWNLOAD TO HELP GET YOU STARTED: 

I know all of this can seem daunting at first, but it is going to be so worth the time investment if you really want to grow your biz and make money blogging.

Grab the eBook I have created below — it’s got more info, case studies, and big ol’ lists of product and service ideas. Plus we do a deeper dive into how to actually start manufacturing products for your line… super useful stuff!

 

How To Make Money Blogging: 24 Ways To Monetize Your Blog

Have you ever wondered how to monetize your blog?

 

Free Course

Snag my free email course below to get 7 lessons with waaaay more info delivered straight to your inbox. It’s a no-brainer!

Create a Profitable Blog: FREE eCourse

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Sign up for my FREE 7-day email course to get action-packed lessons on monetizing your blog delivered straight to your inbox. Go from hobby blog to legit biz.

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If you want to actually start making a profit from your hobby blog, keep reading… I’m going to give you the insider scoop.

Want to make money blogging? Here are 24 creative ways to increase your income as a blogger and online entrepreneur.

Every blogger has a slightly different revenue mix, depending on what monetization strategies they choose to put in place.

Most successful bloggers will diversify their revenue streams, so that there is money coming in from a variety of sources. It’s a safer bet that way, rather than putting all of your eggs in one basket.

There are 4 main streams of income for bloggers:

  1. Display advertising,
  2. Sponsored work,
  3. Affiliate marketing, and
  4. Selling products and services.

 

Within these four main revenue streams, here are 24 ways that bloggers (particularly in the home decor and DIY niche) can monetize.

 

STREAM 1: DISPLAY ADS

 

1 // Display ads through a network

Sell advertising space on your blog through an advertising agency. The network or agency acts as the middle man between you, the blogger, and the brand. Most popular ad network? Google Adsense.

 

2 // Privately sold display ads

Sell advertising space on your blog directly to a company or brand. More work for the blogger as they need to find those companies and manage the relationship, but the income generated is typically higher than with a network as the blogger gets 100% of the profit.

 

looking-to-start-making-money-from-your-blog-24-strategies-for-monetizing-your-diy-and-design-blog-click-through-for-the-full-list-and-a-free-workbook

STREAM 2: SPONSORED WORK

 

3 // Sponsored blog post

A sponsored post is when you write a blog post that reviews a company or a particular product. You are highlighting that product to your readers and including product photography and a link to purchase or learn more.

 

4 // Sponsored social media post or campaign

Similar to writing a sponsored blog post, but on social media instead. This could be a sponsored instagram post or instagram series, facebook campaign, etc. where you are highlight a company and its product(s).

Sponsored work in general can really vary from collaboration to collaboration. Packages could include a blog post + social media outreach, or different combinations of work. You may get sponsored work through an ad agency if you work with one, or can pitch brands yourself and develop relationships and collaborations with them.

 

[If you work with brands on sponsored work, make sure to check out this post on how to pitch brands and how to create a media kit.]

 

STREAM 3: AFFILIATE MARKETING

 

5 // Affiliate product links:

Incorporating affiliate links within your blog so that when a reader clicks that link and purchases the item, you receive a commission. Commission levels vary from around 2-10% for a physical product to up to 50% for a digital product like an eBook or eCourse.

For example, having a “shop your house” section like Chris loves Julia has, would be a great spot to embed affiliate links.

clj

 

Check out this post for 11 Affiliate Marketing Networks you should join, and this post on how to create a strong affiliate marketing strategy.

 

STREAM 4: SELLING YOUR OWN PRODUCTS + SERVICES

This is the secret sauce to building a blog biz and really making money. You aren’t selling anybody else’s products – you are selling your very own. Yes, this stream is going to take more work, but the potential for major revenue is so much greater.

This is really where you are turning your blog into a brand and thriving business.

There are loads of potential product and service ideas….

 

6 // Freelance writing

Write blog posts for other brands and companies or articles for design magazines and other publications.

 

7 // Brand social media management

Freelance as a social media consultant and manage facebook / twitter / pinterest / instagram / etc accounts for other companies and brands. You have become a social media expert with you own blogging biz and many others would love to have your insight!

 

8 // Brand campaign creative management

Run creative campaigns for other brands and companies. Use your talents and network as a blogger to run a campaign that uses blogger outreach, social media outreach, etc.

 

9 // eBook

Write an eBook from scratch or re-purpose some of your existing content into an eBook. Sell on your blog and/or through avenues like Amazon.

 

10 // Create an Online course

Develop an online course that addresses some of the most popular questions you get asked as a blogger. It’s important to think about your target market and be sure you develop something that they need the answer(s) to. Your course could take a number of forms and include workbooks, written content, videos, etc. What do you teach on your blog already? Sewing? Decorating? Hand-lettering? A software? Turn it into a course.

 

11 // Host a Paid Webinar

Paid webinars where you offer your expertise in a 1-2 hour session.

 

12 // Printables

Create printables like worksheets, organizational tools, event printables, and others and sell either on your website or using a selling platform like Etsy (use this link to get your first 40 listings on Etsy free!).

 

13 // Digital artwork

If you are familiar with graphic design, you could sell digital art prints on your website or using a selling platform like Etsy. These are direct downloads so the consumer buys the JPG or PDF version and prints at home.

I do this in my own Etsy shop!

looking-to-start-making-money-from-your-blog-24-strategies-for-monetizing-your-diy-and-design-blog-click-through-for-the-full-list-and-a-free-workbook

 

14 // Photography

If you have become an amazing photographer, you can sell your photography (directly on your blog, through Etsy, or another external platform). Sell as prints or as digital downloads.

You can also sell photography to be used as stock photography for other business owners (this is HUGE right now!).

 

15 // Handmade goods

If you are a DIY and design blogger, you likely make amazing handmade goods. Ever thought of selling any of them? Opening up an Etsy shop or selling directly on your site can be an amazing way for readers to get a little piece of your creations!

 

16 // Interior design e-services

Your readers probably love your style (that’s why they keep coming back to your blog!). Offering e-design services allows them the opportunity to hire you to help them with their pressing design needs. Usually the product delivered is a moodboard and a design plan with layouts and links to purchase products.

 

17 // Virtual assistant services

As a blogger you have developed a bunch of very sought after skills, like writing, editing, social media knowledge, graphic design, and more. These are super valuable and you can market yourself as a Virtual Assistant (VA) for other bloggers.

 

18 // Web design

Have you become a web design rockstar? Market website design as your new service for clients, or create wordpress/blogger templates and sell those.

 

19 // Sell graphics, fonts and/or clip art

If you create amazing graphics or fonts for your blog, try selling them through Creative Market, Etsy, or other platforms out there. There is a big marketplace out there for that.

 

20 // Sewing patterns

Do you blog about sewing? If so, start selling your patterns! I bet your readers will snap ’em up.

 

21 // 3rd party fulfillment products

There are so many more options these days for selling physical products where another company handles the fulfillment so you don’t have to buy and store a bunch of inventory (and handle shipping!). You do the original designs, and then they take over: printing on tee-shirts, mugs, posters, tote bags, whatever. Check out Society6, Zazzle, and other websites to compare pricing and products. This is a really great option for selling physical products but in a passive way.

Kate from Centsational Girl sells photography and styling services, in addition to a fabric lines through Spoonflower, and other products through Zazzle. That is some stellar diversity!

centsational-girl

22 // Subscription newsletter

Offering something super valuable in a weekly newsletter? Lessons or downloadable content? Then turn that into a paid subscription.

 

23 // Membership community

Create a member login area to your website where you share valuable content for your readers. These are usually offered as monthly subscriptions where you promise to upload a certain number of new documents / content each month for your users.

 

24 // Public speaking

There are lots of conferences and training events all over the place that are constantly looking for outgoing folks to speak about their experience and knowledge. Market yourself as an expert within your niche and/or as an expert in blogging. This can be a great way of getting introduced to new audiences, too!

 

The Bottom Line?

I have tested and tried out various monetization strategies myself over the last 5+ years of blogging and have found different levels of success with each.

Unless you have super enormous traffic, selling your own products and services have the potential to be your biggest revenue earnier. Don’t hesitate to dive in to one of these product or service ideas, or something else you’ve been dreaming up. Even if it scares you a little, just push that fear aside and give it a go.

It may take some trial and error before you find the right product or service that sells and brings a good return on investment, but don’t hesitate to get started. Done is better than perfect!

 

Sign up for my FREE email course below where I go through each blog monetization tactic in a lot more detail.

Create a Profitable Blog: FREE eCourse

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Sign up for my FREE 7-day email course to get action-packed lessons on monetizing your blog delivered straight to your inbox. Go from hobby blog to legit biz.

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Do you want to make money blogging? Sign up for this FREE 7-day email course that takes you through all the steps to launching your online business. From blog monetization 101, sponsored posts, affiliate marketing, display ads, and products and services - we're going through it all. So many tips and actionable advice! Click through to sign up.