A Simple Guide on How to Monetize your Blog
So you’ve officially started your blog website, and you now can call yourself a blogger or vlogger or podcaster or content creator! Congratulations to you because this is a big step towards becoming your own boss and owning your own brand with your own content in it. You are a content creator and this can create ample opportunity for you. This is definitely a moment to be proud of yourself because the world is in need of more creators, and actually, who knew that you could one day become your own boss sharing transformative content that comes easy to you with the rest of the world.
Building quality content and content that will capture your audience is key to having a successful blog. You will need to capture and keep your audience, which will become your tribe. Your tribe are your most loyal followers, who believe and trust in what you have to say and share with them, they share your content and convert others to be your followers. Hence it is imperative that you niche your blog in such a way that you become an expert of whatever field inspired you to blog but don’t box yourself in. This is when you are also able to become an influencer, and brands love working with influencers who have an existing tribe and whose opinion is valued.
When you are a content creator, you are actually an influencer. Whether you call yourself an influencer or not is a different story. When you create content for others to consume you are a person of influence and you want people to be influenced by you in one way or the other.
Build Your Tribe
Through that you may attract the attention of all kinds of brands who are looking for both micro and macro influencers, this is an opportunity for you to grow and to expand. Your social media accounts should be all about your brand however, make sure that there is a connection between you and your prospective tribe. Engage with your audience constantly, reply to comments and direct messages, let them know that you are more than just your brand you are a real human that they can also relate to and who is an expert and is passionate about the space you are in. Besides from engaging your audience, get them involved and invested in you and the information you share, so that they are always eager for your posts and are eager to be involved or take action when you ask them to. Increasing engagement improves your analytics on social media platforms as well as on your website. Importantly, brands and followers will like you for being yourself, that is the best way to grow your following as well as to stand out.
Keep your Instagram page as attractive as possible, take up some courses if you must on how to organize and make your page both visually appealing and attractive in terms of content. Always make sure that your stories are up to date so that your audience follows you. Your audience will always be interested in everything that you are doing and if you are not posting on your feed at least your audience knows that you are still engaging with them. You post on your stories anything that you may not see fit to go onto your feed.
If you are using video, invest in a quality smart phone with a good camera or buy a video camera. The quality of your videos must be crisp and sharp. Also pay attention to your sound. Developing distinct visuals such as your intro to your videos is also important and makes you stand out and people appreciate the effort. Remember you are competing for attention of the same audiences who could be following any content creator in the world!
Plan Your Content
When taking up content creation you have to plan your content well including your posts and how they relate to the main reason you are respected as a content creator. There are some aspects of being a content creator on the online or digital space that you may have to outsource such as Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). Planning content is key because it makes it easy for your audience to know what to look out for. If you usually release a video on a Monday and then you skip a week, that will affect your engagement as well as your analytics. Planning helps you stay consistent and it also helps free up time. There are many tools and platforms you can use to create content and also schedule content. Scheduling content also frees up your time and helps you generate consistent content.
Your Website Is Your Homebase!
Your content is what may set you apart from other bloggers. This relates to how well you write or relay your stories through other audio-visual means and what you write or tell stories about or how differently you tell a story compared to others. When it comes to monetization, offering ad space for other brands to advertise their services or products on your platform will not only shoot up your SEO but it will bring in the coins. However, to make this happen, brands will want to see traffic that is consistent and traffic that grows on your website. Drawing in traffic is where most bloggers get stuck. Analytics are your sales pitch to brand collaborations, especially at this time where many buy followers.
Driving your audience from your YouTube or any other social media space to your website is key to driving traffic, however you need to be highly convincing or influential. Brands want to work with people or other brands that are constantly thriving. Your website can also help you collect data about your followers, readers and tribe. Growing your email list means that you have something sell outside of just using social media. Your website is your real estate, whereas on social media you are at the mercy of social media platform.
Competitions, collaborations and giveaways are a great way to grow and expand your audience, people love to participate in what they think are free gifts and this will in turn benefit you immensely. Your followers feel as though they benefit even more by supporting your work as a content creator. Participating in collaborations will give you the much needed exposure, especially if you collaborate with a person or brand that already has an existing audience, this is a great way to introduce yourself and what your offer. Competitions are a great investment, as it is a great way to gain followers.
Don’t Box Yourself In!
For your blog to be successful and in order to monetize you need to put in the work and effort required. No post is a wasted posted, trust that at least one person will see it. Also, make it more than just getting paid, because if you follow this guideline and do more research, that is inevitable. You need to bring content that people are yearning for, content that is different and content that is exciting, engaging and empowering. There will never be too many content creators, just choose a niche that has a potential to expand into other areas, know your market well. For instance, if you want to be a content creator in the natural hair space, it is a crowded space and you have to have a different approach that makes you stand out. There are many content creators in this space yet the number of brands to potentially collaborate with and make money from are few in the case of South Africa. However, you can then look at how to make money through having a high number of subscribers and views on YouTube, if that is a platform you choose to use.
But also be aware not to box yourself or to be too niche. Perhaps you like creating natural hair content to help others understand and care for their hair, what else could you possibly expand into without your audience finding it a different or unconvincing departure? If possible, avoid boxing yourself in too much as you start your journey as a content creator.
Know Your Numbers
It is important to be honest with yourself from the onset that you want to make money, this will inform so many of your decisions including whether to have a website or not or to use YouTube or not. How will you monetise your content? How much money do you want to make a month? How much do you need to spend on creating content on a monthly basis such as data, equipment, subscriptions etc. Also speak to other content creators about the magic numbers that have worked for them with regards to analytics so you know the numbers you would like to work towards. And don’t be discouraged if you don’t make the numbers very easily, it takes time and investment to build a following. Knowing your numbers goes hand in hand with knowing your audience as well as the brands you want to collaborate with. For instance, why invest on Instagram when your target audience is mostly on Facebook? Or if the audience of the brands you want to work with are largely users of a different platform than the one you may want to use.