As we have been going through this Mastering Your Goals series, we have only been talking about why focused goals are important, making measurable goals, building traffic through goals, and how to implement your goals on social media. Now we are going to talk about how to make all of these steps have a great return on investment (ROI) by something called streams of income.
Making Monetizing Goals for 5 Streams of Income
Blogging is a lot of work. It takes a lot of time away from your family and other priorities and it should come with a ROI at some point. The sooner you put your attention to monetizing on or through your blog, the easier it will be monetize differently down the road.
We call the different ways to monetizing ‘streams of income'.
These streams of income are so important to the health of a blog business because it means that you aren't putting all your eggs in one back, but rather diversifying into other potential ways of monetizing.
When contemplating your streams of income, it is wise to consider having several of your streams to be ‘passive' income. Simply put, passive income is something that is done once and continues to give you a ROI.
Identifying Streams of Income for Your Blog
There are many ways to monetize on a blog, and each way is considered a ‘stream', which implies that it is flowing with income. The more ways you have money flowing from your blog, the more secure your blog will be when changes effect your income.
It is very unhealthy and to focus on just one or two streams, and it is an industry recommendation to have at least 5 streams of income working for you at all given times.
“Knowing where you want to make money will help you focus on what it will take to increase your revenue in that area.” – Dollie Freeman
One of the most controversial streams of income is placing ads on your blog. Many bloggers are concern about how their readers will portray their blogs, once they implement this very passive stream of income and fear that they may lose readers because of them.
My own experience was that, as I felt that they looked spammy or pushy.
It wasn't until I found out that ‘choice ads' like those of Adsense, The Blogger Network, AdThrive and others are generated by the readers cookies and thus providing them with ads that reflect their own searches and interest. This clicked with me that I would be creating a passive income while services my readers with more of what they are already looking for, not pushing things down their throat.
It is really important to understand that some ad networks have contracts, and canceling them prior to the end of your contract can cause you a lot of penalties. I know that with The Blogger Network you only have to give them a 30-day notice before removing any of the ads.
With Amazon's new Native Ads and CPM ads, you can really do well.
NOTE: Ads are based on traffic. The more traffic you have the better income you can expect.
This is where most bloggers start with their streams of income. I remember when I first started out, I would place a banner on the sidebar and think it would convert to income. That wasn't the case! This is why I love to recommend ads that use ‘choice ads' for sidebars.
I have found that when I use custom sidebars, I'm able to see better conversions on affiliate banners because I keep them relevant to the category that the post is about.
My recommendation for affiliate sales is to start with a handful of ones that really reflect your readers and learn how to naturally add them to your post with text links so that it is a way that readers will want to click to learn more about.
Once you have learned how to do this naturally with affiliate links, especially with Amazon, you can add to what affiliate programs you promote.
Be sure you are only joining ones that fit in with your niches, readers needs and brand. Otherwise, you are just wasting your time and energy.
Your Own Product
This is probably one of the most stretching streams of income that anyone can do. It really stretches you in your knowledge and confidence. Yet, it is one of the most securing streams of income, because you can control it.
What I love about creating your product is that you can focus on what you know, what you can talk about for hours and what experience you have that may help others. We all have something that can be turned into an ebook, eCourse, or tangible product that can be shipped to customers.
With places like Amazon, Create-a-Space, Teachers Pay Teachers and more, you can really diversify this one stream of income to flow very lucratively.
Adding your own affiliate program to your products can really tap into other people working in their own affiliate stream of income and help yours flow even better.
There are so many opportunities for sponsored content out there that those not tapping into this stream of income are being left high and dry.
There are all kinds of sponsored networks out there that you can join and fill out applications for some of the top name brands looking for bloggers to write for them. The wait can be long before you get a sponsored post, social media promotions or ads on your blog, but once you figure out how to work these right, you can keep the flood gates open on this stream of income.
Don't forget that smaller brands are needing the help of bloggers, as well!
This is where you will want to consider creating your own media kit, and prices for ad placements, sponsored post, reviews of products or social media promotions.
Some people start blogging because they need to make money, and think it is a get rich quick way of earning money. It isn't and often times I just spin their wheels and can't quite find their unique voice to starting their streams of income that continue.
This is where I would recommend using the skills that you do have and market yourself as a virtual assistance or hirer out your skill as a graphic designer or the knowledge you have for technical work.
Bloggers that have their streams of income flowing well, are always looking for ways to outsource their work, to free themselves up to making more products. Always view your skills as marketable and a great stream of income.
Contributor Writing/Ghost Writing
Many bloggers grow their platforms so big, and their attention can get focused on a stream of income that is producing the best ROI, and they are looking for contributing writers or some times ghost writers to fill content on their blog.
Those trying to make a name for themselves or establish their authority in an area can make some good money contributing to blogs or even magazines that pay per post or article.
I have written 10 ghost writer post for a brand before and it was good money when I really needed. The downside to this is that I gave away some of my best ideas for quick money. Looking back, I don't know that it was my best decision but at the time, I was thrilled to have the money.
If you have established yourself as an authority in an area, you can easily open up opportunities to speaking at conferences or even on national television. Sometimes, especially when starting out, the influence and authority a speaker will get for speaking is worth doing without getting paid, so don't always look at opportunities from an income perspective.
When you have a marketable knowledge that others want, you can easily step into a consulting position. The downside to consulting is that you have to be there in the moment so it doesn't become the passive income that most of us our looking for but it could be a great way to creating income on an ongoing basis.
When I started consulting, I noticed that I could create product to answer the common questions that I was continually answering and create the passive income that I was looking for in the process.
Don't be afraid to use speaking or consulting as stepping stones to bigger things, and better streams of income.
Spokesperson/Long Term Sponsorship
Some bigger brands look for bloggers who large influence for their targeted market to work for them as a spokesperson. This can look like a series of post highlighting their products, combined with social media promotions and other ways to speak about the brand. These opportunities can pay a lot of money up front, and will always come with a contract.
Smaller brands may be open to a long term sponsorship, like a spokesperson, that contains more than just one sponsored post.
Creativity and motivation is the key to developing streams of incomes that will flow for your blog. Be sure to take time to plan your streams of income, and make measurable goals for each one, while focusing on daily activities that will help you there.