So you’ve started your business website blog and have been writing to your heart’s delight.
You’ve worked so hard on coming up with post ideas, creatively crafting each post, and finding amazing images to insert throughout. Now that you have a few posts and maybe even some subscribers, it’s time to think about how to start making some additional income with your blog.
The top 3 things most new bloggers (or people who have a website) want is to:
- Increase traffic to their site
- Get more subscribers on their email list
- Make money through advertising
The problem is that there are so many different ways to accomplish all of these items that it can be overwhelming to put any strategy you’ve learned to action.
There are countless ways to increase traffic to your site, but where do you start?
Of course you want to grow your email list, but what are the best strategies to start with to maximize your efforts?
Making money is a must to keep your site going, but how do you do it without sounding too salesy or distracting your readers away from your site too early?
Here are the six things I recommend you begin with to get started growing and monetizing your site:
To increase traffic:
1. SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
If you’re using WordPress (which I highly recommend for your business website and blog), download the free plugin called “Yoast SEO” (they do offer a paid service but you don’t need it when you’re first starting out).
SEO helps you rank higher in organic Google searches. There is a LOT to learn about SEO but Yoast makes the basics easy in that it analyzes each of your blog posts for SEO quality and gives you a checklist at the bottom of the posts to remind you how you can make it better.
2. Guest Post
This is when you submit your blog articles to other people’s sites. They usually allow you to link back to your website or blog. It’s a smart, free way to reach people who already read content published in your niche. Most sites will allow you to submit your social media links, too, allowing for maximum exposure back to you site.
For example, if you wanted to promote your travel blog, do a google search for “travel blog submit a guest post”. There are plenty of sites you can look over and see where you might want to submit a guest post to. Be sure to carefully read each site’s guest post guidelines to maximize your chances of getting your post published.
Another form of guest posting is through HARO: https://www.helpareporter.com
They will send you emails 3x per day with inquiries from reporters who are looking for sources for their articles. There’s bound to be something that pops up in your niche that you can submit a response to in the hopes of getting published on any of the major sites that use this service.
Be sure to check out The Complete Guide to Help a Reporter Out before you submit a response.
To get more subscribers:
3. Get specific
Get specific on what you are offering your reader in your opt in box. Don’t just say, “sign me up”. Explain to your readers what they are getting by giving you their email address.
You can offer them a monthly newsletter or updates when you publish a new post (or a guest post). Using simple copy such as “Sign up here to get notified of new posts” or “Sign up for our free weekly newsletter” so your subscribers know exactly what to expect. Be sure to also let them know how often they should expect to receive emails from you.
4. Offer a free gift
To take it one step further, create an opt in magnet, which is a freebie you give away to them for signing up. Here’s an example of an opt-in freebie I offer:
The best way to come up with a freebie you know your readers will love is to think about something you had no clue about or did a lot research to figure out before you found the answer.
Or put yourself in the shoes of your audience. What is the number one burning pain they are dying to get rid of as soon as possible?
Come up with a solution, put it in a PDF, a short video, infographic, ebook, etc. and package it however you think they’d like the best. Then share that as the freebie for anyone who signs up for your site.
To use advertisements:
If you don’t have a product to offer yet, that’s ok! You can still make some money off your site while you create your ebook, digital product, or whatever you plan to offer your audience to purchase down the line.
There are two easy options you can start out with while you develop your own offer:
5. Google Adsense
There are a couple different routes you can take to start out with advertising on your site. The one that is common and pretty simple to set up is Google Adsense. This will allow you to place ads on your site that will automatically sync with the content on the page and offer your reader something Google thinks they’d be interested in. Plus you get paid per click, meaning when someone clicks on your ad, you get paid without them having to purchase anything.
***Important note: DO NOT click on your own links once you have them on your website. Google is smart and knows it’s you. They will think you are committing “click fraud” and ban you from using their ad service.
6. Affiliate Marketing
If you’re not familiar, affiliate marketing is when you sell other people’s products and receive a commission in return. There are so many different ways to get into affiliate marketing but I’m going to keep this simple and start you out with one of the biggest affiliate networks in the business…
You can create links to different products and then embed them within your blog posts. Check out my post about 7 Ways to Get Motivated When You Feel Like Doing Nothing and see how I referenced different books and resources I use and then linked to them with an Amazon affiliate link.
Someone will have to purchase for you to get paid but since Amazon is so popular, people tend to buy from them, especially if they trust you and the products you are recommending. Trust is key, though, and you never want to recommend products you’ve never used or just to get commissions. I only link to products on Amazon that I use and love and you should, too.
Here’s a great article from Genius Startup with more details on how to get started.
If you follow all six of these money making must do’s, you are sure to get more viewers to your website, have a better chance of them subscribing via your opt-in, and getting a few bucks in your pocket through strategically placed affiliate advertising.