“When should I start thinking about monetising my blog?” That’s the most frequently asked question by many newbie bloggers these days.
Before I provide my thoughts and insights on this topic, I want to make a suggestion to any new blogger wanting to monetise their blog.
Build your blog first, create some amazing content, build your audience, build trust, drive traffic from reliable sources as well as search engines… Then think about how you want to monetise your blog.
I’m not telling you this to dishearten you, it’s good advice that I was once given now I’m giving you. If you start to monetise your blog too early, you’re only going to be disappointed with the relatively low or possibly even zero earnings you make, I’m talking from previous experience.
Now that I’ve got that off my chest, let’s get started.
So when should you start to monetise a new blog?
I’ve told you when I think is the best time to start monetising your blog, but in all honesty, you can start anytime YOU want. If you feel you don’t want to wait until you have some content and a few loyal subscribers, then start immediately.
A few bloggers that I’ve spoken to on this subject believe that the earlier you start the better. Because your audience will at least know what to expect from you from the very beginning. And I guess this does make sense to some degree, your most loyal audience won’t feel as if you’ve ruined their user experience on your site all suddenly, if you decide to add a dozen affiliate banners or so.
Some bloggers like myself believe in ‘waiting a little while’; build traffic first, grow your tribe and earn their trust first, that’s pretty much what I think too.
I should also mention something here: I appreciate that not everybody wants to make money from their blogs, but the majority of bloggers I’ve met online over the years, want something to show for all the hard work they put into creating content and marketing and promotion, and why not?
If you don’t want to make money from your blog, that’s cool too, you’re not in it for the business aspect. In fact not having to think about ways to earn a living from your blog can make you a much better blogger in my mind.
So there’s your answer peeps, you can start monetising your blog right now if you wanted to, regardless whether you’ve just started blogging a few days ago, or a few months ago.
OK so now I want to go back to the suggestion I made at the very beginning of this post about building your blog first.
Whilst you can start monetising your blog when ever you want, there are a couple of things that you might want to take into consideration first.
Let me share them with you below.
5 Things To Consider Before You Start Monetising Your Blog
Before you decide to monetise a new blog, just ask yourself these questions.
- Do you think your blog receives enough traffic from search engines and other sources to earn money?
- Do you have a large enough audience or following, a blog community. People subscribed to your blog?
- Do you know your target market well enough?
- Do you know if your blog theme is optimised for monetisation?
- Do you know what strategies you’re going to use to monetise your blog most effectively?
Now let’s dive a little deeper into each of these questions.
#1. Do you think your blog receives enough traffic from search engines? – Organic traffic from search engines is a ‘vital ingredient’ for making money with any website or blog.
People use the search engines every single day to find all sorts of information online related to the products and services they’re interested in buying and using. The question to ask yourself is this; does your blog attract enough of that traffic from sites like Google and other authoritative websites, to make you money?
If it isn’t, you might want to consider putting your money making plans on the shelf for a while, and concentrate on creating more useful, quality, ‘problem solving’ content.
People often ask me how much valuable content is actually enough?
There’s not really an answer to that question in all honesty, the more valuable content the better. But as a rule of thumb, and for my own sanity, I usually wait until I have at least 50 quality blog posts published on a new blog before I start monetising.
In addition I sometimes wait until I’ve got at least 50 email subscribers as well.
I didn’t start monetising Magnet4Blogging until after 6 months of starting the blog. By which then I had around 60 articles and about 150 email subscribers.
So how much traffic is needed to make money from blogging as well?
Well, a lot of targeted search engine traffic is useful to have, however if you’re only getting 25 visits per day then you’ve got a lot more work to do.
If your blog is getting 100+ unique visits per day from Google, you can very easily make some decent money from blogging.
At the time of updating this post, this blog gets around just over 150 unique hits per day, so not a great deal of traffic. Around 70% of that is from Google, yet I’m still able to make a little bit of money from it. Check out my income reports here for proof.
#2. Do you have a large enough audience or following for your blog? – Trust plays a huge factor when it comes to monetizing your blog and making money from blogging.
Granted, building a blog following and gaining the trust of your audience takes time, it doesn’t happen over night, especially if you’re new to this business.
So the question to ask is this; if you’ve been blogging for a good length of time, do you think you’ve built a decent enough audience for your blog, and have you really earned their trust?
If you don’t think you have, that’s OK, here’s what you need to do.
- Focus on building your email list, check out my case study post for some tips and inspiration.
- Focus on strategic blog commenting, make the connections, build relationships… read this post.
- Focus on creating more epic content that helps your target audience to ‘solve any problems’ they might be having.
- Focus on creating honest product reviews, be transparent about everything you share to help you gain more trust from your readers.
- Be a nice person, be helpful and folks will start to take notice, but what ever you do don’t become a victim for free riders.
#3. Do you know your target market well enough? – Again, understanding your target market, as in knowing who your audience are and what they’re interested in takes time to figure out. You can’t learn about your target market overnight either.
This is where starting to monetise your blog sooner could be a good idea, because from the word go, you’ll start to build a better picture and understanding of your target market. You can then build upon this and slowly modify your offers and strategies to better serve your audience.
Knowing what business you’re in to begin with is critically important.
#4. Do you know if your blog theme is optimised for monetisation? – You might be laughing at this question right now, but really, do you think you’re using a theme (assuming you’re using WordPress), that is ready for monetization, i.e. placing ads and affiliate banners, doing product reviews and so on?
Are your pages / landing pages optimised to help you achieve the best possible conversions?
Look at your header, the space at the end of your blog posts and your blog’s sidebar, are you able to place a standard 468 x 60 or 300 x 250 size banners to fit those conversion focused areas?
If not, then you need to consider grabbing a theme that’s optimised for monetization. Check out the News Pro child theme for Genesis.
#5 Do you know what strategies you’re going to use to monetize your blog effectively? – Lastly, how are you going to make money from your blog! Have you even thought about that?
What is your monetization strategy?
Do you plan on creating reviews for a bunch of useful, quality and relevant products and services?
Do you plan to just use affiliate ads and banners in your blog posts?
Do you plan on giving Google AdSense a try?
Do you plan on creating your own products such as eBooks and courses?
What’s the best methods for monetizing a new blog anyway?
To answer the last question, check out my short video below for some tips and ideas.
I’ve only covered some of things things you might want to consider before you start monetising your blog in any way, however, you can start your monetisation strategy when ever you want like I said.
Just to be clear though, I’m only giving you some advice and things to consider in this post, I’m not telling you that you shouldn’t monetise your blog until your blog meets a certain criteria of traffic, readership or trust level, it’s entirely up to you.
I do hope this post has been somewhat useful for you, and what ever you decide to do, I wish you the best of luck with making money from your blog.
Your thoughts please?
Let me know what’s on your mind right now.
Are you still waiting for the right time to start monetizing your blog?
Have you already made a start, and if so, how successful have you been so far?
Leave me a comment on Twitter or Google+ as always.
Additional reading: Here are some blog posts I recommend reading from around the blogosphere on the subject of ‘when to start monetizing your blog’. Check out this post by Darren Rowse over on ProBlogger where he answers the question of: how early should you monetize your new blog.
Again, best of luck and thanks for reading.