When should I start thinking about monetizing my blog? That’s one of the frequently asked questions by many bloggers of today. So, let me try and answer this question the best I can, based on my own knowledge, insights, and experience.
Note to readers: I appreciate that not everyone is out to try and make money from their blogs. But, for the majority of bloggers that want something to show for all the hard work they put into creating great content, and for doing marketing and promotion – For those who want to turn their blogs into profitable online businesses, this post is for you. If you’re not remotely interested in monetizing your blog, then this post isn’t really for you.
I want to start by making a suggestion to any new blogger thinking about monetizing their blog.
Build your blog and your audience first.
OK, that’s two suggestions.
But when I say build your blog first, what I mean is this –
Do more than just install WordPress and publish a few posts.
Focus all of your efforts on creating as much useful and actionable content as you possibly can first.
At the same time, build your audience –
Whether you start building an email list or set up push notifications on your blog, I don’t care, just build your community first.
Work on driving traffic from reliable sources as well as organic traffic from search engines.
When you have a decent amount of traffic and have earned a respectable level of trust from your community, then think about how you want to monetize your blog.
If you’ve only just started your blog, maybe you’ve been doing it for a couple of months – So my advice would be to wait for at least six months before you monetize, if you can, of course.
The problem with monetizing too early
The problem with trying to monetize your blog too early is that you can run into several risks.
The biggest one is becoming disheartened and potentially losing your motivation and drive, especially when you don’t see much earnings coming in for your given efforts.
I’m not telling you this to put you off from monetizing your blog in any way, I’m really trying to give you some good advice that was once given to me.
Think of it this way, you wouldn’t move into a new home before it was actually finished being built! Or maybe you would, I don’t know.
OK, Fabz, so when do you think I should start monetizing my blog?
OK, so wait for it:
You can start at absolutely anytime!
“What? – Wait a minute… you just told me to wait six months and build my blog and grow my audience first?”
I didn’t tell you to do that, I suggested you do that.
I simply shared with you my advice purely based on my own experience, and what was once taught to me when I started many years ago.
The truth is this:
You can ignore what I said above about waiting and start monetizing immediately.
You see, even though my suggestion to you was to try and wait six months and build your blog and audience first, there are some benefits of actually starting to monetize your blog straight away.
Here are two of those benefits –
- You start to build momentum right away. Your audience will come to know exactly what to expect from your blog from the word go. Whereas, if you started 6 months later after building your content and growing your community, your most loyal subscribers may be surprised or even unhappy to see that you’re trying to shove products and services down their throats so that you can make a quick buck or two. You’ll be amazed by how some people react to change. It’s a known fact that most people don’t like change at all.
- You may financially be better off. If you started to monetize your blog six months from now, you may actually have to wait a few additional months, maybe even longer, before you’d see any significant income come through. Whereas if you started to monetize straight away, by getting the ball rolling quicker, you may even make your first fifty or hundred dollars within a couple of months. It’s possible.
OK. So below I’ve listed 4 questions to ask yourself BEFORE you think about monetizing your blog, regardless what monetization method you have in mind.
4 questions to ask yourself before you start monetizing your blog
- How much traffic is my blog getting right now?
- Do I have enough loyal folks subscribed to my blog?
- Can I honestly say I fully understand my reader’s needs?
- What monetization strategies will I actually use?
Now, let’s dive deeper into each of the questions below.
#1. How much traffic is my blog getting right now?
First vital ingredient for any kind of blog monetization to be successful is, of course, blog traffic.
Where is your blog traffic coming from and how much?
Combine your organic search engine, referral, email, social media, YouTube, push notifications, and other relevant traffic together.
Basic monetization 101 –
If you’re only managing 20 visits per day, you’re going to struggle without a doubt. Which reinforces the point I made earlier about waiting 6 months before you start to monetize your blog.
Six months from now you should have more traffic coming from various reliable sources hopefully, right?
If your blog is getting at least 100+ visits per day, then I honestly think you’re in a better position to start monetizing successfully.
200+ visits per day and you’re off to a grand start!
There’s an awesome article on Entrepreneurs Journey by Yaro Starak titled How Much Traffic Does Your Blog Need To Make 100k Per Year, it’s well worthy of a read.
Putting traffic to one side for the time being, how successful you are at monetizing your blog will depend on how good of an internet marketer you are –
#2. Do I have enough loyal folks subscribed to my blog?
The next BIG question to ask yourself is how many loyal peeps (people, subscribers) does your blog have?
The more the better, right?
Kind of… – I’ll explain what I mean in just a second.
People who subscribe to your blog updates are usually the ones that are actually interested in what you have to share or offer.
If you’ve been working hard to provide an incredible amount of value for your readers, and not just via your blog, it could be via a podcast show, videos, etc. Then turning your subscribers into customers shouldn’t be too hard to do.
You see, those loyal peeps already value your free content, which means they will most likely be more than happy to do business with you.
Another thing – You don’t need a monster list either, so the more emails you have is not always better. It’s the quality of your list that matters.
500 targeted subscribers, hungry to do business with you is better than 5,000 subscribers that aren’t really interested in your content or offers.
#3. Can I honestly say I fully understand my reader’s needs?
So – I said to you that turning your audience into customers shouldn’t be too hard for you to do.
However, this greatly depends on a few things. One of which being – How well you think you know your audience.
The more connected you are with your community, readers, the better you’ll know them and understand their needs.
By understanding their needs, you can help them overcome whatever problems they may be facing.
Here are a few things you should be doing to connect with your blog audience –
- Engaging with them in the comment section of your blog posts.
- Answering any questions they may have, not just on your blog, but social media too.
- Checking your analytics and metrics to see what content they’re engaging with, and taking action on the most.
- Reaching out to a few of your subscribers to offer help from time to time, it never hurts.
The better you know your audience, the better you will be at serving them, and the more likely they’ll want to do business with you.
#4. What monetization strategies will I use?
The last question you need to ask yourself is the above.
How are you going to START monetizing your blog?
Here are some ideas and suggestions for you to start with –
- Offer coaching and consultancy (Charge people for your time, expert advice, and knowledge).
- Promote and sell third-party affiliate products and services (Do affiliate marketing).
- Create and sell your own digital products (eBooks, courses, apps and other software)
- Offer other types of digital services (Such as web design, copywriting, proofreading, creative services)
It’s a wrap!
If you spend just a few moments answering the 4 questions above, I think you’ll be in a better position to decide when and how you’re going to monetize your blog successfully.
Once again, my advice if you’re a starter blogger, is that you spend some time building your blog first, and growing your community.
I tell you, six months will fly by, and you’ll have more content, a few more peeps on your email list, some credibility and trust, and all the attributes needed to become a successful money making blogger.
Or, you can start right away. Whatever you decide, I wish you the very, very best of luck.