Blogging can be more than a hobby or creative outlet. When done correctly, a blog can grow into a highly profitable online business. Whether you’re seeking side income, or aiming to build a blog as a full-time venture, here are some tips and strategies to help you monetize your content.

Focus on the fundamentals

First you need the fundamentals of a professional blog with the primary goal of building a following. Anyone can publish anything online, at any given time. But a blog that aims to generate income must have some systems in place. First, the writer needs a blog idea that serves an audience. Whether you’re blogging about the wildlife ornithology in your local parks, or employment law for underrepresented groups, you must develop a clear mission and brand for your blog. Having a dedicated audience that trusts and engages with your content is crucial for turning your blog into a profitable venture. Without a following, it can be difficult to convince advertisers or sponsors to work with you, and you may struggle to generate consistent traffic to your site.

Become a reliable and dependable resource.

After establishing your blog idea and brand, you must next commit to time and consistency. Grow a following by serving as a resource to your readers. The writer must allocate a steady amount of time in order to create a consistent stream of content. Think about creating a calendar to organize your content. A weekly blog is reasonable, but daily is even better, as long as you’re delivering valuable and useful content that stays true to the mission, tone, and voice of your blog.

Ramp up your social media efforts.

It’s one of the golden rules of marketing: meet your customers where they are. This applies to social media as well. If you’re a career coach, you should establish a presence on LinkedIn. Passionate about interior design? Look at Instagram and Pinterest. If you’re a dance fitness instructor, TikTok would be a great place to post your videos. Consider your blog’s purpose and target audience to determine which platform will best serve your blog.

Maximize and optimize your content. 

You need not be a mega-influencer but make it a point to share each blog post via social media. You can build up your social media strategy by taking a single blog post and break it into bite-sized social media posts. Highlight the strongest quotes and facts from your latest blog and think of creative ways to present them on social media, be it an infographic or quote card.

KIT via newsletters.

Aim to collect each visitor’s email addresses to build a solid mailing list. By collecting your followers’ email addresses you can alert them with the latest blogs, updates, new products/services and more. You can install ads in your newsletters as well. Email marketing platforms like Mailchimp and Constant Contact can help you monetize your readership via newsletters.

Engage with your readers.

Once you hit publish, you have to draw readers to your blog–and social media and newsletters are both powerful tools for achieving this. But aim to create a conversation with your readers. Be sure to respond to every comment on social media, and any email responses to your newsletters. Ask readers for their feedback and if appropriate run surveys and polls to better understand their needs and stances on issues. Last but not least, use Google Analytics to understand what kind of content is resonating among your readers.

Monetize via Google Ads

A good beginner approach to monetizing content is using Google AdSense. Instead of directly working with advertisers, Google chooses which ads are relevant to your content and automatically places it on a banner on your site. Readers can choose to click on these ads when they visit your page. Infolinks and offer similar services. Further down the line, if you build a big enough following, you can contact advertisers yourself and set your own ad rates.

Get creative to generate revenue.

Cost-per-click ads aren’t the only way to make money blogging. You can contact advertisers about creating sponsored posts or create digital products like e-books, webinars, workshops, or one-on-one online coaching sessions. As your readership grows into a community, you can even explore hosting live events that require ticket sales.

Create a strong online brand!

Whether you’re kickstarting your blog or hoping to transition your blog into a real business, consider your URL during the process to ensure you create a cohesive online footprint. Your blog name should match your URL and social channels. Think of alternative domain extensions which may have more availability like a .biz domain. The URL will convey to your readers that you’re a trustworthy operation that is committed to delivering quality content.