The Best Way to Monetize Your Blog From Day One
Ads are an easy way to start monetizing your blog, as are affiliate links.
But unless you're getting thousands of page views every day, neither are likely to make you any money. A few dollars a month at best.
Yet, these are the first options most how-to bloggers recommend, which I find remarkably condescending. It's like they pat you on the head from they're high perch and send you on your way. "Best of luck! On your way out, don't forget to sign up for my $197 course."
The truth is, there is a much better option - even when you're blog is new and you have just a small amount of traffic.
Like all good things it does take some effort. But it isn't overwhelming. You don't need any specialized technical knowhow or equipment, and it costs nothing to get started. In fact, the return on investment is such that even after eleven years of blogging it's still one of my primary sources of income.
So what is it?
Very short, 12-18 pages long, e-books. You can create them in a simple Word document, convert to PDF, and they're ready to go. I currently have five available in the sidebar of my SCM website.
You do need a platform to host your downloads and integrate with PayPal, but the service is very cheap. I use E-junkie and pay $5 per month. The set up is easy. You just upload your PDF and you're good to go. When a customer buys, they're immediately sent to a download page.
PayPal also takes a small cut, but the payout is still excellent.
For a $7 e-book, for example, $6.50 goes into my pocket. If you were to go the Amazon Kindle route, you wouldn't be able to charge nearly as much - more likely $1.99 - and they take 30% for their trouble.
As for what to write about, I've discovered that the best topics for e-books are those that match your blog niche, but are perhaps too long and involved for a single post. A topic that would take a series of articles on your blog is a perfect candidate for a mini e-book.
It's important to mention that although downloadable e-books are a great way to monetize your site, you must never skimp on quality. They must be well-written with zero spelling or grammatical errors.
They must also improve the lives of your readers in some way.
Show people a simpler or more effective way of doing something, and your e-book will sell for years and years to come.
One of the benefits of having an e-book is that the people who buy it are also likely to buy anything and everything you offer in the future. Furthermore, they become more invested in your website and therefore tend to enthusiastically recommend it to everyone they know.
Finally, even if you have just a few page views a day, an e-book will give you greater authority. When readers first arrive at your website and see that you've published a book, they're more apt to stick around.
They're more apt to spend more time looking through your articles, take what you say seriously, and subscribe to your newsletter.
So, for me, it's not even close.
Instead of wasting the small effort it takes place a few ugly ads or links to affiliates, spend two or three weeks writing an e-book. The benefits are huge from day one, but will only get better with time.
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