Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Monetizing Your Blog in 2015: Getting Ready for the New Year

"How Do I Monetize My Blog?"
We've all seen this question a million times. And the people who answer it seem so confident - these easy steps are all they ever needed to monetize their blog.  It seems so easy, but why isn't it working for you?
Today's post include four steps, but each of these steps are pretty big ones. We're not talking fairytales - if you want to make money in 2015 with your blog, you need to do some real work on it right now. So let's get started!

Giving Your Blog a Winter Tune-Up
When cold weather comes around, you tune-up your car, recaulk the windows. When the weather warms up, you take to the garden to prettify your yard. Seasonally, you do maintenance on your house and yard.....
...so how long has that blog looked exactly the same?
As time changes, technology changes, and expected levels of technology use changes, as well. Layouts that were great in 1998 are embarrassingly painful now. It's time to shake that blog out and give it a look-over. Great big embedded files aren't important, what's important is that your blog is lithe enough to be shared and commented on. No wants dancing hamsters any more. What you want and need are a core audience of engaged, passionate readers.
Ask yourself,  Is My Blog Sociable?
Every corporate site has sharing links, but there's nothing sociable about them. You can share company news for years and no one from the company will thank you, unless you have a massive readership. If you have sharing tools on your blog, can you track the shares, know what people are saying and where they are saying it? Monitor who you top sharers are and be able to thank them where they spread the word. Being sociable will build a strong brand and a strong bond with your readers. Reward them with your time and attention when they engage and they'll be back for more.

Have Realistic Expectations
Whether you're writing about a niche topic or trends in technology, your audience size will be the key factor in what you can reasonably expect from monetization. The demographics of your audience will also be key. 250 readers everyday is significant to you, but even if each one clicks on those ads and affiliate links, it's not going to add up to much. The halcyon years of affiliate income is long gone, as retailers and ad networks are squeezing down hard on rates.
Audience size and readership demographics will affect potential income - but it's your readers engagement that will ultimately decide whether you succeed.  If your posts get high engagement - more than just a like, but actual conversation, people ready and willing to engage with your content by sharing their thoughts about it, you'll have a better chance to successfully monetize.

Don't Be Afraid to Talk About It
The very personal relationship you build with your audience is the real draw for your blog. Unless you're working with a major magazine site, readers are reading your blog because of you - your stories, your perspective.
When you launch your monetization campaign,don't slide it in when no one's looking, don't be subtle - tell folks about it! If you've done everything right, your readers will jump at the chance to be part of the team, and make your blog an income-generator for you. They want you to succeed, so help them to help you. 
Get your blog tuned up, ramp up on being Sociable, and come back next time for some good options for monetizing your blog in 2015!

Project Wonderful