How to Turn Your Blog from Passion to Profit

Is it possible to turn your knowledge, passion and experience into a stream of sizable income? Thousands of bloggers are making it happen, and you can too. But how do you go from blogging basics at your parents to writing in hotel rooms across the world? Monetization.

Monetizing your blog is no simple task but well worth the effort. If you’re interested in turning a passion project into a profitable business, read on to learn how.

1. Find Readers

To make money blogging, you’re going to need some serious website traffic. Goal number one is to attract readership by offering useful, relevant information. Establish yourself as an authority in a certain subject and dominate your niche. Once you know your target audience, find readers by asking yourself where they might gather online.

  • Do they read certain blogs?
  • Do they listen to podcasts?
  • Do they participate in forums?
  • Do they engage in social media?

Once you know where to find your readers, head there and make your presence known by leaving insightful comments, answering questions, or offering guest posts. Start publicizing and get the buzz going.

Tool: WordPress or Wix

2. Create a Hub

Once you have an established blog, use it as hub or home base. Your hub is where your audience can always find you and it’s where you’ll be broadcasting your message—but it’s not where you’ll be making most of your money. It’s true that bloggers do make money directly on their site—through display ads, giveaways, sponsored reviews, etc.—but the majority of income trickles from indirect sources.

Tool: Google Adsense

3. Affiliate

Clicks are the name of the game in affiliate marketing, which is a huge trend in the blogging world. Here’s how it works:

  • You become an affiliate of a company who’s looking to get more traffic online.
  • You write a blog post which contains an embedded hyperlink to their site.
  • You get paid when that user clicks the link under one of two structures: cost per click or cost per action. The former doesn’t require a purchase from your reader, while the latter depends on converting your reader into a customer in order to get paid.

With this in mind, it’s important to establish yourself as a credible source of information. If your audience believes in what you’re saying, they’ll be more likely to click the on link which makes you money. Nonetheless, it’s a good idea to disclose the fact that your posts may contain affiliate links somewhere on your blog to relieve yourself of any liability.

Tool: Amazon Affiliates

4. Build Income Streams

Affiliate marketing isn’t the only way to gain indirect income from your blog. Use your hub to build a variety of income streams, with options such as:

  • Promote digital products. Similar to affiliate marketing, writing online reviews for digital products can earn you a commission—often at much higher rates.
  • Create e-books. Consider your blog posts as “free” content for your readership. Once you get a solid fan base going, you might want to offer an e-book for a small fee. Your e-book will attract serious readers looking for more in-depth information, and as your reputation grows, you can begin charging more per publication.
  • Offer online services. Many blogging entrepreneurs grow their online income by offering services such as one-on-one coaching or online courses. This can be charged as a one-time fee or as a recurring membership depending on what you’re offering.

You can also make money by setting up various events, selling physical merchandise, or any other creative method you come up with. Just always be upfront and fair over things you charge for to keep your fans loyal.

Tool: Clickbank, Kindle Direct Publishing and Charge.com

5. Stay Relevant

Now that your blog is in full swing, it’s important to stay relevant and on top of the competition. Keep in touch with your readers by building email lists and sharing the latest news (just don’t be overbearing!). Instead of following blogging trends, try setting them. Innovate and explore. Enhance your blog with visual graphics and interactive tools that increase user engagement. Don’t get stagnant and fall to the wayside after all the effort you put into building your blogging business.

Tool: HubSpot

If you’re ready for the blogging big leagues, follow these steps towards financial success. It won’t happen overnight, but turning your passion into profit can be done with the right determination. Start slow, keep at it, and soon your blog might transform you into an established entrepreneur.