The Best Way to Monetize Your Blog (Without Ads) as a Service Based Business

Sep 28, 2021


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Today I’m talking about monetizing your blog and it’s probably not going to be what you think. Whenever someone asks me how to “monetize” their blog, they’re usually expecting a slew of answers related to ad revenue.

I want you to forget about ad revenue for a moment.

Back when I began my blogging journey, a few things were true for me. Number 1, I had no idea what ad revenue was or meant and 2, once I did have an understanding of ad revenue, I thought it was the only way to generate an income from my blog.

I didn’t realize there was a diverse array of opportunities for monetizing your blog and that I had actually already done a lot of it.

As a business owner you might have some of these misunderstandings as well. You may think that in order to make blogging a valuable task in your business, you will need to spend hours every week creating content and getting traffic to your site.

I’m here to tell you that you’re wrong and to show you how it’s possible to monetize your blog doing things you might already even be doing.

Before we dive in, I want you to be clear about one thing.

It’s time for a mindset shift about blogging. Are you open to that?

1. You do not have to be a “blogger” to have a blog and for it to be an core part of your content marketing strategy.

2. You do not have to create tons and tons of content every week just to see the ROI on blogging.

3. Oh, AND – when we talk about the ROI on blogging, we aren’t just talking about instant sales and more clients. Because while those things are pretty incredible, what has to happen before you can SELL or sign more clients is a connection has to be made, trust has to be built, and a relationship must be formed.

And blogging DOES A LOT OF THAT work for you. By giving new followers and readers a place to get to know you, learn what you know, and ultimately see you as an authority. 

You might want to read this blog post: How to Start a Blog for Your Online Business
Here’s what you can expect to get out of today’s post. I’ll be sharing the different ways you can generate income from the blog content you publish on your website. I want you to have the options in front of you so that you can decide which ones would work best for your business. 

I’ll also be sharing about why I haven’t monetized my blog with ads and why you might not want to either.

How Do Bloggers Get Paid?

In order to answer this question properly, first you have to understand what is meant by the term “blogger”. There are two types of “bloggers” that this can apply to here. The first type is a blogger who blogs AS their business. This is a person who has a blog and uses that content to generate an income.

The second type is a business owner who blogs FOR their business. This is an entrepreneur who has a website and uses a blog page to create content to educate, inform and entertain their audience in order to build a connection and relationship and generate a list of warm leads for their business. 

You may think that bloggers just get paid to write their content but in a lot of cases that isn’t true.
First, let’s get clear on the different ways you can use a blog to make an income.

Blogging AS Your Business

To monetize this type of blogging, most will focus on increasing pageviews so as to use an ad network and get income from the traffic being sent to their site. This is the most passive type of income. But it usually takes some time to generate enough traffic to get a significant amount of income.

But bloggers who blog as their business might also leverage brand collaborations and affiliate marketing to generate income. Both of these require a bit more strategy and communication with brands to get up and running but are very doable.

Blogging FOR Your Business

When we talk about blogging for your business, monetizing your blog looks a little different. Most entrepreneurs are already maxed out on time and don’t have much interest in pitching brands for collaborations or creating a ton of content to get ads.

So for most of you reading this, you are likely much more interested in how to monetize your blog FOR your business. And that’s what we’re going to focus on today.


Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is an easy way to generate a little bit of income with your content. If you’re not familiar with affiliate marketing, it’s a way to promote your favorite tools and brands and get paid to do so. Most brands will offer a percentage of the sales you send to them when you sign up to be an affiliate. Most brands will give you a unique-to-you affiliate link that will track the sales you bring in.

For example, if you are a fan of Honeybook or Flodesk – then you could recommend that to your audience in a blog post about tools or resources and invite your readers to sign up, too, using your affiliate link.

Generally affiliate marketing will bring in a small amount each month, but it’s easy to do – especially when you’re already going to be sharing these brands.

Digital Products

Hello – you are a service based business. That means what you do is provide a service for others to help solve a problem. Digital products is almost a no brainer for your business. And your blog content will help to support those digital products.

Start by creating a digital product that solves a problem you already know how to address. This could be a training, tutorial, template or guide. This digital product should provide a clear and desired transformation for your ideal clients..

Digital products are two-fold. While they will generate income for your business, it will also help to grow your list of qualified leads for additional offers you provide.

Courses

You’re an expert in your field, right? There are always going to be potential clients out there who will want to take the DIY route. Some of them will DIY and be successful and most of them will DIY and then realize it’s way more complicated to try to be a jack of all trades and will end up hiring you for your services. So a course can earn you passive income while also growing a pool of warm leads that you can eventually help with your services.

Group Programs

A group program is a great way to generate more income from your blog content. A group program brings a group of people together with a shared problem and takes them through a process to help them achieve a designated outcome. Likely this includes some education, guidance along with support. The benefit of a group program is that you can develop a group program for more people and make more without sacrificing more time working 1:1 with individuals. Group programs amplify your ability to impact your community and help them achieve their goals.

Memberships

Memberships are similar to group programs but provide ongoing support. Typically memberships are a lower cost. In a membership program, you might host weekly group training sessions and ongoing tutorials to help your members continue to hone their skills.

These are a great way to impact a larger group of people for a smaller price point and generate a more passive type of income.

eBook

An eBook is technically a digital product but it’s also a bit more comprehensive. You can put all of your expertise into a written digital download book and post it on your website for sale. Then create content around these topics and use that content as an opportunity to promote your eBook.


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Should I Put Ads on my Blog?

As a seasoned blogger, I do NOT have ads on my site. Say what?? Yep, you read that right.

Sure, I’m missing out on some passive ad revenue. But here’s the thing – ads aren’t necessarily the best way to monetize. As a content creator (of any kind) it’s important that you put your audience first. This includes the context of the content you create, but it also includes your user experience.

Ads can slow your site down, can feel spammy to users, and ultimately drive readers off of your site. When you’re a business owner who is working on earning trust with your audience – ads can work counterintuitively to that. Generally, ads feel a little distrustworthy to readers.

I ultimately decided that I would rather leverage my blog content to create income another way than to use ads to generate income. It was important to me to create a space that was easy to navigate and that would promote trust with my readers.

And so, I encourage you to do the same.

Was it what you expected? Monetizing a blog isn’t all about ads. And it’s not just for “bloggers”. As a service based business owner, coach, or course creator – your blog content can be monetized a number of ways.

Here’s a Quick Recap

  • Affiliate links

  • Digital products

  • Courses

  • Group Programs

  • Memberships

  • eBooks

If you’re ready to start a blog for your business but aren’t sure where to start – check out my content repurposing masterclass that will teach you step by step how to create blog content from your social media content. You can download it now, right here.

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Hi, I'm Anna!

I’m Glad You’re Here -
Hey there! I’m Anna Huff. Content Strategy and Blog Coach.

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