When you ask someone how they plan to monetize something, generally the answer has something to do with advertising. However, there are plenty of ways to make an income without ever placing an ad on your blog. This post will highlight at least 5 of those methods.
1. Make Yourself Worthy Of Being Hired – When I published on my own blog for a year, I did so as an experiment to see where the blog would take me. I didn’t have a single ad on the blog nor was I interested in monetization. However, two-thirds into the project, I received an email asking me if I would be interested in writing about WordPress on their site. The point being, my blog was a constantly updated resume with each published post. Hundreds of blogs both big and small are always looking for people to write content for them “albeit for free”. By the way, if you’re looking for a blogging job, stop by the Performancing job board where jobs are being posted on a regular basis.
2. Consultation – If you have become a pro within your niche, consider allowing people to purchase billable hours from you in exchange for consultation. Often times, if you provide the results, word of mouth will do the advertising for you. On the side, maintain a blog which continues to discuss your niche. The blog will also serve as a funnel for new clients.
3. Sell A Product/Service – Instead of placing 200 ads on your blog, why not create a product or service that is in demand, then sell it. You could sell memberships to a specialized website with premium content, some sort of SEO on Steroids service which would give bloggers all the information they would need to know to rank higher in the search engines, etc. These are just examples but the premise is to sell a product. One more benefit to think about, you keep 100% of the profit.
Other Examples: Selling Merchandise, Selling Guest Blog Posting Services
4. Do Something That Creates Other Opportunities – Use your blog as a platform. A great example is Frank Warren’s PostSecrets blog which publishes 20 postcards each week showcasing secrets people have told him on postcards. What started out as an art project has landed Frank numerous opportunities to chat with mainstream media, has given him the chance to speak at numerous colleges across the country, and has given him the opportunity to network with people all across the world. PostSecrets is a blog which gains in popularity quarter after quarter. Despite the blogs popularity, Frank continues to keep the blog ad free and has turned down numerous advertising deals, some of which have been rather lucrative.
5. Write/Sell A Book – Chris Anderson showed us with The Long Tail, that becoming a successful book author is easy when you have a blog with thousands of readers/contributors to market to. Chris Anderson used the blog as a way of sharing thoughts and ideas that were going to appear in the book. Thanks to the contributions and discussions offered by fans of the blog, this helped to reshape the book before being published. These loyal fans also received copies of the book before it was published, giving them the opportunity to spread the word before the books initial release.
Don’t want to write a book? Think about it this way. If you write about a specific niche long enough, you could easily take all of those blog posts and turn them into a book. Thus, each blog post represents one page or perhaps an entire chapter within a book. Other great examples include Lorelle Van Fossen’s “Blogging Tips – What Bloggers Won’t Tell You About Blogging” and Darren Rowse with co author Chris Garret’s “ProBlogger – Secrets To Blogging Your Way To A Six-Figure Income“.
These are just a handful of ways in which you can monetize without displaying a single ad on your blog. If you get creative, I’m sure you’ll be able to come up with more which I invite you to share with us in the comments.