How should I monetize my blog?
There are hundreds of different ways you can monetize your blog — but I’ll give you two: Products and/or Services.
First things first: if you’re looking to monetize your blog, I’m assuming you’re generating traffic to it.
You can’t skip this step.
Traffic + Sales = Monetization.
Without traffic, you can’t get sales.
No traffic, no monetization.
(If you’re looking for my favorite way to get traffic — content marketing with SEO — check out my answer here).
So, you’re generating traffic to your blog.
The next questions to answer are…
- Why are people coming to your blog?
- What result do they want to get from your blog?
- People come to my blog because they are interested in consulting websites.
- They want to improve their consulting website so that it helps them get more clients.
Question #2 is especially important. That’s where products and services come into play.
With that desired result in mind…
What could you create that would help your reader get that result?
That’s your product. You are packaging up what you know to help your reader get their desired result, and slapping a price tag on it. Think “Do it yourself.”
How could you personally help your reader get that result?
That’s your service. You are personally helping your reader get their desired result, and slapping a price tag on your help. Think “I’ll do it for you.”
There are many, many different formats you can use for your products and services:
(Graphic courtesy of Amy Hoy’s 30×500 class— take it if you want to learn how to sell products!)
The best format to choose is the one you can create, one your readers would buy — and, most importantly, one that helps them get a result the fastest or in the most efficient way.
People read content to solve a problem or get a result.
People buy products to solve a problem or get a result.
People invest in services to solve a problem or get a result.
If your blog helps people solve a problem or get a result, sell them a product or service so that they can get that result even faster.
Traffic + Sales (for your Product and/or Service) = Monetization.
How do I create a personal website? Are they typically hand-coded from scratch or do they use some sort of site-building software?
How you create a personal website depends on why you’re creating one.
Looking to get a job in tech?
Build it from scratch to show your technical skills.
Looking to start a blog or publish articles?
Build it with WordPress. As a “Content Management System”, it’s designed for publishing and managing content.
Looking to get a nice, brochure-style website up quickly?
Use Squarespace. It’s easy, fast, and doesn’t require any technical skills.
Looking to design a website using a clean, easy UI?
Use Webflow. It feels like you’re designing a functional website using a graphic design tool.
There are also some other emerging fantastic options like SwifSite.io, which come with marketing and sales tools built into the platform.
Check it out if you want to build your website— and also sell your products and services without having to tangle a bunch of different websites, apps, and plugins together.
You don’t need to code it from scratch. But you can, if you want to— and it makes sense for your goals.
You also don’t need to use site-building software. But you can, if you want to— and it makes sense for your goals.
If you want to create a personal website, write down WHY you are creating it in the first place.
Then choose the best option to help you fulfill that goal in the quickest, most efficient, most enjoyable way.
When someone launches a personal branding website, should he declare it to the world or would this look pure narcissism?
Declare it to the world.
I get it; promoting yourself makes you feel uneasy.
The last thing you want is for people to think of you as a self-absorbed narcissist.
As someone whos severely introverted, self-promotion is never comfortable for me.
I do it anyways.
Here’s the way I think about it that helps me do it.
The whole point of your personal branding website is to create a certain perception in people’s minds.
And if your personal branding website is about helping people and adding value — as it should be — then you owe it to them to promote yourself.
Instead of just promoting your personal branding website, try promoting it with a blog post.
This blog post should be actionable and help your readers get a result.
So, pick a day to launch your personal branding website.
Spend 3–4 days writing 250 words a day for your blog post.
Then, when it’s time to launch, declare it to the world — but make it about other people, not just yourself.
Yes, tell them about you — but also tell them about how your work can help them.
When you do it this way, your launch and self-promotion becomes a selfless — even helpful — act.
Jack Butcher of Visualize value says it best:
Promoting yourself is selfless.
People will tell you the opposite, but they’re wrong.
If you don’t promote yourself, someone else has to.
Make your personal brand about other people — and your personal website a mechanism that provides value to them — and promoting yourself will never feel narcissistic.
Who needs personal branding?
Anyone who desires to make an independent income — or advance in their career — needs personal branding.
First, what is personal branding?
Personal branding is the conscious and intentional effort to create and influence public perception of an individual by positioning them as an authority in their industry, elevating their credibility, and differentiating themselves from the competition, to ultimately advance their career, increase their circle of influence, and have a larger impact.
So, the benefits of personal branding are…
- Positions you as an authority in your industry
- Elevates your credibility
- Differentiates you from your competition
Which, in turn…
- Advances your career
- Increases your circle of influence
- Have a larger impact
If you’re known as an authority in your industry, it’s going to be easier for you to market your business or elevate your career.
Here’s the kicker: personal branding takes work.
If you want to be known as an authority, elevate your credibility, and differentiate yourself from your competition, you have to prove it.
Over, and over, and over.
With content. With video. With thought-leadership. With services. With products. With books. With intellectual property. With podcasts. You get the idea.
And most importantly — with consistency.
People are going to perceive “something” about you whether you like it or not.
Why not take the time to create and influence that perception — in a way that provides other people with value?
If you’re a freelancer, consultant, or knowledge worker, personal branding is a crucial part of your success.