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How to make an income on your blog, through products and affiliate programmes
By now, if you are running your blog and updating it regularly, you will be aware that many experts recommend having a downloadable product to offer, to encourage people to visit your site and benefit from the service you are offering.
One of the most effective products you can place on your blog is an eBook which offers advice and guidance in your chosen field of expertise. Whether you are a technological whizz or a marketer, a health guru or a writer, you are one of the most knowledgeable people in your industry – that’s why you set up your blog, right?
Why it makes sense to offer a product such as an eBook on your blog
Everybody likes free stuff, so it makes sense to offer something of value for nothing, or relatively cheaply. This encourages loyalty from people you have assisted, and also helps get your blog up there on the search engine radar as visitors searching for support on a specific subject can hunt you out and visit. Price your product well, and try to generate cashflow through the number of sales you make, rather than through a highly-priced product.
Creating an eBook is relatively simple, especially if you have been blogging for a while and putting up useful content. Your main aim is to present a useful guide for people, so one way to do this quickly is to collate previous blog posts which have proven to be popular, top and tail them with a great introduction, format them and – hey presto! Your product is ready to go.
Getting your eBook online for people
I get a number of queries from people asking how we should actually upload our products once we have developed them, and it can be confusing to know the best way to host your package once you are ready to go with it. I’ve developed a free course which takes you through the steps you need to get your eBook on to your WordPress blog, with simple instructions. I also cover mp3 products and other digital giveaways, if you’d rather market your services this way. Check out the videos to see how to get started, and you’ll be well on your way to offering an enhanced freebie to your readers.
The free course covers the following modules:
- Using Paypal
- Using Paypal and AWeber
- Using WP E-commerce
- Using Ecwid
- Using e-Junkie
- Using Clickbank.
These five tools are the most popular ways of selling products online, making it easy for you to take payment for your eBook or digital product.
What should your eBook be, and how do you get ideas?
You know your industry best, but a few pointers for products include interviews and videos, articles on your field of expertise, audio files talking people through complex processes, or training manuals, workshop drafts and guides. Take a look at what your competitors are doing, and see if you can’t match or better the kind of products they are developing and offering to their readers.
Cashing in on affiliate opportunities
Another way of generating revenue from your blog easily is through affiliate product programs. Affiliate programs are a different way of monetizing your blog from advertising. The advantage of Affiliate programs is that they have the potential to pay a lot more than most advertising programs, if you choose your affiliation carefully. The downside is that you only realize revenue if your readers act on the prompts which encourage them to click and purchase through your affiliates.
Picking the right products to promote, matched to your own services
There are thousands of products and services that you can promote through affiliate programs on your blog. It can be tough to choose the right one, so I’ve outlined some pointers to get you going.
Firstly, choose something that relates very closely to your blog subject, it’s no good offering links to corporate training courses if your blog is about stress management and wellbeing! Choose wisely from the huge range out there, to make it more likely that your readers will be interested in what you are promoting.
Think about the material on your blog, and spend a few moments brainstorming. What are you readers searching for? How can you help? What types of product most closely match what you are offering on your site? As you begin to answer these questions you should get a feel for the type of opportunities that there are for affiliate programs.
Linking your affiliate products to your field of expertise
Try not to run affiliate programs just because you can – this will not support your revenue generation, and may even alienate visitors to your site. It makes much more financial sense to select your programs carefully and match them as well as you can to your blog, to encourage uptake. Check the quality of your chosen products and make sure that giving them space on your blog will not bring your reputation as a product expert into question. Only have reputable, high-quality affiliates on your site.
Pick products that are useful and available to the majority of your readers’ geographical location. It’s no good linking to British sites for US readers, or promoting a range of Japanese food chains on your American blog!
By developing a great product for your site, and inviting affiliates on to your blog, you should be well on your way to generating a decent revenue from your blogging exploits.
If your blog is looking ‘so last season’, maybe it’s time for a revamp. Get in touch and I’ll help if you want to find new ways of presenting yourself and your business.