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Now, you can probably tell from my website that I do like running banner ads. This website is hosted by Kinsta and they have a powerful platform that can handle ads without slowing my computer down and I have a website theme that’s great for ads, and personally I’ve found ads to be profitable.
But I know not everyone likes ads, whether it’s because they feel it slows down your website, it takes away from your content, you don’t want to add a plugin to put them on your website, you worry it makes your blog seem “too commercial” or you just don’t like it – whatever your reason, don’t worry. You can absolutely make money from a blog without having to run a single ad. I have five ways you can do this with a WordPress website (and I highly recommend using WordPress if you run a blog, here’s a non-technical guide to getting started on WordPress).
- Offer Subscriptions: You can offer subscriptions and then limit content to specific subscribers. Basically, this model means that your readers will basically pay for your site (like how you would with some newspapers like the New York Times or Charlotte Observer). You can get a good plugin like WooCommerce Subscriptions and that will help you run memberships and charge recurring payments.
- Offer Courses: Another way to share your knowledge with your website’s visitors and get paid for it is to offer courses. You can do this with LifterLMS. LifterLMS allows you to create courses and offer memberships plus all kinds of other features that can make your website even better: the ability to “drip content” meaning you can make lessons available over time, the ability to offer some courses as prerequisites (a great way to get someone to buy more than one course), the ability to offer course tracks & even certificates of completion, the ability to give multimedia lessons & quizzes, a student dashboard, discussion areas, the ability to add on private coaching upsells to make more money, ability to offer couples & bulk sales and so much more.
- Have Digital Downloads: You could sell digital downloads on your website to help you earn money. You can put together PDFs (I go over how easy it is to make a PDF through Google Docs here) and then people could buy a specific item of yours that they want rather than a subscription. An advantage of this over subscriptions is that sometimes it’s easier to get someone to buy just one thing than make a commitment, but of course an advantage to subscriptions is getting a steadier income flow. Examples of digital downloads you can sell would be, for example, a PDF giving advice on how to grow a Pinterest account for a business, packing lists for trips, recipes, tips on how to organize a closet, etc. If you have trouble coming up with content, you can actually buy material and then resell it as your own, such as this Pinterest Marketing Success Kit, Instagram Marketing Success Kit, Octosuite, Linkedin Marketing Success Kit or Facebook Marketing Business in a Box. You can also put together a bunch of your blog entries and sell those as a way for someone to see a lot of your content without having to look for it.
- Affiliate Marketing: Just because you don’t run ads doesn’t mean you can’t earn money from affiliate marketing. Instead of putting ads all your website, you can just mention products in your posts organically and make those affiliate links. For example, let’s say you use Amazon Associates. Amazon sells pretty much everything, so you might be able to organically reference them in your blog entries; for example, if you blog about parenting, you might just legitimately be talking about potty training and mention a potty training toilet and you can make that a link, like I just did.
- Have Guest Posts: With guest posts, you can allow other people to post on your website for a fee. In return, you would allow them to leave a link to their website so they would basically be paying to get exposure to their website and get crucial backlinks that will help their rankings in Google and other search engines. This is great for you because not only could this help you earn money, but it can also help you keep your blog up to date with new blog entries even when you are busy. People will be able to easily add blog entries if you use the USP Pro Front-End Forms plugin.
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