10 Tips for Optimizing Your Blog to Make Money

May 16, 2017 50 thoughts
Gorgeous farmland beside the jungle in Buena Vista, Costa Rica.

 

“Why isn’t my blog making money??!?!?!”

 

How many times has *that* desperate question screamed in your mind?

 

I almost died in India after suffering through giardia and becoming dangerously dehydrated. I slammed into the pavement like Superman after a horrible motorbike accident in Bali. I’ve faced down deadly spitting cobras, killer kraits, savage centipedes and vicious bullet ants during my world travels.

 

I even sat in a locked cage with three, 400 pound tigers in Thailand.

 

Feeling the frustration of not knowing how in the hell I needed to optimize my blog to make money ranks up there with these scary, terrible feeling experiences from my world travels.

 

You may be beyond disgusted with your money-making campaign. So that you actually want to throw your lap top out of the window.

 

Or maybe you want to place your smartphone under a steam roller, feeling the satisfaction of seeing so much blogging pain crushed violently by a ton worth of mean machinery.

 

Before you trash your tech I want to help you:

 

  • make more money through your blog
  • make more money through your blog with less effort
  • make more money through your blog in less time
  • connect with readers who love your work and would gladly hire you and buy your stuff

 

You can create a stunning array of blog content, dripping with help and usefulness, but if your blog ain’t packaged right you’ll scare off money like a Buddhist monk sprinting from a Cracker Barrel Sunday morning, gut-busting brunch.

 

The 2 things just ain’t a match.

 

Follow these 10 tips to optimize your blog to make money.

 

1: Grow an Email List

 

The easiest way to optimize your blog to make money is to grow an email list.

 

Building an email list:

 

  • creates on-demand traffic
  • creates on-demand profits
  • creates on-demand comments
  • creates on-demand social shares
  • builds strong relationships with readers, which leads to greater profits

 

Rather than killing yourself, hustling here and there and everywhere to share your latest blog post across thousands of spots online, building an email list simply brings everybody to you. So after publishing a post you just create a small email through your list provider, hit the “send” button then hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands or more readers get your latest post in 2 seconds.

 

Even the Guige Playoff Crowd ain’t afraid to scam folks. Why so scared to use pop ups? From Chiang Mai, Thailand.

 

What sounds like it’ll make you more money? Killing yourself to try to be everywhere online? Or using an easy way to bring everybody to you?

 

Build your email list. Starting today. Make this a prime intent behind your blogging campaign.

 

2: Post Pop Up and Side Bar Opt In Forms

 

My email list was a wee small prior to the last few months – gave it little thought – but it grew by 30% since I used pop ups. That’s a hefty number. That 30% growth rate falls within 1-2 months.

 

Using pop ups is the quickest, easiest way to grow your email list really, really, really fast.

 

If you fear annoying people by using pop ups, you should be 10 times more terrified that you are missing an opportunity to build strong, powerful, profitable bonds with raging fans who don’t join your list because they didn’t see a clear, in your face, bold pop up on visiting your site.

 

Add an opt in form on your sidebar. As a follow up to your pop up form.

 

3: Add Multiple Streams of Income

 

A sea sponge could clearly see how adding one income stream to your blog, every 3-6 months, and learning those streams inside-out so you actually make money through the streams, will help optimize your blog effectively, so that you make money.

 

10 income streams you learn and work and promote freely is better than 1 income stream. In most cases at least.

 

Example

 

10 minutes ago somebody bought one of my Selz eBooks. $15 (minus commission) sent to my bank account. Sweet. 3 more folks bought my eBook a few hours before. Roughly $9. Sweet. I’m due to make $35 through one consulting stream in a day or so. That’s about $60 through 3 separate income streams, today, or between today and tomorrow, as of this writing.

 

Add in my:

 

  • blogging courses
  • coaching services
  • freelance writing services
  • affiliate revenue
  • audio book revenue
  • various consulting services

 

and I give readers a chance to receive help and spend money through many channels. Which is a smart way to monetize your blog through optimizing.

 

4: Align Your Blog Top Down

 

Make money through your blog by doing 1 thing, so you do it well.

 

Ensure your blog design aligns 100% with the 1 thing you do well.

 

 

My blog is a solid study. Every freaking widget, nook, cranny, post or page SCREAMS Blogging From Paradise: How to Retire to a Life of Island Hopping through Smart Blogging.

 

My readers have no confusion about what I do or how I help them. So they buy my premium stuff and hire me, because they know the 1 specific thing I do and how it helps them, and my blog reflects this clarity nicely, too.

 

5: Don’t Be Shy to Ask for the Buy

 

If you’re having a terrible time making money through your blog you are probably shy about asking for the buy.

 

If you make a pretty penny through your blog I betcha you have no problems asking readers once, twice or 10 times – through persistent follow ups – to buy your products or eBooks or to hire you for your services.

 

Last month I got clearer on my paid offerings. I promoted an eBook on a Friday. Saw a nice spike in sales. On Sunday, I reminded my email list subscribers to buy my eBook. My sales doubled the first day sales total. Yes….I sold twice as many eBooks on the follow up day versus the actual release/launch day.

 

It’s the Commercial Effect: you tend to buy something after 2 or 5 or 10 or 20 exposures. A commercial plays once. Catchy tune. After seeing or hearing it for the 5th time the ad reminds you what you are missing and you make the buy. Or maybe it takes 15 follow ups to goad you to buy. But in the end, you buy, whether on the first or 20th exposure.

 

Practical Tips

 

  • Email your list 2 days after a big launch to remind subscribers to buy your stuff
  • End each blog post with a persistent, clear call to action
  • Promote your premium offerings persistently on social media

 

Do you fear seeing more unsubscribes after adopting this approach? Who the hell cares! Are you blogging to persistently help great matches, who will readily gobble up your premium offerings and pad your pockets? Or are you blogging not to annoy poor matches who have issues with spending money?

 

One of the great mental illness memes passed between bloggers – dingbat me, included, for many painful years – is that “you better be careful not to burn through your email list.” Like all fear-based blogging advice, it is an illusion (for the spiritually sophisticated) or a steaming pile of pure horse shit (for the more colorfully-inclined crowd).

 

Please; if you want to make more money through your blog ask folks to buy your stuff persistently, frequently and regularly. Million and billion dollar empires are built on the foundation of clear, persistent follow ups.

 

On the flip side, not following up persistently is a fear-based, selfish act that deprives your biggest fans and even lukewarm readers from the gentle nudge they need to buy something that would benefit their lives significantly.

 

6: Gussy Up Your Profit-Earning Widgets

 

I created this Amazon widget specifically for this post. For you bloggers who crave tips to make money through your blog.

 

Buy what catches your blogging fancy:

 


 

See how purdy the widget looks? Pretty-looking widgets are appealing, simple, clean vehicles through which to increase sales and boost your blogging profits.

 

Linking to eBooks or courses is a’ight but using a graphical interface creates the type of eye candy that increase your blogging profits.

 

Gussy-up your blog. Either use third party widgets or design simple, clean, eye-catching banners to wrap your income streams in higher converting packaging.

 

7: Focus Every Post on Solving a Targeted Reader Problem

 

One easy way to boost your blogging earnings is to address specific problems suffered by your ideal readers. Through each and every blog post.

 

Example

 

Peep this post title. I am helping you make more money through your blog. Since this is a somewhat common problem – tongue planted in cheek – in the blogging tips niche I am solving only about 40 million blogger’s problems through this post.

 

If one of my bribed readers says “Hey this moron actually solved my problems! Lemme see what eBooks and courses and services he has to offer”, I just landed a potential new client or customer. More help. More fulfillment. More money.

 

Key point; solve specific problems for your ideal readers EACH and EVERY post. Not good enough to solve specific blogging problems this week then to turn around and help my readers learn how to create the biggest splat by throwing overripe papayas from 10 stories up next week.

 

Ya feel ya readers? Kathmandu, Nepal.

 

Feel your reader’s specific problems by being compassionate. Solve through your blog. Prosper.

 

8: Take out the Non Earning Trash

 

Do you *really* need to show off reader locations around the globe?

 

How about that tag cloud from the early 2000’s? Is it *really* the best use you can make of your sidebar?

 

Trash all non earning widgets to streamline your blog.

 

Treat your sidebar real estate with respect, not as a dumping ground. Add only brand-aligned, prospering ads, widgets or photos to maximize your blogging earnings.

 

9: Create Scannable Blog Posts

 

Creating scannable blog posts sends off a professional, branded, clear vibe. Bloggers seen in a professional, branded, clear light tend to make some super scrilla online.

 

 

On the flip side, sloppy-looking, difficult to scan posts send most readers heading to the hills.

 

Make it easy for readers to scan your posts quickly so they get the information they want and can buy your stuff or hire you swiftly.

 

Use headers, frequent paragraphs and short, punchy sentences to ensure posts flow freely and smoothly, all prepped for easy scanning.

 

10: Be Reachable

 

Make it easy for readers to email you.

 

Accessible bloggers profit nicely.

 

Sometimes a prospective client just needs to touch base via a quick email before booking a session. Ditto with prospective course or eBook customers.

 

Optimize your blog to make money by being accessible, transparent and super duper easy to reach through email.

 

Post your email address on your sidebar. Post your email address on your services rendered pages.

 

Be reachable.

 

Prosper.

 

Your Turn

 

What tips can you add to this list?

Follow Ryan

Ryan Biddulph

Ryan Biddulph is a blogger, author and world traveler who's been featured on Richard Branson's Virgin Blog, Forbes, Fox News, Entrepreneur, Positively Positive, Life Hack, John Chow Dot Com and Neil Patel Dot Com. He has written and self-published 126 bite-sized eBooks on Amazon. Ryan can help you build a successful blog with the 11 Fundamentals of Successful Blogging Audio Course.
Follow Ryan

50 Comments

  1. Yes definitely add a blog to your store because it helps boost sales in the long run. Great trust builder.

    Ryan

  2. Ryan, Thanks for well written content about blog. Can you please suggest me should i add a blog to my online shopping site and how become i get benefited by it?

    Thanks in Advance

  3. Yep Sue; keep the focus on fun and just grow that list to help monetization. It is such a difference maker.

    Ryan

  4. Cool definitely go for it Shivam. Thank you.

    Ryan

  5. I have none myself Fahim but Mail Chimp or any other campaign manager does a fine job. Also….Google or YouTube it πŸ˜‰

    Thanks much.

    Ryan

  6. Fahim Ahsan Says:

    Awesome. I’m new and want to learn more from you. Could you please give me suggestion/tutorial on how can I make posts and email subscription pop up or opt-in? Thanks in advance.

  7. Shivam Tech Says:

    I am thinking to start doing freelance work as I have to earn 800$ within 3 months . Thanks for sharing .

  8. Sue Slaght Says:

    Ryan you have a lot of great information here. Clearly you have dialed in, worked hard and grown a massive audience. I know that didn’t come without a lot of work. I am now working on cleaning up my blog as when I started a few years ago it was just going to be a travel journal. Oh if I knew then how things would play out. For us it is a balance as we are near retirement and the blog is meant to be fun. Of course who doesn’t like to make some money right? I appreciate all of these tips. The email thing is big on my to do list.
    Sue

  9. Haha Avinash a serial author. I like that πŸ˜‰ Shyness has to go indeed if we want to prosper. Thanks a bunch!

    Ryan

  10. Hi Ryan,

    First I’d like to congratulate you for awesome blog’s design. It really made me felt like paradise on web at least. πŸ™‚

    Now coming to your blog post, It is an epic post and you have jot down all the true points only. If we shy then we can’t make money. We have to release shyness from our personality.

    You have become serial author now.

    Great post.

    Thanks,

    Avinash

  11. Melanie Says:

    This is a very informative blog post. My blog is still fairly new, not even two months old yet. I still have a lot to learn so thank you for sharing!

  12. Having that 1 core idea in mind and holding to it makes a big difference for each blog post Drake. Thanks much!

    Ryan

  13. Drake Thapa Says:

    Hey Ryan

    All these points are great, but I’m focusing on point number 7 right now. Every post you write has to have one and only one theme. It should help the readers find what they are looking for. The benefits are obvious – it’s easy to comprehend and solves the problem right away. Plus, Email marketing is one of the most powerful modes of marketing. Many think that it’s only fruitful for eCommerce, but the fact is it’s equally good for a blog as well.

    Again, these are awesome tips for making money through your blog. Thanks for sharing them!

  14. Thanks G πŸ˜‰

  15. Gaurav Heera Says:

    useful information, blog optimization is very important interns of traffic.

  16. Sushil thanks for reading πŸ™‚

    Ryan

  17. Sushil K Says:

    Hey Ryan,
    I really liked your post, this gives a good idea of blogging in a correct way. I have recently started writing, and this blog of yours is of great help for the beginners like me, I have jotted all the points and would implement in my writing blogs. Thanks for such wonderful blog.

  18. Hi Vishwajeet,

    Affiliate marketing is a fun way to earn on the shoulders of others πŸ˜‰ As for ads you definitely cannot go bonkers in this area or readers will head for the hills in disgust.

    Thanks for the rocking comment!

    Ryan

  19. Hello Ryan,

    Monetizing a blog is a very crucial part to make money online from blog. People like to flooded their blog with ton of advertisements which will create negative user experience. I always prefer to write product reviews to gain more trust among my users and offer them what they want. Affiliate marketing is really a good way to monetize a blog and I am using it from past 1 years and its really help me make money from my blog. Thanks for this amazing post.

  20. Ditto on list building Eli. I doubled down last month and have been adding quite a few subscribers during that period. Thanks much!

    Ryan

  21. Eli Seekins Says:

    Hey Ryan,

    So rad that you got to chill with tigers. Adding that to my bucket list.

    Your email list is crucial. That’s the #1 thing I’m focusing on right now.

    I also agree that you should constantly be solving a problem for your audience and that it’s good to have multiple streams of income.

    Thanks for the tips!

  22. You are networking well Anthony. Really well πŸ˜‰ I would just follow these tips. More than that, get really really really clear on why you are blogging. I know you have a strong why; your family and all of your freedom. The more you focus on that reason the more you will follow these tips and others that resonate you. This will help you care less about money, which allows more money to flow in. Thanks for sharing and keep on keeping on bro!

    Ryan

  23. Ryan, this is really great information. Thanks for sharing your insight. I certainly have been feeling the sensation of… Finally I have people going to my site! Let’s check how much my affiliate marketing links are making… wah waaaah… BOOM a big fat $0. If it weren’t for AdSense… I’d have no cents at all! I KNOW in my heart of hearts, I am doing this all wrong, but I am not ready to write an eBook. My greatest learning curve is how to write affiliate content to generate a call to action within in my space. I have been blessed to see traffic on my site which is only a one month into promoting my content (after figuring out Google isn’t going to do the work for me) and 2 months from my first posts. (I am building an email list… slowly) Yet annoyed at myself for not being able to capitalize on it AT ALL. $0 is unacceptable in my unwritten book. That said, I can’t help but wonder, how many people need to visit my website before they buy something from an affiliate link? Without a real email list, I suppose that depends on what you are advertising, how well written your content is, and if you are following these 10 tips. In the interim, I am going to continue to learn from advisers such as yourself, see if I can change this around, and then turn it into something I can call an income. As always, thanks Ryan!

  24. Hi Kirl,

    Definitely toss around those monetizing ideas now; it’ll get you in the right frame of mind πŸ˜‰ Thanks for reading!

    Ryan

  25. kirl krug Says:

    Hi Ryan. Very nice and informative post. My blog is only a couple of months and a half old, so I have not started monetizing it. But I will sure apply #10,#7 and #4 for now as I try to grow my blog.

  26. Hi Tina,

    Awesome that you are diving into list building now! Really key. I mistakenly ignored my list for a long time but have made up for it in the past few months πŸ˜‰ Thank you for reading.

    Ryan

  27. Cool Kitty sounds good πŸ™‚ Thanks for reading.

    Ryan

  28. I am posting on my blog form last 3 month this have great traffic also. now i will implement your tips on my blog to earn money.

  29. Tina Says:

    Hey Ryan, this was perfectly timed! We are starting to think about monetization and definitely do NOT want to put all of our eggs in one basket, so to speak.

    We’re working on setting up email now. It was defiantly a mistake on our part not to have that ready when we launched. Lesson learned.

    Lots of great stuff here. We will have to start working through the list after we get the email up and running.

    Thanks for the ideas!

  30. Awesome Soumya! You will love the benefits of building a list. Thank you πŸ™‚

    Ryan

  31. I need to so start building an email list. I am so way behind in doing that. I love this post and you have definitely given few good tips for other bloggers.

  32. Sidd thanks a bunch πŸ™‚

    Ryan

  33. These 10 tips are really powerful one if any one starts following it on daily basis, definetly could earn good money.

  34. I am definitely a full fledged scanner Hassaan; no doubt about it. I scan, quickly, and discern key points so I have all that time for writing and commenting. Thanks for reading!

    Ryan

  35. Hassaan Khan Says:

    Hi, Ryan!

    Great post, bro.
    All of the tips are super cool. The point #9 is my favorite, though. I’ve learned about scannable posts from Darren Rowse and Hubspot Blog. In fact, I’ve noticed that as a reader, sometimes I do scan the blog posts before reading. It’s real.

    I know how much sidebar widgets are important for a blog. However, I would say that as long as the sidebar widgets are not increasing your page loading speed, they’re fine.

  36. 2nd eBook? Woohoo Cori! That’s awesome.

    Ryan

  37. Cori Ramos Says:

    Hey there Ryan.

    Wow, I don’t think there is anything left to add. You got it all down!

    Believe it or not I am too shy to ask them to buy – I need to work on that. πŸ™‚

    I’m also going to try #9 – which comes at a perfect time because I’m working my second eBook, yay!

    Thanks for this great post. No doubt I’m passing this along!

    Cori

  38. 8 years D, it’s still in the process πŸ˜‰ Really though, my blog took off when I embraced and dove into my deepest fears. Which is the exact point where all our blogs take off for us.

    Ryan

  39. You got it Mozie! Solving your reader’s specific problems is the easiest way into their hearts. Thank you for reading πŸ™‚

    Ryan

  40. Awesome Lovet. Great to see you so new to this fun blogging journey πŸ˜‰ Not sure about Adsense approval but really, I would not post ads on a new blog. Open income streams like writing and selling eBooks, or become a freelance writer, or learn the in’s and out’s of blog coaching, or hop into affiliate marketing. Ad money trickles in – pennies – if that, on new blogs. But if you dive in and learn more profitable income streams as a new blogger you will thank yourself down the road. Thanks much!

    Ryan

  41. I love your clarity and boldness Susan. I feel it the minute I visit your home page. No confusion. I know how you help me. How you benefit me. This is how to build a profitable blog. Thank you πŸ˜‰

    Ryan

  42. That’s a good point Lisa. If you can be bold and direct through your day job you can be bold and direct through your blog. And what you do, the way you help folks, nobody will perceive your clarity as being over pushy or anything like that. Folks will buy in – literally – because they trust you and appreciate your help. Both free and premium. Thanks much!

    Ryan

  43. Bren I had a horrific time building my list. For years. Because I didn’t care about it LOL. Happy to see you jump back into list building with both feet. Thank you!

    Ryan

  44. DNN Says:

    How long did you blog take to take off?

  45. Bren Pace Says:

    Hey Ryan,

    Fabulous points! I can’t add anything to the list but I will definitely take some of what you listed and start implementing. I’ve always struggled with an email list but yesterday, restarted my newsletter. I’m still playing with it a bit but I’m determined to make a go of it.

    Thanks for the tips!

    B

  46. Hi Ryan, wow, you found my fear. I’m afraid of pushing anything too much via my blog. I don’t want to be pushy but yet at my day job in sales I have to be pushy. Maybe I need to get pushy 24/7 πŸ™‚
    And yet you don’t seem it yourself Ryan. You teach, give us lessons and you are not screaming at us to buy this or that. You eBooks speak for themselves.
    I may take up your tip to add my email address too in my blog. I have the contact me page to generate leads but an email that’s there is easier, right?
    Thanks for stretching my brain on this one Ryan, love your ideas!

  47. Susan Velez Says:

    Hi Ryan,

    These are great tips for optimizing your blog to make money, after all that’s our goal. We wouldn’t work this hard on our blog if we didn’t actually want to monetize it.

    Pop ups, at first I avoided them like the plague because I didn’t like them. However, after testing different popups on my blog, I’ve realized that the light box popup is the highest converter on my box.

    Like you, my main goal is to grow my email list. However, I am still new to email marketing and growing my list. It is nice to see it growing slowly, at least it’s growing.

    Love your Amazon widget and it definitely makes it easy for people to buy your products. Which is what we want.

    I totally agree with you about just coming out and asking for the sale. I used to avoid asking and would just beat around the bush. However, now I just come out and ask for the sale, whether it’s my product or an affiliate product.

    This definitely works and there’s nothing wrong with asking for the sale.

    Thanks for sharing these tips with us, have a great day πŸ™‚

    Susan

  48. lovet Says:

    Hi Ryan. Very nice and informative post. My blog is only a couple of months and a half old, so I have not started monetizing it. But I will sure apply #10,#7 and #4 for now as I try to grow my blog.

    When I do start monetizing, I will like to start with Google Adsense, I wonder if approval has any dependence on country of application?

  49. Mozie Says:

    Hi Ryan

    This is a very good post, especially for people that are blogging incorrectly without purpose. I like your tip “Focus Every Post on Solving a Targeted Reader Problem”, it’s so important to have focus in your posts and actual help people, because if you’re helping someone solve a problem, they are likely to see you as an authority, likely to join your email list and even buy from you or your affiliate links. And the best part is, they will love you for it since all of your content is aimed at helping them. Thanks for this one, it was great to read and remind myself what I should be doing.

  50. I left a thought.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *