9. Restrict Access to Premium Content
We’ve gotten used to thinking that everything online is free. But businesses are learning that while “free” is a great way to drive traffic, it’s not so good for making money. And consumers are learning that while “free” is great for the pocketbook, it’s not always so great in terms of quality. More and more online, people are being asked to pay for “the good stuff,” and you can do the same on your blog.
What can you ask people to pay for? Videos
Deeper, more sophisticated content
Replays of interviews or Q&A calls
Access to training materials such as worksheets, planning guides, spreadsheets, etc.
Here are some hints for offering premium content on your blog:
Give a taste. If you’re offering recipes, show an image of the completed dish to encourage people to pay to access the full recipe. If you are selling audios, list a few bullet pointed “takeaways,” or provide a sample of the audio, like iTunes does. Give people an idea of what to expect and they’ll be more likely to want to “pay to play.”
Keep it simple. Too many options confuses people, and a confused mind does nothing. Don’t offer too many bells and whistles or packages; just keep it basic, especially at first.
Educate people. Particularly if you are in a non-technical field, people may be hesitant to purchase something they think they can get for free. Emphasize the benefits of your material – convenience, quality, exclusivity, etc. Point out how your product is superior to others, or how it will save them time or money. Include testimonials. Give people a reason to trust you, and to say “Yes.” By including testimonials of satisfied customers on your blog, you can help potential purchasers over the hurdle of making the decision to purchase. Video testimonials are especially effective.
There are a number of WordPress plug-ins to allow you to restrict access to certain areas of your WordPress blog – or you can keep things very simple and just password-protect specific posts or areas. In any case, just as a velvet rope at the entrance to the hottest nightclub in town indicates that something good is going on inside, barring entrance to certain areas of your blog will make visitors very curious – maybe curious enough to pay! You never know until you try.
10. Sell Technology
Many of the technological advances in the blogging world have come about as a result of a blogger needing a way to do something more quickly, more easily, or more completely on their blog. WordPress plug-ins, blog themes, graphics, apps, and the like are all examples of ways inventive bloggers have turned their need into a profitable revenue stream.
You may think that there’s no way you could sell technology because you’re not technologically minded yourself. Not true! Not even Bill Gates does his own coding. Here’s how to identify and create technology tools your market will flip for:
Make a list of problems you have. When his wife Jess needed a better way to keep track of her knitting patterns and yarn stash, Casey Forbes started what would soon become a knitting world phenomenon, Ravelry.com. They didn’t intend to create a social site for over a million users; it happened as a byproduct of a problem. You can do the same thing in your own market. What tools do people need to help them accomplish their goals more easily? Write them down.
Seek out competition. A little competition is good – it lets you know that there is indeed a market need.
Improve on what is. If there’s already a WordPress plug-in for pulling Flickr images into your blog, but it’s not working well for you, figure out what you’d do to make it better.
Find a tech hack. Sites like Odesk.com, rentacoder.com, and even Craigslist are great places to find people with the skills you need to make your dream a reality. Read the requirements carefully, and get several bids – and several recommendations!
Test, test, test. After you’ve got a solution, try it out on your own site, and ask anyone you can to test it for you as well. Maybe that new plug-in works great on IE but makes Firefox crash; you won’t know unless you test!
Once you have a workable “widget” in-hand, take it to the masses. Go to forums, write about it on your own blog, and strut your stuff. The best advertisement is your own blog! You might also give away a copy of your app or plug-in to some other bloggers, asking them to provide you with a testimonial or review on their site.
You don’t have to be a tech whiz to sell your own great device. Instead, you can be the brains behind the operation and pay someone else to do the pixel-pushing and byte-budging.
It does not matter how many articles or reports or blueprints that you read, the number of ways to make money online through your blog or your Web site is limited only by your imagination. The list you just finished reading is a tip of the iceberg. I hope by reading through these descriptions, the floodgates have been opened and you have a better idea of how you can begin to monetize your own blog. The online world is changing and morphing all the time. Put yourself at the front of the next wave, and you can reap the monetary benefits! Go now and start making money.
The above article points to the general how to make money online through Web site and blog monetization. It is now left to you to choose, test, and choose, and test again until you are well comfortable with any of the monetization options.
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