As a blogger, and especially as a niche blogger, you’ve developed an area of expertise. Maybe your area of expertise is Sustainable Living, or Gluten-Free Cooking, or Cats. Your skills and knowledge are something you can profit from.
We’re going to look at three different monetization possibilities today: products, courses, and franchising out your artwork.
I was at a Food Truck Fair last weekend, and I met a young couple who has just started their own business. It grew out of handmade/homemade chutney that they made for all their friends and family for Christmas last year.
What are the things on your blog that are most popular? What are the posts that get the most hits? Is there something in there that you can spin off from your blog into a product?
I’m going to use my friend Stacey as an example (hi, Stacey!). She’s a knitting fanatic, and blogs/instagrams/tweets about her obsession. She’s now selling patterns that she created off of her blog. Check it out here.
How can you apply this? You may not want to go into the chutney business, but could you offer a green home starter kit, a gluten-free kit which includes different types of gluten-free flour and a recipe book, or something that you’ve hand-knitted?
The challenge with this kind of monetization is that it can be a challenge to make it scaleable. But you could make a nice little side-income off of ETSY or the like.
Franchising Out Your Artwork:
For those of you who are artists, another way you could monetize your blog is by selling prints of your work. If you’re a musician, you could sell sheet music or songs you’ve recorded. Your blog might be about the process of your work, but you may also find a market for your actual work.
You can use a service called CafePress for this. It works like print-on-demand for visual artists, and is not limited to prints. You can do coffee mugs, shoes and iPad cases. One blogger I know sells aprons with her favourite brownie recipe on it.
A few years back, I was involved in producing a feature film, and one thing we did to raise money was to sell t-shirts with the film’s name and logo on them through CafePress.
Here’s a secret: most of the “greats” out there are making the bulk of their income through running online courses. There is some serious cash to be made in this field–we’re talking 6 figures!
The drawbacks are that it can be a huge amount of work to set up a course (3-6 months worth), and it can be a fairly big investment, as you’ll likely need special software to do the best possible job. You can, of course, also start small, by offering a one-hour workshop via Google Hangout, and charging $25 per head.