6 Business Models for Your Blog

Once you start publishing…

I know you know this, but the habit of writing is just the start of multiple ways that you can generate income online. Today I want to walk you thru 6 business models for your blog, assuming you have already started doing the work of publishing regularly.

As you'll soon notice, I use 4 of them already, am working on a fifth, and still haven't decided on the sixth. And trust me when I tell you that if I can do it, so can you!

Here are the 6 business models

So let's look at these six online business models…

The affiliate advertising business model

The first, and easiest, in my opinion, is affiliate advertising. The way I think about this, and I won't get into all the details I did on my earlier post, is that you write what you're going to write (regardless of affiliate links).

If you do it right, the folks that you put a spotlight on, or recommend, will notice you as a traffic source and reach out to you. They'll invite you to join their program (even if they haven't advertised the program publicly).

You then circle back to your posts and change your links from regular links to affiliate links. That's all you do. If the traffic drives sales, you also get notified and get paid.

Like I said, if you do it in this order (write first, replace with affiliate links later), you can easily ignore the “haters” and the revenue that comes from it is simply upside. It doesn't feel like work.

But if you send enough traffic, it can turn into a revenue stream that could let you quit your day job.

The online courses business model

Online courses is one of my favorite business models for your blog. You can house them directly on your site, or push them off to a subdomain like I'm doing today (though I'm likely bringing them back).

I've told you a ton about creating online courses. If you haven't read the series, here are the quick links to the whole set.

  1. Who should build an online course
  2. How do come up with an idea for your online course
  3. How to structure your online course
  4. All the pre-requisites before you launch
  5. How do you price your online course
  6. The gear for recording your online course
  7. Which approach is best for selling courses – evergreen or launch?
  8. The onboarding emails for your course

As I told you the other day, you don't even have to create big and long courses. There's power in mini courses too!

The eBooks business model

Whether you want to repurpose your article content and assemble several articles into a single eBook, or you want to create new content from scratch, selling eBooks is a fun and fast way to generate revenue from an audience that already trusts you.

I sell a two-book combo on my site, and to date thousands of folks have purchased and read them. What it does, beyond delivering you some online revenue, is build up trust so you can sell people something else.

I don't know about you, but if I read an eBook from someone and it's really good, I go looking for anything else they're selling. Other books? Courses?

Think of this as a foot in the door for the rest of these business models.

The membership site business model

Membership sites are hard, simply because you have to keep delivering value to keep members active. But there's still room for you to step into the space – as more than 40% of recently surveyed membership site owners had only been in the game less than a year.

And the other thing to note from that article / presentation is that half of the membership site owners surveyed made $100k/year on less than 40 hours a week of work.

Need to choose a membership plugin? I have you covered.

This is the model I told you I'm working on. I'm excited to show you what's coming…

The paid newsletter business model

The other day I told you about the simplest newsletter plugin for WordPress. I just found out they're getting ready to release an integration with ConvertKit – which means you really need to check out this entire business model. Charging people to get access to your paid newsletter is all the rage these days!

I've been working recently with a client who was running her large paid newsletter on Substack. Then, out of the blue, they decided she was doing something they didn't like (trust me when I tell you she wasn't doing anything wrong).

Substack tells you that it's fast and easy to get started. What they don't tell you is that if you do something atypical (but not illegal) they may plaster your account with notices that you're doing something wrong and suggest to your audience that you're doing something illegal.

It's why I recommend both ConvertKit and Newsletter Glue.

The coaching business model

The last model doesn't have to be online. But for years I've been using my site to generate leads, collect interest, and at one point I was collecting payments on this site. So you can do most of this model on your site (even if you deliver the coaching via platforms like Zoom).

Remember when I told you about the business model of selling an eBook? I told you that it opens the doors to other things? Well I've used eBooks to build trust with folks who then buy courses (which develops more trust and has them coming back for more). That leads customers to read even more posts on my blog, and eventually get them interested in coaching.

My point?

Your blog is your voice and perspective. It shapes how people think of you and understand what you know and how well you know it. And that blog can certainly drive the trust factor to the place where it needs to be to help you run a coaching business.

What is holding you back?

If you run a blog, but you're not generating any revenue from it, and you've been hesitant to explore any of these business models, I want to know what questions or challenges you have. Hit reply if you're getting this in email and let me know. Seriously. Because I want to help you get there. Your questions and challenges will drive some of my future posts.

If you're reading this online and you're still not ready, hit me up on Twitter. Again, I really want to know.

You're doing the tough work already by pressing publish. Now it's time to benefit from the hard work.

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