Monetizing a blog is no easy task. It requires significant knowledge of the online marketplace, excellent writing and research skills and more than its share of hard work. That said, there are some subjects that lend themselves well to blogging, and financial topics top the list.
Chief among these financial topics is online trading. With the meteoric rise of web-based trading platforms, mobile apps and fast-moving financial services companies, the average investor can now utilize tools that were once reserved only for major brokerages and top banks.
Writing about these subjects, whether locally or more generally, is practically guaranteed to attract an audience, and not just any audience. Online traders and investors need advice and information and very often have the means to pay for it.
So, if you were to start a site about online trading and investing, how might you monetize it? Here are some things to consider.
Throwing open the doors and letting any and all advertisers on your site is the fastest way to cut the value of your work dramatically. While other subjects might do well with context-sensitive ads, the type of advice you give and the types of reference material you provide will dictate the kind of advertising you want.
For example, if you are writing articles that might qualify as a forex trading guide, you’re going to want to attract advertisers that can convert your audience with sales, not just clicks. Finding and keeping those advertisers will grow your site much faster than cost-per- click strategy.
While advertising and even cost-per- action revenue streams can earn you a considerable income, the real monetization of any site comes from direct sales of your own products. Independent authors know, for example, how quickly a side-project can take off when paired with sales of both fiction and non-fiction books.
The reason this is such a powerful combination is because articles can serve as lead-ins to entire works of non-fiction. Financial advice is a perennial top-performing subject in the publishing industry, with everyone from celebrities to industry leaders to day traders offering advice for every kind of investor.
As some have often said, there has never been a better time to be a writer. Combining the opportunities for bloggers with the opportunities for independent authors only makes the possibilities of a lucrative career that much more likely. Darren Rowse and J.A. Konrath are perfect examples of authors and online marketing specialists who have turned their knowledge and expertise into second careers as online publishers.
Online publishing is no longer just confined to blogs. Many writers find they can create a secondary market for their work through the production of instructional or educational videos on sites like YouTube, DailyMotion or Blip TV.
The reason this strategy is so powerful is because it can dovetail with your other writing and
monetization strategies, and do so seamlessly. Once you have multiple revenue channels for your work, you can begin cross-promoting them, with each channel advancing your audience closer and closer to your highest-margin products and advertising.
Bloggers also have the option of converting content from one channel to the other, so if you find there is a particularly popular article of yours on your site, you can convert that article to a video and duplicate your success.
Guest Writing and Speaking
Once you have established yourself as a trusted source of high-quality information and advice, you can “take your message on the road” so to speak. Offering original guest articles to other sites is a great way to create one-off income opportunities. If you can establish a relationship with another site or group of sites, those one-off articles can turn into a secondary or tertiary revenue source.
The next step is to offer to appear at events sponsored by other sites and companies to speak on financial topics. By the time you reach this level, you will likely have so many well-developed revenue streams you will find every event generates its own surge in signups, subscriptions and purchases.
It goes without saying general advice on how to start a blog isn’t limited to just financial services topics, but it should be noted that advice about online investing, building a quality portfolio and money management are subjects that fit naturally into every monetization category from blog articles to major speaking engagements and everything in between.
Update as often as practical, but make sure your schedule is predictable and isn’t interrupted very often. Once people begin to rely on your advice, they will want to be reassured your site and project aren’t going to disappear on them.
As with all business models, achieving success requires consistent effort, a dedication to producing the highest quality work and more than a little patience. Combined, those three things will earn you the success you deserve.