If you are wondering how to make money blogging with a self-hosted blog, then you have already taken a step in the right direction by looking at this article.
There are myriads of reasons as to why you should move out of a free blog and purchase your hosting and domain name. You have more control and can literally do whatever you want without unnecessary restrictions.
The best thing is that there are way-more ways to make money online with a self-hosted blog as opposed to a free blog. The methods are actually endless. This is why I moved this blog from being a free WordPress blog and hosted it with HostGator back in 2012.
My income and overall industry influence shot up after that.
How can you earn as a self hosted blogger?
I have highlighted some few awesome methods below.
1. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is where you put special links or banners in your website that refer visitors to merchant sites. If a web visitor buys a product from the merchant, you earn a commission.
You can make a lot of money online as an affiliate. An advertising network may pay you 0.1 per click whereas a merchant site which you are affiliated to can pay you $10-$50 (or more) when someone makes a purchase or spends a certain amount on their products.
And that’s why I no longer recommend advertising networks like AdSense. I don’t use any any in my blogs. But I do a lot of affiliate marketing.
At some point, some of the world’s richest bloggers were affiliate marketers. We still have insanely rich affiliates, though course builders are now really gaining traction as top earning bloggers.
2. Selling Your Own Offline Product
You can create and sell your own products. You can even create a website that solely revolves around your product. Whether you are a musician, a writer or a restaurant owner, you can get a lot of business through your blog.
In Kenya, you can use services such as PayPal or the local PesaPal to collect payments from your web visitors.
3. Selling Digital Products
Selling your own digital product is so sweet and rewarding.
Digital products require minimum capital when compared with physical products.
The easiest digital product to start with is an eBook.
Make recurring, semi-passive income with eBooks
I have sold a lot of copies of my eBook, How to Make REAL Money Online in Kenya. I wrote that eBook back in 2012 but can still sell it 10, 20 years later, and just regularly make minor updates.
If I was to do a physical book, I would have to keep producing new copies. Each would cost me. I would need some middlemen to distribute. Every time I made an update, it would be back to square one.
However, for an ebook, I can easily be a solopreneur – doing the writing, editing, selling and updating with the click of a few buttons.
You can write an eBook about anything you are good at, whether you have devised your own weight-loss or money making method.
Note that eBook sales dwindle over time, and may not necessarily be the best and most stable way of earning online. But if you do it very well and people love it, you’ll still earn semi-passive income from it for years.
How to get evergreen sales with online courses
Courses are awesome.
I started offering my freelance writing training back in 2013 and guess what? The sales keep going up!
All my eBooks earn exceptionally well in their first few months, then the sales go down.
But my training keeps doing well, even without heavy marketing. Of course when I market more, I earn more.
Why have the training sales been evergreen?
I believe it’s because training introduces a mentorship aspect. Instead of just sending them a manual (ebook) for them to read and sort themselves out, you literally walk with your students from start to finish.
You give them tasks, analyze their performance, point out where they need to work on and applaud them for achievements. Trust me, when many succeed, they don’t forget their mentor. They’ll refer you to all their friends, family, cats and dogs 😉
And that’s why you get evergreen sales when you build a life-changing course. Your main goal should be to help people, not to make money. That way, you give them real results and totally inspire your trainees to success. It may require a lot of patience, especially when working with slow or stubborn trainees.
It’s a calling. Remember that high school teacher who you kept giving a hard time but she still believed in you and did the best for you? That’s what a mentor does.
Whether you choose to do ebooks or courses, make sure the digital product you create is relevant to your website and is of the highest quality. After that, promote it heavily.
4. Paid Posts and Marketing Opportunities
An authority blog will attract authority requests for mentions and sponsored posts.
I know a famous Kenyan blogger who once got $300 to just mention a certain site in his blog. Never mention poor products or link to spammy sites. This will hurt poorly affect the search ranking of your blog. Your will also lose credibility from your followers.
On the marketing opportunities side, you will get lots of opportunities in your inbox. Someone may want to create a website just like yours, place a banner on your blog or call you for paid speaking engagements.
You can provide all these services for a fee. The income you get from these cannot be quantified as you can get requests to do all sorts of stuff.
Your fans trust you and to them you’re their superman. Whenever you can help them out with something, do it. Sometimes for free, sometimes at a fee. Note that selling is simply solving people’s problems in exchange for money.
5. Be a Consultant
If your blog has had incredible following for a long-time, you can become a consultant in your field.
You run a successful weight loss blog. You’ve been serious about weight loss and have personally lost a lot of weight.
You have detailed a lot of exclusive stuff in your website on how other people can also lose weight and many succeed with your methods. You can easily become a weight loss consultant. The more authoritative your website is, the more you can charge for consultations.
I have personally provided consultancy services to Dalberg, World Bank, SamaSchool and Homeboyz Foundation among many other organizations. This can be very profitable as well.
6. Having a Services or Hire Me Page
Many people start a website for this very reason – to provide a service.
If you’re a writer, you must have been advised by many to create a writer website. If you’re a graphic designer, a website outlining your services can do wonders for you. This applies to all other services.
Some people are multi-niched and provide many services at once. I’m one of those. Instead of creating a website for each service, I outline all the services I offer on my services page.
Since people are used to the ordinary Services/Hire Me pages, you can do something out of the ordinary such as my how I can help page. In such a page, you can include what you can do for free and what you do at a fee.
7. Email Marketing
This is one of the most powerful ways to generate income from your site. You will start by creating a list using different list building providers.
I personally use AWeber. Building a list is one of the best ways of getting targeted traffic. Whenever you launch your product, there are high chances that 80% of your buyers will be people from your list. You can join my list anytime for exclusive updates and freebies.
Two most important metrics in your site should be the number of subscribers in your email list, and the sales you make. Experts may tell you to follow many other metrics that may not really help you. I feel so sad when I see new bloggers following totally useless metrics, but making no sales.
Have these simple goals:
- To give people value from your blog and give genuine solutions to their problems.
- To get as many people as possible to subscribe to your mailing list. Focus on quality i.e. not forcing your mum to join your list, but to get people who love your solutions and are looking to get more from you.
- To make sales.
8. Job Boards
Jobs are hot topics worldwide. People want to get by. To earn a source of living and take care of their loved ones. You can create a job board in your site as a solution to this. You can then charge advertisers to place their listings on your site. One of the most famous job boards is the ProBlogger Job Board.
Bloggers actually make money.
I’ve had friends come here looking for ads and other shiny things that I’m selling. They then ask me whether I earn anything from this blog or I just give out free information.
But as you can see above, I actually earn from this blog. And there are many other Kenyan bloggers who earn from theirs as well. They use the very methods above. You can do it too.
Yes, I was also scared when starting this blog. “What if I don’t earn anything?” I thought to myself. But after reading widely, I figured out that you don’t earn by thinking. You earn by taking action, especially on things that have proven income potential. So I plunged in and made it work.
You can make it work, too. Start today. Download my free blogging ebook here for more tips.