This article was contributed by Carmelo Hannity.
Blogs are exploding in popularity and in this article we explore how to monetize your blog, in the context of a tech blog.
The reason for the explosion of tech blogs, is the appeal the tech industry in general holds for people, from people who simply love learning about the newest technology to the people who are fascinated by Silicon Valley and the innovation and news that comes out of the area every day.
Tech blogs are no longer seen as dry or boring, and in fact, so many bloggers are growing their following because they’re able to add a fresh perspective and an interesting edge to their sites.
While there are lots of lesser known bloggers working to make a name for themselves among the competitive landscape of tech blogging, the big ones remain sites like Mashable, Gizmodo, and ZDNet.
Maybe you’ve been following the big tech blogs for quite some time now, and you’re just beginning to be interested in launching your own, or perhaps you already have a technology-related site, and you’re interested in moving it from being purely a hobby to something that can make you money.
Regardless of which end of the spectrum you’re on, below are some ways you can start monetizing your blog whether you’re entirely new to blogging or just looking to move to the next level.
1. Post As Often As You Can
Regardless of the niche you’re blogging in, posting frequently is extremely important. There are a few reasons for this. This first is that your readers are going to expect regularly updated content, and if they’re not getting that, they’re going to go elsewhere.
The next reason is that posting regularly will help you rank well in search engines, which is how readers will find you. Monetizing your blog is going to be mainly based on your traffic, so ranking well in search engines in essential.
Finally, technology is a rapidly changing environment where there are constant updates and new gadgets and gear being introduced. You need to be able to keep pace, or your readers are going to lose interest, and your blog is going to fade into obscurity. If you can’t dedicate yourself to a very consistent and frequent blogging schedule, your efforts to monetize probably aren’t going to meet your expectations.
An excellent example of a tech site that does well with posting often is TechCrunch.com. This site is always posting new stories, and their homepage offers the opportunity to sift through not only the most recent, but also the most popular. At any given time you can log onto TechCrunch and find stories posted just a few minutes prior, making it great for readers searching for cutting-edge content, which is often appealing in the tech niche.
All of your efforts to monetize your tech blog are dependent on how many site visitors you have. Even if your content blows the competition out of the water, you aren’t going to be making money if you don’t have readers. Once you’ve built a solid foundation of strong content you can start promoting and marketing your blog, just as you would with any business.
The technology blogging environment is unique because there are ample opportunities to join social network groups and other sites where you can get to know influencers in the tech world and promote your blog.
Along with setting aside enough time to do the actual writing and maintenance of the blog, you need to able to also have time for promotion and marketing.
Even though blogging is an online endeavor, you still need to network, at least in a virtual setting.
Wired is an example of a site that does marketing and promotion well. Their team of bloggers is active and engaged not only on their actual stories, but they also have an excellent and responsive Twitter feed, and integration with other social media such as YouTube. There’s a lot of conversations happening from Wired writers all over the internet, and it’s a big part of what’s helped them grow and become one of the world’s leading tech blogs.
3. Product Reviews
When most beginners start thinking about monetizing their tech blog, their first instinct is to go with Google AdSense. Google AdSense has a lot of advantages, primarily in its simplicity, but if you want your tech blog to be your main source of income Google AdSense can be slow.
Of course, most ways you’re monetizing your blog are going to depend on you building a reliable stream of traffic, but you’re not necessarily going to get the best bang for your buck with AdSense.
A natural fit for a tech blog is to start with product reviews. It’s a good way to engage your audience and stay relevant and up-to-date on the newest technology offerings, while also creating a blog that makes you money. Below is Jacob reviewing a Dell XPS 13 computer.
The more of a loyal following you can build over time, the more people will be willing to pay for reviews to be published on your site. Also, the more you build yourself up as an authority in the tech world or the niche you focus on, the more appealing you’re going to be to clients who want product reviews.
Eventually, when you’re starting out in the world of tech product reviews, you’re going to need to put in some work. You’ll usually have to email companies and ask for products to review directly. If you’re doing that, make sure you use an official email from your blog’s domain, introduce your blog, and also give some stats, such as your number of page views. Be as specific as possible with what you’d like to review, and make sure you have links to products you’ve already reviewed so the companies you’re contacting will get a feel for your work.
As you build your blog companies will likely start coming to you and asking you to review their products, but it will take time to get to that point.
4. Collect Emails
An essential part of the puzzle to successfully monetize a tech blog involves building an email list. This is critical if you want to build your income.
A good way to start collecting emails is to offer your audience something for free. You could consider an eBook or a podcast for example. It could even be something as simple as giving them exclusive access to the newest tech gear and gadgets to hit the market.
Once you’ve figured out a good way to get emails from site visitors and potential leads, you can start building email campaigns that will turn them into loyal followers of your blog.
You could follow the example of Engadget as well. They offer a deals section of their tech and gadget site featuring special deals for their readers on popular items. In an effort to collect email addresses and contact information, the provide a 10% coupon for the subscriber’s first purchase when they agree to receive email updates from the blog.
5. Create a Course
This final tip for monetizing your tech blog can be used in conjunction with the other tips listed above, or on its own, and it can be done even before you have a ton of traffic to your site.
Create a course and sell it. This is one of the number one ways people start making money with their blogs, and when you’re blogging in the tech sphere, it can be pretty easy to come up with some engaging, valuable course ideas that will resonate with your audience.
A great example of someone who did this well is Paul Jarvis and his Creative Class course.
You could do something as simple as creating a course that shows them how to set up a WordPress blog or use the newest bit of mobile technology to benefit their small business. There are ample opportunities to combine the world of technology with an online course, and these courses tend to have a lot of perceived value in the eyes of the audience.
The more you can hone in on what your targeted audience wants or needs and how you can solve a problem for them via an online course, the better your money-making opportunities will be.
If you’re considering offering a course for your readers, consider Wellness Mama. While she’s not a tech blogger, this health and holistic living blogger has quickly grown her blog and a big way she’s done that is by offering a library of digital guides on topics her readers are interested in, ranging from cookbooks to blueprints for a healthier family. She’s an excellent blogger to follow in terms of easily expanding the money-making capabilities of your site.
You may have a passion for technology, and by following tips like the ones above, you can take that passion and turn it into a steady income stream.