As a blogger or web publisher, you’re probably aware of just how difficult it can be to devise and implement a successful monetization strategy.
From producing exceptional posts and media to employing the right tools and techniques, monetization can seem like a maze with no clear path to the end.
Add to that the fact that the industry is always in a constant state of flux — today’s hot new trend could be irrelevant tomorrow.
On your own, the challenge may indeed appear insurmountable. So we went ahead and asked some of the most prolific pro bloggers and monetization experts about what should be your monetization strategy for 2016. Here’s what they had to say.
1. Adam Connell / @adamjayc
Adam is the founder of Blogging Wizard, a training hub for bloggers who want to accelerate their blog’s growth. His advice has been featured on HuffPost, Forbes, CIO, and Entrepreneur.
If you want to ramp up your income, you need a solid funnel to grow your email list and use to promote your services/products.
The longer we blog, the more we change things and over time we end up with a funnel that is leaking like a bucket.
So take a step back and look at what you can do to encourage each new subscriber to take the next step.
A quick way to get an overview of this is to use a tool like Hotjar.com, which allows you to add all of the pages in your funnel and see where people are dropping off.
2. Angie Nelson / @thewahwife
Angie Nelson manages several successful online ventures and shares her passion for making money with others on her blog The Work at Home Wife.
Instead of thinking that more money comes from more content, spend a good deal of time this year making what you already have out there better.
Go through your most popular posts and make sure they are monetized properly. Add content upgrades whenever possible to get more people into your sales funnel or newsletter list. Find more and better ways to promote those things that are making you the most money now.
Reach out to your favorite brands and affiliate managers and strength those relationships through custom campaigns and ongoing sponsorships.
3. Chris Guthrie / @ChrisGuthrie
Chris Guthrie said goodbye to the typical 9-5 day job in 2009 and founded Up Fuel, a website that helps people how to start and grow an internet business. He has also written multiple books on the subject.
The number one thing I’m working on is building my email list. I’m looking to double my email list at a minimum in 2016 because time and time again when I look at the growth of my business I’ve found it often parallels the growth of my email list and for 2016 I’m placing renewed focus on massively growing this list in 2016.
4. Daniel Scocco / @danielscocco
Daniel has built, bought, and sold over 30 blogs and websites over the years, and he founded Daily Blog Tips to share the tips & tricks he was learning along the way.
Mobile! This is by far the strongest trend and landscape change we have seen over the past years.
If your monetization strategy doesn’t have a mobile component, you are certainly leaving money at the table. The least you could do is to have a responsive site and responsive ads. Better yet would be to have mobile apps that are monetized using different methods. For instance, if your website relies on advertising, you could launch premium mobile apps that have in-app purchases. Mobile is eating the world!
5. David Schneider / @SelfMadeBM
The problem I see with most bloggers is a lack of creating their own products to sell.
It is true there are a lot of ways to monetize a blog, such as through AdSense, affiliate sales, etc – but perhaps the most lucrative method as well as the one that teaches you the most is to have you own product to work to promote, sell, and optimize.
I believe we will continue to see a growth in people creating digital products like ebooks, courses, and software in 2016, and encourage more bloggers to do this as well.
6. Jerry Low / @WebHostingJerry
Jerry is the founder of Web Hosting Secret Revealed. Read Jerry’s tip in finding a profitable blogging niche here.
How to make more money in 2016? The same as you should have in 2015: Narrow your focus.
Don’t go broad. Find a profitable niche (or, pick a unique angle to approach your niche). Figure out who your targeted audience are. Be an expert in your field. Make your blog the go-to spot whenever someone need help in your industry. Think Backlinko in link building tips, Copy Blogger in copywriting tips, Social Media Examiner in SMM, Smart Passive Income in web business, and Web Hosting Secret Revealed in web hosting guide… okay, I am flattering myself a bit too much obviously – but you get the point.
I’ll help you on point #1 – the easiest way to find a profitable niche is by looking (and follow) at the money. By money, I mean advertisers’ money. Make use of tools like Google Keyword Planner, Spyfu, and SEM Rush to find out how much advertisers are spending on PPC in a specific niche. The more people are spending on ads, the more money it is to be made there.
7. John Paul Aguiar / @JohnAguiar
John Paul Aguiar is a blogger and entrepreneur specializing in showing how anyone can use blogging and social media to grow a business or promote an existing small business.
My advice to bloggers is to narrow down what they offer. I fell into this trap in the beginning where I wanted to offer all kinds of help, numerous services, and consulting options.
Even though it did work, it became way to confusing to my readers and it became a big a pain in the ass to maintain and promote everything.
So, instead of offering 5 courses, offer 2, instead of offering 5 services, offer 1 or 2.
This makes it less confusing to your potential clients, customers and makes it much easier for YOU to maintain and promote.
Much easier to maintain and promote 2 or 3 things then it is to promote 10 things.
8. Karl Kangur / @MonetizePros
Karl is a blogger at MonetizePros.com, a blog dedicated to making more money off your website and achieving both the creative and financial goals of your online business.
“When we talk about website monetization strategies, most people are not looking to build something from scratch. They’ve got some kind of system in place but they’ve reached the limits of their growth. They’re looking to make MORE money, not looking to make money.
Instead of running around and trying to find newer and more innovative methods for making money, dig deep into the analytics of your current revenue. Stop investing time in the things that don’t have an effect on your bottom-line and invest more time and money into what already works.
At MonetizePros we realized that less than 20% of our revenue was coming from advertising but it was costing us a lot of visitors and ruining the user experience. Now we’ve only got one set of advertisements in our sidebar and that’s it. We’re getting more traffic and making more money off the effective 80% of our monetization strategy.”
9. Kristi Hines / @kikolani
Kristi is a freelance writer, ghostwriter, and copywriter. Click here to find out how she can help you create high-quality blog content, lead magnets, eBooks, and web copy for your business.
Diversify! If you are focusing on one source of revenue for your blog, you’ll never find out if you could be earning more through other channels.
Give things like affiliate promotions, advertising sales, your own products, and your own services a try to see what leads to the best income!
10. Loz James / @contentchampion
Professional content marketer and founder of Content Champion, Loz James is on a mission to provide the training and tools to help you become a content marketing champion in your online business.
Without doubt, if you want to make more money through your blog in 2016 then I would build an online course – but not just any online course, you have to create something that scratches an itch or you won’t make those all important sales.
My experiments with micro-courses in 2015 proved to me that this is the best direction to go in, and since then I’ve been learning as much as I can about creating, launching and promoting my future courses.
I’ve got both of these and they come highly recommended if you decide that course creation is the way you want to go.
My final advice would be to just ‘go for it’ – as you’ll just kick yourself in future if you never even try 🙂
11. Neil Patel / @neilpatel
Neil Patel is the co-founder of Crazy Egg, Hello Bar, and KISSmetrics. He helps companies like Amazon, NBC, GM, HP, and Viacom grow their revenue. On his website, he shares in-depth posts about content marketing, blogging, and much more.
You should collect emails. Emails are the easiest channel to monetize. Whether you are pushing people towards your own products and services or if you are pushing someone towards an ad or an affiliate program, if you build up your email list you can continually monetize it.
12. Pradeep Kumar / @SPradeepKr
Pradeep is the founder and editor of HellBound Bloggers.
The basic monetization plan remains the same for the next few years, but for 2016, I guess we should badly focus on mobile ads. I have been a hardcore smartphone user; I can easily analyze the growth and see how people quickly migrated from desktop to mobile for most of their activities. So the trick is to monetize your blog’s mobile website without hurting the readers, because those ads shouldn’t bother your readers in any way, let it be loading speed or reading experience.
If your majority of mobile users are browsing through Chrome browser, then show some ads related to Chrome. Repeat the same for all the browsers and operating systems. I guess this is something we should take seriously on 2016 and make use of our primary traffic source.
13. Dr. Rachna Jain / @rachnajain
Dr. Jain is the founder of Profitable Popularity and author of Internet Marketing for the Rest of Us: Your Guide to Profitable Popularity.
The monetization strategy I plan to follow this year on my blog is two-fold.
First, I plan to use my blog posts to invite people to my email list, so that I can continue to keep in touch with them. My goal is to build stronger relationships and to help people interact with me through my content.
In addition, I’m going to be setting up in-house advertising, where my blog will promote my most popular services and products. This will be a clear and streamlined way for visitors to know what business growth challenges I could help them with. The most money for bloggers is always going to be in sales of high ticket services, followed next by advertising.
14. Ron Sela / @ronsela
Ron Sela is a Profit Driven Marketer at RonSela.com
Keeping up-to-date with changing trends can be very beneficial, especially for bloggers who want to know what the best monetization strategies are for 2016. To that end, most bloggers will find that this years’ opportunities will lie in their own products and services. This means each blogger will need to assess and evaluate all of the things that they have available to them if they want to reach the goals that they have established for the year.
In some cases, the blogger may want to capitalize on one or more areas in their industry including offering various kinds of products like highly coveted instructional courses, eBooks, site memberships, and other popular items that will create a growing demand in their social and network circles. Also, based on their personal area of expertise, they may benefit greatly from offering opportunities for mentoring or providing consulting services to those who want or need them.
15. Ryan Biddulph / @ryanbiddulph
Ryan is the founder of Blogging From Paradise — a community that helps bloggers boost their income and generate more traffic
Following my passion has always led to more freedom for me. That increased freedom usually reflects back to me in terms of increased cash flow. In laymen’s terms, do what you love – and THAT alone – and having this level of fun will open creative channels which help you make more money blogging in 2016. Building a list and networking are important in their own right but the passion, the fun-loving attitude and play, that’s where the biggest profits lie.
16. Steven J Wilson
Steven is the founder of the Visual Life. The focus of The Visual Life is to help entrepreneurs and bloggers find success online. You can get help with everything from blogging, marketing, content creation, social media and more…
In order for bloggers to make more this year I think focusing on Email Marketing will be one of the most important factors to focus on.
There is so much to for you to do online and constantly hunting for new customers, readers etc can be tough. It may seem hard to believe but selling to an existing customer is much easier than getting a new customer.
Set up some quality content to attract readers, have an awesome Freebie to get them on your list and then create a good mix of straight value and affiliate offers or your own product offers in an autoresponder.
That way you are keeping many engaged and by using an autoresponder you are continuously selling and (hopefully) making sells!
17. Sue Anne Dunlevie /
Sue is the founder of Successful Blogging and helps bloggers make more money with their blog so they can work at home, be their own boss, and spend more time doing what they love.
For 2016, my monetization strategy is just like last year’s. 1-1 coaching and group coaching for bloggers who want to make money with their blogs.
I always recommend freelancing or coaching for bloggers to start their monetization process. The money comes in quickly and you can use your clients as a resource for researching additional products and services.
If freelancing or coaching isn’t for you, then sell an affiliate product or course. When you see how well it resonates with your audience, start building your own product or course to sell.
18. Timo Kiander / @productivesd
Timo Kiander is a blogger, who helps individuals working in a cubicle or in a home office to improve their productivity, save time and become more organized. He is also a productivity coach, trainer and an author.
Turn your expertise into an online course. This helps you to reach new audiences and teach people without being tied to a specific location or time.
It’s also a great way to show your expertise on a given topic, giving you a stronger presence and authority online.
The great thing about online courses is that you don’t have to build an educational platform from scratch.
There are services like Udemy or Teachable, which help you to get started with your online course building.