Monetize! Turn Your Followers, Likes, and Views into Cash

Can you actually turn your website and social media channels into a real business? Not if you chase vanity metrics like views, shares and likes. If you are willing to put in the work, though, and build something of value, this ebook will teach you how to monetize your digital efforts, step by step.
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Online Monetization: How to Turn Your Following into Cash

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.

Jenn, a customer service agent at a car leasing company, is fed up with her job.

Her pay’s lousy, she’s on edge with customers yelling at her over the phone all day (they actually treat her worse in person), and her boss ignores all her suggestions, even though she knows he could make her job a lot less stressful.

Not to mention, the company’s been cutting costs. (Two of her coworkers have already been “let go”, and now she’s worried she’s next).

It could’ve been worse. Much worse.

But Jenn was smart.

She had a backup plan she had implemented several months back. When she began having to worry actively about staying on top of rent, bills, and living paycheck to paycheck.

That’s when she looked at her Facebook support group on drawing comics, where she helps other, more novice artists get a handle on not only their drawing, but selling their work as well.

She didn’t need a million followers. She barely had 5,000 members in her group. But what she did have was an active and engaged community that sought her advice on a daily basis.

Long story short, she started with a small offering:

A comic drawing course for beginners.

And the rest is history.

You’ve probably heard one or more variations of this story throughout the years. It’s become more and more common over time. And with the global economy in the pits, it’s no wonder people with an entrepreneurial spirit are going online seeking opportunities to obtain financial freedom.

Whether the version you’ve heard features your cousin’s best friend or your neighbor’s now-successful Youtube millionaire mechanic, one thing’s for sure:

It’s entirely possible.

And how you go about achieving that financial freedom is what this book is all about.

After we go over a quick introduction on monetization, you’ll learn about how to monetize your blog, we’ll go over all the juicy details about how to monetize social media, specifically Facebook monetization as well as how to make a profit on Instagram. And we’ll also cover the recent favorite, Youtube monetization.

But before we jump ahead of ourselves, let’s go over a few critical concepts.

In this chapter, we’ll cover:

  • What is monetization, and is it right for you?
  • How to start monetizing what you’ve got
  • And the monetization principles you must understand in order to succeed.

In other words, we’ll be digging deeper into the right and wrong ways you can manage your monetization efforts.

Let’s dive right in.

1.1 What is monetization?

In the past, you may have heard people asking about assets they want to monetize. Definitions are available on pretty much every site that’s telling you how to make a profit online.

But here’s the problem:

None of these definitions are helpful for two reasons:

  1. They’re too broad.
  2. They don’t tell you how to go about monetizing what you’ve got effectively.

But before we jump ahead of ourselves, let’s start with a basic definition of monetization.

What is monetization all about?

On the most basic level, and according to most sites about how to earn extra money online, monetization is the act of making something profitable.

But herein lies the most obvious problem:

Just because you can turn a quick profit doesn’t mean you’ll attain financial freedom, or even a reliable long-term side income. After all, the scammer who spams links in Facebook groups all day can also generate a nice profit–until Facebook catches on and you have to do it all over again.

Then you’ll have to rebuild your “brand” from scratch–or worse.

You risk driving your reputation so far into the ground, no one will be willing to go near you anymore, and you’ll start running into trouble with trying to get your credit cards accepted.

In other words, this basic definition won’t do.

Not for us.

With more subtle nuances at play, mainly it’s not just about how to monetize–meaning, it’s about how to do it correctly.

So here’s a more robust definition of what monetization means for us:

Earning money from something of value you provide to your audience.

That’s what monetization means.

After all, there are many, many wrong ways to go about it.

introduction on monetization

This is obvious. Just think of all the annoying spam emails you receive that you’ll never open. Or recall any of the naysayers you know who come out of the woodwork whenever you mention a new project you’ve been working on.

“I’ve tried that. It didn’t work.”

You’ve heard it before.

Maybe not in this specific context, but you’re familiar with the attitude. Sure, they may be telling the truth. They may really have tried it, and failed.

But ask yourself two questions:

  1. Why didn’t it work?
  2. More importantly, why didn’t it work for them?

Monetization works.

That’s just a fact. We can look at the countless examples available online, as well as the numerous relatable examples we’ll come across throughout this book.

And armed with the knowledge of how online monetization can work, you’ll realize there are a few key elements that can make all the difference in succeeding with your monetization efforts.

Can anybody monetize?

This book is for two types of people:

  1. You’re someone who already has an audience, and you want to know how to monetize.
  2. You’re someone who’s heard about making money online, and you’re searching for ideas about how to start a side business.

So if you’re a budding entrepreneur who loves skateboarding and you’re already blogging about your favorite techniques, this book is for you. If you’ve got a small audience you’re already actively engaged with, then this book is perfect for you.

Or if you’ve heard about people making money online and you’re just getting started exploring monetization ideas, this book is also for you. So if you’re interested in creating something of value to start building an audience for your monetization efforts, then you’ll find plenty of inspiring ideas in this book.

This is obvious. Just think of all the annoying spam emails you receive that you’ll never open. Or recall any of the naysayers you know who come out of the woodwork whenever you mention a new project you’ve been working on.

“I’ve tried that. It didn’t work.”

You’ve heard it before.

Maybe not in this specific context, but you’re familiar with the attitude. Sure, they may be telling the truth. They may really have tried it, and failed.

But ask yourself two questions:

  1. Why didn’t it work?
  2. More importantly, why didn’t it work for them?

Monetization works.

That’s just a fact. We can look at the countless examples available online, as well as the numerous relatable examples we’ll come across throughout this book.

And armed with the knowledge of how online monetization can work, you’ll realize there are a few key elements that can make all the difference in succeeding with your monetization efforts.

Can anybody monetize?

This book is for two types of people:

  1. You’re someone who already has an audience, and you want to know how to monetize.
  2. You’re someone who’s heard about making money online, and you’re searching for ideas about how to start a side business.

So if you’re a budding entrepreneur who loves skateboarding and you’re already blogging about your favorite techniques, this book is for you. If you’ve got a small audience you’re already actively engaged with, then this book is perfect for you.

Or if you’ve heard about people making money online and you’re just getting started exploring monetization ideas, this book is also for you. So if you’re interested in creating something of value to start building an audience for your monetization efforts, then you’ll find plenty of inspiring ideas in this book.

[highlight]If you want to explore profitable business ideas right away, check out our video on 10 easy Internet monetization projects you can start today.[/highlight]


How monetization works

If you have something of value you want to monetize, meaning you want to make money through your audience, then there are a few general principles you should be aware of. We’ll dig deeper into these principles in the next section, but for now, let’s go over an important but frequently overlooked idea:

Building a business is not easy.

It’s hard work. But it’s rewarding work, and today, the Internet’s matured to a stage where opportunities to make a profit online are aplenty, and embarking upon a monetization journey has never been easier.

So how does monetization work, in a nutshell?

You provide something to an audience that perceives value in it.

That means it must serve a specific need or interest for your target audience. The trick is that the value that’s perceived must be greater than the amount you’re asking for.

what is monetization

Monetization: How much money can I make?

So how much money do you stand to make online?

The simple answer? It depends.

It’s a bit like asking, “How much does a blogger make versus an Instagram influencer?”

Or how about, “How much can a CEO make versus an agency owner?” What type of agency? CEO of what? As you can see, there are simply too many factors at play.

But if these are the types of questions you’re asking, I’ve got something important to tell you.

And it just might help you change your mind and shift gears, and hopefully inspire you to aim for something more meaningful than just monetary compensation.

Let me explain:

Many online business owners (yes, even successful ones) tend to focus on what are called “vanity metrics”. These are metrics that make you feel good, but they don’t actually serve your business goals. (They don’t contribute to making you money!)

Examples of vanity metrics include page views in Google Analytics or likes on your Facebook page.

In fact, in certain Facebook groups that are filled to the brim with spammers, people frequently post offers to exchange page likes. (See image below). This is a waste of time, and definitely more hurtful than helpful when trying to monetize social media.

monetize your website

So say you get 1,000+ random likes this way. One day, you’ve amassed enough money to want to start a/b testing Facebook ads. (To learn how to make money on Facebook, grab your free book on Facebook advertising here).

Well, guess what?

One of Facebook’s most lucrative features affords you the ability to create what’s called a “lookalike audience”, an audience that resembles your Facebook page’s fans. But if your Facebook page is full of random likes, you won’t be targeting the correct prospects.

(Hint: You’ll be spamming in your attempt to monetize, meaning you’ll be throwing your money away to hurt your brand).

How to monetize the right way

To train you to think like a smart monetizer, this book will show you how to focus on providing value and a consistent brand experience, approach monetization with a mindset geared toward building a brand that lasts, and learn to effectively leverage online tools that will help you grow your business.

That means:

  • If you’re a Youtuber, you won’t focus on video views.
  • If you’re an Instagrammer, you won’t focus on likes.
  • If you’re a blogger, you won’t focus on social media shares.

That said, yes, you can still refer to these metrics in context.

For instance, as a blogger, you could try to see if higher social media shares lead to increased conversion rates. (If they don’t, why are you paying attention to them?)

Sure, if you’re planning to “sell” your audience to other companies by exposing your fans to their products, then these vanity metrics will help you with your pitch.

But if you really want to earn extra money online, then forget these metrics.

You have more important things you need to focus on.

Here. Watch this video, a summary of the “One thousand true fans” article by Kevin Kelly.

monetize definition

The gist of Kelly’s message is that you don’t need a million fans. You don’t even need 100,000. Truth is, you only need a small, active, and engaged audience.

If you can successfully position yourself as a “micro-celebrity”, you can make enough to live comfortably and achieve financial freedom.

Let’s take an example:

Say you launch a snowboarding channel on Youtube. What Youtube is willing to pay you for 100,000 views is peanuts compared to what you can make building a small community and selling 1,000 snowboards to your loyal fans.

Let’s do the math:

Even if Youtube decided to pay you a penny per view (not gonna happen), you’d still need 100,000 views to make just $1,000.

Compare that to making $100 profit per snowboard. You sell 1,000 snowboards in a year (completely doable), and you stand to make $100,000. (And that’s just off a single product)

The image below is from Snowboard Addiction’s Youtube channel. This is an example of good branding practice. I want you to notice three things here:

  1. Their featured video has less than 10,000 views.
  2. None of the videos is selling anything. (They’re providing educational value).
  3. Each video clearly links back to their website, where they do their selling.

YouTube branding

Let’s take another example:

This same principle applies, even when building a Facebook group.

Say you build one group, and you’ve got a million members, but it’s full of spammers.

Then you’ve got another group, and it’s only got 1,000 members, but guess what?

They don’t spam, they’re constantly posting, and they’re helping you build a community. They recommend you and your brand regularly to the newest members, and they’re actually helping you build and deliver value for free.

In other words, you can easily make a living with 1,000 true fans (but it’s a lot harder to monetize a million random visitors).

So, focus on building a small but loyal tribe, providing value, and building a brand that’s made to last.

[highlight]Interested in reading further? Check out Kevin Kelly’s original article on one-thousand true fans here.[/highlight]


Is monetization safe?

No business comes without its risks.

So how risk-averse are you?

Compared to traditional businesses, the comparison isn’t even fair. Any attempt at online monetization is a significantly less risky investment on any term.

Time to launch? Much shorter. You don’t even have to worry about registering your blog name with a governmental body or anything of the sort.

Money investment?

No comparison.

For instance, if you’re setting up a company, depending on the country you’re in, you might have to show evidence of a minimum amount of investment capital. Compare that with investing in a few tools every month at most when you’re just starting out.

web business vs traditional business

But hey, it’s not all rosy. Building a business is hard work, especially if you’re after long-term success.

Is monetization worth it?

Monetization isn’t for everybody.

That’s why I’ve tried to provide you thus far with some important concepts that will help you decide whether it will be worth it for you.

But if the thought of creating something of value for a specific audience (something they’re willing to pay for) gets you giddy too, then you can be pretty confident you’ll find monetization to be an extremely rewarding experience.

[highlight]Here’s a few more awesome ideas you can use to make extra money online.[/highlight]


1.2 How to monetize your website, blog, or social media channel

You can monetize pretty much anything online if you can find a large enough audience that sees value in what you’ve got to offer.

In other words, it must meet a specific need or interest for your target audience.

Let’s look at how you can begin monetizing what you’ve got.

Monetize your website! A logical starting point

Your website is a logical starting point for your monetization efforts.

Think of your website as your home base.

That’s because here you have complete control over everything.

Say you want to try your hand at Twitter monetization.

You have a Twitter account, which means you’re under Twitter’s thumb. If they choose to suspend your account, they can do so, and with little to no notice.

In addition, if Twitter goes belly-up tomorrow, so does your business.

I’m not saying you should neglect Twitter monetization, because, for the foreseeable future, Twitter will remain highly relevant.

But if you invest all your energy to monetize social media channels, rather than leveraging social media to drive traffic to your home base, you’re compromising control and putting yourself at the mercy of these popular-today, maybe-gone-tomorrow platforms.

The diagram below is a sample flowchart of how you can leverage social media channels to drive traffic to your website.

driving website traffic via social media

Let’s look at a blog example:

Julie loves knitting because it keeps her stress at bay. She runs Little Cotton Rabbits, a gorgeous website (pictured below) where she showcases her work.

She also has a blog, where she posts frequent updates. She’s got a sales page on her website too, not to mention a separate Etsy shop. (Can you think of a similar way to monetize websites?)

She doesn’t take orders from her personal blog, but she drives traffic to and from her blog to her shop.

monetization strategy


We’ll look more closely at how to monetize social media in the later chapters.

When to monetize

If you already have an audience, you’re probably wondering when you can begin to monetize. Technically, you could start right away, but here’s an important principle you should burn into your memory:

Make sure what you’ll be offering is in line with their expectations.

If it isn’t, you’ll risk putting them off and doing damage to your brand.

Here’s a quick example:

If you’ve been providing free hip hop instrumentals on your website, and you want to start posting reviews of related affiliate products (anything ranging from music to production workstation reviews), you should first consider your audience’s expectations and sensitivities.

Is your typically street-savvy audience really going to appreciate your pushy attempts to earn from Internet marketing tactics?

Probably not.

But if you focus on providing value and you’re transparent about your affiliate marketing efforts (and maybe even present it as a way for your readers to support you), then you could even monetize while building a loyal fanbase.

Laying the groundwork (Choosing the right monetization strategy)

I don’t want to get too deep into monetization and strategies here.

A monetization strategy is simply a plan that is executed by a business to make a profit. Your monetization strategy will largely depend on your strengths and weaknesses.

For instance, if you’re a web developer, chances are you’ll probably have an idea or two on a SAAS (software as a service) subscription model, like Unbounce, the landing page builder.

Unbounce landing page builder


Or if you’re a real estate agent like Zane Wilson, you might want to monetize your website by using it as your primary lead generation tool.

(Here’s another advantage: After tinkering with your website data, you might discover that your out-of-town prospects tend to purchase at a higher rate, and after fewer meetings).

real estate monetization


Can you monetize without an investment (aka for free)?

Let’s define “investment” real quick.

When people buy anything, they tend to associate the purchase with a cost. In business, you need to switch over to thinking of purchases in terms of investments.

make a profit

More importantly, this means not only thinking in monetary terms, but also viewing things like your time as an investment.

Let’s take an example.

wordpress theme monetize


Say you’re looking for a WordPress theme for your blog.

The one you want is $50 (no small sum to scoff at), but it includes 1 year of technical support.

So maybe you decide you’ll try building your own site with a free website builder.

That means, instead of saving time to get you off the ground faster with your monetization efforts, you’ll definitely have to tinker with your site until you get it exactly the way you want it.

Not to mention all the technical issues you might run into throughout the year, which will definitely take up a lot of your time and risk frustrating at least a few customers.

How’s that $50 price tag looking now?

Monetization without ads

That said, monetization without ads is possible.

We’ll touch upon this briefly in the next chapter, on blogging.

But for now, just remember:

Don’t rely on ads, clicks, views, and so on.

Instead, focus on building a brand that lasts, one that fosters relationships with your customers and dazzles them consistently with awesome offers.

Relying purely on ads is a dangerous monetization strategy.

Sure, you’re bound to find some people that convert.

But will they help you promote your brand? Will they be satisfied enough with the outcome that they’re willing to vouch for you at every turn–or will they post negative reviews everywhere?

In other words, don’t rely on advertising dollars at the cost of your brand… because it’ll cost you.

Let’s go back to the 1,000 true fans skateboard example:

Say you want to earn from Google Adsense.

So you sign up and start posting banner ads on your site. Compared to selling skateboards to your fans directly, how much do you really think you can earn from Google ads?

(And is it really worth annoying your fans with these banner ads?)

So. To earn from Internet marketing, to really earn from your Internet initiatives, you can’t focus on selling ads to your audience.

If you really want to build something you can monetize meaningfully, you have to focus on creating a brand your fans will love.

Monetization tools: What should you know?

monetization tools

There are tools that will help you build your brand faster–but a quick Google search for “monetization tools” reveals a whopping 7,480,000 results.

This number should give you an idea of just how many monetization tools are out there.

Most of these tools won’t help you for two reasons:

  1. Most of them are not relevant to your monetization efforts.
  2. Out of those that are relevant, most of them won’t prove very useful.

That’s why it’s critical that you keep an eye out for salespeople who are trying to sell you the next best tool.

Remember: If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

So do your due diligence and thank me later.

How to pick the right monetization tools checklist

  1. Ask yourself, “Do I really need it? Or is it going to distract me more than help me?” (To answer this question, determine how a specific tool will contribute to your goals).
  2. Do your research.
  3. Ask around for recommendations.
  4. Read unbiased (unpaid) reviews from trusted sources.
  5. Try out the trial version. (If they don’t offer one, it doesn’t hurt to ask).
  6. Is there a free version? If you’re starting out, chances are you won’t need anything expensive and fancy.

Common monetization tools

The tools at your disposal will be highly dependent on your monetization strategy and your goals.

That said, there are some common monetization tools we should go over.

We’ll be working closer with these (and other) tools in the later chapters. (For example, in Chapter 3, which is about how to make money on Facebook, we’ll go over a couple Facebook-specific tools).

Design software

design software to monetize


If you don’t have the chops for Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator, free (and paid) tools are available online that provide a much more user-friendly (and faster) way to get your graphics up and running.

Not to mention the countless creative commons sites (like Unsplash and Pixabay) that offer ready-to-use free images.


earn extra money online


If you’re running a WordPress blog or a Shopify store, plugins are essential.

Both free and paid versions are available for most plugins, but it’s rare that a free version won’t suffice to meet your goals, especially when starting out.

Just check out this list of 20 free Shopify plugins to get an idea of what’s out there.

Email automation software

email automation software


Designing beautiful emails can be a chore.

Keeping track of open rates can be a pain too (checking how many people open your emails after reading the subject line).

That’s why email automation software can be a massive time saver. A simple tool like AWeber can serve all of these purposes and help you organize email marketing campaigns with ease.

[highlight]If you’re serious about your desire to earn from Internet marketing, start reading about email marketing today. Here’s an in-depth introductory guide from Campaign Monitor. [/highlight]


Landing page builders

landing page tool


If you’re planning to sell something, you’re going to want to put together a few sales pages and start testing them against each other.

That said, there are also ways to make a quick buck without investing years of your time. This doesn’t necessarily go counter to the idea of building a brand that lasts. After all, just because you want to earn extra money online quickly doesn’t mean your brand has to suffer.

Let’s take an example:

Say you have an info-product, like an ebook containing a step-by-step blueprint on how to earn from Internet marketing.

You put it together easily using an ebook packaging service and published it on a WordPress site after purchasing a domain name on the cheap.

You used a free template as well as a design tool to quickly get your graphics up. Then, you used a landing page builder to quickly build yourself a couple versions of the same sales page.

You’re ready to push GO.

You plan to send half the traffic to one page, and the other half to the other page.

The one that converts better (makes you more money) is the clear winner.

You’ll rinse and repeat.

A/B testing monetization strategy

You’ll continue creating products and reapplying this approach, until you have a brand that’s known to sell info-products that provide tremendous value to your customers.

(Because of the speed to launch, among other factors, your brand won’t be the “prettiest-looking” on the block–at least, at first. But it will be effective, it can last, and most importantly, you’ll be providing value in exchange for money, instead of spamming the unexpected).

1.3 Does a monetization formula exist?

As you begin your monetization journey, you’ll find marketers and savvy sellers alike trying to push the next best monetization formula.

Sure, you can save a lot of time and money by investing in a course, but with a little research, you might even find that the knowledge you were willing to pay for was available online for free.

Is there a formula for success?

That said, there certainly is a formula for success.

This formula is composed of a few key ingredients. But forget George’s marvelous medicine. There’s no magic here. Only hard work and smarts.

So what does a smart monetizer look like?

A smart monetizer has her eye on the long game.

Forget the promises of overnight success. There’s no such thing.

If someone’s making it look easy, either they’re lying to you, or they’ve gotten so good at what they do that it looks easy, because it is–for them.

Sure, you could make a few quick bucks (and even a significant sum over the short term) if you just keep joining Facebook groups and spam them until you get kicked out.

Just keep at it, right? After all, there’s no shortage of Facebook groups.

Well, that’s the mindset of a spam artist. And it’s the fastest way to drive your brand into the ground.

What separates successful entrepreneurs from spammers is that they aim to build a lasting brand by providing value to their target audience consistently.

Coming up with ideas for a product or service

So when you think of a product or service you want to provide as a brand made to last, make sure it’s something your audience sees value in.

In other words, think about what you can offer, and what the audience interested in your offer would look like.

So if you’re an HR manager, you can offer…

  • A free CV review
  • A course on how to negotiate your way to a higher salary
  • A CV rewriting service
  • A book on how to increase your chances of getting hired
  • A mock interview service

Now think about who these services and products will appeal to.

(Most likely, they’ll be people who are unhappy with their situation, or at least, they want to improve it somehow and are seeking meaningful ways to gain control over their work life).

Now let’s look at how we can communicate these needs to your audience.

Tapping into your audience’s needs: Stressing benefits, not features

tapping into audiences' pain points


We’ve already defined monetization in this book as making money by providing your audience with something of value.

But to earn extra money online, you can’t just begin advertising your products and services everywhere.

You’re not Starbucks. You don’t have the big bucks.

Which brings us to a critical business lesson.

It’s a very powerful yet simple concept, one many business owners seem to forget.

Here it is:

Know your audience.

If you don’t know your audience, you can’t speak to them in their own language.

In the earlier HR example, we defined your target audience as employees who are dissatisfied with their current situation.

But you can’t do much with this crucial information if you can’t communicate their needs to them in a believable manner.

So how do you do that once you’ve tapped into their needs?

Let’s look at another example.

Say you’re sourcing green tea from Taiwan. Your audience loves caffeine, but many of them are coffee aficionados.

So how do you sell them green tea?

It contains caffeine, but you risk alienating a huge chunk of your audience if you start pushing green tea too hard.

So don’t sell them on the features.

That means:

Don’t tell them Instead, tell them
  • It contains L-theanine
  • It boosts the metabolic rate
  • It contains a high concentration of antioxidants
  • It improves insulin sensitivity and lowers blood glucose levels
  • It makes you smarter
  • It makes you burn fat and stay fit
  • It’s great for your heart and protects against diseases
  • It can lower your risk of diabetes

Yes, your audience comprises mainly coffee fanatics.

But these coffee fanatics have the same problems that plague other coffee drinkers:

Some of them could do without the jitters. Others might consume coffee primarily to stay sharp at work.

(Since green tea’s been scientifically proven to encourage greater communication between the left and right brain, and keeps you alert without the jitters, these could be potential selling points to convince your audience to test out your green tea).

Sound good?

Analyzing your audience (with tools)

Before we go, while we’re on the topic of connecting with your audience, we should cover two essential online tools.

In our day of big data, you can add these critical tools to help you analyze your audience.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics has been around since 2005, and it’s the most widely used data analysis tool in the world.

Even as a blog owner, it can give you powerful insights into your readers’ behavior, such as how much time they’re spending on specific pages, and which of your pages your visitors are landing on most frequently.

It’s a free tool, but if you’re planning to earn from Google ads, you’re going to want to start familiarizing yourself with it as soon as possible.

That’s because it can be paired with your Adwords account, meaning your attempts to earn from Google ads by leveraging the audience data you already have will be that much more effective.

Google Search Console

Google Search Console is arguably a more limited tool, but for keywords, it could be a goldmine, especially when you’re starting out.

With Google Search Console, you can carry out two important tasks:

  1. Submit a sitemap so Google knows your website exists.
  2. See which keywords your website is ranking for (info that could give insights into your next steps).

You can even check how many people read your description for a specific page on Google Search and decided to click through versus those who didn’t. (This should give you an idea of which descriptions you want to improve, especially if they’re for important pages). 

[highlight]Google Academy offers free courses for Google Analytics. You can access them here. Also be sure to check out Brian Dean’s comprehensive guide on how you can use Google Search Console to boost your search engine rankings. [/highlight]


Chapter 1 Takeaways

This chapter provided a general overview of critical monetization principles.

So far, the most important points you should remember are to

  • Focus on what’s important, not what makes you feel good
  • Build a small community of active and engaged fans, rather than going for a million views and other vanity metrics
  • Provide something of value to your audience, something they’re willing to pay for
  • Think long term and build a brand to last. Overnight brands don’t survive for a reason, so give your brand a reason to succeed.

Now that you understand the importance of monetization, and how it can bring you the freedom you’ve always dreamed of achieving, let’s find out how you can make that dream a reality, starting with your blog.

Onto Chapter 2!

How to Monetize Your Blog The Right Way

In the first chapter, we went over several critical monetization concepts and principles, like focusing on what’s important, building a small but loyal tribe by providing something of value, and lastly, why it’s important to think long term, by building a brand that’s made to last.

Now let’s dig a little deeper into how to make money blogging.

Blogging has been around since the 1990s. But people didn’t intentionally go into blogging for money originally, at least not on a scale seen in these past few years.

You may have given it a go in the past. (Maybe you even had a blog on Xanga).

Or maybe you’ve already got an audience you want to monetize. (If so, awesome. You’ve got a head start).

But first, regardless of where you are in your monetization journey, it’s important to understand why starting a blog to make money is an excellent choice for your monetization efforts.

2.1 Why should you start monetizing with your blog?

There are many ways you can start monetizing your online audience.

  • Some people launch a Youtube channel.
  • Others open up a shop on Facebook through Shopify, and once they grow their brand, at some point they might consider setting up a website.
  • And then there are those who simply open an Instagram account and start posting photos.

In other words, there is no right or wrong way to start monetizing.

So why start with blogging for money?

If it’s the smart money you’re after, here’s why starting a blog to make money is an ideal strategy:

You’ll never be at the mercy of another platform.

how to make money blogging

This is important to understand, because you want to have as much control over your business as possible.

So say, for some reason, Facebook decides to update its privacy policy. And somehow, this affects your account, and it’s suspended without notice. (It’s been known to happen).

Then, you say, “Oh, at least I’ve still got my Instagram account.”



Facebook also owns Instagram. So there’s a good chance your account is suspended across both platforms. (By the way, just in case you didn’t know, Google owns Youtube). 

You get the picture.

But what about your blog?

Your blog gives you complete control.

That’s why you should treat it as your home base. (And then leverage your other “bases” like Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube, and encourage users on these platforms to visit your home base).

The diagram below shows outbound marketing as noise through a megaphone to reach as many people as possible. (It’s not targeted). 

On the other side of the diagram sits a magnet, drawing people in. (Think of your blog. When people search for specific information on a search engine, a blog article of yours might appear, sending them inbound to your blog). 

blogging for money

How blog monetization works

If you’ve been telling people you’ve been thinking about starting a blog to make money, there are people who will tell you not to quit your day job just yet.

And they may be right.

If you want to monetize blog readers, well, that can take time–a long time.

But remember what we discussed in the last chapter? About becoming what Kevin Kelly calls a micro-celebrity?

How you go about becoming this micro-celebrity is what we’re going to focus on here, because that’s the surefire way to creating a brand that lasts.

Becoming an authority: How to monetize your blog without ads

Before you can earn money from blogging, you have to position yourself as an authority.

That means you must become the go-to expert for your niche. As you can imagine, doing so opens up all kinds of doors, and this is what becoming a micro-celebrity is all about.

And you’re in luck, because blogging is the easiest way you can go about establishing yourself as an authority.

That’s because your targeted audience needs to consume your content and find value in the information you provide.

If that information improves their lives somehow, they’ll continue to come back to you because, as you communicate trust signals over time, they’ll perceive you more and more as a reliable and trusted source of knowledge or entertainment.

And you can capitalize on that in a major way.

Because after you build and are commanding an engaged and active audience, they’ll gladly pay for any offer you make (provided they perceive the tremendous value to be gained from your offers).

authority, content and branding equals dollars

After all, as an authority, your audience trusts you.

And from there, you can easily begin to expand your reach to your social channels. (Like in your Facebook group, where you provide support to less experienced people who look to you for knowledge). 

That way, you expose your readers to additional dimensions of your brand.

(Exposure through different channels helps cement your brand in your audience’s mind). 

Now let’s get into the nitty-gritty details on the best blogging practices to position yourself as an authority in your niche and start to earn money from blogging.

2.2 How to earn money from blogging

Before we explore how to earn money from blogging, let’s first have a brief and frank discussion about the importance of transparency.

We already mentioned that once your readers start perceiving you as an authority, they begin to trust you.

For Spiderman, with great power comes great responsibility.

Believe it or not, this adage applies to you too.

As an authority, you can’t abuse the trust of your fan base.

There are many ways to do this, but the easiest way to fail your fans is to forget to be transparent with them.

See, not only do your fans trust you.

They expect a certain level of honesty from you.

That means:

  • If you post an affiliate link to a camera, you should let them know you’re an affiliate with the camera company. (If they find out on their own, there’s a good chance they’ll feel cheated). 

    Just let them know like Booth Junkie does at the end of the example below.

monetization requires honesty


  • If you review a backpack, give your readers full disclosure: You got the backpack for free as part of the review process. (They’ll appreciate the honesty, and come to love you even more). 

You get the idea.

So don’t hide your intentions to monetize from your audience. As legendary adman David Ogilvy once said,

The consumer isn’t a moron. She is your wife.

How to decide what to write about: User intent

Let’s examine how to drive qualified traffic to your blog.

After all, not all traffic is created equal.

If 1 million visitors come to your blog and none convert, then your monetization efforts are futile.

That’s why the best traffic is from repeat visitors, because they’re the ones most likely to turn into loyal fans and purchase your offers.

repeat visitors can drive sales

The trick is to figure out how to turn these repeat visitors into loyal fans.

That’s why we need to consider something called “user intent”.

Let’s look at a brief overview of the steps here.

Step 1. When people use search engines like Google, what kind of questions do they ask in your niche? Take some time to think about these questions and create a list with as many of the best questions you can think of.

Step 2. Do your research and search these questions yourself.

Step 3. Look at which websites pop up on Google for each question.

Step 4. Go through them and dig deeper into how these blogs answer the questions, which other questions they choose to answer, and so on.

Step 5. Map your best questions on a sales funnel. In other words, where do they fit in terms of your visitor’s journey?

A sales funnel can help you visualize how to organize your content.

Let’s look at how a sales funnel can be structured according to the classic “AIDA” sales formula.

monetize blog the AIDA model

As the diagram above shows, AIDA stands for:

  1. Attention
  2. Interest
  3. Decision
  4. Action

Let’s look at an example of how this would work in practice:

Say you’re running a tourism agency in Rome, Italy.

So you think up the question, “How much money should I bring with me on a 2-week trip to Italy?”

Where does this question fit in your AIDA funnel?

That’s right. You would file this question under “Decision”.

What about the question, “Best tour guides in Rome”?

This is best classified under “Action”, even though it’s arguable the searcher might simply be researching tour guides.

(This would be the exception to the norm, which is why we would file this question under “Action”). 

In other words, your visitors who are reading articles in the “Action” stage of your funnel are ready to take action and buy something related to what they’re reading.

That’s why, at the end of the article, you can present a relevant offer they’re highly likely to consider.

[highlight]This introductory article by Wordstream does a fantastic job of explaining user intent.[/highlight]


It’s all about building relationships

Over time, once your repeat visitors gain enough exposure and value from you that they come see you as an authority, you can begin to push various relevant products and services to them.

Sure, you can do this before as well. (It all depends on your approach). 

But since we’re building a brand that’s made to last, let me show you the exact steps I take to organize the blog content when creating a blog to monetize blog readers.

Keep in mind, this is an overview, and we’ll go over the more technical aspects later because there’s a lot more to it than this (like choosing the right blogging platform for your goals, SEO, and link building, all of which are essential factors for monetizing your blog without ads). 

Step 1. Start with a few pillar posts.

curating blog with similar posts


Pillar posts are comprehensive “evergreen” posts packed with a ton of value that drive traffic to your site over the long term.

That means they should be around 2,000 words, or even longer. (Note the example above, with a reading time of 84 minutes!). 

So which topics in your chosen niche should you write your pillar posts for?

Think of the categories you would use in your blog.

If you’re trying to position yourself as an online fitness coach, then you might consider categories like fitness, nutrition, recipes, and success stories.

subject matter expert for blogging


(See how I listed four examples here? I recommend starting out with three or four broad categories, which is a manageable figure, and then go from there).

Step 2. Create related, smaller posts around these large pillar posts.

Once you have these larger posts in place, you can begin to create smaller posts around them.

By making sure even these smaller posts are packed with value for your readers, they’ll begin to notice that your authority extends beyond just general knowledge.

In other words, these smaller posts will go a long way toward helping you cement your reputation further as an authority in your niche.

Step 3. Add internal and external links.

Once you have all your blog posts in place, it’s time to create some links.

Sure, you should already have built external links in your articles (links from your site to other high-authority websites).

But internal links (links within your site that link to other relate pages on your site) are important as well, so don’t neglect them, but don’t over do them.

Articles with too many links can appear overwhelming, and are hard to read.

The reasoning behind linking is that once you have all these links in place, search engines will have a better idea of what your site is about, and rank you accordingly.

Step 4. Add Call-to-action buttons.

call-to-action buttons are important for a blog


Call-to-action (CTA) buttons tell your reader what action to take next.

For instance, if you write an article about how to charge $200 per logo instead of $20, it makes sense to add a CTA button at the end.

The text before it could read something like, “Want to learn how to charge $400 instead of $200, and do so consistently?”

Then the button: “Yes, show me how.”

And that button could lead to a sales page.

If the sales page does its job, voilà!

You’ve set up your first working monetization pipeline.

So how much money do bloggers make?

At this point, you may be wondering how much money do bloggers make.

And that’s fine.

But at this stage, you should already know the answer to this question:

It depends.

Sure, it’s fun to ask yourself, “Just how much money do bloggers make?”

But a better question would be, “How much can you make?”

And are you willing to work for it?

After all, if you want to monetize, blogging takes hard work.

So does establishing yourself as an authority, someone your loyal fans will look up to as a reliable and trustworthy source of information.

Maybe then, the best question to ask isn’t, “How much can I make?” but, “How much value can I provide to my audience, my loyal and loving fans? What can I offer that’ll make them love me so much, they’ll continue to recommend my products, new and old, for years to come?”

Just imagine:

As an authority, think about how much easier it will be to

  • Sell your audience a course (or many related mini-courses packaged in a bundle!)
  • Sell your coaching services
  • Sell info-products

The possibilities are endless.

As for an answer to the question, How much do bloggers make?

It depends, and it depends entirely on you.

What’s it all for? The ultimate goal of building a healthy email list

Here’s the last reason you should consider blogging for money before anything else:

You have complete control over your email list.

It’s your list of leads, converts, and fans.

And this list is your prized possession for three reasons:

  1. Your inbox is your most personal space. You check it multiple times a day. I bet you’ve had the same email address for years. (It’s easier to switch phone numbers, isn’t it?). That means you can email these addresses and start communicating with their owners. Even if you expect none of them to reply, some of them will (and that’s a perfect opportunity to initiate a dialogue).
  2. Your visitors gave you their email address willingly. This means they gave you permission to email them. This means they expect you to communicate with them.
  3. Most importantly, it costs you nothing to market to this group. Sure, you’re mainly sending them emails packed with value that align with their expectations.

But while you’re doing that, you’re further cementing your authority and gaining brand exposure at zero cost.

And once in a while, you can plug something you want to sell as well (like a new course that’s on the way; you can even encourage your mailing list to subscribe to the waiting list).

email marketing benefits

Now can you see why so many marketers and businesses prioritize building their email list?

So there’s no question that blogging clearly can be profitable.

But if you’re someone who’s looking for a few quick and easy ways to monetize, blogging may not present the best get-rich-quick opportunities you want.

However, if you’re looking to build a brand long term that your fans will love, blogging for money is the way to go. It’s is an excellent long-term option that can be extremely rewarding, one that can lead to a consistent and reliable source of income.

Don’t have a blog? Let’s get you started with a few blog ideas that make money.

Starting a blog to make money isn’t as tricky as it once used to be.

In this section, we’re going to go over several examples of blog ideas that make money.


Courses are all the buzz these days.

You can find a course on any topic, and platforms to host your courses on are multiplying rapidly, making it easy for anyone to create a course and start making money right away.

Even with a small fan base, as an authority you can easily start selling mini-courses for $50 per student.

After completing your courses, if your students believe they’ve gained greater value than what’s listed on your price tag, then many of them will eagerly continue to promote your courses for you (and you can even offer promotional items to encourage your fans to refer your courses to other interested parties).

Let’s look at a course example with travel blog monetization.

how to make money travel blogging


Matthew Kepnes, also known as Nomadic Matt, teaches millions of people how to achieve financial independence through travel.

Go check out his courses to get a better idea of how he structures them.

travel blog monetization


Consulting services

Providing consulting services can be a profitable venture from the get-go, especially if you’re already knowledgeable in a particular subject area.

Even if you’ve only got a couple years of work experience, don’t dismiss it just yet.

Instead, think about what you’ve learned, and take some time to consider what you’re really good at. Then think about how you would start to position yourself as an authority based on what you know.

consulting monetization


Just look at the example above, from life coach Amber Rosenberg.

If you’re good with people, and you’re a positive individual, you may be a perfect consultant or coach in the making.

To read more about how to start a consulting business, check out this article from Entrepreneur.

Brand sponsorships

If you’re already seeing a lot of traffic on your site, you can try connecting with bigger brands that might want to sponsor you in order to gain access to your audience.

Just look at this gorgeous and clever food blog monetization example by Damn Delicious.

brand sponsorships earn money



ecommerce store


Ecommerce is a popular monetization option these days, especially if you have a background in marketing and branding.

Like every approach, ecommerce comes with its own advantages and challenges.

Plenty of entrepreneurs have achieved considerable success with this model.

(Do be cautious of sellers pushing courses in this space though. There are many, and few are worth it. Save yourself some time and money by starting with our free guides here).

[highlight]Interested in exploring even more blog ideas that make money? Here are 50 examples of successful ecommerce stores running on the Shopify platform.[/highlight]


A niche blogging example: How to make money travel blogging

Travel blogging: A dream for many, achieved by few.

Can you really become a digital nomad and make a ton of money traveling the world?


If you know how to make money travel blogging, you can make anywhere between a few hundred a month to a six-figure income–but it’s not easy.

In fact, if you love to travel, but you’re not that passionate to want to cover every single aspect of it, perhaps it’s best to consider another niche.

Travel blogging is harder to monetize than, say, a blog about web design. (So many web designers are ready to start courses filled with promises of enhancing their skill set to save them an endless amount of time and money).

Keep in mind, the one big plus about being a travel blogger is that your expenses will vary by country. And if you’re thinking about hitting up developing countries, then you’re going to be keeping your expenses relatively low and affordable as well.

Let’s look at how Caz and Craig Makepeace, the founders of y Travel Blog, grew their blog.

travel blog monetization


Caz and Craig have traveled for around 20 years.

They started their y Travel Blog nearly 10 years ago.

They never imagined it would grow to its current size. (To give you an idea, they reach roughly 350,000 readers every month).

They’ve partnered with the likes of SkyScanner, and they’ve even been featured as travel blogging experts by Lonely Planet, CNN, and even Business Insider.

Now they teach bloggers like you how to make money travel blogging. (Funny, right?)

new blogger monetize blog

So were they experts in travel or blogging when they were first starting out?

The answer is a resounding no.

Their secret ingredient?

An undying passion for travel.

If this sounds like you, and you’re considering this niche, here’s a few ways you can make money travel blogging.

Publish sponsored posts

If you have a sizeable readership, you can approach companies in the traveling industry and ask if they’d be interested in promoting their products or services through your blog.

To keep it professional, begin by creating a list of companies you want to work with. You can start collecting ideas by looking at yourself first.

You’re a traveler after all, right?

And don’t think only of businesses that are related directly to travel. (For instance, you could also consider featuring your favorite travel pillow. Or an awesome hotel you remember staying at).

The trick is to believe in the product.

What you don’t want to do is annoy your readers with sponsored post after sponsored post. That’s got to be the fastest way to alienate even your most loyal readers.

But if you recommend something you love, they just might buy it from you.

If possible, provide some context for these posts though. That way, you can leverage even sponsored posts, and use them to boost trust and engagement.

Write content for companies like Kayak

guest posting for companies


Companies like Kayak and Skyscanner don’t have offices in every city around the world. (Most companies don’t).

But what makes these companies excellent targets for content prospecting is that they love content that promotes local tourism spots.

And because travel blog readers make frequent purchases, these companies are willing to pay top dollar for quality content.

(Would you be reading an article entitled, “Taipei’s annual flower exhibition and 11 other fun things to do in the city” if you weren’t planning to take a trip to Taiwan?)

Reach out to local tourism boards

Reaching out to the local tourism board before you travel is worth a shot, especially if your destination country is someplace like Laos (a developing country whose economy is heavily reliant on tourism).

If you can show evidence you’re receiving a ton of consistent blog traffic from intent travelers, this could turn out to be a profitable income stream.

Let’s take the Laos example:

local tourism boards


For such destinations, travelers frequently express safety concerns.

Blog posts dispelling the myths regarding the dangers posed there, as well as tips on how to stay safe play well with this audience, and go a long way toward building trust

Offer coaching services to travel agencies

If you can become a travel authority, and your blog boasts a highly engaged readership, travel agencies and tourism businesses will take notice.

At this point, you’ve got a lot to offer, because you can tell what’s working in the industry and what’s not.

You may even have written about the warning signs of a bad travel agency, or how travelers can travel in style at half the cost of what travel agencies have to offer.

Whatever the case, your job is to make sure they recognize your value–or it’s their loss.

Set up your own niche tour guide business

If you’ve decided to settle somewhere for a while, you’re going to get to know the local spots.

But writing isn’t the only thing you’re going to do here.

In fact, part of the reason you’re writing this series of articles here is to promote the destination–but with a twist:

To drive your readers to not only consider your location as their next tourist destination, but to encourage them to sign up for your “special” tour packages, which are reserved exclusively for your readers.

This way, not only do they get to enjoy a truly unique experience, they get their favorite travel blogger to give them the official tour!

[highlight]To find out more about how to make money travel blogging, check out Caz and Craig’s in-depth guide.[/highlight]


2.3 How to transform your blog visitors into loyal fans

We’ve already covered the importance of providing valuable content in Chapter 1.

It’s what our definition of monetization is all about, after all.


Making money by providing something of value.

But no matter how great the value, if your content is difficult to absorb, no one will want to read it in the first place.

So let’s go over some ways on how to write engaging content.

How to write engaging content

This is the meaty part of the chapter.

This is where you get to show off your writing chops. Here I’ll go over some key principles on how to increase engagement and make sure your readers are glued to your articles until the very end.

We’ll also briefly cover the technical aspects of blogging, and why they are critical for your monetization efforts.

Finding your voice

Finding your voice could take years.

You don’t have years. Or months. Or even weeks.

You want to start now.

So here’s the best writing advice I can give you to improve super fast:

Write like you talk.


Once you’re done writing, read all your work out loud, so that you get a better feel for how it sounds.

You know that voice in your head that’s talking while you’re reading this?

Turns out, that’s a real voice. (Small muscular movements in the larynx accompany your inner voice. How cool is that?)


Readability is important because it’s about how easy it is for your readers to understand your message.

The FleschKincaid readability tests are the standard scoring system for gauging a text’s readability level.

Keeping in mind that the “average” American reads at a 7th or 8th grade level, you should always try to communicate your message in as simple a manner as possible.

importance of readability in blogging

After all, if a message is too difficult to read, what are the chances you’ll try to figure out what it’s trying to tell you?

If you’re blogging on WordPress…

Yoast SEO Plugin already comes equipped with a Flesch–Kincaid readability feature. You can easily keep track of your readability level for every post.

Also be sure to write in short paragraphs of one to four sentences.

Long paragraphs are hard to digest on the web, especially when they’re formatted in a single column.

That means you should vary the number of lines per paragraph.

Font choice and legibility

Font choice is an important consideration for two reasons:

  1. It says a lot about your brand’s personality.
  2. It has to be easy to read.

font choice and readability

Keep in mind, it’s harder to read text on-screen for prolonged periods than it is to read print.

My recommendation is that you go with a large-enough sans serif font. (Serif fonts are easier to read online, as shown in the example below).

font choice matters for blogging


Search engine optimization (SEO) is when you intentionally try to influence where you appear on a search engine’s ranking.

Your understanding of SEO will be one of the main drivers behind your blog’s long-term success, because you’ll get to climb past your competitors who ignore SEO.

SEO falls under two main categories:

  1. Keyword research
  2. Link building (acquiring links from other sites)

Because SEO is such a huge (and ever-changing) topic, unfortunately it falls outside the scope of this book.

To get started on keyword research, Moz’s comprehensive guide for beginners remains the go-to resource in 2018.

It’s not over when you click “Publish”

Just because you click “Publish” once you’re done writing doesn’t mean people will land on your page automatically and read your article.

It’s the most common mistake novice bloggers make.

Writing the article isn’t even half the battle. It’s more like 20%.

The real work comes with promoting it. And there’s just so many ways to promote your writing. It isn’t only about backlinks (which we’ll get to in a second).

It’s also about active engagement.

That means you have to be a part of an active network of bloggers in your particular niche.

Encourage action among yourselves. Read other blogs in your network and leave thoughtful comments.

Too often, people leave haphazard comments and expect a comment back.


If you leave enough thoughtful comments, over time, the other bloggers will do so as well.

Don’t forget to ask for feedback too, especially if you’ve already established a relationship.

Long term, it will pay off 1000x and save you a ton in marketing dollars.

Backlinks are a goldmine for blog monetization

Backlinks are links from sites that link back to you.

The greater the number of authoritative sites linking back to you, the higher your website will appear when someone searches for a particular keyword related to your niche.

But not all backlinks are created equal.

In fact, Google scores high-authority sites higher than their low-authority counterparts, meaning if sites like Amazon and Yahoo link back to your blog, your authority would be much higher than if and gave you backlinks.

backlinks and monetization

[highlight]If you want a fast tool that tells you instantly if a site you want a backlink from has a low or high authority score, Moz’s free MozBar SEO Plugin does just that in the form of a toolbar.[/highlight]


Here are my four favorite ways to acquire backlinks:

1. Search Google for resource pages in your niche.

(Example: “your niche + resources”)

Once you find a broken link using a Chrome extension like Check My Links, you can contact the webmaster to let them know what you found.

This places you in an ideal situation to ask if your related post can be used as the replacement link.

If they find it helpful, there’s a chance they’ll give you the backlink.

2. Find blogger reviewers for your offers.

(Example: “your niche + review”)

Once you find reviews of similar offers (like for a course or a product), you can reach out to these reviewers and present your offer in exchange for a review.

If they’re savvy (many of them are), they might even be interested in pursuing a mutually beneficial agreement, where they even help you push your offers on their site.

3. Write guest posts.

If you already read other blogs in your niche, then you’re in luck. If you comment on them and engage with the authors, even better.

This means you’re in an ideal position to reach out and ask if they’d be interested in exchanging guest posts.

(Meaning: You write a blog post to be published on their site, and vice versa).
This way, you can exchange links.

Google loves links from relevant sites, and ranks them higher.

4. Write testimonials.

In your journey to start making money blogging, you’ll undoubtedly end up investing in a tool or two.

They present easy opportunities for you to write an in-depth review for potential customers of these businesses. (These businesses tend to be high-authority sites).

But instead of posting your review and forgetting about it, contact the business and let them know about your review. (In your message, be sure to mention your blog address under your name).

That way, not only will they appreciate the review. If they feature it, there’s a good chance they’ll link back to your site.

Ways to keep your readers engaged

Have you heard of dwell time?

According to SEO experts in the industry, there’s a really good chance Google considers dwell time a ranking factor.

Dwell time is the duration of time your reader spends on a page after clicking on your link from the search engine results, and then going back to the search results to click on another link.

dwell time blogging

This is where engagement comes into play:

The longer you can keep your reader engaged, the higher your site will appear organically (free) in the search engine rankings.

So how do you keep your readers engaged?


Videos are becoming increasingly popular, and they’re becoming a staple in smart blogs.

Smart bloggers are using video to keep their readers on-site for longer periods.

This provides three main benefits:

  1. It takes time to watch a video, so it’s an easy way to keep your readers on your page.
  2. Videos can help add dimensionality to your brand, especially if you show your face and engage with your audience through your videos.
  3. Your reader might click through to your Youtube channel and check out other videos you’ve posted.

Stats, facts, and graphs

People like numbers, stats, and facts.

That’s because they lend a certain authority to your data.

But guess what people love even more than numbers, stats, and facts?


People love graphs. And they tend to trust them implicitly.

With a statistic, some readers may be skeptical.

But package the same data in a graph, and there’s a good chance that skepticism will vanish.

integrating graphs in your blog post

Graphs also lend a visual dimension of authority, and they function as a context-enhancing pattern interruptor (interrupting blocks of text).


Quotes from other authority figures rub off on your own authority.

If you make a point about something, and you add the quote of someone reputable in your niche to support your point, then you’re going to appear that much more believable instantly.

If you use blockquotes and center the quotes, you can even use them as pattern interrupters and snap your readers back to attention.

If you can demonstrate that you have a personal relationship with the authority you’re quoting (which means you can give your readers a direct quote), even better (like if you’re writing an article on how to be funny, and you’ve got a direct quote from Jim Carrey, saying, “That’s right. One thing I would add is…” Magic).

This shows you have a relationship with serious authorities in your space, which further cements you as a genuine authority who can be relied upon.


Humans have been telling stories since the dawn of time.

Storytelling is hardwired into us. We love telling stories every day, and we love hearing them too. We watch movies, read books and articles, and scour social media every day for interesting stories to absorb.

Starting your article with a story can help draw your reader in, especially if it’s relatable and compelling.

The engine driving every story is conflict, so try starting your story with a problem your reader might have, and guide them to the conclusion.

storytelling monetization

Let’s talk lead magnets

Remember how we talked about the importance of building your email list earlier?

To get your visitors to give up their email address, you can’t simply ask them to subscribe to your blog.

The offer just isn’t enticing enough.

That’s why you need to hook them with a more compelling offer. Something that’ll provide them with enough of an oomph to give you their email address, like Rich Page does with his free toolkit pictured below.

lead magnet for blogs


There are many lead magnet ideas out there. (Just look at this monster list of 69 lead magnet ideas).

Having said that, here’s a list of popular lead magnet types, and why they’re a good option for your blog.


Ebooks are one of the most popular types of lead magnets, and there’s a reason for that.

They’re fairly easy to create, especially if you’ve got a ton of content (or investment capital).

They’re also compact (if they’re well designed), and you can read them on your phone or tablet (super convenient).

Just the idea of getting a free book makes for a compelling offer, after all.

Repurpose: If you’ve got a lot of content, you can always collate a few related articles into an ebook, write an introduction and conclusion, polish up the rest, attach a pitch or a CTA to a sales page at the end of the book, and you’re good to go.

Investment capital: If you have money to invest, consider hiring a good freelance writer to write your ebook for you.

There are many out there.

Most of them aren’t very good, so do your due diligence and ask for samples.

Good writers cost money, so don’t scoff at their rates, and prepare to fork out at least a few hundred dollars for a decent ebook.

But do consider whether and how you can make that money back, and whether it will be worth the investment.

Downloadable PDF version of comprehensive (2,000+ words) article

This one’s a no-brainer.

Many people just don’t have the time or the attention span to read a comprehensive article in one sitting.

Some people prefer to save it as a PDF file and read it on their phones while they travel during the day or when they’re taking a break at work.

So just do your readers a favor and offer every lengthy post as a downloadable PDF, and you’ll be collecting more emails effortlessly in no time.

[highlight]Transform your blog article into a PDF with ease. Check out Print Friendly for quick and easy ways to turn your articles into PDFs. (They even have a Chrome extension, as well as a button you can install directly on your blog). [/highlight]



Infographics are comprehensive graphs packed with information.

But they’re also organized visually in such a way that they encourage sharing.

Creating infographics isn’t easy though. They take a lot of hard work, especially if you’re not visually inclined.

Not to mention all the research and how you choose to organize all your data.

Here’s an example of just how helpful an infographic can be in visualizing a workflow process:

how designers work on logos


Infographics are also an easy way to acquire backlinks, and present significant opportunities for your content to go viral. Here’s a few other ways they can help your business.

Check out this example of an on-page infographic, which was too awesome not to share.

Members Only section

If you have enough valuable content and you’re seeing a lot of repeat traffic, it’s time to consider walling off a part of your site to paying members.

You don’t have to charge a significant sum.

It can even be just a dollar to start with.

If you pull this off successfully, your members will feel special, and your repeat visitors will want to feel like they’re a part of your exclusive community.

Lastly, the ones who have already opened their wallet to you are warm leads.

members exclusive section

They’ve already shown you they’re interested in what you have to offer.

Now your next task is to create related offers they’re willing to pay for as well.

2.4 Blog monetization tools you should know about

So far, we’ve covered how to earn money from blogging, how to position yourself as an authority, and creating compelling lead magnets that convert your visitors into loyal fans.

Now let’s go over the tools we have at our disposal to monetize your blog idea, specifically three platform examples that hinge on your monetization strategy (WordPress, Teachable, and Shopify), a design tool, and an email automation tool.

WordPress: A flexible blogging platform

blog monetization tools


Every blog needs a platform to run on.

The most popular blogging platform, WordPress powers more than 30% of the Internet.

WordPress is definitely the most flexible platform, and if you have any developer experience, this one’s an obvious choice to look into.

The platform also offers numerous themes and plugins. Even the free ones can get the job done for most people starting out trying to earn money from blogging.

And if you’re interested in selling a course but you’re on a budget, you can always purchase a plugin like Learndash for a one-time fee.

[highlight]Curious about WordPress plugins? Check out this awesome list of 15+ awesome wordpress plugins by Themegrill.[/highlight]


Teachable: A platform for course providers

teachable dashboard


A platform for selling online courses, Teachable is an excellent out-of-the-box solution if you’re not shy about investing up to $299/month.

But don’t worry. You can get started for free.

If you’re not familiar with coding and you’re confident you can make your money back by selling courses with your expertise, then Teachable is worth looking into.

Also worth checking out is Thinkific, Teachable’s direct rival.

Although visually less compelling, it does provide an easier-to-use intuitive course builder compared to Teachable.

Shopify: An ecommerce platform designed for entrepreneurs

Shopify for blogging


Shopify is the platform for selling products.

It also offers flexible payment options.

For example, you could start out with a Facebook store for as little as $9/month, and scale from there.

Or you could opt for a store with your own website for only $39/month.

Shopify is also highly customizable, and offers themes and plugins, both free and paid, just like WordPress.

Oberlo: The most convenient option for dropshipping

how does Oberlo work?

If you’re not sure what to sell, things can get tricky. Purchasing inventory no one ends up buying will cost you not only your money, but your time. And there’s nothing more demotivating than staring at a pile of boxes filled with unsold goods.

But what if there’s a way to hold zero inventory and be able to test out goods in no time?

Enter Oberlo, the most popular dropshipping marketplace on the web, which is designed to keep costs down and save you time.

But what exactly is dropshipping?

In a traditional ecommerce business model, you purchase inventory, store them in a warehouse, and send them to your customers when they purchase.

With dropshipping, it sort of works the other way around. When a customer purchases something on your website (for which you hold no inventory), you contact your supplier and ask them to ship one to your customer directly.

See? No hassle with inventory or distribution channels.

That doesn’t mean dropshipping isn’t without its drawbacks. (Nothing is perfect). The main issue with this model is finding reliable suppliers who will ship quality products to your customers in a timely fashion.

But this is one drawback where Oberlo users have an advantage over other ecommerce entrepreneurs:

Oberlo verified suppliers

You can shop with confidence in the Oberlo marketplace because its design allows other sellers to rate and review each seller. On top of that, as the image above shows, Oberlo ensures that top sellers have a “Verified” badge next to their store name, so you can rest assured you’re connecting your customers with only the best-performing sellers.

It also comes with a Search function, so you can easily browse all the products offered by Oberlo sellers in seconds. (What convenience!)

By the way, Oberlo integrates directly with your Shopify store, so you can start testing products literally in under an hour. How awesome is that?

If you’re interested in this model, check out this article on how dropshipping with Oberlo works.

[highlight]Want to know which products to sell in 2018? We’ve got you covered. Here’s a video tutorial on how to choose the right products.[/highlight]


Canva: A powerful design tool

Canva ecommerce design tool


A graphic design tool built to save you time, Canva is a godsend if you have limited design abilities.

There are loads of templates to choose from, depending on your purpose.

The free version will do, but resizing your images can get frustrating from time to time. (This is by far the biggest advantage of the paid version).

If you want to save time designing your lead magnets, be sure to check out Canva.

Chapter 2 Takeaways

We covered a lot in this chapter.

With just the first two chapters alone, you should have a solid understanding of how to earn money from blogging.

Here’s what we went over in this chapter:

  • Establishing yourself as an authority and fostering trust with your audience
  • Blog ideas that make money
  • Email lists, lead magnets, funnels, user intent, and how they all tie in together
  • Finding your voice, how to tell a compelling story, and maintaining a consistent style
  • And the most essential blogging tools you need for your blog monetization efforts.

In the next chapter, we’ll cover Facebook monetization. We’ll also go over how to leverage Facebook as a blogger and promote your content through Facebook, so be sure to stick around.

Facebook Monetization: The What, Why, Where, and How

Facebook is quite possibly the most enduring social media channel in existence. No other online media giant has caught so much flack for data collection.

As of early 2019, it boasts more than 2.7 billion active monthly users, with 500,000 new users added daily.

facebook usersAlthough Facebook has recently become the target of an even more intense media campaign and a hotly debated topic surrounding privacy protections, with these figures, it remains safe to say Facebook will remain a major social media platform for the foreseeable future.

What is Facebook Monetization?

As the name implies, Facebook monetization describes the act of making money by leveraging Facebook as a monetization platform.

But that doesn’t mean our definition goes out the window.


You’re here to earn money from something of value you provide to your audience.

This will remain true wherever you are, because you’re building a brand that’s made to last.

Among all the social media channels, Facebook also remains arguably the most lucrative platform in 2018.

In fact, because Facebook’s audience is also maturing (with younger audiences not as eager to hop onboard), Facebook and its user base may also be switching over to a more business-oriented mindset and using the platform more and more as a marketing channel.

In this chapter, we’ll discuss how to create an income stream with Facebook. Specifically, I’ll go over a few key considerations on how to earn money from Facebook, including what to do and what not to do on the social platform. We’ll also cover the most important aspects of Facebook monetization, such as

  • What you should know about Facebook’s new guidelines
  • How to earn money from Facebook pages
  • How to build your Facebook group
  • How to make money with Facebook ads

Let’s get started.

3.1 How Facebook Monetization Works

Before we can dive straight into how to earn from Facebook, it’s critical that we go over a few important changes that have affected everyone on the platform, users and brands alike.

Facebook has recently come under intense scrutiny for its multiple privacy violations, all of which have made it the subject of much marketing debate.

So the question on everyone’s mind is, Is Facebook marketing a waste of time and money in 2018?

It’s an interesting question, but for the foreseeable future, it’s merely an alarmist perspective that detracts from actually making you money.

After all, while people are hesitating to invest in Facebook as a marketing channel, others are pushing ahead full force because they’ve got the results they want, and until the very last day of Facebook’s existence, they’ll be pressing on until they can no longer profit.

Why would you do otherwise?

Important GDPR and privacy policy updates

That said, we’ve got a lot to cover here, so let’s get the pesky rules out of the way first.

Complying with GDPR has become a central concern for businesses operating on Facebook. It is in fact the most recent major update to Facebook monetization requirements.

Here’s a quote from Facebook about how seriously you should take this issue:

Creators and publishers with multiple violations could lose access to all monetization features.

What is GDPR? It’s a set of policies that affects you primarily if you’re planning to target users residing in the European Union.

The specific Facebook features that are affected are Facebook Pixel and Custom Audiences.

What is Facebook Pixel?

Think of Facebook Pixel as a tracker.

The Pixel is a line of code you place on your website, so that Facebook can help you keep track of Facebook users coming to your site. This is an extremely powerful feature, which has been somewhat inconvenienced by the GDPR release.

Let’s look at how it’s been affected.

facebook pixel

(You can access Facebook Pixels and other business features through your Business Manager account). 

Facebook provides a few examples of what types of businesses might be affected by these changes:

  • Retail websites gathering product information viewed by visitors for ad retargeting based on their site activity
  • Blogs that use an analytics tool like Google Analytics to collect demographic data from its readers
  • Media and news sites using third-party ad servers that collect data from visitors who have been exposed to their display ads
  • Facebook advertisers who install Facebook pixel on their site to measure conversions and retarget visitors on Facebook

If this sounds like you, and you’re wondering whether the GDPR applies to your business idea, you can read the Facebook’s privacy details here.

Having said that, getting GDPR consent from your visitors is a straightforward process:

Use a bar or popup to inform your visitors that you’re collecting data, and specify what type of data you’ll be collecting. Once you get them to agree to it, you’re all set.  

But if you want to upload the data you’ve collected back onto Facebook to create a custom audience, then in the near future, you’ll be forced to provide proof of consent to Facebook.

Facebook monetization standards

Facebook most likely has the most extensive monetization guidelines out of any platform operating online. Here’s a summary list of “rules” you can cross-reference when aiming to monetize:

Make sure to dig deeper into each of these areas and familiarize yourself with Facebook’s monetization standards. Although most of these standards should be self-explanatory (as if you need to be told not to post violent content), reviewing them in detail will give you the boost in confidence you might need to invest your hard-earned money into Facebook advertising.

You can read the detailed list of monetization standards here.

Most people forget that Facebook isn’t just a social channel.

It’s a data collector. It aggregates and sells its users’ data, meaning it’s ideally designed as a marketing platform and channel.

This allows Facebook to provide the businesses that operate on its platform a number of extremely powerful tools at their disposal.

Now let’s go over the many ways you can earn from Facebook effectively. We’ll also cover examples where business owners have achieved success by applying the very strategies and principles we’re about to discuss.

3.2 Facebook Monetization Strategies

It can be easy to make money on Facebook.

In fact, many people only use Facebook to generate an income stream.

We’ve already discussed why this is such a risky idea, but it goes to show that Facebook still reigns supreme as a social media channel that also doubles as a data aggregator + marketing platform helping businesses connect with their target audience.

Since the focus of this book is on creating a brand that’s made to last, we’ll be going over the main features you can use to build your brand and a loyal fan base.

How to monetize Facebook

Of the multiple ways to make money on Facebook, we’ll be sticking to the few that help you generate an income stream while still building a solid brand.

Since Facebook is a social channel, we can’t just post things and forget about them.

Instead, we need to engage meaningfully and respond to comments, and like and share things we also find to be of value.

Facebook monetization requires thoughtful comments

How to earn money from Facebook pages

The monetization of Facebook pages has always been the classic approach to establishing a business presence on the platform.

If you want to earn money from facebook pages (yes, you can have more than one), then ideally you’re going to have a little investment capital.

But if not, here’s a few popular ways you can monetize Facebook pages:

  1. Drive traffic to your blog by posting helpful and relevant links from your site, where you have relevant offers in place, like your own courses or Google Adsense banners.
  2. Sell your own products. (You can do this easily by setting up a Shopify store directly on your Facebook page).
  3. Sell affiliate products.

How to grow your Facebook following

There is no quick and easy way to grow a Facebook page unless you’re ready to pull out your wallet. And unless you’re confident you can make that money back right away, it’s not worth investing in just yet. (Once you have a few sales under your belt, then you can crank up the results with paid advertising).

Growing a Facebook page takes hard work because you want your page to be viewed as a resource.

Here’s the catch:

Because Facebook users know that it’s primarily businesses that are operating Facebook pages out of self-interest, they’ll find it hard-pressed to view your page as a resource. Instead, if they follow your page, they’re more likely to be fans of your brand.

Here’s an example of an awesome Facebook page that successfully frames itself as a resource:

The Skating Lesson Facebook Page


Just look at their number of followers: 41,003.

If you go through their posts, you’ll notice pretty much every post getting over 100 likes, loves, and even shares.

This is what a highly engaged audience looks like.

Once you visit their blog, you’ll notice relevant banner ads, but none of them are so intrusive as to disrupt the reading experience.

And the best part?

Their ‘About’ section tells us that they’re just a couple figure-skating fans who want to share their passion and knowledge with the world.


How to use Facebook to drive traffic to your blog

Facebook most likely has the most extensive monetization guidelines out of any platform operating online. Here’s a summary list of “rules” you can cross-reference when aiming to monetize:

  1. Create a Facebook page.
    (Pick Business or Brand).
  2. Invite friends to like your page. Only invite those you believe will find value in your brand. (Ask them individually through Facebook messenger to increase the chances that they’ll actually like your page).
  3. Ask them if they know anyone who might be interested in your page as well.
  4. Ask them to share your page. (The worst thing they can say is “no”. Most likely will, but even for one or two shares, this step is worth doing).
  5. Start sharing great content from around the Internet related to your niche.
    Remember: The best content is content your audience will find helpful and interesting.
  6. Start sharing your blog content once in a while too and go from there. (Facebook likes frequent and consistent posts that get a ton of engagement, so do try to create and follow an editorial calendar).
  7. Engage with every user who leaves a comment. (There’s a good chance they could turn into your next fan!)

Earn Money From Facebook: The secret to boosting your page content

I’m going to risk sounding repetitive here, but we come back to a critical principle:

Not every fan is created equal.

That means not every like is equal as well. If you add random people to your groups and Facebook pages, you’re only going to confuse Facebook’s analytics tools, and it’ll become real difficult for you to earn money from Facebook (page, group, or otherwise).

That means when you try to use tools to analyze your audience, you won’t be able to determine their interests accurately, or their needs, or even who they really are.

And what does that mean when you post your content?

Total engagement from your entire fan base will be low, because people who aren’t interested in your content aren’t going to engage, especially on any meaningful level.

Low engagement will tell Facebook that your content sucks, even when it’s awesome.

On the other hand, if you have a small but engaged fan base, whenever you post content, you’ll be telling Facebook your content is relevant (one of the main metrics Facebook uses to determine the quality of your ads).

relevant content small fan base

So what awesome added benefit can you gain from this slower approach that’s been proven time and again to work?

It keeps ad costs low.

That’s right.

Because Facebook understands that your group or page is highly concentrated with an active and engaged audience, your ads will cost you less money over time. This also means a higher conversion rate, because the offers you promote will be highly relevant to your target audience.

Affiliate marketing: How to monetize Facebook pages in 2019

Affiliate marketing is a quick way to monetize Facebook pages.

  1. Pick a niche you’re interested in.
  2. Become an affiliate by signing up for an Amazon Associates or Clickbank account.
  3. Push products in your niche and start collecting commission. (Some products pay up to 70% the retail price).

affiliate facebook marketing

See this example above? These shoes are basically selling themselves.

How to earn from Facebook groups

Compared to trying to monetize Facebook pages, Facebook group monetization is much easier.

That’s because Facebook provides a lot more flexibility in terms of how you can frame the context of your group.

For example, you can label it a Support Group, thus helping your group members perceive it as a resource.  

This makes it much easier to persuade other Facebook users to join as well. (Think about how much faster you can build your Facebook group, where people come to view you as a resource and a source of support, an authority they can communicate with directly on a social platform).

So how do you start to monetize your Facebook fans and Facebook followers?

In a similar way you would with a Facebook pagebut remember the context:

This is a Facebook support group. Do not think about just pushing content. Here you’re building your brand and your authority.

You’re creating loyal fans.

Your Facebook page, on the other hand, is a business page. (Your page members will be a little more forgiving when you present your offers here).

Just take a look at this gardening example:

earn from facebook groups


This group has more than 100,000 members.

Note the description and framing:

The first paragraph is all about who this group is for (defining the target audience).

The second paragraph is a warning against spammers. Not only does this deter spammers from joining, it indirectly indicates to your target audience that this is a quality group that won’t tolerate spam.

Note also the group type: Support.


Content Guidelines for Facebook Monetization

Here’s a summary list of guidelines you can cross-reference when publishing content:

  • Formatting best practices
  • Do not misuse or misrepresent trademarked characters
  • Avoid depictions of tragedy and conflict (even when intended for educational purposes)
  • Avoid hotly debated social issues targeting or disparaging specific groups
  • Avoid publishing violent and adult content, or depictions of drug and alcohol use
  • Do not promote illegal products
  • No offensive language
  • Do not publish montages of inspirational quotes
  • Do not publish exaggerated or potentially inaccurate content

There are a few more less obvious points. You can access the full list and read the Partner Monetisation Policies details for more information.

How Facebook video monetization works

Facebook has recently undergone some major changes.

The media giant has actively begun to promote Facebook video monetization.

Even a quick surface glance gives the impression that Facebook has invested a tremendous amount of energy and effort into developing the video monetization aspect of its brand. In fact, notable publications have speculated as to how the video monetization landscape will develop, considering Youtube is the already-dominant platform in this space.

Facebook video monetization for creators

facebook monetization


Facebook’s recent overhaul of its video monetization features now boasts a new “Facebook for Creators” area, which the media giant frames as a community.

earn money from facebook

As soon as you sign up, you’ll be taken to a “Get Started” area, which is one long page full of advice on how to earn from Facebook effectively. From how to create an editorial calendar to video production tips, this area is an excellent primer on learning how to monetize Facebook videos.

Below is an example of the obvious extent to which Facebook is attempting to help you with your video monetization efforts:

video monetization facebook

Not only does Facebook grant you access to dozens of tracks you’re free to sample in your videos, you can also choose from a wide variety of sound effects to keep your videos interesting.

Once you reach the bottom of the “Facebook for Creators” page, you’ll be asked to connect your account, and voilà!

You’re almost ready to gobut not just yet.

Before you dive right into making Facebook videos to make money from, it’s worth noting that there are no hard and fast Facebook video monetization rules. They created a list of the best practices for video monetization, however, so make sure you review them to save yourself a lot of time and hassle in the long run.

[highlight]Want to master Facebook monetization? Check out Facebook Blueprint, where you can learn about every aspect of how to earn from Facebook. Be sure to review the build awareness category for important tips on branding and video creation.[/highlight]


Make money with Facebook ads

I’m not going to provide you with a beginner’s guide to Facebook advertising. There are plenty of guides for that, including our Facebook Ads eBook.

What we’re going to focus on are a few of the elements that make up a successful Facebook ad.

So let’s get one thing clear off the bat:

Can you make money with Facebook ads? You betcha. And a whole lot of it.

But here are three important points you should keep in mind when advertising on Facebook:

  1. Be prepared to spend. Facebook advertising is all about a/b testing. If you’re organized, this is perfect for you. Testing will give you the confidence you need to continue until you achieve a positive return on your investments.
  2. Don’t spend too much all at once. Testing will determine what works for you and what doesn’t over time. Once you see consistent results from testing with small amounts, you can decide if it’s time to increase your budget.
  3. Don’t run brand awareness campaigns. Yes, we’re all about building a brand that lasts, but these campaigns are designed for major brands with deep pockets. Remember: We’re trying to build a targeted audience.

Speaking of targeted audiences, remember what we said about custom audiences?

We discussed why it’s important to keep your group highly concentrated and relevant. One reason is that when you’re getting ready to run ads, you can choose to create what’s called a lookalike audience.

A lookalike audience is an audience Facebook creates based on your target audience’s characteristics. This means you can run highly targeted ads that are extremely likely to convert.

This is my favorite feature of Facebook ads, because it can be highly cost-effective.

How to create a Facebook ad campaign funnel

You can burn a lot of money on Facebook ads if you don’t know what you’re doing.

To make money with Facebook ads the right way, you should have a basic sales funnel in place.

Let’s build one by thinking about the steps your potential customers might take if you’re, say, selling a course on how to cook pasta sauces from scratch:

  1. Your potential customers see your awesome ad for a free preview of your pasta sauce course (for example, Lesson 3). They can gain access in exchange for their email address.
  2. They give you their email address, after which they’re taken to another page, which could be a Thank You page (which is recommended for the purpose of brand building), an affiliate page where you try to push related products, a discount page with a code for your course, or even related links to your blog or other awesome resources.
  3. You can begin emailing them and try to initiate conversations. Also try to encourage them to connect with you through other social channels like Facebook, where you can continue to build your loyal fan base.

Here’s a visual representation of the anatomy of a Facebook ad:

visual representation of the anatomy of a facebook ad

The Text Overlay tool: An amazing time saver

Facebook penalizes ads that contain too much text over the image.

But don’t worry.

Facebook has made it real easy for you to check if an ad you’re about to run is going to fair out all right. The Text Overlay tool is a time-saving tool that requires only seconds to determine if your ad will be penalized for containing too much text.

text overlay tool facebook ads

In the example above, I’ve uploaded two images.

As you can see, the first image (which is text-heavy) has a yellow warning sign next to it, with the note, “Image Text: High”.

In contrast, the second image is marked with a green checkmark, with the note, “Image Text: OK”.

Obviously, Facebook has given us a lot to work with, and it can get a little overwhelming. But be sure to stick to the key principles we covered so far, and you’ll be just fine.

How to Make Money on Facebook: Takeaways

We approached this chapter a bit differently from conventional guides on how to earn from Facebook. That’s because our focus is on long-term brand building and monetization.

Here’s what you should remember from Chapter 3:

  • Whether you’re building a Facebook fan base from your Facebook page or your group, keep in mind that not all fans are created equal, so don’t go chasing after random likes.
  • Video monetization is a different animal, one Facebook is beginning to pushing hard. This probably means Facebook will show more favorability to its video creators, although this remains to be seen.
  • Focus on engagement, not only to keep ad costs down, but to gain critical and highly targeted insights into your audience.

The information we covered in this chapter should

  1. Help you get started with creating your own brand or business on Facebook to earn money
  2. Empower you to extend your reach to Facebook as a social channel from your blog or your website.

Now that you’re ready to look at another social channel, the next logical step is Instagram.

Off we go.

How to Monetize Instagram for Your Business

Instagram, owned by Facebook, is the largest photo-sharing platform on the Internet.

Because it’s a channel that’s been designed primarily for photo sharing, you need to have a different approach when thinking about how to make money on Instagram for your business.

For instance, while you don’t need a million followers to start earning money, this is a platform where numbers can actually help–but still, steer clear of fake followers! (More on that later).

So who makes money on Instagram?

People like you and I can make a lot of money on Instagram these days. In fact, because Instagram is owned by Facebook, you can expect the same level of dedication from Instagram with assisting its users in their monetization efforts.

But that doesn’t mean you should just create an account and start posting photos, even when you’ve boiled down your niche and want to start plugging away. The branding principles we’ve discussed in the previous chapters still apply.

Even with “just photos”, monetizing Instagram doesn’t come easy. Sure, you may be thinking it’s a platform where monetization is easier, because all you’ve got to do is start posting photos and you’re good, right?


With Instagram, money comes later.

First, you should focus on building your following because without followers your photos go unnoticed.

4.1 Build your Instagram Followers

One thing’s for sure. To earn from Instagram, you need some followers. Not a million followers, but you do need to focus on numbers a little here. Sure, you can make more money with a larger group, but having a small following of 1,000+ members is enough to position yourself as a micro-influencer and begin monetizing.

Let’s take a look at a few critical elements that can help you grow your following.

How to grow your Instagram fan base

Instagram shares one similarity with Facebook that’s definitely worth noting — the Instagram algorithm for determining how to promote a post is based on a similar logic as Facebook’s algorithm.

That means we need to pay careful attention to Instagram’s algorithm and its six ranking factors, which it revealed at a press conference in San Francisco in 2018. The first three are the most important, with the latter three being a secondary consideration.

instagram ranking factors

  • Interest: Based on all your interests, the Instagram algorithm determines whether a post will be interesting to you.
  • Timeliness: Use Instagram Insights to check the times for when your Instagram audience is online as well as what your top posts are. Ask yourself why these posts are the top-performing, and study them. Then see how you can create better posts that are related.
  • Relationship: What type of relationship do you have with your followers? Instagram seems to prioritize people you have a “real” relationship with, so do be sure to form some type of connection with them, for example, by sending them direct messages and liking and commenting on their posts.

The three less important ranking signals are:

  • Frequency: How frequently do you post? Figures range wildly. The correct answer? It varies by business and audience. Just take a moment to think about it. If you post 10 times a day, and your audience isn’t engaged because you post too frequently for your niche, then you’re going to lose them. On the other hand, if they expect many posts per day but you’re only posting once a day or every 2 days, you risk losing them. That being said, the most important element in frequency seems to be consistency, so do stick with the number of posts you settle on.
  • Following: This ranking signal is one that’s out of your control. That’s because it depends on the number of Instagram accounts your fans follow. If they follow hundreds, or even thousands of accounts, then your content is obviously less likely to appear in their feed. However, if a fan were to follow only 10 or even 20 accounts, Instagram is going to display your content quite frequently.
  • Usage: How do your users interact with instagram? Do they spend a few minutes on it over several times a day? Or do they sit for an hour in one sitting per day? The way your fans use the app will tell instagram what content to prioritize.

Now that we’ve covered Instagram’s ranking signals, let’s look at a few other ways to make your images and content more engaging.

  • Make sure your posts are high quality
  • Use the captions as an opportunity to encourage engagement with your followers.

For instance, you could ask them a basic question like how their week is going, or even what they think of a particular design. (Asking someone for their opinion can make them feel appreciated and feel closer to your brand).

  • Use high-quality photos that are interesting to your fan base.
  • Use hashtag best practices.

[highlight]Hashtags play a big part in Instagram marketing. Check out our in-depth guide, which is all about the best Instagram hashtags. [/highlight]


Unlike Facebook, Instagram claims not to hide any of your posts. (Apparently, you’ll see all of them if you just keep scrolling).

Why you should steer clear of fake followers

This is the same principle we’ve covered in the previous chapters. That is, focus on engagement, not on numbers. Many articles will tell you that on Instagram, you should try to grow your following as fast as you can, without having to pay careful attention to all the risks. Get yourself a bunch of fake followers, and it doesn’t matter how many you’ve got.

Even if you’ve got a million fake followers, when you post content they’re not interested in, they obviously won’t engage.


You won’t be reaching anyone.

On the other hand, if you focus on building a small but engaged following, you’re still building loyal fans, people who will find value in whatever you’ve got to offer.

[highlight]Find out how to grow your number of Instagram followers from 0 to 10,000 in no time.[/highlight]


4.2 The four main ways you can earn money on Instagram

Whatever your niche, on a more general level, there are four main ways you can monetize Instagram. Let’s explore each way closely.

1. Request shoutouts from influencers in your niche Jokstergram Instagram Account

The image above is an example of someone you can send a private message to, and see if they’d be interested in giving your brand a shoutout in exchange for some of that sweet, sweet Instagram money. This is a straightforward example of influencer marketing.

If you’ve got some capital set aside, especially if you’ve got an ecommerce store through Shopify, Instagram influencer marketing is a surefire way to start testing your products immediately. The risk is lower than advertising on Facebook, and it takes considerably less effort, especially if you can find someone who’s passionate about what you’ve got to offer.

[highlight]Interested in approaching influencers on Instagram to promote your brand? Here are five great tips on how to find them.[/highlight]


2. Leverage your position as a micro-influencer

micro-influencers benefits

If you’ve already got a sizeable following, this is perfect for you. (Remember what we said about fake followers?)

So, even with a small following of at least 1,000 fans, if you can show that they’re highly engaged every time you post, brands will begin to take interest, especially smaller brands. If you’re worried or wondering why a “real” business would deal with someone like you, ask yourself: What have you got to lose?

3. Leverage affiliate marketing on Instagram

Instagram affiliate marketing

If you’re nervous about being in front of a camera, but you still want to earn from Instagram without showing your face, this might be a good approach for you. But it isn’t easy.

Instagram is a photo-sharing platform, and it’s a social channel, so people expect to see your face. If you consider yourself a savvy marketer though, you can get creative by hiring your friends to model products, or if you’ve got some sharp Photoshop skills, you can create awesomely manipulated photos that dazzle your fans.

The image above is an example of Instagram affiliate marketing. Pay special attention to the shortened url ( The random letters at the end of that link are a tracking code, to see where the traffic came from (in this case, this Instagram post). This is the affiliate link.

4. Utilize your branding channel to drive traffic to your blog.

This last option is the one I recommend. It’s not only because of the purpose of this book. Creating a lasting brand is the only way you can be sure you’ll remain on track. With everything else, you risk alienating your fans.

And because we’re focused on building a loyal and engaged following where you position yourself as a trusted authority, it’s best not to try to be too pushy with your marketing, at least until you have something of perceived value you can offer your fans.

Can you make money with Instagram videos?

As of June 2018, Instagram has announced that it has over 1 billion users.

And with that, they’ve introduced IGTV, which works a bit differently from Instagram videos.

There are three main differentiating factors:

  1. Each “channel” is owned by a creator, and when you switch channels, you’re actually switching creators
  2. Unlike Instagram videos, IGTV videos don’t have to last 1 minute. In fact, they can run for up to a full hour if you’ve got an account packed with followers. But for us little folks, we’ll have to settle for 10 minutes until we grow our following to a considerable figure.
  3. Instead of being displayed in box mode, these videos are shown in full screen.

monetize Instagram videos

But what’s obviously missing from this picture?

As of this moment, Instagram has not introduced any explicit monetization features for IGTV. That’s why, although there are still several ways you can earn from Instagram, I firmly believe you’ll get more out of the platform by leveraging it as a channel ideally for branding, rather than for direct selling.

4.3 Instagram monetization tools

As with all platforms to monetize Instagram you certainly have a wide array of tools available to you. But don’t worry. You don’t need them all. Here’s just a few you should definitely consider.


Buzzoole is an influencer marketing platform that allows you to search and identify brands and influencers in your niche with ease. This way, you can partner up and explore mutually profitable opportunities.

But first, you’ll need to see how much influence you currently have, and that’s where Buzzoole can be a godsend.

instagram monetization tools

When you first get started on Buzzoole, your dashboard will look something like this.

Once you determine your strengths and weaknesses, you’ll have a much better idea of the direction you want to take your brand, including what you might be worth to bigger brands wishing to gain exposure to your audience, where you should target more of your efforts, and so on.

Instagram analytics importance

Tapinfluence: A worthy Buzzoole Alternative

Since here at Oberlo, we’re all about providing value, here’s one of Buzzoole’s top competitors, Tapinfluence.

Tapinfluence dashboard

Tapinfluence comes loaded with tons of powerful features.

For instance, if you know anything about data, you know your data tool’s only as good as its segmentation features, and in turn, it’s filters. It also provides awesome visualizations, allowing you to gather insights fairly quickly and with ease.

Influencer marketing tool

Look at how easy Tapinfluence has made interpreting how these influencers in the image above prioritize their social channels. (This should give you a pretty good idea of ways to connect with them on a meaningful level). is hard to define. It’s not a plugin, nor is it a program. What it does though is turn your Instagram images into a clickable, shoppable feed. Once your followers who are browsing through your feed click on any of these images, they’ll be redirected to either the appropriate product page, where they can purchase the product, or to a piece of content, like an article.

You can even track your followers’ analytical data through, making this tool simply a must-have for anyone who takes monetizing Instagram seriously. You can read more about here.


Bitly dashboard

Bitly is without a doubt the world’s most famous url shortener, but that’s just one of many features Bitly has to offer. The brand actually refers to itself as a link management platform. Links are essential on the Internet. They’re addresses that allow us to travel to another destination instantly.

The problem is, it’s nearly impossible for a brand or business to track all those links and where all the traffic’s going. And that’s only on the business side. For the customer (or “traveler”), a series of disjointed links could disrupt the customer experience. If you can track where your prospects and customers are going, if you can see what content your fans engage with most, you can most assuredly deliver a better-tailored experience for everyone.

Bitly makes this easy, so as you can see, calling Bitly merely a url shortener is doing it a great disservice, because url shortening is quite possibly the least impressive out of all Bitly has to offer.


I wouldn’t call Linktree a direct competitor to, even though technically they compete for the same space. See, if you’ve used Instagram at all, you know you only have one link opportunity, so you have to make it count. That means, if you have a shop, it makes sense to link with But if you have, say, a blog, a store page, and you also want to showcase a separate service you offer, then Linktree is perfect.

Let’s take a look at an example.

linktree dashboard


Monica Reinagel is a nutritionist who makes money on Instagram in the health niche. With a little over 3,000 followers, she fits comfortably into our definition of a micro-influencer. A click on her link in her description takes me to her Linktree page, pictured below.

instagram influencer moneySource

On her Linktree page, we are greeted with seven options:

  1. We can find out more about what Weightless Mindset Reset by signing up for free
  2. We can join her Weighless Facebook Group
  3. We can listen to her latest podcast (great for branding and authority building).
  4. We can have ideas for healthy living delivered straight to our inbox , which is a clever way to collect email addresses

But what you should really hire her for is to teach you how to build a brand and a loyal following, because she obviously gets it. But without Linktree, could setting all this up have been this easy? — I doubt it.

4.4 Ideas to make money on Instagram

Is a best niche to monetize Instagram — there is no definite answer as everyone is different. Choosing to focus on the best niche, instead of considering what the best one is based on your own strengths and weaknesses, is a disaster waiting to happen.

So forget about a best niche. Instead, focus on what you’re interested in enough to want to post photos and share related content on it for years to come.  That means you’ll have a much easier time focusing on what may be considered a more difficult niche to break into by many, but one you’re more comfortable with.

Remember: Whatever your niche, it’s your target audience and their interests and needs that must remain your main focus.

That said, let’s go over a few popular ideas and examples to earn money on Instagram. Money making isn’t the primary focus of several of these examples. (They’re not so in-your-face with their promotions).

The examples I’ve selected are of influencers who might not have a massive following, but are still making money on the platform. Let’s pay particular attention to their branding practices and how they use Instagram to drive traffic to their links.

And remember: As we’ve reiterated several times throughout the book, you don’t need a million followers. To make money as an Instagram influencer, you don’t even need 100,000.

Even a small but engaged following of 1,000 is large enough to begin to leverage and monetize.

Now for the examples.

Earn money on Instagram with photos

make money on Instagram with photos


Let’s start with the most obvious one. Since Instagram is a photo-sharing platform, here’s an example of how you can sell your photos, like Scott Wyden. Scott is a professional photographer and chief community officer at Imagely. When you click back to the Imagely link in his description, it takes you to Imagely’s Instagram page, where Scott’s face is on full display.

His other link is back to his website, where you’re presented with the question, “Why are you here?”, followed by three buttons:

  1. I need a photographer
  2. I am a photographer
  3. My family is adopting!

The first link leads to his samples, where Scott offers his photography services.

The second link leads to a display of affiliate links from Amazon’s collection of photography gear.

The third link is interesting: A personal story about Scott and his wife Melissa’s adoption adventure.

Scott is a proud father of Layla, and he and Melissa are looking to adopt, so Layla can become a big sister. The entire site is extremely personable and endearing. There’s no hard selling; just a link at the very bottom to the adoption agency. That’s it. You can follow him at @scottwyden to check out his stuff.

Make money selling your art on Instagram

Jenny Liz Rome is an artist who sells her art online, with Instagram being one of her monetization channels. As shown in the description below, with a little under 10,000 followers, she’s a micro-influencer.

make money with art on Instagram

The description also shows that she’s got her own page on Society 6, a brand that features a small gathering of exceptionally skilled independent artists on its website.  

instagram art


On her Society 6 page (pictured above), she has more followers here than on her Instagram. Granted, there’s a good chance that the two audiences overlap, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It means she’s got loyal fans, and they hang out where she displays her work for sale.

Make money as an Instagram model

make money as an instagram model


With nearly 2,000 followers, Heather Lynn is a micro-influencer who’s worthy of a case study. She’s got a background in social media marketing, and a look at her feed will immediately show you that she’s someone who knows what she’s doing. With product reviews, personal photos, video clips, and articles that link back to her blog, just by looking at the comments she receives, you can tell she’s got a whole fan base of adoring fans.

Not only that, just take a look at the image above: Kat Von D is paying her to promote one of their lip liners. The post has garnered 279 likes so far. I encourage you to go take a look at her page and study her followers’ comments too. They love her, and they absolutely love the stuff she promotes.

How to make money on Instagram with dogs

instagram dogs


People are passionate about dogs, especially dog owners. (I know I am).

With over 2,000 followers, Sarah Wilson is the author of nine books. Most of the photographs on her Instagram account are of dogs, and it’s awesome. They’re not all professional photos, which actually lends an air of authenticity to her brand.

Interestingly enough, her blog is jam-packed full of helpful content, and I couldn’t find any mention of her offering her services. Instead, her articles contain the occasional relevant Amazon affiliate link.

Although I personally feel like she could promote the products a little more blatantly, the fact that she keeps her account clean and friendly does enhance her personal brand’s sense of authenticity, which is an endearing quality many brands invest millions to attain.  

Make money on Instagram while you travel

make money from instagram while traveling


This is our last example.

Veera Bianca is an Instagram travel blogger based in Helsinki, Finland. One look at her feed, and it’s just full of gorgeous photos of her travels. The link in her description links back to her blog, which is in Finnish. Sure, it’s intimidating to look at the number of followers she has, as well as her number of posts. (Nearing 2,000 posts!)

But guess what? I left this example as our last one because I want you to see what’s possible if you keep your eyes on the long game. Veera also had to start somewhere, and build her following up from nothing. If you go through her posts and her blog, you’ll immediately be able to tell that this traveler has a solid understanding of how to brand herself for her target audience.

Now you do too.

Monetization on Instagram: Recap

In this chapter, we covered how to monetize instagram, one of the most popular social media platforms in the world.

Specifically, we went over:

  • How to grow your Instagram following, and to stay away from fake followers.
  • Several ways you can begin to monetize your Instagram account, and the advantages and challenges that come with each option.
  • IGTV and Instagram’s recent move to start focusing on its video creators
  • Several powerful Instagram monetization tools
  • Numerous relatable examples of micro-influencers and how they manage to monetize their Instagram accounts

How to Make Money From Instagram in 10 Steps:

  1. Grow your following
  2. Steer clear of fake followers
  3. Know the Instagram Algorithm
  4. Request Shoutouts
  5. Be a micro-influencer
  6. Do affiliate marketing
  7. Build your brand
  8. Leverage videos through IGTV
  9. Sell your photos and art
  10. Be an Instagram Model

Instagram Marketing Resources

31 Best Instagram Video Editor Apps – If you are looking for an app to help you elevate your online brand, we’ve got you covered. Here’s our list of the best Instagram video editor apps available for ecommerce businesses.

The Ultimate Guide to Instagram Video for eCommerce Businesses – Instagram video marketing is an effective way to reach your target market and grow your business. We walk you through some great ideas, tips, and examples to help you get started!

The Best Instagram Video Format and Specifications – We share all the details you need to know about formats and lengths, as well as some top tips to help you grow on Instagram following!


In the last chapter, we’ll go over how you can monetize your Youtube channel, the original video-sharing platform.

Let’s go.

Monetizing a YouTube Brand Without Ads

In January 2018, Youtube announced new eligibility requirements regarding Youtube monetization criteria. Previously, all you needed was 10,000 views to qualify for their partner program.

And now? How many Youtube views to money?

What’s happened to Youtube channel monetization?

Youtube has stated that the new changes are due to their desire to strengthen the quality of the platform as a whole, as well as to deter bad actors and spammers. (In other words, you’ve got to learn how to make money on Youtube in more ingenious ways).

Specifically, your channel will now be required to have accumulated

  1. “4,000 watch hours” in the last year, and
  2. 1,000 subscribers.

After your channel meets these two requirements, Youtube will review whether your channel is eligible for its monetization program.

Having said that, I’m not going to lie to you. These recent changes hurt small Youtubers.

It’s going to be difficult to monetize Youtube videos with these new restrictions.

Let’s take those watch hours and do the math.

Now, I’m no math scientist, but…

4,000 hours divided by 12 months = 333+ hours per month

333+ hours / 30 days = 11+ hours a day

In other words, your videos have got to accrue 11+ hours of watch time minimum per day for a year to be eligible for the Youtube Partner Program. (Want to check if you’re eligible? Here’s the Youtube monetization page).

As you should have gathered, there are much easier ways to monetize, so forget about Youtube money. You don’t have to chase after peanuts.

Need I remind you we’re building a brand made to last?

Having said that, if you think you’ve got the chops to monetize Youtube videos with Adsense and want to give it a go, here’s how to do it.

How to activate Youtube channel monetization step by step

Step 1. Read and agree to Youtube’s monetization terms.

Step 2. Sign up for your Adsense account.

Step 3. Choose which types of ads you prefer to display.

Step 4. Wait until Youtube reviews your channel for eligibility.

(Here are the detailed steps, as outlined by Youtube).

So does Youtube monetization work?

Even if you’re eligible, can you actually monetize Youtube through ads?

Sure. Eventually.

And it’s not like Youtube isn’t trying to help its Youtubers produce awesome content, for instance, through Youtube Space and Youtube’s Creator Academy.

Since you want to find out every aspect of how to earn money from Youtube, you should definitely check out Creator Academy.

It’s full of free and value-packed courses covering literally every aspect of how to make money on Youtube, from a 3-hour course on video production skills to a 2-hour course on revenue reporting and analysis, it really is all here.

In contrast, Youtube Space is a physical studio you can visit to record your next big idea.

But there’s a catchor several. First, you need to be in a major city where a studio exists (obviously), like London or Tokyo.

Unfortunately, this is just the beginning of the space’s restrictions. For instance, you already need to have 10,000 subscribers, and even after you’re done filming, your work must undergo a rigorous review process before it can be published to check for any copyrighted content.

how to make money on youtube


So is it worth all this effort?

Well, according to this Entrepreneur article, for every 1,000 views, you can be expected to make around a dollar.

Or we can take Google’s word for it: “99 percent of those affected were making less than $100 per year in the last year, with 90 percent earning less than $2.50 in the last month.”

Considering Youtube doesn’t even pay out unless you make at least $100, you definitely shouldn’t approach Youtube channel monetization thinking you can become the next millionaire simply by posting videos.

Don’t make that rookie mistake many beginning Youtube creators make: Publish and expect Youtube money to come rolling in.

It just doesn’t work that way.

So in line with the spirit of this book, let’s look at how to earn money from Youtube the right way.

5.1 How to monetize Youtube videos without Adsense

Now that we’ve gone over the traditional way of how to make money on Youtube (with Adsense), let’s look at a few other ways you can approach Youtube channel monetization. After all, not all of us can wait for eligibility.

Some of us need to do this without 1,000 subscribers. I mean, who can wait until 10,000 Youtube views to money?

Many of these approaches are the same ones we’ve discussed in the previous chapters. Therefore, to avoid the risk of repeating myself, let’s stick to Youtube-specific info, and strictly to what you need to know.

And don’t forget:

None of these approaches are exclusive. It’s important to diversify your income streams. That means you can pick and choose from a few of these. Just make sure to keep it to a manageable few, so don’t go crazy.

Affiliate marketing

This one’s a no-brainer. It’s also the easiest to implement on your list.

That’s because whatever you do, sooner or later you’re bound to promote something, whether intentional or not. You just need to keep an eye out.

For instance, you might be wearing an awesome sweater in one of your videos, and you notice in the comments that loads of Youtube users, subscribers, and random viewers alike are wondering where you got your sweater.

This would be a good time to include an easy affiliate link in your description, like Sawyer does in the example below.

how to earn money from youtube


Partner with other brands to promote their stuff

Since you should be a micro-influencer by now (or at least, have the knowledge to become one), if you have even a small following, you can look at other brands to promote their stuff.

This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to start contacting major brands.


There’s loads of ecommerce entrepreneurs opening up shops on Shopify by the second, and they’re all looking for new and clever ways to gain brand exposure.

Sure, the two main ways they’ll be looking into is Instagram influencer marketing and Facebook ads. But the smarter ones understand that videos are becoming a staple across the Internet, and those in your niche will want to get in front of your audience while you’re “cheap”.

youtube monetization cross promotion


Just take a look at the example above.

The video is displaying a Toshiba solid-state drive, but the video description indicates that the video is a review about a Phanteks computer case.

At the bottom of the description, you’ll notice they’re completely transparent about their affiliation:

They state that the video is sponsored by Toshiba OCZ, and even that Phanteks sent a review unit over for these influencers to review, completely free of charge.

Use a service like Patreon to have your fans fund your channel

Patreon is a crowdfunding tool that’s gaining increasing popularity, especially among news content producers on Youtube.

One main reason is because Youtube has begun demonetizing videos that mention certain topics they deem controversial. (For instance, even a video about Youtube demonetizing videos will get demonetized).

Enter Patreon.

Patreon dashboard

The tool has enabled so many Youtube creators to encourage their own fans to support them financially. All you need to do is simply post a link in your description, as well as mention your Patreon link in your videos.

If you have a large enough user base that’s engaged and active, you know they’ll support you, especially if you remember to stick to the golden principle:

Earn money from something of value you provide to your audience.

And you get to make your fans feel awesome for having helped out their favorite influencer.

Oh, and don’t forget:

You can have your very own Patreon page.

Patreon page


Super chat

Super chat is a new feature Youtube introduced to replace Fan Funding.

Basically, when you host live streams for your fans, they can donate a certain amount of money to your channel. In exchange, their comment is highlighted, and they can even get it displayed for a certain period of time, as shown in the example below.

Super chat youtube

The example also shows that the Youtuber has achieved three-fourths of his goal on the upper side of the screen, with the goal displayed in red (11,000) on the bottom right of the video screen.

Sell merchandise

If you’ve got a large enough following or a visually appealing brand, it might be time for you to consider offering your fans some merchandise.

Jimmy Dore is a nightclub-comedian-turned-political-commentator, and he’s killing it on Youtube.

But he doesn’t sell his merchandise there directly.

youtube monetization clothing merchandise


Due to the sensitive nature of much of his content, he’s frequently demonetized. That’s why he tells everyone to support the show at the end of the video by sending in donations through Patreon. He also conducts Super Chats, and he directs everyone to his website, where they can purchase his merchandise or sign up to become members and access exclusive content.


5.2 Essential Youtube monetization tools


You’re probably thinking you need to spend a gazillion dollars to launch your Youtube channel. After all, if your production quality sucks, nobody’s going to watch your videos, right?

Not necessarily.

Let’s look at what you do need, and then some.

Here we’ll go over how you can start to record videos with what you’ve got (assuming you’ve at least got a smartphone). We’ll also cover my recommendations for a slightly more advanced setup if you’ve got a bit of cash set aside to invest in equipment.

Camera or webcam

At the very least, you’re going to need a smartphone that can record decent videos, or a webcam. Don’t forget what year it is either.

Your average Youtuber will not be so kind if your video production quality isn’t up to standard. That said, this also depends heavily on your niche.

If you’re in the gaming niche, for instance, your viewers will expect the good stuff, including no lag in your videos. But if you’re in the political commentary niche, if you’re just getting started with video, you’re in luck. Many of your colleagues will also be recording on a smartphone and/or improvising their setup.

webcam for youtube


In the example above, political commentator Graham Elwood uses his smartphone, filming at 360p! Still, he’s managed to gather an impressive following of 9.7k in less than a year.

Camera recommendation: If you want to go all out…

The Canon 70D is the main camera I use for my videos. It’s also one of the most frequently recommended cameras out there, for vlogging and otherwise.

Do keep in mind though: You do not need to go crazy when you’re first starting out. It’s more important to focus on your niche and to build a following with some decent equipment. If your audience finds value in your content, they’ll be willing to wait for you to upgrade your Youtube studio setup.

Also worth remembering if you decide to purchase a camera: The lens. Make sure the lens you purchase is ideal for video. Do consider what you’re shooting, where you’ll be shooting, and so on, because these factors (and others) will determine what you’re after.

best camera for youtube


You don’t need to purchase a microphone if you’re planning to start shooting videos on your smartphone or webcam.

The only thing you need to remember is to test out your audio. If your smartphone mic sounds terrible, then you will need to invest in a mic. The same goes for your webcam or computer. Microphones have become extremely affordable, so you should be able to pick up a decent mic for under $50.

Mic recommendation: If you want to go all out…

The Blue Yeti isn’t the microphone I use for my own videos, but I am considering purchasing it.

best mics for youtube


Full disclaimer: I’ve only tried it out once in store, but I’ve done the research, and it’s definitely the most frequently recommended (and for the price, it’s a bargain). It comes with numerous pro features, and if you don’t want to fork out hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars on a fancy mic, this one will do the job.

It’s also visually pleasing to look at, adding a touch of professionalism on a light budget.


You can choose to go with natural lighting or with a setup.

With natural lighting, you have to consider things such as time of day, window placement if you’re shooting indoors, and the weather. If you’re shooting basic videos, natural lighting should be fine.

But if you’re shooting professional videos that are made to look aesthetically pleasing, you should absolutely consider investing in a lighting setup.

A typical lighting setup comes with at minimum three basic lights. This is for what’s called a “three-point lighting setup”. (You can read more about how to set up three-point lighting here).

Ideal lighting setup for youtube


You need a stand of some sort for your camera.

You can either choose to stack up a few books or use something to lean or stand your device against.

But if you can afford it, just invest in a cheap tripod. Smartphone tripods shouldn’t run you more than $10, and you can even find decent camera tripods for around $100. Just make sure the tripod weighs less than your pricey camera, or you’re going to have a lot of accidents to look forward to.

Video editing tools

The main pro video editing tools are Adobe Premier Pro and Apple’s Final Cut Pro X.

You don’t need anything fancy like this, but if you can afford it, I would suggest that you consider hiring a freelance video editor instead. (Read more about how to hire freelancers here).

There are also an infinite number of free video-editing tools available online, many of which offer “pro” features for a small monthly fee of around $10.

Here’s a list of these tools courtesy of Techcrunch.

Now that we’ve gone over the main tools you need to set up your Youtube studio, let’s take a look at a few ways you can make your content and your channel stand out.

5.3 Factors that determine your channel’s long-term success

So let’s talk about the two main advantages Youtube presents as a channel:

  1. The most obvious answer: Video. Video is growing, and if you neglect it as a business owner, marketer, or monetizer, you do so at your own peril. Everyone’s joining in, and video is becoming a staple for many blogs, even replacing written content much of the time.
  2. You can use it to drive traffic to your blog.

Why is Youtube the critical channel for driving traffic to your blog?

The short answer: SEO.

Youtube is the Internet’s second-largest search engine, just behind its owner, Google. This means when you post video content, which is less saturated than blogging, you’re more likely to rank your video in Google’s searches.

In other words, you’re leveraging a powerful video approach to brand building and driving traffic to your blog.

After all, there’s a reason the Youtube chapter came last in this book.

That’s because by now you should be more than familiar with how to leverage your channels to drive traffic to your site. But don’t forget that you can do the opposite too:

Drive traffic from your site and your other channels to Youtube, so that you increase your Youtube views to money.

You can also embed your videos in your blog, which increases dwell time on your site (because your readers spend more time watching your video).

You can also post your video across different social media channels, like in your Facebook group, which will do wonders for brand building:

When your fans see you, they’ll get to know you as a real individual with a face and a voice, not just someone who publishes posts, comments, and shares.

how to be successful on youtube

Ways to grow your channel

You already know what I’m going to say when I tell you I’m about to reveal to you the one ingredient that’s going to make all the difference in creating an active, engaged, and loyal following, not just on Youtube, but anywhere:

Value-packed content.

That’s right.

Just how do you create value-packed videos though?

As shown in the example below of noted Youtube celebrity music critic Anthony Fantano, even amateur editing (with often hilarious results) can make your audience feel that much closer to you.

grow youtube channel

After all, Fantano’s also well known for his over-the-top reactions.

And his fans appreciate his approach so much, they’ve given him his own nickname (Melon), and have photoshopped him countless times into various album covers and memes, including printing him on t-shirts!

user generated content youtube


[highlight]From Youtube views to money. Want to find out additional ways to get more views and grow your channel? Read our article on 12 easy (and free) ways to get more views on Youtube in 2018.[/highlight]


But with Youtube, it isn’t just about making awesome videos.

With your channel, you need to take a holistic approach.

This means:

You need to focus on improving your Youtube channel as a brand.

There are two main areas you need to focus on, other than your actual video content:

  1. Your actual Youtube page
  2. Your video thumbnails

youtube video thumbnails

The example above of a Youtube About page is from the SeriousEats Youtube channel page. The page has a relevant attention-drawing cover image, with all the links to the other channels on the upper-right-hand corner. (You can also check other minor stats, like the join date and total number of views).

SeriousEats chief culinary consultant J. Kenji Alt López is actually my favorite chef, and make no mistake, he’s a marketing genius.

He understands that he can’t just have any show about cooking. (There’s already thousands of cooking channels on Youtube. Boring!)

So what makes SeriousEats different?

It fuses science and cooking principles with cooking, not just reciting recipes you can follow. Chef Kenji is a master at communicating the importance of, say, picking the right tomatoes for the right occasion. (For instance, did you know you shouldn’t make Caprese salad when it’s not tomato season? It’s like skiing in the summer!)

Here’s an example of engaging video thumbnails that draw viewers’ attention.

This one is from historian Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History page, a podcast for history buffs.

(Take the first video example, which is mainly about Japan’s role in Asia during World War II. It runs for roughly four and a half hours, and it’s already got nearly 130,000 views. And guess what? It’s just audio of Dan Carlin talking for the entire duration. Talk about an engaged audience!).

hardcore history youtube page


So how easy is it to earn Youtube money?

Before we go, I’m sure you’re still left with one burning question:

But you already know the answer.

Combining the most profitable monetization strategies with smart brand-building practices and the right channels can make you richer beyond your wildest dreams. But you must focus on how to earn money from Youtube the right way.

But we’re not just talking money.

We’re talking value.

Because when you own digital assets and a super-engaged and dedicated audience who’ll pull out their wallets whenever you’ve got something new to offer, you’ve got something more.

Something more than just the Youtube money (peanuts!) that the platform is willing to pay you every time a million random people watch their ads.

Something more than just a Facebook page that could go belly-up tomorrow.

What you’ve got is authority.

You’ve got influence.

You’ve got loyal fans.

Whatever it is you’ve got, people are willing to pay for it.

Chapter 5 Takeaways

In this chapter, we covered some key aspects on how to earn money from Youtube. Unlike other monetization guides, I’ve tried to stick to the facts, and not fill your head with fantasies of riches you can earn simply by joining the Youtube Partner Program.

You should know by now: It just doesn’t work.

So here are the most important points we covered in this chapter:

  • Don’t rely solely on the Youtube monetization program. Chasing after it shouldn’t be your primary goal, which is actually brand building and monetization. Remember to diversify your strategies.
  • A few popular Youtube monetization strategies as well as Youtube-specific monetization tips
  • What types of tools you need to start your Youtube channel, as well as more advanced tools if you’ve got a little cash to invest
  • A few things to consider when growing your Youtube following, like how to make your videos more engaging.

And there you have it.

Armed with the knowledge and in-depth understanding of monetization contained in this book, by now you should have an edge over pretty much anyone who wants to dip their feet into the waters of online monetization.

Are you ready to take the leap? To provide something of value that’ll establish you as an authority?

It’s time to show the world what you’ve got, micro-influencer.

Now it’s your turn.

Bon Voyage. Let’s see how far you can take it.