October 22, 2014

Extending Your Blog: Offer Services to Increase Your Income

Any of us who run a blog with the intention of making money know that blog monetization is usually pretty difficult. Sure, you can probably sell some ads or make a little bit of money with affiliate programs, but that’s not going to generate the kind of revenue for most of us that we’re after. Of course, A-listers are typically able to make a pretty substantial amount from ads, but smaller blogs will rarely be able to make the kind of money that could help them to break free from the day job.

Earning a respectable part-time income from blogging can actually be quite nice, but many are seeking to earn a full-time income. One powerful monetization method that’s often overlooked on this quest is providing a service. By offering a service you can diversify your income and exponentially increase it.

Why Should You Consider Services?

Diversity

If you’re hoping to earn a full-time income online, diversity of income sources is essential. Put all your eggs in one basket (for example ads) and you could be in trouble if that revenue stream dries up. Diversity brings added safety and security. A drop in income from one area may reduce your bottom line, but it’s not going to have the devastating impact that it would if it were your only source of income.

Higher Potential

Some of your other sources of income may be just about maxed out currently. If you want to make more money with ads you’ll either have to put some new ad slots on your blog or increase the prices. These aren’t always options, so your income could be capped until you can draw more visitors and justify higher prices.

By offering a service you’re adding a new income stream that will not reduce your ability to earn money through ads, affiliate programs, or the other common monetization methods of bloggers. Offering a service is only going to increase your money-making potential.

No Limit

As I just mentioned, the income you can make from ads is limited. With a service there really is no limit. Talented consultants in high demand can charge several hundred dollars per hour (of course, they’ve spent a lot of time getting to that point). You’re only limited by the amount of time you have available and by what price you can justify. When it comes to people’s time and services, many customers are willing to pay higher amounts than they would for a product or an advertisement.

Reputation/Branding

As a blogger and as a service provider, building your reputation is critical to long-term success. Doing both, and doing them well, can work together to establish yourself as a leader in your field. Once you’re established, your blog will likely grow as a result, you’ll have more demand for your services, and you’ll be able to charge more for your time.

Just About Anything Can Be Turned Into a Service

Not all blog monetization strategies work for every niche. You may find yourself in a niche that doesn’t lend itself to paid reviews or banner ads. Fortunately, with some creativity and some knowledge you can develop a service to be marketed in just about any niche you can image. We’ll take a look at some specific examples in just a minute.

What Types of Service Could You Offer?

Some bloggers treat a paid review essentially as a service by giving an in-depth review that’s intended to help the person/company being reviewed in more ways than just advertising and sending traffic. For example, Courtney Tuttle does a thorough review and writes up his recommendations on SEO and monetization efforts. This service is essentially the same as consulting, except that it’s being published on his blog. In this case it’s also helpful for blog readers because they get to see Court’s suggestions for another website, some of which may be relevant to their own sites/blogs.

This type of service can work well in some niches. Obviously, the make money online or SEO niche can work well, as Court has shown. However, how can you offer a service in another niche? Consulting can be a good fit for bloggers in just about any industry. The name recognition that you are building as a blogger will be invaluable if you are offering consulting services.

Let’s take some examples from non-tech blogging niches. If you maintain a popular blog in the health and fitness industry, you could offer a service to help others develop their own customized fitness routine and diet. This is basically taking the consulting approach and applying it to your own topic and to your readers. In this case, many of your readers will be doing these things on their own, and they may be happy to pay for the advice and guidance of an expert.

Looking at another niche, let’s say you have a blog that focuses on travel and finding great deals on trips and vacations. If you were interested, you could offer your readers the chance to pay you to help them find the best deals. Although the intention of your blog is to help others learn how to do it themselves, they may not have the time to invest and would rather pay you to help with the search. At this point you’ve already proven your ability to find bargains, so they know that you can produce results.

Other types of services that you could provide depending on your niche include web design/graphic design, copywriting, freelance blogging, photography, marketing, SEO work, and much more.

My Own Experience with Services

I started blogging with the intent of increasing the amount of web designer inquiries that I got, and this approach has worked well. I have many more opportunities as a designer than I ever would have without the blog, and more than I need. What I didn’t expect was to eventually extend my services to include freelance blogging. That kind of came on by accident, but it’s been a nice source of additional income for almost a year now. Both of these services have worked together with my blogging efforts, and the combined result is that every aspect has become stronger and more profitable.

Recently I’ve been considering the possibility of offering services as a marketing consultant to other bloggers or website owners, possibly similar to what Courtney Tuttle is doing. I think my experience has given me some valuable insight that could help others, but I’m not yet certain if that will happen. If I do offer consulting, this blog will be an excellent springboard to help with finding new clients and build a consulting income.

I hope you can find some ways to incorporate services into your own blog monetization approach, because I know it can help take you to a different level. Feel free to share your own ideas in the comments.

About Steven Snell

Steven is a web designer, blogger, and freelance writer.

7 comments

  1. Steven, nice post but you missed the ‘c’ in the word Services in post title :-)

  2. This is exactly what we do – we use our blog as a gateway to business and other forms of income. We do have some passive income potential from our blog, but our main focus has always been on using a blog as a tool to bigger things.

    Here’s what I think, using the general ‘you’:

    There are tons of ways to add on services to a blog. What are you good at? What skills do you have? Why aren’t you advertising them? Almost anything can be turned into a form of income these days – someone, somewhere, wants what you have.

    Keep your eyes open for opportunities and when they knock, subtle as it may be, seize them.

  3. Thanks Abhijeet. I fixed it. I’m not sure what “servies” are.

    James,
    Well said. I agree that just about anything can be turned into a service. Sometimes it’s difficult to figure out what to offer or how to do it, but it’s usually possible.

  4. Wow! This is a really comprehensive post on how you can profit from your blog by offering services. I’m plannin to do this soon. The post and the comments are really helpful. Thanks! :)

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