You can certainly adapt this system to include other ways to make money blogging if you feel that fits in with your overall plan. Even if you are just starting out as a blogger or trying to step up your traffic, sales or loyal readership, this framework can work for you.
Trick Your Landing Page
Your landing page is like a greeting to visitors that artfully strong-arms them into subscribing to your email list. This is its main function. Be brutal about this. Create a call to action so compelling that your visitors will feel almost fooling NOT signing up. A/B test different options, down to the color scheme. Research suggests that color plays a factor in the effectiveness of calls to action. Offering an additional product may help. I'll talk more about that in a moment.
As usual, there is plenty of software to help you set up a landing page without any coding experience. These include the usual suspects: Leadpages, Welcome Mat, and Lander. If you have some room in your budget, consider hiring a freelance designer to help craft a totally unique landing page for you. You'll get the benefit of their design experience in how people interact with certain elements.
After entering their email address and completing the conversion, your reader will be redirected to your home page or the link they came in on.
Create an Incentive
The reason it seems like everyone has, and is giving away, an e-Book is because it's an easy way to give subscribers a little bonus gift. If the gift is attractive enough to them, it becomes a motivator. Ideally, you want visitors to be motivated to convert just by the strength of your offer in your call to action. The worst case scenario is you've gained some good graces by giving your new guests a hello present.
In place of the tried and true e-Book, you can produce exclusive video content, give a discount on courses you give on the site, or offer a code they can redeem for a free email or phone consultation. If you aren't sure what the source of this content should be, play with some keyword identification around your concept of your ideal reader. Plunk those keywords into BuzzSumo and analyse the best content on the web about your topic. This can give you lots of ideas that are already proven to be attractive to the audience you want. You can do this with YouTube as well for video content.
If the most important thing to you at the stage you're at is traffic and building your email list, Pay with a Tweet can be a pretty handy way of converting shares on Twitter. People outside your network could get introduced to your blog this way, and they'll all arrive at the link to your landing page, the mouth of the funnel.
Sort Noobs Into a Warm Up Email List
A two tiered email system can be effective in retaining subscribers and nurturing loyal readers. If you are just setting up a blog, consider picking an automated email service that can sort subscribers into two categories, noobs and OGs. Brand new subscribers are dumped gently into the warm up email list for a set period of time, usually around a week. After that magic period where you get to know one another, you move them over to your main email list.
The function of this is to immediately establish your emails as ones the new subscriber wants to click. This will set a pattern over the course of your relationship. You want them to like you, so keep giving them presents. Each daily email should not only link to your daily blog, but also contain some bonus for the new subscriber. This is like Pavlov's dogs, and you are making a positive association between you and value. These benefits don't have to be huge. They can be as simple as a link to your most popular post, or a link to a video you did that uses demonstratives to illustrate a point in more depth. Daily emails with positive reinforcement also get your new audience member used to hearing from you every day.
After the week or so that you have them in warm up mode, you can move them to your main list, which probably just announces your daily post and occasionally promotes a product or service or gives away a little bonus.
Your Blog - Daily Posts
The actual face value product that you're peddling is, of course, your content. Post something daily, either unique or curated, that interests and benefits your readership. Be consistent. If you know you absolutely cannot post every day, post once a week. Weekly posts should always be made on the same day. Consistency in posting builds reliability. If you have trouble coming up with ideas, read more about developing a content creation framework. You can use your posts to speak to your audience, make announcements and give some additional insights about you, but keep the content overwhelmingly informative.
Your email list will get a message about your new post. You must also promote it all over social media. Do some quick hashtag research while you formulate your share message. This can help people outside your network find your posts. Ask your friends to share it. Periodically, especially after a great post that is performing well, come up with some incentive for people to interact with your brand on social media. Photo contests are particularly effective.
If you are producing asset content, which should be your goal, you'll also start attracting backlinks. If you haven't gotten any and want to develop some backlink networking, read more in-depth information about this at my post about backlinking like a boss. Sewing proper seeds for backlinks is something you should always be doing as a part of your content marketing strategy.
Crunch Those Numbers
Besides creating kickass posts, you really need to check your numbers daily. You need to know where your hits are coming from, how those visitors are behaving on your page, and how your calls to action are performing. Heat maps and Google Analytics should become like your daily newspaper.
When you know your own performance well, you can make tweaks and change directions to test out how your audience responds. You won't keep doing the same thing day after day if it isn't working. Bad analytic news can be tough to hear, but it will help you stay on your toes in the long run.
Follow your closest competitors and use their success as a guide for what your idea reader enjoys. If you can, try to set up a guest post with these sites or otherwise gain access to their audience. Social media can be an effective way to interact with them.
Leverage Your Results
After following all of these steps for a few weeks, you'll have a strong readership and great traffic numbers. You can gain significant traction in as little as 60 days. Once your numbers are good and your readers are a nice warm market, you're set up to monetize and see actual money right away.
If you are bringing in really huge numbers, something like Google Adsense could be a good fit for you. For more information, check out this beginner's guide to Google Adsense.
Products, Courses & Consultations
You can create more e-Books to sell as a product, market video or live stream courses to your audience, provide consultant services, or even sell a physical piece of art, music or fashion that you've made. The product doesn't necessarily have to be yours. Whatever you're selling, you have an audience of people who are likely to be interested and you have a way to reach out to them to make your pitch. This is a powerful thing, so spend time on crafting the perfect sales copy in your email.
Affiliate marketing is another very popular route to monetization, and can be done ethically. Many bloggers use this as a main source of income from their blog. The strategy for affiliate marketing is a subject unto itself, so for more resources, dive down the wormhole with the link.
Patreon is kind of a game changer. Content creators with a strong audience and big readership can benefit from taking donations from their fans. Sometimes, you'll even discover they've wanted to give you some money all along! It's crazy when it works. Here is a closer look at the ethos of Patreon.
If you set your content marketing strategy up correctly, you can pick any monetization route(s) that appeals most to you. No matter your choice, you'll have a healthy blogging ecosystem with rich earth to sow seeds into. This is the only time in history those seeds will grow into actual money.