One of the questions I get asked the most is: how do I make money on my brand/blog/online business? Oh honey, I feel u. Let’s talk about it.
How to best monetize your blog/brand/business is a super important question to ask, and one that is rarely talked about “in the open.” In fact, the day I quit my job to go full-time on Broma Bakery, I literally Googled how to make money on a food blog.
Here’s the catch: there wasn’t much out there, and what was out there was pretty unhelpful. There were things like put ads on your site (OK, how…), and work with brands (so like what does that mean, how do I contact them, and who am I even looking for).
So let’s get down to it. Coming in hot are 5 steps you can take to monetize your brand immediately!
1. Create content for brands
Creating content for brands means creating some sort of artistic or creative content for a brand, like writing an article, coming up with a recipe, or shooting a video that then gets sold to the brand. This is different form doing a sponsored post with a brand, where you’re partially being paid for your social reach. With this, you want to think of yourself as a one person creative agency, coming up with a concept, executing it, and delivering a finished product to the client.
So the great thing about this is that you don’t have to have a large following to do this- plenty of people freelance their services to major publications around the web. And it’s a great way to get your name and abilities out there and build up your portfolio. To start creating content for brands, go onto the site of a brand you love and search for the press or PR contact there. Then email them with a brief but personalized introduction saying you’d love to be able to work together in some capacity!
2. Do 1:1 Coaching
If teaching is your forte, then 1:1 coaching is your holy grail. With this option, you pitch yourself as a consultant to consult on their content, offer advice, and help with their business strategy. I have done this in a number of ways since going full-time with the blog– I’ve done 1:1 baking classes, been a consultant for start-ups, and done 1:1 calls with food photographers looking to take their careers to the next level. This is definitely geared more towards intermediate/advanced brand owners, as you want to make sure if you’re coaching people you feel comfortable enough in your own business to offer advice.
3. Create downloadable PDFs
What better way to make money than to take all the information inside your head and translate it into a teachable how-to guide or PDF? We do this for Foodtography School and market our PDFs for anywhere between $10-50. It’s a great way to give people valuable information at a low price point for them and a huge potential gain for you. In fact if you want to talk numbers real quick, get this: we’ve made over $15,000 from our 5 Custom Food Photography Presets alone. So I’m a huge fan of this option. My biggest advice? Do your research before diving into creating a product. Ask your followers what their biggest pain points are with their careers, scour the web to see competitors’ products, and think about what you can create with your knowledge to make a large number of peoples’ lives easier.
4. Sell your photos on stock websites
Hello, passive income! I love this way of making money, because you basically put your photos up on a stock website and let the cash flow in. You can manage individual bids for photos, and even put your photos on multiple sites. Our favorites? Stocksy, Getty Images, and Shutterstock.
5. Start using affiliate links
I’ve heard from multiple sources that some of RewardStyle and LikeToKnowIt’s highest grossing earners have less than 10,000 followers on social media. This goes to prove that affiliate marketing (the process of linking products, sharing them with your followers, and getting a kickback when they buy that thing) isn’t just for influencers with hundreds of thousands of followers. It’s all about being a trusted source for a loyal group of people. Some things that I’ve heard are especially important if you’re going to use affiliate marketing? For one, only sell what you are obsessed with. Your genuine passion and love of that product will come through to your followers. Additionally, it’s much better to be an affiliate for a smaller number of products you know and love, than link out a bajillion links that are only partially applicable to you.
…and no matter what you choose to do, start creating content, like, now.
Whatever you do to monetize your brand, always retain some content that is purely yours. Whether you are an influencer, writer, photographer, or small-business owner, you want to make sure you’re continuously creating, and not only when you’re being paid to do it. I have found a lot of beginner entrepreneurs fall into this trap, thinking that if no one is paying for their content or services, it’s not worth creating. But I’ve found that growing at a professional level requires a lot of time, energy, and effort, so the more that you can create, the better, because it just means you’re fast-tracking your professional growth.