Once you have established significant traffic to your blog, the next goal is to monetize it. But more importantly, you have to find ways to make your blog produce recurring revenue.
Recurring revenue refers to income that comes in consistently. What this means is that you do not rely on looking for a new customer to buy your product all the time. One-time revenue is unpredictable, and it also requires a lot of marketing effort to make it work.
Recurring revenue, on the other hand, is much more predictable. Once you have reached a point where the income is enough to sustain your business expenses and your personal finances, you can stop marketing for a long while.
But how do you do it? Today, I’ll show you three methods for securing long-term recurring revenue for your blog.
- Affiliate Marketing
- Membership Program
- Advertising Revenue
Let us get started!
Affiliate marketing is a process where you sell someone else’s products. By sell, I mean to endorse or promote. You need to do this with subtlety, as people are not likely to buy if they know you are earning a commission from it.
In affiliate marketing, you get a commission if your referral made a purchase. To make it work, you need to sign up for an account in an affiliate program. Once you get approved, you get a link from the company.
It is this link that you need to promote. If the people clicked this link and bought the item, you will get paid a commission.
Affiliate marketing products, like those in Amazon, do not have recurring revenue. After a customer purchases a product, like a helmet, you get paid a commission and the transaction is over.
To earn consistent revenue, you need to promote products that offer recurring commissions. Most products that offer lifetime recurring revenue are software. These are online tools that people need to access to be able to use.
Here are some examples:
If a customer subscribes to these products, they have to pay on a monthly basis to be able to use the service. If they stop, they also lose all their content and privileges.
In a recurring commission model, you get paid a monthly commission for as long as your referral is a paying customer.
Let us say that your commission is 20% and the customer has to pay $30 per month to be able to use the service. At this rate, your commission per month is $6. For 100 customers that you have referred, you earn $600 per month on a consistent basis.
This revenue will only fluctuate as customers decide to unsubscribe from the service. The beautiful thing about it is that once you made a sale, you do not have to do customer service—it is up to the company to do that.
Another great source of recurring revenue is a membership program. What this means is that you charge your readers or members on a monthly basis. In exchange, they get to access your exclusive content.
So, what will you offer?
The most basic thing you can offer is a special blog content. These are blog posts that people will not typically find on other blogs. This, of course, is a hard sell.
What you can do is to offer a course—an evergreen course that keeps updated, or a course that gets added content on a monthly basis.
The beauty of a membership program is that you are in control of what you earn. You can set different membership levels and charge different amounts.
Online courses are great—you only build them once and then you can keep upgrading them later. If you sell your online course as a one-time thing, you have to market this again and again. But if what you sell is a massive library of content, you can earn through a membership program.
Here are some of the challenges of a membership program:
- Active maintenance – you need to be actively involved; if a member cannot access the platform, you need to fix that problem
- Content gets old – membership sites want fresh content; just think of Netflix—there is something new all the time. If you cannot deliver fresh content on a regular basis, your members are going to leave
- Customers can get bored – some customers will eventually get bored and move on, especially if they found a niche website like yours that does not charge money
As you can see, a membership site is great, provided that you can squeeze your creative juices at will, or if you are working with business partners who can provide new stuff for your members.
The key to a membership website is consistent content publication. The content you publish must also resonate with your audience. On top of that, there has to be an interaction, especially if you position yourself as an expert. There are many people who will have questions about your course, or if they want to hear your feedback about what they have done.
The best source of recurring revenue is ads. While most people use Google AdSense to show ads on the tier site, Google Ads is not the only advertising network out there.
To earn a lot of money from ads, you need to be able to reach traffic of 100,000 per month. At this rate, you can register at advertising platforms like Ezoic and Ad Thrive. These advertising networks can pay you as much as $20 per 1,000 impressions.
If you have consistent web traffic of at least 100,000, then your ad revenue can hit at least $2,000 month on month, with only slight fluctuations.
Should you become an influencer, you even have the option to charge companies directly for ad placement on your website.
Let us say that you have a million traffic per month. If you ever reach this scale, you do not have to rely on ad networks. What you can do is to dedicate some pages to your blog, like the top of your sidebar, for one company.
It is up to you to charge your desired cost. However, there is a recommended formula with how much you can charge. Generally speaking, the amount of money you can charge is equal to your daily visitors divided by 10. The result of this equation is the amount of money you charge per month.
If your traffic per day is $500, divide that by 10 and you get $50. What this means is that you can charge $50 per ad per month with that kind of traffic.
Recurring revenue is better than a one-time revenue. It is predictable, and you only need to convince a subscriber to pay once. However, it also comes with its own challenges. For a membership site, you have to consistently produce new content that your readers are going to enjoy.
For a blog, the two best options for passive income are ads and affiliate marketing. The revenue stream from these sources does not involve you directly. You have no obligation to the paying consumers, so all you need to do is to promote and ensure that your blog has traffic.