Did you know that starting a blog for your YouTube channel can help increase your ability to make money from your great content?
Thanks to advertising, promotions, and sponsorships, blogging can be incredibly lucrative for YouTubers. You can also take advantage of some of today’s easy and effective print on demand services to create quality branded merchandise that your fans will want to buy. In short, all signs point to blogging as a great revenue builder, especially when you use your blog as a companion to your YouTube channel.
What Is a Blog?
Blogs (short for web logs or weblogs) started out as personal diaries that people kept on the Internet, but, as you’ve probably noticed, they’re so much more than that now. With the advent of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, microblogging has taken over the realm of personal blogs. Most of the blogs you come across today aren’t personal notes. Instead, they’re almost all created with a specific niche/industry in mind, and they read a lot more like online magazines and guides than diaries.
As a YouTuber, this is a great opportunity to grow your video brand and earn more revenue. Not just any blog will do, though. You’ll need to create a blog that really complements your YouTube channel. You can do as little with it as include transcripts of each of your YouTube videos, along with links to the videos. This will put almost all of the content you have in your videos in a format that search engines can read (bringing you more traffic and views). It will also help people who can’t watch a video right away get a better idea of what they’ll be watching when they come back to your YouTube videos later.
We recommend including more content in your blog than simple transcripts, though. You can really increase the scope of your YouTube by creating a companion blog. For example, you may only be able to create a single video per week due to time constraints, editing, etc. However, you can increase interest and anticipation for your videos by posting behind-the-scenes pictures and content, short how-to articles, teasers, relevant news, tips, updates and other related material to keep your audience engaged, even when you don’t’ have new material to add to your YouTube channel.
Let’s take a look at a few ways for YouTubers to make money by starting a blog.
Making Money With Google AdSense
Google’s AdSense Program is a directed advertising placement service. It uses keyword targeting and other factors to place ads on your blog and/or YouTube channel that will be of interest to your viewers and readers.
These banner ads are either text or image based, and they are specifically targeted at people who enjoy the kind of content that you provide. When someone visits your blog and clicks on an advertisement, you basically earn a commission from Google for providing the space for that advertisement.
The more people engaging with these ads on your blog, the more you earn. But, make sure to never encourage clicks or engagement with these advertisements in any sort of way as this is against AdSense TOS and will get your account flagged or banned.
That said, AdSense isn’t the only way to make money through advertising and marketing on your blog for your YouTube channel. You can also make money through affiliate marketing and through direct advertising, as well.
Affiliate marketing and direct advertising seem very similar but have a few key differences. We’ll go through the particulars of each and discuss how you can make money for your blog with either or both.
Instead of trusting Google AdSense to post ads that are relevant to your audience, if you choose to make money through affiliate marketing, you’ll choose the companies you affiliate with. You’ll have full control over the products and services you advertise on your blog. When you choose a company to partner with for an ad campaign, you’ll then post a banner ad on your blog, and when your readers click on that ad, it will use your affiliate link to take them to the company’s page.
When you choose affiliate marketing, you’ll only be paid a fixed commission rate when readers make a purchase for products/services from the company’s website (you are not paid for general clicks or visits like with AdSense).
However, you’ll have more control over what does and doesn’t show up on your blog, and you’ll usually get a better price for your “commission” than a couple of ad clicks.
You may also find this great post on how affiliate marketing works really helpful.
With direct advertising, you’ll also seek out companies, products, and services to advertise on or sponsor your blog. This is by far the most time-consuming of the three advertising options, but it’s also the most profitable. Like affiliate marketing, you’ll have complete control over what goes on your blog. Unlike either affiliate marketing or pay-per-click programs like AdSense, though, payment is guaranteed.
With direct advertising, the companies you partner with will pay you to place their ads on your blog, give their products reviews, mention their name in a positive light, and/or whatever else you agree to for your advertising contract. Your payment won’t be contingent on clicks, just on fulfilling your end of the contract.
You will, however, have to take on the responsibility of handling all of your advertising and sponsorships. You’ll be in charge of finding them and keeping them happy, but you won’t have to split advertising money with any other parties, either. You can see how, if you have the time and passion for it, direct advertising can be the most lucrative way to make money through advertising on your blog.
You can also talk with companies that make products relevant to your audience about sponsored reviews. For example, if you’re a beauty vlogger, you could write and/or film a review of a new makeup brush that’s just come out on the market.
Because so many potential customers look for online reviews of products (especially new ones) before they commit to purchasing them, companies are more and more eager to partner with bloggers and YouTubers for sponsored reviews. Reach out to the companies that make products that you’d like to review for your viewers and readers and see what they’re willing to do for you.
Some companies will only go as far as to provide free products, which is enough for some bloggers, especially if we’re talking about products they’d like to use anyway. Other companies will partner with you and sponsor your post, blog, or YouTube channel in exchange for a detailed, high-quality review of one of their products.
Branded Merchandise and Clothing
Creating branded merchandise and clothing for your blog and YouTube channel has never been easier. Print on demand (POD) sites like CafePress, Zazzle, and Spreadshirt all let you upload your own designs to create branded merchandise like T-shirts, posters, mugs, cell phone cases, etc. to sell online.
Each and every one of these services requires no initial investment. They all just want you to sign up, upload your designs, choose products to sell, and create an online store. Most will give you code to embed in your blog or website so that you can promote your branded merch and clothing (with ad banners and blog widgets). They’ll also give you the opportunity to create an easy to remember URL for your online shop through their site. You can link to this URL in your blog posts and navigation menu, or even take screen shots of your final products and upload them as images on your blog that link to your online store.
Not only that, but most print-on-demand sites will take care of all of your orders for you, and they take care of your product expenses by simply deducting them from the price of your merchandise.
Considering you didn’t put any money into the front-end and you’re not paying any rent, employee wages, or other inventory maintenance fees on your products, that amounts to a good profit for you.
Another popular option is to open up your own e-commerce store connected to your blog with a platform like Shopify. If you can get branded clothing or merchandise made yourself, either by ordering it in bulk or finding a great manufacturer, take care of the distribution and other relevant tasks, then this can bring you a lot more revenue.
And you can boost sales of your branded merchandise by posting about new and featured products on your blog. You can easily embed code for the product pages themselves in posts, or you can link to your online store to give your readers a chance to see all of the other cool branded merchandise you have for sale there, too.
Make Every Blog Post Count
The goal of your blog shouldn’t just be to generate revenue. If that’s the case, your viewers will sense it almost immediately, and they won’t stick around to click on any ads or purchase any merchandise. Your goal should be give your readers and viewers reasons to visit your YouTube channel and check out your videos.
Through consistent, high-quality, informative and entertaining content with links to your YouTube channel and videos, you’ll be able to create and maintain a successful blog that will function as a wonderful companion to your YouTube channel.
Don’t forget, however, to advertise your blog on your YouTube channel and vice versa. The more you cross-reference these platforms and link to them on your social media platforms, the more visible you’ll be to search engines and to a wider Internet audience, too. Remember, more traffic leads to more revenue from both your blog and your YouTube channel.
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