How Bloggers Can Earn Money by Providing Services: Expert Mastermind

credit-card-on-keyboardWe talk a lot about getting hired to make money off your blog: But how do people actually do that? Here is the round up of opinions: From real people!

Writing and Coaching Seems to Be the Defaults

According to Liudas Butkus, most people start a blog because they are passionate about a topic and have ideas that they want to share. It might be a blog about a hobby or something. Though there are other people who are very strategic about starting a blog and they tailor their blog towards the service they want to provide. If they have a dog training service, then they start a blog about dog training. And there would be countless examples of that.

Now, if you started a blog without any monetization in mind before hand, then most common services to offer would be coaching, writing and that’s pretty much it.

Jeevan Jacob John of Daring Blogger explains:

Coaching and writing are the main services bloggers tend to offer, apart from setting up service (helping newer bloggers to start a blog; setting up WordPress and such).

To be honest, I haven’t seen many folks trying to do something creative (perhaps it is because of the limitations within the niche – what else can we offer? Everything and anything we can offer seem to fall coaching, writing or setting up).

I have thought of offering writing services (and it is one of my resolutions for this year). But, I don’t want to limit it to just writing; I want to offer help in general – help newer bloggers get started and such.

The more creative services… if you search for them, you can find them. Rarely in blogs, however. Sites like Fiverr are the places to be. You can find all sorts of jobs there; of course, the fee is tiny compared to what one might make through coaching or paid writing (but, it can balance out; depending on the job and the numbers of clients you can satisfy in the short time period). Plus, Fiverr allows you to add other options (services) to a job. Example: A designer might offer PSD files for an extra $5.

What kind of services can a blogger provide?

Well, depends on the niche, too an extent. For instance, if you are a tech blogger, you can offer tech related services (helping clients fix their devices and such) to an extent.

Tat aka Mum in search adds:

Here’s what comes to mind: creating infographics, consulting (people who don’t spend as much time online have no idea what’s possible!) and being the connector. For example, if you’re consulting a business on how to improve their website performance, you can build a connection with people who can provide the services you don’t do (ie web designer, branding coach, ebook designer) and then get kickback from them for referrals.Sponsored posts is another way many bloggers (myself included) make money.

Lindsey F. Rainwater shares her own experience:

I run a blog, and I offer coaching from it. Lots of different coaching courses are on the way to my blog. I also follow bloggers who offer their own writing services, graphic design, or things like this. I’ve noticed that a lot of bloggers are taking it a step further and teaching their followers how to do the work for themselves – so they kind of combined coaching and offering a service they’re good at.

It seems that the powerful “blog” is still one of the best ways to stay connected with your audience, and the trick to monetizing a blog for most people lies in taking whatever it is that they excel at and teaching it to their followers in one way or another.

I’ve heard ads are great, but I haven’t had any personal success with them so far.

Another interesting trend is that more and more bloggers have started providing “blog management” services  including freelance writing, social media marketing, outreach, promotion, comment replies, etc. They essentially offer a one-stop solution to managing and growing a blog (hat tip to Gary Dek from Gajizmo.com).

Going More Varied

Jeffrey Romano from WP Lighthouse:

Here is what comes to mind with regards to services that bloggers can provide to earn money:

1) Community – a blogger can build up and moderate a community in a forum (or FB group). An example of this is Ramit Sethi, who has built up a community of (aspiring) top performers who pay a monthly fee to remain part of the community.

2) Promotion / Review – bloggers can create content (textual, visual, audiovisual) as a sponsored post on their blog.

3) Creating Gated Industry specific information – for example, Tom Ewer, maintains a list of blogs that are looking for paid freelance writers. In order to see this list, you have to pay a monthly fee as it is regularly updated.

4) Software support as a service – there are a few bloggers who have made the leap from bloggers to offering software products. One example is Glen Allsopp who created OptinSkin which is a WordPress plugin. This is not just a product but also a service as he needs to continuously offer support and further development.

5) Creative Services – creative in the sense that something is created. For example, web design services.

6) Consultancy – this is self-explanatory. For example, SEO consultancy or Social Media Marketing consultancy.

7) Mentorship – this is a bit different to coaching. As far as I know, a coach is someone who helps you find your own answers. A mentor is more likely to straight out tell you what to do.

Cleverpedia editor ads two more ideas:

  • ebooks
  • paid reviews — companies pay them to review, can also monetize with YouTube & affiliate links

Cormac has another creative idea: If you’re a keen photographer, one way to monetize your blog is to sell your photos or give people use of them in return for a link via your blog. Either way you’re doing well.

Here are more ideas by Max Wellivey from The Blind Blogger:

I have coaching services on my site. Still working on getting my first client. I am also offering public speaking. I have an ebook which is starting to get found. My friend Lorraine Reguly is a blogger who offers editing guest posts and ghost writing. She recently wrote a guest post for my site on the benefits of being blind that people didn’t know wasn’t mine until they got to the bottom of the post. Lots of sites pay for blog posts. There are also paid reviews. Then there are people who offer virtual assistance and virtual offices. There are some who do website design, search engine optimization, online marketing advice etc. There are also those who not only offer affiliate products on their site but show others how to do it too. I am going to become an aweber affiliate tomorrow as an example.

Gaurav Kumar adds even more ideas:

Mentoring: Blogging community is growing and many people are joining blogging career everyday. Professional bloggers provide their services to teach those newbie bloggers to learn the basics and charge them accordingly for their service.

Writing Paid reviews and Promotions: Writing paid reviews and articles to promote a product is also a good way to make money blogging. Bloggers get paid for writing promotional articles for the business or products while using a disclaimer to make it clear the review was sponsored.

WordPress installation or Migration services: WordPress is one of the biggest platforms for blogs. Professional bloggers who are already using WordPress, know how o transfer or migrate blog without loosing its ranking and followers. So they get paid for migrating blogs.

Seminars or Bootcamps: Seminars and Bootcamps are also a good way to make money for those bloggers who are really popular in their niche. When they announce a Bootcamp, there is usually an entry fee. This is also a good way to make money, but only for those who are very popular and have good number of followers.

Monetize your skills

Roxana Nasoi of SERPlified has great insights:

Though I have my own business and clients, I try to attract new ones on a constant basis. I did a small experiment last year, and it generated me a small client who paid $1500 for my writing services.

Here’s what I did:

1) I wrote a couple of blog posts – in the forms of tutorials, with great structure, visual, no grammar errors whatsoever. These posts were at least 2000 words long and basically offered solutions to real problems. Through them, I answered a need in the market (and I’m in Internet Marketing niche, so that one’s highly competitive, as you might know).

Then, I carefully picked my distribution channels. For this experiment, I went on with GooglePlus. I looked for the communities where my ideal clients would be in. And I posted there, not in a self-promotional way, but more like asking for their opinion, stating that I wrote a piece on subject X, asking if that would solve some of their issues and so on.

I was constantly active on Google+ and on other communities, until someone noticed me. And I got an instant email asking if I’m interested in a business opportunity, which landed that project collaboration and a couple of email template orders.

The idea is that you need to find a platform or a blog where people of the same “feather” (as they say, birds of a feather) hang out. Because some of them have their own businesses already and are looking for opportunities, for people to work with. And if you find that gap in the market and insist on it, by providing tutorials, real solutions and distribute them to the right audience, these people will find you and hire you.

Target Your Niche!

Andrew Plaza has a great approach to offering services:

The best services to offer are something niche related. For example, my Website @Liquid Think deals a lot with Programming and Tech. If I were to offer services, I would probably offer Web Design, Application Development, and Software Development. I would probably have a little “About Me Page” and list some skills/services I offer along with a link to my LinkedIn Page.

This works for virtually any niche. Mentoring is a great one, since most people of the internet can’t simply drive out to meet you, if you blog about gardening then you can “mentor” that person on what to do in their garden. Or, I saw a Relationship blog that offered relationship help, and Social skills mentoring. The possibilities are endless.

Or maybe you can offer customization of some sort. Say you are a graphic designer with a passion for video games, and own a Graphic Design blog. People would love custom avatars/wallpapers/posters/ etc. and you could charge a premium since its custom.

Writing is great too. Every blogger can write, but not every blogger is as knowledgeable as the other on the same topics. I mean, that’s the whole point of blogging, isn’t it? So offering writing services to offer a unique perspective/knowledge is also a great service.

Use Your Blog to Establish Your Brand

Here’s strategy Lukasz Zelezny:

It’s often been said that anyone can start a blog. All you need is a platform, and an idea, and you’re all set. However, whilst anyone can write a blog, I strongly believe that it’s how you market it that will determine whether you succeed or fail.It’s not enough to simply write articles on a topic – you need to do something else to set yourself apart from the crowd.

I use my LinkedIn Pulse blog to educate people about SEO, marketing, and how to make money online. I have a lot of experience in this industry, and believe I have established myself as an expert. I try to employ coaching methods to teach people about the industry. This helps me stand apart from the other SEO bloggers out there. I like reading the blogs of people who demonstrate their knowledge.

Many people preach to their readers, but it is those who practice what they preach that I like to read. The ‘Leaving Work Behind’ blog by Tom Ewer is one of these.  Tom quit his job and is now making a living working just three hours a day. But instead of telling people how to do this, he has shown his readers the steps he has taken to get to this point. In a way, they have followed him on the journey, and can implement his steps themselves if they wish.I don’t monetize my blog in the traditional way, however below each of the posts that I publish, I link to the workshops that I am attending as teach and the events that I am speaking at. For me, this is better than money I would receive via ads, as I am further establishing myself as an expert in the industry, and becoming a voice that my readers can trust.

A great idea on service promotion comes from David Leonhardt  of THGM Writing Servies:

In large part to promote my own posts, I have built up a nice network of real people, active people across large and small social networks. Some people and businesses like to write their blogs, but don’t want to invest the time to build a network for promotion. And some of those people come to me for help

Are you providing blogging services? Please share your experience!

Also check out the list of our readers who provide services for more ideas: Bloggers to Hire: Recommended Blogging Services | Hire Bloggers

Further reading:

  1. Stand-alone website an important component but needs to be combined with direct marketing for viable revenue stream  (for the context, website can be substituted with blog).
  2. 3 reasons to hire a content writer for your small business (bloggers can join as content writer for a small business. You have monthly income and free computer and internet access (not suggesting misusing resource of employer). Instead of writing (blogging) all the time, why not have exposure to other fields, meet people one-on-one which in the process may help generate more valuable, informative contents while increasing social media reach, so important for blogging.)

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