Are you running a design blog but can't seem to figure out how to make more money from your efforts? The truth is that all you need is a little bit of creativity. There are a wide variety of things you can do to improve your blog's earnings. Here are six ideas that you can use to take your blog to the bank.
1. Use Affiliate Marketing to Promote Products and Services
Many popular design tools and marketing solutions have affiliate programs where you can earn commissions for every customer you refer to them. A great way to earn consistent earnings as an affiliate is to create a list of the tools that you use for your business. For example, you can link to Adobe's design solutions and make money when a customer subscribes to their service. Another great idea is to get a reseller hosting account and offer an affordable hosting plan to incentivize readers to sign up. Reseller hosting promotions are great because you can earn a residual income promoting them.
The best way to position your promotions as an affiliate is to create valuable content. Come up with a list of the top five web design tools and explain why you think they deserve to be on the list. Provide tutorials of how to use tools like Sketch to design logos. Do reviews of the most sought after products/services and weigh the pros and cons of each one. The idea here is to put your affiliate links in the content in a helpful way rather than being aggressive with your promotions.
2. Post Case Studies of Your Work
If you are a web designer using your blog to promote your services, it helps to do it in a way that adds value to your readers. A quick way to show your expertise and add value to your readers is to use a screen recording software like Camtasia to do a website design review. You can do a break down of what aspects of site's design works and what doesn't, provide suggestions on what can be done better and show examples of redesigns.
Another great way to convince your readers to hire you for their next project is to post case studies. Provide examples of past project you've worked on (with the client's permissions) and add your thought process about how you approached it. It really helps to post before and after shots to show the difference that was made. You'll also want to talk about the results you've been able to create for your clients if you want to bring in more clients.
3. Collaborate with Other Professionals
It's important to remind yourself that you can't take on every project. But that doesn't mean that you can't offer services you can't fulfill. All you have to do is to collaborate with other web professionals and work out a deal where you get a cut of the profits generated through your referrals. You can provide your readers a list of resources to turn to for projects like video editing, social media, SEO, UI/UX design, app design, etc.
Again, a great way to promote other services is to use case studies and video reviews to demonstrate the professional's expertise. For example, you can have your partner do a video demonstration on how to improve a website's user experience. That will add credibility to your partner while also providing value to your readers.
4. Sell an Information Product
One of the downsides of promoting affiliate offers is that the commissions you make on some of them can be low. If you want to really sell something that offers value to your readers while having high profitability, you should create your own information product. You can create a course on how to design a minimalist website, use popular tools like Photoshop, or create flat designs. Think about your skill sets and how you can turn your expertise into a course.
The great thing about information products is that they can be sold online and fulfilled right away. Many of the topics will be evergreen for the most part, so you can sell these products for many years. You'll just have to come back to them every now and then to update them with the latest changes and trends in the design industry.
5. Sell Your Own Graphics
More designers are taking the time to design their own stock graphics and designs. Many website owners and designs are always looking for great looking vectors, templates, fonts, plugins, icons and themes. Rather than selling it on your own blog, you should sell it on marketplaces like ThemeForest, GraphicRiver, Creative Market, 99designs and MyFonts just to name a few resources.
You want to link to the sites you're selling on so that it shows how many people have bought your work and you build reviews on these marketplaces. These two things will help your designs get more visibility and bring in even more sales. Buyers will also browse your portfolio of products and look for other creations they can possibly buy.
6. Monetize Your Blog with Ads
The easiest way to make more money from your design blog is to start monetizing it with ads. You can sign up to Google Adsense and set up ads that pay you every time a visitor clicks on them. However, it's almost always more profitable to find sponsors that will pay you for advertising space on your blog. Many advertisers will continue to buy ad space for months if they see good results from their campaign.
To get sponsors, you will have to really step up with your site's marketing. You're going to have to bring in more traffic, grow your readership and build a strong relationship with your audience. The higher your blog's traffic, subscriber and engagement numbers are, the more you'll be able to charge for advertising.
There are many more ways to make money from your design blogs like setting up a job board, selling gear (mugs, T-shirts, hats) and offering consulting services. But the six methods shared in this article should help you increase your blog's earnings fairly easily.