10 Steps to Monetizing Your BtoB Blog

September 30, 2014

Blogging is a key component of any BtoB publisher’s content strategy and chances are, you already know the basics of a successful blog. You know the power of a blog to build traffic, boost engagement and drive revenue, but are you reaping the rewards? If your blog is up and running and you’ve hit your stride with content production for it, it might be time to take the next steps to monetization:

  1. Refine Your Niche. We see it time and again: the more specific your content to a certain niche, the more engagement you will see and the more targeted you can be. Take a look at your content and make sure it’s truly relevant to a specific niche. If you feel there is too much variety, split your blog into separate blogs—it will only provide you with greater opportunities.
  2. Invite Guest Bloggers. When you invite other experts in the field, you diversify your content but also provide greater perspective and relevance. Plus, ideally, you are involving other key influencers who will elevate the quality and profile of your blog.
  3. Mix Up Your Advertising. As you know, advertising models are ever-shifting these days and reader responses tend to vary. It’s good to experiment not only with types and saturation of ads, but also by working with ad networks; approaching advertisers that relate directly to your niche; and by incorporating product sales (sounds like an exercise in taxonomy tagging, doesn’t it?)
  4. Develop Your Own Blog-Related Products. You’re building this trove of great content—give it legs so that it can go the extra mile, or miles. If you’re at the point where you are producing several blogs a week, why not have a weekly newsletter that recaps the week’s posts and maybe relates to another product or two?  What about an eBook?
  5. Ask Your Audience. One way to deepen engagement but also learn more about your readers is by incorporating polls into your blog regularly. As ProBlogger’s Darren Rowse says: Anything that you can get your readers to do to make them feel more excited about what they are reading will help build engagement. But, polls also allow you to learn more about your readers and trends in the industry. Start with a monthly poll and see what happens.
  6. Listen to Your Audience. Once you ask your audience, or even if you don’t, they certainly have opinions about what they are getting from your blog. Listen to them. Look at your poll results. Monitor comments. Give them what they ask for. If they want to know more about how to keep penguins out of their swimming pools, tell them.
  7. Consider a Forum. You might have readers who aren’t going to engage on social media or even comment on your blogs—but they could be really psyched about a forum. Again, this is about listening. If they tell you they want a forum, well, give them a forum.
  8. Be SocialThis doesn’t mean that you should post your blogs on 12 different networks. This means, look at your niche and decide which social networks best serve it. Then, strategically build content and engagement around those networks.
  9. Implement the Three “I”s. Rowse’s Digital Photography School, builds content around Information, Inspiration and Interaction. Basically, they provide info (say, in the form of a blog tutorial), they inspire people around that topic (by providing stellar examples) and then they get people to interact by giving them a challenge or assignment. Sometimes this means that they encourage people to share photos in the comments, sometimes it means that they send people to Instagram to share. It just depends on the topic—which leads to our final point:
  10. Be Flexible and Creative. Try various approaches. Think about what excites the community around your blog and what tools they enjoy using. If something doesn’t fly, then try something else. It could be the difference between fun or a flop.