How to Monetize Your Newsletter
5 Ways to Monetize Your Newsletter as a Blogger in 2021
The power of your newsletter should never be underestimated. While other forms of marketing may feel more exciting, email marketing allows you to reliably reach your audience, ask them questions, and of course, market to them.
But how do you monetize your newsletter if you’re a blogger? We all know what newsletters look like from our favorite stores, but it is often much more difficult to imagine how we can make money from our audience without feeling spammy. If you’re feeling stuck, don’t worry! We’ve got 5 ideas to help you get started.
1. Create a Small “Easy-Win” Product and Add it to the End of Your Onboarding Sequence
This will be easier for some blogging niches than others, but if you help your audience achieve anything, this is a great idea. If you have a small product, priced anywhere between $5 and about $37 that offers your readers a quick-win, try offering it at the end of your onboarding sequence.
If you don’t already have a product like this, here are some ideas:
An eBook with tips/tricks/a walkthrough
Digital downloads (images, PDF planners, a spreadsheet, etc.)
Swipe files (templates, a Trello board, etc.)
2. Sell Advertising Space
This will be best for bloggers that cover topics that aren’t easily monetized into digital products, such as fashion, lifestyle, and cooking. If most of the money you make (or plan to make) from your site comes through advertising and affiliate links, this may be a good option for you.
Remember to always make the content and value you provide your top priority. If your emails feel like ads with just a little text thrown in, your audience will stop reading, or worse, mark you as spam.
Make sure any businesses or ad networks you partner with are relevant to your audience. This will help keep your audience happy and likely make you more money.
If you’re concerned about adding graphics as ads, as that can make it more likely that your emails will end up in the spam folder, reach out to talk about sponsored sections/ product highlight, rather than including a traditional “ad.” You or the company paying you for using your ad space can compose this.
3. Charge For a Premium Newsletter
Charging for a newsletter may sound like the most obvious way of monetizing your newsletter, but it’s only possible if you’re already established. You need to be someone people look to for advice to the point that they’re willing to pay for your insight. This could be on something as simple as fantasy football or as high-stakes as investing.
If you’re not sure if there’s a demand for this, don’t be afraid to reach out to your audience to ask. Make sure you convey what additional benefit they’ll get from the premium newsletter compared to the one they’re already on.
In most cases, you’ll charge a monthly or annual fee for this newsletter. How much you can charge really depends on the frequency and the value of the information. If people are making hundreds or thousands of dollars from what you share, then your pricing can be higher than if it’s just to help them do well at a low-stakes game.
Options for a platform to build your own premium newsletter, include:
While I operate this newsletter using Substack, there are a number of Substack alternatives, which work just as well.
4. Use Affiliate Links
An affiliate link is a URL that contains the affiliate's ID. Advertisers use affiliate links to record the traffic that is sent to their website. It’s relatively easy to implement affiliate links in your newsletter, but be careful only to choose partners and products in your niche or a similar one. Not only will this feel aligned for your audience, but you’re much more likely to make good money (and potentially, a new source of passive income).
Ideas for using affiliate links in your newsletters are:
Working with other influencers in your niche, a similar one, or something you are already a customer of
Doing round-ups of your favorite resources
Making top lists of your favorite products or gift ideas
Alert them to a great sale going on
Recommend your favorite books/courses
Link to your top/best/favorite posts that happen to contain affiliate links
When possible, tell them why it’s of value, and make sure you’re upfront and say that the link is an affiliate link. As long as the product is of value, your audience won’t mind!
5. Advertise Your Own Premium Products / Membership
For the large part, bloggers are far more worried about spamming their audience than they are about simply making as much money from them as possible. If that sounds like you, then it’s likely that you are under promoting your own products. Whether that be a $5 eBook or a $497 course, are you reminding your newsletter subscribers that you’ve got more to offer?
For example, I’ve created a Medium writing course, which I can promote to readers who are trying to master this digital publishing platform.
Remember that they subscribed because they believe you have something to offer, so give them the opportunity to get all the knowledge you’re offering.
If you have a membership with premium content, try sneak-peaking that content in your emails to show what value you offer behind a paywall. Don’t feel guilty for promoting your content – they subscribed to hear from you!
As a blogger, you are responsible for making sure the right message reaches the right audience. Nobody enjoys being inundated with sales pitches, but if you’re packing your newsletters with quality content, your subscribers will be happy to hear from you. Just send emails you’d be happy to receive, and you won’t go wrong. Email monetization can be extremely lucrative if you know what you’re doing. And now you do!
Until next time!
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