Blog Post Optimization: Turn Your Most Popular Posts Into Money Generating Machines
So, you've got a blog post that went somewhat viral, and you want to monetize it? Well, you are in the right place! I am all about monetizing content that has picked up steam. Today I am going to teach you how to locate your popular posts, monetize those pieces, and make them more relevant than ever before with promotion. This post will be a long but important ride so buckle up, y'all. Let's talk about blog post optimization. I am focusing on blog posts here because that's what I have experience with. You can use some of the same methods discussed here to monetize podcasts, videos, and other online content.
Have you ever thought about how you would monetize your popular blog content? Check out this guide from The Happy Arkansan all about monetizing successful content. Click To Tweet
1) Determine What Your Most Popular Posts Are
First and foremost, to optimize any content, you've got to know what's popular on your blog. You can do this by going to Google Analytics and digging around. I encourage you to take a peek at what's popular in the short-term, but you also need to take a look at what's successful long-term. So, here's what you should do:
- What's been popular in the last 30 days? Monetizing that is your biggest priority.
- What's been popular in the last year? Does that match up with what's been popular recently? If not, add those posts to the list of posts to monetize
- What's been popular every month in the last year? Dig down at the monthly level to see if any contenders are seasonally popular, but not popular overall.
To get to that list of popular content, go to the Behavior panel of your Google Analytics profile then go to Site Content and All Pages. You may want to sort by page title to make it easier to understand if you don't remember your permalinks.
Here's an example of what's popular on The Happy Arkansan this month:
How Does Your Audience View The Post?
Next, it is essential to understand how your audience is viewing your content. For the longest time, most people viewed my website from a desktop, but now that pales in comparison to how many people view on mobile. You need to make sure that however you monetize, it looks good and is accessible on a mobile device or wherever your audience is coming from. Chances are, most of your viewers come from a mobile device, but you can double-check in your Google Analytics by going to Audience -> Mobile -> Overview.
What Is Your Post About At Its Core?
Think back to every article you wrote that is popular. At its core, what is the post about? Why did someone click on that article to read it? What do they truly want from you? Your post is popular for a reason, and you can turn that into monetization if you focus on all the ways that you can monetize the post.
Think about it. Read through some of the strategies I am going to talk about, but branch out from that. Brainstorm all the ways that you could potentially monetize each of your popular posts on a piece of paper or in a spreadsheet.
2) Utilize A Slew Of Strategies To Increase Income On Those Posts
Now that we know what's popular on our blog, we can think about a few different ways to monetize those posts and increase the income we have on them. There are so many ways to monetize, so don't feel like you need to choose a sleazy way to do it. If you don't have enough knowledge to write a book, choose another monetization method. You don't have to create a course on everything, start a consulting business around it, et cetera.
Also, think about the direction of your blog and life. Some of these ideas are much more time-intensive than others. I have a ton of sorority content that trends every year, but my super involved sorority days are behind me as far as I can tell. I wouldn't choose anything that's super involved to monetize those posts, but I might add more affiliate links or add more advertisements in those pieces that rank.When monetizing old, popular content consider the current direction of your blog and life. Even if a blog is popular, there are less intensive ways to monetize that content. Click To Tweet
Create Digital And Physical Products Based On Those Posts
One of the first ways to monetize your blog is through digital and physical products. When you boil down the purpose of each post that has ranked, what do you see? What did your audience come to your post learn about? Could you create a digital or physical product around what they wanted to know to monetize that blog post?
Books are a great way to start. There are so many resources out there that will help you produce a book with ease. Specifically, you can utilize Kindle Direct Publishing via Amazon to publish physical books and Kindle books. You can sell a Kindle book for a couple of dollars, make some money, find a new audience, and create brand recognition for yourself in the process.
One of my favorite bloggers who does this often is Sarah Steckler of Mindful Productivity Blog. If you've been following me on Instagram, you know I've been using her new book The Daily Productivity And Brain Dump Book. She has other journals/planners that she has self-published and published through a publisher. These books help establish her credibility and are often based on the kind of content that she finds successful on her podcast and blog.
Another way to monetize your blog content is by creating a course or masterclass around content that's successful on your blog. Here's the thing about courses, they are not all worth their weight in gold. If you are going to produce a class, make sure you plan it out and provide something of value to your readers. You don't want to create a line of courses that don't help anyone.
If creating an entire course is scary to you, tone it down and produce a masterclass on a subject of your choosing. This masterclass can be closer to 45 minutes to an hour. It won't sell for as much as a full blown course, but it can still be quite successful.
A content creator that I admire for their courses/masterclasses is Maya Elious. She is a fantastic entrepreneur that shows up for her audience and helps them through the process with her courses. At the beginning of the year, I attended her content accelerator lab which was a live lab that was online. I got SO much wisdom from that lab. She is full of amazing nuggets of wisdom, seriously, follow her on Instagram.
Physical Products Like Shirts/Coffee Mugs
Last, in this category are physical products. There are so many sites that will help you produce and ship physical products to your audience like Printful and Printed Mint. Once you've designed products, you can list them on your website or use a platform like Etsy or Shopify. There are so many possibilities with this.
A popular example of a blogger turning their brand up a notch with physical products is The Daily Tay. Taylor flipped her popularity as a lifestyle blogger and created a line of physical products that her audience could purchase on her other website Taylor Wolfe Shop.
Create A Service Business Based On Those Posts
If physical and digital products aren't your thing, you can also create a service-based business around your most popular posts.
If your popular posts relate to what you see yourself talking about all the time, you may want to create a coaching or consulting service around them. You can take on a certain number of clients, create consulting packages, and promote those new packages to your audience. Before you dive into coaching, though, educate yourself on coaching best practices.
Here are a few books to get you started:
- The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever
- Unlocking Potential: 7 Coaching Skills That Transform Individuals, Teams, and Organizations
- Coaching Questions: A Coach's Guide to Powerful Asking Skills
Coaching and courses are awesome, but sometimes your audience is too busy to implement on their own. In those cases, they'd much rather take part in a done-for-you service. These types of services can be draining for you, though, because they require you to do much more work.
I like done-for-you services though and use them as a freelancer when I create content for my clients over at Amanda Cross Co. It depends on what you have time for.
There are so many done-for-you services you could implement. You could write blog content, run Facebook advertisements, run social media accounts, become a web designer, et cetera. The possibilities are endless!
Add Affiliate Links To Those Posts
Next, you can add affiliate links to those posts. Most of what I have done when it comes to monetizing my popular pieces has been adding affiliate links. I added affiliate links to both the SHEIN and Freshly reviews you see ranking on my website.
Here's the thing about affiliate programs, it can be hard to get started with them, especially if you are trying to monetize with the same ones everyone is using. One of my favorite affiliate programs is the program for Metal Marvels because it's a small business and they don't have every influencer under the sun as an affiliate. (Use my code THA15 for 15% off at Metal Marvels by the way.)
I've also had a ton of luck joining programs on ShareASale and Impact. I will do a full post on affiliate marketing soon once I get more traction from affiliate marketing on The Happy Arkansan.
Here's an affiliate marketing tip! If you are initially rejected from an affiliate program, but you have a post that's doing well, talk to someone about your specific circumstances. I was originally rejected by the Freshly team, but then I reached out to a person, told them about my blog post that ranked on Google, and I was in the program within hours.
Increase Advertisements On Those Posts
Last, but not least, advertising is also a great way to get money from those posts. I used to keep my ads simple and just have a sidebar ad, but now I have more ads on my site.
I got this idea from chatting with Sam of Samanthability. Essentially, on your popular content, you want to add more advertisements throughout the blog posts.
Hopefully, you have an advertising agency that uses ads that look great on desktop and mobile. Advertisements are an easy way for you to make money and your readers can choose to support you if they wish to do so. Don't be afraid of what ads can do for your brand. You are not a sellout if you decide to use ads on your site.
3) Keep The Flow Of Traffic On Those Posts
Last, but not least, I wanted to focus a bit of energy on keeping the flow of traffic to those post. You've updated your content with ways to monetize, but that doesn't mean much if those posts aren't relevant in a month. In this section, let's chat about keeping your content relevant.
Keep The Post Fresh And Updated
First and foremost, you want to tweak the content to keep it fresh. Stale content is a no go, y'all! You want to add something to the piece to keep it relevant.
Add More Written Content
Go through old content that ranks and see what else you can add. You learn so much over time, so dispense some of your new knowledge in that old post. Don't create a new post that could compete with that post, just update it, edit it, and freshen up the content.
Create An Infographic For The Post
Infographics are extremely sharable. Create an infographic based on the content shared within that post. Create a way for your audience members to share or embed that infographic on their website (with a link back to your site.) Producing your infographic is simple if you use a website like Canva to create it.
Record A Video To Include In The Post
Videos showcase your personality and help you become more trustworthy. Film a quick video for your audience that checks out that page. It doesn't have to be long or be a big production. Honestly, most cellphones can produce clear, crisp videos these days. Create something that relates to the blog post and takes it up a notch. Upload the video to YouTube, but you may want to unlist it so that it doesn't compete with your blog post. Alternatively, you can list it and make sure you link to your blog post at the top of the video description.One quick way to refresh older content is by adding a video. Creating a video for the blog post will freshen up the content, showcase your personality, and build authority at the same time. Click To Tweet
Promote That Post For Audiences Who Haven't Seen It
Last, let's chat about a few ways to promote your blog now that it's been refreshed and monetized.
Create A New Pinterest Graphic To Pin
Pinterest is a great way to get some love on your blog post. Go back to Canva to create a beautiful, new Pinterest graphic for your site. You can update it on your website or pin it straight to Pinterest, whatever you prefer. Pin this to the most relevant board first and then pin it to more general boards for the best performance.
Share It On Twitter
Twitter (or any other social media platform) is a great way to promote your post. Go back and tell your audience about your newly updated post. Whether they've seen it before or not, they'll be glad to know about the excellent resources you have. If you use a service like MeetEdgar or SmarterQueue (or you do it by hand) you can create recurring social media messages leading back to these blog posts.
Add The Post To Your Website Post Spotlight
If you have a post spotlight on your site, utilize that to promote your favorite content. One of the first things you see on my site is a huge banner that rotates and shares some of my best posts. You can update this often or keep it pretty consistent. Whatever floats your boat, my friend. If your site doesn't have a massive banner like this, use a tool like HelloBar to drive traffic to a post you are excited about. I use the theme Lucie Grasso if you wanted a spotlight banner like mine.
Whew, we talked about a ton of stuff today, y'all. I hope that this post was helpful and not overwhelming. Once a post is doing well, it makes sense to parlay that into monetization. It can be scary to think about monetizing a blog post, and I wanted to help you think about it practically.