Looking for ways to make money & generate ongoing income from your B2B blog? Check out these six B2B blog revenue generating tips to help you make more money online.
There are three main reasons why most people create a website… to help people, as a creative outlet, and to make money. And those reasons are rarely mutually exclusive.
Yes, there are some who do so for completely altruistic reasons such as sharing their knowledge, experience or insights without any plan or desire for financial gain. But that is – indeed – a minority on the World Wide Web.
Most are there to – in some way or another – make money, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
A person should be reasonably compensated for providing a service, even if that service is useful online tips on how to fix their kitchen sinks or how to properly chop an onion.
Conversely, some business owners stop short before realizing the additional B2B blog revenue options that are available to help them to help them earn more money.
Although there are many ways that a small business owner can make money from a website, here are six fairly simple ones that can be used to create additional sources of revenue from your B2B blog.
Direct B2B Ecommerce Sales
If your website was built to support and existing product or service, one of the fundamental ways to use a B2B blog to generate revenue is to find a supplier who can offer those products or services, potentially through a drop-shop relationship, and sell those products to your visitors.
A simple shopping cart (for physical products that can be shipped) or details on how to procure your products or services (for local-only offerings) can increase total revenue by expanding how many people will find you and order from you.
Sometimes, a site can be combination of both… offering hands-on services for local clients as well as order-able products for those who cannot connect with you directly.
For example, a consultant may offer services to a business nearby, but they may also offer a downloadable whitepaper of best practices for a small fee for those outside of their service area.
This type of revenue stream can also include subscriptions (e.g. a Virtual Business Coach) where something new and interesting to the reader is sent on a daily, weekly or monthly basis for a small, preset fee. These subscriptions are usually low cost and easy to fulfill via email.
If your site is very content rich, with lots of tips, articles, tutorials, and more plus have a substantial amount of relevant traffic to the site; you can also open up advertising space directly to to others through your site.
In most cases (purely for the sake of simplicity) these spaces are charged on a flat fee per-month rate, although you can charge on a cost per impression model if you have the means to measure that.
Be prepared to provide some visitor statistics to support the amount you are charging, and do not expect to be able to charge companies $1,000 a month to advertise on a site that only gets a handful of visitors each week.
But be careful not to overwhelm your site with too many ads, as that can degrade your user experience and end up costing your traffic, which will end up costing you money.
However, 2 or 3 well-placed ads that are relevant to your small business readers can end up generating a nice stream of steady income.
Pay-Per-Click Ad Networks
Alternatively, or in addition, you can sign up for one of many Ad networks which will place relevant (based on their algorithm) advertising on your site and pay you a portion of the revenue that they generate from these ads.
Google Adsense is the most commonly used of these networks among business bloggers, and provides simple step-by-step guides on how to add these advertisements to your site.
There are a few well-known and well-respected ad networks that you can also join once your site reaches a critical mass in the way of visitors. Most of these larger, direct ad networks require a minimum of 25,000 – 50,000 visits per month before accepting you as a publisher.
The one downside with ad networks is that they attempt to match advertisers to your site based on a content analysis, and are not always correct.
However, you can usually pick which types of sites can and cannot advertise on your site and you can use the interface to remove specific advertisers that you don’t feel are appropriate for your audience.
Another simple & straightforward add-on four your B2B blog would be B2B affiliate programs. The basic premise is that you link from your site to a relevant merchant selling something your audience may be interested in. When they buy, you make money.
Businesses such as Deluxe, Shopify, Freshbooks, and Fiverr all offer affiliate programs that help B2B bloggers generate income from their content.
For example, if you’re talking about business startup, you can link to a merchant partner offering logo design or incorporation services. If you’re writing a blog post about how to run a successful business event, you can link to a merchant partner offering promotional merchandise and giveaway items. And so on.
Two of the biggest Affiliate Networks, each of which offer thousands of merchants to choose from, include Commission Junction and ShareaSale. However, many large retailers who offer business products – such as – Amazon.com, offer their own direct-relationship affiliate program.
Some website owners – with high traffic websites – earn a substantial revenue stream through these links, but the key to success here is relevant, engaged visitors as well as a logical connection between what the visitor is reading and the item that you are promoting on the site.
Coaching on business startup? Focus on the products a new business would need, including logo design, incorporation services, or even business checks.
Teaching growth hacks? Focus on the marketing and growth related services, including website design, hosting, paid search management, branding tools, etc.
Have more of a business management focus? Then you’d want to connect with accounting programs, payroll services, and the like.
Often referred to as Native Advertising, accepting sponsored and guest posts is always a tricky decision for a blog owner, particularly a B2B blog. The main challenge is ensuring that the quality of the content provided matches the expectations your readers have from your site.
But with the right partners and the right editorial balance, this can become a significant revenue stream.
This kind of sponsored content arrangement can take two main forms.
Sponsored Guests Posts
These are posts that are written by a third party and are edited, designed, and posted by you for a fee. These articles can range in editorial style, but the best sponsored blog posts are usually some kind of thought leadership or helpful article that positions the brand as an expert in the field, rather than a pure “buy my product” type article.
Sponsored Written Posts
These are posts that are written by the blog owner (aka you) about a product, service, or subject that you and the brand collaborate on. These can be information or advertorial in nature, and can even include product reviews (although I do caution blog owners about selling reviews on their website, as it can call the integrity of your B2B blog into question).
An example here could be to write about the legal and financial dangers of making simple yet costly payroll errors, while mentioning that select companies – including your sponsor – offer professional payroll services that help avoid these types of errors.
How much to charge for a sponsored B2B blog post
Industry research has shown that the average cost – per post – for a sponsored post on their site can range based on unique visitors per month and domain authority (aka DA).
Here is a handy guide, but keep in mind that – based on the law of supply and demand – you can only charge as much as your partners are willing to pay.
As you can see, sponsored posts can be quite lucrative, if you have a decent level of traffic and an authoritative domain. Also, keep in mind the amount of effort required.
A post written by the partner but edited by you will likely cost them less than a full-length feature article that has been researched, written, designed, and edited by you.
Whichever direction you choose, make sure that the opinions in the piece are (or align with) yours and that they match the integrity of the blog.
Also make sure to disclose your relationship with the brand so that readers are aware that the article may not be entirely unbiased.
This is often referred to as an “Online Tips” option. In the simplest terms, it means adding a “Like This Content? Please Donate” button on your site (often using PayPal as the payment processor).
Those who wish to reward you monetarily for a job well done can do so by simply depositing funds into your PayPal account.
However, in this case, you are relying on the good will of your readers as there is very little other incentive for them to send you money.
This type of revenue stream is usually reserved for pure content website, where there is no additional revenue generated. You would not want to add a “Donate” button to your existing site promoting your local business.
Future Proofing Your B2B Blog Revenue
No matter how you choose to use your B2B blog to generate revenue, remember that the most important thing – as with most parts of running a small business – is customer satisfaction.
Do not allow your attempts to make money, especially if you are considering adding additional revenue streams to an existing site, to overpower or hurt your reader’s experience on your site.
And don’t forget to properly disclose any commercial relationship you have with any of these revenue generating partners.