How to Monetize Your Audience

There’s no “one-size-fits-all” approach here, and that’s what makes it so exciting. 

How bloggers can utilize the power of eCommerce

As a WordPress blogger, you have access to an incredibly powerful eCommerce tool: WooCommerce. This open-source, customizable platform allows you to build the online store that best suits your vision, goals, and brand. You can set up a store with absolutely no coding knowledge, with access to a wide array of shipping options, payment tools, and hundreds of extensions that provide any functionality you could possibly need. 

In many cases, online stores create a blog to attract readers from their target audience. They use it as a marketing technique to improve search rankings and gain trust with those who are most likely to become customers. 

We’ve gone through a bunch of examples for monetizing your blog — now it’s time to decide the right fit for you! This will, of course, impact all of the decisions you make from here on out.

Once you set up your shop, you’ll need to get the word out to your audience. The good news is that you don’t need to become a salesperson to do this. In fact, you shouldn’t! Write a post announcing your new offerings and talking about how excited you are. Share some behind-the-scenes photos of your process. Send an announcement to your email list.

But, generally, you’ll just want to make your store available to your loyal readers and casually mention things when they naturally fit into your content. Include a link in your footer for donations or write a post about your upcoming adventure and ask people to contribute if they’d like to be involved. Include a picture of you wearing one of your t-shirts or share a story about someone exciting who just joined your membership. You don’t want to push commerce at the sacrifice of what’s brought you success so far — your great content!

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This will open the WooCommerce Setup Wizard, which will walk you through all of the initial steps to create your store, with personalized guidance based on your industry and products.

3. Add products 

Data shows that approximately one-third of bloggers utilize a monetization strategy. Advertising and affiliate marketing are popular approaches, but you could also add eCommerce functionality to your blog. This can be even more exciting and lucrative — especially for creative or entrepreneurially-minded people — and can help grow your reach.

If you’d rather manage and control the process from start to finish, you absolutely can. Read our full guide to shipping to help you pick a strategy.  

2. Install WooCommerce

But if you’re looking to get up and running quickly, WooCommerce Payments is the go-to choice. It provides lots of great functionality — like multi-currency support and integration with Apple and Google Pay — and keeps shoppers on your site to pay. Plus, you can manage everything directly from your WordPress dashboard, including refunds, no special training required!

5. Set up shipping

A payment gateway enables you to securely accept payments on your store, then transfer them to your bank account. WooCommerce integrates with a variety of options, and you’ll need to think through a few things — like fees and ease of use — when choosing a payment gateway. 

WooCommerce Payments dashboard

So as a blogger, you’ve already overcome one of the most challenging obstacles in eCommerce marketing. You’re an expert content creator and you’re already attracting an audience that’s grown to respect your work and opinions. Whether you’ve been blogging for one year or ten, your audience already shows interest — which is half the battle. 

What can bloggers sell?

The first step is to think about your specific audience. What will they find most helpful and what will they be most interested in paying for? Think about the type of media they interact with and the products they use already. You may even want to reach out to them on social media or email your list with a survey to get their opinions directly.

Plus, you can build and manage your store using the same dashboard and processes you’re already familiar with. 

You’ll add products similarly to how you create blog posts. The process varies a bit based on the type of product you’re selling. Here are some examples, with links to specific instructions for each one:

  • Simple products: These are products that don’t vary in color, size, etc. If you blog about pets, you may offer a collection of simple products, ranging from dog treats to cat toys. 
  • Variable products: These products let customers choose between options, like size, color, flavor, etc. T-shirts, for example, are often available in a range of sizes and patterns.
  • Downloadable products: These are digital products that shoppers can download, like an eBook or sewing template. You won’t need to handle shipping here, but will need to consider things like file delivery methods. 
  • Memberships: These provide access to special benefits, like content libraries, forums, discounts, or exclusive event invitations. They can involve digital items, physical products, or both!
  • Subscriptions: Customers pay for subscriptions on a recurring basis, like every month, quarter, or year. A subscription is an excellent way to generate income you can count on, and can include everything from subscription boxes to memberships. For example, if you blog about health and beauty, you could curate a monthly subscription box full of your favorite products.

4. Connect a payment gateway

To install WooCommerce:

  1. Go to Plugins → Add New in your WordPress dashboard
  2. Search for “WooCommerce”
  3. Click Install Now → Activate
WooCommerce setup wizard

Ready to get started? Let’s dive into how you can add an eCommerce store to your blog. If you’re using WordPress, then you’re already one step ahead!

1. Decide what to sell (and how to deliver it)

Do you blog about nutrition? Why not write a recipe eBook, offer online cooking courses, or sell memberships with exclusive benefits? You could even take this one step further, selling online consultations or physical products. 

If you’re shipping physical products, you’ll need to decide how to charge for delivery and the processes you’ll use to ship items. Do you want to offer free shipping or charge a fee? Do you want to send packages via USPS, FedEx, or another service? How much will it cost to ship each product?

And to speed up and simplify the process, WooCommerce Shipping is here to help! It allows you to print USPS and DHL labels straight from the WordPress dashboard, and even gives you a hefty discount on rates.

6. Add extensions 

If you decide to accept tips, create an online community, design online courses, or offer other digital products, you won’t need to worry about things like shipping or inventory management. You will, however, need to think through any tools you’ll need. For example, if you want to create online courses, you can combine a tool like Sensei LMS with WooCommerce to build those courses and deliver them to your students. 

If you’ve been blogging for a while and have gained a following, you may be thinking, what’s next? How can I monetize my blog?

Ready to embark on an exciting path and dive into all the possibilities that come with eCommerce for bloggers? Get started today!