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Ready To Start A Monetized Blog? Five Monetization Pathways To Consider

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Ready To Start A Monetized Blog? Five Monetization Pathways To Consider

By Amine Rahal, a tech entrepreneur and writer. He is currently the CEO of IronMonk Solutions.

I’ve been in the digital marketing game for multiple decades now. I have had the unique privilege of witnessing the industry mature and develop into what it is today—a highly competitive and saturated space, yet one in which many hardworking people can earn a decent living.

This is especially true for blogs. While it may seem like everyone and their grandmother has some sort of blog these days, the fact is that not everyone is adept at monetizing them.

The good news is that, in my experience, monetizing a blog isn’t as difficult as many people assume. For myself and my clients, I’ve focused on five key monetization pathways that have served me well over my career. In this article, I’ll explain what each of them is and how to capitalize on them.

1. Advertising Revenue

Once you have built a website generating high organic search traffic, you can start making money from advertising revenue. These ads are generally of the pay-per-click variety, where advertisers pay out different rates depending on the product’s or service’s niche.

The main player in this space is Google Ads (formerly AdWords), which has dominated this market segment for a long time.

Generally, you can earn between $0.01 and $0.30 per click by taking this route. The best part about it is that it’s almost entirely hands-free: You sign up with Google Ads, Microsoft Advertising, Raptive or any other provider and let the advertisements generate clicks.

Note that your website visitors may see this form of monetization as intrusive and annoying. If you decide to take this route, keep your ad usage limited and tasteful so that you keep your page’s UX/UI intact.

2. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing has been the big money-maker for myself and my clients. However, it takes time and effort to be able to pull this monetization lever.

In essence, it involves building a popular niche website and then including tracked hyperlinks to third-party products or services whose providers pay you a commission for each sale you bring to the company. A niche website could be about just anything—from pet food to sporting goods to financial products and everything in between.

Success in this monetization pathway can generate significant revenues per month for well-optimized affiliate blogs in a high-volume niche. The downside, however, is that you need to create a lot of high-quality content on your blog and build lasting relationships with affiliate companies in order to insert tracked hyperlinks into your content.

While building your website, you may want to start with affiliate programs that have a low barrier to entry.

3. Sell A Service

At the very least, you can sell consulting services. Chances are good that if you run a successful blog with a good number of organic visitors, there are potential customers out there looking to learn from your expertise.

Popular website builders like WordPress, Wix and Squarespace have simple plug-ins that allow you to add a checkout function to your blog. Offering consulting services—or any service, online or otherwise—is a simple method of blog monetization.

Typically, I see consultants command $50 to $250 per hour, but your earning potential is only limited by your level of expertise and your ability to market yourself as a leader in your field.

4. Sell A Course

You can think of this one as a scaled-up version of selling a service. However, instead of one-on-one consulting, you sell a group course. This has the obvious benefit of multiplying the amount that you can earn on a per-hour basis but demands much greater effort from the course provider.

Before you launch a course, you need to build one. This requires creating written and graphic materials (often delivered via encrypted PDFs that can be unlocked with a password) that you pair with group conferences or seminars that go over the written materials in greater depth.

There’s no need to use a middleman to take this monetization route. While Udemy and Skillshare can help you build your course platform, you can offer a course sign-up function within your blog and get the ball rolling on your own.

5. Flipping

My last suggestion is to consider “flipping” your website on online marketplaces. There’s a huge market of both buyers and sellers looking to purchase blogs that generate high amounts of traffic.

I’ve found that most blog buyers consider a site’s monthly revenue when determining how much to offer for it. Therefore, you should already have monetized your site before you decide to cash out.

Finding A Monetization Strategy That Works

There’s no clear pathway to blog monetization. Rather, your strategy should appeal to your website’s natural strengths and your strengths as a blog creator. If your website has a particular niche that is well-suited for selling products, consider running ads or creating affiliate content.

On the other hand, if you feel like you could make for a better product, consider selling a course or a consultation. This way, you can share your domain expertise with an audience for a fee.

Once you have successfully monetized your site, you can cash out by flipping it on an online marketplace and then, well, rinse and repeat by starting a new blog from scratch.

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Barbara Corcoran Says All Good Leaders Have This 1 Quality

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Barbara Corcoran Says All Good Leaders Have This 1 Quality

Corcoran Group founder and “Shark Tank” star Barbara Corcoran knows how to run a tight ship — but she also knows when to relinquish control.

The 75-year-old real estate pioneer and entrepreneur took to Instagram on Wednesday to share advice on hiring and delegating.

Related: Barbara Corcoran: All ‘Really Successful Entrepreneurs’ Do This

First, she says, embrace your inner “control freak” — it’s part of the job.

“Anybody who’s a good boss, I’ve learned, is a control freak. It just comes with the territory, and control freaks have a heck of a hard time delegating,” Corcoran explained. “They’re the last people who want to give away what they do so perfectly.”

Corcoran says in order for your business to grow, though, it’s important to find someone who can do the job 80% as well as you can. If you find a candidate who can do that, invest in them to “build your business and move it ahead.”

Corcoran said she goes through a three-question litmus test before hiring someone to create a strong pool of employees.

Related: Barbara Corcoran Issues Statement, Warning on NAR Settlement

“I ask myself, ‘Are they happy? Do they work hard? Are they talented people in one regard or another?’ And if they are, I hire them, and I delegate something to them that’s above their pay grade, above their talent pool, so they have to reach and show me how good they are, and that’s how you develop talent,” she said.

“It’s not just a matter of delegating, it’s a matter of developing talent, and then delegating to the talent,” she added.

Corcoran’s net worth is an estimated $400 million.



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Beware of These Risky Sales Tactics That Are Doomed to Fail or Backfire

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Beware of These Risky Sales Tactics That Are Doomed to Fail or Backfire

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

True story: Recently, my daughter was at a major brand car dealership with her boyfriend, intending to purchase a pre-owned car. Note I made up the numbers for the sake of my daughter’s financial privacy, but the takeaways are still the same.

The dealership asked for, let’s say, $26,000 “all in” for the car, but my daughter had already decided that $20,000 was the most she would pay. There was a lot of ground to cover to actually make a deal happen. After some discussion, the salesperson did his best, dropping the price to $25,000. But that still left a big gap, so he told her, “Let me go check with my manager and see if he has any ideas.”

After five minutes, the salesperson and his manager entered the room together. The manager explained that at $25,000, this was a great price; it was already well below their MSRP, and the deal was “very thin” as it was for him. He then used the famous line, “Okay, here’s what I’m going to do to get you into this car today.” The manager pulled out a piece of paper with revised numbers that showed his price now at $23,995. He explained to my daughter that this was the absolute best possible price. He was “all in;” this was his “best offer,” and he told her to take it or leave it. For the grand finale — keeping in mind that this is a 100% true story — the manager took out a big red ink stamp and smacked it down on the paper. The stamp read “FINAL” in bold red ink. $23,995. FINAL.

My daughter responded, “Thanks, but I’m sorry; it looks like it’s not going to work out.” Without hesitation, he immediately blurted out, “How about $22,500?”

When my daughter told me the story, I had a wonderful laugh. After the big show, the manager held his price for a full six seconds. And the idea of the red final stamp just made the story even better. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized there’s actually quite a lot to unpack here regarding sales tactics, psychology and effectiveness.

Related: 3 Unconventional Sales Tactics That Will Close More Deals

I’m not in the car business, and I’ve never sold cars, but I can see some familiar sales tactics (and mistakes) playing out here:

Playing the waiting game

All this went down after my daughter had spent hours on the lot. It was getting late in the day on a Saturday, and the manager knew she was hoping to get it done. At some level, the manager was wearing her down and playing out the clock, playing the “waiting game.” It didn’t work in this case, but often, this notion of using time as a weapon can be very effective. Utilizing time as a strategic element in the negotiation process can be effective, but it must be used carefully and respectfully. Pushing too hard on time constraints can backfire.

Closing the deal by changing the sales lineup

When the salesperson reached his personal negotiation line or felt he would lose her, he brought in his manager. In addition to adding some time to the clock, this step created a new opportunity for a new dynamic. The dealership never really wants a potential buyer to walk out the door, so if one person doesn’t get the job done, it’s always worth trying someone else. Involving a manager or company administrator in the negotiation process can create new dynamics and opportunities for closing a deal.

Proposing your best and final offer

Although I laughed hysterically when I heard about the red stamp, I soon realized it was actually a smart move. Once upon a time, I’m guessing some sales and marketing people sat in a room, and someone said, “I have an idea — let’s make a red stamp that says final and use that during negotiations.” Everyone probably laughed, and they would have said, “No, I’m serious!” And then everyone thought about it and agreed, as funny of an idea as it was, it actually made sense. It’s one thing to tell someone something verbally, but when it’s “official” and in red ink on paper, it’s human nature to believe it and take it as indisputable. Using psychological sales tactics to create a Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) effect, such as a “Final Offer” stamp, can be effective in conveying seriousness and finality, but you have to honor your word, or you will likely lose credibility.

All the tactics I outlined above were smart, but here’s where I think the dealership dropped the ball:

Trying a shutdown move too soon

The manager came in cold, and rather than take some time (again, time is on their side) to talk about the value, create some alignment, and build some rapport, he went straight for the kill. That tactic may work, but I felt it was too aggressive. He would have been better off discussing the pain points and goals concerning the product, coming up with some extra incentives, etc. Understanding the customer’s needs, discussing the product’s value and building rapport and trust can be crucial in successful sales.

Related: How to Master Your Sales Success — Why Every Answer and Rejection Matters

Putting an out-of-reach offer on the table

The manager decided to go for the close in a fairly aggressive way. In some cases, that tactic makes sense. But he played it all wrong with the numbers. He knew they were a full $5,000 or 20% off, and he decided to put it all on the line at $23,995. Obviously, given how fast he dropped another thousand, he had plenty more room. If he was going for the hard close and “FINAL” offer, he should have made it more compelling. By putting on the big show and then immediately dropping his price, he completely lost credibility and lowered the odds of closing. In this case, he lost my daughter’s trust and the sale. In negotiation, it’s important to understand the other party’s budget and limits before making an offer. Being aware of their constraints will increase the likelihood of closing a deal.

Saying your offer is “final” when it’s not

If you offer something of value at a good price and tell them it’s “final” (which I personally don’t recommend as a sales tactic), then stand by it and mean it. Your word has to mean something. Once he realized his “final” price was not going to work, rather than lower it, he could have thrown in some additional valuable incentive, perhaps some amount of free service or some kind of special financing. If a “final offer” is presented, standing by it as your final word is essential. If adjustments are needed, they should include additional incentives or value to maintain trust and credibility.

Sales is an art, no doubt about that. A great salesperson builds a relationship, asks questions and listens, understands the client’s pain points, is honest and transparent, and operates with integrity. Of course, strategies, techniques, incentives, and a lot of human emotion and psychology are at play, but all of them can happen successfully without losing your credibility.

So, the overall moral of my story? Choose wisely before using the big red stamp!

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Why Morgan Stanley Analysts Doubled Apple iPhone Predictions

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Why Morgan Stanley Analysts Doubled Apple iPhone Predictions

Apple entered the AI game last month with Apple Intelligence, a suite of new features designed to bring AI straight to iPhone, iPad, and Mac screens. Apple’s AI has a catch though: it only works on the newest iPhones and it could be the reason why millions of iPhone users with older models seriously think about upgrading, say Morgan Stanley analysts.

Morgan Stanley analysts named Apple a top-pick stock on Monday, after which Apple shares jumped to an all-time high, per Bloomberg. Apple Intelligence is a “clear catalyst” for iPhone upgrades and will enable Apple to sell nearly half a billion iPhones in the next two years, analyst Eric Woodring stated.

Apple Intelligence is expected to come out this fall for the iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max — older iPhones will not have access to Apple’s AI. The update offers AI-generated emojis, a smarter Siri, and direct access to ChatGPT, though some anticipated Siri AI upgrades may arrive next year.

Related: Apple Is Expanding What The iPhone Can Do. Here’s What’s Changing Right Away.

“We believe that there is record level of pent-up demand entering the iPhone 16 cycle later this year,” Woodring noted, adding that Apple Intelligence delivers “unique-to-the-Apple-ecosystem” value.

Morgan Stanley previously forecasted that Apple would sell around 230 million iPhones in the same time frame, making the new prediction more than double the previous one.

Apple is also uniquely positioned to be the AI “base camp” for its customers, “just as it has done for digital content (iPod) and social media (iPhone),” wrote Morgan Stanley analyst Ananda Baruah.

Apple CEO Tim Cook waves to customers before they enter Apple’s 5th Avenue store. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Other analysts at different firms have made similar predictions. Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives told Reuters in June that more than 15% of existing iPhone users could buy the new iPhone Apple is expected to release this fall.

Related: Apple Labels These 3 Iconic Products ‘Vintage,’ and Soon-to-Be ‘Obsolete’

Ives estimated that 270 million iPhone users have not bought a new model in the past four years.

More than half of Apple’s overall revenue in the second quarter of 2024 came from iPhones; Apple has the majority of the market share for smartphones in the U.S.

At the time of writing, Apple was the largest company in the world with a $3.584 trillion market cap. Microsoft, Nvidia, Google, and Amazon followed.

Related: Warren Buffett Had to Work From His iPhone After Telephone Lines Went Down at Berkshire Hathaway: ‘I’m Glad We Didn’t Sell All of Our Apple’

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