Why do you have a blog?
You probably use your blog as a tool to lure in new customers. It’s also a resource for your returning customers as you strive to teach them things they don’t know.
It’s okay if you have a blog to make money. In fact, it’s expected.
As a Squarespace user, you probably love the platform’s simplicity. You’re just not sure how to tap into its money-making potential.
Where do you even start?
With this handy guide, we’ll offer up several tips for Squarespace blog monetization. Are you ready for the money to roll right in? Read on.
Make Sure Your Site Is Well-Designed
No matter which website-building platform you use, monetization starts with an appealing site.
If yours is clunky, slow-loading, and just ugly, no one will want to visit it. You certainly won’t get repeat visitors.
Squarespace makes it easy to design attractive pages in a short amount of time. You can create cover pages, album pages, landing pages, and standard web pages. You can even add external links or make an event page.
Start making internal and external changes to your website. These may be design changes or functionality changes. In the meantime, use Google Analytics or other analytics software to track visitor engagement.
If you really want to know which version of your site is better, run an A/B test. As the name implies, this compares two versions (version A and version B) of the same site to see which performs better.
Of course, once you make a site design you love, that doesn’t mean you never touch it again. You need to continually update your site, fixing bugs, glitches, and other issues.
Start an Editorial Calendar and Stick to It
Now that your website looks great, it’s time to turn your focus towards your blog.
There’s a built-in blogging platform included with your Squarespace site. To create blog posts, you just click the + button near your blog settings. It’s that simple.
You can also easily edit posts, create categories, add tags, disable or enable comments, and schedule publishing.
If you want to add blog images, like thumbnails and headline pictures, you can. In fact, Squarespace has a feature where your selected thumbnail will show up across social media, so choose wisely.
Once you pick a thumbnail image, use Squarespace’s image uploader. Of course, you have to make sure you have the proper permissions and licensing to use the image.
If you’re concerned about that, Squarespace has a partnership with Getty Images. You can browse their library to find free licensed images.
Now that you know Squarespace blogging basics, it’s time to start writing your blog. Believe it or not, blogging is a key part of your monetization strategy.
The more traffic your blog gets, the more customers who will click on your ads and buy your products (more on all this later).
That all starts with regular content. We’ve written extensively about how to beef up your blog posts with strong keywords, images, and other SEO tactics.
You should also start an editorial calendar.
For best results, try to plan your editorial calendar at least a month ahead of time. Involve several of your coworkers in the brainstorming process. Finesse ideas until they’re clear and streamlined.
Remember, you can also research competitor keywords to see which topics are trending in your niche. You can’t rip off your competitor’s posts though. You need to approach the topic from a new angle.
Build Your Following
As you add content to your blog, you should be sharing each post on social media. Use Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and even Instagram and YouTube to build your following. Write guest posts. Master the art of the catchy (but not clickbait-y) headline.
Use analytics software to track the visitors you’re getting each day, week, and month. See where these visitors are coming from. Are you getting more traffic on your guest posts? Your social media?
Start focusing your marketing efforts on those channels. Eventually, people will catch on. These visitors will keep coming back, becoming your customers. They will refer others and your customer base will grow.
Place Online Ads
You’ve already done a lot of hard work, but you’re not really making any money? Right?
Patience. Now it’s time to start bringing in some cash.
You have a few ways to do that through online advertising. There’s pay-per-click or PPC advertising. There’s also cost per thousand or CPM advertising.
So what do these mean and what’s the difference between the two? Let’s dig deeper.
CPM advertising: At the beginning, you may be more interested in CPM advertising. Instead of relying solely on clicks, this form of advertising is more focused on “impressions,” which includes ad views and clicks. CPM ads measure these impressions by the thousands, so for every 1,000 impressions an ad receives, you get money.
PPC advertising: PPC advertising, on the other hand, is only about ad clicks. If a visitor sees your ad but doesn’t click it, you don’t get money. You only receive money if a visitor clicks the ad.
Now that you understand CPM advertising and PPC advertising better, you can use these to your advantage.
There’s no need to limit yourself to one form of advertising or the other. Try both and see which one makes you more money.
You can also put ads on your own website through Squarespace.
You must have a Google AdSense account or an account with a similar PPC service. You will receive an ad code that you can paste on your site. You will need to use Code Blocks, which is a Squarespace feature, to do this.
Depending on the following your brand has, your advertising revenue may be a small or it may be substantial. If you keep following the above tips, you can increase that revenue over time.
Consider Affiliate Programs
You can also go through an affiliate program to make money on your Squarespace blog.
What does that mean?
An affiliate program is part of affiliate marketing. With this type of marketing, you get your customers interested in a third-party product or service that you personally use. Each time you get someone to buy that product or service from you, you get money for it.
Do keep in mind that these products and services are not your own. These belong to a third-party company. That means that this third-party company will have a presence on your website, your blog, and probably your social media.
We already know what’s in it for you if you become part of an affiliate program. Money.
What does the affiliate program get out of the deal?
They get easy promotion through their working relationship with you. They also get some of the money from the sales of the product or service. Some affiliate programs may request a small 10 percent payback, but others may want a bigger cut, like 70 percent. Make sure to do your homework before you sign anything.
So how does an affiliate program work?
You have to share the link to the ecommerce page for the affiliate products or services. You may also have to review said products or services. By including pictures, videos, ads, and reviews, you encourage your customers to buy these products or services.
You may be concerned about this if you’ve never done affiliate marketing before. Initially, it seems awfully salesy. However, affiliate marketing is not as alienating as it may seem.
In fact, many a blog in a variety of niches rely on affiliate programs to keep their site afloat. Just don’t make every single post about the affiliate program. Your customers don’t want to have it crammed down their throat.
If you have a good balance between your own content and affiliate program content, your customers will stick around. They understand that you’re running a business and you have to do what you can to keep the money rolling in.
Sell Products and Services
Affiliate program products and services aren’t all you have to worry about. You also have to sell your own products and services.
Now is the best time to do so. You have a good audience. They’re engaged and read your content regularly. You’ve earned their trust and nurtured the relationship.
If you do decide to become a part of an affiliate program, you should go to great lengths to differentiate your own products and services from those you sell through the affiliate program.
So what should you sell? That depends. What kind of business do you run? Which products or services would be most useful to your customer base?
Do keep in mind that you don’t necessarily have to sell a physical item if you don’t have one. If you’re renowned enough, you can write eBooks, go on speaking tours, offer consulting services, sell articles, and host webinars.
You may want to consider diversifying your income stream and doing those things anyway, even if you do already sell a physical product.
By combining that sales income with that from your affiliate program income, you should bring in some serious bank.
Post Sponsored Content
You have yet another option for monetizing your Squarespace blog if you want to make even more money. You can also post sponsored content.
What is sponsored content?
This native advertising includes posts and reviews that aren’t necessarily written by you. Instead, a company or service will contact you to write on your blog. Their article will largely look the rest of the content you post. However, it will subtly tie in to the other company’s products or services.
As an example, say a dentist’s office reaches out to you. You’re a health company. They might write a post about all the reasons you should visit a dentist to get your teeth cleaned and how this is good for your health. This would read like one of your own posts. The voice wouldn’t be identical (nor should it be), but it would be similar.
Then, at the end of the post, there’d be a paragraph about the dentist’s office. They’d include a call to action with a contact link.
It shouldn’t take until the end of a post for a visitor to realize they’re reading sponsored content. This should be clearly labeled as such at the beginning of the post.
Sponsored posts can also be done in a slightly different way. Instead of letting someone else write the post, you yourself can take care of it. These posts will be more promotional in nature, with you talking about the other company and why your customers should do business there.
These should still be labeled as sponsored content, because technically they are. These posts should also include a CTA and links to the other company’s site.
So how do sponsored posts make you money?
The company that is writing the sponsored post is paying you to post their content. If you’re writing the post instead of then, they’re still paying you to post it. They get free publicity and you make money blogging.
If you start posting sponsored content, other companies will see that you do it. They may reach out to you and ask you to write or post their own sponsored content.
WordPress may be one of the biggest blogging platforms, but it’s not the only one with high monetary potential. If you have a Squarespace blog, you can set up several income streams.
Before you do anything, it doesn’t hurt to redesign your website and plan your blog posts for the long-term. Then place ads on your site and other sites.
If you want, you can become part of an affiliate program, where you sell someone else’s products and services for a cut of the purchase cost. You can also write or post sponsored content, where you’re paid to promote another company on your blog.
If you’re thinking about starting a Squarespace blog, you now know your earning potential is only limited by how much time and effort you put into the blog. What are you waiting for? More money is just around the corner.