Do you think it’s important to know what type of blog you run?
Because the blog business model you choose depends on the lifestyle you lead, or want to lead.
For example, are you happy working for an income by offering a service such as coaching or freelance writing, or do you want a ‘lifestyle business’ which is 90% automated making you a passive income whether you’re at your computer or not?
I’ll hazard a guess in that the large majority of bloggers reading this want a ‘lifestyle business’ where they can make a monthly income with the least amount of effort, so they can spend time with their family, travel or just relax and enjoy the peace.
Passive income is what I’ve always strived to achieve (although I have offered typing services in the past), but everyone’s different and want different things out of life.
So with this in mind, let’s look over the 8 different Internet business models in respect to blogging.
Which Type of Blog Model Do You Run?
You have to keep in mind that nothing is set in stone when it comes to blogging. You can easily pick and choose which elements of blogging you would like to incorporate into your Blogging business.
Here’s a breakdown of the main options:
#1 Service Provider
Here your main goal is to use your bogging platform to sell your services. You could be a freelance writer, a business coach, weight loss coach etc..
This type of business is still a ‘job’ in that you’re trading your time for money. However, providing a freelancing service is still a very popular choice as there are thousands upon thousands of people offering their services Online.
Take a look at sites such as www.elance.com, www.freelancer.com and www.peopleperhour.com. These are heavily used sites where service providers are seeking jobs and small businesses are looking to hire freelancers.
You don’t necessarily need a blog or static website to work as a freelance service provider, but it does help as it would give you a platform to promote and sell your services.
#2 Information Products
I’m sure this is the reason why the Internet was made; to sell digital products to customers all over the world!
The main focus of this type of blog is to sell your own information products. You will likely write regular blog posts to attract traffic and inform/pre-sell your visitors about your range of products.
With thanks to the Internet and all the savvy software that is available today, selling information products Online is a whole different kettle of fish than selling physical products. You set up your system so that it’s 100% automated. Your main tasks would be marketing and advertising your products.
The www.bloggingtoolkits.com blog falls under this business model. I’ve created dozens of information products to sell on Blogging Toolkits and they are all set up with an automated digital delivery system by using aMember Pro.
It’s great for me to get my boys packed off to school, then with a cup of coffee in-hand, I look at my email/aMember Dashboard and see that I’ve sold a few of my information products while I’ve been asleep.
It can’t get much better than that!
#3 Physical Products
I know this type of blog is popular with a lot of mom bloggers, especially in the crafts area. These bloggers like to sell their hand-made crafts either directly from their blog, or link to a third-party e-commerce platform to sell their goods such as www.etsy.com.
This is a great way to make money with a crafts hobby. You enjoy making your products anyway, you will then have the pleasure to take photographs of your creations, upload the images and descriptions to your blog and sell them.
As long as people like and want your products, you can keep on making and selling your wares.
Of course you don’t have to manufacture your own products, you can source wholesale products and sell them at retail prices.
With this type of Internet business model you have to wear many hats as you have to manage the supply, delivery, marketing and your profit margin.
#4 Niche Blogger
This type of blog is where you build a blog around a very tight niche and monetize it with Google Adsense and various affiliate programs. These blog’s rely heavily on search engine traffic to get the majority of their visitors. Niche bloggers build many of these blogs in different markets.
If you get bored with one blog and working in one niche, then this could be the business model for you. These blogs only need to have about twenty pages or so before you move on to your next niche blog.
This niche business model was very popular a few years ago when it was much easier getting free search engine traffic from Google. However today it’s much harder to get small niche sites ranked high in Google with all their algorithm changes such as Panda, Penguin and any other little back and white animal they care to throw at us next!
Having said that, there are still many people successfully building up a small portfolio of niche blogs, you just have to do more marketing these days for each blog you build so as not to rely 100% on Google. This is the key; not to purely rely on Google as a sole traffic source.
#5 Professional Blogger
A professional blogger is where your one and only blog is your focal point and you will continue to build it up into an Online asset.
Professional bloggers build upon their Online presence with other elements such as membership sites, coaching, information products etc..
To be perfectly honest, anyone can call themselves a ‘Professional Blogger’ as everyone will have a different definition of what a professional blogger is.
However, in this instance I’m defining a professional blogger as “A Professional Blogger is a person who blogs for a living”.
So they can support themselves and their family purely through the money made out of their blogging efforts. However, it’s up to each individual blogger as to how they make money.
For example, the top and most well-known professional bloggers make a huge portion of their income from book sales, speaking, and running their own affiliate program.
You’ve probably heard of at least one of these ‘famous’ bloggers: www.problogger.net, www.zenhabits.net and www.sethgodin.typepad.com – I know, Seth’s blog is on a free typepad blog (which is a huge no no when it comes to professional blogging, but this is Seth Goddin we’re talking about), but take a look at how popular it is by how many tweets he gets for his blog posts; 1,000+ tweets for each blog post!
The main trait of a professional blogger is being very consistent by writing outstanding, regular blog posts to feed loyal blog followers. This is their main marketing tool – outstanding blog posts which go viral very quickly making the professional blogger famous within their niche across the Internet.
#6 Business Blog
This is where the person has a physical business (large ecommerce store or offline store) and uses a blogging platform as a way to reach out to new customers to direct them to their main business.
You don’t have to have a blog if you run a business as you could just open a Facebook Business Page instead. However, it’s still best to own your own domain and hosting and not rely on a third party such as Facebook as you never know what they are going to do in the future (decide to pull the plug on business pages for example.)
This type of blog/website for small businesses is really just used as an Online brochure to help promote their main business, these business owners probably wouldn’t worry about writing regular blog posts. They would also do a lot of offline promotion directing prospects to their website address where they can find further information on the products or services they sell.
#7 Mom Journal
These are known as Mommy Blogs; mothers who write blog posts documenting their daily life as a family.
Mom Bloggers reside in a very special corner of the Internet and are comprised of many stay-at-home moms.
These moms aren’t concerned with getting visitors to sell to, their main objective is writing about family life and forming a community of other moms.
However, mom bloggers are highly targeted by companies who want their products reviewed and recommend to the thousands of followers of the mom blogger.
This is how many mom bloggers make a good income from their blogs; by reviewing brands (and getting compensated for it) and selling advertising space.
I’ve read quite a few mommy blogs and some of the owners have a great (often humorous) writing style which helps repeat visits from loyal readers.
#8 Platform Builder
Platform builders are more likely to be professional writers or speakers and their blog is just a ‘home base’ on the Internet.
They are more inclined to sell their books or speaking engagements from their blog but won’t necessarily write blog posts regularly as they are too busy branding themselves across the Internet doing interviews or guest posting on other sites.
Good examples of this are pop stars/musicians/singers who want to keep fans updated with their latest tour dates and writers to keep their fans updated with book signing tour dates and new book releases.
Platform builders stay true to their core mission (writing books or doing concert tours) and they don’t get side-tracked into the Internet business / Internet marketing realm.
Cherry Picking Your Ideal Blog Model
So we’ve covered the 8 main business models when it comes to doing business Online. As you can see, some of these models overlap with each other which is perfectly OK, but it’s important to know and define what your blogs’ main focus is.
Once you know what your main focus is, you can start to eventually grow your blog with other monetization strategies.
This is where you ‘cherry-pick’ other elements to add to your blog. For example, put affiliate links on it, start a mailing list, link out to a third-party e-commerce store, start a membership or a forum etc.
It’s totally up to you, just remember to spend the majority of your time promoting your main focus (selling information products, your freelance services etc.).
You can of course change your main focus if you find that you enjoy another method more.
For example, you might run an information product blog and decide to start a membership subscription too. You realize that there is more money to be made with the membership subscriptions, so you change your main focus from selling information products to selling membership subscriptions and writing new content for your monthly members.
Isn’t blogging a great business to be in as it’s so versatile and flexible, you simply adapt and change things around to suit you, your family and your financial needs!
So what business model is your blog based on?
Further Reading in the ‘Start a Business Blog’ Series: