Q: What is the easiest way to make money from a blog? Is a blog still a viable monetization strategy in 2020? And if so, which platform is the best one to use to publish my content, and build my brand?
A: Here is what we use and recommend for clients (and our own mindfulmarketplace.com community) for monetizing a blog in 2020.
- Ghost. (this is the CMS and blog platform i'm using for my personal site, which is most likely, where you are reading this article right now :) The benefits for building a blog on Ghost? With the 3.0 version (and forward) Ghost has built in support Stripe for memberships and subscriptions. Essentially, this allows you to protect your posts, and restrict content on some (or all) of the articles you share on your site. It allows you to quite literally, create a premium membership style community without any extra plugins, code, special scripts or any other external dependencies. (you simply toggle a switch in your dashboard, and you can immediately start collecting cash for your content)
- Wordpress does a lot of things well.....but it's not a great option if charging money for your content is your primary goal. There are tons of themes, tons of plugins, and tons of hacks, tweaks and cool things you can do on WP, but quite simply.....in 2020, it's simply not the best option for monetizing your brand. (Ghost is far better for this, by dint of it's simplicity and native support for platforms with a focus on profitable publishing) Yes, you can add membership scripts (which you'll pay for) to WP, but in 2020.....why would you want to?
- Podia has a built in membership model that allows you to blog on it as well. We use it for our partners.mindfulmarketplace.com community - and if you can afford it, it's the absolute BEST option for building a profitable blog, brand and business in one spot. Why? Because in addition to the blog, you'll get landing pages, the ability to sell unlimited products, affiliate program, email marketing and drip automation, coupons, chat/messaging support, team support, full memberships, zoom and webinar integration.....and so much more. Podia also charges NO fees. (you'll pay nothing per transaction to Podia, other than the monthly fee to use their platform)
- Gumroad is also a great option. It has "lite" versions of many of the Podia features above, and you can create posts, articles, and updates that can be public, or protected. (or a mixture of both) The DOWNSIDE of Gumroad is it's a little bit wonkier and less stable than Podia, and you'll PAY fees of 3.5% or more, per transaction. (which adds up if you're doing any volume of sales)
The bottom line? For a pure blog experience, with monetization built in, Ghost is a great option. For an all in one blog, brand, store, course community, email marketing, affiliate powered private membership style site.....there is no better option in the world right now (than I know of anyway!) than Podia.