Direct revenue streams that you can create from your website and blogging.
Here are some methods by which you can directly generate revenue from an audience group/subscribers (aka: followers): advertising, marketing partnerships, racing contests, direct sale of marketing items (Swag), donations & crowd funding opportunities, and affiliate programs. Yes, all these opportunities can generate income for your race teams as a direct result of building your readership/audience (aka: subscribers & followers). This post was inspired by a blog I read on Content Marketing and the following image was borrowed from it. It illustrates perfectly the revenue model from having a loyal audience (I often refer to as a fan base).
The most popular method of driving direct revenues is through advertising and sponsorship programs: companies willing to pay you for direct access to your audience/fan base.
Selling banner and block ads on your website’s header, footer or side bar areas. If you have a lot of traffic visiting your website these areas are prime real estate for advertisers. See this blog post about online advertising at KAM Kartway for an example of how this could work for your site.
Native advertising/sponsored content (this is more of a “expert level” blogging method, but worth the mention – blogging goals to aim for)
“The largest media brands in the world, like The Wall Street Journal, are generating substantial revenue from sponsored content. According to The New York Times, young media companies such as Vice generate the majority of their revenues from sponsored content, while The Atlantic and Slate both say sponsored content is over 50% of their digital revenue stream.” ~ CMI
Here’s a link to my Sponsored Blog Post article I wrote a while back. Get you Engine Builder, Sponsor, local businesses and other motorsports related websites to write articles for you. Use the Sponsored Blog Template posted on the “Forms” page of the website.
2. Marketing Partnerships (aka: Racing Sponsor)
The more competitive you become, or the higher up in the sport you go, the greater your need for Sponsors you will become due to the high costs associated with staying up front with the leaders. The traditional racing sponsors that all drivers and race teams have come to rely on in the motorsports to help fund their racing budgets year after year will want to see that your driver has an online reputation and brand established with a healthy fan base that shows indicators for ongoing and continued growth via your marketing and content plan (aka: blogging) and strategies.
The bigger your audience/fan base the better your chances of securing a major sponsor. Don’t think that you can just get a business to give you money because they want to help you race. They want an ROI (Return on their Investment) in exchange for the check they write you. In fact, they won’t be writing you any checks without a guarantee that you can bring them a target market they are trying to reach, and by having an audience/fan base you can deliver that up front and secure a deal easier than other racers who don’t have website or content marketing plan by which they built this audience/fan base.
Search the KAM blog for a host of related articles and tips on getting sponsors, marketing plans and sponsor proposal templates. Side Note: Creating your audience requires that you build an email list of subscribers (readers) – your fan base – and I recommend using MailChimp to start your email/subscriber list. It’s easy and it’s free and they also have newsletter templates that you can implement into your content marketing program to help drive traffic to your site and get more leads.
3. Racing Contests (you need your fan base to vote for you!)
Racing industry product and service companies run sponsored contests all the time. One popular campaign is the “Search for A Champion” by Champion Spark Plugs. You have to create a video entry and upload it – but you need an audience/fan base to go, view and vote on your video to get ranking in the contest. Just another reason you need a website and to blog in an effort to build your loyal fan base!!
I blog about the Search for a Champion contest each year when it rolls around to give my racers a heads-up so they can start work on their video submission. I also have a list of some other contests that your race team should enter that also includes different sponsorship opportunities available that I am aware of – oh, and I wrote a blog about it! >> read it here.
4. Direct sales
The suggestion is to design a team t-shirt and/or hoodie, ball cap, driver poster, or other marketing/promotional item and sell it directly from your website. You don’t need to worry about setting up a complicated e-commerce site, just set up a simple PayPal “Buy Button” to secure purchases (you will need a PayPal account to do this and the site has button widgets for you to use on your website). There is a list of t-shirt designers on our Resource List in the FAQ section of KAM’s Blog and most are very competitive in pricing. You purchase for around $12 and sell them for $20. Your loyal Race Fans will purchase a shirt or cap to help support your team.
5. Donations & Crowd Funding
Generally, donations to subsidize the businesses work best for not-for-profit and cause organizations, but the race fans and race community understands the need for sponsors and supporters to offset the high costs associated with the sport so add a Donation button on your website. You can get one from PayPal and their customized widget makes it easy to upload and start collecting funds right away. Crowd Funding is a little more controversial in the racing community with some who do it and some who downright hate it and feel it’s hurting the sport. The latter is not a stand I take so use your best judgement on this one. GoFundMe.com is the most popular crowd funding website platform on the internet and KAM Kartway has used it in the past to raise funds. In fact the site boasts that it’s the #1 way to raise funds for sports using fundraising efforts like crowd funding.
Note: Kaley’s KAM Kid’s Foundation currently has a GoFundMe Page to help raise funds for needed safety equipment for racers who are going without due to budget restrictions.
6. Affiliate programs
There are several Affiliate programs you can join, Amazon.com being one the most popular and well known. You simply join the affiliate program on their website and get registered and the site will create linked text, product images or galleries for you to upload on your website. You should include a linked affiliate ad on each blog and related it to the subject of the article if applicable.
ShareASale.com and CJ.com are two affiliate programs that I use on the internet and each host a huge list of advertisers to choose from with commissions ranging from a set dollar amount to a percentage of the sale made from people using the link you provided. (FYI: K&N Air Filters has an affiliate program on Share A Sale and pays 6% commission on sales generated via clicked links – just interesting that you can make more on K&N Air Filters than KAM can make in our shop….. 😉
Ebay also has an affiliate program, although I haven’t looked too much into it myself, but it’s there if you care to use it – you will need to apply for it and have an Ebay account established to use it.
As you get better at blogging and gain experience with your content marketing you should be able to do affiliate text links like crazy in your posts that are subtle and non-intrusive. One company that does this is Chitika.com and it’s free to set up and use. Do a Google search for more companies like these BUT do your research as you don’t want to recommend a product or company that is offensive or untrustworthy.
WARNING: Don’t clog up your website with a bunch of ads!! This will turn people off and they will not subscribe to your email list or be repeat site visitors.
Well there you go. Those are my suggestions and ideas for how to make money from your website and blogging.
Now it’s your turn.
The first thing to getting a website and starting a blog is securing your domain name. I use Bluehost.com and their domain packages are around $11 annually to register a domain name. Hosting your WordPress site is extra but not much and it’s worth the expense.