If you want to monetize your blog in 2014, 2015, and the coming decade, what do you need to know? You don’t need an advanced degree in internet marketing or a top secret tool to get ahead.

As monetization, advertising, and automation tools become more and more standard, anyone with enough willpower and creativity can earn a part-time or even a full-time income from their blog or website.

Keep reading to learn what the rest of 2014 holds, what to expect in 2015, and what the coming decade will look like.

Monetizing Your Blog in 2014

This year is a crossroads: more and more people are beginning to catch on to online marketing and monetization strategies, and tools that were once esoteric are now commonplace.

Anyone can jump into the world of online marketing and earn some money. But how much? Blog monetization and online marketing are already becoming more competitive and complex.

If you’ve got traffic, you’re in luck. Here’s what to do for the rest of 2014.

  • Use affiliate marketing Affiliate marketing is still one of the most reliable and lucrative ways to monetize a blog. Sign up for affiliate networks that have offers relevant to your niche market and recommend products to your visitors.
  • Find relevant display ads and contextual ads – “Relevance” is the key word here. If you’ve never used ads on your blog before, start out with something simple, like Google ads.
  • When you get the traffic and the reputation, incorporate native advertising and negotiate direct ad placements – The more traffic you have, the more you’ll be able to secure high-dollar ads. Often this involves direct negotiation with vendors.

Monetizing in 2015

What does 2015 hold for blog monetization? We’re going to see an influx of new devices. And if you haven’t gone responsive with your website yet, now is the time. The internet is no longer about desktops and mobile devices, it’s about all devices.

  • Think multi-device – A responsive website adapts to any screen size, from a smartphone to a tablet to a desktop. In 2014, a third of all traffic was mobile, but that number is expected to grow. Make sure your blog can adapt to the changing screens, and make sure that your advertising performs on all devices.
  • Create multi-media, interactive content that takes advantage of the latest tools – To stay competitive, you’ll want to keep up with the technology curve. Wireless bandwidth will continue to gain speed, which means that streaming and interactivity will become feasible as the months and years roll by. Keep an eye on 2015’s multimedia toolset and start playing around: these tools can give you a competitive edge over other blogs in your niche.
  • Watch the advertising and marketing world and make use of the latest trends – And just as technology and multimedia will change, so too will the advertising and marketing world. Now, full-service monetization platforms are beginning to take the forefront. But in 2015 and the following years, they will become standards that every successful marketer uses.

What Does the Next Decade Hold?

We’re seeing just the tip of the iceberg. The coming years hold much more in store for us. For those bloggers who like to plan for the long term, it pays to look at what changes are on the way.

  • Immersive – Google Glass, the Apple Watch, and other smart objects will work together to immerse us in an ocean of technology. Everything from your running shoes to your refrigerator will contain sensors that are interconnected.

While there will certainly be mainstream tools that allow people to develop interactive websites in this immersive web, it’s clearly too early to provide specific recommendations or predictions. One thing is clear: without high quality content, it will become more and more difficult to hold anyone’s attention.

  • Interactive – In an immersive Internet of Things, we’ll probably see more interactive media than ever. Now, bloggers use comments, YouTube videos, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and many other tools to interact with one another.

And the most successful bloggers are those who can use them all freely. Plan to develop a multi-channel blog that is interactive, dynamic, and top notch. Bloggers who want to monetize 10 years from now will need to be tech-savvy enough to work in any online medium.

  • Competitive – It’s already a pretty competitive online world, and it’s sure to get more competitive as time goes on. Monetization’s future will see more automation and marketing tools that make it easier for the non-technical crowd to compete. But we’ll also see more and more people getting online.

Markets that are emerging today will be mainstream tomorrow. So if you want to monetize your blog and stay competitive for the next ten years, put on your working boots and dig into your niche.

As we’ve noted elsewhere on this blog, if it’s online, you can monetize it. Monetizing your blog isn’t as easy as it used to be, but it’s certainly possible. To stay ahead of the curve, keep doing your research and study up on monetization best practices.