Social Media Marketing

Use the 80/20 Rule of Social Media to Monetize

Nicolo Grossi
December 19, 2017
monetize a blog

One of the most effective ways of driving traffic to your blog is through your social media channels. The more traffic you send to your blog, the more you'll monetize it. Depending on the size of your readership, you can make quite a good income.

Some of the most successful blogs can earn hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars in income each month. These are standouts, but even less well-known blogs can earn within the thousands per month.

Understanding The Pareto Principle (The 80/20 Rule)

The Pareto principle, which states that just 20% of the causes are responsible for 80% of the effects in any situation, is the basis of the 80/20 rule of social media. It takes relatively little to produce large outcomes, making this rule a study in efficiency.

Applied to your social media campaigns, it means making only 20% of your content promotional (i.e. promoting your product, service, or brand), since you'll get 80% of the results from just this small effort. Since you still have 80% of your social media activity left to assign, use that to share relevant content to your industry from other sources. This means other blogs, forums, websites, Q&A sites (Quora), social channels, etc.

Your curation on social media should educate your audience first and promote your brand second.

The 80/20 rule in action

If you're tweeting 100 times a week (excluding responses to customers), focus only 20 tweets on promoting your brand. If you're posting 20 Facebook updates a week, only four of those should promote your brand. The rest should educate your audience about industry-specific content. Look at major brands that are successful on social – they all follow this rule! For example:

  • Holiday Inn's Twitter: It tweets mainly about travel- and vacation-related content, such as great views, exotic destinations, holidays, and special occasions. Only every so often are its tweets overtly promotional.
  • Hertz's Twitter: The car rental brand tweets mostly content that features great destination ideas, a lot of feedback and comments from customers (creating the impression that Hertz excels at customer service), and charitable causes. Again, its self-promotional tweets are in the minority.
  • Whole Foods' Facebook: These posts are mainly about food: recipes, special diets, holiday-preparation tips, and innovative, smaller brands that sell organic. Special sales and promos make up the promotional content.

There's only one exception to this rule. If you're a gigantic company that makes lots of revenue and has a cult following that sticks with you no matter what (Apple, Google, etc.), then you can pretty much self-promote as much as you want. In fact, your audience will want that since they're fans of your brand.

Monetizing your blog

You'll bring more traffic to your blog by avoiding overly promotional content that could repel your followers. Once they're on your blog, there are numerous ways to monetize that increased traffic:

  • Affiliate marketing: Advertising third-party products for sale on your blog, where you keep a percentage for each successful purchase.
  • Ads: Allowing other businesses to advertise their brand on your blog.
  • Educational content: Selling your own products or downloadable assets that you created yourself (ebooks, templates, PDF guides, etc).
  • Software and tools: Creating and selling specialized software, like Crazy Egg, which is a heat map that lets you see visitor behavior on your site.
  • Coaching services: Selling your services as the expert to your interested readers. For example, if you blog about healthy eating, you may want to coach readers on meal prep.


By harnessing the power of social media and your blog, you can eventually build a solid income from your online content. Don't expect it to happen overnight, but by developing a consistent social curation and blogging schedule, you'll see results from your digital marketing efforts.

How well do you use your social channels? How many ways have you thought of to monetize your blog? Tell us in the comments!

Nicolo Grossi
SEO & content marketing expert with 7+ years experience, working at Fiverr since 2016 Nicolo is responsible to follow and implement SEO’s best practices and inbound marketing strategies in order to increase reach and exposure.
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