A List of the Best Ways to Make Money from a Blog

Posted by strictlymikedawson in Sep 17, 2012, under Uncategorized

One of the best aspects of having a blog is the fact that it is pretty easy to monetize it. However making money off a blog is something that a lot of bloggers (old and new) seem to struggle with.

Some bloggers don’t prioritize making money off their blogs. However those that have successfully been able to do so are making a fair bit of money from their blogging efforts. A large chunk of those are even making a pretty decent living from their blogs!

The fact of the matter is that if you’re a blogger, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be earning a buck or two (or much more) from your blog – even if that isn’t why you got into blogging.

In fact, you’ve been able to build a blog that engages and attracts a large number of visitors, you should be monetizing it. There are a ton of revenue-generating opportunities for you out there, which allow you to easily monetize your blog. Here are a few, each with their own set of pros and cons:

1. Google AdSense

Google’s AdSense is easily one of the largest sources of online earning out there. If you’re a blog owner, and if your blog complies with AdSense Program Policies and their Terms and Conditions, you can apply for AdSense and have image and text-based ads show up on your blog.

Pros: Quite a few! For starters, it is pretty easy to apply for AdSense and set it up on your blog. And the program doesn’t come with a lot of restrictions either. But perhaps the biggest advantage of AdSense is the fact that it is backed up by a large pool of advertisers, which means that ads displayed on your blog are extremely targeted, and hence relevant to the content of your blog. Furthermore, AdSense allows you to monetize traffic from all across the world.

Cons: Hasn’t worked too well for some people. Even the slightest infringement of AdSense policies will have your account getting suspended. And lastly, ads can be a turn-off for visitors.

2. Affiliate Programs

Another popular source of income for online publishers and bloggers, affiliate marketing, in simple terms, involves merchants who let affiliates sell their products or services or bring them customers, in exchange for a commission or a reward of some sort.

So you, as a blogger/online publisher, will be given a commission for helping another business promote their website, or any of their products or services on your blog.

You, as the affiliate, will be responsible only for the promotion and marketing of the product/service. In order to do so, you will refer customers to your merchant’s website, where they will be able to complete the transaction. Once the transaction finishes, you’ll earn a percentage of it as a commission.

Amazon Associates, Commission Junction and Clickbank are three of the most popular affiliate programs out there.

In all likelihood, even your webhosting service, your domain registrar and that premium theme you’re using on your WordPress blog will have an affiliate program on offer.

Pro tip: With affiliate marketing, it is important to choose a product/service/niche that you’re really love and trust and are passionate about yourself, since you’ll be spending a fair bit of time promoting that product.

Pros: Affiliate marketing can be pretty lucrative, and a great way to make some serious money easily – all you need to do and all you’re responsible for is the marketing aspect of the sale, everything else is the responsibility of the merchant. It’s a win-win for everyone involved – the merchant knows he’ll earn less per sale, but having a group of affiliates promote his products or services increases the overall sales levels. On the other hand, bloggers (affiliate) have the opportunity to earn more money than what is possible through ad-based sources of monetization.

Cons: For your affiliate marketing efforts to really work, you need to have a high amount of traffic on your blog; more traffic equals more  But most importantly, you need to gain the trust of your readership in order to be able to successfully sell them something – which is something bloggers might struggle to do.

3. Sell a Product or a Service

A product, such as an eBook on how to get more traffic, a series of eBooks or a DVD course on learning to play the guitar, a WordPress premium theme/framework, tee-shirts and merchandise based on TV shows and movies, an iPhone or Android OS app, or a service such as a web designing service, a customer support service, a consultation blog, or a blog that provides SEO services to clients.

If you think you can develop a product or a service which people would be willing to pay for, it could be a great way to monetize your blog. Anything from simple $0.99 apps to $1000 guitar learning programs, try selling stuff on your blog.

Cafepress, for instance, allows you to design and order customized on-demand products and merchandise, which you can then sell on your blog.

Pros: You can make a lot of money this way, depending on what you intend on selling. You can have affiliates promote your product in order to maximize sales.

Cons: You will be required to spend time, money and resources on advertising and promoting your products and/or services to a fairly large amount of people. In addition, it will be your responsibility to determine an appropriate price-point for your product, choosing a medium for marketing it, and choosing payment and delivery channels as well.

4. Donations:

Alternatively, you can still give away a product or a service on your blog, and instead of charging anything for it, you can offer it for free and ask your visitors and users to donate an amount – whatever they can – by putting up a donate button on your blog.

Or instead, even if you don’t intend on selling anything, you can still ask people for donations if they find your blog and its content useful, in order to keep it alive.

Paypal is a great medium of accepting donations – it’s easy to set up and works universally. You can even design and add a Paypal Donate button to your blog.

There are plenty of websites and brands that employ this method. JustinGuitar is a good example; the blog offers more than 500 guitar lessons for free, and relies on an honor system, which is essentially asking the users to donate whatever they can afford to in order to keep the lessons free. AdBlock, the popular plugin for Google’s Chrome browser also relies on a similar system in order to keep the plugin free of cost.

Pros: The fact that you’re offering your products and/or services for free leaves a great impression on your visitors, coupled with the fact that you’re offering quality content on your blog, it might incline them to make a sizable donation.

Cons: ‘Asking for money’ might leave a bad impression on some visitors, depending on how you go about doing it.

Other ways of making money with your blog:

  • Asking other businesses to put their ads on your blog, for a fee.
  • Paid/sponsored reviews.
  • Writing paid guest posts on other blogs.
  • Selling the blog itself!
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