Blogging offers a great way for budding entrepreneurs to get their start making money online and to either work from home or to create a passive income stream. Many bloggers dream of making the thousands of dollars a month that some of the top bloggers claim to make by only doing a few hours of work. But where do you start?
There are dozens of programs and other options available to help you make money with your blog. However, most of them fall into the same few categories. Here’s how you can start monetizing your blog so that you, too, can one day create a part-time or full-time income from your writing:
Google’s Ad Sense is the most popular of the pay-per-click programs, and it is one of the primary revenue streams for most bloggers. Ads are placed on your blog, and when readers click on one of them, you earn money. Often, you earn only a few center per click, so driving a lot of traffic to your blog is key to driving up your income.
In addition to getting a lot of traffic to your blog, the key to making money with Ad Sense is optimal placement of your ads — above the fold, at the bottom of relevant posts, and in your header and sidebar — to encourage click throughs. Proper keyword targeting can also help you optimize your revenue potential.
The second most popular way that bloggers make money with their blogs is affiliate marketing. Programs such as Amazon Associates and ClickBank place ads for products on your blog, and when a reader clicks the link and buys one of those products, you make a commission on the sale. Percentages will vary by program and product.
To be successful selling affiliate products, you must choose quality products that you believe in, then write compelling blog copy that promotes these products or highlights their need.
Pay-per-click or pay-per-impression advertising is also available through sponsored text links. These ads appear as hyperlinked text within the body of your blog posts. When readers click on the hyperlink, you make a specified commission. Again, the pay is often pennies per click, so getting a significant amount of traffic to your blog will increase your earning’s potential.
Advertisers are willing to pay bloggers to write about their products or services, or to write a formal review. Bloggers can get a nice payout for such posts, but they are required to disclose it to readers when a post is sponsored. Don’t worry: Readers won’t ignore your content just because they know it’s sponsored. Most readers understand the need for bloggers to monetize their blogs, and they understand that an unbiased opinion can still be shared when a post is sponsored.
Selling your own information product is a great way to make money from your blog without having to promote someone else’s products or services. When you write and sell an e-book, you control the quality from creation to sale. You create a targeted product of value to your readers, and you enjoy all of the profits from the sales. Selling e-books is also a great way to establish your brand authority and to encourage more subscriptions to your e-mail list or newsletter — which you can use to sell other ads or more e-books.
There are many more ways to monetize your blog, but these are some of the most common and successful strategies that bloggers use. For each strategy, you will also need to determine which programs are the most beneficial and profitable for your blog’s niche.
What other ways have you found to monetize your blog? What programs would you recommend for beginning bloggers? Share your thoughts in the comments!
About the author:
Amanda Tradwick is a grant researcher and writer for CollegeGrants.org. She has a Bachelor’s degrees from the University of Delaware, and has recently finished researching Latino education grants along with various non traditional student grants.