Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Make Money From Your Blog

There are many reasons why we start a blog but I am sure making money from your blog is one of the foremost motivation. It doesn't help that the blogosphere discusses the money-making aspect thoroughly and made five figure income sounds so easy.

A lot of people are tempted by the A-list blogger's lifestyle and set up their blogspot or wordpress account earnestly. Registration is free and it takes less than five minutes. Wam bam, you now have an online presence.

But now comes the hard part of making money from your blog. "If you build it, they won't come" is a common experience for many webmasters. Monetization into full time income doesn't happen overnight. In fact, it is hard work to produce content, perform search engine optimization and promote aggressively to attract traffic.

I start a blog mainly to share my opinions and I am happy to make some side money to cover my hosting and internet subscription every month. Here are four strategies which I have utilized on my blogs to earn extra money. If I can do it, so can you.

1. Sell advertising

For blogs which receive huge streams of traffic, you can do private ad sales but if your blog is lesser-known, services such as Google's AdSense or BlogAds will be helpful.

AdSense displays contextual ads based on the content of your blog and pays you based on how many readers click on the ads. It's free. BlogAds, on the other hand, hooks bloggers up with would-be advertisers and levies a commission in return for any ad placements that result.

2. Help sell others' products

Affiliate programs enable your blog to serve as a conduit between readers and online sites offering various goods and services. It allows you to make big money from your blog if you are skilful in networking and has a huge list of subscribers. One popular affiliate choice is Amazon.

When you offer book reviews or place a link to a book, readers can click directly from your blog to Amazon to find out more about the book. If the book strikes a chord, your readers may reach for their credit cards and you get paid a percentage of the sales.

3. Solicit contributions

If you are confident about your blog, you can ask for contributions and rely on the kindness of strangers. For instance, you may be supporting a cause (tax reform, health care, environment, etc.), so why not rally your regular followers for help?

Since they already enjoy reading what you have to say, they may just underwrite their loyalty with a little financial aid. Programs such as PayPal make it easy to make money from your blog by establishing a simple on-site contribution collection button.

4. Market your services in your blog

Many people think of blogs as a place to rant, shout and criticize. Indeed, blogs are an ideal venue to express and share your thoughts, but it is also a good place to hawk your goods and services.

When appropriate, mention in references to what you do and, in turn, what you can offer to potential clients/customers who may be reading your blog. That can spread your ideas and get the word out about your business at the same time.

You may be surprised at the amount of new business generated in this manner. If possible, avoid short commentaries that begin a dialogue with readers, as many blogs do, try to write the equivalent of journal articles that demonstrate your abilities, strategies and perspectives on specific issues. When it resonates, it means money.