Blogs were originally meant to be vehicles of self-expression, but in recent years, they have become popular as a method of making money online. A number of highly successful professional bloggers have set up up entire online businesses based on blogging, and make very good money from it. In addition, there are also a large number of bloggers who are able to earn decent part time income from blogging on the side. Over the previous few years, the recession has also forced a large number of people to explore additional money making opportunities, and making money from blogging is the leading activity for this group.
How do you make money blogging? What are the various options that are available, should a blogger want to monetize a blog?
With the exponential growth in the phenomena of blogging, and increasing popularity of blogs, a positive trend has emerged for professional bloggers – more and more opportunities to earn from blogging. Therefore, if you have a blog, or you want to start a blog for making money, there are a number of options that you can use. These options can be used separately, or you can use a combination of options to get the best results. It will not cost much either – most of the popular blog monetization methods are totally free! Let us have a look at some of the best blog monetization options -
Advertisements – Banner Ads / Text Ads
Earning money from displaying advertisements on your blog is perhaps the most popular methods of making money from blogs. There are number of highly established ad networks such as Google Adsense, YPN (Yahoo Publisher Network) and AdBrite, which are available for easy integration with blogs. It does not require a great deal of technical knowledge to implement these ads on a blog, and are, therefore, perfectly ideal for a new blogger. If you have a fairly established blog with a dedicated readership, you can even get tailor made advertisements and exclusive deals from advertisers.
As an affiliate, you get to sell other’s products at a commission. Affiliate programs are the other poplar options for making money from blogging. and almost all successful bloggers are affiliates of multiple products or services. If you want to earn money from blogging being an affiliate, there are two approaches that you can take – either promote a single product, or promote a focused group of products, For example, you could promote a single software on your blog, or different but related software, say, small business software on your blogs. Another approach would be, for example, if you have a small business blog, you can promote different small business products such as office furniture, office products and office software.
The best, most reliable and popular affiliate networks are EBay, Amazon, Commission Junction, Google Affiliate Network, Clickbank etc. They are all absolutely free to join, although you may need to invest in dedicated websites for getting accepted in some of these.
Merchandizing Own Products
Another great to earn money from blogging is to merchandize your own product or service on your blog. This method is usually suitable for more accomplished bloggers, who have already generated a certain amount of trust from their devoted readers. The merchandize can be either tangible products like t-shirts and mugs, or intangible products like e-books or software. You can take the help of specialized third-parties such as CafePress and Lulu.com to get the suitable merchandize for selling on your blog.
A related approach to make money from merchandizing on blogs is to sell a service or product that you are already dealing in. For example, if you are a resume writer, why not start a blog to connect with potential customers?
Paid Reviews and Sponsored Posts
Writing paid or sponsored posts on blogs is another popular option for making money blogging, especially for established bloggers. Once your blog has gathered enough readership and authority, you can easily find advertisers and publishers who are ready to pay big money to write about their services or products. But for this, you need to have a blog which has good traffic and is fairly old, at least three months or older.
There are a number of networks that connect the advertisers and publishers (bloggers) in the field of pay per post and sponsored reviews. Some of the leading players are PayPerPost.com, SponsoredReviews.com and ReviewMe.com. If you have a really great blog with good traffic and loyal following – who knows – you can even get a direct call from advertisers to write reviews or posts on your blog.
Other Options to Make Money Blogging
In addition to the methods mentioned above, there are some other methods that can be successfully used to make money online from blogging. For example-
Donations- Put a PayPal button on your blog, and ask for donations from your visitors. This works well only if you provide great content free of cost to your readers.
Membership- If you provide highly specialized content for a very focused group of readers, you can even make you blog accessible to members only. Works well for blogs with absolutely valuable, unique and authoritative content, and which is not available free of cost anywhere else on the internet.
Sell You Blog – It works like this – start a blog, monetize it lightly and put the primary focus on gaining a good amount of readership. Once the blog has acquired a critical mass of readers and authority, you can easily find willing buyers, who are ready to pay good money for the blog. Repeat the process.