10 Ways to Make Money From Your Blog

There are over 133 million blogs on the Internet.

This figure is according to Technorati.com, which also lists the average annual blogger revenue at $6,000 per year. They’re quick to point out that the $6,000 number is seriously skewed upward by the top 1% of blog owners, who make $250,000 or more per year.

The average median income for U.S. and European bloggers is only $200 a year.

Not a lot of money.

One thing is clear, though – it’s possible to make a good living from your blog.

However, if you’re going to bring in more than $200 a year, you need a good “blog monetization” strategy.

Heather Armstrong from Salt Lake City knows how to make money from her blog. Her motherhood-themed blog, www.dooce.com, has a loyal following of over 850,000 (mostly women) monthly readers. The estimated $40,000 in revenue it brings in each month has allowed both her and her husband to say goodbye forever to their 9-to-5 jobs.

So how does Heather do it?

And more importantly, how can you do it?

You can start by implementing one or more of the following money-making strategies:

  1. Search Ads – Placing search ads on your site is the most popular way among blog owners to bring in revenue. According to Technorati, 38% of bloggers use search ads on their blog. The most well known “search ad” provide is Google with their Adsense program. Microsoft and Yahoo have similar programs.
  2. Display Ads – Display ads are the second most popular way to make money with your blog. According to Technorati.com, 28% of bloggers use display ads. A display ad typically includes an image or logo. To arrange for display ads on your blog, you can contact a company directly, or you can go through online advertising sites such as chitika.com, shoppingads.com, text-link-ads.com, widgetbucks.com, and advertising.com.
  3. Rich Media Ads These are the ads what temporarily take over your computer display. They are very flashy, and it’s impossible to ignore them. I’ve seen them used when promoting an upcoming movie opening or a new television series. Although not widely utilized (according to Technorati.com, only 4% of blog owners use them), they are still relatively new and could grow in popularity.
  4. Promote Your Own Products – Market your own products such as e-books, online courses, coaching, etc. Soft sell approaches work the best. Talk about something interesting and then relate it to your product or service near the end of your post. Include the appropriate link and suggest to your prospect that it might be a good idea if he clicked on it.
  5. Promote Affiliate Products – There are no shortage of sites that offer affiliate programs. They are quick and easy to sign up for – and some will even approve you as an affiliate on the spot. If you’re writing a post that mentions a product you’ve had a good experience with, find out if it has an affiliate program connected with it. For example, if you run a poker blog, talk about the different types of poker chips that are available and supply affiliate links to purchase each grade of chip. You can also sign up with sites that administer affiliate programs for other sites such as Commission Junction (cj.com), Clickbooth.com, Linkshare.com, and Blogads.com.
  6. Paid Postings – Some may find “paid postings” a somewhat unethical way to make money blogging. The idea is that advertisers pay you to mention their products in your blog posts (without revealing that what you’re doing is a form of advertising). Two of the most popular paid posting companies are blogdistributor.com and payperpost.com.
  7. Spokesblogger – A “spokesblogger” is a spokesman for a government official, company, or non-profit entity. They get paid to promote their employer’s point-of-view. Like a paid postings blogger, a spokesblogger generally does not reveal that they are a paid spokesperson for the cause or organization they advocate in their blog.
  8. Donations– If the content you provide is useful and free (and/or ad-free), you can ask your readers if they’d like to donate money to keep your blog up-and-running. You see this quite often on political-oriented and “computer technical help” sites. You simply add a “donate button” to your site and link it to your online transaction processor (Paypal or Paypal equivalent).
  9. Set Up an e-Store – Some websites will provide you with everything you need to set up your own online store. Amazon.com provides their affiliates with the opportunity to set up and customize an “AStore.” Zlio.com is another popular site that lets you set up your own personal online storefront. Cafepress.com allows you to personalize merchandise. It’s a great way to establish a blog brand, flex your creativity and make a few bucks in the process.
  10. Flip Your Blog – Once you’re familiar with how to get a blog up and running, and you’re ready to make money, you might want to sell your blog. Especially if you enjoy starting a blog more than you do maintaining and nurturing one. SitePoint (marketplace.sitepoint.com) is just one of the sites where you could list your blog for sale.

Of course, not all blog owners set up a blog with the intent of making money. They use their blog to enhance their reputation within their industry. Which indirectly may lead to more money through speaking engagements, high profile writing assignments, and even business partnerships.

Put one or more of these 10 techniques into action, continually update your blog with fresh, interesting, relevant content … and as your search engine rankings and visitors increase, so will the income it generates for you.

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Published: October 8, 2008

1 Response to “10 Ways to Make Money From Your Blog”

  1. Hi,

    I just got a propose from a perspective client to write a blog once a week for two different avenues (businesses). One is a real estate company and the other a financial lender. I don't know what to charge for 500-700 words for each per week. I am an experienced writer but I have not written for blogs prior to this. I am taking the AWAI Copywriters course currently. Please advise ASAP to emanuel.marketing@gmail dot com. Thank you for your help and advice.

    Emanuel Marketing

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