Home > EffectiveBlogging > How To Make Money Blogging

How To Make Money Blogging

Source: http://www.masternewmedia.org/

 

1) Google AdSense

 

Google AdSense is by far the best, most rewarding monetization resource for blogs, news sites and small, content-rich information sites.

Google AdSense, lets independent publishers, bloggers and news site owners to publish text-based, context-relevant ads next to the content on their sites. This is done automatically without you, the publisher, having to worry about anything else except putting small-sized code inside each of your web pages.

 

For every click on Google AdSense contextual ads, the publishing sites receives credit for a small amount of money, while Google keeps an undisclosed amount of the total advertising share.

Though many lament lack of relevance for the ads and little return for the increased info clutter on their pages – many silent publishers – probably the ones who consciously make less noise about this, are indeed making money on the web with this program.

What few understand, is that to make money with AdSense involves strategic work. Just placing the code on your pages isn’t enough.

The focus of your site, the way the content is organized, the way web pages are coded, the titles you use and the color and position you select for placing your AdSense ads on your web pages all make a difference to the results you get. Significant.

What is important is that different rules apply to different types of pages and content. So no set of rules equally apply to all sites.

The key is for the publisher to keep questioning the integration of contextual, text-based ads by doing systematic, ongoing testing, experimentation and optimization.

For a focused blogger, this can mean from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars per month. For a dedicated publisher covering high-paying information areas, it is possible to get into the five-digit range without any major investments and with a relatively short time-to-market.

I am not talking about a blogger in the traditional sense, but rather to focused and very professional independent information resources like Search Engine Watch or paidContent, for example.

Google AdSense offers also the opportunity to monetize site searches while providing a powerful, lightning-fast search engine for your own site at no extra cost.

By providing search-relevant ads on your site’s search results pages, Google AdSense adds another great opportunity to monetize premium service and access with relevant text-based information about products and services.

Too bad Google AdSense doesn’t let you select your contextual advertisers from its inventory.

Here some great examples of AdSense at work.

Other contextual advertising services:

 

2) BlogAds

 

BlogAds is an effective solution to make money online with your blog that allows you to take control of your advertisers and comparing your profit share with your online ad agency.

As the name clearly implies, BlogAds is an advertising service for blogs that offers a great opportunity for small, independent publishers, blogs and news sites to sell their ad space in a direct and useful way.

BlogAds keeps 30 percent of your net revenue and sends you the rest by PayPal or check as soon as you reach a predetermined amount.

For your advertisers BlogAds provides a great bonus in terms of speed and simplicity:

Ordering an ad takes just two or three minutes. Submit your image and / or text ad. Define its duration. Pay with PayPal’s secure forms. You are done. After the blogger approves the ad, return to tweak and optimize clickthroughs, renew or order on new blogs.

With BlogAds, the publisher has total control over which ads to accept and which ones to reject.

Other self-serve ad platforms:

 

  • Crispads is an advertising network focused on blogs. Crispads allows publishers to place ads in blog entries so that they’re included in their RSS / ATOM feeds to generate revenues for syndicated content.
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  • grokAds – an advertising clearinghouse for both buyers and sellers which works with any type of site. The service offers quick and easy advertising to a specific market.
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  • AdBrite – AdBrite also lets you select which kinds of ads you want to sell to your website visitors as well as setting the prices you want to charge.

3) Amazon Associates

 

The Amazon Associates program lets independent online publishers make money online by advertising product inside Amazon’s inventory as affiliate agents.

All it takes is adding a small, identifying code to the links that take your website visitors to a specific Amazon product page (books, DVDs, electronics, etc.).

If the visitors who clicked on your link buy an item – even if it’s not the item you point to – you earn a small commission.

 

Though the amount of return with the Amazon Associates program is small, nonetheless it is another way to make money with your blog without adding clutter or not-relevant disruptive information to your valuable content.

References to relevant books add to the user experience as it helps those who want to search for more information on a topic to see immediate and hand-picked recommendations.

As a matter of fact, it is possible to earn as much as 10 percent per sale as an Amazon Associate.

4) Text Links

 

Text links are controversial for some purists, but for those seeking a way to make money online without adding clutter and intrusive ads to their content it is an interesting opportunity to explore further.

Text links are an advertising market that brokers small, text-only links, which often don’t need prominent placement (the payback is not on the clicks) on your site pages.

What the advertisers want is a link presence on your site to gain extra “authority” (like the Google PageRank indicator) in an artificial way. This is why you may have noticed many of these text links being placed at the bottom of content pages or in other non-premium positions.

The goal of text links is to increase a site’s value in search engines. The good thing is that the independent publisher has more and more options from which to select. Also, the publisher can approve and accept text links that are complementary and relevant to the site’s content.

 

Though many text links point to second-rate services and products (online casinos, poker, Viagra, etc.) – this marketplace is becoming more visible, therefore more advertisers of mainstream products and tools are popping up in numbers. Since you are the one accepting such advertising contracts, the selection of what you display is up to you.

To play this game, it is helpful to have a Google PageRank of 4 or more. (Here is an article where you can find out how to measure Google PageRank).

For those having a PageRank value of 6, 7 or more, there is great opportunity for serious monetization. As an indicator, five or six text ads can easily bring in a few hundred dollars every month on a PR 6 site / blog.

Here is a Google-generated list of companies brokering text link ads.

To find more on text links ads see also: “Will Plain-Text Ads Continue to Rule? (Source: Jakob Nielsen’s Alertbox)

Other online text link agencies:

 

5) Premium Content Sponsorships

 

Selling sponsored space is another option for the independent publisher to make money online. While this was associated with prominent flashy banner ads, this is changing and expanding in many ways. In my view, the successful strategy is to use selected and relevant sponsors to introduce, give access or extend the value offered by premium content.

A relevant product or service can sponsor a news channel or RSS feed. Sponsors can also promote a rich section of additional related content to a standard article. Having a resourceful bibliography or annotated resources section in your next ebook or mini-guide is also fertile ground to effectively showcase relevant sponsors.

X-events, podcasting, live and recorded web conferences, online interviews are great unobtrusive and relevant sponsorship opportunities.

See also: New Online Advertising Strategies: No More Interruptive Ads

6) Related Reports

 

Another opportunity to make money blogging should see more in the near future is affiliate marketing of related research reports.

For sites that cover specific industry or niche topics, this is an opportunity to play an effective marketing role for research clearinghouses and large publishers of intelligence reports, analyst insider briefings, white papers and research findings.

 

These types of reports usually carry a higher price tag than normal ebooks and physical publications. The reason for the high price tag is because their content is focused on specific industries and topics and it has information that’s hard to find elsewhere.

The technology that makes this possible is available from 21Publish (the blog hosting provider) in partnership with Market Research.

7) Affiliate Sales

 

A good way to make money online with selected products and services is affiliate sales. This approach involves signing up to become an affiliate reseller of specific products.

As long as the affiliate products do not affect the publisher’s credibility and provide pointers to useful, high-value products that the publisher fully endorses, affiliate sales are a rewarding monetization channel.

The commissions received for these sales vary depending on the product and the original vendor sales and marketing strategy. LinkShare and Commission Junction are two of the largest affiliate program brokers. Check out their catalogs to get a good idea of what products and commissions are available.

If you write and publish your own ebooks and other premium content publications, you may want to consider using an affiliate sales program to give your products greater reach and exposure.

My preferred provider for this is Share*It!, which offers full payment and an ecommerce infrastructure to online publishers while integrating a customizable affiliate program. You can set the commission and the products that you want your affiliates to manage.

Share*It! automatically takes care of payments and accountability of the transactions; it sends updates and timely sales reports both to you and to your registered resellers. The system even automatically creates content pages that the reseller can link to from her own site.

8) Online Guides and eBooks

 

Self-published books, eBooks, mini-guides, tutorials and other types of premium content generate a respectable source of income for those with relevant and useful content to share.

Focused guides and reference publications in niche areas are a growing demand from qualified customers, especially when these products can be easily pre-evaluated in some form.

For bloggers, news sites and small independent publishers, ebooks and online guides should make a natural monetization channel to make money online.

Much of the content written for a site is easy to re-edit and re-purpose for commercial use. Reviewing editors, topic-specific bloggers can use their writing talent to put together the best content they have on a specific topic.

Selling eBooks requires good online marketing skills, lots of exposure, visibility and honest testimonials from satisfied buyers. A little army of affiliate resellers can go a long way in helping your ebook get extra exposure and visibility. Plus partnering / bundling your product with those who are already the best in your class helps get more copies out the door.

9) Bookstore Distribution and POD Publishing

 

You can also increase profitability and exposure of your eBooks by using a company like Lightning Source, which can distribute your digital content on Amazon bookshelves while allowing you to offer printed versions of your masterpieces using POD technology (print on-demand).

See also: Self-Publish Your Book: Guide To The Best Self-Publishing Services.

10) Merchandising

 

Selling your branded t-shirt or baseball cap makes sense to make money online when your publishing project has a strong brand, a powerful message or an issue that it stands behind.

 

Why would people shell out $20 or more to buy a branded t-shirt promoting a web site? If a bold tagline spells out a strong message or slogan about something of which many are passionate, readers want to support the cause by wearing them.

I think this works effectively when:

a) The personal brand is good enough to create a desire in readers to “stand” for it (few bloggers or news sites have this kind of charisma, but people like Joi Ito or Howard Rheingold most likely can command some of this), or

b) the author or blog / site stands for something clearly identifiable. It may be an overarching mission or a number of changing issues that make effective marketing themes for such products.

CafePress offers an extensive catalog of shorts, caps, calendars, mugs with over 80 customizable merchandise products waiting for your logo and tagline to be printed on them. CafePress provides the raw merchandise that you can customize by uploading your artwork and interactively adjusting it on through its online command center.

While CafePress charges a base cost for the material (e.g.: $13.99 base price for T-shirts), you can price your branded merchandise however you like and CafePress dutifully manages the transaction, payment, shipment and your monthly payments for your hard-earned commissions. In the process, CafePress also creates a full web-based shopping center that can be customized to match your web site’s design.

11) Collections, Anthologies, Compilations and Curated Content on CD-ROM

 

Thanks to CafePress and similar services, independent online publishers also have the opportunity to make money online by delivering vast amounts of content such as aggregated anthologies of articles, reports, audio and video files, or research collections on CD-ROM. All with complete infrastructure support for the mastering, duplication, labeling and shipping of these.

 

Again, the publisher pays a wholesale cost for the production of each CD-ROM ordered and the profit comes from the markup that the publisher decides on for each item sold.

CafePress clears payments from customers, prints the CD, packages it and ships it to your customer. It sets aside your profit margin and cuts a check for you at the end of the month.

The publisher base price is $4.99 per CD (excluding shipping). You can mark up the price as much as you want and CafePress collects payments and sends your profit margin to you.

More info: CafePress Data CD.

12) Paid Assignment

 

While many find this very controversial, more companies are using bloggers and independent sites to talk about, promote or cover specific products and issues.

The Marqui program, in which I participated, is a good example. But there are other ways to go about it.

A person can go to a company and become its official online blogger or take specific assignments for prominent sites and work for them, with or without credit, covering specific issues.

The important thing here is to be clear and upfront about it.

People are inflexible about paid assignments because they’re afraid that the people they trusted and read without question before may now write articles because they are paid for it.

From my point of view, I say the following:

a) Question your sources, no matter how good they are and how fanatical you are about them.

b) Take that ham away from your eyes: there is no objectivity, outside of the transparency of the reporter, blogger or news reporter. Everyone is influenced in one way or another.

You don’t need to take money from a customer to be influenced. What about all those journalists and bloggers who routinely receive free evaluations of gadgets and software that everyone else has to pay for? Doesn’t that influence them? Invitations to press dinners? Product launches? Come on.

What counts, and what I think readers value the most, is being upfront, transparent and credible.

Assuming you have been, like everyone else, “exposed” to cover certain issues rather than others – what matters is how “transparent” you are about revealing your driving motives, interests and goals while writing on that topic.

Can you be influenced while remaining true to your opinions? I believe you can.

Making money per se is not a disreputable act, neither is getting paid to write about a certain topic: isn’t this what newspapers command their editors to do?

What the critics of paid assignments have underestimated is the large demand out there for this. If the paid writers are transparent, accountable and professional with their assignment, then this is as legitimate as any other activity.

I guess you only need to decide if you are in it for the art or the part.

Marqui paid $800 to the bloggers who did the assignment. Each one was required to write four articles a month that at least mentions and links to Marqui.

13) Donations

 

If you support a cause that goes beyond the mere reporting of news in your areas of interest, why not consider making money by asking your readers for support?

 

People like to take a stand for the people whom they think can make a difference, so why not use this strategy to finance some of your effective communication campaigns? PayPal Donations, Amazon Honor System and BitPass all offer a simple way to add a snippet of code to your site to make it easy for people to donate.

Depending on the system adopted, you may opt to receive money in the currency you prefer.

Additional Opportunities To Make Money Online With Your Blog

 

 

Join a Publishing Network

 

If you are just starting up with your blog or small news site and need either more traffic, exposure or experience before you feel you can do any of the above on your own, then joining a group blog may work for you.

Here a list of popular group blogs:

 

Working in a group blog can ease the pressure of having to post on a daily basis, gives you greater exposure in less time and exposes you and your ideas to an existing community of interested readers and other writers.

In some cases, like at Weblogs Inc., Creative Weblogging, Squidoo and elsewhere, contributing bloggers are also paid a share of the advertising revenue their blog generates.

Blog At Your Best

 

Blog your best without worrying about making money on the web. Making money online comes as a consequence of your extra exposure and visibility.

Blogging creates extra income by allowing you to enter in close contact with relevant people in your areas of interest and by facilitating exchange and contact with prospective customers through your online presence.

Simply blogging with no strings attached increases your credibility and authority in the field and earns you extra income when you are called to give advice.

Having a blog to showcase your ability to review, explore or analyze issues and products is the best way to market yourself and to provide a living showcase of your talents and abilities.

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Categories: EffectiveBlogging
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