Blogging has flourished in the last few years, so much so that we keep hearing everyday about a new blogger who is making a killing from his blog. With content management systems like WordPress that have made blogging almost a child’s play, it is not surprising to see people trying their hands at blogging to achieve the lifestyle of their dreams.
Although many so called experts hold the opinion that it is not easy to make money blogging anymore due to immense competition and the finicky Big G (Google), I personally know a whole lot of bloggers who recently started out with blogging and are currently raking in great money with their blogs. So there is plenty of hope for you still. If you are planning to start blogging too, here is a quick guide for you to learn how to make money off a blog. I’m using all of these methods to make money myself, so so you don’t need to wonder whether this works or not:
1. Text Advertisements
This is the easiest method of all and doesn’t require you to put in much efforts on your part. The only thing you need to make through text advertisements is good amount of traffic. Whenever a visitor clicks on a text ad on your blog, you will make some money. There are plenty of success stories of bloggers who rely solely on this method, though I always prefer diversification so that even if one particular stream of income dries out, there’s always a second one that brings in the money. The best example of a text ad network is Google Adsense and frankly speaking, there are not many other networks that come close to it. Some other networks you could try are Adbrite, Bidvertiser and Clicksor, though they don’t pay anywhere as much as Adsense.
In-text advertising is another form of text advertisements wherein the keywords of your article are turned into ads and whenever a visitor clicks on that keyword, you earn a few cents. The best in-text networks that can provide additional revenue from your blog are Infolinks and Kontera, though I prefer the former.
2. CPM (Banner) Advertising
CPM or banner advertising is also a popular method with bloggers. Basically all you need to do is place a banner on any position on your blog such as header, sidebar or footer and you will be paid a small price varying from $0.50-$2 for every 1000 visitors to your blog depending on their geographical location.
As can be expected, traffic from developed countries such as the US, UK, Australia and other European counties gets the best rates. However you should only go for CPM ads on your blog once you start getting a couple of thousand or more visitors to your blog everyday. A few popular CPM networks are Tribal Fusion, Casale media, Burst media and Valueclick media.
3. Private Advertising
This is one of the best ways of making some big bucks off your blog but it works especially well once you’ve established credibility in your particular niche. Though some newbies might struggle with convincing advertisers to advertise on their blogs, if people start considering you as an authority figure who knows what he’s talking about, you’re more than likely to get a lot of advertising request from not one but lots of advertisers who would want to cash in on your popularity.
Some popular blogs that are making a killing with private advertising are Gizmodo, Engadget and Huffington Post. However it’s also possible to lure advertisers by creating an Advertise page on your blog and highlighting the best points about your blog.
4. Sponsored Posts
A very useful method of money generation especially for those who are struggling with traffic. Even if you manage to get around 500 visitors a day and have a decent page rank to boot, you can make some good money month after month juts by posting sponsored posts on your blog. Since most companies these days prefer publishing paid posts on blogs with good page ranks to boost their organic rankings, there are plenty of opportunities up for grabs. Though you can set a fixed rate per paid post, I prefer to vary it according to the requirements of the company. As a thumb rule, you can expect anything from $50-100 if you have a PR3 blog.
Initially I would advise you to offer sponsored posts directly through your blog using your advertise page, if you are unable to get any offers for a few months, then you should use some networks such as ReviewMe, Sponsored Reviews, Social Spark etc. which connect bloggers and advertisers. The only downside is that these networks generally take a 50% commission from whatever you make, so that can end up eating your profits.
5. Text Link Sales
Selling text links used to be a popular way of making some extra money with blogs until Google slapped some sites who were involved in buying and selling of text links. However many bloggers are still selling links on their blogs since it brings in a good amount of recurring income month after month. The key to using this method is by only selling links related to your niche.
So for example, if you have a tech blog and sell links to a used tires blog then you might land in trouble since Google will suspect something is wrong. On the other hand if you make it a point to only sell links to related blogs, you will most probably get away with it. The best way to go about selling text links is through text ad networks such as Text Link Ads and Link Share.
6. Affiliate Marketing
Though affiliate marketing is supposed to be a highly lucrative field, unfortunately most newbies find it extremely difficult to make even a decent amount of money through it. The basic idea behind affiliate marketing is that you convince people to buy someone else’s products and if you are successful in doing that, you earn a commission from the sale of that product. Though I agree that affiliate marketing requires a lot of patience and persistence especially when starting out, once you get a hang of it, sky is the limit. There are plenty of internet marketers throughout the world that are raking in big cash through affiliate marketing. It is also one of my favorite methods that has worked successfully for me in the last few years.
However one thing that I’ve realized is that visitors generally buy only when they see you as a professional blogger, so it’s always a good idea to invest in your blog (using good-looking themes like Elegant Themes). Though I will be writing a thorough post on some great affiliate marketing tactics shortly, if you want to learn more about it you should interact with some top marketers at forums like Digitalpoint and Warriorforum where they give out some great tips for newbie marketers.
7. Email Marketing
According to expert internet marketers, email marketing beats all of the above discussed methods hands down. It however involves a lot more hard work, testing, patience and perseverance since getting people to subscribe to your mailing list is not all that easy. People need a valid reason to become a subscriber, so you’ve got to convince them to sign up to your list. The best way of making them do this is by offering them a free product such as a guide, software or any other material that might be useful for them.
However getting people to subscribe is only a part of the jinx. You’ve got to maintain a healthy relationship with your subscribers (to warm them up) so that they might buy the products that you recommend to them through emails further down the road. Since an email list can provide you recurring income for years to come, you should try to start building a list as soon as possible. Currently the most popular email marketing service is Aweber and it is used by nearly all of the successful internet marketers since it provides a host of professional looking templates, forms and pop-ups that can shoot up your subscription rates.
Finally, since you now know that there is not one, but rather a variety of ways through which you can make money off your blog, if you haven’t made a blog yet, you should start now! I recommend Hostgator for hosting your blog and I personally use it too since it is the most awesome hosting provider on the net. Furthermore, if you buy hosting using this link, I will offer you Free Blog Setup so you won’t have to worry about anything!