Blogging is one of the simplest ways of making money on the Net. It is quite easy to do, rewarding, and requires only a minimal upfront financial investment. Of course, you have to enjoy writing. If you need help getting started, read How to Blog.
There are millions of blogs, making competition fierce. Don’t expect to earn a lot initially. First you have to attract an audience. Blog about something you feel passionate about. In order to make money as a blogger, you’ll need to pick a topic that you can write about extensively. So make it something you’re very interested in, and either deeply knowledgeable about or willing to spend a lot of time researching.
Ways to Make Money
Once you have an established readership, you’re ready to implement some money-making strategies. Here are some of the most popular ways to make money from a blog:
Advertising is one of the most common ways that bloggers generate income. To do this, you need your own blog. Ideally, it should have considerable traffic or a highly coveted demographic.
With online ads, you earn money in one of two ways: by delivering a certain number of ad impressions, called CPM (an advertiser might pay a few dollars per thousand impressions), or every time a prospective customer clicks an ad, called CPC (here the rate varies from a few cents to a few dollars per click).
There are two ways to get ads on your website.
- First, you could join an ad-serving network, such as Google Adsense or Infolinks, that will serve relevant ads to your site.
- Second, you could negotiate a private arrangement with a business or website that would greatly benefit from having access to your website. While you’re just getting started, you’re unlikely to receive these sorts of offers, but once you’re established they can be a lucrative way to monetize your website.
Affiliate marketing is a bit like the ads we just talked about. However, in affiliate marketing you choose the ad that will appear, and often times work to refer customers to that product.
Top bloggers can earn a six-figure income from their blogs!
In this example, you would be an affiliate of Bass Pro Shops.
There are many different affiliate programs you could consider joining, and each will allow you to access thousands of different brands and products. Some of the most popular include CJ by Conversant, Rakuten Affiliate Network, and Clickbank.
Selling Products & Services
Thinking back to our camping blog. Another way you could use that type of blog to make money would be to sell products or services through the site. Here are a few examples of products and services that such a blog could conceivably sell:
- Personal services: Offer to work as a guide for your reader’s backpacking and camping trips. For a flat fee, you could organize the whole thing, including planning the route, picking camping stops, and coordinating meals.
- Physical products: If your blog is branded attractively and becomes popular, you could sell branded apparel and camping gear from a store on your blog.
- Digital products: While your blog contains your short-form posts, you could work up a longer Ultimate Guide to Backcountry Camping ebook and offer it for sale to your readers.
There are many other ways you can make money from a successful blog. Your income potential and opportunities will only be limited by your creativity and willingness to put in the work. The key is to find a variety of income streams, to try different things, to focus on those that work, and not loose too much time on those that don’t.
A successful blog should establish you as an authority in your niche. Here are some tips to help you reach that goal.
Target your Audience
What will interest your target audience? Put yourself in their shoes. Think about the kind of information you seek out. Get ideas by surfing the Net to see what other bloggers in your niche market are writing about. However, do not copy others’ work. Figure out a new angle, a fresh observation that will make your blog unique.
Most of us are visual learners; we love pictures because they enliven the browsing experience. Use images that enhance your content and interest your readers. Lots of free images and videos (like the one in this article) are available online. If you have a digital camera, go out and take some of your own.
Stay focused on the topic of your blog. Provide engaging and useful information. People who derive value from your posts will come back. Never forget that at the end of the day the profitability of your blog will depend on high-quality content. Consider producing video posts. This is a very powerful way of informing your visitors.
Most people spend less than a minute viewing a web page. Avoid long, rambling posts. Give your readers compelling content in 1000 words or less.
Make sure that visitors can add comments and feedback. Most blogging software has this feature. When readers leave comments, be sure to respond. Create a dialog that engages your audience. Sometimes the stream of comments is more interesting than the initial post.
Finally, be sure to post to your blog regularly, at least a few times a week. Otherwise, there is little reason for people to return. Remember, content is king.