Nearly every business now has a blog. It’s a great tool to get the word out about your product or service and to interact with your customers. Blogs can also be a great place to make some extra money from. It is a fine line between trying to make money off a blog and avoiding irritating the readers. It is hard to pin down what the average blog makes, but most use the same basic techniques. If you are new to blogging, check out some of the ways you can make this endeavor profitable.
Make an Affiliation
When blogging took off as a primary source of social networking, ads were a natural addition. Advertising is how businesses talk to the world. Placing banners or links on your page is one of the most common ways people make money. Ads sit in prime locations with the hope that one of your readers will click. Every time that happens, a deposit is made to your account.
One way to set up advertising is to tap into an affiliate program. Once you have a blog up and running, companies will pay for a little special attention. You can turn to Amazon, Ebay or AllPosters to sign up for an affiliate plan.
If you sell a product, you can also sell it through your blog. It’s not recommended that you only promote your product on you r blog but readers don’t have much issue with the blogger throwing in a plug for their product in a tactful way every once in awhile.
Tip: As with most things blog, it always helps to have a niche that draws a crowd. For example, if you have a reputation around town for your distinctive jams, set up a blog to talk about the art of making jam. You already have a local following. With a little work, your blog could start bringing in some traffic. As part of an affiliate program, you could have ads for jam products or even books on jam. Not all affiliates require a niche, but it helps.
Add Sense to Your Blog
Google AdSense is another form of advertising program. This platform works using rotating ads and banners. Google provides an algorithm to determine what ad is best suited for your blog based on category and location. There is no reason a restaurant in India needs to advertise on a blog about San Francisco. Google’s automated system makes sure that doesn’t happen. Many mainstream blogging sites will add the code you need for AdSense, all you do is sign up for the program.
Tip: The hard part about AdSense, and any program like it, is putting the banners where they will be seen without distracting from the content on your blog. Ironically enough, Google will hold it against you if you get greedy. Too many ads have the potential to lower your ranking. Use AdSense, but be wise. Side of the page advertising works well without hindering the purpose of blog
Bloggers who do reviews are providing a service that can bring in money. Word-of-mouth is a tool that makes or breaks just about everything. From books to products, the more people talking about it, the more attention it gets. People look to the Internet to find out about things. If you want to know if a movie is worth seeing, you read a review.
Tip: This avenue is more effective if you make a name for yourself as a reviewer or have an expertise. This may mean doing some reviews free to develop a reputation. If you own a computer store, you might make money reviewing electronic gadgets. If you teach creative writing, you could review self-published books. No one is going to come to you and beg you to review something for cash. This takes some marketing. Hang around forums and do networking to get your name out there as an expert.
It sounds low-rent, but it is getting more common for bloggers to ask for donations to help offset costs and show some appreciation. That is the wonder of sites like PayPal or Amazon Payments. You can put a nifty button on your page that lets readers tip you. You are providing them with engaging prose that is not costing them anything but time. Putting up a donation link on your site gives readers a chance to show some love.
Tip: Add an interesting, if not self-deprecating, tagline to the donation section of your blog. “Buy a poor writer a cup of coffee?” It may not help, but it can’t hurt. Making money off your blog takes more than just a gimmick – it takes traffic. The best tip of all is to keep your goals realistic. Of the people claiming to have a blog that is a major source of income, a very small percentage of them are telling the truth. You can make money off a blog, but only if it gets readers. If you have three hits a week, you not going to see return. Blog for the experience first and then if it goes well, think about the money.
When not working on various side projects, Edwin is a writer and content specialist for USDish.