Starting a blog is often a labor of love. You love a particular subject, hobby or profession enough to want to put your thoughts out into the world. And as you’ve written your blog you have gotten some followers and people feel that what you have to say is something of value. Then slowly it starts to dawn on you, “…I should get paid for this!” But making money on the internet can seem like one of life’s great mysteries. If you aren’t part of a big corporation and you don’t have your own personal marketing department, how do you monetize your site? With a little bit of effort you can start to see big rewards for your little-blog-that-could. So let’s get to the good stuff!
Traditional Banner Advertising
Selling advertising on your site is one of the most lucrative ways to make money on your site. You get to work directly with the person buying space on your site, eliminating any middle-man fees. The catch with banner advertising is that you do need to have a large audience in order to get the best advertisers. If you have gotten to the point where you do have a significant amount of traffic though, you can potentially make money. You are in charge of setting your rates and determining the terms, so do your research to find out where the market is at.
Incorporating Google AdSense into your blog is one of the most popular ways to get a little cash flow started. All you do is sign up with the company, add some code, and the money starts rolling in….at least, that is the theory. The reality is that since the profitability of the ads is determined by how many clicks they receive, it makes a big difference where you place the ads. You’ll want them to look as seamless as possible with the content of the blog.
You have probably seen this type of advertising before and you may have mixed feeling about it. Using an advertising network like Kontera, certain words in your blog will be underlined twice. As the reader rolls over that word with their mouse, an ad bubble pops up. If the reader clicks on it, the site gets money. The mixed feelings about this method is that some people find it to be invasive. But other people find it informative and sites can make decent profits off of this type of advertising. Knowing your readership will help determine if this is a good method for your blog.
With your writing skills you can join a sponsored review marketplace like PayPerPost or SocialSpark and get paid to write on a variety of topics and give reviews. If you already have a large enough following, you could also cut out the middleman and do your own sponsored posts for other people without needing a network to set you up. You can also let people pay you to have sponsored posts posted on your site.
There are many merchants out there who are willing to let affiliates, like yourself, sell their products directly or indirectly in exchange for commission. So if you have a blog and you mention a product and have a link to that product, if that link is clicked by a reader and that results in a sale, you get a commission. This is a very popular method to make money and it makes sense to find out which merchants you can work out this system with. Especially if you tend to blog about certain products often anyway. It is like free advertising for the merchant if you don’t get a commission on the sale. You can contact individual companies directly to work out a system or join an affiliate marketplace or network.