You must have heard or even seen someone making money from their blog. Sure, it’s one of the best rewards that a blog can reap over a course of time. But, how should you approach the concept? Today’s post is an attempt to acquaint all my fellow newbie bloggers to the concept of monetizing their content online.
OK, let’s start by drawing an analogy with some offline businesses – Do you think a coffee shop can survive without anyone coming to the shop? Will it be able to make any money? Do you think colleges and universities can make any money without students enrolling in their courses? Definitely NOT!
Businesses built online are no different. Your blog can never make any money without people visiting your blog. You’ll be needing traffic any day if you intend to monetize your blog. The concept is pretty simple!
Ads are ubiquitous these days. You see them between your favorite TV shows, in newspapers, on the billboards. Turn around and see, they are everywhere! No wonder, ads on blogs are not an exception. The ads that you see on various websites can be classified into two broad types – indirect and direct.
Indirect ads are those that are served randomly on your website by an ad-network. They are mostly contextual – that is, random ads are shown on your web page related to the content on your page. For example – if you’ve written something about android phones, then expect ads related to phones and tablets.
When it comes to indirect advertising, AdSense by Google is perhaps the first name that comes to my mind. To get started with AdSense, you need to send an online application to Google. They’ll review your application and if your site matches their quality standards, you can join their ad network as a publisher. Google AdSense is a very reputable program because it actually pays and it is backed by the brand name – Google. But unfortunately, getting into their ad network is certainly not a cakewalk because their review team goes by very strict quality guidelines. Click here to navigate to the eligibility requirements to become their publisher.
On the flip side, there are direct advertisements – ads from the advertisers that you directly approve to run on your blog/website for a stipulated time period and money. Running direct ads may certainly be more profitable, but that requires you to attract those potential advertisers by showing the true worth of your blog in terms of numeric figures like the number of pageviews per month, Page rank, Alexa rank and the like…
Personally, I’m running AdSense on my blogs since 2009 and have made quite good amount with the program since then. Last year I was also privileged with one direct ad opportunity from a US based company and that fetched me around 110$ (I think not bad for a guy who’s just a part time blogger ;-))
2. Affiliate sales
Another way to monetize your blog is by referring products and services of a company to your readers. You earn a commission only when your referral ends up buying products on the company’s website. So, if your referrals are not generating any sales for the company, you’re not earning anything!
Although many bloggers are making huge money with affiliate programs, but personally, I have been unsuccessful at making any money from such programs 🙁
There are 2 main reasons why these programs never worked for me:
- My blog is not a review centric blog – Only a detailed and cogent review that’s bold on the rhetorics is able to compel its visitors to buy the recommendations!
- I don’t have a huge & loyal readership yet – People will buy recommendations only from whom they either know personally or whom they trust to be an authority on the subject.
3. Sponsored posts/reviews
Sounds cool, huh?? But remember to be very careful while taking such opportunities. Don’t go for the offers that fall outside your niche. Advertorials that are completely off-the-track may irritate your readers. Secondly, you’re at the risk of loosing your readership, should you overdo publishing these advertorials.
4. Selling your own digital products
Another great way of monetizing your blog is by selling your own e-products. By e-products, i mean – e-books, CDs, softwares and the like. But that requires you to build a huge and loyal readership first – readers who listen to you, who value your advice and most importantly, readers who love you!
5. Charging for your services
If you’ve already established yourself as an expert and authority in your niche, you can easily diversify your blogging income by becoming a paid consultant. For example, one can charge for providing WordPress learning courses for beginners, an SEO expert can charge for reviewing, grading or optimizing websites and an expert designer can charge for providing custom website templates/themes. The possibilities to make money are endless. But the keyword here is – ‘being an authority’ in your niche and that authority must be recognized and well perceived by your readers!
Finally, here’s a complete mind-map how bloggers can make money online:
Is blogging making you any money? If yes, then which way are you monetizing your blog? Do you know any other way bloggers make money online? Please leave your thoughts below 🙂