Selling Advertising Space
One of the most common ways to monetize a blog is to sell space to advertisers. Blogs with a significant amount of traffic can make a substantial income with ad sales. One of the primary reasons that many blogs choose to sell advertising is that it is a somewhat passive form of income once traffic has been developed. Yes, it does require work to find advertisers and maintain the ads on the blog, but those who can make a reasonable amount of money with ads are able to essentially pay themselves to write for their blog. When compared to some of the other ways to profit from a blog, selling ads can be one of the most consistent revenue streams. If you are able to keep your ad slots filled up you should have a good idea of what you will make each month.
However, there are some negatives that come with selling ads. First of all, you really need to have some established traffic in order to draw interest from potential advertisers. Trying to sell ad space without traffic can be very difficult and will most likely not produce much revenue. Also, your blog will need to target a specific audience in order to get the maximum amount of money for ad space. Obviously advertisers will be willing to pay more if your blog is a direct match with their target market.
Affiliate programs are a major source of income for many bloggers. The great thing about affiliate programs is that you have the opportunity to make money even if your blog has a small audience. The bad thing about affiliate programs is that you also have the potential to make no money at all.
New blogs often feature affiliate ads as opposed to selling space directly to advertisers. As I mentioned earlier, selling direct ads is difficult without much traffic, so affiliate programs are a natural fit for new blogs. Additionally, they are easy to maintain and take very little time.
Google’s AdSense is of course the most popular method of monetizing a blog with pay-per-click ads. Some websites can make a significant amount of money with AdSense and others (most actually) will make a few dollars at best. Depending on the niche you are in, many of your visitors will completely ignore these ads and never click on them. On the other hand, many website owners have done very well with AdSense.
There are an increasing amount of paid writing positions becoming available online. While these opportunities will not help you to directly make money through your own blog, they will allow you to make money because of your own blog. Established and well-recognized bloggers can earn good money by writing for others. In this case, your blog essentially becomes a resume or portfolio for your work.
The range of pay for articles will vary greatly, but the opportunity is there. In addition to the income, you’ll get some great exposure and networking opportunities through writing for other blogs. If you are looking for opportunities, Michael Martine wrote a post at Blogging Tips on The Five Best Pro Blogger Job Boards .
Another option is to directly sell your own products through your website. Product sales can be boosted by maintaining a successful blog that draws traffic, builds your credibility, and increases the exposure that the products receive. One of the best examples is Aaron Wall’s SEO Book. Aaron sells a downloadable e-book that has become recognized as one of the leading authorities on the subject of search engine optimization. Aaron’s blog at SEO Book continually helps to produce more sales and earn more money for him.
Promoting a Service
Service providers have an incredible opportunity to find new clients and increase their rates by blogging. Becoming recognized as an authority in your field will be much easier by maintaining a blog that focuses on your area of expertise. The blog will help potential clients to find you, and the improved reputation that you build, and the corresponding increase in demand for your services, will allow you to charge more for your work.
There are numerous examples of bloggers who are successfully promoting their own services. David Airey is a graphic designer based that specializes in logo design. David’s blog currently has over 3,000 subscribers and it has helped him to achieve solid search engine rankings for phrases that potential clients might use to find a designer. David’s blog is one of his primary methods of finding work.
The final option that we’ll look at in this article is selling premium content. While blogs are huge source of free information, not everything has to be free. Some bloggers and businesses have had success selling some of their best work.
SEOmoz, one of the leading SEO firms, sells memberships on their website that include access to premium content. Members are able to use a variety of SEO-based tools to help optimize their own websites, and there is even some written material available. Selling premium content is possible in just about any field, but you will have to be able to provide something that is worth paying for.
What Methods Do You Use?
I’d like to hear your feedback on what methods you use to profit from your blog. Please feel free to share your own experiences and opinions.