A big consideration when you start a blog is whether you will be blogging to make money or not. There are a lot of people who start blogs without considering whether they might be able to earn any money from them, particularly if they use some of the free blogging platforms that do not allow advertising. Maybe there is something to be said for building up a following before trying to sell your readers anything, but not monetizing your blog is an opportunity missed.
There are many ways to make money from your blog. Google runs a programme called Adsense and you will get paid a very small fee each time someone clicks any of the ads in the Google advert bars they place on your site. When you sign up for Adsense you will create a small piece of code that you will add to your site code. This allows Google to place adverts that are relevant to your content into specified spaces on your blog. You can dictate where the ads show using tick boxes in WordPress, but for the greatest opportunity for revenue it is wise to allow all of the Adsense areas to be used. Unfortunately with Adsense some very odd advertising topics appear from time to time. For example, my personal blog is a self help blog, however my surname is Allen, and I constantly get Adsense adverts for Allen Keys showing! You will find some of the ads pick up words and take them completely out of context!
Possibly a better advertising option is to use an ad rotator that allows you to choose the types or categories of adverts you show. These applications constantly change the adverts on display and the potential revenue to be earned is much much more than anything you can earn from Adsense. One great ad rotator is CB Ad Rotator. This programme offers links to Clickbank products that you can earn an affiliate commission from. They offer a free version too, although the options are much more limited in the free version and the commission earned from any sales is lower too. You will need a Clickbank ID to participate in the programme, however this is also free to sign up for..
A great way to make money though is to review products and promote them to your readers so you can earn an affiliate commission on any sales made. The way to achieve this is to:
- choose good quality products – the best products to choose are items you have used before and benefited from; personal experience is always a big plus when writing a review
- sign up for the affiliate programmes
- write a good review for each one (avoid using the pre-prepared text supplied with the affiliate programme, but by all means use it as a prompt if necessary)
- post the reviews to your blog with a hyperlink to the product sales pages that includes your affiliate ID – each time a sale is made through the link from your site you will get paid a commission
Your sidebars can be used to promote affiliate links too. Just choose some products from the Clickbank Marketplace and add the hoplinks to your sidebar.
Of course possibly the most lucrative way to make money from your blog is to build a list of subscribers to promote to. You can achieve this by signing up to an autoresponder programme, like Aweber (who are by far the best service available). You will add an opt in box to your site to allow readers to join your list.
A great incentive to get sign ups is to offer a free report when someone joins your list. Choose a good quality report with information related to your blog topic. You will then be able to email your list and offer them either your own products or products that you are an affiliate for. In order to retain sign ups on your list you should be clear to offer good quality information and mix your sales emails with free content, otherwise your subscribers may leave your list believing you only ever send emails trying to sell them something.
Follow any or all of these strategies if you are blogging to make money.