Blogging is generally considered a hobby, rather than a career option, with the assumption that there is no money in expressing your thoughts online. However, with the ever-growing social networking channels for content distribution opening up, it in fact, makes it a very viable and lucrative career path. The web is full of ways to make your blog pay. Below are five useful ways through which you can monetize your blogging efforts.
Become an affiliate
In short, affiliate marketing is a performance based marketing effort in which a business rewards the affiliate for each visitor or customer brought on board by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts.
All that is required from you is to place either a banner or an in-text link of their website on your blog. Having a blog with a good network is extremely useful when signing up as an affiliate; it promises not only views on your own site but also, re-directing them to other sites which increases the likelihood for generating sales for that business. There are some affiliate channels that would be extremely useful in expanding that network. LinkShare and Commission Junction are two such very well recognized networks.
Pay Per Click (PPC)
As the name suggests, PPC refers to when an advertiser pays to search engines and publishers for every click on their advertisement, which directs the visitors to the advertisers website. It starts with when you sign up to a publisher. A very well established and widely used publisher is Google Adsense, however there are a bunch of others as well, such as Kontera, Adbrite, Text link brokers and Value Click. Once you are registered, the publisher will provide you with a code that you would need to place on your own website. The provider will then, send you contextual ads to your site in the form of either image or text ads.
The profitability of a PPC campaign depends on the amount of traffic you receive on your website or blog. As only a fraction of visitors will click on the advertisement, to earn a lot of money you will need a lot of traffic.
ebooks are a common yet, effective resource to have on your blog. With the introduction of digital readers such as the Apple Ipad and Amazon’s Kindle, the trend of ebooks has risen quite rapidly. Considering the focus of your blog, writing an ebook is a very liable option, as it can be sold directly on your website, where you get 100% of the sale price and can be on a recurring basis as well, depending on your subscription timelines. Ebooks can also be sold through other channels like the Apple iStore and Amazon, which again provides a valuable alternative for monetizing your blog.
Paid product Reviews
Sell your own products
If you own a blog, you can use that platform to sell your own products, services and creations. As a designer or a programmer, it is easily achievable to ask your visitors to contact you in case they require your services. In case of products, you can have a direct payment gateway that allows your visitors to purchase the product instantly, or subsequently, re-direct them to a third party payment gateway website to complete the purchase process. However in this case, the third party website will charge a small commission.
As a blog owner, there are various avenues you can explore when monetizing your blog, each with its own benefits and drawbacks. Either way, the common denominator among all the options is to have a good network of new and returning visitors, which requires you to focus highly on writing great content. My personal advice would be to compose great content that people want to read, and monetary benefits will follow automatically.