Webopedia defines a blog as “a Web page that serves as a publicly accessible personal journal for an individual. Typically updated daily, blogs often reflect the personality of the author.”
Blogs have become a popular tool for both businesses and individuals to share their voice, thoughts and musings to the world. Some blogs are created to give a more “humane” face to a business, allow interaction with customers, even as a tool to generate traffic. Others write blogs to share their passions and attract like-minded individuals.
Whatever the reason for creating a blog, the next question is: What can you do to make money from your blog?
Steps to Earning Money from Your Blog
Here are steps to starting a blog and earning money from your writings:
1. Set up your blog.
You can have the option of using their URL (e.g. http://widgetsblog.blogger.com) or use the blog software in your own domain name (http://www.widgetsblog.com).
Here are some places that will allow you to create your own blog (some of these are free, while some has monthly/annual subscription):
- Blogger http://www.blogger.com
- Typepad http://www.typepad.com/
- Moveable Type http://www.sixapart.com/movabletype/
- WordPress http://www.wordpress.org/
- Tumblr http://www.tumblr.com
- Livejournal http://www.livejournal.com/
However, if you are thinking of using your blog to earn money, you need to check first with the blog platform whether they allow ads to be put on the blogs. Some blog platforms have strict policies and will delete your blog if you put ads on them. Blogger.com, being owned by Google which also runs the contextual advertising program Adsense, is one of the ads-friendly blog platforms around.
2. Create great content.
Everything starts with content. With great content, you can attract more traffic and more engaged visitors, which gives you higher likelihood of monetizing your blog.
RELATED: How to Earn Money from Your Blog
Why will they want to read your blog? Why will they want to spend their time in your blog? Provide value, useful information and other benefits to the readers. Your blog can contain up-to-the-minute news and analysis; or it could be a witty and amusing look at pop culture. Give a reason why visitors will frequent your blog.
3. Get traffic to your blog.
You can’t earn from your blog if the blog does not have traffic. Many make the mistake of believing that once they create a blog, people will immediately flock to it. There are millions out there so why would they visit your blog?
Getting traffic is going to be your biggest challenge. Here is a comprehensive list of places where you can list your blogs and syndicate its content – Resources for Marketing Your Blogs and RSS Feeds
One useful technique for getting traffic to your blog is to use social media. Develop your social media presence in sites such as Twitter and Facebook, among others. Use images in your blog, such as infographics, and post them on visual social media sites such as Pinterest and Instagram.
Ways to Make Money from Blogs
One of the most common ways of earning money from blogs is through advertising and donations. Here are some ways you can earn money from your blog:
- Google Adsense = Adsense is one of the easiest to join and best way to make money from blogs, and Google’s ownership of Blogger.com makes it easy to start earning from blogs
- Media.net = allows publishers to earn money from ads coming from the Yahoo! Bing network
- Chitika = contextual advertising that pays per click and focuses on product-based advertisers
- ConversantMedia.com (Valueclick) = offers CPM and CPC advertising, including in-text advertising. Requires traffic minimum of at least 3,000 impressions per month.
- Exponential.com (formerly Tribal Fusion) = requires 500,000 unique users per month
- Burst Media = requires all banners to be put above the fold
- Bidvertiser.com = also offers xml feeds advertising
Blog-specific ad networks
- Federated Media Publishing = ad network that represents high traffic and most influential blogs offering mostly through CPM and flat rate advertising
- Blogads.com = ad network for influential blogs
- CrispAds = offers keyword targeted text ads (not contextual)
- AdGridwork = an advertising network offering text ads; as well as a traffic exchange network
In-Content Ads = certain words in your website will be linked to ads and usually pays by pay per click
- MatomaSEO.com (formerly Feedvertising)
Related Content Advertising =content discovery-type of advertising where thumbnails showing recommendations to third party content on other sites are usually placed at the bottom of the content
- NRelate.com = accepts smaller sites; joining the program is easy for those using their WordPress plugin
- Outbrain.com = accepts sites that receive over 2 million monthly page views
- Taboola.com = caters to high-traffic websites
- ShareThrough.com = in-feed ads
- Disqus Promoted Discovery
Direct Ad Sales
- DoubleClick Ad Exchange = now part of Google’s Doubleclick suite of products
- OpenX Ad Exchange = for users of the OpenX advertising system
- Google Adsense = Adsense now offers direct ad sales component
- Mediative.com’s real time bidding for display advertising
- Amazon Associates Program
- Affiliate by Conversant (formerly Commission Junction)
- ClickBank.com = mostly for information products
- iTunes Affiliate Program
- Check out companies you admire or work with to find out whether they run their own affiliate programs
Mobile App Ad Networks = if your blog has its own mobile app, here are options where you can earn money:
- AdMob = program run by Google http://www.google.com/ads/admob/
- iAd = Apple’s advertising network for app creators http://advertising.apple.com/
- AirPush.com = pays Android app developers weekly
- AdMarvel.com = provides in-application advertising for Verizon Developer community
- inMobi = a mobile native advertising exchange
Video Ad Networks = if you are creating original videos from or based on your blog, there are a number of ways you can earn money from your videos (for a complete listing, read the article 8 Ways to Earn Money from Online Videos)
- Youtube Partner Program
Other sources of income
- Text link ads – you can sell for fixed price for a fixed period of time
- Donations (yes, you can beg)
- Sell your own advertising
Recommended Books on How to Make Money from Blogs:
- How To Make Money Blogging: How I Replaced My Day Job With My Blog
- The Ultimate Guide to Blogging: What To Write About, How to Promote Your Blog, & How to Make Money Blogging
- Blogging Profit for Beginners: Writing Blog for Clickbank Money at Home
- The Naked Blogger – 5 Steps to successful online journal writing: How to start a blog – Become a successful blogger And earn money on the side!
- How to Blog for Profit (Without Selling Your Soul)