Everyone wants to jump in on the blogging bandwagon. Blogs are the cheapest and most inexpensive way of getting an online presence. With a number of free and easy to use services available, you can create a blog in minutes. Because the blog creation process is simpler than website creation, blogs enable many individuals and businesses to easily publish a stream of constantly updated journals and commentaries.
More than just a display of their wit and knowledge, bloggers are now taking their blogs to the next step: blogs as a source of revenue. Many even turn their blogs into their main business! However, creating a blog is easy; turning it into a money making machine is a different story.
Way back in 2006, Business 2.0 Magazine already reported that some blogs are raking in huge income, even in the millions! Boing Boing, PaidContent.org and Fark.com are among those likely to earn a million dollars in ad revenues this year.
So how do you turn your blog into money making online business? Here are the steps you need to take to earn money from your blog:
Adopt the Right Strategy
Many bloggers start their blogs to share and talk about their passion. Sometimes their blog catches on and generates huge followers, while some lay in a dusty alley in cyberspace.
If you are thinking of starting a blog or using your existing blog to earn money, you need to be more strategic in your approach. Here are several factors to consider:
- Does this blog — given its type and subject matter – have the potential to attract a huge audience?
- Are the audiences the blog topic will attract the type who spends money?
- Is this a blog that advertisers would want to be seen?
- Do I know enough about the subject matter to engage the readers?
- Am I using the right venues to generate income for the blog?
Select the Right Income Generating Approach.
There are various ways and avenues to earn advertising income from a blog, and the right partner or approach can spell the difference in earning $100 or $10,000 per month.
In terms of advertising models, consider if you will use cost per impression (CPM) advertising where you earn per thousand-ad impression. Or you can go through the cost per click (CPC) approach where you earn every time someone clicks on the adverts you show. Another approach is cost per action (CPA) where you can get paid every time a visitor follows through with the action desired by the advertiser, such as qualified lead, purchase or subscription. Or you can decide to use all three advertising models in your blog (making sure that your blog is not too cluttered with ads).
There are several ways you can proceed to start earning through advertising:
Join an advertising network.
Advertising networks are organizations that aggregate Web sites that offer advertising space, and sell banner ads (and other advertising options) across them. Traffic requirement is often a minimum of 5,000 monthly impressions and they accept sites hosted on its top-level domain (e.g. no free Blogger or Yahoo 360 hosted blogs). Check if they accept blog sites. Examples are:
- Burst Media
- Conversant Media (formerly ValueClick)
- Tribal Fusion (now Exponential)
Participate in contextual advertising networks.
Contextual adverts are text ads delivered based on the content of the web page using an automated system. They are mostly cost per clicks, but some such as Google Adsense incorporates both CPM and CPA advertising revenue models.
Use advertising networks that cater specifically to bloggers.
This is a very new segment and very few companies are selling ads specifically for blogs. They typically work with high-traffic and high profile blogs. An example is Federated Media http://fmpub.net, which is at the forefront of serving as the advertising broker for bloggers. They represent some of the most popular blogs today. Their advertisers include big names such as Absolut, Adobe, Apple, Budget Rental Car, Citibank, Dreamworks, GM, Intel, Microsoft, Sony, among others.
Sell advertising for your blog directly. This is admittedly a more difficult route for a small business site wanting to earn advertising revenues. But hey, as they say: “no pain, no gain!”
Target the Right Audience.
If you are thinking of starting a blog to earn money, you first need to have the “right kind” of blog. The “right” kind of blog is a blog that appeals to advertisers because it attracts the audience they want.
For example, a blog that caters to techies will attract more advertisers compared to a blog for squirrel enthusiasts. Advertisers prefer blogs whose audience includes those who have the penchant to buy high-end products compared to blogs whose main audiences are families and friends of the author. The more attractive the blog is to advertisers, the higher the income of the blog.
Think of the audience you want to read your blog, and whether you can pitch this audience to an advertiser.
Generate Tons of Traffic
Building a larger audience for your blog is the surest way to succeed with an advertising revenue model. It is important to build a strong and wide readership base for your blog. Whether you are running cost per impression or cost per click advertising revenue model, the amount of traffic can significantly affect the level of income. To increase traffic to your blog, here are some steps to take
- Create great content – everything starts with great content.
- Update the content regularly – make your visitors come back again and again to your blog by providing daily updates (even multiple posts per day!)
- Use social media to alert your contacts of your new postings
- Submit your blog to blog directories
- Network with other bloggers – comment on their blogs, read and link to other blogs and request them to link back to you. But avoid strategies that search engines frown upon such as comment spam, getting linked in blog rolls (network-wide links), among others
- Email other bloggers – pitch your post to other bloggers and hope that they will link or mention your blog
- Guest posting – avoid using any bloggers network, but pitch the post directly to the blog you want to be published, and be sure not to send the same article to several blogs or websites
A Nielsen Buzz Metrics Blog Pulse report that there are more than 152 million blogs on the Internet today. It’s high time to think of how you can make money from your blog.
Recommended Books on How to Earn Money from Your Blog:
- How To Make Money Blogging: How I Replaced My Day Job With My Blog
- Create Your Own Blog: 6 Easy Projects to Start Blogging Like a Pro
- The Art of Freelance Blogging: How to Earn Thousands of Dollars Every Month as a Professional Blogger
- Bloggy Guide to Monetizing Your Blog
- How to Start a High Earning Blog: No tricks just proven methods