Blog monetization is a a funny thing. First it was taboo, bloggers were only supposed to do this for the feel good sharing vibe. Then it was widespread and accepted and everyone did it, now it’s back to being sort of taboo unless you do it in a way that no one knows you’re doing it.
My blog network (the one I just sold) was heavily monetized with advertising and earned several thousands dollars each month. This blog has a few ads at the bottom of the sidebar but is nothing like the aggressive effort from my past endeavor.
The thing is, it’s entirely possible to earn a living entire as a blogger on your own blog. There are so many ways to earn, that there’s something for every type of niche and genre. Some programs are bold, some are quiet and some are ambitious.
What follows are some of the ways you can earn money from your blog. If I use/d any of these methods, I noted my experience. However, be advised that everyone has a different experience with blogging and monetization. Take the time to get to know your community before making any decisions about earning from your blog. You’ll want to gauge their wants and needs to tell the types of products that will most interest them and whether or not they’re clickers or buyers.
25 Ways to Monetize Your Blog
- Adsense and other click type ads: Yes, Adsense is ugly. Yes, it’s not fashionable to be seen wearing Adsense anymore. But you know what? Before I sold my writing blog I pulled in a few thousand dollars each month from Adsense, so I can’t complain too much.
- Contextual link advertisers: Chitika and Kontera are two of the more popular Contextual link programs. When I used either one of these options I brought in $300 – $500 each month. However, my community didn’t like being confused by the different set of links, and it really slowed down the loading time. Still, not a bad way to go if you’re into it.
- Become an Amazon affiliate: Amazon has a variety of programs for bloggers and webmasters. Sign on as an affiliate and earn every time someone buys a product through your site. I’ve had very good luck using Amazon as an affiliate. When I had the search box on my blog network, I brought in between $300 & $500 during the holidays, and upwards of $50 during the other times of the year. Selling individual projects, especially books, is also working for me.
- Text Link Ads: Before all the Broohaha over whether or not Google penalized folks who sold text links, I earned a couple of hundred each month with text links. I have nothing against them, to be honest. I mostly removed them because the links provided weren’t relative to my blog.
- Join an ad network: Buy Sell Ads, Performancing Ads, and iSocket are just a few of the options available. Simply sign up for the network, give them all your pertinent details and they will sell ads for a split of the commission. (Except iSocket – pay them a monthly fee and they’ll do all the work and they won’t take a commission.) Ad networks are hit and miss. I did awful with Buy Sell Ads – there were no sales made there at all. My tenure with Performancing ads and iSocket were both very successful. I’m not familiar with any of the other similar programs but reviews abound on the web, so read up if this is the route you want to go.
- Sell ads privately: Here’s where I earned the bulk of my coin. It took a while for me to get the guts to contact potential advertisers directly but it worked very well. I simply contacted them, provided details regarding my stats and community and negotiated a price. When I sold ads this way, I earned more than via the networks.
- Write an ebook: Surely you’re successful at something, otherwise, why are you blogging? What are you sharing? Take your expertise to a whole new level by writing an ebook.
- Write a workbook: Instead of giving readers something to, well, read, give them something to do. Create a workbook that helps them put what they learn to use. Sell it on your blog and even offer an affiliate program so other bloggers can earn while they sell your stuff.
- Write a course: Like a workbook, create courses to teach what you know. Offer up exercises for putting this knowledge to use.
- Sell someone else’s products or services: Other bloggers have stuff to sell. Find the ones that work well in your niche and sell them on your blog.
- Create a webinar: Webinar’s are another way to teach what you know, and you can even enlist the help of your friends. Most involve the use of a webinar tool such as GoToMeeting and a Power Point presentation. I haven’t created my own yet, but I’ve participated in several and giving my presentation couldn’t have been easier.
- Become an affiliate for someone else’s webinar: Last year, I earned over $1000 as an affiliate for one of Mike Stelzner’s webinars. If you choose the right event for your community, you can sell enough tickets to make a one time post (about the webinar) well worth the effort. Really, it didn’t take more than that. I talked about the seminar once and placed and ad in the sidebar. My community did the rest.
- Speak: Get paid to speak about your topic at conferences, seminars, lectures and local business and community events. Start small such as with a local group in your niche. Once you’re more polished, take it to larger events. Not all events pay, but just about all are good opportunities.
- Put up a donation button: A few years ago plenty of bloggers (including some very big names) had PayPal and “buy me a cup of coffee” donation buttons and it worked out well for a while. Then someone decided it was tacky and everyone took down their donation buttons.
- Cafe Press: Cafe Press allows you to design your own shirts, hats, mugs and more. It’s a way to get some branding going, for sure. However, it never worked for me. People wanted to visit my blog, not wear it.
- Put up a job board: Jobamatic, Beyond.com and Indeed.com all offer bloggers and webmasters the ability to earn money every time someone clicks on a job ad. If a job search is relevant to your blog, consider adding one of these puppies. For the record, I brought in between $100 and $300 per month with the Indeed search engine on my blog. You can also use one of the several WordPress plugins that allow others to post jobs on your blog in exchange for a fee.
- Consult: Do a little coaching and teach others how to be a success doing what you do.
- RSS ads: Place Adsense or other clicky ads on your blog’s RSS feed. Feed ads weren’t my biggest money maker but they were good for about $50 per month.
- Do paid reviews and sponsored posts: I did two sponsored posts in ten years. To be honest, I’m not a huge fan. I didn’t choose all the opportunities available and preferred to wait until they offered products or services I knew and believed in, then I had to jump through about 20 hoops to get those posts approved. They were lucrative though. One netted $500 and one netted $300.
- Do sponsored tweets: Yes, there are those who will pay you to tweet. I don’t know how you work out the disclosure thing PLUS the ad in 140 characters. I’d also be worried about losing followers. Still, there are those who do it and do well.
- Widget advertising: Pulse 360 and Chitika are just two of the advertisers who will give you widgets to install on your blog. Every time someone clicks on one of the links in the widget, you earn. They look busy and clunky and you can’t always blend in the colors like you can with Adsense. Also, not all ads are relevant to your community. When I used widgets I earned about $300 per month with Pulse 360 and maybe $30 per month with Chitika (which didn’t last long because they’re ugly). Not my favorite way to bring in money because they make the blog look too busy.
- Make and sell products: If you have a talent, exploit it with a blog. For example, if you make jewelry, you can start a jewelry blog and sell your products there.
- Kindle subscription: Allow your blog to be sold on Kindle. Amazon charges .99 to $1.99 for a monthly blog subscription and the blogger earns 30%.
- Grow a private membership community: Third Tribe and the ProBlogger community are just two examples of successful private membership communities. People are willing to pay to receive good advice and have a troll/spam free environment. You can also become affiliates for these communities.
- Sell your blog: If your blog is doing well, brings in money and has become a lucrative business – but has run its course – consider selling it. I did, and received a very nice amount of money in return.
As you can see, there are plenty of ways to profit from blogging.
What are some of the ways you’re monetizing your blog? How is it working out for you? Also, are you afraid to put ads on your blog because you’re worried you’ll be written off as some sort of money-grubbing amateur?