How To Start A Blog, Part 5: How To Earn Money From Your Blog
Most people want to earn money from their blogs. They’re a lot of work – it’s good to see some payback.
The first thing I want you to have, however, is a realistic view. Most bloggers do not make a living from their blogs. It is possible to earn a good living blogging, but most do not.
This doesn’t mean you won’t earn a living as a blogger. It means only that you should expect to have to work at it. You might be one of the people who does far better blogging than they ever did at a regular job. You’ll never know unless you try, and try hard. Some people make a very good living at blogging, after all.
Expect to need some time to earn a living as a blogger. Some do well after a few months. Some do well after a year or several years. Some will continue to struggle for a long, long time. If you pin all your hopes on immediate success, it will be harder to keep trying when it takes longer than you hoped. Earning money slowly isn’t failure, it’s progress.
There are several possible sources of income for bloggers. Don’t overdo your attempts to earn money at first – you can chase readers away if you do nothing but promote product after product or monetize your blog too heavily. There’s a balance between earning money from your blog and keeping your readers happy (and possibly willing to buy).
Here are some of the possible income sources for bloggers.
Adsense is run by Google, and is one of the simplest ways to monetize your blog. You have to get approved for Adsense, and you need to have several posts up first for them to consider.
Once you’re approved, you need to insert your ad code into your blog’s theme. From there, Adsense will place the ads for you. Once it’s up and running, it’s very simple for you.
One huge caution with Adsense is that you can never fool around with clicking your own ads or asking for clicks. They are very quick to ban people for that. They’re good at filtering the occasional accidental click, but if you give them regular problems, you’ll be thrown out of the program.
Earnings from Adsense can be quite respectable, but usually not as good as promoting products on your own, once you learn how.
I compare affiliate marketing with being a commissioned salesperson. That’s approximately what you’re doing. You recommend a product, and if someone buys, you earn a commission on that sale.
There are many companies with affiliate programs. Amazon.com has a hugely popular Associate program, for example. Pretty much everyone knows Amazon, and if someone clicks through your link, it doesn’t matter what they buy there – you might earn a commission. Their cookie duration is relatively short, but many people earn a lot from Amazon.com as associates.
There are also companies that run affiliate programs for other companies, giving you a single place to find a lot of companies to affiliate with. Commission Junction, Clickbank, ShareASale, Rakuten Marketing and JVZoo are all worth considering.
Please note that you must clearly disclose affiliate relationships on your blog.
A sponsored post is a post you have been paid to create or post on your site. The sponsorship may be as simple as a link placement or may have to do with the entire blog post. Izea is a popular place for bloggers to connect with companies that want to get the word out about something.
Some sponsored posts include a product for you to try. They may also allow you to do a giveaway of the product, which can be hugely popular with site visitors. There may or may not be money paid in addition to the product sent for review. Products sent for review count as income if they are not sent back to the company.
Just as with affiliate marketing, sponsored posts and links must be disclosed. Don’t overdo the sponsored posts on your blog – they can be annoying to readers.
Selling A Product
You can sell products through your blog as well. You can write an ebook, create an ecourse, sell physical products, and more. You can offer services such as social media marketing, website design, graphic design and so forth. It’s up to you.
Digital products are very popular on blogs because order fulfilment is so easy. You can use a service such as Clickbank or JVZoo to fulfill your orders automatically. These services also allow affiliates to sign up to promote your product. If your product is a good one, affiliates can greatly increase your sales.
Your blog can be one aspect of your business, a place to bring attention to what you have to offer.
If you’re doing well with your blog, you may want to consider adding premium content that is only available to paying members. You can form a community that discusses things at a more challenging level than what is posted on your public blog. Members can share tips and get more personal advice from you.
There are WordPress plugins, such as Memberpress which you can use to add membership features directly to your blog, or you can select a software to run separately from your blog. aMember is a popular choice which has been around for quite a few years. A good membership site will produce a regular income for you so long as you make it worthwhile for people to remain members.
- How To Start A Blog, Part 1: Why Blog?
- How To Start A Blog, Part 2: Brainstorming
- How To Start A Blog, Part 3: Starting A WordPress Blog
- How To Start A Blog, Part 4: How To Get Traffic and Followers
- How To Start A Blog, Part 5: How To Earn Money From Your Blog
- How To Start A Blog, Part 6: Should You Add Video Or Podcasting?
- How To Start A Blog, Part 7: What Else Would You Like To Know?