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blog for moneyWriting a popular blog, getting famous, and then living off the Internet from a desert island beach are faily common dreams for many aspiring bloggers. With the advent of content management systems such as WordPress which make it incredibly easy to get a professional looking websites up and running in no time – full of sophisticated features –  the only thing really holding you back is your talent. “It’s too difficult to set up a website” really isn’t an excuse anymore. For your consideration then, here are 4 of the most popular ways to make your blogging pay.

This is a preview of my upcoming free MakeUseOf guide, a full manual of everything you need to know about making money blogging, due for release in a few months time (just as soon as I get around to actually finishing it!).

Banner Advertising

The most common form of website monetization today, online ads have never had a particular good public perception: from malicious Javascript injection to autoplaying videos, content-blocking popups and user activity tracking – many users are turning to Adblock Do You Use Adblock? [MakeUseOf Poll] Do You Use Adblock? [MakeUseOf Poll] Read More plugins to declutter their web experience. Large ad networks such as Google Adsense are very easy to implement, and produce a pretty reliable income proportional to the number of visitors. If you’d like more control over your ads though – ensuring only relevant content is shown to your readers – the BuySellAds network is perfect for bloggers.

As well as being able to approve every ad before it’s displayed, and set your own pricing strategies (a fixed monthly cost, or traditional pay-per-click), you will also have the benefit of being listed in the directory from which advertisers can choose appropriate sites. The end result – content appropriate ads that users won’t feel the need to block.

blog for money

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing refers to the practice of linking to products or services in exchange for a small kickback when users purchase or sign up, through you. Typically it involves using a trackable customised link, and some programs such as Amazon will even place a cookie on the user’s browser for a certain number of days, so that you will be paid even if the purchase isn’t immediate or the user goes on to purchase additional items than the one you specifically linked to.

Ads by Google

While this sounds like easy money, the truth is that affiliate marketing is very difficult Placing an Ad for Free? Affiliate Programs Don't Always Work Placing an Ad for Free? Affiliate Programs Don't Always Work Read More . If you’d like to learn more, Matt wrote this informative article on the topic How to Set Up an Affiliate Program on a New Blog or Website How to Set Up an Affiliate Program on a New Blog or Website Read More .

blog make money online

Donations & Flattr

Flattr is an easy way to accept micropayment type donations without having to ask for users payment details. The Flattr button is placed in a similar way to a Facebook Like or Tweet button; subscribers to the Flattr service contribute a self determined amount to their Flattr account each month. As they go about their Internet travels, they click the Flattr button for sites or articles they have appreciated; then at the end of the month their funds are divided up equally to all the sites they “flattered”.

Given that the number of Flattr users is still quite small and the amount given from a single Flattr is likely to be less than a dollar anyway, you shouldn’t expect to make a huge amount with this. Still, if you’re the type of blogger producing content that users are vocal about thanking you for, it can’t hurt to add just another button to your social icons at the bottom of every post, and it may at least pay for your hosting. It also has the added advantage of being non-intrusive, and AdBlock users may actually seek out Flattr buttons to reward sites they enjoy.

blog make money online

Sponsored Blogging

Entry requirements are strict, but sponsored blogging platforms such as SocialSpark allow influential bloggers to receive free gadgets and goods in exchange for positive reviews, as well as the basic paid blog post. You have to actually write the review of course, typically contain a certain number of keywords and links, but the advertisers pay reliably and you can expect anywhere from $5-$50 per post. Blogs with a higher PageRank and greater traffic garner the best offers, naturally.

Angela wrote about a number of other sponsored blog opportunities How To Get Paid Sponsorship For Your Blog How To Get Paid Sponsorship For Your Blog Read More back in 2010, most of which are still operational.

blog make money online

Of course, this may not be something that your readership appreciates, and some users user will be quite offended by the idea of advertising disguised as content. Be sure to only accept offers from services relevant to your readers, and try to differentiate it from regular articles with a standout paragraph or note.

Traffic Should Be Your Priority

Before you jump onto any of the methods outlined, be warned that nothing will actually generate revenue unless you have a good flow of traffic already visiting your site. In fact, it may even be harmful to start monetizing your blog too early, as many forms of online advertising will put off visitors, driving them to the back button faster than you can say CPC.

If you’re hitting less than 1,000 page-views a day, I’d say it’s simply not worth bothering yet. If you have no idea how much traffic you’re getting, be sure to read through Ryan’s quick guide on using the new Google Analytics features Check Out The Features Of The New & Improved Google Analytics Check Out The Features Of The New & Improved Google Analytics Google Analytics is the most popular website analytics platform for website owners today. There are certainly others to choose from, such as the three open source tools Danny wrote about, the free analytics tools Rich... Read More .

blog for money

No worries if your site isn’t quite up to scratch yet though – now would be a great time to read though my 8 proven tips to make your blog popular 8 Proven Tips To Make Your Wordpress Blog Popular 8 Proven Tips To Make Your Wordpress Blog Popular Read More . By the time you’re done implementing them, my full monetization guide will have been released!

Do you have any other great monetization ideas? I’d really love to hear about them in the comments (no affiliate links please). What is your experience with the methods I outlined here – have you found one in particular to be more effective?

Image credit: Shutterstock – typewriter

  1. Samrudh Shetty
    October 20, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    great article. I didn't know about sponsored posting.

    • Damdin soath
      April 27, 2015 at 1:43 pm

      I just started doing research doing business online today and I am keep in this subject! Please leave me some advices to show me the way.

      Thanks

  2. Gregg at BMA
    October 9, 2012 at 11:22 am

    I would also add: present the reader with every opportunity to take action, i.e. a credit card payment system (http://www.bettermerchantaccounts.com/), even if only on a donate button. Accepting credit cards can significantly increase your website earnings.

    Second thing. Raw traffic isn't everything. Targeted traffic is more lucrative.

  3. Camilla Lovegood
    September 29, 2012 at 11:54 pm

    Thanks for the post, I've learned a lot. I just created a blog and would love to get some feedback on how to improve it, if it's not too much to ask. My blog is http://www.enchanteddreamsofabrazilianenglishmajor.com .

    • muotechguy
      September 30, 2012 at 9:08 am

      Write more than 4 posts before trying to evaluate anything; it's difficult for me to figure out what the purpose of your blog is.

      Random advice:
      - your domain is far too long. It will neither get ranked by google for anything, nor will users be able to type it in. You would be better off with a something.wordpress.com unless you're hoping to take this commerical, in which case you'll need a shorter domain.
      - categorize your posts
      - figure out clear objectives

  4. Michael Lyons
    September 15, 2012 at 1:52 am

    Wow, just found this site and love the article about making money with blogs.

  5. manmeet
    July 11, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    pls visit my blog and tell me what's wron in it-

    http://gadgetsezone.blogspot.in/

    • James Bruce
      July 11, 2012 at 4:04 pm

      Well, since you asked..

      1. The grammar is terrible: "What else u want in a budget phone". Write correctly. It's one thing to claim English isn't your native language, and another to use abbreviations like "u". You've used the wrong tense throughout most articles too: "the phone is having". I'm all for practising a language through blogging - it was a great way for me to practice my Japanese in fact; but in that case making money and being popular shouldn't be your objectives, and a language exchange site might be more useful.

      2. There are fishes on your sidebar. Whats going on there?.

      3. Your featured header shows the caption "Introducing Blogger Theme" for the Windows 8 Surface picture.

      4. The content is bland, with pure technical details and no actual opinion or commentary. You've literally copy pasted spec sheets from the manufacturers (either as pictures, or from their sites where you can even see the different font). What do readers gain from reading your site?

      I hope that wasn't too harsh. On the plus side, the design is relatively good, unlike a lot of blogspot sites I see that are already weighed down with ads and badly laid out content. You've got that bit done nicely. I would just work on your English, practice writing skills, and start saying more than just the basic specs and things everyone knows already. Get an opinion - say something. Teach something. Share insight. Give away free stuff.

    • Raj
      July 26, 2012 at 7:50 pm

      Well James you did a great inspection, he's got the answer and i hope he'll work on it.

    • Raj
      July 26, 2012 at 7:52 pm

      I've got a blog too but it isn't proffetional?

    • James Bruce
      July 27, 2012 at 8:24 am

      Is that a question?

    • Raj
      July 28, 2012 at 9:32 am

      It must be full stop, i used question mark ..lol

  6. Sham
    June 22, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    Learn a lot from your post,great article. Will implement this in my blog although my application for adsense are rejected.
    Thanks for the tip.

    You can check out my blog and let me know what's wrong with it.
    http://best2knowall.blogspot.com/

    Appreciate any feedback for you.
    Have a nice day.

    • muotechguy
      June 22, 2012 at 3:45 pm

      It was rejected because your content is obviously copied and unoriginal. You need to write your own content; google will not approve spam sites.

    • Sham
      June 22, 2012 at 3:59 pm

      Thanks.

  7. Poet2012
    June 20, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    poet2012.blogspot.com Check this link out. It's a new blog I just started, would love if you could share the link amongst your friends, would love your comments as well. Thanks. Nice article btw. :)

  8. Paul Morrow
    June 6, 2012 at 11:37 pm

    I'm actually a novice just trying the affiliate approach and I have met some people who've been very successful with it. Even so, from what I can tell it is very difficult as the article suggest. The benefits of a blog is that your readers are already considered to be "warm" potential customers because of their interest in the topic. This means they are more likely to click on product ads related to the the blog theme. As an example, if I were to blog about making money as on entrepreneur, I might include a link like this in the postThe Millionaire Fastlane (A Book about Entrepreneurship) Great book by the way. In any case, Amazon would pay about 4% on each sale. Of course, you would place the affiliate item that would compliment your theme.

  9. Ashwani Ahlawat
    May 15, 2012 at 9:01 am

    This is really nice article. I think AdSense suits the best for me. Thanks for the share. :)

  10. Afk Bot
    May 15, 2012 at 8:04 am

    niceee..writeup

  11. Maxthon
    May 14, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    Its quiet impressive to improve traffic

  12. gpvprasad
    May 14, 2012 at 8:24 am

    And also the language matters.
    I get less traffic since I blog in my local Language(http://gpv-buddha.blogspot.in)

    • Jeremy
      October 17, 2012 at 4:44 pm

      Why not add a translator to your site

  13. Richard Carpenter
    May 13, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    Great Article. I have been considering setting up my blog with banner ads for quite some time... just not enough traffic...

    Enjoy your articles and looking forward to reading your guide :)

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