I get a lot of questions from visitors to FreshBlogger about how to make money with blogging. Instead of answering each question at length by email, I think it’s better to post my answer to a recent one right here so that others can join in the conversation.
I can’t call myself an expert on this topic, but I can tell you some of the basics to get you started. Blogging, like any other kind of writing, is hard work, as I’m sure you would agree. There’s a lot more to it than just hitting the keys and shooting off a post every day or so. It’s important to start out with this in mind when you begin blogging if you’re serious about making money.
Some bloggers say you should never get into blogging just for the money and that will cause you to ultimately fail, but I don’t think that’s entirely correct. Blogging for money is just as legitimate as any other business venture. If you start out with reasonable goals, you can do well with blogging.
With that said, you should first consider what you’d like to blog about. The topic of your blog can make a huge difference in whether you’re able to make money. If money is your prime objective, you’ll have to make sure that the particular topic you’ve chosen is one that people will be interested in reading about. If not, it will be very difficult to attract visitors to your blog.
At the same time, you will want to choose a topic that you are passionate about. If you lose interest in your topic soon after you start blogging, either you’ll find yourself wanting to quit or your posting will slack off. The half-hearted posts you do write will make it obvious to your readers that you just don’t care about the topic.
Do some research on your topic. Do some googling to find out what’s already out there in your topic area or niche. Some topics are hotter than others. Be careful, though, because this can mean that there’s a lot of competition and it can be hard to get regular readers.
Another thing to consider is that product blogs can do very well monetarily. If you have a passion for vintage record players or cheap mp3 players, it’s possible that there may be a lot of other people who share your passion. If so, you could blog about this topic and include reviews and advertising for these products or related products.
That gets us into the topic of advertising. This is generally how most bloggers earn their money. There are a number of different ways to advertise on your blog and some work better than others, depending on what you’re blogging about. The most common advertisements you’ll see on a blog are from Google’s AdSense. This is a type of contextual advertising, or ads that are relevant to the context of what you’re writing about on your blog. You earn money when visitors click on these ads. The ads can be textual, graphical, or even multimedia.
Another type of advertising is text link advertising. These ads are simply text links that visitors click on if they’re interested. You are usually paid to run the ad in a prominent spot on your blog, kind of like advertisers pay for their ads to be printed in a newspaper or magazine. The biggest player in this area is the appropriately named Text Link Ads or TLA. Another one you may consider is AdBrite, which offers both AdSense-type click ads and text link advertising.
These types of ads can make you some decent money and, indeed, some big bloggers are making a very good living from just these types of advertising. But, many bloggers, especially beginning bloggers, don’t have the level of traffic necessary to make much money from that type of advertising. It does take time to build up traffic and if your niche is not an extremely popular one, your traffic may never be what’s considered large.
Don’t worry, though. There are ways of making money from small, but regular amounts of blog traffic. A good way to capitalize on this small traffic is the sign up for one of the affiliate networks, like Commission Junction or Linkshare. These sites allow you to sign up once under one account and then easily apply to join different advertising programs. Admission into the different programs is not guaranteed, but there are usually many advertisers to choose from in any given area that will be included in each network.
You can also sign up directly to be an affiliate for a product or service you particularly like. This is what I’ve done with internet marketer Perry Marshall’s products, for instance. If you like something, blog about it. If you can also make money from blogging about it, go for it. Just make sure that you let your readers know that you are being compensated in some way or that you have some sort of relationship with the product in question.
There are many other ways of making money by blogging that I haven’t really touched on in this article. It really is a huge topic and one that you could research for months without learning every little thing. If you’re serious about blogging and making some money, do your research first. Then get a good domain name and hosting from a great host like BlueHost
and start blogging. It may take some time to get readers to come to your blog, but use this time to create some great content and build connections with other bloggers.
Note: Affiliate links for which I may receive some compensation are included in the above article.