How to Blog and Make Money – 5 Ways to Use Your Blog to Make Money

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By now, many have recognized the potential for blogs as a money maker.

While many people don’t actually end up getting rich off their blogging efforts, there are some who manage to build home businesses around their blogs — or at least use their blogs to make a little more money from their business efforts.

If you are looking for ways to use your blog to make money, you might be surprised that it isn’t all about affiliate marketing (although that can certainly be part of it).  The big question of course is how to blog and make money?

Here are 5 ways that you can use your blog to make money:

1. Affiliate Marketing

One of the foundations of making money with a blog is affiliate marketing.  You can sign up for affiliate programs that pay you a portion of sales made as a result of your web site.  You allow banners and ads on your site, and visitors click on them.  If they click through and make a purchase, you receive a commission.

Affiliate marketing can be somewhat discouraging, though.  This is because you generally only see a small commission.  And if you don’t have the traffic volume that sends a lot of people to buy products, it can take a very long time to make any real money.  There are those who are successful, and can make a decent enough part-time income, but it can take years to build up enough of a following to see huge affiliate marketing results.

Glen – Some popular affiliate programs are Commission Junction, FlexOffers, LinkShare, Google Affiliate Network (GAN), and Google Adsense.

2. Sell Advertising

Another option is to sell advertising on your site.  You can do this through ad networks, which serve ads to your site, and you might even get paid per click, rather than only if someone just buys.  You can, of course, make use of ads from search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo.

It’s also possible for you to sell your own advertising space, much as newspapers do.  You can set a price, and sell ads in your sidebar or even in different posts.  Some bloggers get into selling text links, but you have to be careful about that if you want to remain in Google’s good books.  [Glen - This would mean using "nofollow" on the links.]

3. Encourage People to Visit Your Online Store

blogging for moneyYou don’t have to limit your blog to being the thing that makes money.

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Your blog can also be a way to encourage people to visit your online store and buy products and services from you.  If your interesting blog can send traffic to your store and encourage people to spend money on what you have to offer, it doesn’t matter if your actual blog makes a lot of money.  You can still try to make a little extra through advertising and affiliate programs, but it doesn’t need to be your main source of income if readers are turning into customers.

Glen – My friend Steve runs a successful online course that helps you create a profitable online store.

4. Sell a Book

A blog is also a good tool to sell a book or a course that you have.  Many authors have their own blogs.  They interact with readers, and readers can purchase books through the blogs, or links on the blogs.  It’s a good way to get the word out there on your book.  Indeed, blogging has become one component of a publicity campaign.

You don’t even have to sell a physical book to be successful.  You can put together your own digital offering, and sell it on Amazon, or sell it through other means.  There are a number of software programs that can help you build and sell an ebook.  And, when you do it yourself, rather than going through a publisher, you can sell the ebook right from your blog and keep all of the profits.

Glen – Here are a couple of great examples of authors I respect who publish their own books as well as maintain a great blog – Mike Piper at Oblivious Investor and James Altucher at The Altucher Confidential.

5. Establish Your Expertise

One of the best ways you can use your blog to make money is to establish your expertise on a subject.

If you want to be a consultant or public speaker, what you write on your blog can help others see you as an expert.  You can use your blog as a way to build your reputation, and land speaking or consulting gigs.  In this case, it’s not as important that the blog itself make money.  Instead you focus on sharing your knowledge, and setting yourself up as reliable expert that is worth paying.

Related: Here are some blogging tools that I use.

Finally

Glen – If you think you are going to start a blog and the money will roll in then you are sorely mistaken.  It takes a lot of time and work and you have to love the subject.  But if you’re smart about it and you put in the sweat you can make money with a blog.

What are some of the ways you use your blog to make money?

Published or updated February 7, 2013.

Comments

  1. You can definitely make money blogging and I think you covered all the major areas! It’s not a full-time income for me and hasn’t come close to replacing my day job income, but it’s been a great source of additional income to fund our savings account and provide extra money for entertainment. Get into blogging because you have the passion for writing, social media and learning more about a subject that interests you. Your passion will be the best source of income for blogging. There have been many times I’ve thought about stopping, but I quickly realized it’s the passion for blogging about personal finance that fuels my energy, not my bank account.

    • Spot on Jason! The biggest mistake people make is thinking they will start a blog about something they only have slight interest in and the money will come in. If you aren’t passionate about your blog then you will quickly fizzle out.

  2. I talk about money too much in real life and I can get that out on my blog and hopefully bug those around me less. My friends just don’t want to hear about the next stock I am considering purchasing.

    How many readers does a blog have to have before they can attempt to add ads? I average less than 200 views each day and realize I have a long way to go but do I have to wait until I have 10,000 views each day or is 1,000 each day enough?

    • Sounds like our blogs are similar sizewise. Really keen to get traffic up to 500 or 1000 a day! (That said I already make some money from my blog – you don’t need HUGE numbers.)

      • I just tried to take my blog to Blue Host from WordPress so that I could have ads on my site without waiting to be approved by the machine that is WordPress WordAds but it was an impossible task.

        I have emailed WordPress to find out how long the wait is to start having ads. I understand there are thousands of people ahead of me.

        I also sent a very strongly worded message to Blue Host to let them know how disapointed I was with their technical support.

        Who hosts your blog?

  3. I have had a tough time with making any decent money from affiliate marketing. Having said that I have not really focused on that as I am making a decent amount from advertising. I want to focus more of my efforts on affiliate revenue during 2013.

  4. Hi Miranda,
    It’s so exciting to generate income from ones blog. I generate income from affiliate marketing, adsense, personal product sales. I’m taking my blog up so as to get into product reviews.

    With good traffic and encouraging social proofs, one can really make big cash blogging.

    Hope you have a great weekend

  5. I have been blogging for quite a few years now and I earn through ads, paid posts, and product reviews. I have been trying to learn about affiliate marketing. Unfortunately, my mind and body could not absorb it. I wonder why.

  6. These are great pieces of advice. I appreciate how these were explained in such simple terms!

  7. Danielle @ Work At Home Info says:

    Hi Miranda,

    You have covered some really interesting ways to make money with a blog, some of which I have tried. My favorite has to be Affiliate Marketing since it is so broad and very profitable if you know what you are doing. I would also like to start selling eBooks. The only thing keeping me from doing that right now is the fact that I can’t think of what to write my eBook about. I want is to be something different and not a topic that’s already so saturated.

  8. I am tired make money from blog because i just get one dollar a month. Now I consider make book to make money.

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