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.
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
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.
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.