Sunday, July 19, 2009

"How to Make Your Blog Earn Its Keep"

By Merle

If you've been blogging for any length of time, and have built up a nice following, it may have crossed your mind to try and earn some cash from all your efforts. When you can earn an income from something you really enjoy doing, it's a great feeling. spritz_512

There are plenty of bloggers who are doing it. The question is:  How? There really are a multitude of ways to put this plan into action, and most successful blog owners know this and don't rely on one method but several, in order to get the job done.

Remember, if your blog is new and you haven't established any traffic yet, your main priority should be getting traffic. Without it, any attempt to turn your blog into a cash generator won't work.

Let's take a look at some of the ways to make your blog start earning its keep:

1) Utilize Ad Networks:  Google Adsense is the most popular when it comes to contextual ad networks, but there are many others to choose from such as:

Contextual and inline ads are text and/or image ads placed on your blog, and the ads displayed are related to the page content. Money is earned when someone clicks on an ad and visits the website being advertised. You won't get rich from this method, but with a decent amount of traffic it can sometimes be a steady monthly check to look forward to. The trick here is to test to find the best ad placement for the ads.

2) Sell Text Ads: Again, if you don't have a lot of traffic, there won't be many people chomping at the bit to buy an ad on your blog. If you have a decent amount of traffic and your Google page rank is good, you'll find plenty of people who would like to advertise on your blog with a text or image ad.  You can add a graphic to your site that says "advertise here" or use an outside service such as to find possible advertisers for you.

3) Ask for Donations: Another old stand-by is to place a button on your blog where readers can donate any amount of cash they wish. Believe it or not, if people like your posts and are benefiting from them, some will actually want to "tip you" for that information. The easiest way to set this up is to use Paypal. They have a cut and paste button generator for this or you can utilize one of those "buy me a drink" scripts. This is also a great method to employ on your websites and newsletters. For further resources see:

4)Affiliate Programs: If you're active online you're probably a member of an affiliate program or two. These are programs that allow you to sign up, they give you a special link to paste on your site, and when someone purchases a product or service through your link, you are compensated. Just make sure you choose affiliate programs that are related to your blog’s topic. There are two ways to approach this: One is to occasionally make a post using your special link, generally like a review. The other is to weave affiliate links into your blog design, usually placed in the right or left hand borders. Make sure you give full disclosure somewhere on your blog or in your disclaimer that you may earn money from some of your postings.

5) Sell Your Own Products:  If you sell your own products or services, why not toot your own horn? Now don't get crazy here. It really isn't all about you, but your readers won't mind an occasional plug or two on your goods. The keyword to keep in mind here is “occasionally”.

6) Blog Review Services:  If you look around the net, you'll find plenty of services where you can sign up and get paid to review an advertiser’s services or products. This is a controversial area. Some say it will ruin your blog's integrity, but if you're selective and only write about things you really believe in, and you’re honest in your reviews, you may want to consider it.

Again, you don't want to make every post on your blog a paid review, but an occasional sprinkle here and there is fine. Again, just make sure to include full disclosure that it's a "sponsored review",
either in the review itself or add it to your blog's disclaimer that some posts may be paid for. This is
generally required by the pay-per-click review services as well as it being the right thing to do to keep  yourself out of "hot water". Here are a few services to consider:


If you're serious about trying to earn some cash from doing something you love, start out by implementing a few of the suggestions here. Remember, don't put all your eggs in one basket, rather implement a few different strategies for best results.

It really is possible to have your blog earn some cash, but your first priority is good content and traffic. Without these two essentials, your blog may be in the unemployment line sooner than you think.

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