There are gazillions of posts on the internet about this. This has indeed became a problem: you cannot filter out what is relevant for you and your blog. Moreover (and more problematically, to me), is that usually you cannot see how much money the authors of such articles make with their own blogs. I am writing this post to describe my strategy to make money with my blog, and I will keep you posted on how much money I make with it. You can actually check it out here. Therefore, you can see the correlation between the tools I use and the money I make, thereby deciding if this is the right strategy to you.
First off, we should keep in mind that the number one rule to make money with a blog is to deliver value. In fact, to make money you only need views, but to have organic views, you need to create a blog with a lot of value. This is also the rule of a successful company. No company is successful by chance, or by executing any kind of scam. Not in the long term, at least. Thing about the corporations you like the most, and think about the value they deliver.
OK, now assuming that you will deliver value with your blog, you will organically have viewers. That is necessary to make money. Now, let us cut to the chase here. You can use:
- Affiliate programs, such as Amazon. This is my favorite, because you can promote products you like and endorse them. For example, if you recommend books, like I do in my blog, you can apply for the Amazon affiliate program and simply use links to the books via this program. You’ll get a commission whenever a book is sold through your blog.
Example: An interesting affiliate program is that of Blue Host. In fact, I recommend Blue Host to everyone, having I used it myself.
- Advertising. This are ads that you put on your blog. Google Adsense is a good example of this. I personally don’t like these as much as I like the others (because I don’t know upfront what my blog may end up with – although it must be related to the topics), but it is the easiest way to get started (and for a big number of blogs the most profitable way). If you overdo it, the audience may feel spammed.
Example: other than Google Adsense, you can try Chitika, PropellerAds Media and PopAds. I personally use “a little” of Google Adsense Ads.
- Products. Physical products you may sell, both from you or companies you have an agreement with. You can write your own book about the topic of the blog, or create an object with a 3D printer. You can also coach/mentor people. The possibilities are endless, seriously.
So, I personally think that for my blog a little bit of advertising will at least cover the expenses, but I plan on making most profits from affiliate programs, by endorsing products I personally used and liked.
Sometimes, blogs with a lot of value need a lot of time to attract viewers. Therefore, you must come up with ways to increase your visibility. Let me tell you what you can use:
- Social media. Make sure you create a Facebook page for your blog, a Twitter account and others, such as Pinterest. The power of social media is staggering.
- Forums. Some forums allow you to advertise your blog, if the context is right and you have a reason to do so. As some of your posts will be seen by thousands of people, all of a sudden you have thousands of possible viewers, especially if they like what you write.
- Paid traffic. Pretty much self-explanatory. This does not make sense for my blog in particular. However, sometimes there are tools that boost your visibility in social media networks and such, and that is a different ball game. 🙂
- Co-advertise blogs. You can talk to other bloggers and advertise their blogs and ask them to advertise yours. Needless to say, you should blog about the same topics. 🙂