By Connie Mei
You’ve probably heard all the success stories of bloggers who are making a living just from their blogs—and you might be skeptical about whether it’s true or not. Before I jumped into the crazy world of blogging, I certainly was skeptical as well. But yes, the stories are true. You can make money blogging. However, it’s not as easy as you may think.
Before we dive into all the different ways you can make money blogging, let me first throw this out there: it’s not easy. If it was, everyone would do it. It can take years for a blog to see any kind of revenue. If you truly want to make your blog profitable, you have to be committed. Anyone can do it but it takes time.
First, focus on great content. Then keep it consistent.
Before you even think about making any kind of money from your blog, you have to first build it. Find your voice and your audience. Create awesome and engaging content. Connect with your readers and other bloggers. If you don’t do these things, it’ll be difficult for you to grow your readership. And without any eyeballs on your blog, you won’t make any money.
If you’ve taken the time to work on your blog and you feel like you’re ready for the next step, you can now work on monetizing it. Here are a few ways you can make money blogging:
Display ads or banner ads can be featured somewhere on your site, like the sidebar or above your header. These ads are provided by an ad network. One of the biggest ad networks is Google Adsense. As the blog owner, you can make money by displaying these ads on your site. You are paid either per click or per set of visitors (for instance, a thousand visits). Display advertising can be a slippery slope. You might be tempted to put up ads everywhere on your blog, but it might hurt the integrity of it. You’ll have to do some testing and see what ad placements work best for you. Display ads are only really profitable for larger blogs with a considerable amount of traffic. If you have a smaller blog, try only one ad at a time or wait until you have more readers.
Companies often reach out to bloggers to help them promote their products directly. One way to do this is through sponsored posts. The company will compensate you for a blog post reviewing or mentioning their products. Most companies will also want you to link back to their website. Google may punish you in page rank and search results rankings for random links and it’s really quite a mystery how they judge this.
Similarly, companies may also want to buy sponsored ads on your site. Unlike display ads, you’re working directly with the company. Be sure to get in writing how many ads you are featuring and the length of time they will be on your site.
Companies may also ask you to promote a product in a blog post, in social media, or in an ad space. In return, you’ll get a commission or a percentage of the sale. Affiliate marketing can be very profitable but only if you have a large following. If you don’t, it might just be a waste of time.
As a blogger, you have a growing readership base that you can convert into potential customers. Many bloggers are making money by selling a product, such as an eBook or an online course. Typically this is a lot of work upfront, but it can turn into passive income down the road.
Many bloggers offer freelancing services, such as blog consulting, writing, or graphic design. While this isn’t necessarily making money from your blog, it’s made possible through all the connections you’ve made blogging. Bloggers often make a substantial side income from freelancing services. Many have turned it into a full time position.
There are many ways you can make money blogging. There isn’t is a one-size-fits-all answer on how to do it. Not every channel will work for your blog so experiment. Be nimble. The blogosphere is always changing so change with it. And always remember to stay true to you. The most profitable blogs are the one that differentiate themselves from others and offer value.