Blog your way to the bank

Posted: May 20, 2015 in Africa, Europe, Kenya, USA
Tags: , ,

Do you want to make money blogging? If you do – you’re in the right place to find out just how to do that. More and more bloggers are finding that blogging is a profitable medium. The online diaries known as Weblogs or ‘blogs’ seemed like a lot of inconsequential chatter when they surfaced a few years ago. But … what once seemed like a passing fancy has morphed into a cutting-edge phenomenon that may provide the platform for the Internet’s next wave of innovation and moneymaking opportunities.

The Internet is one of the most fertile grounds on which companies are increasingly relying on to build their businesses as they seek to sell their products or services. A blogger can be able to leverage on this because of the fact that his/her visitors base is potentially in the order of millions of prospective buyers who are not restricted by physical location. Bloggers though usually underestimate how hard it is to make money from blogging because there are so many blogs out there … They assume that just by putting the blog up, it will be enough. Kind of like the ‘if you build it they will come’ mentality. That’s not likely to happen to most people, though.

To give you some idea of the potential available – top blogging network, Weblogs, Inc. is believed to earn about $30 million a month revenue from 13 million unique visitors. And it is not just about making money monthly it is also about building a BUSINESS that can be sold, such as 22 year old Johns Wu did when he sold his blog for $15 Million. Click here to see more top grossing blogs.

First – let’s get our expectations right. Not everyone who tries to make money blogging becomes rich. In fact those who do well from blogging are in the minority. I’m sorry if this disappoints you – but I’m not here to hype this up or make any promises. It is possible to make money blogging – but it takes time and a lot of hard work – and it doesn’t happen for everyone!

Market your blog first. These techniques for making money are not useful for a blog that doesn’t yet have an audience. Below is the map on how bloggers make money. Click on the image to enlarge.

Ways-to-Make-Money-Blogging-tm

I should warn you this post might be too long, but I wanted to make it as thorough as possible.

  1. Advertising Banners/ Displaying Ads

Bloggers don’t cover the whole space on their blogs with articles, there is some space left so why not allow some people use it and give them some money in return? So to make money bloggers sell advertising space on their blogs and this is by far the most popular advertising method so far. Website owners love this because they know they are guaranteed the money, other techniques such as affiliate marketing can go up and down a lot depending on what you promote. Examples of ad networks are Google Adsense, BlogadsBlogHerBeacon Ads, Federated Media, Sovrn, (formerly Lijit), Media.net, Rivit, Sway, eZanga, Pulse 360, Glam Media, IndieClick, Fusion Ads, BuySellAds, Deck Network, Carbon Ads, Influads, Yoggrt, Burst Moms, Twelve Fold, CafeMom, Twelve Fold, CafeMom, HerAgency, Lifetime Moms, Martha’s Circle, Mom’s Media, MTV, Radium One, Technorati Media, Image Space Media, Meredith, Daily Buzz, Customer Force, Six Apart. Check out more ways here

   More Ad networks in details

  • Adsense– Google is the internet giant in the world and they have a program known as Adsense where millionaires have been made using this program. It pays the best of all Ad services, Nothing, and no one comes closer to Adsense and is one of the best example of how bloggers make money especially when it comes to making money with your blog through adverts.
  • Superlinks – You blog needs  to have a minimum traffic of 100,000 per month for you to be accepted in their program and ones you are accepted then you will be the richest of bloggers since their minimum payout is $100
  • Adversal– Considered as the best Adsense alternative among bloggers, if your Adsense application has not been granted or you have been banned then Adversal is the best option for you. Adversal is almost similar to Superlinks, however, you need to have a monthly page-views of 50,000 to apply and be accepted, however they are flexible if your results are on the increase they will accept you.
  • net– This one is brought to you by Bing and Yahoo and offers high paying ads, it will be a problem if you have not so good traffic from the USA or UK. Their ads are similar to Adsense, but you have to request for an invite to get approved.
  • Chitika– This is one of the best alternatives to Adsense, it is not difficult to join and they always try to serve ads relevant to your Niche, I suggest you try them out.
  • Infolinks – This program allows you to earn from the links in your text, known as text ads infolinks will work if you have no space for ads then this one is for you. I knew of infolinks way back but never tried it before, however on one of my niche blogs, infolinks does well and will recommend it as an example of how bloggers make money online.
  • VigLink– Now this one is my favorite, their concept is different from the rest, it finds products in your texts and turns them into affiliate links and you earn money when someone buys from your product, imagine you write something about apple, it will automatically do the selling for you without messing your design with ads.. Join Vigilink
  • SkimLinks – Works on the same principle as Viglink above and will turn your outbound links into affiliate links where you will make money when someone performs an action based on your link.
  • Buysellads– I know of these guys who allow you to actually sell ad spaces on your site. They will gather information about your blog and determine if you are eligible, then will open the gates to thousands of advertisers to place their ads on your blog. The best thing about Buysellads is that they pay you well upfront and they also manage everything in the back-end leaving you with only blogging and making money.
  1. AFFILIATE MARKETING

Affiliate marketing involves promoting someone else’s product or service and earning a commission when one of your readers clicks through your unique affiliate link and makes a purchase.

Some good examples of the best affiliate Marketing programs include:

  1. Shareasale – This is one of the biggest affiliate networks with a range of products you can find and promote on your blog
  2. ClickBank – Note: They only allow Affiliates from specific countries
  3. Commission Junction
  4. Rapbank – The best part of this is that they pay you instantly via Paypal though you need to have a PayPal account registered as a business.
  5. Amazon Associates Amazon’s affiliate program is another program you can make a few dollars from.

Alternatively there are certain products that have their own affiliate programs managed by themselves; Examples in this category of how bloggers make money include but not limited to: LinkWorth, Bluehost, Shopify, Elegant Themes, Themeforest, Aweber, Amazon’s Affiliate program, FlexOffers, Commission Junction, Shareasale, E-Junkie, LinkShare

You can sign up all of them and find products related to you Blogging Niche and sell them, so how do you sell or promote these products?

  • You can find most of the products have links and banners you may choose to place the banners on your blog as ad spaces or links on your sidebar etc.
  • Write product reviews and have your affiliate links in them
  • Just write you normal posts and mention the products in your post giving your readers with links to them
  • Recommend them on social media or in forums where you can link people who are in search of these products

NOTE: The million dollar question is: How do bloggers make money with hosted blogs such as blogger.com or wordpress.com? The answer is yes you can but as explained, you will not use Adverts on wordpress.com since their policies do not allow that, leaving you with affiliate marketing options.

  1. Newsletter/Podcast Sponsorships

If you have an email newsletter or podcast, you can accept advertising just as you would on your blog. You can reach out to potential advertisers, tell them how they would benefit from advertising with you and pitch your idea.

  1. Sponsored Posts

Writing a sponsored post means you work with a company and write a post about their product or service. Be upfront and disclose your relationship to your readers. Keep sponsored posts to a minimum so you don’t turn off readers.

  1. Underwritten Posts or Series

Underwritten posts differ from sponsored posts in that the post topic is about whatever you want it to be (as opposed to the company’s product/service), but an advertiser pays to get a “Brought to you by” type note in the post. Anticipate the posts you think will get a lot of response and pitch companies with an underwritten spot.

  1. ProBlogger Job Boards

The ProBlogger Job Board is where bloggers looking for jobs and companies looking for bloggers to hire meet.The job boards continue to grow each month in the number of advertisements that are being bought. This enabled one to invest most of the money that they’d earned a while back into getting a new back end for the boards and to redesign them.

  1. Continuity Programs

A continuity program is a site where you earn a recurring income from people who subscribe to a service you offer. Examples of this includes two sites – ProBlogger.com and Third Tribe Marketing. Both programs are membership sites and generate monthly income from the thousands of members that they have as a part of them.

  1. Audio/Video

You can sell music or video that others can use as intros or outros. Audio Jungle or iStockPhoto (they sell audio too).

  1. Apps, Plugins or Themes

If you have a knack for code-writing and can write your own themes or plugins, you can sell them at a place like Creative Market. Also, many plugin authors offer their plugins for free but ask for donations.

  1. Domains

Do you have a domain collecting problem? Did you know you could sell them for profit?

  1. Ecourses/Webinars/Online Workshops

You could do all sorts of things with this from small to large. Of course, you wouldn’t have to go big the first time around. Test the waters by holding a small, local event first. Grow bigger as you learn the ropes and figure out what works and what doesn’t.

Just pick something you’re good at that other people want to know and teach it! Do it once or twice to refine your presentation and then start charging a small fee to those who want to take your class. Check out how LeadPages uses webinars to sell their product in this free 10-part video series.

  1. Ebooks

Many, many bloggers have written ebooks. If you want to write your own ebook, check out this link How to Write an Ebook. One benefit of having an ebook is the ability to participate in ebook bundles which can generate quite a bit of income. Again, it’s about relationships and pooling your resources.

  1. Premium Content & Membership Communities

Insider spaces, one-on-one interaction, VIP rooms. Premium content is just what it sounds like – content that others must pay to access. This isn’t a new concept, but I do think it will become more and more common.

There is free information all over the internet, so in order for this to work, you would have to offer something truly unique — some sort of “insider information,” special access to individuals whose expertise is highly sought after, products or services that go above and beyond the norm, such or special treatment such as one-on-one interaction and coaching.

An example of a premium content site is Food Blogger Pro. Which the owner started after being asked by food bloggers how he and his wife built their hugely popular food blog, Pinch of Yum.

  1. Photos

Are you a photographer? Illustrator? Why not sell your photos on a site like iStockphoto? SomeGirl has an excellent series about how to become an iStockphoto seller. A significant portion of her family’s income comes from selling photos.

  1. Selling Blogs & Websites

Many bloggers have sold their blogs or websites for 4-, 5-, 6- and even 7-figure sums. There is also something called flipping websites where you obtain a small blog or website, grow it and then sell it for profit later.

If you want to flip a site, check out Flippa. And if you want to read about those who have sold their blog, you can read this

Physical products 394336_102556279899665_1627216717_n

  1. Books

For many bloggers, their blogs have helped them sell books, both self and traditionally published. I’ve heard over and over again that traditional publishers will not typically consider your manuscript if you don’t have a blog first.

And if you’re a self-published author or hybrid author (that is, you have both self-published and traditionally-published books), a blog is a great way to sell books.

  1. Conferences, Classes or Special Events

I consider hosting an event like a conference a “physical” product since it involves an exchange of something tangible (in this case, money for a ticket to an experience). You can also do bigger events like day-long seminars or workshops or even multi-day conferences.

Do not underestimate the work that would go into pulling off one of these events successfully. It’s a huge undertaking, but if you have a background in event planning or are extremely motivated, organized and are good at networking and making connections with companies (sponsors) etc., this might be for you.

In your niche or area of interest, it’s likely there are large, established conferences already. So, try narrowing down your conference topic in order to target a more specific group. If you’re going to put on a large-scale event, be very clear and very specific in your goals and make sure there’s a strong desire for the information you can provide. And then do it with excellence.

The way you would make money, of course, is to charge a fee to attend and/or partner with sponsors to cover your costs (and your salary).

  1. Handmade Products

Are you crafty? Consider selling on Etsy. You can set up your own shop for free and it’s simple to get started. It’s not so simple to stand out from the crowd, so that’s likely to be your biggest challenge. Here are some tips on how to market your shop.

  1. Manufactured Products

Sell manufactured products. Use your site/blog/newsletter to promote it. If you create the product yourself, that’s great, but if you don’t know how to create your own product, you can sell someone else’s in your own shop.

If you have an idea for a product you’d like to sell but aren’t sure where to start, this couple tells you how they started selling wedding linens online. Their Online Store Tutorials are particularly helpful.

  1. Direct Ad Sales

You can also sell ad space directly to advertisers. In certain niche markets direct ad sales can work out very well,

  1. Create an online store if appropriate.

If you are an arts and crafts blogger, create a shop through etsy or another service for selling your artwork. If you are a writer or illustrator, search for a website that will sell T-shirts with your slogans or drawings on them. Many blog topics are not easily tied to products. You don’t need to sell anything to make money, but if it fits your blog, do it.

  1. Allow readers to purchase your own products or donate to your cause through your blog.

If you have an online store for selling arts and crafts, or you create T-shirt designs available through a clothing website, provide links to those sites. Including a PayPal button for quick, safe purchases or donations is a common way to monetize creative blogs, or blogs that provide free advice or assistance to those who can’t afford it. See How to Add PayPal to Blog for specific instructions.

                              Compensation methods

There are various ways you get paid when Ads are placed on your blog

 a) Pay Per Click-PPC or Cost Per Click-CPC

By far the easiest way to earn money online from a website or blog is from Google Adsense and being paid per click. If you have a personal blog/site that attracts moderate to high traffic, and you want to generate some revenue from it then PPC is a very good option for you. pay-per-click-150

There are many companies, including the major search engines such as Google, Yahoo!, Microsoft PubCenter , AdBrite, Clicksor, WidgetBucks, AdToll , ExitJunction, ClickThruTraffic. etc. that offer PPC ad-serving applications for webmasters and publishers. After registering with the company, all you have to do is put some Javascript code or HTML in your pages and activate the advertisement. The company tracks how many times the ads have been viewed and clicked and makes your payment at the end of the month.

b) CPM (cost per mille)

Cost per mille, often abbreviated to CPM, means that advertisers pay for every thousand displays of their message to potential customers. In the online context, ad displays are usually called “impressions.” Advertisers can use technologies such as web bugs to verify if an impression is actually delivered. CPM advertising is susceptible to “impression fraud,” and advertisers who want visitors to their sites may not find per-impression payments a good proxy for the results they desire.

c) CPE (cost per engagement)

Cost per engagement aims to track not just that an ad unit loaded on the page (i.e., an impression was served), but also that the viewer actually saw and/or interacted with the ad.

d) CPV (cost per view)

Cost per view video advertising. Both Google and TubeMogul endorsed this standardized CPV metric to the IAB’s (Interactive Advertising Bureau) Digital Video Committee, and it’s garnering a notable amount of industry support.

e) Fixed cost

Fixed cost compensation means advertisers pay a fixed cost for delivery of ads online, usually over a specified time period, irrespective of the ad’s visibility or users’ response to it. One examples is CPD (cost per day) where advertisers pay a fixed cost for publishing an ad for a day irrespective of impressions served or clicks.

f) CPA (Cost Per Action or Cost Per Acquisition)

Also known as PPP (Pay Per Performance) advertising means the advertiser pays for the number of users who perform a desired activity, such as completing a purchase or filling out a registration form. Performance-based compensation can also incorporate revenue sharing, where publishers earn a percentage of the advertiser’s profits made as a result of the ad.

g) CPM ad- cost per thousand impression

In this system, you are paid based on the number of times your ad is displayed on a web page, regardless of whether anyone clicks on the ad. CPM ads are really good for blogs that have high page views but low click through rates. This is the scenario for most tech blogs as the tech savvy folks don’t usually click on ads.

Some of the popular and bigger CPM ad networks that I know of are: Casale Media, Burst Media, Value Click, Tribal Fusion, Right Media.

HANDY TIPS

blogger
Now that you know how bloggers make money, it is now your turn to know how to make money with your blog. You need to understand how to leverage the results. After all, it is easy to put an AdSense ads on your blog, but that does not miraculously make money for you; you need to know how to make the best out of it. To do this, I have listed below tips you should follow to ensure steady stream of income for you and your business. Check them out!
Have a professional platform for your blog
First of all, you need to have a blog on a professional platform, to manage it efficiently, ensuring maximum results. Some prefer Blogger, but none surpasses WordPress. Get a custom domain and maybe get hosting if you are still using the free hosted accounts i.e. blogger.com and wordpress.com
Produce Quality Content
Without content, a blog is useless. There is a common phrase on the internet that “Content is King” So write articles that really add value to the reader’s life. The higher the whim, the better the results!
Targeted Audience
Imagine you have a blog about football. It pays to have 1000 hits a day of hockey fans? No! The least important is the amount of visits; the quality of the audience is key.
The more targeted for your niche, the easier it will be to achieve the ideal audience for you. For example, instead of creating a blog on alcoholic drinks, consider choosing wine, beer or whiskey as niche as your conversion will be much higher from the sale of each product, for example.
Build a list of emails
“The money is in the list”. This is a very famous and very true sentence. Having a contact list of people who can buy your services or your product is the best way to make money. Lists work magic with affiliate marketing.
Have good relationship with the public
Finally, work out on relationships with people who are already your customers/readers. Have a Facebook page for your blog, a Twitter account and so on actually every blog should have its own Facebook page and twitter account.
The money will come as a result of the increase of the people trust in you! Raise your name and the blog, to earn even more money with your business, achieve financial independence and work from home or anywhere you want.
Start small
Keep your day job and build your blog on the side, particularly if you have a family to support. Once you gain traction and can confidently replace your income, launch out on your own.
Find a hole and fill it
You’ll significantly increase your chances of success if you meet a need for others instead of blogging as an outlet for yourself.
Change with the times
Blogging for money today is quite different than it was even 2 years ago. You must stay ahead of the curve. It means you’ll constantly need to be experimenting and branching out. Read a lot.
Experiment and take risks
I don’t think there is a business on earth that has as little risk or overhead as blogging (if you bootstrap it). For that reason, be bold. You’ve got very, very little to lose and so much to potentially gain.
And when you’re first starting out, risk more. You won’t have as many followers so you can work out the kinks early without the whole world watching.
Be observant
There is something to be said about putting your head down and getting to work. However, if you don’t occasionally glance up to see how you might need to adjust and grow, you’ll get left behind.
Diversify
It’s importance to keep finding new income streams, but the other piece of that is to keep them diverse. The internet changes constantly. That way, if one stream dries up (happens all the time in online business), you’ve still got the others.
Don’t just make an income, make a living
Consider passion, productivity and profit. Find the intersection of all three.
• If you are passionate about something and you can produce stuff but you aren’t making money, you have a hobby.
• If you produce stuff and you make money but you lack passion, you have a job.
• If you are passionate and are making money but you feel like it’s taking over your life to the detriment of your other responsibilities, you have an obsession.
Hobbies, jobs and even obsessions might not be totally bad, but try to adjust so you are passionate, productive and profitable. To me, that’s making a living.
Establish a blogging routine
Carve out regular time each day to focus on a few simple tasks (mostly creating great content). Learn to tune out the noise and do your thing.
Be yourself
There’s nothing new under the sun, that’s true. Everything online is just a repackaging of what already was there. However, there is no one that can repackage something in the way you can. Tap into your uniqueness.Blogging-Quote
Be memorable
Before you start a blog in a huge niche with a lot of blogs, be sure you have a concrete plan for standing out. A large niche is a good sign because it means there are a lot of readers in that niche, but for those starting out, it’ll be very difficult to compete with the blogs that have already established themselves. How will you make others take a second look?
Don’t forget about taxes
I realize I can’t speak for everyone in the world, but the income you make blogging should be reported on your taxes. My advice here is to keep good records from the beginning.
Work hard
If you want to make money blogging, especially a full-time income, you’ll never work harder in your life. But you’ll probably never have so much fun either. Go for it!

If you you have more ways and you’d love to share, please feel free to leave them on the comments section below.

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