While most bloggers struggle to make a living out of their websites, others end up making a fortune. While much of this success is down to the popularity of the content they publish, the most financially successful bloggers also take advantage of the many different ways that a blog can be monetised. Here, we look at the range of money-making opportunities that blogs offer.
- Charge for your content
The best time to consider charging people to see your content is when you have published a decent volume of articles and are getting a regular stream of visitors. By this time, you’ll have built up a sizeable following and have some content that visitors are especially keen to see. Ideally, you should keep the bulk of your content free as it helps attract a constant stream of new visitors.
However, by checking your analytics you can see which posts are the most sought after and you might be able to monetise these. You can do this by making people pay to download articles as documents or eBooks, or you can create a members’ section where the best content is reserved for subscribers.
- Display ads
You can make money from displaying ads almost from day one by signing up for accounts with advertisement publishers like Google AdSense. Once your blog has been reviewed and approved by the advertising network, you’ll be able to display banner, sidebar and other adverts on your web pages. Every time a visitor clicks on the advert, you’ll earn a small fee. Obviously, the more visitors you have, the more money you are likely to earn.
Most advertisement networks also give you the choice about what kind of adverts you want to display. This way, you won’t end up promoting products or brands that are not right for your blog’s ethos and values. To display an ad, you’ll usually be given a line of HTML code to input on your website. This will be used to download and display the ad on the user’s device, as well as track how many people click on it.
- Become an affiliate
Another way to earn income and one that is potentially very lucrative is to become an affiliate. Essentially, an affiliate makes money from displaying ads or links for a particular company or product. However, instead of getting paid for each click, the affiliate is paid a commission if someone clicks and then buys. If you are an affiliate for a high-value product and get a reasonable commission rate, the potential earnings could be considerable.
Physical products tend to offer commission rates of around 5%, while non-physical products, such as software, annual subscriptions and financial products can have much bigger commission. If you become an affiliate for eukhost, for example, you could earn anywhere between 65% and 100% of every order you sell.
Lots of businesses have affiliate programs, including eBay and Amazon. You can join these directly through their website or by joining one of the specialist affiliate sites, like Webgains and CJ.com, that handle the affiliate programs of thousands of companies.
- Ask for donations
Some bloggers make money simply by asking for a donation. It might sound odd that readers will actually give you money, but many of them will appreciate the time and effort you have taken to create good content and will happily support the work you are doing.
You can allow donations on your site by installing a plugin or linking to a donation service, though you may be charged a percentage for doing so. Donations tend to be quite small, but you increase your chance of getting them if you explain why you need them. Sites like Wikipedia rely on donations to survive.
- Display syndicated content
If you read any news or magazine-type article today, you’ll notice that at the bottom of the article will be a number of headlines and images linking to news articles on other sites. These syndicated article links pay you every time someone clicks on them. Essentially, they are like PCC ads with the difference that you are promoting a sponsored news story rather than a product, service or company.
If you have started a blog, it is possible to monetise it right from the outset. You can ask for donations, display PPC ads or syndicated content, display affiliate ads or links or set up a members section and monetise your own content.
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