Hey there, and welcome to your 8th serving of the Blogopreneur Blog Marketing eCourse!
Wow! You’ve come a long way! We started with absolutely no knowledge of blogs and blog marketing, we talked about terminology, planning, setting up WordPress, promoting your blog, writing content… and today, is the day it all ties in – how are you going to make money from your blog?
We may argue that it is so much easier to update blogs compared to websites – we do not need to handle all the messy FTP stuff, or learn complex HTML editors.. but at the end of the day, I must admit blogging still does require effort. Even if it means it is half an hour a day, it will all add up to over 3 hours a week, or and 12 hours a month. We need to justify the time spent.
So. How do you make money from blogs?
Blogs are not great money makers
That is the truth. Blogs are NOT great money makers. Seriously. At least, not as great as those 20 page sales letter sites. People visit blogs with a mentality to read, not a mentality to buy. Blogs are great credibility builders.
But think of it this way. Building a blog is probably one of the best credibility and authority building tools out there online. First, blogs do very well for search optimization, because of the sheer amount of text you have on the blog – search engines loves blogs! In fact, I get at least half of my visitors every day direct from search engines. The more posts you have, the more doors of entry there can be. Because of the nature of blogs being frequently updates, search engines also love blogs to the core!
Secondly, the as we contribute to a blog everyday, we build the blog archives very gradually, but surely. If you post every single day, you can imagine that within one year – just one year! You will have 365 pages of content. That is 365 articles written on a particular subject! Granted, not all posts may be wonderful articles that get Digged, but what does that show for the author of the blog? To me, it shows really well that you know your stuff!
Taking blogs from this perspective, you can then relate it to your business. The most fundamental thing you must do before you can make a sale is to establish trust with your prospect, and trust is built so much more easily when you are known in that industry, or when you have a blog to show people “you know your stuff”.
So, I personally feel this is the best way to “make money from blogs”. Integrate it with your existing business, to make a competitive advantage.
Make money blogging programs
Alright, you see many adverts around the web saying you can make your fortune by blogging! So what is that all about? Is it true? Should you buy these products and spend time and money on these products?
Let me tell you in a nutshell, how these programs work.
Its easy to build a blog that makes money, its really easy to pull it off! Just get some content from some place, slap it on your blog, and push up some advertisements – you can easily make about $0.50 a day with that. Afterall, you don’t need to think of new content since your blog’s content is duplicate content.
This is exactly what many of these programs ask you to do. They use automated blog creation programs to create hundreds of blogs – and each earning $0.50 a day. Well, if you just do the math – one blog will make you $15 a month, and all you have to do is to create a hundred of these blogs and you will get $1500 a month.
Oh yes it does. Too nice.
But I personally think this strategy is so disgusting. Unless you are a cyborg (and I hope you are not!), I don’t think you can add valuable content to 100 blogs a day, right? So what these programs do is they use duplicated content, or they rip content off other blogs for their own use. Frankly, duplicated content is harmful not only for the web, but also for your blog rankings.
Let me explain. The job of search engines is to bring up the best article on a particular keyword whenever a user searches the system. When there is duplicated content in the web, obviously, one has to have been copied from another, right? What will happen eventually is that the search engine will do its best to choose the original article, and then really blacklist the rest of the entries.
You don’t want the domain you paid for, to be in that blacklisted database.
There is an increasing amount of junk on the Internet every single day – and it is unfortunate that many Internet newbies are getting started thinking that strategies are useful. The fact is that duplicated content kills the Internet.
Let me ask you this question. How much SPAM do you have in your email box today? Do you spend just ONE minute a day sieving though the spam?
One minute a day is six hours a year, mind you. Multiply that with the world’s Internet population.
What a waste of time. Spam wastes time. Spam litters the Internet. Spam clogs the Internet pipes with junk information.
And that is what is going to happen if people create blogs full of spammy and duplicated content. One day you will find that out of 10 blogs you read, 9 will be rubbish content. Would you like that, if not for yourself – for your next generation?
Not me. I don’t want to be part of that.
So, my advice – your blog must add value. You blog must be original content, critique and thoughts. That is what people are searching for. If you are getting pennies off your duplicated content blogs, please, please stop.
I have been working with computers since I was 6 years old. I know what I am talking about. Please.
So, how else can you make money from your blog?
So, you ask, is there hope for me? Can I make money from my blog, really?
The answer is Yes. But it takes time. The key to building a blog that makes you good money, is building credibility and targeted readership in a very tight niche – be a “big fish in a small pond”, and targeting non-tech savvy readers (readers that don’t really know that clicking on those little things make you money)
Always build you traffic first. When you have a regular flow of traffic to your blog, that is when you should think of monetizing your blog.
What I have for you today is a list of programs that you can sign up for, to make some money on your blog.
Remember that these are direct monetization techniques – what you actually put on your blog to make you money. Most of these are advertising programs, whether for products you know, or you don’t know, whether you promote them in your blog post contents, or in your sidebar.
#1 Google Adsense and other contextual advertising systems
Google Adsense is by far the most popular contextual advertising system out there, and is very popular amongst both bloggers and other webmasters. What do I mean by contextual advertising system? Contextual advertising means that the advertisements that appear in the allocated advertisement space will be related to whatever your blog is talking about. For example, if your blog is about cars, then the ads that appear in your blog will be about cars.
When you sign up for Google Adsense (or any contextual advertising system), they will let you know where you can log in and get a snippet of code to add to your blog. All you have to do is to add that code to your template and upload it… and wallah! The ads appear automagially Really, its as simple as that.
Other popular contextual advertising systems are:
* Chitika eMiniMalls
#2 Affiliate Programs – Clickbank and Commission Junction
Affiliate programs are basically commission based programs. Someone else has a product to sell, and seeks out affiliates to sell his or her program for them. When you do so, you get a cut of the profit. Simple?
Two very popular marketplaces where you can find lots and lots of affiliate programs to join are Clickbank and Commission Junction.
What happens when you sign up for an affiliate program is that the product owner will give you an affiliate URL. This URL is normally encoded with an ID, like for example: http://www.myaffiliateurl.com/?id=yourname. So, with affiliate programs, you are free to determine the format you want to use for your ads… as long as you send your visitors to the unique affiliate URL given to you, you will get the commissions when your visitors buy the products.
As mentioned, Clickbank and Commission Junction are the two most popular affiliate marketing market places. However, don’t be restricted to just this two places – there are a lot of other products that do their own affiliate marketing, HostGator, or Aweber.
The next time you find something interesting online, check out if they have an affiliate program.
#3 Sell Advertisements from your blog
When you have built a good readership for your blog, chances are that the readers of your blog may match very well with another company’s target market. This is the value your blog has created.
One way to make money from your blog is to sell links from your blog, and one service that helps you manage this is Text Link Ads.
#4 Pay Per Post Systems
One of the more recently established models of advertising that companies can use now, and very specifically for blogs, are systems like Pay Per Post. These systems are really exactly as simple as their names are. You apply for an account and bid for a project, and then you are paid per post you make on you blog. Some of these jobs come as low as $5, and some go as high as $200.
Of course, the higher priced projects call for more effort.
When these kind of systems were new to the market, there was a lot going on about disclosure and questions regarding the ethicality of the systems. Some argue that blogs work hard to establish trust, and authenticity, and doing recommendations, for example, spoil the authenticity of blogs.
My advice is to disclose, and always be truthful, whatever you put on your blog. Bringing across the marketing message may make you your little income of $5, but lying to your reader will make you lose yourself… so use with care.
Some other systems similar to Pay Per Post are:
* Review Me
* Cream Aid
#5 Feed/RSS Advertising
Many bloggers publish partial RSS feeds, worrying that their readers will not come to their blog site when they have the full content in the feeds – and hence not click an advertisements you put on the template. This, however, really irritates readers like myself. What I do, instead of clicking the link, is to move on and read other blogs. I want to stay in my feed reader.
Fortunately, there is a solution to this – and this is putting advertisements in your feeds.
With feed advertising programs like Feedvertising or Feedburner (by invitation only), you can put advertisements in your feeds, so you can safely publish full feeds and still expect to make some money from advertising.
#6 Other ways to make money
Of course, there are many other ways to make money. These systems make things simple for you on one hand, but on the other, sometimes also places restrictions on how you make money. For example, Google Adsense does not allow similar looking advertisements on the pages where you put the ads, and with affiliate programs, you are stuck with the sales page created by the product owner. This means that if the owners’ sales page suck, YOUR earnings get affected.
Think of blogs as regular websites. Once you get a consistent readership to your blog, that is where the value of the blog is. You can go ahead and source out a sponsor for your blog yourself, i.e. get a company to pay you for you to put an advertisement on your blog, or do some email marketing – give something (like this eCourse) for free, so that you can build a list of contacts (You can do this with GetResponse or Aweber), or even sell your own products, like what I do for my workshop.
The bottom line, is that a blog is just another website. It is a specialised website, so whatever you do on a regular website, you can do on your blog.
I hope that today’s session has helped to open some doors for you to make money online using your blog. While blogs are not great money makers per se, it doesn’t harm to make a few bucks to cover your web hosting, right?
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