A great follow-up question about making money with blogs was posted by WAG, a reader of this blog. WAG asked me to elaborate on point #10, making money without using advertising. I prefer not to run ads on this blog, feeling that ads clutter the page and remind me of used car sales. Any advertising seen here is placed by WordPress to offset costs of keeping the blog free. There are ways to make money on blogs without advertising and this post will examine some ideas.
According to pingdom.com, at the end of 2010, 152 million blogs on the Internet were tracked by BlogPulse. Many of these attempt to make money through advertising, Google adsense or similar. The advertising model can work, if your blog generates sufficient numbers. For blogs that generate less traffic, try some of these ideas:
- Affiliate Marketing: Affiliate advertising is basically an online marketing channel. An advertiser pays a blogger to promote the advertiser’s products or services on the blogger’s site.
Affiliate advertising or marketing typically uses: pay-per-click, pay-per-lead or pay-per-sale. Each is performance based, earning money only if a reader clicks on a link and/or purchases a product. Using this style does not mean banner or block ads are required. Simple text highlights can be used instead. For example:
- Review by Gayla McCord of MomGadget.com
- Review by Mary Emma Allen of b5media’s Blisstree.com
- Dr. D. from Answers for the Faith
Put in context, these don’t scream advertising but are subtle affiliate links to other companies. Several large companies offer affiliate programs that a blogger can set up in minutes, including: Amazon, eBay, and Allposters .
- Affiliate Discovery: Similar to affiliate advertising, monetize your blog through an affiliate directory where various online merchants post their affiliate ad opportunities. A blogger can pick and apply for specific companies and advertising options. Popular web links for these include:
- Establish a partnership with a merchant(s): A mutual reciprocal relationship where your blog promotes products – perhaps via reviews – and the partner links back to your blog. All parties potentially benefit and income can be generated. If this option is chosen, it must be done subtly to not appear as a sales or marketing blog.
- Promote your own products: As indicated in previous posts on Homepreneurs, a blog is an important extension of your website. Blogs are shorter, dynamic and easily updated. Websites often require more time to update, test, and review. Blog provide immediate return. Have a new product to sell or perhaps a limited supply? Use your blog to promote the product rather than your website.
- Create a worthy cause blog: For example, each month choose a cause to blog about with donations provided to a related charity. October might be dedicated to breast cancer survivor stories with donations for the Susan Komen Foundation. Yes, you can take a reasonable administrative percentage off the top – say 5 or 10 percent – for your time, effort, and overhead. Be sure to maintain good records and research laws governing charitable donations.
- Sell subscriptions: If you provide unique or valuable information that is difficult to find or know, you can sell this to subscribers of your blog. Examples might include: tax preparation, financial ideas or investing tips, small business leads for potential customers, or a ‘find your true love’ service. Each of these may require a tax ID or EIN and may have laws to consider. Do research to find out what is needed and/or required.
Hope this answers your question, WAG. Please understand that get-rich-quick blog schemes are rare and often questionable. Slow and steady with solid content and modest expectations of income are more likely. But remember, build it and they will come. Be honest, provide something of value, and become a go-to source. This blog with almost 15,000 unique visits is proof that the concept can and does work.
Please post your questions in the comment section, on our twitter site or via email: email@example.com . Questions of general interest will be answered on this blog.
By Dion D Shaw
Dion D Shaw is the founder and owner of Homepreneurs.
Homepreneurs. New Day. New Opportunity.
Homepreneurs does not endorse nor have any relationships with any of the services listed. Homepreneurs receives no compensation or consideration for its suggestions. Homepreneurs strongly urges all interested parties to conduct research and accepts no responsibility for any losses incurred.
© Homepreneurs 2011