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Monetizing a Blog: Part 2

Posted @ 2:34 pm by Adam Brill | Category: Technology | 0 Comments

Monetize Me!

In my last entry I gave an overview of content and traffic – two things you’ll need to monetize your blog. Now you can make money!

Monetizing a blog falls into three categories: paid advertising, sponsorship or paid writing, sale of products or services.

Advertising

Banners are the most popular form of web advertising and take the form of graphic images. Pricing is based on the size and location of the placement, the number of placements on the page, traffic to the site, and more advanced features such as “no follow” attributes and banner rotations. You can negotiate deals on your own or leverage one of the many services. Pricing can be per view, per click through, or a revenue share model. A related type of advertising is text link advertising where a text link rather than graphic is used to drive traffic to the advertiser’s site.

Contextual ad programs provide targeting advertising on blogs based on the content of the blog or blog article. Services like Google’s Adsense automate the process between advertisers and bloggers – and are free to the bloggers. Contextual advertising can be banners or text links.

Working more directly with businesses, you might opt to participate in an affiliate program like the one offered by Amazon. In a nutshell, business reward affiliates for customers that come from their site. These programs can be traffic based or transaction based.

RSS Advertising is growing in interest and leverages the popularity of RSS readers like Google Reader. These tools aggregate content you are interested as it is published, brings it to one location and saves you the step of visiting each site. Since RSS feeds don’t access the blogs themselves, these programs deliver ads within the RSS feed.

Sponsorship or Paid Writing

Sponsorship and paid blogging arguably crosses the line between “editorial” and “advertising.” Still, many bloggers are finding great success and making a living with this method. Sponsorship can range from finding a corporate partner for your entire site or someone to sponsor specific posts. Alternatively, some people are paid to write blogs as if they were writing articles for a newspaper. Bloggers for Hire is one site that aggregate bloggers to help companies with their social networking activity. 

Sale of Products and Services

Some bloggers have built a brand out of their blog and have begun selling gear with their mark – typically through a third party like Zazzle or Café Press. You set up your “wares” through these companies and direct traffic to them, and get a cut every time they sell a tshirt, mug or hat to one of your readers.

Other bloggers have discovered their calling through their blogs and built non-web revenue sources. Case in point is the duo at Rookie Moms who have since published “The Rookie Mom’s Handbook”. Another approach to blogging is using your blog to sell your services by providing relevant information.

Some people establish themselves (or their company) as experts in their field through their blogs, leading to other consulting work, publishing opportunities or speaking engagements. The SolutionSet blog that you are reading now is positioned to do just that. Another example is San Carlos Blog, where a local realtor blogs about real estate-related topics. The goal with these types of blogs is to extend the relationship with existing clients and reach out to potential customers and communicate the breadth of the offering.

And a few more ideas…

In the category of “it never hurts to ask,” some blogs have generated revenue simple by asking for donations.

Think you have great domain for a blog? Built a readership but ready to move on? There may be a market for “flipping” your blog or selling your domain.

Yes indeed, there are about a million ways to make money from a blog – and probably a million more yet to be discovered. Do you have something we have overlooked? Add it to the comments section!

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