5 Ways to Monetize Your Blog

The following post is from James of Google+ Tutorials:

source: Dustin Moore

So you’ve started blogging, maybe recently or maybe a long time ago. You’re getting into the rhythm of things and building up an audience, but you want to take things to the next level. You want to actually make some money!

I don’t blame you at all. So many people love blogging; it’s a fantastic creative outlet and an opportunity to share knowledge about things we are passionate about. Why wouldn’t you want to earn money from doing something like that?

Being a professional blogger myself, there is nothing more rewarding than making money from something I love. The wonderful thing is that, for those who persevere, you can take it to whatever level you like, whether you want to just commit a small, but consistent, amount of time to your blogging and make a bit of money on the side, or work your way to become a full-time professional blogger.

There are many ways that you can make money from blogging. Below I am going to list and give you a brief overview of 5 different ways you can monetize your blog:

Google Adsense

Google Adsense is a great way to earn money from your blog. You assign certain areas of your blog to Google Adsense, and they show relevant ads in those spaces based on the content on your page. One of the main benefits is that — as long as your site is accepted to the Google Adsense scheme — you can start earning money straight away. People and businesses essentially pay per click for these ad,s and you get a percentage. What you get paid for each click can vary as people essentially “bid” for the spot on your page (although this happens in an automatic fashion by advertisers setting their upper limits per click).

Adsense isn’t for everyone as you don’t get to choose what ads go on your page, and obviously it will work better on some blogs than others.

To find out more about Google Adsense and sign up visit google.com/adsense.

Direct Advertising

Another way you can make money from your blog is by offering ad spots directly. The great thing about this is that you keep 100% of the money the advertiser pays, and can choose which advertisers appear on your page. To me, this is the ideal way to make many through advertising on your blog. All you need to do is assign some ads spots, perhaps in your sidebar, create a page with some prices and either a way to pay online (PayPal?) or your contact information, and you are away!

One of the downsides to direct advertising is that, unlike Google Adsense, you may not start making money straight away. For some people it might be easy to find advertisers, and for others you might have to invest some time in finding people to place ads on your blog. Either way, this is a great way to keep 100% control and 100% profit of the ads on your blog.

Advertising Network

An advertising network may look very similar to the direct advertising option above; however it is a valid option in it’s own right as it comes with it’s own set of benefits. With an advertising network, you sign up and submit your blog for approval and then set certain areas as advertising space once you’ve been approved. These spaces are then advertised on your website as well as through the advertising network site. People can search for a blog in your niche through the advertising network and therefore you can get sales from advertisers who have perhaps never even visited your site before. This can be an awesome way to get advertising partners, and takes some of the hard work away from you when it comes to tracking down people to advertise on your blog (although, I would recommend you doing some hard work yourself too!)

The catch, though, is that you will have to share your revenue with the advertising network, and sometimes they can take a very hefty percentage! You will have to decide for yourself whether it is worth it, but I know many people, myself included, rely heavily on using advertising networks for their blogging income.

If you are interested in joining an advertising network I recommend both BuySellAds.com and BeaconAds.com.

Affiliate Marketing

The idea of affiliate marketing is that, through your blog, you generate sales for someone else’s product, and therefore get a percentage of the revenue! You will be surprised how many products you can make money from as an affiliate, from books to gadgets to digital products like music and ebooks. Lots of different companies offer affiliate schemes, and it’s not unusual for some of these companies to pay as much as 50% for a sale. If you get this right, you can earn great money! If you have a blog that is in a particular niche, lets say fishing, and you find that you review a lot of fishing gear, if you found an online fishing store with an affiliate scheme, you could link to their products every time you did a review of one of them and then you would get paid a percentage! Pretty nice eh?

One of the most popular affiliate schemes, is one from one of the most popular online retailers, Amazon. Many bloggers use the Amazon affiliate program and make great money from it. To get more info visit affiliate-program.amazon.com.

Sell a Product

Finally, another great way to make money from your blog is to sell your own product. This could be a physical product, like a book or item that you have created or a digital product such as an ebook or online course. This is a great way to harness the power of your audience and sell them something that you have created specifically for them, which you know is going to be relevant and of value to your community. Many bloggers have done this and it is a great way to take things to the next level.

So those are the 5 things I think you could do to monetize your blog. Have I missed any that you have either used or want to use? Let me know in the comments below! 

James Brooks is a professional blogger and social media consultant based on the South West coast of England. As well as being a co-founder of Google+ Tutorials James also enjoys blogging about tea, food, and technology.