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Friday, 26 December 2008

How To Make Money With Blogs

Making money from a blog requires skill, luck and work. In this article we describe how it can be done.

Let's first look at the sources of revenue which are available for blog authors.

By placing ads on a blog it is possible to generate revenue from visitors who click on the ads. The most common source for ads is Google's AdSense. By signing up to Google AdSense and placing a small piece of code on your blog, Google will display their ads on your blog. Advertisers who signed up for Googles AdWords program pay Google for each click on ads and Google shares this revenue with blog owners displaying the ads. Google does not disclose how the revenue is shared – they encourage you to sign up and try it out so you can see how much you generate and then decide if it is for you or not. Google places ads on webpages so they match the content on the page. A blog about traveling would therefore attract ads for airplane tickets, hotels etc. Since Google shares their revenue with you and since you want to generate a lot of revenue, you need to produce content for which ads pay well. There are tools available for determining for which keywords there is the most competition among advertisers – content for such keywords will be content that generates the highest revenue. The revenue generated per click can be anywhere from a few cents to several dollars, depending on the advertiser competition. Normally, relatively few visitors to a website or blog will click on ads. There are ways to optimize a blog or website for achieving higher click through rates. You will be able to find varied (and sometimes contradictory) advice on what is the best strategy. Follow the links below, to sign up for Google's AdSense and for tools for finding the keywords for which there is a lot of advertiser competition.

Affiliate programs
Affiliate programs are a type of partnership, where are seller of a product shares the revenue generated from a sale with the affiliate who sent the customer to the seller's website. The percentage of revenue given to the affiliate can be from a few percent to as much as 75 percent. Affiliate programs are often supported by the company handling the online payment, who then takes care of paying the commission to the affiliate the minute the customer makes payment. An owner of a blog can become an affiliate of one or more sellers and send visitors to the sellers' websites, thereby generating revenue for the owner of the blog. Affiliate links (i.e., links from the affiliate to the sellers' websites) are easier to disguise as normal links, than ads provided by Google. The affiliate can create the links, so the customer may not even notice that the affiliate is affiliated with the sellers' websites. For this reason, a higher click through rate can be achieved this way than through ads. You can expect that only a few percent of visitors following your links end up making a purchase. So also for this option, a large amount of traffic is needed to generate good revenue. Follow the links below to learn more about affiliate programs and how to find products to promote.

Getting traffic
No matter which option for revenue you choose, the key to generating serious money is to get serious amounts of visitors for the blog. This means that your blog needs to be interesting for the reader and not just look like something made for you to make money. For this reason, you need to keep the amount of ads and affiliate links to a minimum. You need to produce content which appeals to readers and to add new posts regularly to keep visitors coming back. Topics like politics, religion, gaming, gossip, arts, sports - to name just a few – seem to be popular topics. You need to select a topic which you yourself find interesting as this will make it easier for you to write articles that others will find engaging too. Blogs with a good amount of graphics seem to attract more visitors than blogs with a small amount of graphics. Besides having a blog which is interesting and make visitors return, you can get visitors using advertising, link building and other techniques used also for "normal" websites.

In this article we have explored some of the ways you can make money from blogs.

Author Info:

Andrew Nielsen is the author of The Online Business Builder - a bestselling eBook about teaching readers how to make money on the Internet.

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