Back in 2010, I entered the world of blogging. I really didn’t know what I was doing at the time. I simply blogged because I thought that was what I was supposed to do as an aspiring writer. It didn’t take me long to realize that I could create a money-making blog.
My awareness came by accident. As an Information Systems major, I’m often swept in by software that can make my life easier. One particular software (I can’t even begin to remember which one) offered an affiliate program. Affiliate? What’s that? I discovered that people pay bloggers and website owners to simply have referral links on their site.
It was an amazing revelation for me. I discovered more individual affiliate programs and even advertising companies that house a database of businesses offering affiliate programs. Now, I’m not going to say I was rolling in the dough or anything. I was pretty naive in my process. I didn’t know what worked and what didn’t. SEO wasn’t even on my radar. However, I did make enough to cover my website costs and pay for a bit of software here and there. Later, I started reviewing business software.
With affiliate marketing, you promote another company’s product. I mentioned I was big into software and also a writer. As a result, I would try out different types of writing software and post my opinions about it. When I learned I could get paid a commission when anyone purchased the software as a result of my referral, I started including referral links in my posts. That was my first step to creating a money-making blog.
The above example only provided a kickback when someone made a purchase. Later, I found that you could also make money when someone clicked on an advertisement. No purchase necessary. Most of the ads you see on this website are pay-per-click ads. Pay-per-click (also known as PPC) ads typically pay less than the type of referral links. It makes sense though. PPC can be expensive for an advertiser with no guarantee it’ll pay out. Whereas the advertiser has already received a sale before paying out the commission.
Also, some programs can make it easier on the blogger. Typically with a referral link, you want the article to match closely with the link. The same goes for static PPC ads. However, some programs create dynamic ads that change base upon the reader. These programs take into account what the reader is searching for before landing on your money-making blog and displays ads that match the previous search.
Interestingly enough, I had a reader send me a message last year about the ads on my website being inappropriate based upon the more financial tone of the article. I won’t go into detail about the types of ads he said he received. However, I assured him the ads vary by the reader and was based upon what he was searching and surfing prior to making a stop to my website. Despite the awkwardness it can cause, personalized touch to these ads can be highly effective.
Some types of advertisers will pay you per impression. An impression when a particular ad is seen. Usually, the payout for per impressions is lower than PPC and referral links. If you’re familiar with creating Facebook Ads, you might have seen the option to get charged by impression. Advertisements that pay by impression can be highly profitable to a money-making blog that gets a lot of traffic. There’s no need to worry about the sell or the clicks. Each time the ad is viewed or each time a certain number of viewers see the add, you see a payment.
As a writer trying to promote myself, I found myself on quite a few book blogs. This is where I made another discovery. Having a following makes your blog attractive to others who seek services. My blog became part of my marketing platform and helped me grow a fan base of readers. I also reviewed books at the time. In fact, I would spend a nice chunk or money purchasing books on a monthly or weekly basis. Yet with a blog, authors offered their books to me to read for free. I found other website owners who used their money-making blog to put together book tours, campaigns, or other promotional events for a fee.
Though I still review books on my sister blog, I also continue to offer separate services here, such as business planning and business funding. In addition to those services, I use blogging as a way to promote training and workshops. As your developing your services, I highly encourage you how you can create an online presence that attracts customers. After all, why leave money on the table? Which brings me to the last money-making blog idea.
I find it interesting all the hype that’s been going on about Inbound Marketing these days. Folks throw the term around like it’s a new concept. It’s not. Building a following, list building, content marketing, and guest posting was alive and well back in 2010. For many writers, it was a big piece of their marketing efforts. Considering I’d just gotten into blogging about that time, I know Inbound Marketing had been around for a LOT longer. Using Inbound Marketing is one of the most cost-effective ways to attract leads to your business, which can lead to sales.
Lead generation… what is it? The first time you hop on my website, you probably noticed a popup, encouraging you to sign up for a free gift. Or if it’s been a while and you still haven’t signed up for your free gift, you might even see the popup again. Having readers opt-in is far more effective than you trying to chase down leads. Why? Because if they’ve opted in it means they’re interested in something you’re offering. You’ve got their attention. It would be similar to you needing a service and calling a business who has it as opposed to some strange business calling you unexpectedly to offer a service. Which experience would you rather have? With lead generation, the money is in the list, because individuals are more likely to buy in the future.
What are your money-making blog questions?
If you don’t already have a money-making blog, you now have a few options to consider. Some avenues are more time intensive than others and the profitability varies. For now, I’m going to leave it open to you. What questions do you have about upgrading your website to make money for you?