(Vacation time, so here’s another guest post, this one by Susan Long, freelance marketing consultant.)
If you’re writing your blog for more than just fun, you’ve probably thought about how you can make some money from it. There’s plenty of ways you can make cash from your writing, and you might not have thought of some of them before.
1) Putting ads on your blog
This is the most obvious way to make money blogging. You can sign up for Google Ads and Adbrite, which are two of the most well-known. The best thing about Google Ads and Adbrite is that you don’t have to have lots of readers to put their ads on your site. If you’re just starting out blogging one of these is the best way to start. You can also sell links in your articles with companies like TNX.net or Text Link Ads.
Once you’ve got more readers – say maybe once you’re getting a thousand hits a week – you can think about approaching bigger ad networks like Chitika and putting more “mainstream” ads on your blog.
And if you have a specialist or local blog, remember you can approach relevant businesses directly and ask them to advertise. For instance if you write a blog about soccer in your country, you could ask sports stores in your city if they want to advertise
2) Putting ads in your RSS feed
If you use Feedburner to optimise your RSS feed (and if you aren’t, why not?), you can easily put ads in the RSS feed of your blog, so people who read your blog through RSS will see ads.
This is where you write posts on your blog for money, maybe reviewing products or services. Be careful if you do this, because some countries (including the USA) say you have to tell your readers if you are being paid for your posts. So make sure you know the law and stay on the right side of it.
4) Selling blog merchandise
Maybe you come up with lots of witty sayings or cool designs that you can put on a T-shirt. If you take lots of photos, Redbubble lets you offer high-quality prints of your work, from postcards to large wall-hangings.
Lulu also lets you sell books of your photos – maybe you’ve taken a great collection of photos of a special event in your town and you want to offer it for sale. Lulu also lets you sell books online, so if you think people might want to have a permanent collection of some of your articles you can sell them online.
These services don’t take any cash upfront – you upload your designs and link to your own page on the service, and when you sell things you get your share of the money.
5) Use your blog as a resume to get other writing jobs.
Newspapers today always need lots of content. You might think of yourself as “just a blogger”, but you should check your local newspapers and see if there are any sections that cover things you know about.
Maybe you write a blog about things to do around town, and your newspaper has a section that talks about the same thing. You can call up the newspaper and speak to the section that deals with freelance contributions and ask if they’d consider more articles on that topic.
You can also approach local businesses and ask if they need someone to write ads or articles for them. Many businesses buy “advertorial” space in newspapers – space that looks like a story but is a paid ad. They might need someone to write those articles, and if your blog is regularly updated you’ve got proof you can do the job.
You can also apply to be a ghostwriter on other people’s blogs. This is where you write articles but they get published under the name of the blogger who pays for the work. You can sign up for sites like Elance or ODesk, and use the work on your own blog as an example of why people should hire you as a ghostwriter. If you search on those sites for “Bloggers wanted” you can find lots of opportunities to pick up some work.
There are plenty of ways to make money with your blog, and they’re not all obvious. Remember to keep an open mind and ask yourself “who needs publicity?”, and “who might need something written?”, and you’ll start seeing all sorts of ways your blogging hobby can become a business.