Can you still make money blogging? Or is it too late to get in to the game? As I shared in my last post, the blogging has rapidly changed, but it’s not too late to start a blog, or turn your existing blog in to a source of income.
The first step is to identify your blog goals – you’ll want to keep these in mind as you consider the ways you can earn money directly with a blog.
There are two primary methods:
How to Make Money Directly from a Business Blog
This list is in no particular order, nor is it exhaustive, but in a nut shell, here is how it works:
Targeted Contextual Advertising – Depending on the number of your page views, click through rates, and keywords in your posts (from $.10 to $100/click), Cost per Click (CPC), or CPC advertising like AdSense can be a money maker. Advertisers and publishers use a wide range of payment calculation methods. In 2012, advertisers calculated 32% of online advertising transactions on a cost-per-impression basis, 66% on customer performance (e.g. cost per click or cost per acquisition), and 2% on hybrids of impression and performance methods. The key with this is to either:
a.) Establish yourself as a subject matter expert in a very specific niche market and acquire a loyal group of followers who will click on the advertisements on your blog pages
b.) Have a very large group of followers to increase the likelihood of advertisement clicks
Fixed Cost Blog Advertising – Another option for niche blogs with large readership (10,000 visitors/day) is blog ads, where you decide who you will promote, or advertise, and you set the rates per visitor or time period. (i.e. $200+/week to run an ad.) A stepping stone to this could be sponsorship.
- Sponsorship – A sponsored blog post can be a paid opportunity for a guest author; sometimes a company will sponsor a post written by the blog author about their product or service. Typically contracts are for a period of time, monthly or annually
- Affiliate – Similar to a sponsorship, affiliates can write content for your blog, but typically an affiliation will be a product recommendation, promotion or referral, and payment is commission based on referral sales.
- Products and/or Merchandise – As the blogging stratosphere expanded, and readership grew, so did opportunities for merchandising. And of course, many blogs are created with the sole purpose of an online store. A third type of direct selling is a product or information funnel. I’ll get to that in another post.
- Sell Your Blog – In September of 2003, Jason Calacanis founded Weblogs, Inc., which eventually grew into a portfolio of 85 blogs. Two short years later, in October 2005, Calacanis sold his blogs to AOL for $25 million. Sure, that is not likely for most bloggers, but it is possible.
When considering any type of content on your blog, whether a blog post, links to other sites, products or direct advertising, you must keep your reader’s needs in mind.
Before you say yes to any of these ideas, I suggest you ask yourself three very important questions:
- Does it provide your reader with a valuable service?
- Are you transparent regarding your affiliations?
- Are you protecting your readers’ identities and privacy?
I view business blogging as an attraction strategy, rather than an activity that earns income via ads. And I advise clients to never promote something simply because you get a nice affiliate commission, and always let people know you do: if you promote something on your blog, you must reveal if you are getting any financial benefits.
In my next post, I’ll cover indirect methods of generating income from your business blog. In the meantime, if you have any questions, send me an email. I’d love to help!