After I wrote down My Secrets to Blogging for Money I got a surge of questions from the community.
It seemed I had left one large question unanswered: How do I blog for money?
Trying to money-blog is frustrating, for sure. You hear about other bloggers making it big online and wonder how they’re doing it…where does the money even come from?
If you’ve ever struggled to make money from a blog, know that you’re not alone. It took me months of tweaking and making mistakes before I earned anything from blogging. Along the way, I found this mantra:
Make money blogging
Without further ado, here are my top 5 blog earners. I’ve broken the list into 5 highly profitable areas of this industry, advertising, email list, affiliate, and consulting/freelance work. I hope this highlights how you too can earn from your blog over time.
Note that I use these methods on multiple blogs and do not use all of them right here. Feel free to click through to find out more and please note a few of these are affiliate links, meaning I earn a tiny commission if you sign up via my links.
1) Direct/independent advertising: Over the past two years I’ve developed several partnerships on blogs I run like HonestCollege.com where I publish advertisements for specific clients for 6 months to 1 year. The benefits of direct advertising are no middle man (like Google), quick results (for them) and timely payouts (typically through Paypal). Despite what you may have heard, this method continues to outperform other ways I attempt to monetize my blogs. It relies primarily on person-to-person relationships.
2) Text-Link-Ads: Text-Link-Ads aka TLA is the largest link and ad selling network. They connect advertisers to bloggers like you. It’s a lot like submitting a blog to Google Search — you give them the unique URLs where you’ll advertise and a few keywords that best describe your blog. Then Text-Link-Ads emails asking “would you like to place this ad for X amount?”. The payout structure is PageRank based, where blogs with lower PageRanks (1-3) earn payouts of $20-50 per ad while higher Pageranks (4-6) can earn upwards of $100 per ad. Note: an “ad” can be a sponsored post or infographic too. I strongly urge all bloggers sign up for Text-Link-Ads, because as your blog grows you’ll earn incrementally more with them.
3) Aweber.com: Aweber.com, if you’ve never heard of it, is an email marketing service that’s rapidly taking over blog email lists. It’s what the big dogs like Darren Rowse, Jeremy Shoemaker, and John Chow use, and provides tools like a form builder and auto-followup messages when someone new subscribes. I use it to send occasional newsletters and affiliate offers on my blogs while I”m sleeping, travelling, etc, and as my lists have grown Aweber has proved to be highly profitable. Aweber alone isn’t free, but they let you try it out for $1, cancel whenever and honestly if you have products or affiliate offers to market, the Aweber service quickly pays for itself and then some. For more information see the Dear Blogger guide to getting readers to subscribe by email and note that I’m currently writing an eBook featuring Aweber called something along the lines of “how to build an email empire from scratch”.
4) Blog Themes: I’m a member of Theme Junkie themes and over the past months have been very active using their forums and promoting their designs. Theme Junkie, of course, built the original template from which I design DearBlogger.org, so I’m happy to promote their products. If you aleady use a premium wordpress theme, you should see if they have an affiliate network. If not, definitely consider Theme Junkie or read the Dear Blogger guide to premium wordpress themes.
5) Consulting: I also do blog consulting for a few large clients (Sony, Adobe CS, for example) and a few smaller names to. Consulting is more irregular income than affiliate marketing yet it’s fun and really expands your network. Services you might be able to offer include web design, copywriting (which people seem to still be clueless on) and really specific tasks like designing a landing page or About Me page. I find specific tasks with really clear goals to work the best.
Those are my current top 5, though over time of course this may change.
What about you?
If you’d like to discuss how to blog for money or have some strategies we should all hear about, post a comment today.