It all started with our very first blog, which I made to document our journey through my wife's pregnancy. Over that time, my wife took over the blog and I started my own 'daddy' blog. At that point, I started doing some research to see if I could monetize my blog in any way. With a little homework done, I realized it was very possible for me to make a little blog income to help out with some of our finances.
The most important aspect of all of this was that to make money with my blog, I had to enjoy writing, and create content that people enjoyed reading. If no one is interested in what I have to say, then they will be off my blog as soon as they started reading it.
Keeping that rule in mind, here is how to make money blogging:
1. Create a Blog
First, you have to create a blog. If you have already done this, or currently have an active blog, you are one step ahead! Blogger is one popular blog platform (which I am using for this site), and is free to use with a whole slew of features to customize the look and feel of your blog. Another option is Wordpress, though the customization is more limited.
Blogger and Wordpress are the two I would recommend to start out with, as both are free and fairly simple to use.
Blogger requires you to have a Google account, and that is very easy to start as well. Simply go to http://www.google.com/ and click the Sign In link at the top right of the page. From there you can opt to create a new google account. Once this is done, head on over to http://www.blogger.com/ to create a blog.
2. Blog Advertising
So the question is, how exactly do you earn money from a blog? Simply put, you place advertising on your site. There are two types of advertising I will focus on that are usually the top choice of bloggers when starting out.
The first is Cost Per Click (CPC) advertisements, which means that when a person clicks on an ad on your blog, you get paid! These can vary from $.05 to $60.00 per click! Google's Adsense is probably the most well-know and best option for CPC advertisements, but there are others as well.
The second is Affiliate advertising. Affiliate advertising is promoting a product on your website and receiving a percentage of the sale if the sale comes from your website referral. Ebay and Amazon are two such companies that offer this type of program. For example, let's say you have a blog about parenting. You include Amazon's Affilaite widget (a graphical display of their products) that shows three parenting books you would recommend. If one of your readers clicks on the link to one of the books and purchases it, you get a percentage of the sale!
Here are the current methods of advertising I am using, ranked in how much blog money each brings in:
- Adsense - Using Text and Image CPC ads, this is my number one money earner, accounting for nearly 80% of my overall blog income.
- Chitika - Another advertising company that focuses on search engine traffic. It is CPC based, and only displays its ads if visitors come to my site from a search engine, such as Google or Yahoo.
- Ebay Partners - I use a widget showing certain products pertaining to my blog. Not much income here, but it still trickles in.
- Amazon Affiliates - Also uses a widget to display products. The option I have set is to display objects pertaining to a certain subject, but there are other options as well, including a widget to display specific products you recommend.
Adsense is the titan of CPC advertisements. Google is a multi-billion dollar company, with huge chunks of revenue coming from companies looking to take advantage of their extrememly vast web of networking across the world.Signing up for adsense is free, so it costs you absolutely nothing to become a partner. So, if your blog platform costs nothing, and Adsense costs nothing, then any income from blogging is 100% profit!
To make money with a blog, you will want to place these Adsense ads on your site. Doing so will require you to choose from a variety of CPC ad types, including:
- Text - Displays a contextual ad with a decscription and link.
- Text and Image - Will rotate between contextual and image ads in the same slot. This happens per page load, so it will randomly display one of the two types of ads each time a person visits or refreshes your blog page.
- Link Units - Link units are usually one or two-words that are relevant to the content of your blog page, and when clicked on, take the reader to a group of advertisements also closely related to your content. WHen they click on any of those ads, you make money.
When you have the ad type you want, you will have to put it on your site by placing the html code somewhere in your blog's layout. This might take a little bit of research if you are not familiar with how to insert html code, but it's very simple on blogger.
- click on the 'Layout' tab
- click on the 'Add a Gadget'
- Select HTML
- Copy and paste the Adsense HTML code into the entry area
- click 'Save'
And you're done!
Now that Adsense is up and running on your blog, why is it displaying the ads it's showing? Adsense is designed to cue in on keywords of your blog posts. It will automatically hone in on certain words or phrases and find respective ads to match your content. This is so that people interested in your blog topic might also be interested in the ads, thus creating a higher possibility for them to click on them.
So now, all you have to do is keep writing and Adsense will do the rest of the work for you!
So, now that Adsense is up and running, you want to generate the most income online from your blog, right? Well, this fact is the heart and soul of any success story about blogging for money. Content is online gold. What a blogger writes about must be genuine and useful, helpful, or entertaining to his or her audience.
Writing about something the blogger is passionate about, or has a strong knowledge of only enhances the overall quality of the blog. Now, I cannot tell you what to write about, but for me, I started writing about my family. After I was comfortable with that, I branched out into writing about health, fitness, nutrition, parenthood, being a father, and most recently one of my hobbies and information on my profession.
After finding what you are passionate about, you then need to continue posting. Most blogs do not start generating consistent traffic until 6 months to 1 year after they are started. It is at this point you may start seeing increases in blog income.
Don't be discouraged if your blog doesn't start making money immediately. Keep writing and building your blog. Work on attracting readers. If you already have a large reader audience, and are thinking about implementing ads to your site, you're already ahead of the curve.
If you're into blogging just for the money, chances are you will burn out from discouragement, or write poor content and lose readers. Make sure your writing is something you are passionate about, and eventually the income will follow.
Family and friends will more than likely be your first blog readers. But how do you expand on that? Try posting in blog fairs allowing you to list or link a post you have written that others can visit.
You will get other bloggers coming to your site this way, as well as other readers who enojy blog surfing. When someone comments on your blog, visit theirs and comment on what they have written about as well. This community building can rapidly help you expand your readership.
Also try and visit other blogs in these blog fairs. Comment on what you read and they will more than likely return the favor as well.
Using your blog to make money online is easy and the tools are right at your fingertips. Start with Adsense and configure it to what works best for your blog. While I'm not making groundbreaking income, I am making enough on the side that my wife and I have a little extra cash to spend here and there, which helps out.
It is nice to know something we are so passionate about is also helping bring us in more ways than one. Good luck to everyone out there, and I hope this helps!