Looking for ways to make money with your blog can be frustrating. Either you don’t have enough traffic or you are not sure what to do. That is why I have put together this list of 30 Real Ways to Make Money with a Blog“.
This post isn’t your average directory of money making tips either, it has summaries for what each element is, how to use it, and where to find resources. The blog earning tips are also divided into Beginner, Novice, and Problogger based on the differing qualifications and needs of each.
Making money online is mostly about customizing a monetizing formula for your blog. Depending on your skill level, network, and current traffic levels your blog has a variety of options. So find your blog’s formula below to maximize your earnings.
You know who you are… Low levels of traffic, relatively new blog, little or no internet experience, no design or seo skills, and probably a sense frustration over the lack of earnings.
Some of the options in this section are better then others and matter of fact all of them can be used no matter what level you are currently at. Novices can use any beginner level monetization methods and Probloggers have the luck of using everything and anything they see fit.
PPC – Pay Per Click is an advertising program in which ads are placed on your blog and you are paid whenever your visitors click on the ads. It is the most common method bloggers use to make money online. It involves almost no effort and is so incredibly easy that many blogs have too much advertising on them. Money is maximized as traffic levels increase.
CPM - Cost Per Thousand (“m” is roman numeral for thousand) is an impression based advertising system. This means advertisers place ads on your blog and you are paid based on how many times the ad shows up. This can be profitable for blogs with big traffic, and can start to bring money to even the smallest blogs. All you need is pageviews to increase this monetization method.
Money Widgets -A very simple advertising system is easily integrated into your blog’s sidebar with widget advertising. Just embed the widget into your sidebar and watch the ads begin.
In-Text Ads – You know what these ads are. You have probably seen them all over small blogs and websites on the internet. They are links with double-lines below them. While sometimes useful for blog owners pockets, they eventually irritate and annoy most readers into leaving the blog and not returning/subscribing. In-text ads should be used with caution.
Parked Domains – Have a few domains you are planning on using soon but are not ready to start? Parked domains serve the purpose as advertisement and traffic redirection. This is perhaps the easiest way to make money, although in small doses, online. Just get a domain name and use the very easy parked domain programs.
Donations – We have probably all seen the little button that says “donate” in someones sidebar. It is an easy and perhaps out-of-date way to try and earn some revenue. Many programmers use this still, but very little revenue is earned through the donation feature. For example have you ever donated? But still it is simple and if you don’t mind the button then go ahead and try.
Resources: Paypal – it really is the only major ‘donate’ resource around!
Affiliate Marketing – Perhaps the most lucrative process for earning money online is by using your blog to recommend useful and relevant products to your readers. The best examples are seen by the many bloggers linking to different themes, ebooks and other products. The best thing about affiliate marketing is that you are only marketing the product and not selling it. Just make sure the product is relevant and not over-used. Read more.
Text Link Ads – As your blog builds reputation and traffic your posts/pages become great places for links. Many people will even pay you to put their link on your website or page. While it has earning potential, be leery of this form of revenue as it may be detrimental to your blog in Google’s algorithm. So study it out before you make your decision.
Feed Ads – An easy way to increase the advertisement on your blog is by adding them to your rss feeds. The simplest way is to get Feedburner and set it up for your blog. Once you have done that then click on the monetize tab and Google Adsense will be added to your feeds in almost one-click!
Paid Surveys and Polls – It is just what it says it is. You fill out surveys and polls or place them on your blog for others to fill out and earn money. In doing this option be careful to find survey or poll companies that have credible backgrounds as this is a source for scammers.
Pop-up Ads – These pesky and annoying advertisements may be great for some of your niche blogs or sub-domains. Not worth putting on blogs you actually want to build a community on, pop-up ads offer decent revenue to blogs looking to exist but not grow significantly. But be aware that it is annoying to the reader.
Audio Ads – “You are a winner”, “You may have just won a free Ipod”, etc. These audio ads can be very targeted to your traffic and very successful or completely useless. For instance, many surfers do not even have their sound on while they surf to avoid such advertisements. I would recommend not using this sort of advertisement for long-term projects.
Article Marketing – A two-edged sword. You get both quality backlinks to your blog and its posts while also creating earning potential. I use Squidoo and Associated Content personally and earn enough money to support my blogging efforts and some advertising. It’s also very easy through the simple resources available to you. Using this blogging income source is both potentially lucrative and excellent marketing.
Now that you are novice you have more experience and a lot more traffic. Because of the increase in visitors the potential to earn more is also greater. Here is a few extra things you can include into your earning formula from the beginning level. Again, make sure to find what is right for your blog.
Direct Banner – With ppc and cpm advertising there is potential to make money, but direct banner ads bring advertising on your blog to a new level. It takes a little more work but you can find yourself making much more money and doing it pretty quickly. I use OIOPublisher and it is a premium plug-in that completely rocks. It even offers affiliate incomes to others who will try to get advertisers for your blog. Read more.
Premium Content – Great example of premium content is SeoMoz. They have lots of great content on seo for free, but to get the ultimate seo resources you have to pay a monthly fee. To make premium content on your blog just creat a post or page usign WordPress. Then in the publish toolbox click on “edit” on the “visibility” option. Then choose “password protected”. Set your password and publish. The only to do then is create a lead page that explains the premium content and allows people to pay, using paypal or another source to get the password emailed to them.
Sponsored Reviews – These are reviews of products through direct contact by the product owner or through a review site. A good example of a product review is WP Content Robot. It is easy and you usually get to try out some pretty cool products for free.
Sponsored Post - Like a sponsored review these are posts paid for by others. What this usually looks like is a post created about a specific website or allowing the post to link to another blog with very specific and targeted keyword links.
Theme or Template Sales – To get this money making product going you first need some serious design skills or the money to pay for someone to develop it. Once a unique design is created premium themes can go from $19 -$200. There is great earning potential in creating themes and another very advantageous bonus. When you create your theme a link is put into the footer of the theme with your blog’s url. So the more themes that are used the more backlinks to your blog.
Private Forums – Creating a private forum is a great way for bloggers to capitalize on their contacts and build a tight-knit and motivated community. Some of these communities can be used for social media manipulation and many other “secret” and “exclusive” means. You can make the fee yearly or monthly if you wish and start to build a steady income through member participation.
Site Flipping - The process of site flipping usually involves the creation of design, content, and some traffic to then go and sell the blog. The easiest way to do this is by forming a partnership and getting someone to design the blog while the other writes content and markets it. For more about Site-Flipping.
Plug-in Sales – Warning: programming required! If you can develop or know someone who can develop a plug-in for wordpress then you have the potential to make and sell premium plug-ins. The first step is to find something extremely useful and unique. Then create an affordable plug-in to assist bloggers in their task to rule the blogosphere.
Resources: How to Create a WordPress Plug-in
Email Newsletters – These are becoming extremely popular. The purpose of the email newsletter is to build up a mailing list of email addresses and then use the emails you send to drive traffic, sales, or income in a variety of ways. Creativity is the best way to use this revenue source. Additionally it is important to start building your email list as soon as possible. But be warned that most newsletter services of any value cost money (but not a lot).
Ebook Sales – Writing an ebook is a great way to establish credibility and expertise in your niche while also providing a handsome income. The way it works is that you provide a very useful resource – like an electronic book and then others buy it. The best way to understand the process is by learning how to write an ebook and then how to sell it.
Freelance Work – Once you have established yourself you can start consulting, writing, designing, and offering other services through your blog. I have had a lot of experience with consulting and it is a great income and a lot of fun. So use your blog to showcase your skills. Blogs are the ultimate portfolio.
Membership Site – If you have the drive to make great lessons, tutorials, classes, or other content worthy of a membership site then you should definitely do it. They are all the rage right now and show a great way to earn a regular income. With new products online, the set-up has never been easier. I would definitely check out the resource if you have ever thought about a membership site.
So you are an expert at getting traffic and building your blog. The next thing you need to do is apply all the right things from the list above and use your traffic to leverage the new moneymakers below. You’re the expert so get started!
Job Boards – Big blogs and bloggers have realized that there is great money in job boards. A great example of this is Problogger’s job board. He gets a monthly fee just to post the job opportunity and creates a lot of buzz for his blog with it too. When you become the place for people in your niche to come to, start a job board.
Event Sponsors – Having events on your blog is a great way to get more traffic and revenue. For example hold a blogathon (blogging marathon), contests, featured story, giveaways and other events to bring traffic and get sponsors to pay you for. A good example would be to have a webinar that is extremely publicized and then to get a relevant company to sponsor the event. Thus you are getting more traffic and money in one big hit.
Selling or Renting a Single Page – Doing this is difficult but far to under-utilized. The process invovles building a great blog with good traffic and especially good pagerank and then selling internal pages/posts to anyone willing to pay. They get a sales page or whatever on a great blog and you get an income. A good example of this is Pagerank10
Marketplaces – Sitepoint is the best example of a marketplace. It is just like it sounds, a place for everyone to sell products, sites, domain names, services, etc. on your site. You get the traffic and links along with commission in many cases while the user gets to buy or sell. Traffic or a very unique niche is a must to succeed with this income earner.
Hardcover Book - After you have established yourself in your niche as a leading authority you can now publish a book on your topic of choice. Some publishers even go from blog to book with almost no effort. So if you are interested in seeing your book in the flesh (paper flesh) then look into these resources.