Tuesday, October 26, 2010 @ 6:25 AM

How to Earn from Your Blog

Everyone wants to jump in on the blogging bandwagon.

Blogs are the cheapest and most inexpensive way of getting an online presence. With a number of free and easy to use services available, you can create a blog in minutes. Because the blog creation process is simplier than website creation, blogs enable many individuals and businesses to easily publish a stream of constantly updated journals and commentaries.

More than just a display of their wit and knowledge, bloggers are now taking their blogs to the next step: blogs as a source of revenue. Many even turn their blogs into their main business! However, creating a blog is easy; turning it into a money making machine is a different story.

Business 2.0 Magazine recently had a very interesting article “Blogging for Dollars,”  mainly through advertising. You’d be surprised to know that some of the top bloggers nowadays are raking in huge income from their blogs! Boing Boing, PaidContent.org and Fark.com are among those likely to earn a million dollars in ad revenues this year. TechCrunch, a one-person blog ranked by Technorati as the 6th most popular blog, earns $60,000 a month in ad revenues. Just by posting a few paragraphs everyday, these bloggers are earning big time.

So how do you turn your blog into money making online business? Here are the steps you need to take to earn millions from your blog:

Adopt the Right Strategy. Many bloggers start their blogs to share and talk about their passion. Sometimes their blog catches on and generates huge followers, while some lay in a dusty alley in cyberspace.

If you are thinking of starting a blog or using your existing blog to earn money, you need to be more strategic in your approach. Here are several factors to consider:
  • Does this blog -- given its type and subject matter – has the potential to attract a huge audience?
  • Is this a blog that advertisers would want to be seen?
  • Do I know enough about the subject matter to engage the readers?
  • Am I using the right venues to generate income for the blog?
Select the Right Income Generating Approach. There are various ways and avenues to earn advertising income from a blog, and the right partner or approach can spell the difference in earning $100 or $10,000 per month.

In terms of advertising models, consider if you will use cost per impression (CPM) advertising where you earn per thousand-ad impression. Or you can go through the cost per click (CPC) approach where you earn every time someone clicks on the adverts you show. Another approach is cost per action (CPA) where you can get paid every time a visitor follows through with the action desired by the advertiser, such as qualified lead, purchase or subscription. Or you can decide to use all three advertising models in your blog (making sure that your blog is not too cluttered with ads).

There are several ways you can proceed to start earning through advertising:
  • Join an advertising network. Advertising networks are organizations that aggregate Web sites that offer advertising space, and sell banner ads (and other advertising options) across them. Traffic requirement is often a minimum of 5,000 monthly impressions and they accept sites hosted on its top-level domain (e.g. no free Blogger or Yahoo 360 hosted blogs). Check if they accept blog sites. Examples are:
          -  Burst Media http://www.burstmedia.com
          -  Fastclick (ValueClick). http://www.fastclick.com
          -  Advertising.com. http://www.advertising.com
          -  Tribal Fusion http://www.tribalfusion.com
  • Participate in contextual advertising networks. Contextual adverts are text ads delivered based on the content of the web page using an automated system. They are mostly cost per clicks, but some such as Adsense incorporates both CPM and CPA advertising revenue models
          -  Google Adsense https://www.google.com/adsense/
          -  Yahoo! Publishing Network http://publisher.yahoo.com/
          -  Intellixt http://vibrantmedia.com/site/web_01a5.htm
          -  Quigo Adsonar http://www.quigo.com/adsonarexchange.htm
          -  IndustryBrains http://www.industrybrains.com
          -  Commission Junction Evolution http://www.cj.com
          -  Kanoodle Brightads http://www.kanoodle.com/about/brightads.html
          -  Clicksor http://www.clicksor.com/affiliate_programs.php
          -  Contextweb http://www.contextweb.com/
          -  Bidclix http://www.bidclix.com/
  • Use advertising networks that cater specifically to bloggers. This is a very new segment and very few companies are selling ads specifically for blogs. They typically work with high-traffic and high profile blogs. Examples are
     -  An up-and-coming company funded by the New York Times Co. and eBay founder Pierre Omudyar called Federated Media http://fmpub.net is at the forefront of serving as the advertising broker for bloggers. They represent some of the most popular blogs today. Their advertisers include big names such as Absolut, Adobe, Apple, Budget Rental Car, Citibank, Dreamworks, GM, Intel, Microsoft, Sony, among others.
    -  FeedBurner Ad Network (FAN) http://www.feedburner.com is an invitation-only ad network for bloggers. They consider those blogs using FeedBurner services such as feed management, size of your blog’s readership and consistency, and frequency of content publication.
    -  RSS advertising where you can put ads on your RSS feeds. Google Adsense offers the capability to put ads in RSS feeds (provided that the feed has at least 100 subscribers).
  • Sponsorships. Sell advertising for your blog directly. This is admittedly a more difficult route for a small business site wanting to earn advertising revenues. But hey, as they say: "no pain, no gain!"
Target the Right Audience. If you are thinking of starting a blog to earn money, you first need to have the “right kind” of blog. The “right” kind of blog is a blog that appeals to advertisers because it attracts the audience they want.

For example, a blog that caters to techies will attract more advertisers compared to a blog for squirrel enthusiasts. Advertisers prefer blogs whose audience includes those who have the penchant to buy high-end products compared to blogs whose main audiences are families and friends of the author. The more attractive the blog is to advertisers, the higher the income of the blog.

Think of the audience you want to read your blog, and whether you can pitch this audience to an advertiser.

Generate Tons of Traffic. Building a larger audience for your blog is the surest way to succeed with an advertising revenue model. It is important to build a strong and wide readership base for your blog. Whether you are running cost per impression or cost per click advertising revenue model, the amount of traffic can significantly affect the level of income. To increase traffic to your blog, here are some steps to take

  • Create great content – everything starts with great content.
  • Update the content regularly – make your visitors come back again and again to your blog by providing daily updates (even multiple posts per day!)
  • Submit your blog to blog directories – use Resources for Marketing Blogs
  • Network with other bloggers – comment on their blogs, read and link to other blogs and request them to link back to you
  • Email other bloggers – pitch your post to other bloggers and hope that they will link or mention your blog
  • Use techniques to showcase your blog – examples include meme games such as the Daily Meme http://thedailymeme.com/ or carnival such as the Carnival of Entrepreneurship hosted by About.com

A Nielsen Buzz Metrics Blog Pulse report that there are 32.9 million blogs on the Internet today with 850,000 new posts a day. It’s high time to think of how you can make money from your blog.

About The Author:

Nach Maravilla is the Publisher and CEO of PowerHomeBiz.com. For information on starting a home business , visit PowerHomeBiz.com

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