Okay, so you’ve got a thriving blog and have gone through the steps to earn a sizable readership. This is commendable – many blogs never move past a writer’s immediate friends and family. However, as much as you may love posting about your subject matter, keeping a large audience of readers happy with fresh content is no small task, and you may begin to feel like you simply don’t have time unless your blog would somehow start making money.
Generating revenue from your blog is not a mystical, secret skill that only a privileged few are blessed with the knowledge of. In fact, having a loyal group of readers who consistently enjoy the information you share is half the battle. If you are serious about turning your blog into a cash-generating machine, there are many possible routes you might take, the most popular of which are discussed below.
For bloggers who want to take a more passive role in the monetization of their blog, featuring advertising is the way to go. Advertising is the ultimate “set it and forget it” solution, as it merely requires that the owner keeps a thriving user base and consistently updates content to keep it fresh. There are a myriad of advertising networks that can be used for blogging, including mainstream sources like Google Adsense and Yahoo! Advertising, many of which use contextual triggers to ensure that the ads displayed are relevant to the blog’s content. A word of warning – depending on your approach, advertising can sometimes annoy readers and cost the blog traffic, so tread with caution.
Create a Radio Podcast
Podcasts are a value-added approach to earning a revenue from your blog. These radio like broadcasts add value because they provide the audience with portable, entertaining content from a blog they already enjoy reading, yet also generate revenue for the blog owner in one of two ways.
The first route to consider is audio advertising. These services provide short, recorded advertisements not unlike the ones you hear on the radio, and pay blog owners to insert them into their podcasts. Blog owners who are opposed to advertising of any kind could alternatively charge a subscription fee for access to their podcasts.
Sell Your Own Adspace
One way to minimize the negative effects that advertising sometimes has on a blog is to sell the space yourself. In this way, the blog owner can hand select which companies have the privilege of displaying ads, rather than a third party network (such as Google). The fact is, as good as contextual triggers usually are for ensuring relevant advertising, no computer algorithm could ever compare to the discerning eye of the blog owner who vows never to show pesky advertisements.
Hold Workshops and Conferences
If you are considered an expert or guru in whatever field you blog about, selling seats to an intensive workshop on the subject is a proven money-maker. In order for this model to be successful, the blog must have a sizable audience of hungry readers who frequently put its teachings into practice and would pay for in-depth instruction. Attracting students to such a workshop involves crafting a sales letter that informs readers of the specific skills and concepts you will be explaining, and how they are a natural continuation of the topics you broach on your blog. Search marketring guru Perry Marshall makes a substantial living in this way: providing free surface level concepts with his blog and email list, and then training dedicated students for success with paid workshops.
Sell Phone Consulting
Perhaps your blog isn’t quite popular enough to support a big intensive workshop. Alternatively, paid consulting is an easier sell, as it usually costs less and requires a lower commitment (readers who like your style can set up a phone call to discuss their questions, rather than fly out to another city and spend several days in a seminar). To get started with this approach, determine what specific skills you are qualified to consult on, and what price you will charge for every hour of your time. From there, it’s only a matter of creating a new webpage on your blog that explains your new service, and offers a sign-up form so that interested clients can set up an appointment.
Create Premium Content
Premium content is any piece or series of content that is too extensive and valuable to be given away for free. Premium content usually elaborates on the topics being discussed on the blog, and puts a more valuable spin on it. To illustrate this concept, imagine a blog that discusses the art of search engine optimization (getting a website to rank high in the search results for given keywords).
The free content on such a blog might introduce the concept and provide basic tips to start optimizing a page for search rankings. Once the blog builds a strong readership, the owner might announce that he has written a definitive book that explains the entire skill-set from top to bottom, and he is selling it for $100.00. Those readers who believe in his teachings and find his tips helpful might decide that their business could benefit from a complete education in the discipline, and buy copies of the book.
Charitably running a blog with no paid merchandise or advertisements is a fine choice, but if revenue is still a concern, consider requesting donations. Dedicated readers of a blog who have consistently enjoyed its content will likely appreciate the ad-free approach, and the most enthusiastic among them should have no problem donating for the good of the blog. In structuring a donation system, it is important not to bombard readers with beggar-like requests, but instead let them know that their dollars help ensure the continuation of top-quality content.
As an alternative to requesting donations, some blog owners sell merchandise branded with their logos and slogans. Websites such as Cafe Press allow bloggers to design items such as tee-shirts, coffee mugs, and hats, with any graphics they choose, and list them on for sale on their website. There is no upfront cost, because the item does not get made until someone orders one. Your biggest fans may not have felt good about donating in exchange for nothing but more writing, however if they have the chance to wake up with a cup of coffee that sports their favorite blog’s logo, some will definitely take it.
Use Your Blog As a Resume
Finally, you might decide that you’d rather be paid to write for a company’s already established blog rather than exert the effort necessary to monazite your own. Even in this case, your blog can help you in a very significant way: as thriving example of your creativity and writing ability. What better way to showcase yourself to companies looking for professional bloggers than to direct their attention to a library of posts you have already written? In this way, your free blog can still earn you a revenue even without generating one on its own.Thumbnail Source: Mrs_logic