In my previous post I asked everyone if they made money blogging, and not surprisingly, majority of commenters replied in the negative.
The reason why many, or should I say most, people don’t make money from blogs is that most of the easy ways to effectively make money from blogging are considered somewhat bad, unethical, user-unfriendly and so on.
So bloggers who have worked hard to build a community around their blog, stay well away from money making practices that may harm their reputation and put off their readers. They happily choose the community over money.
I, too, fall in the same category of bloggers. I could run AdSense and plethora of other types of ads to monetize my blog, but I consider this to be bad from user experience perspective as well as an ineffective monetization strategy.
Ineffective? Sure, in my case, my readership consists mainly of bloggers and web masters who are pretty tech savvy and immune to advertisements. They either ignore the ads, or are turned off by them because they come here for information, not to see ads, especially when they can tell an ad from the real content.
So if you are one of the bloggers who don’t make money blogging, here’s good news for you. You don’t have to monetize your current established blog with evil ads to make money. There are other ways to make money from blogs. Some of these are really tough ones. For example, creating a product and selling it on your blog, or using your blog to promote your expertise a.k.a services.
The good news is that you don’t have to use any of the above methods to make money from blogs. Instead, take a look at the following ways.
The problem with the easiest money making techniques like selling links and writing sponsored posts is twofold 1) your readers can smell a sponsored post from two miles’ distance, and they don’t really like it 2) you’re always in danger of getting penalized by Google for selling links.
However, you don’t have to endanger your established blog to make money with above mentioned services. What you got to do is: start one or more blogs just for writing sponsored posts and selling links. Trust me, there are countless marketers out there dying to buy links from you if you are willing to sell them.
To add content to your blog, you can post just about anything. Post news, excerpts from other blogs, or republish free articles (of course with proper credit and link to the original source). Once it has been indexed by search engines and is a few months old, you can start writing sponsored posts, selling links, and promoting affiliate products. Possibilities are endless.
Start as many as you want. Domains are cheap, and almost all major hosts allow multiple domain hosting.
While you are at it, you can use all your new blogs to link to one another, and most importantly, link to your main sites and blogs. It never hurts to get an extra keyword rich link to your main site to boost its search engine rankings!
Do it with caution. Use different locations for links and different keywords in link text to avoid getting penalized by Google.
Whatever people may say about AdSense, it’s still a major player in advertisement industry. And it’s always been one of the biggest earners for me.
The problem with AdSense is that it’s difficult to optimize your content so you can get the most out of every click. You also got to have a lot of traffic to make more than a few pennies a day with AdSense.
Considering this, if you monetize a blog with AdSense, you need to have plenty of consistent traffic, and good amount of fresh content to keep the traffic coming.
Social media is not the answer to the problem of consistent traffic. Social media traffic comes in spurts, and is almost useless when your sole purpose is to get your visitors to click on your AdSense ads.
The answer is organic search traffic. Once search engines start sending you traffic, it invariably builds up, and rarely comes down. Organic traffic is the kind of traffic you should be aiming to get on your AdSense monetized blog.
Keep in mind that you shouldn’t run any other ads that compete with AdSense, as it will not perform very well in the presence of competing ads, or sell links or sponsored posts as it will jeopardize your Google rankings.
Now to keep on churning out good content without scraping other blogs, this is where you have to do some research and find the proper niche.
The aggregator blog that I referred to in the heading is the blog that aggregates any and all information in a particular niche. Don’t confuse it with a scraper, as the content is written manually, proper credit is given, and the traffic is actually directed to the original source of information. Think of this blog as a forum where members post news articles with a link to the original source, and no attempt is made to take credit for the article.
For example, your blog could be about Windows Vista sidebar gadgets (here’s a free idea for you!) where you gather all new gadget downloads. What you do here is, copy/paste the widget description by the author, write the author’s name, and give a download link that points to the original widget page. Nothing wrong with that, right?
When choosing the niche for your aggregator blog, try to think outside the box. Don’t go for a usual all things tech blog. You won’t make a penny with that as it’s already an over-over-saturated niche. Go for a smaller niche where there’s less competition but plenty of information to gather.
Again, create as many as you want!
While blogs always attract more search engine traffic, blogs are not the only way to get good amount of traffic.
Forums, for example, not only grow quickly if you have a few active members, but also attract a lot of long tail search engine traffic. You can’t optimize a forum for a particular keyword, but over time, as the forum grows, you’ll notice that many threads rank top in SERPs for many frequently searched for terms.
Having a forum with your blog is a good way to add more fresh content to your site and get repeat visitors. You can link to your blog from forum threads, and promote your forum in blog posts and share the traffic between the two.
If your niche is such that your visitors are looking for, or are willing to buy something, then it’s not a bad idea to add an online shop to your blog.
Amazon and Chitika offer the publishers customizable online stores that can be integrated with your site. It’s a one-click way to quickly add an online store, but if you want full control over what you want to sell and how, you can manually create a store with your chosen affiliate products. You can get the product link, banners, etc. from Commission Junction.
Did I say start as m any as you want? You can also add more goodies to pimp up your site further!
Well, there’s one more evil way to make money from blogging.. and that is:
Why not? Everyone and their grandpa has a make-money-online these days!
Seriously, that’s how John Chow, his pals, and his followers make money, so why not you! After all we are talking about evil ways to make money online, eh?
And for god’s sake, don’t start as many as you want. There are already too many of them!
So there we are. I haven’t even scratched the surface of what’s possible to do with blogs, but I’m sure once you apply all, or any, of above methods, your brain will be teeming with more of our own evil schemes!