Whether you're a veteran blogger or just starting to test the waters, chances are you've wondered if could make some money off of it. The truth of the matter is that there is a difficult learning curve to earning money online, and there are several blog monetization strategies to consider, each with different strengths and weaknesses. In this article, I'll share three of the more common ones.
As an affiliate marketer, you will be promoting the products of other companies on your blog. When you join a company's affiliate program, they provide you with a special URL for their product site, and you then link to that URL in your promotional posts. When users visit the site through your link, a cookie identifying you as the referrer is placed on their system. If they then go on to buy the product, you receive a commission from the sale price. This is one of the most common ways to monetize blogs, and it offers exceptional profit potential for the right kind of site.
There's an important pitfall to be aware of, however: it can be tricky to choose the right affiliate program. Many use Amazon's program, for example, since the company offers a wide range of products and is so well-trusted. The problem is that its commission rates are quite low, coming in around 4-6%. You need to have large amounts of traffic to earn any real money. Instead, a little bit of research can often uncover lucrative affiliate programs in your niche with much higher rates.
Another common strategy is to use Google AdSense. It seems easy enough: just stick some ads on your site and relax as the dough pours in! The ease of this method is certainly appealing, and some bloggers do make mouth-watering amounts with Adsense.
Unfortunately, the downside is similar to the Amazon affiliate example: each click results in a rather small payout, so you generally need many thousands of visitors a day to achieve a reasonable income. In contrast, promoting high-value items with affiliate marketing can be lucrative even on smaller sites, since a small number of sales can still add up to large dollar amounts.
Selling Your Own Service or Product
This is by far the most "hands-on" of the alternatives we've covered. Once you've built up a dedicated audience, you can sell them a product of your own creation.
They are often "information products," such as e-books and online courses. These are much more convenient than physical products, since there's no inventory to worry about, and the logistics are simple. You can even save yourself some work and bundle together some of your best posts; many users are willing to pay to have all the important information well-formatted and in one place.
Hopefully, the blog monetization strategies discussed here have given you some ideas for your own site. As you may be realizing, there are no quick fixes. But if you produce good content for your users and exercise good judgment in your monetization efforts, there is undoubtedly money to be made online.