The first step to monetizing a blog is assessing your current search engine placement and visitor information. How many unique visitors does your blog get each day? Are they just visiting your homepage and then going somewhere else, or do they visit a number of different pages on your site before leaving?
Now head to your favorite search engine and pretend you're a potential visitor looking for a blog like yours. What keywords would you use in your search? Is your blog high up in the search engine results?
To make the most money, you should tailor your monetizing strategy to the type of blog you run and the type of visitors you receive. The two most popular methods of making money with a blog are through advertisements and affiliate programs.
Advertisements are great for blogs with a narrow topic focus and a large backlog of content. You can start monetizing a blog quickly by signing up with a large ad network like Google's AdSense. They take care of all the work behind the scenes, including finding companies to buy your ad space and tailoring the ads to each one of your visitors. However because they do all of the work, networks like AdSense can pay less for each visit to your blog than other options. Seeking out individual ad partnerships takes more time and effort, but you'll make more money for your blog per visitor and per click.
If your blog is about product news or reviews, an affiliate program is one of the best ways to monetize. The largest affiliate program in the world is run by Amazon, although other retailers such as Overstock.com and even smaller niche companies have affiliate programs as well. In the case of Amazon, you can sign up as an affiliate on their site for free. Then, simply add a link from your blog post to an Amazon product page. You'll make a percentage of any sales, and the more things that people buy through your affiliate links the larger that percentage will become. Affiliate marketing is a great way for trusted bloggers in particular to monetize.
Both advertisers and affiliates have things they should be aware of when it comes to monetizing their blog. You have to be very careful to not click any of your own ads — Google is very sensitive about this — and if you put too many ads on your blog's pages you'll overwhelm your visitors. Bloggers using affiliate marketing links need to make sure they keep the trust of their readers. No one is going to buy a product that was recommended by an unreliable blogger!
No matter which method you use when monetizing your blog, always keep in mind that your visitors are there for your content. Ensure that your blog posts and images remain of a high quality and always make an effort to inform and entertain. Happy visitors are profitable visitors, and you'll make the most money from your blog by balancing great content and carefully tailored advertisements or affiliate links.