I wish I could come here and tell you that blogging was a get rich quick scheme. It certainly seems like it is sometimes, the way some people talk about it. But the truth is that it can take a long time to even start making any notable amounts of money from it.
So if you have a blog and your aim is to get rich, you should prepare yourself for a more gruelling task than you may have imagined. What you should be doing is aiming for the more realistic goal of a blog bringing in enough money for it to replace your current day job.
This is, of course, a necessary step if you are looking to “get rich” (if by rich we mean making at least six figures a year). But even then it’s going to take a lot of time doing a lot of work with very little immediate monetary reward.
What are the ways people actually make money from their blogs?
Let’s say you have got good content and a sturdy amount of traffic rolling in. How do you turn that into money?
PPC / CPC
PPC stands for pay per click. CPC stands for cost per click. I’ll be using the acronym PPC in this article, but it’s important to know that they both refer to the same thing. The most famous example of a PPC ad scheme is Google Adsense. It’s usually the most successful, too.
It involves you writing a blog post or article, then someone from the program reading that article and finding ads that are relevant to it. Those ads would then be displayed with the blog post on the website.
Let’s say I have written an article about a creative writing course I attended. Maybe I did not mention any specifics; I did not name the course nor did I specify where I attended it.
Adsense would have the website display ads for creative writing courses, or for any learning materials I mentioned. Adsense can work to everyone’s benefit here, including your readers. Displaying ads that are actually relevant to the blog post is a good way for the reader to find out more, if they’re interested.
Every time someone clicks on the advert and goes through to the advertised website, Adsense will pay you a small amount.
This method pretty much does what it says on the tin. Affiliate marketing involves affiliating you and your blog posts with a company that will pay you for helping them get customers. Many of these take the form of a referral program.
Let’s say a website sells pencils. I partner up with them in the form of a referral program. I would mention your pencils in one of my blog posts, perhaps recommending them for their unbeatable grip and lead quality. A link to your website would be included. Whenever someone clicked on that link and subsequently bought a pencil, I would get a percentage of the profit made in that purchase.
Because many companies offer affiliate marketing, there are basically thousands of ways to go about this. One example is the hosting referral program, which comes in handy for many because a lot of blog posters actually use the hosting service to keep their website running.
Which brings us to one of the potential problems with affiliate marketing: honesty. It is completely possible to get paid through affiliate marketing without lying to your readers about the quality of a product. This being said, people recommending a product without liking the product themselves is known to happen. You’ll have to consider each offer that comes your way carefully.
One of the more lucrative methods of bringing in money for your blog is selling advertising banner space. This tends to be an option that is restricted to bloggers that already have quite large amounts of traffic. The reason for this is that the other company need good reason to want to rent advertising space on your blog. It’s also, generally, a price that you have to set. You’re more ‘in charge’ in this regard than you are with the other methods, in a sense.
What you can charge for advertising space (and this space will be a lot larger than with PPC) will depend on several factors. How much traffic do you have? Do you have strong, relevant SEO, meaning you appear in search engines for terms the brand wants to be known for? There’s also the pricing of other bloggers to consider. If a similar blogger is undercharging, then that affects your ability to get a good price for the banner space. There’s also the placement on your website to consider. Will the banner go at the top or the bottom of the page?
It’s recommended that you try out any of the above methods with a brand you really like, at first. Perhaps one you already have some connection with. It’s the best way of testing them out!