Most of the civilized world has no idea how people make money blogging. They’ve heard that some people make money blogging, sometimes a lot, but they aren’t really sure how. Unless you are an active internet entrepreneur of some kind, the ins and outs of making money as a blogger just don’t enter into normal everyday conversation.
But making money blogging is easy, and it’s also important for writers. The ways you can make money blogging are endless, and you make money in the same manner as anyone else in commerce. You either sell stuff (ahem, books!), advertise stuff, or let people advertise their stuff on your site. It’s pretty much that simple.
- Sell Stuff – When you put content on a website/blog, that content is searchable. You can also share your content with social media networks to attract more views. And when you attract people to your site, it makes sense to offer something for sale there. Most bloggers are writers or aspiring writers or at least like writing enough to blog. And regular readers of the blog obviously like what’s being written. It’s a perfect setup to launch a book and sell it on the site, or list it offsite and allow your audience to purchase it at places like Amazon, or all of the above. And don’t think of “writing a book” as being some massive undertaking either. Books of the future will be cheap and short. It’s also better from an economic and author standpoint to write several short books instead of one big one. Short books allow you to price it cheaper and compete with the big fish out there, and short books allow you to keep coming out with fresh “product” for your audience on a regular basis. For more on successful authorship, read THIS. Aside from books, you can sell anything you want, but I think it’s pretty foolish and old-fashioned to actually be mailing out physical product unless you really have developed something special that only you can manufacture and sell out of your home or business office. That’s why #2 makes the most sense and is where most bloggers make the biggest bucks.
- Advertise stuff – This is where the real money is made in blogging. “Advertise” isn’t really the going word to describe this type of selling though. Helping to sell and promote other people’s stuff on the internet and taking a commission for yourself is called “Affiliate selling.” And affiliate selling is easy, with endless possibilities. You don’t have to be a dirty whore either.
In fact, most products and services for sale on the internet have some kind of affiliate program. You just sign up to be an affiliate with something that you stand behind and that is appropriate for your readers, and then you receive a special link with your affiliate code in it. If someone enters through your affiliate link and buys something, you get credit for the sale and receive a commission. These commissions range from as low as 1% to as high as 90%. The biggest affiliate selling hub is Clickbank. On clickbank, you get 75% of the sale for most products. It’s a pretty incredible deal and is very easy. You can drop your link in posts, in emails to your subscriber list, in banner ads on your site, and on social media sites. It’s all fair game. Amazon is one of my favorites as well, as you get 4% on whatever a person buys on Amazon in the 24 hours following entering through your affiliate link. That may not sound much, but by my calculations that’s going to be at least 10 cents per click. And if you work it right, you could send thousands of people there and make hundreds every week, a few hundred from clickbank, another few hundred on the sale of your books, and the next thing you know you’ve achieved complete financial independence from the comfort of your own pajamas.
- Sell advertising space – If people come to your site, there will always be people out there wanting to reach those people with their advertisements. The most common is to get set up with Google adwords, a service by Google where you get paid a certain amount of money every time a person clicks on an advertisement on your site. Other advertisers just pay you to run ads on your site based on your site traffic. I wouldn’t call this the biggest money maker on the web, but it’s certainly the easiest. You just put a little code into your site and keep doing your thing. Get a few bucks sent your way every month.
There are other ways, but these are the most common, most convenient, and most profitable. Even if you don’t feel like you could ever create some kind of interesting website to the point where you could attract a viable audience to start buying stuff and making real money, don’t psyche yourself out too quickly. It’s a surprisingly fun hobby to build content on a site and to communicate with others that have similar interests, it’s great for improving your writing and communications skills in general, and even a small audience will bring in enough money to pay off a few bills each month. It’s probably more lucrative than your current hobbies, so give it a shot. Here’s some more tips on making money as a writer/blogger. Read this article too.
Matt Stone is a successful self-published author of more than 15 books and co-founder of Archangel Ink. When he’s not writing, he spends most of his time helping independent authors distribute, market, and successfully sell their books.