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Small Business Tips: 3 Ways You Can Make Money Through Your Blog

by Guest Author 20 September 2019 09:15

So, you've decided it's time you started a blog. You've got your site set up just the way you like it, you've picked out a name, and you're ready to start putting your fingers to the keys. There's just one question... how are you going to make any money doing this? Ideally people who read your blog will also shop at your store, but what if the subjects you blog about don't lend themselves to conversion sales?

That's a good question. Fortunately, though, there are multiple ways you can use your blog to increase your revenue.

#1: Advertising Revenue

The most common way for bloggers to make money with their blogs is by selling ad space. Once your blog is established, and you've been regularly updating your content, you find an ad service like Google AdSense, Infolinks, or Sovrn. You apply to that service, and then if said service approves you, it will feature ads on your blog. Some ads merely require being seen (typically paying you a small fee for every 1,000 views), and others will require the ads to be clicked, but when these conditions are met, you receive a fee for being the host.

While this is a fairly easy way to start earning money on your blog, it requires a huge amount of traffic in order to make serious cash. Payments from ads tend to be small, and most ad services have a minimum payout threshold (typically around $50) that you have to reach before they cut you a check. Some bloggers will have multiple ad services on one blog, though, and that can double their money. They'll still need several thousand hits a day to get paid at the end of the month, though.

#2: Affiliate Marketing

While it's very similar to ad revenue, affiliate marketing differs in the fine details. When you work with an advertiser to put ads on your blog, you don't have a lot of control over those ads. Nor does it really matter, because all you want is for your audience to see them, and click-through. That's all it takes for you to get paid. Affiliate marketing, though, goes a step further.

With affiliate marketing, your goal is to actually sell a product that's being advertised. Because for every sale that comes directly through you, and your unique links, you get a cut of that sale (typically 10 percent).

For example, say that you ran a movie review blog. If you have joined the Amazon affiliate program, then you could leave purchase links in your review. Every time someone goes to your blog, clicks that link, and buys a movie, you get a cut of that sale. There's often a minimum amount of money you need to make before you earn a check, though, which means you need to make a lot of sales in order to turn a profit. If you have a popular blog, a lot of traffic, and a trusting audience, though, you can build that up over time.

#3: Crowdfunding

When most people think of crowdfunding, they think of websites like Kickstarter. You put together a proposal for a big project (like making a card game, or filming a movie), and then everyone who wants to see that project completed backs it. It's sort of like passing the digital hat, and asking people to help fill out your budget. Kickstarter, and similar crowdfunding sites, focus on a single project, though. Whether you're writing a book, or programming a video game, people are giving money to you to do one, specific thing.

That's where sites like Patreon come into the picture.

Patreon allows people to become patrons of an ongoing project, like a blog, vlog, webcomic, etc. The way it works is that a patron pledges a small amount of money per new installment, or per month, which allows the creator to earn a regular paycheck for making new entries into an ongoing series. So if you are a blogger, all you have to do is set up a Patreon page, and let your followers know how they can support you. You can even offer incentives, like swag or special offers, to entice people into helping support you as a blogger.

There's No Silver Bullet

For most bloggers, there's no such thing as a single paycheck. Rather, their blog is a patchwork quilt of different earning devices which, at the end of the month, all come together in the form of several, small payments.

For example, your blog might have 20 followers on Patreon, which contribute a total of $150 a month to support your efforts. Your blog might also be quite popular, earning you a $50 check in advertising revenue every month. And if you have affiliate links in your posts, and your viewers are making purchases, that might be another $50 a month. And then there are the clients you write pieces for on the side, which covers the rest of your bills.

That might not sound like much, but for a blog to be successful (and to earn you enough to help with your other business costs), you need to have as many different earnings options active as possible. Most importantly, though, you need to have a loyal following, and a lot of traffic. Because a blog can have all the earning options in the world, but if no one is stopping by to read it, then your numbers are going to remain steadfastly at zero.

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