Saturday, January 22, 2011

How to Make Money Blogging?

Do you want to make money blogging? If you do – you’re not alone. More and more bloggers are finding that blogging is a profitable medium. Whether it be to earn a few extra dollars a week to feed their coffee habit, or making enough money to stop them having to get a part time job to get through college, or whether they’ve got it to a point where they are able to make a full time living from their blogging – there are tens of thousands of bloggers who make money blogging.
How to Make Money Blogging. Free link directory exchange

In this page I want to share some information for beginners on how to make money blogging. For a very quick and broad visual intro – check out this Make Money Blogging MindMap which visualizes just SOME of the ways bloggers make money blogging.

First – let me start by sharing my own top Money Making Methods (updated regularly) but below that point you to some great resources and teaching on how to increase your income from blogging.

hat follows is a quick summary of my main income streams from blogging. Before you read it though – keep in mind that every blog is unique in how it can make money. Some of the following income streams will work on some blogs a lot better than others – the key is to experiment with as many as possible and see what works best for you.

The following income streams (from a number of blogs) have helped me to earn a six figure income each year for the last 5 years from blogging. I’ve ranked them from highest to lowest.

I hope you find it useful to see the mix and variety of ways that I earn a living from blogging.

1. AdSense

AdsenseDespite not using it here at ProBlogger any more (here’s why) I continue to use AdSense with amazing effect on my other blogs. I have them all set to show image and text based ads and find that 250×300 pixel ads work best (usually with a blended design). I don’t have much luck with their ‘referrals’ program but their normal ads work a treat and continue to be the biggest earner for me.

2. Affiliate Programs

miscellaneous affiliate programsI run a variety of affiliate programs on my blogs – most of which bring in smaller amounts of money that don’t really justify a category of their own (but which certainly add up).

These include recommending quality products like these here on ProBlogger: Thesis WordPress theme, Yaro’s Blog Mastermind Coaching Program and How to Launch the F*** out of your E-Book (and others) as well as some great products on my photography blog including 123 of Digital Imaging, David DuChemin’s amazing Photography E-Books and Mitchell Kanashkevich’s great ebooks.

The great thing about many of these programs is that they are of such high quality that they sell themselves and I am being emailed from readers who sign up to them thanking me for the recommendation!

3. E-Book Sales

make-money-blogging-ebooks.jpgLast time I did a wrap up of how I make money blogging this category did not exist for me – I didn’t really have any of my own products to sell at all. However in the last year or so I’ve released 3 E-books – 31 Days to Build a Better Blog, The Essential Guide to Portrait Photography and Photo Nuts and Bolts: Know Your Camera and Take Better Photos. While these products all only sell for under $20 they certainly add up and some months this has been my biggest category of income. The reason they were only ranking at #3 in the last month was that I didn’t do a product launch (I wrote about one launch which brought in $72,000 in a week here). This is an income stream I see growing as I add more E-books to my range (expect 3 in the coming few months). Click Here!

4. Continuity Programs

make-money-blogging-continuity.jpgThis is another newer category for me but one that continues to grow.

A continuity program is a site where you earn a recurring income from people who subscribe to a service you offer.

For me this includes two sites – and Third Tribe Marketing. Both programs are membership sites and generate monthly income from the thousands of members that they have as a part of them.

5. Private Ad Sales/Sponsorships

private-ad-salesPrivate ad sales directly to advertisers have fallen for me in the last year (they previously ranked #3 on this list). This is partly due to a change in my own focus but also partly due to the economy as it is. I should note that this area does vary a little from month to month depending upon the campaigns we’re asked to run – we’ve had a couple of months where it actually ranked #2 in the last year.

This includes ad sales of the 125 x 125 ads here at ProBlogger as well as a campaign or two at Digital Photography School. Click Here!

6. Chitika

ChitikaChitka continues to be a great performer for me on my blogs. They traditionally have worked best on product related blogs although their Premium ad units now convert well on a larger range of blogs.

While I’ve focused a little less on Chitika in the last 6 months (mainly as I’ve released my own products and moved a little away from advertising) they do continue to perform well where I use them and over the time I’ve been using Chitika they’ve now earned me over a quarter of a million dollars – as a result I can’t recommend them enough!

7. Amazon Associates

Amazon’s affiliate program has been one of my big movers in the last 12 months. I used to make a few odd dollars from it – however in recent times it has become a significant earner for me (in fact it’s now earned me over $100,000 since I started using it). Christmas time (and the lead up to it) is a particularly good time for Amazon – last December it would have ranked #2 on this list.

8. ProBlogger Job Boards

make-money-blogging-job-board The job boards here at ProBlogger continue to grow each month in the number of advertisements that are being bought. This enabled me to invest most of the money that they’d earned a while back into getting a new back end for the boards and to redesign them. These job boards now bring in over $1000 a month in revenue which is pretty nice considering that they are so low maintenance to run. They also offer a service to readers and add value to the overall blog.

The only problem that I face with the job boards is that there are so many bloggers looking for work that the demand for jobs far exceeds the supply. On the good side of things is that advertisers are reporting getting amazing quality of applications.

9. Speaking Fees

I get asked to do a lot of speaking and increasingly they are paid opportunities. I’m not able to do as many as I would like (mainly because I live in Australia and most of what I’m asked to do is overseas and I only travel 2-3 times a year) – however in April I did a couple of events and the income was enough to include in this list. Click Here!

Other Income

In addition to all of the above there are many smaller incomes. Many of these are from smaller advertising programs that I test but none are big enough to really rate a mention here.

The other income stream that there was no actual money from in April was book royalties from the ProBlogger Book. These are only paid every 6 or so months (not in April). It’s probably also worth mentioning that authors don’t tend to make a whole lot of money on book royalties – you don’t write books to get rich (unless you sell a lot of them).

Useful Resources for Bloggers Wanting to Make Money Blogging

A lot has been written on the topic of making money online from blogs. There is a lot of wonderful information out there – but also a lot of hype and sometimes dangerous information.

Below are a number of articles that I’ve written exploring some of the different ways that bloggers make money.

Click Here!

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Why Blog Commenting Is Great For SEO?

There are several off-site SEO methods that you can utilize to increase your search engine rankings and entice quality traffic to your website – blog commenting is one of them. Consistent commenting on relevant blogs will help you with building backlinks to your wesite, as well as increase your online presense within the online blogging community.

As you may already know, anytime you post a comment on a person’s blog, you’ll usually have an opportunity to add your desired anchor text in the name field of the comment section. It’s essential to contribute something insightful to the post/ article with quality comments indicating you’ve read the post you’re commenting on, or that you’ve followed the conversation thread. In doing this you’re showing the owner of the blog that you’re not a spammer, and they won’t mind that you left a link in your comment or signature.

Two Key Things to Look For When Choosing A Blog To Comment On For Increasing Your Search Engine Rankings

1. Relevancy: Find and leave comments on blogs that are related to your own topic or niche, and regularly comment on them. Don’t spend a substantial amount of your time trying to find blogs with the highest PR. Since page rank is becoming less important over time in regards to search engine rankings, your primary focus should be on the relevance of the potential backlink page first.

2. Dofollow: These blogs have certain link attribute qualities that basically allow search engines to crawl from the linking page to your website, therefore counting the link from that site as backlink. On the other hand, nofollow blogs tell Google and other search engines not to give any credit or page rank to an outbound link, making it worthless from an SEO point of view.

Many blogs became nofollow because of blog spammers who abused the system, before it was widely known that commenting on blogs was useful for increasing search engine rankings. Previously, they were able to get PR to their websites from blogs by effectively stealing backlinks from blogs that were legitimate. Commenting on nofollow blogs does not go unrewarded because it can still be useful for networking with other blog owners, as well as building your online presence or brand. They just won’t give you the desired link juice to increase your SERP’s unlike dofollow blogs. The more comments you post, the more people will have the chance to get to know you. They’ll want to dig deeper to find out more about you and want to visit your site. You’ll begin to build relationships which can lead to new readers, blog owners may want you to guest post, and maybe a mention here and there on their site.

Backlinks accrued by blog commenting are valid for the life of the blog. Whenever a post that you commented on gets new traffic, your comment has a chance of being read leading to new targeted traffic to your site. So therefore, the more you comment, the more potential traffic/customers your blog will receive.

You’ll need to find blogs that get you links and give you link juice in the SERPS. A variety of blogs have CommentLuv or KeywordLuv enabled and they are dofollow plugins, you can do a search for blogs that have these plugins. Another method you could use is a Firefox extension that’s named NoDoFollow. After enabling it in your Firefox browser, when you’re on a site, the plugin highlights dofollow links in purple and nofollow links in pink.

Alternatively, DofollowPro will make your job much easier by doing all these tasks in one swoop. You even let you decide which anchor text you want to use for backlinks. It’s as easy as typing your desired keyword into the program’s search bar, and in a matter of seconds a list of dofollow blogs with their page rank will be listed for you. That way you can find relevant, high pagerank internal comment pages with ease.

Add blog commenting to your daily tasks by spending at least 30 minutes a day on it. Be sure to vary the anchor text you place in the url field of your comments. By doing this you’ll build links to several pages within your site, as well as improve your SEO. A blog with twenty links from twenty different blog comments has the likelihood of getting more love by search engines, than a blog with twenty links from just one blog.