how blogs make money

How Blogs Make Money

What You'll Learn

There are many ways to make money using the wonderful world called the internet.  One of those ways is by creating a blog where you publish content online about a topic or area.  You might be asking how blogs make money and how that applies to you.  Well, in this article we will be going over the different ways to make money on your blog and then I will even finish with some bonus tips to make money on your blog. 

How Blogs Make Money Through Advertising

A lot of bloggers use advertisements to make money on their blogs.  What bloggers will do is they sign up with an ad service that will put ads on their site and in exchange, the blogger gets money from them.  This way, the blogger will either get money every time someone clicks on the ad or every time someone scrolls past the ad.  Ads are placed on the sidebar, header, in the post after a certain number of paragraphs, as a sticky footer on mobile.

We’ve all gotten used to ads but too many ads, or offensive ads can actually hurt your earnings.  you want to be careful about how many ads and where you place them on your site.  There are services that will help you figure this out.  Sometimes, it will take some trial and error to get the right mix.

in addition to ad networks, you can also often sell space to individual advertisers on your site. This can be more lucrative but is more difficult. With the ad networks, they do all the work of finding advertising, tracking views, creating ads, and, sometimes, even placing ads.  When you sell ads directly, you might be able to get more money, but you have to do that work and will have less variety to make sure you are displaying ads that work.

Getting Started with Ad Networks

There are a number of ad networks out there.  The biggest is Google Adsense.  Basically, with Google, you give them the space on your website and they will place ads there.  They are, by far, the biggest ad network in the industry. 

You do need to meet certain requirements, including enough traffic, before Google is interested in you.  You need to have 10,000 visitors a month to be able to place Google ads on your site.  This means that you have to have about 350 visitors a day.  That’s not a lot, but it can be tough when you’re just starting out.

Networks like Ezoic will let you place ads on your site without needing to have that many visitors. Ezoic also has some other nice features no matter how much traffic you have.  For example-

  • Ezoic does work with Google ads, so if you already have a Google AdSense account, you can place those ads on your site using Ezoic.
  • Ezoic will help you figure out where to place ads on your site and they have a cool browser extension that will help you place ads on your site without having to add code (there are some other technical details to setting it up though but they do a good job of walking you through that.)
  • They do a lot of testing to find the right locations, types of ads and frequency of ads to make sure that you make the most money that you can.
  • They’ll pay out to you (monthly) with as little as $20 earned which can be really nice since other networks often make you wait until you have earned $100 or more.
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Ezoic is a great option for an ad network for both new blogs and for existing blogs. 

Of course, no matter what ad network you use, until you have enough traffic you aren’t going to make very much money.  Getting more traffic through good content, a good topic, and using proven search engine optimization techniques will be needed to help you build traffic. Advertising is one of the key ways how blogs make money. How can you apply it to what you do?

Through Brands Directly:

Another major way Bloggers make money is through brands directly.  Bloggers sign up for affiliate sponsor programs with brands and companies.  An affiliate advertising relationship is when a company pays you for referrals to customers.  Usually, they pay you a percentage of sales every time a customer you refer buys from them.  The percentages can be pretty high for some products.

When you sign up for an affiliate program, you will be given a link that your audience can use.  When they use that link, the company installs a cookie (a little text file) that tracks that it came from you.  If they purchase in a given amount of time (usually somewhere around 30 days but that varies), then you will be given credit for the referral.  Just like with ad networks, these programs usually payout when you’ve earned a certain amount of money (often $100 or more).

Affiliate programs can be a great way how blogs make money.  A lot of very popular sites earn their money this way.

Ad Network

For smaller sites, and even a number of larger sites, it’s difficult to become part of an affiliate program until you have enough traffic and can show that it’s worth it for them.  That’s the bad news. The good news is that just like with ads, there are affiliate networks that offer affiliate offers with multiple (sometimes 1,000s) companies.

The other good thing about affiliate companies is that they greatly simplify tracking your affiliate referrals because they are tracked and paid from one place.

There are several big ad networks.  Three of the largest are

  • Share A Sale – They offer a number of programs, some of which are easy to get into and can be profitable.
  • ClickBank – One of the largest programs out there with a lot of opportunities no matter what niche your blog is in.
  • Amazon Associates – This actually isn’t an affiliate network but may as well be.  With Amazon Associates, you refer your readers to purchase products from Amazon. Amazon then pays you a percentage of what they buy.  Often, you don’t just get paid for that one item, but for anything they buy for a period of time once they have used your code.  Amazon pays much lower commissions than other programs but since they sell everything worldwide, they can be a great way to make money by blogging and referring your audience to Amazon products.
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Some Things You Need To Do

To get started with an affiliate site, there are a few things you need to do.  First, you need to let your audience know that some of your links are affiliate links.  You want to be upfront with your audience. They deserve to know that some of what you’re referring them to is a form of advertising.  You probably want to have an affiliate disclosure policy.

It’s not bad that you’re advertising and many people are very happy to use your link, especially if you give them good information or instructions.  You just want to be honest.  For example, some sites will do reviews, some will give instructions and tips to get more out of the product.  There are a lot of ways that you can give your reader more value and refer them to a product or service that you believe in.

For example, we often refer readers to hosting for their WordPress site.  There are a lot of affiliate programs out there for web hosts.  Some of the more popular ones are the cheapest and pay the highest commissions. However, we haven’t been impressed with their service and so we don’t recommend them.  We want our readers to have good hosting at a fair price, not the cheapest available with poor service. 

Not everyone agrees with that approach but if you are honest with your audience and recommend products and services that you believe in you will be much better off in the long run. Blogs that just contain a bunch of links to garbage don’t last. Your readers are smarter than that.

Sponsored Posts

Sometimes a company will pay you to write a post and include it on your site.  This can be fine but just like with affiliate programs, be careful. Of course, the company wants to pay for good press.  They want good content that looks good for them. 

If it’s a company that you believe in, then that can be okay.  An example that comes to mind is when a blogger includes a recipe and recommends a particular type of ingredient.  Some of those are sponsored posts but it’s an ingredient that the blogger would have used anyway.  This can be great when it works and is wonderful to make money by blogging.

However, a bunch of spam that looks like ads will turn readers off and can actually hurt you in the long run as you lose your audience, so be careful.

Guest Content

Getting links from other sites is a valuable part of SEO.  Links tell Google and other search engines that your site has worthwhile content. So, we all want links. One strategy for that is to pay a site to include your blog post, which links back to the author’s site.

Once again, just be careful.  Garbage content on your site can eventually hurt your site with SEO and may not be worth the cost.  You want to make sure that any guest content you have is good content with links to a good site.  Google has gotten pretty good at sniffing out garbage links and content and will penalize you if it thinks you’re selling links.

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You can charge someone for the content on your site, but make sure it’s good content with links to good sites.  The risk isn’t worth the reward in the long run.

Other Ways on How A Blog Makes Money:

In addition to ads and direct sponsorships from companies, there are some other ways that bloggers can make money on their blogs.  For example, bloggers will use their blog to advertise for other businesses they have like if they have a class or consulting business or coaching or something similar, they may promote it on their blog.  Or they may sell memberships to their blog.  Or finally, by making products that promote their blog like mugs, or shirts, and then selling them on a shop on their blog. 

There are a lot of ways to make money by blogging. We’ve covered several of the big ones here.  You might even use these to come up with your own ideas.  Creating a website is a great way to make money online if you can offer the world good information, products, and services. No matter how you choose to make money online with your blog, you will need an audience. For that, you need to have good content and provide value to your readers.

How to Make Your Blog Appealing:

To make money using any of the ways I talked about above you are going to need people to visit your blog and to get people to visit your blog you are going to want to make your blog appealing.  And I have some tips for you on how to do that.  First, what you want to do is write about something you love because if you are not interested in the topic then you are not going to write something interesting, and your audience is not going to be interested. 

Once you find something you like and are interested in doing a quick google search and see if that topic is popular, you can see that by typing in your subject and see how many results come up right under the search bar.  If it is popular, it will be a high number of results if it is not popular then it will be a low number of results and you should probably consider writing about something else.  And finally, you want to use keywords in your blog post and title that hook people like “Best” and “how-to” guides.

Blogging is a great way to make money if you know what you are doing.  I hope you learned a lot from this article including the main take away of to make any money you are going to need a big fan base.  I wish you luck on your blogging adventures. 

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