Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Monetize This!

While my AdSense appeal is pending, I am starting to seriously consider making money on blogging. It is easy to make a few bucks by placing Google AdSense (it actually comes built into Blogger) and someone will occasionally click on them. However, serious money requires serious work because rule #1 of making money says: "there is no free money" (i.e. you always have to spend some resource to get money).

There are two main ways of earning money through blogging. The first one obviously is advertisement on your blog, which, in turn, sub-divides in pay-per-click, pay-per-show, and affiliate programs. As the name implies, pay-per-click ads, such as AdSense, pay a certain amount to the publisher per click on them. These ads require a high number of visitors in order to yield substantial income because the more people visit the blog, the more chances there are that someone clicks an ad, besides the fact that some advertisers pay just a few cents per click. On the other hand, pay-per-show ads pay for every impression (visitor) on the website. Some of them pay generous premiums for clicks. However, in order to become a part of a pay-per-show program, a website needs to have a high volume of visitors, which is checked through monitoring systems such as Alexa. Finally, affiliate programs pay a percentage of sales generated through referrals. They are similar to pay-per-click ads, but because of their static nature they need to be targeted to the audience because few people will purchase gardening equipment when the link is located on a sports blog. Most types of advertisements can be placed anywhere in the blog including RSS (or any other subscription) feeds.

The second way to earn money is to actually blog. In other words, get paid for writing. No, it is not writing high school essays or college papers. This is writing blog entries about a product or a company and getting paid for it. Basically, this is just another form of advertisement. However, just like with pay-per-show banners, a blog needs to have a certain amount of visitors in order to participate in such programs. Ethical issues, such as praising a bad product or a company, need to be considered. Therefore, blogging for money is more of a real journalistic work than any other way of monetizing a blog.

Pay-per-click and affiliate programs are certainly the best ways to get some revenue for beginner bloggers who do not have a large audience. Yet, substantial income will always come only from high volumes of traffic generated by visitors. If you are not planning to make a living from your blog, which is most surely achievable, do not worry about promoting your blog. Otherwise, read some of my tips on promoting blogs (forthcoming).

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