How to Financially Benefit from Blogging
While most bloggers start out writing their blogs simply because they are passionate about their subject matter and want to share their enthusiasm with others, once they discover how easy it is to start making money from blogging at the same time, they quickly adapt to monetizing their blog.
Blog monetization is actually quite easy, especially once you have yet attracted a large number of followers or have produced a lot of high-value content. It can be a double-edged sword, however, because if your readers start to suspect that you are only blogging for commercial purposes, they may be less likely to follow your blog.
Unless you are creating a blog for your business or organization, a better idea for personal blogs is to follow the 4:1 rule: For every blog that promotes products or services, provide your readers with four blog posts that are non-commercial and simply provide helpful information they can use in their everyday lives. This will make them much more receptive when you do ask them to buy something.
Promoting Affiliate Products
Affiliate products are those that are promoted by you but are actually sold by somebody else. Whenever one of your readers follows a link and buys the actual product, you receive a percentage of the sale as a commission. WordPress doesn’t allow you to promote affiliate products if you are using the free service to host your blog, but if you have a self-hosted blog you can do anything you like, even if you use WordPress to create and maintain your blog.
Probably the biggest player in affiliate marketing is Amazon. The world’s largest online retailer has a program called Amazon Associates in which you can sign up for free, select products from among the tens of thousands they offer for sale, and promote those products on your blog posts. When you sign up, whenever you pick a particular product, Amazon gives you a link that has your ID embedded into it so that when people click on the link and buy the product, Amazon knows who to pay the commission.
Installing Viral Plugin
The ViralURL WordPress Plugin makes it easy for you to insert affiliate links all over your blog, turning them into cash links. All you have to do is select the keywords that you want to be hyperlinked.
Links are cloaked with ViralURL so they are shortened and protected against affiliate commission fraud.
You can also earn credits on each view, so that you can get free advertising for your site(s) and blog(s).
You also have the potential to refer someone to ViralURL from your ViralBar, and when they upgrade you earn up to 60% commission.
To get started, all you need to do is install the Viral Plugin available at: http://viralplugin.com/wordpress/ . There are instructions you can follow to install and work the Viral Plugin.
Adding Mailing List/Newsletter Opt-In Form to Your Blog
While WordPress-hosted blogs can’t promote affiliate products or sell their own advertising, there is nothing preventing you from adding a mailing list/newsletter opt-in form to your blog and then using the list of email addresses that the form provides you for commercial purposes independent of your blog.
Even if you have a self-hosted blog, compiling a large email list is a great way to build an online business. Once you have the addresses of people who have already proven to be interested in your niche subject matter, it’s a simple matter to get an autoresponder and set up an email marketing campaign to promote your own products or services, or affiliate products. This can often result in a steady, reliable revenue stream that requires very little maintenance on your part.
Selling Advertising Space
Obviously, if you are using WordPress to host your blog, you can’t sell your own ads. WordPress usually will post video ads at the bottom of your posts and keep all the revenue, but that’s the cost of using all their free tools and letting them take care of your blog hosting.
If you want to sell ads, you will have to host your own blog. Once you get used to producing your blog, this isn’t very difficult. You can still use all of WordPress’ free tools to create your blog and buying a domain and leasing server space isn’t very expensive, especially compared to the revenues you can generate by selling ads.
The more subscribers and readers you have and the better your reputation as a blogger, the more you can charge for ads, which can be placed at the top, in the margins or at the bottom of your blog pages. You can charge per impression – that is, a set amount per 1,000 viewers of your blog — or you can charge a fixed rate for an entire month.
You can search for potential advertisers by including a page on your blog that offers advertising options and gives rates, you can create a “Your Ad Here” box on your blog along with a telephone number, link or email address interested businesses can use to inquire about an ad, or you can even put together an electronic “media kit” which you can send to prospective advertisers that describes the benefits of advertising on your blog. In it, you can discuss the number of readers they can expect to reach; target audience demographics such as gender, age spread, average household income; and whatever other information you can collect from your readers.
Another option is to use internet networks that buy ad space on popular blogs. The biggest is Google AdSense, which will pay you a share of the revenue of whatever ads they sell on your blog. Although you don’t have to worry about handling the sales, when you use these networks you can’t control the content of the ads posted on your blog (with the exception of prohibiting pornography, gambling and other unsavory types of ads). Other popular ad networks include Glam Media and Burst Media.
Converting Blog Collections into eBooks
The publish industry, like so many others impacted by the Internet, is undergoing a huge change. More readers are opting to use Kindles and other eReaders to download and read books, rather than buying or borrowing actual books. One of the side benefits of this is that it is incredibly easy to self-publish your own books using Kindle and other services.
Once you have compiled a substantial amount of published blog content, it’s a fairly simple matter to compile them into an eBook, add a cover, a table of contents, an introduction and then upload it onto an online publishing site so people can purchase it.
This is especially true if your blog posts provide how-to information or other helpful content people can use in their everyday lives. Whenever anybody buys your eBook, Amazon will pay you 35% of the sales price. If you want to keep 100% of the sales price, you can market your eBook on your blog, or create a sales page and try to sell it there.