Module 6-: This is the part 6 of the article series I started few days ago titled: “How to Start a Blog for Free and Make Money.

A few people blog purely as a hobby and have no monetization plans, but most people start blogging with the aim of making money in the long term. In fact, most articles you will find on the internet that discuss blogging will emphasize how profitable it could be, and how it can become a full-time business.

One of the commonest questions asked by people who are new to blogging is, “How can I make money from a blog?” This drives how the fact that most newbies and aspiring bloggers have no idea how a blog makes money. In fact, someone once told me he used to think that each visit to a blog automatically adds some cash to the owner’s bank account. That might sound funny, but it’s wrong!

While there are more-than-countable ways to make money from your blog, here are five methods that are lucrative and very easy to implement:

5 Practical, Profitable Ways to Monetize your Blog and Make Money

1. Digital products

If you have got loads of valuable information on topics that people are greatly interested in, you can package such information into an e-book, and then put it up for sale on your blog. Writing and packaging an e-book is very easy and can be completed within short time.

Alternatively, you can create videos or podcasts (downloadable audios) that contain the valuable information that you want to sell. You must bear in mind, however, that people generally prefer e-books to videos for two reasons: First, they are more familiar with e-books. Second, downloading e-books requires much less data than downloading videos does.

However, if the information you are selling is the type that cannot be explained effectively with writing, then videos will be more appropriate.

2. Affiliate marketing

If you don’t want to go through the process of creating your own product, then you can still make good money by promoting and selling other people’s products. In fact, many bloggers make more money from affiliate marketing than from selling their own products.

How affiliate marketing works is quite simple: You register with an affiliate program or network. You choose what products you want to promote, and you generate your unique affiliate link or banner for each product. Then you either display your affiliate banner at strategic points on your blog, or you publish a review or pre-sell article on the product (this article will contain your affiliate links). Each time someone clicks your affiliate banner or link and then makes a purchase, you will get a commission from that sale.

Examples of affiliate networks include Amazon, Commission Junction, ShareaSale, Markethealth, Clickbank, and so on.

3. Advertising

There are two ways to make money on your blog from advertising. The first is by registering with an ad network that automatically generates and run ads on your blog. And second, by selling advert space directly to advertisers.

Once your blog starts to attract a decent amount of traffic, you can register with an ad network such as Google Adsense, Infolinks, or Chitika. These networks will generate ads that are closely related to your blog’s content and run them in slots that you’ve created for these ads. Each time a visitor on your blog clicks these ads, you make money. You must bear in mind, however, that you will need hundreds to thousands of clicks to make a decent amount from this. And that’s why you need massive traffic to make this method work well for you.

Alternatively, you can offer advert slots for sale to businesses whose target market matches your blog’s audience. For example, if you run a technology blog, you can sell advert space to businesses selling technology products such as smartphones and PCs. Businesses will only pay to advertise on your blog if it attracts massive, targeted traffic. So, you need several thousands of daily visits to attract advertisers.

4. Freelancing/ consulting

Another smart way to make cool money from your blog is to offer your services to your blog’s audience. If you have the skills, you can offer services such as freelance writing, blog setup and installation, graphic design, search engine optimization, data entry and so on to your audience.

Similarly, if you have years of experience in a particular field, you can offer consulting services through your blog. For example, if you are a seasoned attorney with several years of experience in business law, you can consult for small businesses on legal matters.

5. Premium content

If you are really loaded with information that can hardly be found elsewhere, you can charge your visitors or audience a specified fee for such information. There are many ways to go about this. You can set up an online course, consisting of a series of lessons or modules. Or you can setup a separate blog or forum that can be accessed only by those who pay to gain access.

How to Get Big Companies to Advertise on Your Blog

Selling ad space to advertisers is one of the most profitable ways to make money from your blog. In their bid to attract more customers, generate more sales, and ultimately increase their profits, advertisers are willing to promote their businesses on any blog that has a massive following and that has their target market as its audience.

You sure would have come across blogs running ads by for companies. Such blogs make the bulk of their income from advertising. And your blog can get to that level too. I mean, you too can get big companies to advertise on your blog, but you need to put some things in place before that can happen. Here are five things you must do to attract big advertisers to your blog:

a. Generate massive traffic

Because advertisers want as much as possible prospects to see their ads, they only advertise on sites that attract huge traffic. So, if you really want to make some money selling ad space to big companies, you need to adopt every measure you know that can help boost your traffic.

Publish lots of helpful and valuable content, so visitors will have a good reason to check back regularly. Implement search engine optimization for your blog, so your blog can be ranked highly in search engine results pages (this will bring in tons of visitors from search engines alone).

Create Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ profiles for your blog, so you can reach out to people and attract massive followership on social media. And adopt paid advertising techniques, such as using Google Adwords or Facebook Ads, as this can bring you lots of traffic within short time.

b. Generate targeted, quality traffic

No advertiser will be convinced to buy ad space on your blog after hearing just your traffic metrics. Advertisers want to be sure that your traffic can really give them a good return on their investment, so they will be interested in knowing more about your traffic. They will want to know where your visitors are coming from. They will want to know the source of your traffic. And they will want to know the type of content that attracted your visitors.

If more than 90 percent of the visitors to a high-traffic tech blog are interested in smartphones, then advertising on such a blog won’t benefit a company that sells security devices—even though those are tech devices as well. This explains why advertisers are keen to know what content on your blog is driving the most of your traffic.

Similarly, if most of your visits are coming from Nigeria, then foreign companies won’t pay to advertise on your blog because their geographical target market is different from the geographical location of your audience.

c. Have a professional layout

The layout of your blog could mean the difference between attracting advertisers and repelling them. Advertisers want their ads displayed on blogs that look professional and that will present their ads strategically for maximum engagement.

If you want to attract advertisers to your blog, then you need to make it look professional. This doesn’t necessarily mean that your blog must look sophisticated (in fact, it could be counter-productive). A professional look could look very simple. It’s all a matter of making things appear cool and proper. Your colors and fonts must be carefully selected.

In addition, part of a professional blog look is a good navigation structure. Visitors shouldn’t have to look around before figuring out how to navigate your blog.

d. Put up an “Advertise here” page

Sometimes, the only way to let potential advertisers know that you have ad slots for sale is to have an “Advertise here” page and banner on your blog.

The page will contain vital information about your blog that advertisers will be interested in, such as your daily and monthly unique visits and page views, your blog’s Alexa traffic rank, and a description of your blog’s audience. Your “Advertise here” page will also contain your contact details, so interested advertisers can reach you easily. If you are stuck on how to write your “Advertise here” page, you can check other blogs to get a clue.

e. Contact advertisers

Even when your blog is popular and is generating massive traffic, advertisers may still not show up as expected. In such case, you need to proactively find and pitch them. Find advertisers that are likely to be interested in buying ad slots on your blog and contact them, telling them about your blog and the benefits they stand to gain from advertising on your blog.

This strategy works well. And it’s highly recommended for those who want to monetize their blogs with advertising only.

Blogging for Passion vs Fame vs Money: Which Is The Best?

If you gather one hundred bloggers and ask them what motivated them to go into blogging, you will get various answers—from logical, to funny, and to ridiculous. But you will be able to group all the reasons under three major categories: passion, fame, and money. In other words, these three things prompt people to start blogging.

In this post, I will be explaining each of these motives and drawing a comparison between all three to figure out which of them is the best.

  • Blogging for passion

This is when you start blogging on a topic due to the great passion you have for that topic or serious interest you have in it. When you blog solely for passion, you don’t aim for fame or profit. And each time you publish a new post, you are fulfilled because you just did something you enjoy doing.

Those blogging for passion don’t care whether many people read their posts or not. And they are not worried that blogging is costing them money rather than fetching them profit. Their aim is to learn more about their chosen topic and express their passion for it through blogging about it. And they are satisfied with just having a simple avenue to get their thoughts on the web.

When you blog for passion, you will be able to produce new content for your blog continuously and consistently. This is because passion is like a fuel that keeps you going even when every other thing is acting against you.

Being passionate about a topic doesn’t necessarily mean being an expert in that topic. If you choose to blog about medicinal herbs, for example, due to your passion and interest in them, you don’t have to have any prior knowledge about them. All you need is interest in them that will spur you to keep researching for more information about them.

To blog for passion, you need to be passionate not just about the topic you want to blog about, but also about teaching others, writing, researching, and publishing yourself online. All these play together to form a strong dose of fashion that keeps you going without worrying about rewards.

  • Blogging for fame

This is when you start a blog with the aim of making yourself widely known on the internet. Those who blog for fame don’t necessarily blog on topics that they are passionate about; and they don’t choose their topics based on its profitability. Rather, they choose topics that many people are interested in and are always eager to talk about online. This is with the expectation that, by blogging on such topics, many people will get to know and talk about them, and they will become famous as a result.

When you are blogging solely for fame, you are very likely to quit blogging if you are not attracting as much attention and traffic as you expected. Writing on a topic that you are not passionate about is a difficult task in itself. And if the only reward that could keep you going—fame—isn’t coming as you’d expected, then you’d quit because there’s no other motivation.

Blogging for fame is common among politicians, social activists, public analysts, and other individuals who only want to be popular and want to have an audience they could call their own and share their thoughts with.

  • Blogging for money

Money is the main reason why most people started blogging. Well, should we blame them? They have seen or heard of the kind of life pro bloggers like Darren Rowse, John Chow, and others are living—and they want the same for themselves. So, they take a plunge with nothing in mind except money.

Those blogging just for money are usually not passionate about the topics they choose to blog about. Neither are they interested in becoming famous. All they want is to be rich! Many are blogging about making money online, not because they are passionate about the topic or interested in it, but because they think John Chow is now rich because he blogs on that topic.

Unfortunately, however, making money from blogging doesn’t happen quickly. Usually it takes years. But most people who blog solely for money are unable to wait that long because they are not passionate about the topic in the first place. This explains why most of them quit blogging out of frustration or start afresh.

Which is the best?

Because passion is the only factor that can motivate you to produce content consistently and continuously even in the face of challenges, then it’s the best. And interestingly, if you blog for passion, fame and money will inevitably come your way—even if you never aimed for those from the start.

Your passion will motivate you to consistently produce content that people will love. This will help you build trust, and ultimately fetch you huge profits in the long term. Although passion remains the best motive for blogging, it doesn’t hurt to aim for all three goals from the start.

Ajaero Tony Martins