Jul 03 2008

How I make money blogging

Some of you have told me that you’d like to learn more about how I make money blogging. I’m no expert, and I’m not making a ton of money, but I’ll be happy to tell you what I’m doing and how you can do it too.

First, please understand that most people (except for huge blogs such as The Simple Dollar, Get Rich Slowly, ProBlogger, etc.) don’t make enough money blogging to quit their day jobs. And when you do start earning money, it’s in trickles. It will take many months, even a year or more to start earning anything.

That said, if your blog appeals to a wide audience, you can (and should) consider earning at least a small amount for your time.

Build up your reader base first.

Do this by blogging regularly (3-7 times per week) with content that will appeal to your niche audience, visiting other blogs and commenting, joining blog networks, submitting your links to carnivals”Mr. Linky” (Works for Me Wednesday, Menu Plan Monday, Frugal Friday, etc.),  Also, try carnivals such as The Festival of Frugality or search this huge catalog of running carnivals.

Sharing a little “link love” is a great way to get the attention of bloggers, and they just might return the favor.

Never simply mention a web site, though. For example, if you want to mention my site, don’t just type “Kacie at Sense to Save says…” Instead, you should hyperlink back to the blog you mention. That way, the blog owner is more likely to see that you mentioned her site. She might pop over to say “thanks!” and stick around and read more of your blog.

Try adding a few ads to your site.

One of the most well-known ad programs anyone can use is Google Adsense. Experiment with different ad placements to find the best payout. I’m still trying to find a way that works for me. A word of caution: Don’t encourage your readers to click your ads. This violates the Adsense terms of use and could cause Google to deactivate your account.

You’ll need to reach $100 in your Adsense account before they’ll send you your first check. I’m still waiting for mine, but hopefully it’ll show up sometime this year.

To optimize Adsense and avoid low-paying ads, visit AdsBlackList.com. You’ll be able to generate a list of ads to restrict from appearing on your site. Money Life Network blogger Hank has an excellent post to walk you through this step.

I’m a member of the BlogHer ad network. This network pays per page view, not per click as Adsense does. As a result, I see a higher payout. BlogHer isn’t taking applications for new members right now, but you can be e-mailed when they open it up.

Other ad networks out there (I haven’t tried these) include BlogAds, CrispAds, Project Wonderful, and many more. Are you in an ad network? Which one? How does it work?

You can sell text link or graphic ads to individuals. Sometimes, your site will catch the attention of marketers, and they might e-mail you about placing an ad on your site. You’ll have to consider the company and how much money they’re offering to determine if it would be worth it to you. I’d caution against selling permanent placement ads. If someone offers you $30 to run an ad for as long as you have a web site, you’ll never see another dime from them, even if your blog grows exponentially. It’s a great deal for them, not so great for you. Negotiate for ad placement on a one-month, three-month, or six-month basis to keep your options open.

Either you can wait to be approached by these companies, or you can approach companies or individuals yourself.

Use affiliate links

Using affiliate links are another fantastic way to make money blogging. You’re an affiliate when you bring customers to a company via links. They’ll pay you a fee as a “thank you.” For example, whenever I mention my Ebates account, I link to it using my affiliate link. This is a link coded just for me. When people sign up for it after using my link, I get a few dollars.

Here are some affiliate links I use: Ebates, PaperBackSwap, Cash Crate, Revolution Money Exchange, and ING Direct.

Others to consider: Amazon, Commission Junction. What companies are you affiliated with? Has it been worth it?

Think about the web sites you visit and patronize. If they have an affiliate program, why not sign up and see if you can make a little money from it?

A word of caution

As I mentioned above, it will take some time to start earning money. Be patient.

And please, don’t go overboard and clutter your blog with ads! You’ll want to keep it as clean and organized as possible. Too many ads will overwhelm your readers, and possibly even turn some people away.

Advice from you?

Have you blogged about making money by selling ads or using affiliate links? Post your link below and help us learn from you!

As a reader, what do you think of blogs with ads? Do you mind? Or are you annoyed?

For further reading, please check out:

Michelle at Scribbit’s excellent post on…you guessed it…making money blogging.

If this topic really interests you, then you should check out ProBlogger. Here’s a post outlining a few methods for making money (and be sure to look at the links below that post).

26 Responses to “How I make money blogging”

  1. I’ve been more successful in my local area helping people with their blogs (I hate the word consultant but that’s kind of it). A lot of blogging has been a learn-as-I-go experience (as well as a lot of reading) so if I can share that knowledge with someone, it because two (or three or four) for the price of one.

  2. ING referrals are great! And I can genuinely say that I love their product and wholeheartedly endorse them.

    Building up your viewership is important. You can’t expect to make lots of money just starting out (if you can please let me know how). It takes time and work. Fortunately I love working on my site. Monetization makes for a fun motivator.

    FFB’s last blog post..Some Rights Reserved

  3. Great post – you lay out the basics very well… My addition to it would be that it takes a lot of time and energy to make money doing it – but the greatest thing about it is that you are building something that could turn into passive income if you wanted…

    For newbies I suggest going over to problogger.net and reading everything you can find – it will help

  4. Thanks Kacie I am going to save this post since I know that you have enclosed so many great links. Earning money through my blog has added a whole new element to my blogging experience. Thank you for sharing what you know.

    Hadias’s last blog post..ISP Search

  5. Thanks for the tips, Kacie! You’ve mentioned a few things I hadn’t heard of before. I’m still trying to get people to read my blog, never mind making money with it. But maybe someday… :-)

  6. Nice post Kacie. Monetizing your blog isn’t something that’s going to come easy or fast, so for most people who don’t stick with it, they may not see much money from it.

    My suggestion is to blog a lot, build up a readership, participate in carnivals and get your site going, and then the money will come.

    I’m still only in my 5th month blogging now, but I’ve seen steady growth in the income, from nothing, to last month where I was able to make enough for a couple nice car payments.

    Just remember, it’s not easy money! You will have to work!

    Pete @ biblemoneymatters’s last blog post..Money Matters

  7. What a great post Kacie. I have been pondering the idea of monetizing my site but never quite sure how to go about it and would just drop the idea because there is so much out there I found it difficult to try to make a decision on where to start. You explained this very well to me. I appreciate your post. Thank you.

  8. Nice post. This is a topic that fascinates me. I’ve managed close to $3,000 over the last year with my blog. Revolution Money has been my best paying affiliate. I have also used affiliate links for Prosper and Lending Club.

    GoogleAds are popular among bloggers but I’ve found them to be my least successful way to earn money. Text links or paid ads are nice but you have to be careful to avoid being penalized by Google. Only link to sites you would otherwise editorially endorse.

    Tom’s last blog post..Acadmic article on Prosper published – Dynamic Learning and Selection

  9. Wonderful ideas for all bloggers Kacie. I really think having fun with your blog is important to remember. I like writing about what’s helping myself and others save money and make a little as well. That’s fun and rewarding for me. If I make a little off the blog, that’s just icing on the cake:)

  10. The best piece of advice there is that it takes time – you can’t epxect to pop up a blog and make tons of money in a few weeks

  11. I agree Problogger is a great source of info that way–you’ve got some good advice here too!

    Michelle at Scribbit’s last blog post..Voila! French Beret!

  12. Hey Kacie do you know anything about Wellness360?

    Stop by and check out my post on it.I’d love to hear your experiences with them. If you are interested in joining please use my link.

    So far today I earned $10.oo in 1 hour and fortyfive minutes.

    Here’s the link to my post http://proverbswife.blogspot.com/2008/07/earning-cash-and-getting-healthy.html

  13. BTW, I added a link to your post from my blog. Have a great 4th of July.

  14. Thanks for the great ideas. I would like to see a series of articles about this subject.

  15. You did not include joining a paid review service where you will be paid money to review a website. Some bloggers earn a chunk of money from there. I will try the optimizing adsense you wrote about.

  16. Excellent advice, Kacie. My greatest success has been through affiliate links within my content.

    I have tried several different affiliates, but the biggest money maker for me so far has been Logical Media .

    As a reader, I don’t mind ads, since I have them myself. But you are right, too many just make a blog look cluttered.

    Alyssa @ Keeping the Kingdom First’s last blog post..July Financial Update: Big News!

  17. Great guide, Kacie. Particularly good advice on never selling a permanent link. It’s entirely weighted. Unless they paid me $1000…then I might do it. ;)

  18. Thanks for this great article. This is a subject I’m interested in but haven’t really taken steps towards doing anything about yet. Soon, I hope.

    Shevy’s last blog post..My Fido Was a Dog, So I Picked a BlackBerry!

  19. Hi Kacie, I’m with you on the ad placements. For me, I’ve found that using affiliates like Alyssa said above has been the best generating a little extra money. I only include the links when they make sense to the post or what my goals are for helping others ! I shared about the affiliates I currently use here and here.

    Hope that helps someone!

    Andrea’s last blog post..Snack Summary: Week of July 7

  20. Hey Kacie! This is a fantastic post! I have had so many questions about how to monetize my blog and this post was very helpful. I have another question. I see that you have about 805 subscribers. Well, actually 806 now that I have subscribed. How do you get so many people to subscribe? Thanks!

  21. Hi again, Kacie. I just joined Entrecard and would be honored to be your blog of the day. I’m just not sure what to do next! I would like to have the same blog-of-the-day feature on my blog. Does Entrecard do it or is that something you came up with? Again, thanks for the info. :)

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Hey! I'm Kacie, wife to Shane and mother to Jonathan (7), Vivienne (5) and Amelia (2) . I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

I hope I can inspire and encourage you to improve your situation. See disclosure.

I'm adopting a much slower-paced posting schedule, and treating this as a hobby blog now.

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