Learn how to monetize a blog from eight online business owners.
In this post, I interview 8 online business owners about how they make money with their blog.
We've written about how we make money on our blogs.
We also discussed the question: How much traffic is needed before monetizing
Today we want to go a little broader. And to do that, we need to be very specific. 🙂
We are going to let other business owners explain how they make money on their blogs.
Lets get started!
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How to Monetize a Blog
The following interviews are from online business owners – all of them making money with their blog.
The monetization methods include:
- Direct ads sales (banner advertising)
- Sponsored email blast (I recommend AWeber for email lists. Here's why)
- Events and promotions
- Affiliate marketing
- Subscription newsletter This is a great reason to start a newsletter.
- Patreon.com is kinds of like Kickstarter for artists
- Click ads Here's how to improve your PPC earnings
- ShopHer Media
Here are the details and the specific sites using these methods:
8 Bloggers Explain How They Monetize a Blog
Here is the breakdown of how eight bloggers are monetizing their blogs.
1) How We Monetize ILoveTheUpperWestSide.com
We have a pretty unique monetization model for ILoveTheUpperWestSide.com.
It's a local area blog that reports on events and stories on the Upper West Side in NYC, but it also funnels leads into a real estate sales and rentals system. People love our content and trust us to help them find their next home.
We also have a banner advertising system. Because we target such a specific geographical area, it's more lucrative to sell ads directly to businesses in the area (as opposed to using a network like AdSense).
2) How I Monetize Burger Conquest: A Marketing and Burger Blog
I write the marketing and burger blog Burger Conquest. I monetize my blog via three methods:
- Foodie Blog Roll: – this is like Google AdSense but only for Food Blogs. It won't generate a lot of money but you'll get a little here and a little there. I don't maximize exposure to the Foodie Blog Roll which is a personal choice but you can certainly go further. To sign up, 75% of your posts must be about food and you must have at least 2500 page views per month.
- Email blast via MailChimp: I've built up a decent sized email list through which I send out a weekly blast with cool food and beer events in my area. Bars, restaurants and event producers can buy an entire send from me or choose a more affordable option to be listed in one of the 7 positions available in the weekly blast. If a bar or restaurant needs help coming up with or producing a food and or craft beer event, I am available for consulting which would also include promotion through the email blast.
- Events and Promotions: I produce a lot of my own events like NY Burger Week (which expanded to South Florida & Charleston, SC this year) and the Fall Burger Crawl.
I also run produce The NYC Good Beer Passport which gets customers a number of craft beers at a number of locations for a low price. It lasts all summer long and helps to raise money for local charities like the Food Bank For NYC. It also helps bring business to bars and restaurants during the slow summer months. These are the hardest forms of monetization but also the most rewarding.
3) A Colorful Journey Blog Monetized with Affiliate Marketing
Carolyn Dube runs A Colorful Journey an arts and crafts blog. Carolyn has affiliate programs set up through her site. While she has a Shop page, all items link out to other sites. She also runs art workshops online and in-person. She intentionally does not sell ad space to maintain a high user experience even though she has the necessary traffic.
4) Monetize an Investment Blog with a Premium Newsletter
After leading 5 investment management organizations in my career, I decided to set myself up as a consultant to leaders.
Initially in 2011, I started a blog for free with weekly articles that addressed the concerns of leaders in the industry. I linked my blog to various social sites and also used direct email.
After a short while, interest in my views picked up. I then decided to charge for my blog. I charge $1,449 a year for a weekly report of 500-1000 words.
I charge a lot because:
- I give away lots of stuff for free on my web site
- I want people to respect what I have to say
- I want clients to get used to paying me a lot and hire me for larger projects.
There may be lots of stuff that is cheap or free on the internet but no one can offer my insights. The pressure to meet these expectations juices my creativity.
5) How I Monetize My Sports Blog
I've been running OffTheRecordSports.com since early 2009. I've made a few dollars off of it and have learned a ton about what you need to do about running a blog.
First off, let me say that the folks who want to try to get paid subscribers are absolutely fooling themselves. Even if you get a few people, that's not much money, certainly not what you could make doing it the right way. Even major newspapers that have tried going to subscriber models are learning that the web doesn't work that way.
The idea is to get as many eyeballs as possible to your blog and make money selling ads based on impressions. Simply put, on the the web, eyeballs are the key and you will be paid according to that. No traffic? No money.
There are a number of places you can go to monetize your blog and they usually have traffic requirements before they'll hook up with you. At one point, OTR was up to 50,000 unique a month and was a Google PR4. That's not bad for one guy doing it himself. That opened me up to ad networks. I used Technorati and a few others over the years. They give you code to put in your site and then their advertisers (major companies) have their ads rotate on your site. You get paid based on how many times it appears.
You can also sell individual ads to companies you have contacts with if you want to go that route. I say, “have fun and good luck.” It will be a colossal waste of time, in my opinion. If you can pull it off, good on you. It is NOT easy to do. Ad sales is a different animal.
Another way you can monetize your blog is to get paid for links. There are many companies that will pay you to include a link back to their site in exchange for money. I¹ve had companies offer me anywhere from $40-$200 for a single link in a blog post. Be VERY careful doing this. If not done properly, it can be seen as black hat SEO and you could be punished by Google. That is not good at all. Be sure who you are dealing with and make sure you know how to do it the right way so your blog doesn't get smacked down by Google.
Sometimes you can get people to pay you for a guest post. They write a post and pay you to publish it. I rarely do this unless I know it will be well written and in the voice of my site. I've had companies submit content that was laughable. I'm hardly the Wall St. Journal but I do have standards.
6) Tumblr Blog Monetized with Patreon.com (M. Alice LeGrow)
The first is a blog about my work as a birthday party princess, and the second is a character blog, written as a fictional account of the lives of people in the graphic novel series I authored from 2004 to 2011. The first is just a monetized blog by itself and the second is being monetized to finance an eventual web comic series.
Both are monetized through Patreon.com, but use different systems.
The first charges patrons per post and the second on a total monthly basis. I use incentives like patron-only content videos and locked posts to encourage people to sign up and contribute, as well as have different rewards in place for different tiers of donation.
Patreon.com is an amazing monetization tool for bloggers just starting out, who want a simple, no-fuss way to set up payment immediately and to offer tiered rewards to backers. All patrons have their cards charged at the end of the month and payments are automatically sent to your checking or Paypal account. Patreon.com takes a cut of about 10%.
M. Alice LeGrow
7) How I Monetize Virtual Work Team Blog with Click Ads and Affiliates
I use both Commission Junction and Google AdSense on my blog. Right now Google AdSense is working better than CJ for us.
Mrs. Shilonda Downing Virtual Work Team LLC
8) Monetize With Click Ads and ShopHer Media Affiliate Program
I work with FreeMania.net & MomShar.com and we have managed to successfully monetize both blogs.
Here are some of the ways that we monetize in order of most to least profitable:
- Google AdSense: AdSense is easy to implement & maintain b/c it does most of the work for you! I would recommend doing a combination of image ads & text ads to maximize profitability.
- MySavings Media: You can sign up to become a partner with MySavings Media (now ShopHer Media) & they will share earning opportunities with you through your portal. They gather earning opportunities that you can select.
9) How We Monetize a Travel Blog (Bonus)
We use five primary methods of monetization for our travel blog. They include:
- Affiliate Marketing
- Amazon Associates
- Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising
- Link Sales
- Display Advertising
Your Turn: Tips for Monetizing a Blog
How do you monetize your blog? I would love to hear what's working (and what isn't). See you in the comments!