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How Bloggers Make Money from Blogs

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My Personal Income Streams

As an update to this post I’ve more recently written one on How I make Money Blogging which highlights the most profitable ways that I use blogs to generate income. I’ve also written extensively on how bloggers make money in ProBlogger the Book.

How do bloggers make money from blogs?

How-Bloggers-Make-MoneyI’ve been reflecting this week about the amazing diversity of opportunities that are opening up for bloggers to make money from blogging.

I’ve long advised that bloggers seeking to make money from blogging spread their interests across multiple revenue streams so as not to put all their eggs in one basket.

The wonderful thing is that this is becoming easier and easier to do 2005 has seen many options opening up. I thought I’d take a look at some of the methods that bloggers are currently using to make money through blogs.

Income Streams for Bloggers – How to Make Money Blogging

Advertising Programs – Perhaps the most obvious changes in the past few months have been with the addition of a variety of viable advertising options for bloggers looking to make money from their blogs. The most common way bloggers seem to earn money online is via the contextual ad program from Google – Adsense. A more recent addition that many are using successfully are Chitika.

RSS Advertising – The past 12 months have seen some advances in RSS Advertising also. I’m yet to hear of any bloggers making big money blogging through it to this point – but as improvements are made to the ad programs exploring this I’m sure we’ll start to see examples of it being profitable.

Sponsorship – In addition to the array of advertising programs that are available to join there is a growing awareness in the business of the value and opportunity that exists for them to advertise directly on blogs. I’m hearing more and more examples of this and have been fortunately to have a couple of ad campaigns of my own in the past month – one with Adobe a couple of weeks ago and another just completed with Ricoh for a new digicam over at my Digital Camera Blog. These are not isolated cases – as I say I know of many blogs exploring sponsorship with advertisers at present and suspect we’ll see more of it in the year ahead. Sponsorship is also happening on a post by post basis with some bloggers being paid to write on certain topics by companies – either in one off or a regular fashion – and they are able to make big money from their blogs doing so.

Affiliate Programs – There are larger affiliate programs like Amazon, Linkshare, Clickbank and Commission Junction but also literally thousands of others from the large to the very small.

Digital Assets – Increasing numbers of bloggers have been developing other digital assets to support and add revenue streams to their blogs. By this I mean that I’m increasingly seeing e-books, courses and tele-seminars being run by bloggers. This type of activity will only increase in future – in fact this week I’ve seen numerous examples of bloggers running courses.

Blog Network Opportunities – with the rise in popularity of Blog Networks – bloggers are also being presented with more places to earn an income from their blogging – by writing for and with others. While it might be difficult to get a writing gig with one of the bigger networks – there are plenty who are always asking for new bloggers to join and who are willing to pay bloggers using a variety of payment models. While there are distinct advantages of blogging for yourself – blogging for an established network who will handle a lot of the set up/promotion/admin/SEO etc has it’s advantages also. More and more bloggers are combining writing for themselves on their own blogs with taking on blog network blogs as additional income streams.

Business Blog Writing Opportunities – as blogging has risen in it’s profile as a medium more and more businesses are starting blogs. Many of these companies have internal staff take on blogging duties – but an increasing number of them are hiring specialist bloggers to come on and run their blogs. I know of a number of bloggers who in the past month or two have been approached for such paid work. Check out the ProBlogger Job Board if you’re looking for this type of work.

Non Blogging Writing Opportunities – Also becoming more common are bloggers being hired to write in non blogging mediums. Manolo’s recent coup of a column in the Washington Post is just one example of this as bloggers are increasingly being approached to write for newspapers, magazines and other non blog websites. Along side this is the rise of bloggers as published book authors – this is to the extent that one blogger I spoke with this week complained to me that they were one of the few bloggers than they knew who didn’t have a book deal!

Donations – Tip Jars and donation buttons have been a part of blogging for years now but this last year saw a number of bloggers go full time after fund raising drives. Perhaps the most high profile of these was Jason Kottke of kottke.org who through the generosity of his readership was able to quit his job and become a full time blogger.

Flipping Blogs – Also more common in 2005 was the practice of ‘Blog Flipping’ – or selling of blogs. This has happened both on an individual blog level (I can think of about 20 blogs that sold this year) but also on a network level (the most obvious of these being the 8 figure sale of Weblogs Inc to AOL).

Merchandising – My recent attempt to sell ProBlogger.net T-shirts wasn’t a raging success, but it is an example of how an increasing number of bloggers are attempting to make a few extra dollars from their blogs by selling branded products through programs like Cafepress. While I didn’t have a lot of success with merchandising – quite a few larger blogs are seeing significant sales – especially blogs with a cult following. I’m not at liberty to discuss details – but I know of one largish blog which will see sales over $20,000 in merchandise for the calendar year of 2005.

Consulting and Speaking – While it has been popular for established consultants to add blogs to their businesses we’re also starting to see bloggers with no consulting background able to make money by charging readers for their time in consulting scenarios BECAUSE of the profile that their blogs have built them. Blogging has the ability to establish people as experts on niche topics and we all know the value of being perceived as an expert. I spoke to one blogger last month who charges himself out at over $200 an hour for speaking and consulting work – his area of expertise was something that he knew little about 18 months ago – but through his blog he’s become a leader in his field and a minor celebrity in his industry.

As time rolls on there are more and more ways that bloggers make money from their blogs opening up. Feel free to suggest your own ideas and experiences in comments below.

Update: Looking for more information on how to make money blogging? Here’s a post I wrote talking about my own experience – particularly looking at the top ways that I make money from blogs.

Also check out these resources on how to set up a profitable blog:

  • ProBlogger the Book – where I and Chris Garrett sum up all of the basic tips about starting up a blog in the one volume.
About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. VlogHog says:

    Before any money can be made, you have to have a blog that YOU love.

    If you don’t love it, no one else will. Period.

  2. Nice article, I had only been using Adsense to make extra cash from my site, but will now be investigating all of these other options.

    Keep up the good work!

  3. Ray says:

    Marketing Gurus like you have successfully taught the basics required for blogging. Whether it is to drive traffic to his site or make money, blogging has become mandatory for every website owner or an internet enthusiast. With recession hit economy people go crazy nowadays searching over the web the possible ways to earn money online. Blogging can prove worth enough for them.

  4. Nicholas says:

    There are many genuine opportunities available to make money online. I recommend ideas and opportunities like pay per clickadvertising, affiliate marketing and freelance job opportunities.

  5. John Lynn says:

    I’d love to hear more about blog flipping. How are most people selling their blogs. I have too many and need to divest of some.

  6. Great post. Blog flipping sounds like an interesting concept. I’ve had most success with affiliate programs.

  7. Anton says:

    I made stickers with my blogspot on them at Stickerjunkie. They were inexpensive and after I plastered them all over, I started getting alot more traffic. Just a tip for you fellow bloggers!

  8. Corina says:

    I learned some new ideas, I don’t think they will work for me, but it’s nice to know what’s out there.

  9. Felix Makmur says:

    Really great and informative post. I can surely pick up some useful tips and advices here that I can implement to make extra income online via blogging. Anyway, great article and thanks for sharing.

  10. Hmm interesting…but it does take a lot of effort and time in building your blog before you really see the money. I have a blog on real estate investment (click my name) but I don’t see any hard cash yet as till now.

  11. Really great tips..
    But you dint write anything about CPA networks bro.
    They are doing really well..

  12. P Shankar says:

    Great Information. I just started blogging my experience with some of the online money making ideas. Let us see how it goes. http://onlinewealthtip.blogspot.com

  13. I make some money from Adsense by blogging. The real problem that most bloggers face is how to increase traffic. It seems that promoting the blog with Adwords is more effective than just relying on search engine robot to crawl our web or blog.

  14. Rina says:

    Interesting info, definitely some to look into as I am looking to blog more than I do at present..:)

  15. Adsense is a good way to generate income from blogs, so I do agree with that. Its just the traffic we need and how to increase traffic too.

  16. Thanks for the good information .. Right now , i’m waiting for the first dollar to come out of my blog :D

  17. Randy says:

    I agree adsense is a great way to generate income from blogs. The adsense alone that I have installed on my blog pays for my advertising costs for other websites. The only thing bad about this is that if you are using your blog for affiliate marketing or such it can distract from your link.
    Real ordinary everyday guy Cracks the Affiliate Marketing Code Thanks To Wealthy Affiliate And Now He Wants To Show How YOU Can Do The Same… FOR FREE!!

  18. Yeah I had the same experience with adsense. It would function but it would also distract and compete. There are filters that let you screen out certain content but even with those you’re never 100% safe.

  19. I have been trying to monetize my blog for months! This will really help and I appreciate the time and effort you put into this article.

    Keep up the good work!

    James

  20. shabareesh says:

    hey great news man. Thanks for sharing. but as far as i tried it takes pretty long time to get good returns. One must have really patience to earn a lot. Recently I tried out a site called smartappsportal.com , which is really good. Just little effort and time and you will get good returns. The customer support provided by company is really good. Anyways nice piece of info by you buddy. Keep posting,

  21. Imraaz says:

    Yeh….these are good opportunities but i’ve tried thos …didnt get much money…recently i underwent GDI which is fairly good but now for about 2 months i’m in smartappsportal.com and earning residual income…

    btw nice article

  22. prqestioner says:

    I don’t earn from blogs as I don’t run one, but I try to earn with adsense through some of my websites. In my country, if you have a website which is often updated, you have to be given permission from court! Can you imagine? But many people disobey this rule and never go to court… with their websites…

  23. This blog is great the post really help me. i’ve tried all types of making money promises. i have not found many that really work.

  24. I find that giving free information gives you a higher conversion rate of visitors to sales. You will still want to include Clickbank and Adsense, a killer combo.

    Thanks very much for the info!

  25. Frenchy says:

    I didn’t know that you have a digital camera blog until I read this post. It’s a great blog as usual.

  26. Jordy says:

    I am getting a few dollars return a day on a blog that I started recently. Every now and then someone will apply to an affiliate link and I’ll get a pay per action commission that’s a nice figure in comparison to Adsense.

    I love the challenge that goes accompanies building traffic.

  27. tixe says:

    Great article and I learnt some more ways to earn ;)

  28. Btw I usually earn from affiliate programs but sometimes that’s not good because you need some kind of platform like blog to promote.

  29. Scott says:

    Blogging is fairly east to get started in and build it up. Search engines love blog structure. When all else fails, Blog, and blog some more.

  30. Benjamin Cip says:

    Thank you for your great article Darren ;)
    I just started blogging few weeks ago, and I’m already earning money. thanks to your blog, I’ll try to find more way to monetize my blog.

  31. Yanak says:

    If you want to earn from your BLOG you must LOVE your BLOG first. If you don’t love it, no one else will.

    btw great article indeed :)

  32. Bali Tours says:

    This was a wonderfully helpful article! I am just starting out with my blog, get money from bloggers.

  33. Bali Hotel says:

    Great writing, This is very informative, I have just started my own blog and your article has opened my eyes to the many ways you can monetize your blog.

  34. Sumit Arora says:

    I have created a blog under eface.in namely http://www.technology.eface.in and now my earnings is greater than my monthly salary. If once post is powerful and very useful to others, views will stay more time. Thats i studied.
    Regards,

    Sumit Arora
    Student, NIT, Calicut, India

  35. Tate says:

    Thanks for the post. I just started writing blogs which i thought was very hard to do until I read your article. I found it very helpful indeed. I’ve also written me a couple of blogs I hope people will find helpful. Check them out and comment.

  36. Perika says:

    thanks for the info. Might as well go and try Adsense. If we really are determined , we must try to see persevere to earn money. Not just from blogs but also in the real world. Global crisis has always been a problem, and if we try to always depend on money from blogs, what would happen then? What if the time comes that all of these things are gone? So we really need to persevere more. Cheers for the post!

  37. Lakshmi says:

    Very useful article! I didn’t know about so many options.
    I am going to use some of them.
    Thanks for the great article.

  38. I would agree with you. I make most of my money through affiliate or simply means selling other people’s products. It is so easy and you will not invest money too much for your capital. :-)

  39. A Dawn says:

    I know a lot of bloggers earn through affiliate marketing and advertising programs. eBook is another way of earning online.

  40. Thanks for the blog, I agree with what you say as I make money through affiliates as well. It is all about getting the traffic to your site for people to see the products.

  41. Felix says:

    Would one make much money from on blog than from many blogs? I’ve tried having many blogs about different niches but it’s not easy to maintain.

  42. Vicky says:

    I find it all abit like the chicken or the egg…

    Do I first look to increase my readership and profile… then go for advertising or vice versa…
    And many of the ad networks reject you until you have a certain level of readership… confused I will be.
    I keep on working on readership then on the money??

  43. A very old post, and still comforting. I started to dive into online biz around 2003, and got traumatic experiences back then, losing couples of important bucks in my life for nothing. I stopped doing the biz since then, and made myself buried in the office up to last month. Now I am back. Hope all the lessons taught me well. Now “…Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me…” Thanks for clear water.

  44. Matt says:

    I am currently working on making money from blogging, started a few weeks ago and progress is good. Getting hits from Google and it is looking good :)
    Great post

  45. Amrit says:

    I haven’t visited problogger for quite a long time. I don’t know how I missed this article. I just want to thanks for sharing these information on earning through our blogs. There were so many of the things the bloggers wouldn’t know when it comes to earning via their blogs. I believe Darren has written almost everything about earning via blogs.

    Keep it on Darren!

  46. Submitter says:

    To quote you: I’ve long advised that bloggers seeking to make money from blogging spread their interests across multiple revenue streams so as not to put all their eggs in one basket.

    You have provided so many places for a blogger to start with. But this can be confusing for some. Let’s not forget the only real enemy here is not being focused. This could happen to some so my advice is: Stay focused!

    Btw I started with all my eggs in one basket and I am now exploring alternatives. Did this bring more money? Sure it did. Happy blogging ;)

  47. dess says:

    Hi Darren,

    I’m blogging for almost 2 years now, and what I knew is that I could only earn from blogging is through writing stuffs for advertisers, and posting some adverts. But when i read your post about making money, i was really amazed that there are lots of ways to earn more money. Well maybe, before monetizing a blog, a blogger must always have to build his network. Anyways, your site is very informational. I keep on reading your posts, because I know that I could be a very good blogger if I would continue learning, and reading some tips from pros like you. Hope you could drop on my blog sometime. Thanks

  48. I just start this blog. I want to try to make money on it too. And at the same time make money on my day trading

  49. Mike says:

    I’ve just started a blog, and I think this article is great advice to whoever wants to make money online. The only problem is that I need more traffic on my site. Maybe that will improve as I add more content to my blog.

  50. Fantastic post Darren.

    Great information for new bloggers or bloggers who want to learn how to monetize their blogs, its all about profiting from your passion.

    Love reading your blogs… Keep up the great work!

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