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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. Gaurav says:

    Thats an excellent post, I have been bloggin for more than a year, there are things that you have mentioned which I have been doing but I will try and do some of the other things which I have not thought before reading your post. I’ll surely try them. Thanks.

  2. China girl says:

    ProBlogger let me know how to make money blogging. I have created a website To learn more. Best of about chinese TCM blogging and making money!

  3. Paul says:

    Thanks for the blog – ths certainly broadened my horizons both from a bloggers perspective and an advertisers. There is so much over focussing on AdSense/AdWords, which doesnt necessarily give the best result for either advertisers or blog owners.

    Contextual advertising can be rewarding for both parties, so as a blogger I a trying to write good, relevant content for contextual ads – makes sense and hopefuly some dollars.

  4. Frank says:

    Outstanding Post ! Helped me to get a fast overview of the possibilities earning moey with blogging. Thanks!

  5. johnlindgren says:

    maybe the best how to make money – lately published

  6. Wow Thanks, you’ve just given me some great ideas. It’s amazing that, with so much going on in the blogosphere that there are so many that still don’t know what a blog is.

  7. adib says:

    Thanks for the ideas. Some of them I’ve never thougt of. Thanks again.

  8. hima says:

    may be there are so many ways to make money online.But this is really good.we can make our own circle having same thoughts.

  9. Dennin says:

    I made this Myspace for people to find out how to make some money on Myspace:

    http://www.myspace.com/learntomakemoney

  10. AdSense is a horrible way to make money blogging. I actually wrote an article about this and alternatives to AdSense:

    http://bloggingmoneymaker.blogspot.com/2006/09/7-unique-methods-to-make-money.html

    Long story short: AdSense distracts your users from *real* opportunities to make money. You are essentially trading a 10 or 15 cent ad for a $20+ commission. Read the article for more details…

  11. Robert says:

    Darren, have you flipped anymore blogs recently?

  12. Darren Rowse says:

    No Robert – not for a long time actually.

  13. Health ren says:

    How Much the Bloggers Make Money from Your Blogs a year?

  14. Joe says:

    Do you think making a blog about something is better than having a “regular” site with a blog attached to it?
    I have been thinking about adding a blog to my site http://www.travelbrazilnow.net. I didn’t make it a blog in the first place for the very nature of the site.
    And I believe SEO-wise it would be better too.
    What do you think?
    Do you have non-blog sites that are performing well?

  15. menoworky says:

    What an awesome read! I’m mostly blogging for fun right now but I have a little experiment going where I’m trying to see how many levels of multiple income streams I can come up with. Maybe blogging will be one of those for me someday :) Thanks for the great article!

  16. Jason Bates says:

    Blogs are the easiest thing to make money from, there so easy to get a high PR in a quick amount of time. The higher Google PageRank the more people will pay you to get an advert on your blog.

  17. Stiv Peter says:

    Learn how to make money online . This service is absolutely risk free and there is now way to lose money just because you dont have to give any money.Learn how to make money from Internet surveys . Earn cah by sitting in your chair in front of your computer.Visit http://makenetmoneynow.blogspot.com

  18. This is quite an eye opener. I never knew blogging was such a big business. i love reading and writing which is why I am attracted to blogs.Where exactly can I find people who wanna buy my articles for their blogs. I have gat a couple related to beauty/health/fitness about 30 of them?
    Thanks.Hope to bookmark your site for future visits.

  19. David says:

    In spanishi please.

  20. David says:

    spanish ok. not spanishi. ja ja ja

  21. Geoff says:

    this has been a great find
    I been trying to make money on the internet now for 3 years withoput a lot of success

  22. Free Article says:

    Its great to know, for now, i try to use my article site to my some money now.
    do any of you use article site to make money?

  23. Aditya says:

    I started a blog on my site. But I am unable to get any visitors nor am I making anu money.

    I know I have to try! Nice article!

    Aditya
    http://www.adiwebs.com

  24. kapuk says:

    I wonder which software did you build this website ?. I doesnt look like wordpress ! This is one more control and power than wordpress I think

  25. Speed seems to have increased recently. Looks like the site may have been optimised

  26. Anita says:

    I have to say, this is a great post. I run a new humor website, and was a little surprised how few people clicked my adsense ads (CTR of about 0.1%). Now I have so many more options, and will try them over the next few weeks.

    Thanks!

  27. William says:

    Thanks for the info.

    Will
    http://www.onlinemoney1.com

  28. A good article on explaining the alternatives for google adsense.i haven’t heard about these many ad networks.Let’s try out the other ad networks.

  29. joe says:

    I didnot know that they are too many affiliate programs. I will try some!
    I love your blog very much

  30. chester says:

    This site is working for me,I tried the third option and after about 2months i started getting checks.I am not going to hype up anything because i believe most things work if you try hard enough.Check it out,there is good info to be learned,that has been priceless for me.

  31. I have just started my own magazine blog and your article has opened my eyes to the many ways you can monetise your blog.

    Thanks

  32. Harvey says:

    I am more on content syndication. I am planning on putting up my own blog soon. You’re an inspiration Darren! Thanks! :)

  33. Alvin's Art says:

    Hey this was amazing. I thought there was only adsense to make money, but this guide has really opened my eyes :)

  34. calm_storm says:

    This is my first blog,check it out.I’m hoping to make waves or at least a ripple to start.=)

  35. Tahir says:

    Making money online with selling ebooks with resale rights or recommending them through afilliate links is without a doubt a great way to profit from blogs.

  36. Mike Crowl says:

    I only discovered Problogger a few days ago, and have been coming back and forth to it frequently, particularly to find out more about making money via blogs. So far my experience on that front hasn’t been huge (though I’ve been writing blogs or have had a personal website for some years) but Problogger is full of good advice. Biggest issue is to have a blog that people actually visit, and not be one of the million unknowns out there…

  37. Cher says:

    Hey ! I’ve recently started the affiliate marketing. With your article i’m completely amazed by knowing the ways to make money with blogs. I thought that only affiliate programs make money, but after going through the article i got to know the different opportunities.

  38. Abdou says:

    Hi,
    thank you for this topic
    I really notice that no many people make money online as affiliates program publishers, but with google adsense YES including myself
    I do not know why affiliates programs do not work as well as We expect. May be people do not like to buy online in the fear of fraud.

  39. MMA Blog says:

    great post and great site. I have only up till now used adsense on my blog but after reading this I am going to investigate and try some others. I’m reall yparanoid about violating google’s terms so I need to read a lot to ensure I don’t do anything wrong as google seems to be the best monetizing solution right now it seems.

  40. I find it interesting that blogging can make money as before it was only to express your views about anything.

  41. Wow thanks for the info. I will check out some of the method above once I get down pack on how to generate traffic to my site. First thing I might check is the Blogger for Hire bit. Thanks again.

  42. Lillian says:

    Useful information. I enjoyed reading all the valuable information to start my own blogging. Thanks!!

  43. AdSense Tips says:

    Some useful points. In my opinion, despite all the hype about contextual advertising (AdSense in particular), the average blogger makes more money using a combination of paid post providers.

  44. A very neat article! I’ll definitely bear in mind some of your advice about sponsorship and consulting – hadn’t really considered anything apart from text links.

  45. Trevni says:

    I have found a plethora of helpful information here. I have yet to adopt adverizing support as I am a non profit entity. Any advice on how to handle that combination?

    Thanks

  46. Amit says:

    Hey till now i was just blogging for fun …writing about movies,general fun stuff and personal stuff.Just realised that there is money in here.So why not dig in…..but i have my blog http://www.ktima.wordpress.com and it is in wordpress and I cannot put any adsense stuff on it .So what ways can I make up some quick buck????Please do replky on my blog.Will be really thankful……

  47. Steve says:

    Great post. Am making quite a bit of money online but only new to blogging. I think 2007 could be the year to get a few blogs up and running. Thanks Darren

  48. blackvine says:

    blogs are the way forward. Compared to websites blogs are more proffitable. I have three blogs and one website (www.fxacademy.net). Each of my blogs has a higher return than my website. Blogs are definately the way forward in 2007

    Jus my thought

  49. Ronald says:

    I’ve been looking for ways to make money in the internet too for years; and I never really found the best way; though a few months ago I unexpectedly came across a free e-book, the referer said he was actually making money out of making people read it.

    So I tried it too.. At first I didn’t receive anything; but after a few days and posting the link at a couple of sites, the free e-book toke off…

    I’m now making about $200 a day because of people clicking my link and reading the book, without any efforts.. I don’t have a weblog, I don’t actively advertise or anything and still I’m making $1400 per week!

    I bet I could never get as many people to my blog as to the sites I’ve put my link up at; I don’t see blogs being able to convert money on this scale and I know I’d be able to earn even more if I’d post my link to more sites.

    What if I’d started my own blog? Started advertising in there? People wouldn’t know where to find it at first and when they would come acros, they’d take off because of the commercial level of it..

    I think making money on the internet could be done easier by using existing blogs and advertising there and using forums and newsgroups… but hey, that’s my opinion.

  50. abdulhaseeb says:

    i live in pakistan how can i earn money through blog most of web site donot register pakistan so tell the name of website which register pakistan?

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