Many of the following methods are the result of the profile and perceived expertise of the blogger themselves (whereas many of the direct methods mentioned previously are less reliant upon this).
Building a profile as a blogger doesn’t happen quickly and starting a blog with some of these hopes should be seen as a long term thing. My own experience in this area is that now after 18 months of blogging here at ProBlogger that it’s only been in the last few months that I’ve had opportunities open in most of these areas.
- Consulting – when you are perceived as an expert on a topic you will find that people naturally come to you for advice – some of them willing to pay for it. Some niches are probably better positioned than others for their bloggers to get into paid consultancy work of course. I spoke with one blogger recently (blogging in a business/technology field) who was able to charge himself out at $600 per hour to give advice to a large company. Interestingly I’ve heard of a number of companies in the last 6 months who are developing VOIP services that bloggers will be able to add to their sidebars to enable them to be called by readers for consulting. The systems would have per minute rate on them to automate this consulting process.
- Employment Opportunities – Just this last week PR blogger Steve Rubel announced that he’d been hired by a bigger PR firm. While he didn’t say it explicitly in his post I suspect that one of the reasons for him landing the job was the profile he’d built over the last year and a half from blogging. Steve’s case is not the only one – bloggers are increasingly being targeted by companies because of their demonstrated abilities in their field of expertise.
- Business Blogging – Similarly there are some businesses who employ people to blog for them either as their main role or part of their role. One example of a company who employed a couple of bloggers was Vespa who now have two blogs. BloggerJobs is one site worth following if you’re looking for these types of jobs. Most of the jobs there are from blog networks but occasionally they include businesses looking for bloggers also.
- Book Deals – Some days as I read through the RSS feeds that I follow it seems that every blogger I read has a book either in progress or coming out. Once again it’s about being seen as an expert in your field – if you can achieve this you will find publishers are more receptive to having an idea pitched to them and at times will even seek you out. This is becoming more and more common with publishers as they are seeing not only some great writers but that many of them already have large amounts of content on their blogs ready to be pulled together into a book!
- Offline Writing Gigs – Manolo from Shooeblogs recently landed a writing gig in the Washington Post Express after he was discovered via his blog. These types of opportunities can be in the form of newspapers, magazines, trade publications etc.
- Online Writing Gigs – Similarly some bloggers also land jobs writing for other forms of websites as a result of being discovered from their blogs.
- Selling e-resources – I wasn’t sure whether to classify this as direct or indirect (and depending upon how you do it you could probably go either way) but some bloggers are leveraging the expertise they have in an area by putting together their own ‘e-products’ such as e-books, tele-seminars, courses etc and selling them to their readers.
- Business Partnerships – One of the benefits of blogging about a niche topic that interests you is that you will begin to connect with others who have similar interests and expertise. As you interact with them it’s amazing to see the opportunities for working together that arise.
- Speaking Opportunities – Once again this is dependent upon the topic you’re writing about but some lucky bloggers end up with all kinds of opportunities to speak at conferences, workshops and seminars on their topic of choice. Sometimes they are freebies, other times the conference will cover costs and on other occasions there are speakers fees.
If you’re planning to use some of these indirect ways of making money because of your blog it’s important that you think seriously about building your own profile and credibility as a blogger. Think about the types of people that you respect and look to as experts an consider what they offer in their fields.
These people are generally original thinkers that not only report what others are doing, but who provide answers and vision for their industry. They are also often well networked and have the ability to draw others along with them.
What does this mean for your blog? Here’s where I’d start:
- provide useful content that shows an understanding of your niche.
- network within your niche. Work on being connected with other key players (big and small).
- use your blog not only to report and rehash news but to also show initiative in proposing solutions. Be proactive in your blogging and lead the conversation rather than just react to it.