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How Bloggers Make Money from Blogs

Posted By Darren Rowse 6th of December 2005 Pro Blogging News 809

Make Money BloggingDo you Want to Make Money Blogging? Subscribe to ProBlogger Today.

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.
Comments
  1. 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!

  2. 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 ;)

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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!

  7. I like to use affiliate program to earn money from blog, and some times make sales from blog. Thanks for the list.

  8. This article was written about 3½ years (and quite a few other articles) and the comments are still active. It shows one that good advice can go a long way.

    I heard about Problogger just over 2 years ago, and I’ve only now decided to get into blogging…. a bit late, but then better late than never. :)

  9. Thanks Darren,

    An absolutely superb article and blog.

    Your problogger book is the reason I got into developing blog and forum website.

    Thank you so much.

    Karl
    business networking clubs directory

Comments are closed for this post.