How To Make An Income On Your Blog

This is a newsletter article from the May 2010 edition my monthly email newsletter. If you like it and aren’t signed up, simply fill in the form to the right or at the bottom of this post to join.

How to make an income on your blog, through products and affiliate programmes

By now, if you are running your blog and updating it regularly, you will be aware that many experts recommend having a downloadable product to offer, to encourage people to visit your site and benefit from the service you are offering.

One of the most effective products you can place on your blog is an eBook which offers advice and guidance in your chosen field of expertise. Whether you are a technological whizz or a marketer, a health guru or a writer, you are one of the most knowledgeable people in your industry – that’s why you set up your blog, right?

Why it makes sense to offer a product such as an eBook on your blog

Everybody likes free stuff, so it makes sense to offer something of value for nothing, or relatively cheaply. This encourages loyalty from people you have assisted, and also helps get your blog up there on the search engine radar as visitors searching for support on a specific subject can hunt you out and visit. Price your product well, and try to generate cashflow through the number of sales you make, rather than through a highly-priced product.

Creating an eBook is relatively simple, especially if you have been blogging for a while and putting up useful content. Your main aim is to present a useful guide for people, so one way to do this quickly is to collate previous blog posts which have proven to be popular, top and tail them with a great introduction, format them and – hey presto! Your product is ready to go.

Getting your eBook online for people

I get a number of queries from people asking how we should actually upload our products once we have developed them, and it can be confusing to know the best way to host your package once you are ready to go with it. I’ve developed a free course which takes you through the steps you need to get your eBook on to your WordPress blog, with simple instructions. I also cover mp3 products and other digital giveaways, if you’d rather market your services this way. Check out the videos to see how to get started, and you’ll be well on your way to offering an enhanced freebie to your readers.

The free course covers the following modules:

  • Using Paypal
  • Using Paypal and AWeber
  • Using WP E-commerce
  • Using Ecwid
  • Using e-Junkie
  • Using Clickbank.

These five tools are the most popular ways of selling products online, making it easy for you to take payment for your eBook or digital product.

What should your eBook be, and how do you get ideas?

You know your industry best, but a few pointers for products include interviews and videos, articles on your field of expertise, audio files talking people through complex processes, or training manuals, workshop drafts and guides. Take a look at what your competitors are doing, and see if you can’t match or better the kind of products they are developing and offering to their readers.

Cashing in on affiliate opportunities

Another way of generating revenue from your blog easily is through affiliate product programs. Affiliate programs are a different way of monetizing your blog from advertising. The advantage of Affiliate programs is that they have the potential to pay a lot more than most advertising programs, if you choose your affiliation carefully. The downside is that you only realize revenue if your readers act on the prompts which encourage them to click and purchase through your affiliates.

Picking the right products to promote, matched to your own services

There are thousands of products and services that you can promote through affiliate programs on your blog. It can be tough to choose the right one, so I’ve outlined some pointers to get you going.

Firstly, choose something that relates very closely to your blog subject, it’s no good offering links to corporate training courses if your blog is about stress management and wellbeing! Choose wisely from the huge range out there, to make it more likely that your readers will be interested in what you are promoting.

Think about the material on your blog, and spend a few moments brainstorming. What are you readers searching for? How can you help? What types of product most closely match what you are offering on your site? As you begin to answer these questions you should get a feel for the type of opportunities that there are for affiliate programs.

Linking your affiliate products to your field of expertise

Try not to run affiliate programs just because you can – this will not support your revenue generation, and may even alienate visitors to your site. It makes much more financial sense to select your programs carefully and match them as well as you can to your blog, to encourage uptake. Check the quality of your chosen products and make sure that giving them space on your blog will not bring your reputation as a product expert into question. Only have reputable, high-quality affiliates on your site.

Pick products that are useful and available to the majority of your readers’ geographical location. It’s no good linking to British sites for US readers, or promoting a range of Japanese food chains on your American blog!

By developing a great product for your site, and inviting affiliates on to your blog, you should be well on your way to generating a decent revenue from your blogging exploits.

If your blog is looking ‘so last season’, maybe it’s time for a revamp. Get in touch and I’ll help if you want to find new ways of presenting yourself and your business.

Harnessing The Power Of Affiliate Marketing

Whichever way you look at it, there are ways to make money online with your blog. Whether you are looking to sell your services by engaging your customers, or provide a product online which people pay for and download, you probably have a number of ideas about ways to generate revenue, if you are not doing them already.

Affiliate marketing is arguably the baseline of ongoing profit, when it comes to your blog working on your behalf, night and day, to generate revenue. While most blogs use other people’s products as a secondary source of income, by gaining commissions, it is actually possible to run a business solely on the principle of selling other people’s products.

Here’s why affiliate marketing is an extremely useful way of boosting your blog income…

It enables you to boost your productivity online, with minimal effort.

While sound affiliate marketing choices involve more than simply sticking a link on your blog and hoping that people will buy through you, the effort involved is still quite low in comparison to creating, producing and marketing your own products. This is because the people who have developed their own products have usually devoted time and energy to perfecting them, and will be more than happy to enable you to promote the products on their behalf, using their resources.

It offers the opportunity of generating revenue through third parties, without any associated risk or pressure

When you offer people’s products through your site and generate commission, you are acting as an advocate of the product and stating your recommendation to your clients. However, you are not bound to any contract or expected to sell a set number of products, and the time you spend upon the third-party wares is entirely up to you.

You don’t have the in-built shyness associated with pushing your own products and services

Most of us feel uneasy when it comes to selling our own products, as we feel naturally inhibited about telling people how great they are. When you sell on behalf of other people, it’s much easier to wax lyrical about their products and services without struggling to find a balance between promotion and arrogance.

It’s widely acknowledged that people respond well to recommendations by experts, and as an expert in your own field you are likely to be able to sell openly and honestly, advocating products which you believe in, without holding back.

In its most simple form, affiliate marketing opens your business up for the generation of extra revenue. At its best, some blog owners find that they can sit back and let their site work on their behalf, as a primary source of income. Strong affiliate marketers use their blog for generating reviews and previews, providing comparisons between products, supplying suggestions for customers and generating feedback on their site.

Letting tools do the hard work for you

Most sites that offer affiliate schemes have all the tools for you. Some even have emails and blog posts already written (though it would be much better to write your own), others have free content to offer as a bonus to your readers, and most have banner adverts for you to use. It’s very easy to get set up and started.

By taking some time to choose the right, good, relevant products to promote, and getting a suite of services set up on your site, your blog will be able to bring in extra revenue with a small amount of effort, and provide an enhanced service to your customers when they come along for support and advice about the best products to purchase.

Are You Blogging Too Much?

A lot of people love blogging, but not a lot of people get paid a lot for doing it. Some of you may have seen this New York Times article entitled “In Web World of 24/7 Stress, Writers Blog Till They Drop”.

It’s an interesting look at the growing culture of not only working from home, but the stress and demands that such a lifestyle can cause.

They work long hours, often to exhaustion. Many are paid by the piece — not garments, but blog posts. This is the digital-era sweatshop. You may know it by a different name: home. [Read more here →]

Do you have the right balance for you?

4 Simple Ways To Improve Your Blog

After working on so many people’s blogs it has become apparent that whilst there are many, many things that can be improved (including on my own) there are a few basics:

1. Don’t monetize too early. Do you see any adverts on my blog? No. Why? Because I don’t have enough traffic to make much money anyway, I don’t want people to be put off by a lot of adverts, it looks more professional and it looks neater. Which leads me onto…

2. Reduce clutter. I’m guilty of this myself, but reducing the number of images (and adverts) and animation on a homepage can make a site look more attractive, and professional.

Wordpress logo

3. Give someone somewhere to subscribe to your RSS feed via email. Again, I don’t do this on this site (I just offer the RSS at the moment), but I will when I get around to it. Feedburner currently only offers a daily email (though once the Google integration is finished they promise to offer more options), Feedblitz can be configured to be hourly, daily, weekly or monthly for free (ad-supported), and Aweber can also manage this along with other nice email management features for a fee.

4. Write more content. I receive emails all the time asking me “How can I make more money?” and I look at their site that is full of adverts and has a post once every 8 or 9 days. If you blog is aimed at making money by simply being a blog (unlike one like this which is alongside a business), then you need to get more traffic in order to make more money. It’s called the “magazine model” – you make more money the more people who visit you site. In order to get this traffic you need to post quality articles, often. For more information, check out Yaro Starak’s free Blog Profits Blueprint eBook.

There are obviously countless more examples that can be done to improve a website. If you’d like a professional review of your blog or website, please contact me and we can have a chat.

How You Will Make Money Blogging

This site in NOT about making money from your blog, it’s about why blogging will make you money. I believe a business that blogs correctly will make money via sales and referrals and the increase in contact with your customers.

However, if you want to make money directly from your blog, there are a few ways of doing it. Some of these links go back to another site of mine, Life Goggles which provides further details.

  • How To Use Google Adsense

  • Sources Of Advertising Revenues

  • Get Paid To Write Reviews

  • Make Money from your Videos

  • How To Test The Effectivenes Of Your Adverts

  • PageRank and AlexaRank

  • Great Money Making Links

  • The Secret to Top Search Engine Rankings

  • The amount of money you can earn is limited by two factors:

    1 – How much traffic you have.
    2 – How well you can monetize that traffic i.e. how you make money from your readers.

    If you would like further information on this, or how I can help you set up your blog please contact me..