Almost every blog has started off with one of it's core goals to be making money. After all we all want that ideal life where all we need to do is write the odd blog for us to live in the ultimate comfort. Unfortunately, this rarely happens - most websites make no money at all and in the majority of cases, if self hosted, will loose money in one way or another. So here are 5 ways that you can make money from your blog.
Create Relationships from Your Blog Readers
This is a key way to growing your audience and presence within an industry. If you can turn your blog from being a few pages of content to being a discussion about the given subject of a particular post you've won a little already. By building a realtionship I mean more than just talking on your blog though, build them outside of the blog using twitter, facebook and google+.
Once you've got a relationship share a few links with them during a conversation, but don't force it. Once you've a relationship, you see, that person is in my experience much more likely to reshare or like that link - a clear win. And not forgetting a relationship means they are again much more likely to read your blog again and again.
A great example of this is in my Yell.com Website Design Scam blog, recently DPS consulting reached out to me in comment, on twitter and through a blog which also links to me - great win. All just for being friendly.
Curate Contributions to Your Blog
For a long time I resisted allowing guest posts. I though I could do the work myself, SEO is my passionI thought I could learn more by doing it myself too, even though I knew alot. But the reality is that no person can run a big blog themselves, you will need help, even if you don't admit it. So accept guest posts, but don't just accept any old crap. Set out some clear rules and put all guest posts into a single category, only if a post is really great should it come outside of that category. This means you grow content but you've some control over it's destiny.
Once you've started curated, it will build and build. I get about 20 requests a week to guest post on the SEO Andy blog, of which only 1 or maybe 2 a week will make the grade. So far only 1 of these posts has been deserving of being outside the sandbox, that was an article about getting to most from usability testing.
Sell Your Services & Products
Another failing on my part was for 3 years not listing my SEO Services on this website. Late last year I added them and since then business has boomed. Also try not to over complicate things or overlap services too much, if you need a table for what a service includes you are doing it wrong. Also never tier your pricing, simply say "from £x" or get a free quote etc.
Remember: Keep It Simple Stupid!
The one lesson I've learnt is people know blogs are for selling. This site is about SEO and is from an SEO Company, they expect to be sold too. But I've put it away behind the content because this firstly is a free resource I want to help people not steal from people.
Write Reviews Relevant to Your Niche It may sound counter-intuitive to some but selling others products and services can make you money. But don't just sell sell sell, thats just stupid. To sell other products you need to have used it, and liked or loved it. You need to give a clear understanding to the reader as to what you think and outline why it's worth an investment.
Now to make money use something like affiliate window to link to a product or website. Alternatively, some companies offer their own little "kick back" schemes, one of these is Moo Business Card Printing (as a bonus if you use my link you get 10% off your first order) - my link is http://www.moo.com/share/2kc6bc .
Advertise in "Spare" Space Sometimes called 'white space', this is space that can be utilised for selling adverts. You can either sell them yourself and curate them or possibly use something like Google Adsense.
But note, that you shouldn't overfill your pages, you should use ads sparingly and consistently. For example this blog has an add in the sidebar, 2 smaller ones in the footer and in a quite long post like this in the middle of it. I don't advise all posts have a ads in them as this seems to prevent lots of clicking.
;) I won't ask you to visit those ads from my site, i'm not allowed to but if you want to ;)
The above list is to be used with a pinch of salt, but I would do them in the above order as having adverts can seem like something is wrong and put people off, partic if you over fill it - this is also true if you do lots of product reviews, it can be disconcerting to readers. My top top tip though is to write amazing content, once you do that users will come and then you start the list above - finally Step 6, kick back and enjoy the cash.