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10 Simple Steps To Directly Monetizing Blogs

More and more people are getting into blogging because they want to make money. To feed this desire more and more bloggers are writing about making money from blogs. I get asked how to go about monetizing blogs, and also why I don’t write more about the subject. This post will answer both questions.

First let’s be clear; blogging is not a magic route to instant riches. While there is certainly no harm in wanting to earn an income from blogging, make sure your expectations are realistic. A few hundred dollars a month from a moderately popular blog is a reasonable goal. Enough to pay for your time, hosting and perhaps some toys,  or for the grown-ups (physical or mental) help towards your rent/mortgage/loan repayments.

Rule number one – stick to producing valuable content, despite what the snake-oil get-rich-quick meisters will tell you. Go for long term and stable income not dump and dash spamola.

These steps are simple but not necessarily easy.

1. Choose a niche with potential and where you can make a splash
2. Find appropriate affiliate offers that match your topic
3. Use keyword tools to investigate high-paying adsense phrases and write about them
4. Build or select an adsense-friendly template, use Text Link Ads when you get to a decent price, and test schemes such as chikita, auctionads, etc.
5. Grow your RSS and email subscriptions, use full feed and FeedBurner RSS advertising
6. Post regular, useful content, at least one article a day
7. Generate traffic, using compelling headlines, networking, commenting, carnivals, memes, viral, social networking, SEO and Flagship Content
8. Do more of what works – use your stats to see which keywords and articles bring in visitors
9. Pay for advertising out of your adsense and affiliate income
10. Build another blog in a related niche, cross-promote, diversify, start over at step 1.

As you can see there are no silver bullets, not instant gratification answers. Each one of those bullets hides a million other pieces of the puzzle.

Why don’t I write about this stuff more?

Most people when they talk about blog monetization mean they want to make a direct income through adsense and affiliates. My income is indirect, that is my blogging builds an audience which leads to profile, credibility and leads. While the two revenue subjects overlap there are significant differences in approach.

Those of you who want to learn more about direct income strategies I recommend you subscribe to Problogger – Darren does it so well another blog on the topic is not really necessary. When I started this blog I had a clear idea of where my niche sits, I let others cover adsense and affiliate stuff.

If you want to use your blog for

  • Traffic
  • Lead generation and sales
  • Customer Retention
  • Credibility, Authority, Fame
  • Networking
  • Publicity

.. then subscribe now as starting from monday I will be covering these topics in more detail.

Regardless of which approach you follow, earning money from blogs is hard work and time consuming. Don’t listen to the latest “can’t lose” get-rich schemes. Stick with it and create a valuable resource and the rewards do come.

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Comments

  1. I like this solid, realistic advice. When you’re starting out the technical side of blogging effectively seems to be overwhelming. But the “it can be done” message of this post is reassuring. I am more of a writer than a geek, and it’s good to know that valuable content is where it’s at. Thanks.

  2. I like this solid, realistic advice. When you’re starting out the technical side of blogging effectively seems to be overwhelming. But the “it can be done” message of this post is reassuring. I am more of a writer than a geek, and it’s good to know that valuable content is where it’s at. Thanks.

  3. Yup, it is really all about choosing an audience and providing value to them – good content and the right audience and you are on a winner :)

  4. Yup, it is really all about choosing an audience and providing value to them – good content and the right audience and you are on a winner :)

  5. Chris:
    You pointed a very good part of the blogging – profile, credibility and leads. It’s not only the direct earning from ad sense and affiliates, but the credibility and leads are more important for sustainable blogging. More you earn credibility, more traffic from regular and serious visitors and more earnings for sure.

    Cheers,
    Rajesh Shakya
    http://www.rajeshshakya.com

  6. Chris:
    You pointed a very good part of the blogging – profile, credibility and leads. It’s not only the direct earning from ad sense and affiliates, but the credibility and leads are more important for sustainable blogging. More you earn credibility, more traffic from regular and serious visitors and more earnings for sure.

    Cheers,
    Rajesh Shakya
    http://www.rajeshshakya.com

  7. Yeah for businesses and individual professionals I would say the main benefits are the ability to build credibility and trust, the leads and industry profile come as a consequence

  8. Yeah for businesses and individual professionals I would say the main benefits are the ability to build credibility and trust, the leads and industry profile come as a consequence

  9. Hmmmmm…I am SO new (how long do I get to say that for?) and there is so much to learn…I have copied this list and right off the bat I will be figuring out how to use keyword tools and feedburner. Clueless comes to mind:) I also really need to dig into my stats (I’m on Blue host using webalizer etc). I keep stretching my comfort zone every day. Articles like this help…

  10. Hmmmmm…I am SO new (how long do I get to say that for?) and there is so much to learn…I have copied this list and right off the bat I will be figuring out how to use keyword tools and feedburner. Clueless comes to mind:) I also really need to dig into my stats (I’m on Blue host using webalizer etc). I keep stretching my comfort zone every day. Articles like this help…

  11. Stick with it, there is a lot to learn but at the same time the majority of it is fun an can be done as you go along :)

  12. Stick with it, there is a lot to learn but at the same time the majority of it is fun an can be done as you go along :)

  13. Yeah, just be patient and willing to learn Sue.

    I learned so much in my first 4 months. My advice to anyone that is clueless is to start with a personal blog, and get to grips with the lingo, tools, resources, etc, before launching into a business or money making blog.

    Nice post Chris, looking forward to next week now!

  14. Yeah, just be patient and willing to learn Sue.

    I learned so much in my first 4 months. My advice to anyone that is clueless is to start with a personal blog, and get to grips with the lingo, tools, resources, etc, before launching into a business or money making blog.

    Nice post Chris, looking forward to next week now!

  15. I have to admit, I was one of those “people” initially drawn in by the promise of “instant riches” when I first started reading a few of these SEO/SEM themed blogs. After setting up shop and really digging in, I quickly realized that what you have said is very true – earning money from blogging is hard work. It takes time to do it right (i.e. focusing on quality content, building relationships, diversifying income sources, etc.). I think your list is spot on. Great work!

  16. I have to admit, I was one of those “people” initially drawn in by the promise of “instant riches” when I first started reading a few of these SEO/SEM themed blogs. After setting up shop and really digging in, I quickly realized that what you have said is very true – earning money from blogging is hard work. It takes time to do it right (i.e. focusing on quality content, building relationships, diversifying income sources, etc.). I think your list is spot on. Great work!

  17. Chris, this is a great little guide: thank you. I haven’t tried the keyword/AdSense strategy.

    As you point out, it’s also important to have fun. Why else would we do this? :-)

    c

  18. Chris, this is a great little guide: thank you. I haven’t tried the keyword/AdSense strategy.

    As you point out, it’s also important to have fun. Why else would we do this? :-)

    c

  19. I’m really looking forward to your new posts, Chris.. especially the ones on authority, lead generation and traffic.

    Concerning point no. 4 (“Build or select an adsense-friendly template”), just wanted to mention that I currently host the largest online collection of free Adsense Ready WordPress Themes on my blog.. I think this would be very helpful for everyone… here’s the link to it! :)

    16 Adsense Optimized WordPress Themes to Maximize your Contextual Ad Earnings

  20. I’m really looking forward to your new posts, Chris.. especially the ones on authority, lead generation and traffic.

    Concerning point no. 4 (“Build or select an adsense-friendly template”), just wanted to mention that I currently host the largest online collection of free Adsense Ready WordPress Themes on my blog.. I think this would be very helpful for everyone… here’s the link to it! :)

    16 Adsense Optimized WordPress Themes to Maximize your Contextual Ad Earnings

  21. Easier said than done of course – but very possible with hard work and the right bounces of the ball. Great post, Chris.

  22. Easier said than done of course – but very possible with hard work and the right bounces of the ball. Great post, Chris.

  23. @Armen – yeah a personal blog can also be fun :)

    @Chris (Gray) – glad you hear you stuck with it, can be easy to be disheartened at first

    @Chris (Baskind) – fun is *so* important, it’s the reason why I don’t blog about, say, loans. Yeah you can make money but I like to look forward to my blogging rather than see it just as a job :)

    @Maki – Always happy for people to link to templates – there is no way I have the mad design skillz ;)

    @Easton – Yup, I guess most things worth doing take some effort, eh? :)

  24. @Armen – yeah a personal blog can also be fun :)

    @Chris (Gray) – glad you hear you stuck with it, can be easy to be disheartened at first

    @Chris (Baskind) – fun is *so* important, it’s the reason why I don’t blog about, say, loans. Yeah you can make money but I like to look forward to my blogging rather than see it just as a job :)

    @Maki – Always happy for people to link to templates – there is no way I have the mad design skillz ;)

    @Easton – Yup, I guess most things worth doing take some effort, eh? :)

  25. Chris whats your opinion of google possibly penalizing sites/blogs which sell text links by making them not pass any juice?

  26. Chris whats your opinion of google possibly penalizing sites/blogs which sell text links by making them not pass any juice?

  27. the funny thing is that it sound so simple that most are scep.. that it will work or not. briefly this is what you need to do to make some $$$ of your sites.

    just that some does it better than the rest. and some have more luck. DARREN!!! :P

  28. the funny thing is that it sound so simple that most are scep.. that it will work or not. briefly this is what you need to do to make some $$$ of your sites.

    just that some does it better than the rest. and some have more luck. DARREN!!! :P