How to make money from a blog or mini-site
Previously I wrote about blogging for profit, but didn’t go into detail about how to monetize the content. In other words, how do you make money from a blog?
There are three primary ways to make money from a blog:
1. Ads – this is the easiest, but lowest-paying form of revenue. However, it can be a good way to get started and prove viability. Popular ad networks include Google Adsense and Chitka. Ads like these are pay-per-click or PPC which means you get paid regardless of if the advertiser makes a sale.
2. Affiliations – Affiliate ads are potentially more profitable, but require a well defined niche or else it is too hard to attract visitors that will actually buy the products you are promoting. Affiliate ads are pay-per-purchase or PPP, which means you only get paid when the merchant advertiser makes a sale.
3. Direct selling – This is when you are directly selling something on your site that you are responsible for fulfilling. This has more potential for profit than affiliate advertising since you can make higher margins, but its more risky and you have to do fulfillment yourself. Examples of this can be anything from ebooks to beef jerky.
4. (Bonus) Transform – the pinnacle of a website is when it can be converted into a book or television show. This means you have hit the big time, but its because your site has the two major ingredients listed below.
What do all four of those revenue sources have in common?
1. Original Content – some estimates say to post up to eight times a day. If you are just starting out, shoot for once a week, then move it up to once a day per blog.
2. Visitors – Don’t stop writing content until you have at least 200 visitors a day (track with Google Analytics). If you already have 50 or more posts, but are lacking in traffic, start promoting your sites.
The easiest way to promote your site, like with SEO, is to start with your site. Make sure you are linking to previous posts with appropriate keywords (I call this ‘threading the needle’, but its also known as ‘siloing’) and displaying navigation correctly. Visitors should be able to find more content they want to browse easily, but remember the goal is to monetize by either promoting other people’s goods and services or by selling something yourself so don’t get too carried away in internal self-promotion.
Once you have fixed any issues on your site and made internal linking a habit, begin bookmarking your posts on social bookmarking sites like Reddit, Digg, and Delicious. After that is done, look to join a relevant forum to join and comment often. Soon you will be able to add a signature that will show up on all of your forum posts with backlinks to your site.
If you do all of these things and you are still not successful, try a different micro-niche.