Thursday, November 1, 2007

7 Ways You Can Profit From Your Blog

By Bob Sommers

A blog is an incredible tool, the kind that only the second generation of Internet technology can offer. Since the technology arrived in the early 2000s that allowed blogging to become a household activity, the opportunities offered by the medium have only continued to expand.

One of the most incredible and underused opportunities present in blogging is the ability to make a profit. Of the 85 million blogs currently in circulation, only a small handful earn money for the author, yet the opportunities are everywhere to do so. After all, with millions of readers across the globe, a new businesses need only take a few simple steps to tap a potential gold mine.

Sell Advertising
When Google purchased Blogger a few years ago, the opportunities immediately made available to millions of existing and potential Blogger users multiplied tenfold. Using Google AdSense, users can quickly and easily integrate advertising into their blogs. These pay per click ads operate the same as they do on any other major website or search engine. Google targets the ads to match the content of your blog, so if you decide to devote your blog to short articles about cycling opportunities in the North Carolina area, AdSense will display ads related to cycling and North Carolina.

When a visitor reads your blog, they will see these ads alongside your article. If they choose to click on an ad, you receive a percentage of the money that Google makes from that click. The actual amount varies significantly, but if you can create a large enough reader base, you can earn hundreds of dollars each month from your advertising efforts alone.

Sell Products
What better way to make a little extra money than by selling someone else's products and earning a commission. Nearly every business on the Internet has an affiliate program of some sort. Amazon for example has an Associates program. Bloggers can sign up for Amazon's associate program and then create specialized links and images to place on their blogs. These links feature products from Amazon and when a visitor to your blog clicks on the link, you receive a commission for any sales made to that visitor within 24 hours, even items other than the one featured on your blog. If you write about film, books, electronics or any other products, sign up for an affiliate program and try to sell those products through your blog.

Bloggers with devoted readership are Internet celebrities. If you create a substantial niche for yourself and a devoted legion of fans, your blogging may begin to earn the financial accolades of those fans. While it is not a good idea to demand money in return for your daily writing, you can place a small "Donation" box somewhere on your blog. Think of it this way, if someone on the street corner plays a beautiful song on their guitar, passers by will donate spare change to their endeavor. If you can wow your readers, why not make it possible for them to do the same for you?

Sell Services
The Internet is not all products and advertising (as much as it may seem to be the case). A blog is a great opportunity to write about and promote services you may provide both online and offline. Say for example you work for a copywriting company. Your blogging is a great showcase of those talents. Even if you do not work as a writer, you can write about what you do offer, whether it is a motorcycle parts company or a floral arrangement business.

Grow an Existing Busines
For many businesses, blogging has become the next frontier of advertising and interaction with potential customers. A blog allows a business to appear both genial and spontaneous while offering an array of new information for potential customers. Whether you own a small business or work for a large one, blogging can be a great way to connect with existing and future customers alike.

Paid Blogging
Recently, there has been a growth in the industry of paid blogging. Companies such as Pay Per Post or Blogitive hire on bloggers with existing blogs and pay them a set fee for writing about a company, service, or keyword on their blog. You can sign up for a paid blogging job with your free Blogger account and make money with no investment. The general minimum for paid blog posts is $5. However, if you can raise your Page Rank by growing your search rankings and being linked to by other bloggers, you can receive as much as $100 for a paid blog post.

Why not make a little money with your natural creative talents? Bloggers have turned to companies like Cafe Press in recent years to create t-shirts, mugs, and bumper stickers that allow blog readers to show off the name and image of their favorite blog. When you build your loyally devoted fan base, selling a few items with your blog's name on them can be a fun way to make a little money on the side.

There are seemingly limitless opportunities for bloggers who have the inventiveness and entrepreneurial spirit necessary to take advantage of them. The best part is that in less than 15 minutes you can sign up for Blogger, create your first posts and start making money from advertising or affiliate programs.

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