Turning your Blog into a Money Making Machine: A Simple Guide

When I first started to blog in 2005, I had no idea my little venture would lead me to what [GAS] has become today. I’ve always blogued for fun, and initially, like most of you, I had no idea that money could be made out of the activity. The fact is, people can earn a living out of blogging, and do it quite easily (after a while). It only takes 4 things:

Knowledge

KnowledgeYou have to know things that people will want to learn about and are going to be searching for. Answers to the simplest questions are your best bet. How to blog? How to recover your windows password? How to recover data out of damaged hard drive? Yes, 10’s of thousands of people are asking Google these questions everyday, so you want to give them your best answer right? You also have to be knowledgeable enough in all things web to set up a proper blog. Just starting a free blogspot account to regurgitate your thoughts will not be enough; it takes a lot more then that to turn a site into a resource that will be both informative and profitable.

Persistence

PersistanceMaking money out of blogging takes time. If you want to blog for a living, you must be ready to write new and innovative content consistently (as in 5 to 7 times a week) for many months until you start seeing the fruits of your labor coming in. Yes, there are some exception out there (John Chow is earning $7000 per month after only 6 months (edit: He’s at $30000 per month now!), but in most cases, most of you won’t see a penny before 5 or 6 months of hard work.

Exposure

ExposureIf nobody is reading you, where will you get the visibility needed to attract advertisers? Who will click on your ads? The answer is simple: no one. Being a good blogger involves a lot more than writing great content, it’s also about having good virtual PR skills. You will have to invest a lot of your time reading and participating to conversations on other blogs, submitting your articles to social networking sites and building yourself a large network of like-minded bloggers. Making friends in the blogosphere is the key to success. Friends will link to your articles, put you in their blogroll and talk about you wherever they roam. You’ll also do the same for them, not only because doing this will be profitable to you, but also because you care about the success of everyone.

Some basic english-writing skills

Yes, I know, my english isn’t perfect, but blogs are the realm of the people. Some of them excel in writing, others don’t, but does this stop Google from indexing your pages? Absolutely not. Does it stop people from being interested in what you have to say, as long as you know what you’re writing about? Nope. English is the language of the Internet. If you want to maximize the exposition of your content as an independent blogger, you’ll have to write in English.

After having done all this, your blog will be ready to be monetized. One of the most important things to consider when adding revenue sources to your site is to diversify. Don’t put all your eggs in the same basket! You need a good mix of “cost per click”, “Cost Per Mille” and “Cost per action” ads. Here’s a small definition of each term:

  • Cost per click (CPC): Form of advertisement that pays you when someone clicks on it.
  • Cost per Action (CPA): Form of advertisement that pays you when someone accomplishes an action (such as downloading a file or subscribing to a service)
  • Cost per mille (CPM): Form of advertisement that pays you to display a banner, button or any other form of advertisement 1000 times.

Here is a quick list of advertising services we are using to monetize our blogs. Every single one of these programs has paid us in the past, so if you sign up to them, you won’t have to worry about whether you’re making a good choice or getting ripped off.

  • Adsense: The Internet #1 money advertisement program. Allows you to display contextual ads on each pages of your site (CPC / CPA).
  • Chitika Ads : Allows you to integrate contextual ads, links to products, or a shopping mall within you blog (CPC).
  • Technorati Media: A CPM based advertisement network.
  • Private advertisement deals: Selling ad space privately isn’t difficult when you receive a lot of traffic and have some good traffic and a decent technorati / alexa rank.

Here are a few other interesting ressources that will help you monetize your site:

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