Since I’ve started blogging, I have had more than a few people ask me how they too can make money from blogging.
It’s easy to look at people who have risen to fame and prominence by building a high-profile, money-making blog and think “Hey, I can do that, too.”
You might not become the next Perez Hilton or Dooce, but if you play your cards right, you can start to pull in an income from your blog.
Whether the income is enough to allow you to quit a full-time job depends on a number of different factors. No matter how much you end up making, creating a blog that you find exciting is one of the fun ways to make money online.
There are a few different ways you can make money from blogging. I recommend using a combination of income-generating methods.
Some techniques might work for one type of blog, but not another, so it’s a good idea to try several to see what generates the most revenue for you.
1. Google AdSense
When it comes to putting advertisements on your blog to generate income, Google’s AdSense is often the top pick for bloggers. It’s simple to use and doesn’t require you to have a great amount of technical know-how.
To put an AdSense ad on your blog, you pretty much just have to copy and paste the code.
It’s also one of the biggest advertising networks available, so you’ll have a wide range of advertisers to work with. That also means that you can make money from it even if your blog falls into a pretty obscure niche.
2. Amazon Associates
The Amazon Associates program allows you to earn a portion of sales when people click-through from your blog to Amazon.com and make a purchase.
You only earn money when people buy something from the web giant and the amount you earn varies based on what people order and how many people purchase through your links.
The Associates program works best for people whose blog focuses on products and shopping in someway. You’ll earn more money if people are in a shopping mood when they visit your site.
3. Other Affiliate Programs
While Amazon’s affiliate marketing program might be one of the biggest out there, it’s definitely not the only one available.
Depending the topic of your blog and the amount of traffic you get, you can participate in any number of other marketing programs. Some marketing programs only want blogs that have a high traffic volume, so you might have to wait and build your audience before signing up.
As your blog grows, fun ways to make money online can include reaching out to small companies whose products you trust and use to see if they would like to set up an affiliate marketing program with you.
You would post a link to their product on your blog and if someone clicks through your blog to their site and orders it, you would get a portion of the sale.
4. Private Sponsorships
As your blog becomes more established, you can start to find ways to make more money through private ad sales and sponsorships.
Unlike AdSense ads, private ads don’t just come to you. You’ll have to go out and find them, much like the advertising staff of a magazine approaches companies about placing ads in their pages.
To sell private ads, you’ll need to convince the company that your blog has a sufficient amount of traffic. You’ll also need to show the company that your blog’s topic is a good fit for whatever service or product they offer.
When you blog, you provide people with information for free. One way to expand on the information you give people and make money doing it is to write an e-book and sell it on your blog.
Ideally, your e-book will connect with the content on your blog and expand on it in some way. People won’t want to pay money for content you’ve previously given away.
For example, if you have a cooking blog, your e-book could be a short cookbook featuring previously unpublished recipes.
The recipes could have been tested by a group of people before publishing and not available anywhere else.
6. Personal Appearances and Speaking Fees
If your blog really becomes popular, you might be able to expand your income opportunities beyond the web and into the real world.
Some bloggers get paid to appear at conferences or to give readings to the public.
You might not get paid to give a speech at first, but as your blog becomes more well-known and respected, organizations might offer you some money to say a few words.
7. Offer Exclusivity
Once your blog has an established readership, you can expand your income-generating opportunities further by offering memberships to your website.
People can pay a yearly or monthly amount to gain access to exclusive content on your blog, to participate in forums, or to receive a monthly newsletter from you.
Starting a members-only portion of your blog lets your readers feel special while it makes you some extra money.
The most important thing to remember when starting your blog is that you won’t become a millionaire overnight. Many bloggers are excited to bring in just a few dollars a month.
It takes a considerable amount of focus and dedication to your blog to turn into a project that generates a significant amount of income.
Kelly Anderson is a financial planner who blogs about financial advice you can use in your everyday life. Connect with her on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.