How Do Bloggers Make Money Blogging?

The best advise I can give to bloggers seeking to make money from blogging is to spread their interests across multiple revenue streams so as not to put all their eggs in one basket.
>The wonderful thing is that this has become easier and easier to do over the last couple of years because a lot of new options have been opening up. In this post I am going to take a look at some of the methods that bloggers are currently using to monetize their blogs.
Income Streams for Bloggers – How to Make Money Blogging
1. Advertising Programs
Perhaps the most obvious changes in the past couple of years have come with the addition of a variety of viable advertising options for bloggers looking to make money from their blogs. The most common way bloggers seem to earn money online is via Google´s contextual ad program – AdSense. More recent additions that many are using quite successfully are Chitika Premium (fomerly known as eMiniMalls), WidgetBucks, and Text Link Ads.
And here are even more options for you: AdBrite, Azoogle Ads, Bidvertiser, Clicksor, DoubleClick, Fastclick, Kanoodle, Pheedo, TextAds, Tribal Fusion, Vibrant In-Text Advertising and a host of others. Of course there is more to come with the likes of YPN (Yahoo Publisher Network) which is currently in Beta testing and with a variety of other advertising systems currently in development (Note: YPN is only available to US publishers).
Last but not least there is BlogAds – one of the first blog specific ad networks.
2. RSS Advertising
The last 2 or 3 years have seen some advances in RSS Advertising aa well. I have not yet heard of any bloggers making big money blogging through this method till now – but as improvements are made to the ad programs exploring this I am sure it is bound to become more profitable in the future.
3. Sponsorship
In addition to the array of advertising programs that are available for publishers to join there is a growing awareness in the business of the value of advertising directly on blogs. There are more and more examples of this to be seen, and if you have a popular blog or website dedicated to a specific category of products, for example digital cameras, then this could be a lucraative option for you. I know of quite a number of blogs exploring sponsorship with advertisers at present and suspect we will see more and more of it in the future. Sponsorship is also happening on a post by post basis with some bloggers being paid by companies as well as small businesses to write on certain topics – either in a one off or a regular fashion – and they are able to make big bucks from their blogs doing so.
4. Affiliate Programs
There are a number of large affiliate programs like Amazon, Linkshare, Clickbank and Commission Junction as well as thousands of others ranging from huge to very small.
5. Digital Assets
A lot of bloggers have been developing other digital assets to support and add income streams to their blogs. By this I mean that I am coming across more and more e-books, courses and tele-seminars being run by bloggers. While this option is not as yet a huge money-maker it will definitely increase in the future – only problem, you need to be able to write a book or host seminars.
6. Blog Network Opportunities
With the rise in popularity of Blog Networks bloggers are also being presented with more places to earn an income from their blogging activities – by writing for as well as with others. While it might be (very) difficult to get a writing gig with one of the big networks – there are more than enough who are always looking for new bloggers to join and are willing to pay for their efforts using a variety of payment models. While there are distinct advantages to blogging for yourself, blogging for an established network that will handle a lot of the set up/promotion/admin/SEO etc has its advantages as well. More and more bloggers are combining writing for themselves on their own blogs with taking on blog network blogs as additional income streams.
7. Business Blog Writing Opportunities
As blogging has become a more respectable as well as professional medium more and more businesses have found that adding a blog to their website to increase their web presence and attract more traffic is not a bad idea. Many of these companies have internal staff take on blogging duties – but an increasing number of them are hiring specialist bloggers to come in and run their blogs. Check out Bloggers for Hire if you are interested in this kind of work.
8. Non-Blogging Writing Opportunities
Also becoming more common are bloggers being hired to write in non blogging mediums. Manolo with his coup of a column in the Washington Post was one of the first but in his wake more and more prolific bloggers are being approached to write for newspapers, magazines and other non blog websites. Other bloggers are making a name for themselves as published book authors.
9. Donations
Tip jars and donation buttons have been a part of blogging for years now but the last couple of years have seen a number of bloggers go full time after fund raising drives. Perhaps the most high profile of these was Jason Kottke of who through the generosity of his readership was able to quit his job and become a full time blogger.
10. Flipping Blogs
Also becoming more common is the practice of “Blog Flipping” – or selling of blogs. This has happened both on an individual blog level (I can think of more than 20 blogs that sold this year on eBay alone) but also on a network level (like sale of Weblogs Inc. to AOL).
11. Merchandising
An increasing number of bloggers are attempting to make a few extra dollars from their blogs by selling branded products (mostly T-shirts, stickers, and similar stuff) through programs like Cafepress. Quite a few larger blogs are seeing significant sales – especially blogs with a huge mainstream or cult following.
12. Consulting and Speaking
While it has been popular for established consultants to add blogs to their businesses we are also starting to see bloggers with no consulting background making money by charging readers for their time in consulting scenarios because of the profile they have built with their blogs. Blogging has the ability to establish people as experts on niche topics – and we all know the value of being perceived as an expert. Real experts can charge up to and in some cases even over $200 an hour for speaking and consulting work – often in areas of expertise they knew little about 2 years earlier – but through their blogs they have become leaders in their respective fields and minor celebrities throughout the industry.
As time goes by there are more and more ways opening up for bloggers to make money from their blogs. Feel free to suggest your own ideas and experiences in a comment below.
Good luck!

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