Making Money on your Blog

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There’s a hard decision that many most bloggers have to make at some point in their writing: should I try and make money from my blog, or keep it “free”?

Really, it’s a business question, and one that shouldn’t be to hard to answer, but things always seem to cloud or complicate things.

Bottom line: it costs money to run a blog. One has to consider domain registration (if any), web hosting (if any), internet access costs, and ultimately one’s own time spent blogging.

Let’s pretend for a moment you’re making wood furniture rather than blogging. It takes money to buy the wood and to buy the tools, you’ve got to have some place to build the stuff, you’ve got your time involved in not only making the furniture, but also time spent acquiring your tools and materials, and eventually your time spent selling it. All told, chances are you’re not just going to give away your furniture, you’ve got to charge enough money to at least break even, right?

While it’s true that many of the “tools” and “materials” are “free” (in the sense that they don’t cost money out-of-hand, but nothing is really “free” — you’re paying by looking at advertising, or by selling personal information, etc.), the fact remains, you’re providing a service to people. That service depends on the nature of your blog: it could be educational, informative, entertaining, a combination, or something entirely different.

So, the decision really comes down to, three options:

  1. Do I want to spend my time and money and give away my service(s) for free?
  2. Do I want to try and make enough money to cover the costs (including my time) associated with providing my service(s)?
  3. Do I want to make more money than it costs me to provide my service(s)?

Think for a bit on which scenario you want to belong to (there is no “wrong” answer here).

If you’re the first type of person then there’s really no reason to keep reading, regardless of cost, you’re convinced to give away your stuff for free; more power to you! 🙂

If you’re the 2nd or 3rd type of person, you may not know where to start to start having your blog be a source of neutral or positive cash flow.

Here’s a short list to get you started:

  • http://www.sponsoredreviews.com/: You are paid a negotiated fee for writing sponsored reviews about products, services, sites, etc. Usually ranging from $3-$30, but could be up $300 or more per review.
  • http://www.text-link-ads.com/: You place a javascript on your pages and companies can buy particular keywords on particular pages. These are “static” links, just like you’d put in your own pages.
  • http://kontera.com/: Again, you place a javascript on your pages and dynamic links are placed on specific keywords. These are less “static” because they could change when you refresh the page.
  • https://www.google.com/adsense/login/en_US/: Place a javascript on your pages in a particular location to have Google drop an ad container there. You have some basic control over the look and feel of the ads, but not much.
  • http://publisher.yahoo.com/: Place a javascript on your pages in a particular location to have Yahoo drop an ad container there. You have some basic control over the look and feel of the ads, but not much.

Of course, the list could go on and on (I haven’t mentioned affiliate programs nor actually selling something through your blog). Please feel free to add your own ideas to the list. Don’t forget to tell us roughly how much traffic you get to your site and roughly how much you’re making through a particular program.

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