There are a handful of people and businesses that make A Lot of Money Blogging. Most don’t make a Dime.
There are a few essential things required for a blog to make money. The most important is traffic, people have to be visiting your blog and reading your post and clicking your links (or advertisements on your site).
The traffic that comes to your blog will be most profitable if they are a “buying” audience. This means that the topic of your blog needs to relate to some sort of real world product(s) or service(s) that your visitors may be looking for or interested in (Amazon and eBay are good places to get ideas). There exists a plethora of products and services, so your options are only limited by your imagination.
Generally it is recommended to choose a niche that you are either interested in, or have previous experience and knowledge about. Review your working resume, education, hobbies, lifestyles, ect, for ideas. Choosing something that you have knowledge of and experience with makes it easier for you to ‘know’ your audience and prepare valuable/interesting posts.
As is noted above, the most important part of making money from your blog is traffic, you must have traffic or your just blogging to yourself. However, also crucial to a profitable blog, is the value your content brings to the visitors.
Your visitors must value your post to keep coming back, trust and click your links, post comments (not spam) and come back for more. As your blog begins to hit social networks and be “talked about”, voted on and referenced, your search ranking will climb and the organic search traffic you can begin to get can be HUGE.
Being on the first page of a Google search (for a popular search term) is the ultimate goal of a Blog to become profitable because the traffic volume can be HUGE, Residual and Free.
Potential sources of money from a blog;
Google Adsense – Google adsense is simply a piece of code that you put on your site. Each time a visitor comes to your site, Google displays ads on your site. If that visitor then click one of the ads, you get paid. The amount you get per click depends on the competition and maximum bid people are paying for that ad. This can range from $0.10 to over a $1 per click.
Obviously, for this to accumulate into a significant amount of money from google, you must have a lot of traffic coming to your site and clicking the ads. This is, in my opinion, not the best source of money from a blog, but it is very popular.
Affiliate offers/product reviews – Affiliate offers are basically someone elses product/service that you write about. It is best if you have purchased the product/service to give an honest review of it. You reference the product/service through a custom link within your blog post. If a visitor follows your link to the product/service website and makes a purchase, you get paid.
Commission can be one time, or recurring (for memberships), and can range from a few dollars to hundreds of dollars, depending on the product/service cost and amount paid as commission. A well written post with an affiliate offer built in, that is getting lots of targeted traffic can be very very profitable.
Paid product/service review – Once a site has established itself and is getting a lot of traffic, companies may approach the webmaster asking them to write a post about their product/service. They will pay a one time fee for you to write about and recommend their company.
Depending on the topic of your blog and the audience, the value of a recommendation on your blog can be very high. Some bloggers get paid $1000’s for a one page post about the company.
There are many platforms available for blogging. There are sites that offer your free webspace for your blog (hosted service). An example of this is Googles Blogger service and Wordpresses hosted blog service. The advantages of these are that they are free and the parent sites high page rank will help to increase the page rank of your blog.
The disadvantages are that you will not have the same level of control over the site as you would if you hosted yourself. However, the Free Blogs are great for beginners to learn blogging (set up & design/optimization) and as a tool for increasing traffic to your main blog.
Figuring out what to blog about is best done by first taking an inventory of your own skills, experience and interests. Create a skills and interests “resume” to identify prospective blogging topics. Identify at least five different ideas. Then, go to Amazon or eBay and search each theme idea that you have. Take note of what products come up in the searches.
This will help to give you lots of ideas. Also, check to see how many reviews are available. If a product on Amazon has a lot of reviews, then it is a type of product that people are in fact buying. Do this for each theme idea and most likely one, or two, will stick out to you.
To further develop your blog theme, do some further research through Google, take note of how many ads are shown in Google search results, look for other related blogs, review related discussions on public forums, go to yahoo answers and see what questions people are asking.
Following this process, you can start to brainstorm the theme of your blog. What are people talking about? What questions are being asked? What might you be able to contribute to these discussions?