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Making Free Blog And Get Money

If you're interested in taking it further — blogging for bucks, if you will — here are five strategies that could turn your blog into a moneymaker.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Do you actually want to monetize your blog?

Some people have strong personal feelings with respect to making money from their blogs. If you think commercializing your blog is evil, immoral, unethical, uncool, lame, greedy, obnoxious, or anything along those lines, then don’t commercialize it.

If you have mixed feelings about monetizing your blog, then sort out those feelings first. If you think monetizing your site is wonderful, fine. If you think it’s evil, fine. But make up your mind before you seriously consider starting down this path. If you want to succeed, you must be congruent. Generating income from your blog is challenging enough — you don’t want to be dealing with self-sabotage at the same time. It should feel genuinely good to earn income from your blog — you should be driven by a healthy ambition to succeed. If your blog provides genuine value, you fully deserve to earn income from it. If, however, you find yourself full of doubts over whether this is the right path for you, you might find this article helpful: How Selfish Are You? It’s about balancing your needs with the needs of others.

If you do decide to generate income from your blog, then don’t be shy about it. If you’re going to put up ads, then really put up ads. Don’t just stick a puny little ad square in a remote corner somewhere. If you’re going to request donations, then really request donations. Don’t put up a barely visible “Donate” link and pray for the best. If you’re going to sell products, then really sell them. Create or acquire the best quality products you can, and give your visitors compelling reasons to buy. If you’re going to do this, then fully commit to it. Don’t take a half-assed approach. Either be full-assed or no-assed.

You can reasonably expect that when you begin commercializing a free site, some people will complain, depending on how you do it. I launched this site in October 2004, and I began putting Google Adsense ads on the site in February 2005. There were some complaints, but I expected that — it was really no big deal. Less than 1 in 5,000 visitors actually sent me negative feedback. Most people who sent feedback were surprisingly supportive. Most of the complaints died off within a few weeks, and the site began generating income almost immediately, although it was pretty low — a whopping $53 the first month. If you’d like to see some month-by-month specifics, I posted my 2005 Adsense revenue figures earlier this year. Adsense is still my single best source of revenue for this site, although it’s certainly not my only source. More on that later…

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

5. Use a blog to depend your existing customer relationships.

Nor does any marketing material inserted in blog content haveto be limited to bringing in completely new business. By using a blog to regularly communicate with existing clients as well as other readers, you can take advantage of the opportunity to fully inform them about everything your business does. That may expand your readers' understanding of the full scope of your products or services."My blog has helped existing clientsdetermine the range of my skills and services," says Ted Demopoulos of Demopoulos Associates, a Durham, N.H. consulting and training concern. "One client who had only used me for training in the past was surprised at my range of expertise and is now using me for a consulting project. Another who only used me on technical projects is now considering me for a more business-oriented project."

Market your services in your blog.

Many people associate blogs exclusively with a cyberspace-based soapbox — a place to shout your opinions and little more than that. Granted, blogs are an ideal venue to share your thoughts with others, but don't overlook their capacity to generate new business as well. When appropriate, work in references to what you do and, in turn, what you may be able to offer any would-be client or customer who may bereading your blog. That can spread your opinion and your business moxie at the same time."Instead of short commentaries that begin a dialogue with readers, as many blogs do, I write the equivalent of journal articles that demonstrate my abilities, strategies and perspectives on specific issues," Barnett says. "When it resonates, it means money. Since starting this approach, I have generated three new paying clients and brought in about $10,000 on revenue — directly attributable to specific blogs."

3. Solicit contributions.

Not every blog-related income opportunity involves hawking goods or services. As Blanche DuBois did in "A Streetcar Named Desire," consider relying on the kindness of strangers. Ask for contributions. If, for instance, your small-business blog supports a cause or issue in some fashion — say you repeatedly mention tax reform, health care or some other topic — you can always ask for reader support.Even if you've attracted a group of regular followers who simply enjoy reading what you have to say, they may be willing to underwrite their loyalty with a little financial help. Programs such as PayPal make it easy to establish a simple on-site contribution collection button. "There are lots of worthy 'cause' blogs that would qualify for donations from grateful members of the blog community," says Las Vegas communications consultant Ned Barnett.

Help sell others' products.

Here is another click-through opportunity. Affiliate programs enable your blog to serve as a conduit between readers and online sites offering various goods and services. One popularchoice is If, for instance, you offer book reviews or even just mention a book in passing in your blog, an affiliate program provides a means for your readers to click directly from your blog to Amazon to obtain further information about the book. If they break out the checkbook or charge card, you get paid as well.

1. Sell advertising.

This is likely the most common means of leveraging a blog to generate income. If yours happens to become a well-known blog, or one that is well-received in a particular niche, it's always possible to sell ad space on your own. For lesser-known blogs, services such as Google's AdSense or BlogAds enable bloggers to establish ad programs.AdSense's — which lets you select several ads that are consistent with the content of your blog — pays you based on how many readers click on the ads for further information. Even better, it's free. BlogAds, on the other hand, hooks bloggers up with would-be advertisers and levies a commission in return for any ad placements that result. "The nice thing, too, is that the ads are relatively unobtrusive," says Scott Allen, co-author of "The Virtual Handshake: Opening Doors and Closing Deals Online."

Monday, January 5, 2009

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