Whether you've got a blog, or you're thinking about creating one, you want to know how a blog can make you money.
Your blog can be monetized in dozens of ways, depending on the industry or profession you're in. For example, let's say you're a marketing consultant. A blog will help you to build your reputation online and offline, and will bring you clients who will find you via the search engines: blogs get indexed very quickly, and it's easy to optimize a blog for great search engine rankings.
A blog can also be a launch-pad for an online business: your blog can do complete duty as both your Web site, and as an online store. You can even begin a blogging business, as a blog-entrepreneur.
In this article however, let's focus on five ways in which you can directly monetize your blog.
=> Method One: Sell products from your blog
Your blog is the perfect way to sell products, whether they're physical products, or digital ones. If you've got an offline business - you sell flowers, cookies, or fashion - your blog can help you to attract visitors, and you can sell, directly on your blog.
You can also sell digital products. If you've written an ebook or created an online course, a blog can help to spread the news of your product across the Internet, and you will get buyers from around the globe, buyers who you would have no other way of reaching.
If you haven't got any products, you can create them. Just go to CafePress at http://www.cafepress.com/ and develop a range of your own products to sell on your blog.
You can also sell products from MeCommerce at http://mecommerce. goodstorm.com/
=> Method Two: Sell advertising space
If you haven't heard of Google AdSense at https://www.google.com/adsense/ you've seen AdSense ads on the results pages of every search you've ever done at Google. The AdSense ads are the little “sponsored links" ads that you can see on the right side of the search results page.
Depending on the topic of your blog, you can make a lucrative income just from running AdSense ads alone. However, there are many other text link advertising options - just do a search for “text ads" on any search engine.
=> Method Three: Get freelance gigs
Your blog is an easy way to get freelance jobs, whether as a moonlighter, or as a full-time freelancer. You can also use your blog as a resume-on-steroids when you're job-hunting.
If you enjoy blogging, you can even become a blogger-for-hire: there's a huge demand for bloggers who are willing to blog for others.
=> Method Four: Sell affiliate products
Many bloggers sell affiliate products on their blog. There are many affiliate networks that you can join to find affiliate products to sell. Two of the best known are Commission Junction at http://www.cj.com/ and SHAREASALE at http://www.shareasale.com/
=> Method Five: Ask your readers to sponsor your blog
If you're providing valuable information, you can give your readers the option of sponsoring your blog. The concept of “donation-ware" is popular in software circles: many software developers asks users to sponsor their software.
PayPal at https://www.paypal.com/ provides links and buttons you can add to your blog so that your readers can sponsor your blogging.
Another way to use the power of sponsoring is to approach companies to sponsor your blog. They pay you a set fee, either monthly or yearly, for the privilege of sponsoring you - you add a “Sponsored by Company X" text or image link to your blog.
So there you have it. Five methods you can use FAST to monetize your blog. Blogging is developing so quickly, that you'll find dozens of other ways, as you get into the blogging process. When you're passionate about blogging, you will find companies and people who are willing to help you to make money from your passion. Copyright 2006 Angela Booth
Angela Booth is a copywriter and veteran career blogger. Her new ebook, Blogging For Dollars, helps you develop a lucrative blogging career, and gets you started as a blogging entrepreneur. The ebook will be available from August 2006. Read the book's blog at http://www.dollars2blog.com/blog/