Even if you are not much of an internet junkie, you’ve likely read or heard stories about people who make a living blogging. But what does it actually take for a blog to make money? There are actually a lot of different ways to monetize a blog and many bloggers use a combination of them.
Before we get into monetization however, you need to know that the most important factor for a blogs success is the amount of traffic that it gets. And blogs get traffic by having great and engaging content. Once they have a following and a lot of traffic coming to their site, the goal is to monetize the blog while continuing to create great content and build the blog’s readership.
Ok, so let’s assume that at this point the blog is up and has at least some traffic: how do bloggers make money?
Image ads is one way that a blogger can generate income from their website. Advertisers provide an image ad and a link for it to direct to. The ad is then placed on the blog usually in the sidebar so it will show on some or all of the pages. A monthly amount is paid by the advertiser to have the ad placed on the blog. Image ads provide a great way for advertisers to know that they are getting and staying in front of a targeted audience and they provide bloggers a great source of regular income.
One of the problems with this type of advertising is that traditionally it lacked performance tracking and management. This is crucial as advertisers will regularly want to change out their ad images and see how their ads are performing. This was problematic, until now. Our AdPlugg system now gives bloggers the ability to manage all of their ads and track each ad’s performance. The AdPlugg code snippet or WordPress ad plugin is installed on the website and added wherever you want the ads to display. Then the ads are each set up in the AdPlugg ad manager where scheduling can be managed. Analytics will track the number of ad impressions and clicks that each ad receives and allows reports to be generated for specific ads and time-frames. Learn more about our AdPlugg ad management system to see how it can work for you.
AdSense is an advertising program created by Google where the blogger places the AdSense code on their site in the location where they would like the ads to appear. Google will then feed ads to the site but the blogger doesn’t have control over which ads are displayed. It is a fast and easy way to get ads on a website but they are not always relevant. It can also take away from the website’s content by having a lot of random ads in the header, sidebar, within text and other areas on the page.
Affiliate ads are ads for a company (usually an e-retailer) that the blogger has an affiliate agreement with. When a visitor clicks on the ad and goes to the advertiser’s site, the blogger is paid a commission if the visitor makes a purchase. These can be a great source of revenue for bloggers if they can find the right affiliate match for their blog’s audience. The problem is that often times ad space gets filled by ads that may or may not be enticing to the blog’s audience. Unless the reader clicks the ad, goes all the way through and completes a purchase, the blogger is paid nothing. With affiliate ads, you are giving the impressions and clicks away for free and giving up any kind of revenue security. This is a risk that many bloggers aren’t willing to take if they want their ad revenue to pay their bills.
Paid links are a smaller source of revenue but are still used by many bloggers. Paid links are simply a link on the blog that goes to the advertiser’s site. It is usually placed in the blog’s sidebar for a set monthly price. These work great for industry related advertisers that are looking to stay in front of an audience as well as build links to their site. As mentioned, the revenue potential for paid links is pretty limited.
Occasionally blogs will be paid to write a post about a particular company. This is called a Sponsored Post and often the post is labeled as such. Sponsored posts can be a great way to promote a company’s products or services to the blog’s readership. They also can command a high price tag. However, most bloggers see sponsored posts as a bonus rather than a real way to make monthly revenue. This is because sponsored posts are usually just a one-off purchase for both the blogger and advertiser. Additionally most bloggers recognize the need to limit the number of sponsored posts they allow in order to keep up their content quality and maintain their readership.
Hopefully at this point, you’ve got a good understanding of how bloggers make money. The monetization methods described here are some of the main ways that bloggers make money and can actually be used by other types of content based websites as well. As can be seen by reading the above descriptions, image ads offer the best combination of clean looks and regular recurring revenue. And with quality ad management and performance tracking through AdPlugg, image ads are an obvious choice for building your blog’s revenue. Browse through the site and sign up today to start making money with your blog.