4 ways to make money from blogging

We’re wrapping up our business blogging series with a special guest post from Annabel Candy, author of the ebook Successful Blogging in 12 Simple Steps.

While we think Annabel is pretty rad, what sets this book apart from the other 1,465,462 ebooks on blogging doing the rounds of the web is it’s easy to use format – and action points. Annabel clearly highlights key takeaways from each chapter, along with action points and a checklist – so you know where you should be focussing your efforts.

Keen to get into blogging?  This is a great resource to get you on your way.

Big thanks to Annabel for sharing her wisdom on how a blog can make you money…

So you want to make money from blogging? Then get to the back of the queue please and be prepared to tighten your belt because, although you can make money from blogging, it’s not the path to instant wealth.

READ: How do I find the time to blog?

In fact blogging may not be the path to wealth at all but it is a great way to market and grow your existing business.

Blogging is a powerful marketing tool but you can’t make money from blogging if no one is visiting or reading your blog.

You may be a new blogger, or new in business but your blog doesn’t need to show that. Your blog should present you as the established professional you want to be.

A professional blog design should make you look better than you are but a bad a blog design can make you look downright bad. I hate seeing bad blogs because I know it makes the blog owners look bad too.

I wrote Successful Blogging in 12 Simple Steps to explain the principles of good web design and screen legibility. It isn’t rocket science, but good blog design and content are essential if you want people to read your blog, subscribe to it and tell their friends about it.

Because only then can you start to make money from blogging.

If you’re ready to invest time and money into blog design and marketing then you should be able to leverage that to grow your bottom line.

So how can you make money from blogging?

So you have a good blog design, great content and engaged readers? Then you’re ready to make money from blogging and these are some ways you can do so:

1. Use your blog as a marketing tool for your existing (or new) business services and products

I discovered blogging was a powerful marketing tool for small business owners from personal experience. I had my own business in New Zealand for 10 years and I could never get a job unless I met the client face to face. Then I moved to Queensland in Australia and started a travel blog which helped me get clients in Sydney, Melbourne, the US and the UK.

Although my blog shared travel or personal stories and I didn’t blog about my business, or actively seek clients, my writing resonated with people. It built trust and it made them want to work with me, not because of my qualifications and experience, but because of the personal experiences I’d shared.

That was a powerful learning experience for me and since then blogging has been a fun way for me to build my business.

I sell my web design, blog design, consultation and copywriting services indirectly through my blog. I don’t go for the hard sell but I continue to find new clients through my blog. Or rather they find me.

This is the most accessible way for business owners to make money from blogging and that’s why the focus of my blogging advice is to help business owners and writers market their services or products.

READ: Do I need an editorial strategy for my business blog?

2. Selling your own products

Once I’d grown my blog to over 10,000 monthly readers I decided to write and sell my blogging ebook. Electronic products like ebooks, video courses or podcasts are easy to sell online because there’s no shipping involved, but you can also sell other products like t-shirts.

If you have a good readership and people like your blog you can then create your own products related to your niche and sell them. Most blog readers are happy to pay for quality products.

This can bring in an additional income stream and in time, as your blog grows you can choose to focus more on that if you wish.

3. Become an affiliate reseller for quality products

I recommend a handful of products I believe in and know might help my readers. Make sure you stick to related products you really recommend.

Readers first, money second.

Again this is an additional income stream for me, not a primary source of income. I like working with people. My core business is web or blog design and web copywriting, not retail and I want to keep it that way.

4. Sell advertising

I’m experimenting with this at the moment. I prefer to keep my blogs looking clean and attractive but advertising is something I’m looking into as a way to diversify my income.

Options include:

Google Adsense – I don’t like this option because you will make very little money unless you have huge traffic on your blog and you have no control over the ads (so you could end up with Pammy Anderson’s cleavage all over your blog. Even if she is only a advertising web hosting company, is that something you want your clients to see?) Adverts also give your blog readers an exit route when you should be concentrating on keeping them reading your blog.

Specialist advertising – This can help cover expenses and bring you a small income but you need to deal with the advertisers and position the ads which takes time that may be better spent on other areas of your business. Alternatively you can choose a blog advertising agency like Nuff Nang.

Sponsored blog posts – This is my preference because it’s a way to earn a decent amount of money for a blog post you write and publish on your own blog. You get control over what you write so you can make sure it will interest your readers and you will work personally with the brand to make sure everyone benefits.

So those are the four main ways you can make money from blogging but bear in mind it won’t happen straight away.

What do you think? Would blogging be a good way to market your business? Can you make money directly from blogging or would you be better off focusing on using blogging to grow your business?