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Make Money with Your Blog

Blogging for money, i.e., making money with a blog, is relatively easy if you have enough regular readers, but you have to make sure you don’t disrupt your credibility. Whether you’re joining affiliate programs, selling ad space, or doing sponsored posts, you need to make sure that the information is still relevant to your readers. Writing about a product none of your readers wants or posting a good review about a bad product just because someone is paying you to will make you lose readers and money.

Increasing your reader base
To make money from a blog, you need to get readers. To do this, you need to update regularly with SEO-friendly posts and buy your own domain name. Even if you are with a free host, spending $10 a year for a domain instead of a sub domain is well worth it. It is a lot harder to rank on search engines without one.

There are other ways to increase your reader base. Finding a forum related to the topic of your blog is a great way to earn readers. Don’t just advertise your blog, though, or you will become a nuisance and likely be banned from the forum. Instead, put a link to your blog in your forum signature and work on being a valuable member of the online community. If people appreciate your contributions to the forum, they’ll likely click on your link.

You can also make a Twitter account that is associated with your blog and, if your friends will be interested in your blog, post links on Facebook as well. They might read it and refer more people to it. Twitterfeed is a site that will check your blog regularly and post links to your new blog posts on your Twitter and/or Facebook accounts. Again, you want to become a part of the online community. Don’t use Twitter or Facebook just to promote your blog. Make sure you post other status updates, too. If all you do is post links to your blog, people will likely start ignoring your posts.

All this will make it easy for people to find your blog in the first place. However, the goal is to have people who come back regularly. This can be achieved by adding subscription links so that people get notified of new posts in a feed reader or via e-mail.

Affiliate Programs
Affiliate programs are one of the easiest ways to make money with your blog. When you sign up for an affiliate program online, they give you an affiliate link, which you can post on your blog or website. Then, you get a percentage of the earnings when someone clicks on your link to buy something.

Some affiliate programs will have you promoting only one product on your blog. Others let you promote multiple products through the same program. You will likely make more money if you concentrate on one program, because most programs will have a minimum amount of money that you have to earn before you can cash out. This means that if you divide your efforts between too many programs you might have a few dollars on each account, but you might not have enough on any account to retrieve your earnings. Therefore, you will likely make more money by signing up for one of the programs that let you promote multiple products.

The Amazon Associates program is a great one to start a money-making campaign on your blog. You can promote any product available on Amazon.com (which sells just about anything you can think of) and earn up to 15% of each sale. The site offers many tools to let you promote products however you want. You can make custom text or banner links of any product. You can even make widgets to advertise all your favourite products beside your blog.

If you want to earn money with your blog through affiliate programs, you have to make sure to retain your credibility. Link to products that you have used before and that your readers will be interested in. Post an honest review of the product on your blog. If you write a positive review about a horrible product, you might make a lot of money initially – but you will end up losing readers, trust, business and money.

There are many affiliate programs available for bloggers who want to make money online. Amazon has enough products to cater to just about any audience, and a quick search will bring up many other affiliate programs related to your blog’s topic.

Advertising Programs
Advertising programs are often called affiliate programs and they work in basically the same way. You sign up, get an affiliate link, promote it on your blog and earn commission. However, instead of writing about or linking to specific products you are usually linking to the company itself.

As with the affiliate programs, it is more profitable to only use one or two programs that offer a lot of options. There are a few websites that function as a meeting point between advertisers and bloggers. These sites are the most beneficial for both advertisers and bloggers. Advertisers can approve or deny applicants as they see fit, making sure they are only advertising on sites they think are appropriate. Likewise, bloggers can pick and choose which companies are most beneficial to their readers to maximize their earnings. The best part is that your earnings from all the websites are pooled into one place and one paycheque.

The Google Affiliate Network and LinkConnector are probably the biggest advertising programs there are. No matter what the topic of your blog is, you can likely find many companies to advertise for and start earning money. Google also provides tutorial pages with tips on where to place your ads in order for them to be the most successful.

Sponsored Posts
There are many sites for bloggers who want to do sponsored posts. A couple of the most popular ones are PayPerPost and Smorty. On both of these sites you simply sign up, describe your blog and wait for offers. Then you can choose to accept the offer, write a post and get paid – or, if the offer isn’t a good one for your blog, you can choose not to do it. Smorty also offers a post exchange which serves to boost your SEO as well as your ranking on the site.

You need to be careful with your sponsored posts. There is an ongoing debate about them in the blogging world. One side thinks they are a great way to earn money as long as your reviews are honest. The other side thinks that a blogger is instantly discredited when they accept a sponsored post. Why? Because, obviously, whoever is paying for the post wants a positive review. So a bad product might get a good review for the sake of a paycheque.

This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do sponsored posts. It just means that you should choose your sponsors carefully. You might not get very many offers when you start out, but if you jump at every opportunity and you aren’t honest you will never make much money.

Patience
One of the easiest ways to make money online these days is blogging. All you need to get started is an interesting topic, a domain name and some spare time. However, you cannot expect your efforts to pay off instantly. Don’t give up if you don’t get a paycheque right away. Continue to update your blog with posts that will be interesting and informative to your readers and the money will follow in time.

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