Blogging -- niche blogging, in particular -- can generate a great deal of revenue. But many new bloggers don't know how to monetize a blog. In fact, many new niche bloggers are left wondering, "How do I put ads on my blog?" and "How do I use affiliate marketing to earn money from my blog?"
Turning a blog into a revenue source is actually fairly simple; most new bloggers just don't know where to begin when it comes to blog monetization.
Blogging Websites and Blogging Software: Which Type is Best for Earning Money as a Blogger?
Some blogs, particularly "paid" blogging websites, do not allow for the placement of Google AdSense ads or affiliate marketing ads.
Today.com blogs that are included in the VIP Blogging Program, for instance, are not allowed to be used in conjunction with the Google AdSense program.
When monetizing a blog, the best type of blog is one that's self-hosted through Blogger or Wordpress.org. The blogger should also own the domain name for the blog.
A domain name and hosting packages can be purchased from websites like GoDaddy for under $20; GoDaddy customers also have the option of using a one-click Wordpress download that's installed on the blogger's hosting account. This eliminates the need to download software onto a computer hard drive and one-click Wordpress downloads are easy for even the novice niche blogger.
Earn Money Blogging with Google AdSense Revenue
Niche bloggers - bloggers who blog about one very particular topic or niche - can opt to enroll in the Google AdSense program. This enables niche bloggers to place ads on the blog. Niche bloggers tend to earn more money from a blog, since the blog content is targeted to the ads, whereas a blog that discusses an array of topics may not align quite so well with advertising.
Google AdSense ads are matched to keywords in the blog content, so a mortgage and loan blog will display AdSense advertisements relating to mortgages and loans - a concept known as contextual advertising.
In addition to placing ads on the blog's pages, bloggers can also burn an RSS feed for the blog. The blog's RSS feed can then be used to display Google ads on RSS feed subscribers' RSS aggregators.
Once a blogger signs up for the Google AdSense program, the blogger can easily generate AdSense HTML code by following the prompts. The code should then be copied and pasted into a text sidebar widget. The blogger can then track revenue earned by the blog's ads via their Google AdSense account, which will automatically transfer blog revenue to the blogger's Paypal account on a monthly basis.
Earn Money Blogging with Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is another potentially lucrative concept.
Bloggers advertise or recommend products, books, etc. sold at a particular retailer. Typically, the blogger will publish a link that includes the blogger's referral code. Bloggers can also publish banner ads and search bars that link to the affiliate site.
When a blog visitor initiates a purchase, the blogger earns money from a percentage of the sale.
Amazon.com offers an affiliate marketing program, as do many individual retailers. When considering what topic to blog about, niche bloggers should consider the potential for affiliate marketing, as some blogging topics align better than others when it comes to affiliate marketing opportunities.
Other Ways to Earn Money Blogging
Bloggers can also enroll in an array of other programs that turn a hobby blog into a blog that earns money.
Kontera offers contextual advertising like Google AdSense, but it also offers banner ads for blogs and websites.
In addition, sites like ExitJunction enable bloggers and website owners to earn money by targeting ads to visitors as they're exiting the blog or website.
As blog visitors hit the "back" button in their browser to return to the page of search engine results, a page of ads will appear, displaying ads that are related to the blog visitor's original search term.