Please note: this is an old post. I have been blogging for a really long time: since my childhood, in fact. Bear in mind that any opinions stated may have changed, any code snippets may no longer be considered safe or secure, and my personal circumstances are almost certainly different to what's contained herein. You have been warned...
I actually wanted to name this post “5 ways to profit from blogging without sticking great big flashy advertising banners all over it or pretending you love krill oil” but I decided that was probably a little too long. However, I do have some genuine tips on how to make a little bit of money from your blog without going “all-out” – these have helped me keep jemjabella.co.uk online in times when money has been tight (like now, ha).
1. Affiliate link-up your theme credit
If your blog is self-hosted, have a look at the themes on offer through premium theme retailers such as StudioPress and Elegant Themes. Although these cost money up front, they (and others) offer affiliate schemes which means you get a kick back from any sales you refer their way. Given that I discover most themes through other people’s footer credit links, it makes sense to affiliatise those theme credit links and make money out of an otherwise ignored link.
It is posible to sign up to most affiliate schemes without actually purchasing the product you’re linking to, but it can seem a bit shifty recommending a product you’ve never used.
2. Sell products you’re sent to review
You don’t have to get much in the way of blog traffic to be inundated by offers of
crap products and services to review. While you’re not going to make your fortune reselling samples of children’s disposable nappies and baby food (that was the latest completely subject-innappropriate offer made to me) there’s a good market for ‘as new’ books, clothes, prams, car seats etc.
If your blog is a little more popular and you’re in a position to approach companies (if you don’t ask, you don’t get) you can get your hands on even higher valued stuff: mobile telephones, laptops, tablets, that sort of thing. These can all fetch hundreds of pounds which is a nice bit of pocket money.
3. Write appropriate time-sensitive posts
There’s little Google likes more than relevant, timely posts. Combine that with some affiliate linking or products for sale and you have the potential to cash in on the buzz of something new.
My own personal success story lies in my post on the Wii game ‘Animal Crossing: Let’s Go to the City’. By releasing a guide on how to make bells (in game currency) very quickly after the game was released, I managed to hit and hold #1 rankings in Google for a significant period of time. Visitors searching for ways to make virtual money came looking, and a large percentage read my guide then went on to buy the book linked at the bottom which is an Amazon affiliate link. Ker-ching!
4. Add a donate button
This one works best for people who offer something tangible through their blog. Free templates, downloadable knitting patterns, design stuff, free scripts :) – whatever floats your boat. Although the vast majority of your visitors will ignore a donate button, I’ve personally had a few generous donations which have contributed to the hosting bill nicely!
5. Write & publish posts for others
Although it’s quite common for people to exchange guest posts for free, there’s a market out there for decent blog posts that are well written, of decent length and suitably targeted to the topic at hand. There are also ways to get paid for publishing relevant posts on your own blog.
You don’t have to go trawling the ‘net for offers either: services like PostJoint* allow you to submit posts and/or publish other’s posts on your blog and get paid via Paypal with it all managed for you. If you don’t want to publish people’s guest posts on your own blog, there’s a great list of websites that pay for guest posts on Make A Living Writing.
* If you want to write posts for PostJoint, to earn links back to your blog or extend your blogging circle, you need to sign up as an advertiser. If you wish to accept posts for a fee (earning you Paypal pocket money) you need to sign up as a Blogger. Unfortunately it’s not possible to do both from the same account at this time.
See: totally possible to make money from blogging, and you didn’t even have to mention krill oil once.