If you haven’t seen it, Daniel Lyons, a talented blogger known for two years as “Fake Steve Jobs,” has an editorial that explains why none of us can make money blogging.
Big traffic, no money.
Fake Steve Jobs’ best month came with a traffic spike. His actual identity was revealed in the New York Times, sending more than a half-million people to his site in a single day.
His payout? For that half-million-visitor day, about a hundred dollars in AdSense earnings. For the entire month, he made $1,039.81.
Not quite what he was hoping for when he became a celebrity blogger and earned an impressive amount of attention and notoriety.
So if Fake Steve Jobs can’t monetize a blog, the rest of us are doomed, right? He worked hard, he created quality content, he had a terrific angle that went nicely viral. He was at the pinnacle, and he’s broke. So we will be too.
It must be true, he said it in Newsweek.
Not. So. Fast.
The number of blogs has risen from a few thousand in 2004 to hundreds of thousands today. And when anything grows at this pace there has to be a reason.
And just in case you are still guessing about the reasons, then you have probably denied yourself the opportunity of making a nice living from building the business side of your blog.
Here are some (but by no means all) of the ways to make money with your blog:
1. Sell your original art and prints
This is the most obvious since we are artists.
But you have learn how to sell tastefully and tactfully. The focus of your blog should always be quality content that educates others. When your focus is creating quality content, then you will always have plenty of readers (and buyers).
The selling portion on your blog should be around 5% of your content. This is where I see so many artists making a big mistake. Their blog is just a gallery of their work with no content that educates others.
Make it easy for people to buy.
This is the most common way that blogs make money.
Once your readership is high enough, you will be able to sell ads to larger companies or sponsors on your site.
But have you thought about putting ads on your site for things that you sell? Once you create a gallery with your original art and prints, put an ad that links to your own gallery. That's what I have done. If you look just below the facebook and twitter plug-ins down the right side of this blog, you will see the ad for my art prints.
The ad reads "Museum Quality Giclee Art Prints by Gary Bolyer". There's a picture of one of my paintings. If you click the picture, it takes you to my art print gallery.
Again, the ads, selling and marketing messages in your blog should account for only around 5% of the total content.
And like I mentioned above with Fake Steve Jobs, there's always Adsense and BlogAds. Some new sites are Chitika, eMiniMalls, Adgenta, Adbrite, and AVN.
3. Affiliate Programs
Affiliate programs like Amazon, Clickbank, and Linkshare offer you the opportunity to offer related products to your readers. You can also create your own products and offer them for sale to the programs.
You don't have to worry about creating, shipping, or getting paid when you use an affiliate program product. The affiliate program does all of this for you.
You simply buy one of the products from the site and test it out to make sure it is worthy of offering to your readership. Then you write a nice blog about it referring it to your readers. You post a link back to the site and the product. When one of your readers buys the product, you get a commission.
4. Writing blogs for others
There are people and businesses who need someone to write and post new material on their blogs regularly.
As you write you own blog, you will become an expert at writing. This is a valuable skill. There are many people who do not have this skill, but need it desperately as internet marketing demands it.
If you have enough time, then you can make money by writing for other blogs.
There are some bloggers who are making money from donations. This is very easy to set up through Paypal. You just create a simple link on your page and a "Donate" button.
The donation can be an amount you decide or you can leave it up to the visitors of the site.
As you grow your blog, you will become an expert in the art of marketing and selling online. Or maybe you will become known as an art expert in painting, drawing, or photography.
You can teach others what you have learned by consulting with them on an hourly basis.
Or you can write about what you have learned and sell it in the form of ebooks, newsletters, webinars, etc. Selling packaged content is one of the best ways to make money with your blog.
Let us know in the comments about some of your successes with selling products and services. Please provide the links so we can take a look at what you have to offer.