You've probably heard of people turning their blogs into moneymaking machines. Maybe you want to copy their success.
Well, you can make money with your blog. However, there are a few things you must know first.
Some bloggers claim to earn thousands of dollars a month. For most, blogging simply provides supplemental income. It's good to aim high, but have reasonable expectations.
Getting startedYou can make money from advertisements, affiliate programs and pay-per-post programs. Before you sign up for any of these, get your blog up and going.
Pick a topic about which you are passionate. Otherwise, you'll quickly run out of steam — and readers. You can sign up for a free blog with Blogger, WordPress or LiveJournal.com. Or, put the blog on your own site.
Revenue programs will want to see your work before you join. Some only need to read a couple posts. Others want to see a few months' work.
Most advertisers will reject certain types of sites. Hate speech, porn and promotion of illegal activities are no-nos.
Google's AdSense places targeted text ads in small boxes on Web pages. These ads are ubiquitous on the Internet.
Google provides you with code that you place on your blog. The ads displayed are based on the contents of the page. These ads work best on specialized pages.
The look of Google's ads is customizable. You control the color scheme and placement. You can also block ads from certain sites.
Your profit may be based on page views. The more people that see your page, the more you make. But most advertisers pay based on clicks. When someone clicks an ad, you earn a certain amount.
Google is tight-lipped about what it pays. Users are forbidden from discussing payments.
Google takes fraud seriously. Don't do anything to inflate your page views or ad clicks. Your account could be suspended. Or you could be sued.
Affiliate programsAffiliate programs are perfect for blogs. When you mention a product, you can link to it on a shopping site. If your visitors buy the product through your site, you earn commissions.
Affiliate payouts generally offer higher payouts than other programs. At the high end, you can earn 10% or more of sales.
Affiliate programs let you customize the ads. You can list popular products or use search boxes. You can also place links directly in your site content.
Commission Junction and LinkShare handle many websites' affiliate programs. With one account, you can run ads from many different advertisers. You'll do best with ads that are relevant to your topic.
Some advertisers offer pay-per-post opportunities. You may receive, say, $10 to review a product on your blog.
Generally, your blog must be several months old with a readership to qualify. Also, your site may need to be about a certain topic.
The post must stay up on your site for 30 days or so. The advertiser checks to make sure you fulfill the requirements before you're paid.
ReviewMe, PayPerPost and Blogitive.com are three sites that offer these opportunities. Some have disclosure requirements. But I'm still not fond of these programs. Your readers may desert you if they think you are shilling for products.
Kim Komando's nationally syndicated radio show is working with the military to provide U.S. soldiers in Iraq with necessities to make their tours of duty more comfortable. Find out more at www.komando.com/operationkomando.