Millions of people blog, but very few make any money from their efforts, and even fewer make a full-time living from blogging alone. Most people simply run a free hobby blog. However, that does not mean that it can’t be done (here’s proof). Blogging for money is certainly not a way to get rich quick, and it will take months or even years of consistently hard work before you start seeing a decent return, which is all the more reason why starting with a hobby blog is a great way to go. If you’ve been maintaining a blog for some time for the reason being that you simply enjoy doing it, you already have something to start with, and if you have decided to monetize your blog, you may want to try the following five methods:
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1 – Install Google AdSense
Google AdSense is the publisher’s component of the world’s number one pay-per-click advertising platform, and the first thing which most people do when they monetize their hobby blog is sign up for an account. You’ll need to sign up for a free Google account before being able to access the AdSense service. You’ll then need to wait a few days before your AdSense application is approved, and once it has been approved, you’ll be provided with your AdSense code, which should be placed on your hobby blog. If using WordPress, you can copy and paste this code into a text widget to display the context-relevant ads on the sidebar or header of your website. This is by far the easiest way to make money with your hobby blog. The entire process can be done in 30 minutes or less.
2 – Find Affiliates
Affiliate marketing presents by far the greatest potential to earn money from your hobby blog. The way affiliate advertising works is that you advertise an affiliate product or service on your hobby blog, and when someone makes a purchase having started at your blog, you will receive a commission. Commissions vary enormously, but they typically fall into the region of 20 to 50%. You can find affiliates by approaching sellers directly, provided that they are selling products which your visitors are most likely to be interested in. Another option is to use an affiliate advertising network or program, such as Commission Junction, ClickBank, or Amazon Associates. If your hobby blog has a large or even a small loyal following, affiliate marketing can be incredibly profitable.
3 – Sell an eBook
If you’ve been blogging for quite some time, chances are that you already have a considerable amount of content and experience at your disposal. Your hobby blog is a great way to share and learn as it is to express yourself and share your knowledge, and after some time, you’ll become an expert in your niche. With all of this valuable knowledge and content behind you, you probably have more than enough to work with to start working on an eBook. With a large reader base at your disposal, you may want to consider publishing and selling an eBook providing a more in-depth look into a subject which you’ve previously covered. You can also sell your ebook on the Amazon Kindle store to earn an income from THEIR website traffic in addition to getting exposure on your own hobby blog.
4 – Sell Your Own Ad Space
Selling your own ad space is a great way to cut out the middleman, and as a result, it has the potential to earn you considerably more money. However, it can be difficult to find buyers for ad space on your website, and in order to have any chance to succeed, you’ll need to have a large number of regular visitors to your hobby blog. If you don’t have a large amount of traffic already, no one is likely to be willing to pay for ad space on your blog. Fortunately, there are a number of services, such as buysellads.com, which help to connect publishers and advertisers to make selling ad space somewhat easier.
5 – Ask for Donations
Unsurprisingly, asking for donations isn’t likely to make much money on your hobby blog, but it won’t hurt to place a PayPal donation button on your blog. You’ve probably already seen these buttons before on various other blogs, and often they are accompanied by a short line saying something like “Buy me a coffee”. You may be pleasantly surprised how many people among your most enthusiastic regular readers will be willing to send you a few dollars from time to time. If it’s obvious you don’t make any money on your hobby blog, people are often times more than happy to help out, especially if you don’t bombard them with advertisements. Another option, particularly for those with much larger hobby blogs, is to offer a paid subscription service for a completely ad-free version of your website.