A few bloggers tend to publish monthly income reports.
However, this is not my favorite kind of information to share in a blog post – not because I am against it, but because I am still at the “spending money” stage, not making real money yet.
So why would I share my earnings, if I don’t really think of it as real earnings? I am still not in this position.
Instead, I prefer to share tips that work for me and don’t get excited, this post will not contain numbers, although it’s up to you to decide how much my blog could earn (take a wild guess haha).
When Ana asked me to share my thoughts and takes on different ways to make money blogging, as I passed through different levels and stages of it, she really helped me to bring out some interesting stuff here (I wrote this part of the post in the middle of writing the post, because ideas are popping into my head right now; this happens to me whenever I write a bloody awesome post like this one :).
So be ready… You are going to enjoy this one because I will share things that I’ve never shared before even on my own blog.
Let’s have some general talk before diving deep into making money blogging stuff!
Why do bloggers share their blog earnings?
I think bloggers share about their ways of monetization and how much they actually earn from their blogs for at least one of the following reasons, if not for all of them:
- It’s one way of motivating their readers
- To add extra credibility to their blogs
- Sharing earning reports could lead to more earnings (i.e. more advertisers)
- Maybe someone thought of keeping some records
- Or because their readers ask them to do so!
It’s all cool, share your earnings if you would like to, but I won’t do it at least in this level (just a personal opinion!)
Different ways to make money blogging I use on my blog
Yeah, I do almost every possible way trying to find “my way to make money blogging“, and what’s driving me crazy is almost all ways are working, and this is really confusing because I keep losing focus!
- Offer ad spots and advertisers and marketers buy them!
- I offer paid reviews, and people ask me to review their stuff and they pay me!
- I do product affiliating and reviews.. And people buy them!
- Recently I started to build my list, and guess what? I am getting amazing results!
- And from time to time, I get freelancing jobs through the blog!
So, believe it or not, I am in a big mess because I still cannot find my way.
Ana’s note: don’t you wish you had Hesham’s problems? 🙂
1. Blog Advertising
During my journey to make money blogging, I’ve sold a good number of ads – I really cannot remember how many I’ve sold anymore. However, I made a mistake of not saving my advertisers’ contact info. So if you are into selling ads on your blog, I really advise you to save your advertisers’ contact info in an organized way, you will need it one day for sure!
If you want to sell more ads on your blog, then talk about advertising, share what you know about ads, give your personal advertising tips like how to price your banner ads, and show advertisers what they will get when they buy ads on your blog – this will keep ads rolling.
Talking about being creative: my fellow bloggers and I were looking for new ways to sell ads and expand our sphere, so we started the MBA group (Multi Blog Advertising), which is a private blog ads network. It was created by 5 bloggers from our blogging community, and we have got some awesome results so far by selling ads on all our five high traffic and authority blogs at once by making only one payment.
Oh man, let’s not talk about the flashing Christmas tree kind of banner ads! They annoy me personally, so what about my innocent blog readers?!! Would they forgive me if I told them that these banners rock my PayPal and help me to keep my awesome blog up and running?
Anyways, I discovered a good solution, which is to reduce the number of ads and increase prices, so hopefully, this will make all three parties (readers, advertisers and me) happy with the results.
And hey, I will tell you a small money making secret of mine: Google AdSense ads perform better than BuySellAds on my blog. Some guys say that Google AdSense is not singing for them like before, I wonder what was the song!! Anyway… It’s composing for FamousBloggers.net a real pure music! (the secret is in the ads placement)
2. Paid Reviews
Yes I do it. And I am not one of a kind, but I’m a respected blogger who gets paid to blog.
Although I haven’t done a lot of paid reviews, I usually receive good cash when I review a product or a website. I created my own paid reviews strategy, it’s simple and clean and it works. In short, you need to get to know the product you are reviewing and just be honest about what you write. Then once you get your review published, start promoting it heavily.
I always tell my clients that I will write about the good and bad. I will not write what you tell me to write, I will give my personal opinion, and I will not cheat on my blog readers even if you pay me extra money! I’ve also increased my review price, so now only people who can pay me will actually request a paid review, and usually those people who can pay me do have a good products that will not disappoint my blog readers.
Paid reviews are good if they are honest; however, it takes a lot of time and effort, as I promote these reviews heavily and try to get high search engine ranking optimization for them.
So it’s not a cheap $20 or $30 review, it’s a real deep review with lots of follow up work.
3. Affiliate Products and Reviews! (the cool part)
I sell at least one item when I post a review on my blog.
This, in my opinion, is a big win.
I mean think about it: if you blog about some good products, theme (like Thesis theme) or maybe a WordPress plugin, then you get paid when someone buys it through your affiliate link.
My advice here is not to review something you never use and just be honest about what you are doing. Remember, you are building your business and trying to monetize your site, so make sure to not lose trust!
Who would believe me if I said that I sold Darren Rowse’s ebook yesterday?! I don’t know any blogger who hasn’t bought it yet, yet it just worked somehow! It’s not because I wrote an awesome review, and probably not because I offered a discount code since the ebooks are so affordable. Also it’s not because my blog readers love me so much that they will buy anything I say “Buy it”.
It’s completely insane because selling Darren Rowse’s ebook is exactly like selling a book in a big library!
Oh! And I remember this post by Ana about the Scribe SEO and why all the cool kids are doing it.
The interesting thing was a comment posted by my friend AJ. He mentioned how FamousBloggers.net smelt Scribe SEO affiliate links. I didn’t reply to him because I saw his comment by accident just today, so I am going to reply to him now in this post.
Hey Aj, I promote products I love and I believe in, and yes, Scribe SEO affiliate links make me good money.
But believe me, my fellow bloggers are more important to me than any money.
I wish all my friends get Scribe SEO plugin because it’s just awesome, and what Ana said in her reply to you is 100% true: it saves my time as I run a multi-author blog with a lot of posts written by other bloggers, and this plugin gives me the power to rank higher without a doubt!
Oh, and here is my reply to Ana as well: haha, I compete with many bloggers because we have a lot of fun playing this game. But man I cannot believe that you are competing with me while we both promote each other’s blogs heavily 🙂 Some things don’t make sense, but I love the “working together” thing, I believe that blogging is not a single player game!
Note from Ana: that’s why I said “IF” in that comment. 🙂 Can’t believe you actually read it, of all the stuff on my blog! However, if it ever comes down to us competing for anything, let the best man or woman win.
I just want to say that promoting products is one of my most profitable and recommended ways to make money blogging; it’s a big part of online earnings. I wish I can write more about it, but it seems I will finish this blog if I do 🙂 So I hope you read between the lines above!
Note from Ana: maybe we can talk about it some more in your next guest post?
4. Building an Email List without any offer!
Like so many bloggers and marketers out there, I punch myself in the face because it took me a year to take this step.
I’ve learned how to build email list about 3 months ago and the cool thing is I’ve got something like 800+ subscribers now, and guess what?
While all marketing gurus advise you to give something for free (usually an ebook or a report) I don’t offer anything in return, I don’t do anything to encourage my blog readers to sign up, and they are still signing up! That was the first part of the job.
The second part of course was to find great products and all the necessary research and testing that went into it.
Then the third step is to convince subscribers to buy products you promote through your emails. I do it because I choose a working product, I try it myself, and I believe in it before pushing it to my subscribers.
However, maybe this is only a special case, or it’s happening because of the nature of my blog, so I am not sure if this would work for you as well.
Also I have an average of daily 1000 visits or so, and yeah I use the amazing popup domination plugin to give those lazy subscribers a little push to opt-in. Yeah.. Yeah.. I know what you think! Nobody likes popups, but I use it and I won’t let it go that easy 🙂
Ana’s note: I actually use MaxBlogPress Subscribers Magnet on my blog and love it so much more that Popup Domination. But don’t take our words for it; do your own research and decide for yourselves. Either way, popups do work – just make sure your setting won’t annoy your readers!
I must mention here that I am not an expert with email marketing yet, still in the learning stage at this point, but it’s going very well so far.
Email marketing is one of the most important internet marketing tools for every marketer, as it’s the best way to sell products online!
5. Freelancing Jobs
This is what you could gain after your hard work!
Since I started working on web design, web developing and CMSs modifications, I’ve got some nice experience that helped me a lot to get freelancing jobs.
I even got my last full time job because of one of my blogs – it happened when I showcased my blog to the management of the company in a short meeting. They had no clue what open source content management system meant (i.e. WordPress), why they should use it for their client sites, and what they should do right after after installing WordPress! So.. I’ve got the job, then I helped the projects department on a few development projects for high level clients.
I now no longer have a full time job. I instead decided to do blogging and teach my readers how to blog.
I now receive freelancing jobs even without announcing that I am open for freelancing; people just contact me through my blog contact page and DM me on Twitter -from time to time- asking for my help. They offer to hire me because they like what I do on my blog, that’s all.
You also can do the same. Just do what you normally do, try to enhance your blog or whatever site your own, involve your readers in designing your blog, develop it as if you are writing your resume. Yes. Your blog can be your resume and a live example for your awesome work.
Don’t forget to value your work, study your market, check what others get paid for the same kind of jobs, ask for what you think you really deserve. And before you are honest with your clients, be honest with yourself.
The bottom of the Bottom line
I have a tool in my hands, I own a money making machine, and I still can’t focus.
I don’t know which way to make money blogging is the best or which monetization strategy to go with, but my conclusion so far is this: to make money from blogging, you need a combination of ways, there is no way to make money from only one way!
This is it, and if you have something to say, I am all ears!