Some bloggers like to wait until they’ve got a decent amount of traffic before they introduce advertising, others include it on their blog from day one. There’s no right or wrong approach – you have to do whatever you feel is right for you. But if/when you decide to include advertising, don’t forget to double-check what your blogging platform’s policy on it is.
Also, remember that the amount of money you can earn via your blog can vary greatly (it’s usually, but not always, relative to your traffic). And for most bloggers, the initial amount is very small (if at all!), and it can take a while before it increases. So it’s probably a good idea not to start planning that Jimmy Choo shopping spree just yet!
In brief, the four popular types of ads you can include are:
- Private ads: You sell these yourself via your site for the rate you set.
- Advertising networks: There are many available to join, and they find advertisers for you. Often though, they have a minimum traffic levels as well as other requirements.
- Contextual ads: These come from programs such as Google Adsense and are usually fairly easy to sign up for and implement. You earn money each time an ad is clicked on, or, each time the ad receives 1,000 page views.
- Affiliate ads: Also known as affiliate marketing, these types of advertisements generate income when someone clicks on them, and follows a special link to a website. If an item is then purchased from the site within a specified period of time, the publisher (you) may earn a percentage of money from the sale.
By far, the easiest and quickest option to start with is Google Adsense. After you’ve signed up, read the T&Cs and been approved, it’s as simple as adjusting a few settings within your account, grabbing some code and pasting it within your blog’s sidebars, posts, footer or even RSS feed. As mentioned, Google Adsense ads are contextual, meaning the advertisements that show up are somewhat related to the content within the pages they’re being displayed on, or your visitors browsing history. It’s important for Google Adsense publishers to check out the terms and conditions as there are restrictions on the number of ad units that can be displayed per page, as well as other rules you should be aware of.
If you’re looking for other methods of monetizing your blog, here are a few options:
- Product sales. Products can be all manner of things! From self-designed fashions to digital products such as e-books. If you make it, create it, buy it, or import it, you can use your blog to sell it (provided it’s relevant to your audience, of course).
- Donations. Some bloggers fund the basic costs of their blog (such as domain registration and hosting fees) with the generosity of their readers. You can set up a simple PayPal option for money gifts, or create a wish list on a popular sites such as Amazon.
- Consulting. Really know your stuff when it comes to beauty advice? Got the kind of fashion-styling skills people would pay for? Try offering your info for a price, making use of e-mails, live-chat systems and Skype to communicate with your readers-turned-clients.
Have you had any experience making money from your blog?