People start recreational blogs for all sorts of reasons – as a fun hobby, to meet others in similar situations as their own (stay at home moms, for example), to share recipes or crafts, or to simply keep friends and family updated on their lives. If you have a business or wish to sell a product, a blog is a great way to get your name known and network with other businesses similar to yours. Even if you don’t have something to sell, a recreational blog can earn you extra income every month. Simply start accepting mobile payments and follow these tips to be on your way.
Build up a following
In order to make any money off of your blog, you must first build up a decent amount of followers, or readers, for your blog. If you have a great blog but no one reads it, you’ll never make a dime. To build a steady group of followers, post regularly and keep it real. Read other blogs and comment on their posts. Be an active member of the blogging community. Always remember why you started blogging in the first place – for fun! If you lose sight of this and become too focused on making money, your readers will be able to tell, and they will slowly stop coming.
Sell monthly advertisements
Once you’ve gained a good amount of readers, start offering monthly advertisements on your blog for other bloggers to purchase. This is also known as sponsorship – you offer spots on your blog, for a fee, to sponsor and advertise other blogs so they will gain readers. It can be tough to determine what to charge for these spots. Typically, start low (think $5 per month), and if you sell out fast, raise your prices. As your blog continues to grow, you will continually be able to raise your prices.
Use Google AdSense
Google AdSense is a pay-per-click type of advertising. Google places ads on your blog, and when your readers click those ads, you get paid. It’s relatively simple and doesn’t cost anything to sign up. For a lot of blogs, this is the most popular way of making money.
If you’re crafty, using your blog as a means of selling your product is huge way to generate income. If your readers like you, they will want to buy your product. If you aren’t the crafty type, consider selling candles, like Gold Canyon or Scentsy, or makeup, such as Avon. You’ll reach substantially more customers via your blog than any other form of advertising.
Offer your services
If selling a product or craft isn’t up your alley, consider offering consulting services to bloggers just starting out. Again, this goes back to having readers and followers. If you only have a few readers, it will be pretty rough getting others to purchase your consulting services and blogging tips. If, on the other hand, you’ve been blogging for a few years and have a steady group of readers, you’ll more than likely have an easier time getting bloggers to want to pay you for your tips and advice.
Affiliate advertising is similar to pay-per-click advertising. You sign up to be an affiliate of a company, such as Amazon, and are paid based on clicks, sales, or leads. The huge benefit to this is that you only have to place the ad on your blog
once, so it requires minimal work and almost no maintenance. If you have readers, the money will come in.
Finally, be yourself no matter what when blogging. If people feel they can relate to you, they will continue coming back to your blog. Though you won’t make any money by just being yourself, you will gain followers and continue to grow your blog by staying true to who you are. Remember, you started your blog as a recreational activity. Try to keep it that way – even once you start earning money.
Sarah Brooks is a freelance writer covering a wide variety of topics from finance and blogging to food and nutrition.