Making money online is a hot topic, and it is one I get asked about frequently in a variety of forms.
- How do you make money online?
- How can I make money through blogging?
- How long does it take to become a professional blogger?
So today, I will answer the first question which should give you some ideas for the second. The answer to the third I will tell you when I actually become one.
7 Ways I Am Making Money Online
Without any further ado, here are some of my top earners since I started blogging in 2008 through today.
Google Adsense is like the starter pack for anyone looking to make money online. I earn a steady flow of income from Adsense using a variety of other websites I own. My top earners include my Dofollow Blog Directory, a simple site about Malshis, and some various HubPages articles I have written over the past year.
Why don’t I use Adsense on Kikolani? I did, up until last year’s Blog World where Scott Stratten made a very valid point that if you are putting Adsense on your blog, you are essentially giving people a reason to leave for just a few cents per click. Considering I want people to stick around my site, I decided it was a good time to pull those ad blocks.
Has removing Adsense made a difference for Kikolani? I really couldn’t say. I took a quick peak in Analytics and noticed that the average time on site between January 1 – March 26, 2010 when I had Adsense was the same as January 1 – March 26, 2011, but the bounce rate is a good bit lower now than it was then.
Advertising is another good source of on-site income. I do the standard 125×125 blocks in the sidebar, a larger banner ad underneath posts, and inclusion of a banner spot in my newsletter as detailed in my advertising page. Some of the real income comes from offering customized advertising options based on the requester’s needs and offering discounts for long term subscriptions.
Ah, good old affiliate marketing. So long as you’re only promoting products you’ve used and truly believe in, there is nothing wrong with it. That’s also the key to success really, as people can generally tell from your reviews if you sincerely like the product or you’re just trying to make a buck off of copying a swipe file.
Which products have done the best for me so far? Here are my top five products (the links are affiliate links).
- Income Blogging Guide – This is a six month course that will help you learn how to make money blogging, from building a WordPress blog from scratch to creating your own product and outsourcing when necessary. I did a full review of this course here.
- Blog World Expo – Events targeted toward your readers are generally going to perform well. I promoted Blog World pretty hard in the fall, especially since I was going. I’ll be doing the same this fall for the west coast edition in November!
- Thesis – If you use a premium WordPress theme for your blog, you should promote it! If people like the design of your site and they are in the market to get a theme, then your own site makes for a great conversion.
- Problogger eBooks – When it comes to eBooks and my audience, nothing is a better fit than Darren Rowse’s 31 Days to Build a Better Blog and Copywriting Scorecard for Bloggers. I participated in the 31 days to building a better blog program in 2008 and it transformed my blog into what it is today. I later bought the scorecard the day it came out and subsequently wrote a review for it. Both are highly valuable to bloggers and thus make for a great source of revenue.
I promote these, and other products I like, through review posts, casual mentions in new blog posts when it is applicable, and my blogging resources page.
Freelance writing is a great fit for bloggers who actually enjoy writing. My blog and guest posts serve as a great writing portfolio / resume that speaks for itself, and has naturally led to some great paid writing opportunities. The key (especially when it comes to guest posts) is to take opportunities where you will get great exposure, whether or not they are paid. Some of my best paid opportunities have come from sites to which I freely contribute.
If you’re looking to earn income as a freelance writer, it’s important that you label yourself as such on your blog and social profiles as well as showcase your best content. I have highlighted mine on my own personal domain in a lifestream format and within my archives.
Guest Blogging Contests
Guest blogging contests are a great way for bloggers to earn a little (or sometimes a lot) of extra income. I have entered four so far and digitally walked away with three first place prizes and one second place prize which altogether amounted to a little over $2,000USD.
Is there a secret to winning? Not particularly. It’s essentially the right combination of creating the right content for the audience of the site you’re blogging upon, following all of the rules, and promoting the hell out of your post non-stop until the last day of the contest. The latter of which lead me to my next income generating strategy.
My Own Product
After winning the first guest blogging contest, I got a great idea of what I wanted to do for my first product. Thus the Ultimate Guide to Blog Post Promotion was born. Having created something on my own felt really good, and getting to do my first big affiliate payout in the coming week will further drive home the point (to myself) that creating your own product is ultimately the most profitable thing you can do. Especially with information products like eBooks because once you’ve published it, then all the work on your end (minus promoting it) is done.
Last but not least, there are other services that you can offer as opposed to or in conjunction with freelance writing. In my case, since I have experience in WordPress customizations, I occasionally will do some small edits to people’s templates for an hourly rate. A recent popular request has been to install social sharing buttons into Thesis and other themes.
Another promising new service opportunity I have been getting requests for is promotion of content, thanks to my eBook. It’s hit or miss on this one for what I can accept because I can only promote certain topics successfully based on what my fans and following are interested in. What you need to ask yourself when it comes to possible services you can offer is what are you good at that others could benefit from.
How Do You Make Money Online?
So there you have it, a short and simple look at ways I make money online. Now it’s your turn – how do you do it? What do you find to be most successful (or least)? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.