Monetizing Blogs - The new way to make a living
Unless you are living under the rock for the past few years, you may have heard of the term “blogs” or personal diaries that are published online by millions of users across the globe. (Stats say that 71.5 million blogs exist as of today)
Jumping the blogging bandwagon is simple — pick your niche, choose a blogging platform (like Blogger, Wordpress) and start writing. The moment you hit that publish button, your thoughts and commentary instantly reach hundreds and thousands of souls with little effort.
You can blog on virtually any topic from shoes to iPods to cooking to stuffed toys — think of a niche that you are passionate about, write consistently and you will automatically find readers in some corner of the world who’ll enjoy your writing and keep coming back for more.
People have quit their 9-to-5 jobs to take up blogging as a full time profession and they aren’t complaining.
And blogging is not just about sharing expression; it can even help pay your utility bills provided your blog gets a decent amount of traffic. (Monetisation can be tough if there’s just one person reading your blog — you)
There are generally two options to generate revenue from blogging — you either make money because of the blog or from the blog. In the former case, people (clients or potential employers) can offer you consulting and other paying gigs because you have a blog that reflects your knowledge and command over some subject.
The other more popular option, which we discuss in detail, is about making money directly from the blog through advertising, sponsorships, paid reviews, donations or even selling merchandise (like T-shirts and mugs).
The grand-daddy of all advertising programmes is Adsense from the same company whose name is synonymous with internet search — Google. Adsense is a contextual advertising programme meaning they scan your web page and deliver ads based on the context. For instance, a website on mobile phones is unlikely to see random ads of cars or cooking recipes — the ads will be about mobile phones or something related like ringtones and chargers.
Adsense is hugely popular in India for several reasons — first, it’s the brand “Google”. They have tonnes of advertisers in their kitty so your web pages are less likely to run out of ad inventory. Google’s contextual advertising system is solid and known to deliver mostly relevant ads — therefore the conversation rates are high keeping both the advertisers and publishers happy.
[Yahoo! and MSN are also expected to launch similar advertising programmes for Indian publishers sometime in near future.]
Text Link Ads and Adbrite are other good sources of revenue for bloggers. You place a link on your website / blog pointing to the advertiser’s page and are paid based on the time for which the link is live.
Next in the list are affiliate programmes like the ones offered by Amazon, Commission Junction and eBay. These programmes pay only when the click turns into a sale — the payouts are higher than standard advertising rates but the probability of earning review is relatively low because a lot of people may quit the advertiser’s site without making a purchase.
Services like Payperpost and ReviewMe are also receiving lot of attention in the blogging community. Bloggers are paid anywhere between $10 and $250 for writing product reviews on their personal blogs. The blogger’s fee is dependent on factors including blog popularity and the blogger’s niche. For instance, a gadgets blog may invite a higher rate than a parenting blog or even vice-versa.
Blogs have tremendous potential in terms of revenue provided you are willing to make a dedicated and consistent effort. There are people who have quit their regular 9-to-5 jobs to take up blogging as a full-time profession and they aren’t complaining.
Google Developer Expert, Google Cloud Champion
Amit Agarwal is a Google Developer Expert in Google Workspace and Google Apps Script. He holds an engineering degree in Computer Science (I.I.T.) and is the first professional blogger in India.