You can find tens of thousands of pages on the net about how you can earn money blogging (Google just gave me more than 1 billion hits as I searched). The first requirement is that you actually have a blog. It is not enough to have a blog, you also need the blog to be read by as many people as possible. Once you have both content and readers, it is time to earn money. How?
Earn money using Google AdSense
When the blog is up running you can for example add Google Ads (Google AdSense) to your page. If you have lots of traffic on your page this should quite soon turn into a good piece of income. There are though certain things worth knowing before you expect hundreds of dollars a month. You know, not all traffic bring high ad income. My father-in-law writes a blog on Hungarian politics (in Hungarian) and his Google ads brings similar to no income. Why? None is interested in advertising on a page about Hungarian politics, and therefore the price the advertiser pay per click on the page is similar to zero.
The last years I have assisted creating webpages about tourist destinations in Europe. One such page is a Paris Guide which contains information about attractions, activities and other information useful for people about to visit Paris. While a click on a Google ad on the blog of my father in law about Hungarian politics is worth similar to nothing, a click on an ad in the Paris Guide might give me as much as 2USD per click. Why? Paris is a hot keyword in itself and people who visit the page look for information on Paris hotels and other programs. The advertisers therefore pay large sums to get their ads visible at the page which again brings more money to the owner of the webpage. A good way to find out approximately what your keyword is worth is to visit the Adwords Keyword tool and see the CPC (cost-per-click) for the keywords you are interested in. This might give you a feeling of what a Google ad on a page with those keywords is worth.
You should also notice the amount of global searches on the keyword(s) you are interested in. If none is looking for the content, why bother? With our Paris example we can see a total of 83,100,000 global searches. That’s an awful lot of searches! With so many looking for information on the subject, you can know for sure that it will be hard to get a good position in the search engine results, and that is why it is very important to consider a long tail keyword when you want to get good ranking in Google. When we study the keyword Paris the AdWords Keyword tool claims the competition to be low on the keyword. Should I go for a good ranking on that keyword then? You might try, but it will be very hard. Click the keyword and do a Google search for „Paris.” On the first place in the search result you will find Wikipedia about Paris with a page rank 7. On the second place you can find the official page about Paris with a page rank 6. These pages are solid as rock and to beat them in ranking position is nearly impossible!
Let’s sum it up:
1) You should write on subjects with a high CPC (approximate CPC)
2) If possible, write on subject with low competition (competition)
3) Make sure that what you are writing about is something people are interested in (global searches)
4) Do a Google search on the keyword and check if it can be possible with time to beat the leading pages (for example check Page Rank of leading pages)
There is one error in this conclusion, because not all traffic comes from Google. You can therefore earn money on your site, even if you are nowhere to be found in the Google search results. But, if you can manage to show up in Google search results among the top sites you will for sure earn a whole lot more!
Earn money telling about good products
A couple of months ago I visited family in Norway. During my stay I wanted to see some live broadcasts on Hungarian television. The only problem was that I needed a Hungarian IP address to be able to fix the problem. I looked around on the net and found some services giving you a local IP address in Hungary (and in lots of other nations around the world). I therefore tested the services and wrote articles about them on different webpages. After a couple of months I noticed that people liked the articles and were interested in the subject and thus many of them visited the service providers and subscribed to the services themselves. This gave me a very nice plus income every month.
If you work with travel sites you will find lots of hotel booking services interested in working with you. This means that you get money for people booking a hotel using the hotel engine of that company. If you are write books or write about a certain subject, you can refer to books on Amazon.com and get nice money as your guests go shopping in their online store. For those who like music and write about events, concerts and similar subjects, you can of course refer your guests to Amazon.com (or some similar store) to buy CD’s and DVD’s there. In addition you can refer to sites where visitors can buy concert tickets online. As you understand there are tons of ways in which you can earn money through your content, you just need to look around and find them!
Sometimes you need to get in direct contact with the people offering the product you would like to write about. A much easier way to administrate these things are through affiliate networks. In these networks you will find hundreds of shops and service providers offering their services. Once you have joined the program you can freely apply to the different service providers working with the affiliate program, and within shortly you may have found lots of business to whom you could send future customers and earn money.
There are several large affiliate networks out there, and these have lots of businesses included in their register. Here you can find the names of some affiliate networks with which it could be worth starting.
Affiliate networks where you can earn money
Google Affiliate Network
Amazon Affiliate Program
Write first, think later
As you read this text you might be inspired to go for it and get rich writing a blog about your favorite topics. But, what products should you refer to? Once you join an affiliate network you will find so many things to choose between, that you might feel lost in the sea of opportunities. The good thing is that not many risks are involved in this process, so if something does not work out, just skip out on that deal, and go for something else. Another way to think is that you want to produce lots of good quality content for your website. As every other blogger you will carefully pay attention to your visitors and check your blog statistics several times a day. You will soon see what content turns popular. Once you recognize popular articles you should read them through (again) and see if there could be any product that you could refer to in this article which you believe your visitors would be happy to hear about. Or maybe you could refer to a book on Amazon.com for further reading on the subject?
Write an eBook
This is probably not the option that will make most of you guys rich, but if you are a good and passionate writer, why not write an eBook? Create some awesome content that people will find interesting and get it going. A great guide on how to create an eBook and publish it can be found here.
Write reviews and other paid articles
If you have a good blog many companies will be interested in paying you to publish articles. Some of these might be guest posts with a link or two referring to the page of the company, while others might be product and website reviews. The best is if companies directly contact you to get posts published on your site, but you can also join networks to get similar jobs. You will not get rich writing for such sites, but it might turn into a nice income yet. Two sites worth considering is iWriter.com and Sponsored Reviews.
As you publish reviews and paid content on your site, make sure they deal with the same as your blog. If the content you publish is easily spotted as „paid for content”, that might influence your site in a bad way. You should therefore carefully consider all articles you write yourself and all content you are paid to publish. If they do not fit into your blogs interest area, you might want to skip the thing and leave it to someone else (or create a new blog somewhere else dealing with that subject).
I am not a patient guy so this is the hardest of all steps for me. You need patience if you want to earn money blogging. A blog I helped once referred to a shop to buy concert tickets. The links were online for several months and nothing happened. I remember thinking of skipping it all and removing the links when suddenly one morning I was told that one person had bought tickets and it gave a commission of 50 Euro. I was thrilled and it made me understand that things do not happen in seconds, but a lot of patience is needed if you want to earn money blogging.
A last piece of advice
Do not forget that you want visitors to your blog who keep coming back. If they notice that you refer to products and sites with high referral fees, but stinky products, they will never return. Only recommend stuff that you can recommend yourself. Never recommend sites that you would never try or join yourself. More about this in an earlier written article: It’s not all about money.