by Diana Adams | Featured Contributor
I’m a firm believer that it’s important to have multiple streams of income. If you have a blog that you’re updating consistently, I’d like to humbly suggest that you start making money from it (the non-cheesy way). You don’t have to junk up your site with a bunch of pop-up ads to make a nice income stream.
I’ve earned tens of thousands of dollars from selling online advertising. If you’ve done this too, you know it takes a lot of time and effort. IMHO, it is time well spent.
Making money from your blog requires some basic sales skills. Successful entrepreneurs know that being able to sell is the most important skill when it comes to making money.
I’m not shy about the fact that I love sales. It doesn’t have to be slimy or cheesy. It’s just about connecting with the right people and providing what they want. You can be good at sales even if you’re an introvert. Read more at Introverts Can Be Great Entrepreneurs.
There are two things you’ll need before starting. First, you need a blog that is updated frequently and consistently. That blog needs to have some traffic. You don’t need a ton of traffic, but you need an audience. Secondly, you’ll need established social media accounts that are also updated frequently and consistently.
Here we go…
1. Sponsored Posts
I’ve written dozens of these. If it’s a product or service that you like, it won’t be cheesy. When bloggers go overboard trying to sell a product, it makes us all wanna gag. Avoid doing that. Using SEO to optimize the heck out of your sponsored posts is the easiest way to keep those advertisers coming back.
Be sure to note in the post that you received money. I recommend reading The FTC Clarifies Their Rules for Bloggers.
2. Sponsored Tweets
As an add-on to your advertisers who purchase sponsored posts (or as a standalone product), you can sell sponsored tweets. Depending on how many followers you have, you can determine the price.
Add some statistics from Twitter analytics to show potential advertisers the value of your tweets. My friend @AnnTran_ is good at this. Her sponsored tweets are popular, and they get retweeted constantly.
Again, be sure to note that they’re sponsored tweets (see the FTC article linked above).
3. Site Skins
Site skins cover the entire background of your site. They are usually sold for 2 weeks or 30 days. You can see an example below.
Anywhere the reader clicks on that ad, it goes to the advertiser’s website. If it’s designed well, it’s not cheesy. Just be sure the product or service is in your niche so it resonates with your readers.
4. Affiliate Accounts
I like the Amazon Associates affiliate program. Even if the person who clicks on your link purchases a different product than the one you’re advertising, you still get the commission.
You can always use your site skin space for yourself. Advertise some niche products from Amazon and include your affiliate link. See what it’s like to be an advertiser on your own site and measure the results by looking at your affiliate account on Amazon. Obviously, you can also promote affiliate products in the text of your blog posts, your tweets, etc.
5. Advertise Your Other Products/Services
Until selling advertising becomes second nature to you, you might consider using your ad space to promote your other products and services.
You might have an Etsy store. Depending on your skills, you might promote yourself as a writer, reviewer, translator, designer, app developer, coder, virtual assistant, etc. This is a fantastic way to earn extra cash.
6. Social Media Marketing
I still meet people who are social media newbies. If you’re a social media addict like me, there is a value associated with your knowledge.
You can offer to help brands with their social media campaigns. You can use your own social media prowess to promote just about anything. There are many ways you can use your social media knowledge to get results. Be creative!
7. Display Ads
Notice I didn’t call them banner ads. Banner ads have gotten a bad reputation. It’s true that readers rarely click on them anymore (unless the ad is reeeeeally good). However, I think advertisers lose an opportunity by thinking the only value in these ads is the CTR.
Display ads still provide exposure. Even if people aren’t clicking, they still see them (unless they use an ad blocker). I’ve sold hundreds of banner ads, and I still see their value. Companies like BuySellAds make it easy.
AdSense is an oldie but a goodie. There’s not a lot to say about AdSense except that it will pay for your gas each month.
9. Corporate Gigs
Once you get rocking with all this, you’ll gain a lot of exposure. Companies may reach out to you for help with various things. This has happened to me many times. For example, next week IBM is flying me to NYC to participate in a social media event. I’m excited to meet a lot of new people there. You never know where that kind of networking will lead!
Just be sure to check your social media correspondence every day, make sure your email address is easy to find, and professionally respond to all requests. To explore this topic more, read another article I wrote about it at The Complete Guide For Selling Advertising On Your Blog.
Diana Adams is the founder and CEO of Adams Consulting Group, Inc. in Atlanta. Established in 2001, her company is now an esteemed member of the Apple Consultants Network and is rated one of the top independent Apple consulting firms in the southeast.
She’s written 4,000+ blog posts about technology, social media and geeky innovations. She loves new technology, Java Chips with extra drizzle, and any form of creativity. She’s also one of the biggest Star Wars fans in the world and is a frequent user of the force.
Diana graduated from USC, and she spends most of her time on the east coast. She is a social media addict, and you can find her on Twitter (@adamsconsulting), Instagram, G+ or Facebook almost anytime of the day or night. Send her a tweet and say hello!