The main ways to make money on a blog are through advertising (including affiliate marketing ads and pay-per-post opportunities), product sales, and professional services like writing and consulting:

  • Online advertising: With advertising, you're paid on a promise. The person clicking through on an ad on your blog might purchase something. This is a numbers game based on your blog traffic. You can sell ads directly or through an ad network such as Google AdSense, Federated Media, or BlogHer.

  • Affiliate marketing: With affiliate marketing, you're paid on a result, not a promise. The person clicked an affiliate ad on your blog or a link in your post and then purchased something. In effect, affiliate marketing is commission on a sale. Some companies operate their own affiliate marketing programs, but most operate through an affiliate network like LinkShare or ShareASale.

  • Advertorial, also known as pay-per-post. In pay-per-post, the advertiser hires you to write a post on your blog about its product. It looks like editorial content, but it is really advertising hence the blended name, advertorial.

  • Direct blog sponsorship: The company pays a fee to the blog to be listed as a sponsor, similar to underwriting on public television. A blog may have multiple sponsors or a single sponsor.

  • Product sales: To make money from product sales, you have to sell a product directly from your blog: It can be your own product, someone else’s product, or even a store with many products.

  • Professional services: Offer professional services such as freelance writing, consulting, speaking, and spokesperson work. You may also get the opportunity to have a previously published blog post featured on a Web portal for a fee. This is called syndication.

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