Make Money Blogging in Your Spare Time

Making money your blog is definitely one of the most exciting times for the growth of your site. Setting up your blog for the first time, getting your first post live, then seeing traffic coming through your site on a daily basis are all amazing things, but finally seeing all of your efforts come together and that you have built a web site / blog that can really make you money, now that’s amazing!

When it comes to blogging and making money on line I’ve had my fair share of everything. With ZacJohnson.com I’ve been able to generate over six figures per year through various methods, such as onsite advertising, affiliate products, partnerships and affiliate programs. Even better, my personal brand continues to grow each step along the way.

This post is all about making money with your blog and now I’m going to break down some of the best ways to start monetizing your blog, while not jeopardizing your user experience.

Best Methods for Make Money with Your Blog

As mentioned, there are plenty of ways to make money with a blog but you don’t want to get into any shady areas and you definitely don’t want to lose your audience just for a quick buck. Each of the methods mentioned below I’ve used on my own blogs and your audience may even benefit from them in the process.

Affiliate Marketing

Most of are already familiar with affiliate marketing,  but for those of you who aren’t it’s all about earning a commission on products or services that you recommend through your blog. For instance, if you just read a great book and mentioned it on your blog, you could use your Amazon.com affiliate link to refer sales back to Amazon and you will earn a commission on each.

The good thing about affiliate marketing is that it expands across nearly every industry and topic that you could think of for a web site. This means no matter what topic you write about on your blog, there are plenty of ways for you to monetize your content. You also don’t need to actually sell products or services to earn commissions, you can also refer leads to business or earn commission just for people to fill out short surveys or download games.

If you already have an idea for a site that would be a great fit for your site, go to their main page and look for an “affiliate program” link on the bottom section of their site. Most sites do have affiliate programs, but not all of them list it on their sites. To find more affiliate programs in your niche you can join larger affiliate networks such asshareasale.com that house thousands of different programs or search Google for “niche/industry + affiliate program” and you will have a nice assortment of programs to look through.

On Site Advertising

If you’ve spent a lot of time building up your site traffic, content and brand then you may be able to start selling on site advertising on your blog. This can be anything from product reviews, banners or newsletter promotions. Depending on your site traffic and niche, the price you can charge for advertising will heavily vary.

When selling advertising on your blog be sure to limit the amount of advertising space available. This will help you for two reasons. The first is that it won’t ruin your blog reader’s user experience and the other reason is that you can sell your advertising at a premium rate if you have less spots.

A great way to bring in new advertisers to your blog is to add an “Advertise” button or link to your blog. If you are having trouble finding advertisers for your site, take a look at your biggest blog competitors and see who is advertising on their sites. Send them an email and offer them a great deal for a test period to advertise on your site.

Creating Your Own Products / Services

The holy grail on blog monetization is creating your own product or service. If you are an authority within your niche and blog readers are continually coming to your site to hear what you have to say, then creating your own product is a great way to monetize your blog. When you have your own product or service not only will you be able to create something that your audience is interested in, but you will also be earning 100% of the revenue as well.

Some of the most successful ways to create your own product or service through your blog is with your own personal consulting service, creating a membership area to premium content and by writing an ebook with your best posts and content. Each of these might seem like they might not sell well on your site, but people pay good money to save time and benefit from quality services. This means, if people are coming to your site to read what you have been writing about, it’s very likely they would pay a premium for great content and services as well.

Starting Your Own Mailing List

All of the monetization methods above are extremely important and lucrative, but if you aren’t building a relationship and keeping your audience coming back for more, you are just another blog on the web. Starting a newsletter or mailing list for your blog is the absolute best way to grow your audience on a daily basis and giving you the ability to contact all of them with the simple click of a button.

I’ve been using Aweber for many  years now and they are one of the most trusted businesses online for email and newsletter management. All you need to do is throw a signup form on your site and ask people to join your newsletter and you are ready to go. To increase the amount of signups to your mailing list, you should create a free product or guide that you can give away to anyone who signs up. Not only will this allow you to offer a quality bonus to your audience, but it will heavily increase your conversions as well.

Through the use of a newsletter or mailing list you can keep your blog readers up to date with any new and exciting events going on at your blog, while also letting them know about any new premium services or products you are offering through your site. All of the biggest bloggers in the world and thanked mailing lists as their number one method for growing their brand an monetizing their sites.

Always Treat Your Blog Like a Real Business

Starting a business on the internet is extremely cheap and easy, but getting your site to the status of a real business that makes money is quite an accomplishment. This means you need to treat your blog like a real business. Blogging is one of the slowest forms for making money online, but when done correctly it can turn into a multi-million dollar business. Just take a look at TechCrunchHuffingtonPost andPerezHilton… all million dollar businesses run off the WordPress blogging platform and scaled in size and monetization to make them what they are today!

If you haven’t already, get setup with your blog and a free domain name, then shoot me an email with any questions you have about getting setup. I can even set you up with a free premium theme to get you on the right path.

This is it! We finally completed the “Seven Days of Blogging: My Personal Guide to Blogging”. If you missed any of the previous posts in the series, be sure to click here and you can find a link to all of the previous topics and discussions. Good luck with your blog and keep me updated on your success!

3 Great Ways to Make Extra Money Online in Your Spare Time

3 Great Ways to Make Extra Money Online in Your Spare Time

No one said entrepreneurship was going to be easy. If it was, everyone would be doing it. The truth is… running your own business and finding success is extremely tough! However, that doesn’t mean that there still aren’t ways for you to make some money on the side in your spare time.

Having made money online for the past 20 years, it’s always amazing to me with how often people will complain about their lives and their financial situations… yet they will still spend 5 to 10 hours per week watching meaningless television shows or just wasting. All of this time adds up and it could really be put to much better use — such as creating a side business, hobby or even just making a few dollars online in the process.

To get your mind juices flowing, today I’m going to share just a few ideas on how you can start making a few extra dollars online… while not needing to be a full-on entrepreneur or business in the process.

Time is Money

Become a Freelance Writer

An excellent way to make money on the side is through the use of content writing. While writing is something you might not be amazing at, content is needed for millions of sites around the internet. What’s even better is that there are content writing networks that many it easy for anyone to join, then start filling writing jobs posted on the site. Two of the most popular writing sites are TextBroker (see  my interview with their CEO) and iWriter — both of which rate users based off their writing skills, which also influences how much money you can earn per word/article. In addition to the two main sites above, you can also check out these top writing job boards.

TextBroker_Payments

This is the perfect opportunity for anyone to start making money online, as there are no costs associated with getting paid to complete articles on these sites and you also don’t need to have a site. Last year I wanted to test both of these sites out as a writer and see if I could earn $1,000 in a month in my free time. I’m thrilled to say “mission accomplished” — however, I am extremely fast at writing and after haven written over 1,000 unique articles online, my average rating was quite high as well.

For anyone that is a decent writer, there is no reason why you couldn’t join both of these sites and earn $500+ per month. Once you’ve found success with getting paid to write articles for other sites, you should then think about becoming an independent writer with your own site, service, and rates.

Monetization Goal: Write at least one article per day at an average of $10 per article, and you will have $300+ in earnings per month. 

Get Active in the Stock Market and Currency Trading

As often as you hear about people making millions of dollars in the stock market, there are even more untold stories of the complete opposite. However, some people have proven to find success with buying and selling stocks, financial markets and world currencies time and time again. One example of someone who has mastered this art is my friend Tim Sykes… who went on to turn his $12,000 investment into over $4 million dollars. Why is it “easy” for people to make money with a program like the one Tim offers? Simple… Tim’s subscribers get alerts every time he makes a trade. This means you just have to follow what he does, while also using your own money and stock trading accounts. This is called copy trading (a.k.a. social trading), there are other ways of trade automation solutions, check out this forex trading software for example. Anchor: check out this forex trading software.

Trading Stocks

Just like there are platforms for day trading in the stock market, there are also platforms for trading forex and world currencies as well. World currencies and forex is something that’s always been interesting to me, but not something I’ve actually tried. There are some cool resources out there, like ETX Capital, which is not only a platform for world/currency trading but also for further education in how people are making money with binary options, commodities, equities works.

The takeaway here is in most cases, anyone can get started in the stock market or currency trading with a low investment. Yes, it’s always going to be a risk, but if you follow the right people and study the market enough, you can make money on the side without it seeming like you are taking on a new job or project. Either way, who wouldn’t want to learn more about investing and world markets in the process?

Monetization Goal: Day trading in and out of stocks for quick 5-10% gains.

Start a Niche Blog and Let It Grow Over Time

With the focus of “not running a business” and making money on the side, we can also talk about the options for starting a website or blog of your own. If this is going to be done correctly, and with the goal of eventually making a few dollars with your site, a “niche site” is definitely the way to go.

The reason why a niche site would work extremely well is that you are going after a very tiny niche market that doesn’t have a ton of competition. The benefit here is that it will likely take less content, promotional efforts and work to get your site to rank.

A good example of this could be “promotional USB pen drives“. Yes, it’s a topic and product that businesses and brands spend millions of dollars on every year, but it’s also not the most fun or interesting topic to talk about. Type the phrase into Google and you will see many variations also appear, such as:

  • custom usb drives no minimum
  • custom usb drives for photographers
  • custom shaped flash drives
  • custom wood usb drives

What this tells us is that there is a demand in this market and people are very specific on what they are looking for. This serves as a great opportunity for you to build a site with only a few content pages, which could eventually rank on the first page of Google — with only a few quality backlinks.

To stress this point even further, we can pull up LongTailPro stats to show that advertisers are paying good money to search for these terms, there is definitely some local (and global) search volume, but more importantly the “Keyword Competition” is a low 25-27 range.

LongTailPro_-_Version_3_1_0

So what does this mean for someone just wanting to try and make a few dollars online in their spare time? Simple… follow my how to start a blog guide and create a site focused around a very tight niche topic like the one above. Write (or outsource) a few great articles for your site around these topics, then do some social and link building promotions to get your site ranking in Google. With a niche this small, it shouldn’t be hard for you to rank a site on the main page of Google for a few long tail keywords, while also making a few bucks in the process. When choosing a niche and topic to write about, make sure you have a way to make money with the site — such as joining an affiliate program or using Google Adsense.

Monetization Goal: Creating a small niche site that ranks organically in Google for long tail keywords and earns $50-$100 a month.

How to Make Money Online in Your Spare Time

At the end of the day, there are hundreds of ways to make money online. Many are complex, but many are also quite simple and easy. I tried to stay away from any opportunities that would require a heavy upfront investment or a lot of pre-training.

No matter what method you choose or try to start making money with, it will ultimately come down to the amount of time, work, and effort you put into it. Millions of people are making good money on the side. Now it’s your time to do the same.