Blogging is one of the longest-running methods for making money online. A blog is a site that is centered on a central topic or theme, and blogging is conducted by either a single individual or a network of blog authors. While there are many blogs that are quite profitable, it is different from other money-making procedures in that the vast majority of bloggers do not make money, and those who do typically work for a long time before obtaining any profits. However, blogs are generally very inexpensive to operate and so there is very little risk involved in entering the blogging trade. While it is true that there are blogs that cost no money at all, in order to truly make money off of the blog it is necessary to purchase a domain name, which typically entails a monthly fee. Methods for making money through blogging include: advertising, sponsorship, and writing for external blogs that are willing to pay.
Advertising is perhaps the most popular method of generating revenue through blogging. There are a number of methods for advertising; one is through advertising programs, such as Adsense or Chitika. Adsense is a relatively simple procedure: it is operated by the Google Network of sites and formats advertisements to the theme of the blog. For example, a blog about cooking might have advertisements relating to cooking tools or cookbooks. In many cases, the advertiser selects the types of blogs through which they will advertise. The blog then makes a prorated amount of money based on the amount of site traffic that visits the blog. One issue that has serviced with advertising programs is that dummy sites have been established, with the intent of making money through advertisements. Thus, it is important that the blog generate quality content in order to entice companies that may be skeptical.
Although it is generally a less profitable method, sponsorship is another avenue that can be taken in order to make money through blogging. Sponsorship is when companies or external site subsidize the blog, with the idea that the exposure generated through the blog’s site traffic will generate revenue to their company. Sponsorship in blogging is really no different from sponsorship in traditional print journalism: companies look for ways to market their product, and the sponsorship is a business transaction, not an altruistic donation on the part of the company. While it is potentially lucrative, sponsorship can be quite difficult to obtain, particularly in the nascent stages of the blog. A company will not be willing to invest its money without being assured that their product will be viewed by a vast number of potential consumers, so someone just entering the blogging field should not expect to secure sponsors.
Writing for external blogs is another method for making money through blogging. Many companies own blogs but require other people to generate content and so they hire writers to produce articles relating to their company. This is very similar to freelance writing, as the writer is hired on a predetermined pay rate by the company. While it involves less personalized subject matter and is not always germane to the writer’s interests, writing for external blogs can be quite profitable. Additionally, the writer is generally skilled at search engine optimization and writing content that will generate vast amounts of traffic for the company. Therefore, it is typically necessary for writers to hone their craft before becoming well-versed enough in blogging that companies will hire their services. While there is the potential to make substantial amounts of money through blogging, it is nonetheless very difficult to earn money through blogging and it typically takes a good deal of time before people can make money through blogging. For those who are able to make money, it is often not substantial and amounts to what is essentially a paid hobby. Still, if someone writes well and is able to finds the right niche, blogging can be a rewarding and highly lucrative online money-making method.