10 Ways to Monetize your Author Blog
If you're an author who realizes the importance of having a blog to develop a relationship with your existing readers and to find new readers but also needs to write in ways that produce more direct and immediate revenue instead of just tiny blips in the royalty check, then perhaps you need to find a way to make your blog make money for you while it builds your readership.
I've outlined ten different ways to create revenue opportunities on your blog below. I suggest you pick on and focus on it as your primary target, while adding a few others as secondary sources of income.
1) Google Adsense
The easiest and most popular way to monetize a blog is through Google's Adsense program. Just sign up, add the code to your blog, and you can begin earning immediately. Alternatives to Google are Yahoo's YPN program and MSN's AdCenter. With enough traffic and good placement, this can easily be your most profitable revenue source.
2) Contextual Product Ads
Instead of, or in addition to, contextual ads like Adsense you can add pay per click ads like those from WidgetBucks or Chitika. With these programs, you can get paid for clicks on products that are displayed based on the content of your page.
3) Inline text ads
Less intrusive are text ads that appear like links in your page. Certain keywords are turned into links to advertisers, an each click or sale through that link brings a payout. Both LinkXL and Kontera specialize in these types of links and Ads-Click also includes them in their products for publishers.
4) Affiliate Commissions
While most author blogs do this with links to Amazon.com or other booksellers, there is far more you can do if you join other affiliate networks like LinkShare.com and Commission Junction Find products related to your book topic, products for readers in general, or just things that people who read your books would find interesting and feature them in a blog post, or put links with photos in your blog sidebar. You might also be able to find products with a high commission rate at Clickbank and PayDotCom.com
5) Paid Posts
Because blogging has turned into such an effective word of mouth tool for marketers, several services have recently popped up introducing bloggers to advertisers, and allowing bloggers to get paid for posting about various products or services. PayPerPost.com says bloggers can be paid up to $500 a month for their reviews.
Beware, though, recently Google has been tracking paid posting participants and penalizing them in their search results, so if you're still building traffic, you might want to balance your needs for revenue against the possibility of reduced search engine traffic.
6) Paid Links
Another revenue source on Google's radar is paid text links. These are simply advertisers who pay to have a text link on your site -- sometimes for direct traffic, but mostly to increase their incoming links and page rank to improve their placement in various search engines. Depending on the page rank and popularity of your site, you can earn between five and fifty dollars per link per month.
7) Merchandising and Product Development
Depending on your blog and its topic, this avenue can take a lot of different forms. You could develop downloadable software, reports, and other useful tools and sell them to your visitors, you could take your logo and sell Cafe Press products with them, or some combination of the two.
8) RSS Advertising
If you don't want to add more advertising to your site, but are still looking for ways to increase your revenue, you can try monetizing your RSS feed. Increasing numbers of people are viewing their favorite blog posts via Google Reader and other RSS aggregators. If they never click through to your site, you are losing out on possible chances to monetize those readers, so adding ads to your feeds can bring revenue from readers who wouldn't otherwise see your site. Google includes ways to advertise using your RSS feed, as does Yahoo!, Ads-Click , Feedburner, text-link-ads.com, and Pheedo.
9) Tag Cloud Advertising
Another rather ingenious way to host advertising on your blog is through the ubiquitous Tag Cloud. The most interesting widget I've seen for thils thus far is from Ads-Click.
Finally, don't forget the simple donation button. It takes five minutes to set up a quick donation button at PayPal, and more than one blogger has been financially supported in part thanks to the generosity of his readers.