There are hundreds if not thousands of stories about how blogs can make you thousands of dollars/euros/punts a month/year but there’s not so much out there on success stories from Ireland. I’m talking about honest ways of course. There’s always selling links and Pay Per Post if you want to go the online chugging route.
These are some direct and indirect ways to make money, please add more in the comments field.
1.Ads and affiliations
Many blogs in Ireland are using Google ads to sell ads. They’re probably the easiest to set up but depending on the content of your site, the return can be pretty shite. Saying that, the more niche the content and the bigger the International readership, the more return you can get from these ads. A blog like mine with such a massive mix of topics and fluffy links means that Google Ads would have an identity crisis.
There are thousands of other ad systems out there that you can use for your blog too. Don’t just stop at Google ads. Read Michele Neylon’s Monetise.it for more information and tips. There are loads!
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Sell em yourself:
In Ireland companies like Trade Doubler and SalesOnline.ie don’t seem to work with blogs at all. There’s a valid enough reason too: Most blogs don’t do enough traffic so it’s hard to manage 100s of
small tiny sites that they can put ads on. Maybe over time we’ll see our own bloggers ad network. My own form for those Irish bloggers wanting to do ads is sparesly enough populated too.
You can put ads on your RSS feed too with the likes of Google Adsense for feeds or you can use an Amazon feed option so that you can put affiliate links in your RSS feeds.
You can become an Amazon, eMusic etc. affiliate so that every time you mention an album, book, movie etc. a link is created to a sales page on Amazon or others. If someone buys an item then you get a percentage.
There are lots and lots and lots of options there. Please leave some feedback in the comments below and I’ll add more of your suggestions.
It doesn’t happen much with Irish blogs but it’s an option. I use this model for Gastronom.ie and Bleep.ie and it allows an advertiser/sponsor to create their own “sponsored” blog post. They contribute a blog post that has good content in exchange for a sum of money. The post itself is highlighted as a sponsored piece. The company can also sponsor certain categories of the blog too and their branding can appear in that section in the sidebars and header and footer. It’s something like TheRegister.co.uk does for the various sections of their site.
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3. Tip Jar
Paypal, Amazon and other services allow you to create a tipjar style option for your blog. If you’re not into making a lot of money but just enough for hosting, this is an option.
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4. Content syndication
Why not make a note that your content can be distributed? I think a lot more blogs would find their content in newspapers and magazines (when not nicked) if they mentioned they had a syndication policy. A creative commons button means absolutely nothing to normal people. It’s not an organ donor card you know. There are plenty of bloggers out there that write great content that could well be syndicated if the person reading it realises this. Don’t be afraid to make this know. Have a Syndication Policy.
Something that should be done but not done yet as far as I can see. Although the Blog Awards is probably one such event but the money there goes to charity and it’s run to break even. 400+ people attended the Blog Awards in 2008. If your blog has a big enough local following and has some theme, then why not organise an event on that theme. Or perhaps an event for the niche you are in along with other blogs in that area. *cough* food blogger eatathon *cough*
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6. Build up and sell on
If you build a niche or nichey(not a real word but then this is a blog!) website and work hard at it then there’s a possibility that you’ll be bought out by your rivals, a local publisher (I still think the Times or the Indo will start buying blogs) or a larger niche or not so niche content network. There are already some examples:
VIPGlamour.net was sold by John M. Ryan a few years back for an undisclosed sum. It had good traffic and was added to a stable of other sites. I guess the idea being that the more property you have, the better deal you can get from advertising networks or create your own ad network that sits on top of your various websites. See what I said above about ad buying/selling companies only wanting to deal in 10s or 100s of 1000s of pageviews per site.
ArseBlog is/was an Irish blog about Arsenal. It was sold to OleOle.com this year for an undisclosed sum and the Arseblogger still has full editorial control of the site and works fulltime for them now. Depending on your blog’s content, you might be able to do the same.
Of course if your blog is not on a domain you own, you’re going to run into a few issues with ownership.
7. Using the blog to get other work
Twenty Major, Grandad, Good Mood Food Blog, Kieran Murphy (one more link on this line and it’d be linkbait) and others have gotten book deals as a direct result of their blogs and the writing that they do. Publishers are always looking for new ideas and content for books and blogs are a nice way of seeing the ability of potential writers.
Rowan Manahan, Tom Raftery, myself and others have written about topics on their blogs which have resulted in approaches from people and companies asking us to do work for them or we have been referred on to companies by our regular readers. All depends on your niche again. Why not add a “Consultancy Services” page on your blog?
It’s happened and it will happen again. Prospective employers can get a much better insight into who you are from your blog. If you’re blogging about a topic on your blog and are an expert at it, don’t be surprised if you get a call from a company for a chat. It might start off with some consulting work and might eventually turn into a fulltime job.
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Do you have any suggestions?