So I'm curious, who earns income off their blog? And how do you do it?
My blog has always featured children's lit, and I earn a little money (a very little!) off linking to the books I review through affiliate programs. I've never gotten more creative or ambitious than this.
Man I have been wondering the same thing lol. I've heard that some make money the way you do. I've also that others who have high rates of sales on their books link their affiliate links for their books through their blogs. I know that you do have to have a very high rate of hits to make anything approaching significant though.
I've just followed your blog - looks interesting :-)
I'm a Web Developer, and lately I've been experimenting with some free WordPress Plugins that have significantly improved my search engine rankings. You can install them from the plugins section in your Dashboard, look for "All in One SEO Pack" and "Web Ninja Auto Tagging System".
Simply by installing these with the default settings, some of my posts started showing up on page 1 on Google.
Also, Commission Junction (www.cj.com) has a nice little feature called "SmartZones" where you can name a zone and add up to 25 ads to it, then grab a bit of code to drop into a text widget on your blog and presto! Rotating Affiliate ads!
I've basically spent the past year researching this crap and I've finally found the time to start putting it into practice. Hope you find some use for the info.
Looking into this and I'm learning that only wordpress.ORG supports plug-ins, not wordpress.com. :(
you're really better off having your blog hosted elsewhere. most ISPs these days have simple installers for WordPress...
it's not that big a deal, though it can be confusing if you don't understand how hosting works... you just export your blog database using the tool in the "Tools" section of the dashboard, transfer the domain and set up wordpress on the isp (usually a one-click install), then import your db and presto! self-hosted blog without arbitrary limitations...
should be able to do it in a couple of hours and have the site serving from the new server overnight.
Whew, you're starting to go over my head, Darryl. I'll look into it some more, though. I've managed to teach myself a lot more than I thought I would just by playing around with this kind of stuff.
Is there cost involved with moving to an ISP?
Anywhere from 3 bucks and up, and avoid GoDaddy like the plague for anything except dns. They may be the "biggest ISP on the planet" but they nickel and dime you to death. Your cheap site can end up costing more than you bargained for. I can recommend a few tomorrow if you'd like (going to bed soon or I'd make a list of links now).
I'm late with this, but I decided to create a group for people to post ISP recommendations and post my list there.
This way other people can add their own ISPs and they'll all be in one place.
I host on Omnis.com - flat price, free WordPress, 99% up time. I've been hosting with them for almost 15 years.
Please mention http://www.ManOfLaBook.com if you sign up so I can get some brownie points.
Thanks Darryl, great info.
I think this is an interesting question. I used to run Adsense ads on my Blogger blog (not something that Wordpress.com allows, I don't think), I got a few clicks here and there so generated a little bit of money, but KW McCabe is right - you need a lot of traffic to make anything like that work. Once you have your ads/affiliate links optimized, it really is a numbers game.
There's also the flip-side of putting people off your blog by featuring ads to prominently. For my own blog I posted them in a very visible place, because I wanted to be upfront about the fact that I had a small number of ads on my site. Interestingly, a few people I talked to really didn't like my having ads on the site, and didn't like to feel I was making money from them. I think this depends on the type of readership, but generally book-readers tend to be quite traditional and not so into these forms of revenue generation.
If you're interested in earning from your site, I'd say quality content comes first. Make your blog a wonderful resource that your readers consistently enjoy and want to share with others. If you can achieve that your traffic will continue to grow, and so will the revenue from your ads.Just play around with placement/design and see what works best for you and your audience.
Matthew - Bibliofreak.net - A Book Review Blog
I'll second the comment about quality content, but quality only counts if people can actually find you. Word-of-mouth can always use a hand from even lazy SEO like the tools I recommended.
Matthew's right that advertising can turn people off. Probably the best way to do it is to provide links to books being discussed, like making the title text and cover image link to a spot where people can buy the book, or putting "buy this as an eBook | buy this book in hardcover | buy this as a trade paperback | buy mass market" links at the top or bottom of the article in a small font size.
That way the selling can be perceived by the reader as a service and not an imposition, though it still might call the blogger's sincerity into question unless the review is bad.
You can also use your blogroll to create a link library page peppered with undetectable affiliate links that you think would appeal to your audience. There are a number of plugins to cloak links leaving your blog by using a redirect. This is more time-consuming but can generate income.
In general, what I've learned about online marketing indicates that to do it right means service first. You have to give value and not be perceived as taking unfair advantage of your audience. You have to keep their sensibilities in mind and not offend them. Avoid ads that block content or draw the eye by moving in any way. Use ads that blend into the content.
Learn as much as you can about your audience so you can deliver ads they want to see. In some sense it's a numbers game, but you also need to sell stuff people actually want to buy.
LOL ok internet marketing guru mode deactivated. Soapbox retracting. All systems on standby. Over and out.