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4 Ways to Make Money with Your Blog Besides Google Adsense

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I don’t think it’s a secret I make money from blogging. It wasn’t something I initially had in mind when I began. Heck! I didn’t even plan on "blogging" when I started. All I wanted to do was share some photos of my new baby boy and vent about my Weight Watcher meetings. Fast forward 4 years and I left my job as an Assistant Professor at a local Community College to blog full time. What can I say? I fell in love with the fact that I can share my day, my ideas and my thoughts to helps others. My blogs give me complete creative freedom. I get to connect, communicate and learn from people all over the world. It truly is amazing!

BUT…

It’s A LOT of work! For some, blogging isn’t a business. They blog in their spare time and don’t want to take it further then that. For me, blogging is so much more. I’m generating content, videos, articles, photographs. I spend a lot of time coming up with new ideas. I pay for special hosting and personal domain names. It’s a business and like most businesses at the end of the day I have to make money to keep my doors open. Frankly, I think it sucks! I wish I didn’t have to worry about it but I love what I do and I want to keep doing it. Unfortunately, it requires money.

Here are a few ways I make money with my blogs besides the classic "google ad".

Amazon Affiliate Program
Every blogger should be an Amazon Affiliate. I’m serious! How may times have you mentioned a product on your site in passing conversation. "I read this great book last night called yada yada" or "Have you heard the new album from the whatchyacalems?" Do you link to the book or band’s website? First of all, if you don’t, you should. By doing so it helps educate your readers about the things you write about.
I used to do this all the time with my Food Finds. I would discover a new product at my local grocery store and then blog about it, linking to the product’s web site. Then I discovered most of the products I mentioned were on Amazon! Now I was able to provide a link to the product so my readers can purchase it if interested. THEN I discovered Amazon has an Affiliate program! Now if someone reads about a product on my site and they actually buy it, I get a small percentage of the sale. I’m going to mention it anyway so why not make a small profit if I influence a sale?
Now I’m not saying to publish frivolous links to Amazon products. That may backfire on you. The approach I take is very organic. After a write a post I scan it for products mentioned and check to see if they are on Amazon. If so then GREAT! If not I don’t try to add them in. There are different approaches to monetizing with Affiliate Programs like Amazon (there’s even a books about it,) this is just my approach. –Notice the "organic" affiliate link. :)
Click here to check out the Amazon Affiliate page.
LinkShare
There are other affiliate programs besides Amazon. One that I recently started using is LinkShare. LinkShare manages the affiliate programs for some major players like Wal-Mart, Macy’s, Clinique, OfficeDepot, and my favorite, Apple iTunes. Since I began sharing workout music ideas on Roni’s Weigh I realized, much like the Amazon Links, I can link directly to iTunes and make a few cents if someone buys a song I recommend. I’m going to share the playlist anyway why not provide a means for my readers to purchase the music directly?
If you are interested in signing up with LinkShare click here. Note: Once you sign up you may have to be approved by the individual programs you’d like to participate in. For example iTunes had to approve me.
Chitika
I used to think Chitika was reserved for the "tech" bloggers. I signed up a few years ago and never really did anything with it. Then a few months ago they contacted me personally about a new program they had. What intrigued me about this new service was the ability to show ads only to search engine traffic. The ads are not seen by your regular, loyal, readers only the visitors who stumble to your blog from a search engine. Genius! Chitika ads are similar to Google Adsense and yes, they can run simultaneously.
If you are interested in learning more about then click here to apply.
TextLinkAds and inLinks
I put these together as they are similar and owned by the same company. I’ve used TextLinkAds with growing success since I joined about 2 years ago. At first I thought it wasn’t worth it. I’d sell a link on my site for about $8.00 a month. Now I make more money with them then I do google. The idea is that advertisers buy text ads, either on your side bar or IN the posts themselves.
There are 2 things I need to share. 1.) Some believe having TextLinkAds will lower your search engine ranking as google frowns upon it (not sure I agree) and 2.) I chose not to use inLinks as I don’t like the idea of words being linked within my posts that I didn’t link myself. It’s a personal preference. However, I do have to add, I experimented with in link style ads on an old site I was retiring and I was quite surprised how much an inactive web site could bring in with a similar program.
For more information click here to visit TextLinkAds and here for inLinks.

Monetizing a blog is a very unique experience. Ever blog and blogger has a different audience. What works on one may not necessary work on another. Hopefully I brought some programs to your attention that may not have been aware of. Let me know if you have any questions or if you use a different program to monetize your blogs. I plan on expanding on this topic in the future as questions start to trickle in.

Discloser: I am an affiliate for TextLinkAds and Chitika. Hey! There’s a "5th" way. More on that later. :)



Leave a comment

I’d love to hear your story or thoughts on mine.

However, to prevent the massive amounts of spam I was receiving I have turned off comments on any post older than 5 days old. If you'd like to leave me a note regarding this post or anything really try me on twitter (@RoniNoone,) my Facebook page, or even IG (@RoniNoone) I'm so sorry for the inconvenience. I never thought I'd have to do this but it's gotten way out of hand and comment management has become simply too time consuming to manage.

Discussion

There are 8 comments so far.

    Lisa

    April 7, 2009

    Thanks, Ronnie!
    This is really helpful information. As a new blogger, only since November 08, I have gotten discouraged at times, because it seems like there are tumbleweeds and crickets chirping at my site. I will have to put these ideas to work. Much appreciated,
    Lisa (MsFit)

    Laura Brandon

    April 7, 2009

    Hey Roni, thanks for all the helpful info! I blog just for myself, but I know I have a few readers, so if I can make a little extra money, why not?

    t. sterling

    April 7, 2009

    I’m loving the LinkShare and Amazon ideas. Every Friday I talk about one song/album/artist that I bought from iTunes or Amazon. I’m currently only blogging for fun, but I’m looking to expand eventually and I think this would help out a bit, so thanks for the info!

    Debra Graybeal

    April 8, 2009

    Thanks Roni! I’ve been hoping you would write about this topic. I have Google ads but wasn’t sure how to find other ways to make money from my blog.

    Thanks so much!
    Take care,
    Debra

    jamie

    April 8, 2009

    Great topic! Not sure I’m ready to start with ads since I blog mainly for myself, family and friends but it is something I’ve thought about.

    Hallie

    April 8, 2009

    Thanks for posting this! My blog is a hobby for me too, but I’d love to make some money on it (since I spend so much time on it anyway).

    I use a wordpress.com account because I don’t want to spend the money to host my own site, at this point. I also have Foodbuzz as my advertiser. I thought that I wasn’t allowed to use things like Adsense with my current blog/ads, so can I use something like Chikta? I’m a little confused with that sort of thing. I love the Chikta idea though, because I get a decent amount (well, percentage-wise) of traffic from search engines.

    roni

    April 8, 2009

    Hallie – Chitika uses javascript so you probably can’t use it on Wordpress.com but you can do the most of the affiliates as they are only links, no scripts.

    Heather

    May 11, 2009

    Very helpful – thank you!!