The Super Affiliate’s Guide to Blogging Profits

While at BlogWorld it was amazing to see how many people are not making money with their blog, or at least not fully monetizing their blog for a potential revenue stream. Though some of this information may seem basic to seasoned affiliates and bloggers, the purpose is to help and increase revenue growth and awareness for bloggers of all sizes. Here are a few ways that you can start making money with your personal or business blog.

1.)    Google Adsense
What has been referred to as many as “webmaster welfare”, is sometimes the best solution for beginners. For those just starting out with a blog, or unsure how to start making money, Google Adsense is a good way to start. As a blogger, all you need to do is place a simple line of code on your blog and Google Adsense will place relevant contextual ads on your web site based on your written content. However, since Google is doing all of the work, you will be receiving a small cut for the actual amount of advertising you are given.

2.)    Direct Advertising
One of the best ways (if not the best) to monetize your blog is to create your own on site advertising and to sell these spots yourself. Not only are you in control of what advertisements are on the site, but you are receiving full payment for each spot. The majority of blogs are implementing 125×125 ad spots on their pages for direct advertising.
– An excellent management system for selling ads on your blog is OIO Publisher. Many top bloggers are using this program to generate revenue monthly.

3.)    Paid Reviews
Once you have an established blog or brand, you may want to start offering services for exposure on your blog, such as a sponsored or paid review/post. The best way to offer paid reviews on your blog is to setup an advertising page for sponsored reviews, or you can also join “sponsored review” networks like ReviewMe and PayPerPost, which will feature your blog in their directory and send you new customers, in exchange for a commission percentage.

4.)    Contextual Advertising
Placing advertising on your site from Google Adsense is a form of contextual advertising, but it is also still also banner advertising and not displayed directly within your written content. There are many advertising networks out there like Kontera, which will find targeted keywords in your blog content and link them to specific advertisers. You are then paid per click to these advertisements.

5.)    Self Managed Content Links
Just like using any advertising network, the less work you have to do, usually the smaller margin you will receive. Instead of using  a company like Kontera, you can purchase a word press plugin (such as WP Affiliate Pro, which I also use) and manage your own content advertising. The best way to do this would be through affiliate networks and selecting offers that best match your content and linking up related keywords in your blog content.

6.)    Referrals
Depending on your blog niche market, you can earn commissions on referring your readers to other networks or web site. A great example of this is for affiliate marketing. If you refer an affiliate to a network, you can receive a percentage from all commissions they generate for the life of their account. Another example would be to provide your visitors to a service they are billed monthly for, some programs will then pay you a commission every month as long as they remain a subscriber.

7.)    Widget Based Programs
If you currently run a blog that is focused on product reviews or about any type of item sold in stores or online, you may find that “widget based” programs perform best with your blog. Programs like Chitika, WidgetBucks, Shopzilla and TZZ Media will all display relevant advertising on your blog, matching up with your content. Most of these programs pay on a per click basis. As most of these programs are widget based, you will have actual text and picture ads displayed on your blog, rather than just text within your content.

8.)    Contests & Promotions
Though you may not get paid for running contests or promotions on your blog, if you run them correctly, you can be compensated with a prize or additional advertising. Additionally, running contests will also increase your readership, as everyone likes free stuff! (Example: If you are running a niche blog on digital cameras and Nikon or Canon were to offer you a free camera to review and one to give away to your readers, this would be a great form of compensation, while offering great information to your readers.)

9.)    Consulting
One of the best ways for you to get exposure for yourself or your brand name, is through having a well known blog. As your readership and branding grows, you may be able to offer “consulting” services if you become a prominent and very knowledgeable in your niche area. There are many very big name bloggers out there who make all of their money off public speaking or consulting, and have NO advertisements on their blogs.

10.)    Self Branding
As cliché as it may sound, the “self branding” and exposure you can receive from your blog may end up being the most power asset you can receive. Not only are you building up your brand name, and people are rushing to your blog with every new post you write, but you are also becoming an expert in your niche area and advertisers will flock to you. As you gain a bigger presence online, you will also start networking more and more, which will only continue to grow your blog and your bottom line.

The most important thing to remember when trying to make money through blogging, is that it is NOT fast and it is NOT easy. It’s actually one of the slowest ways to make money online, and as a blogger you will need to establish yourself and continue to write quality content. It’s the long term value and connections you will establish over time that can make your blogging experience priceless.

Please contribute to the list with any other advertising options I may have missed or what you have found to be most profitable.

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  1. Excellent summary. Regarding those not making money, I too was surprised with what I heard at Blogworld. You guys had a great panel and this list pretty much sums up everything that was discussed.

  2. No offense but, your "How I Made $860k PROFIT in 4 Months!" was way better. Personally I'd love to read more about the direct advertising, and branding topics.

  3. Great post Zac, I really like your Super Affiliate posts and this one is just as good as the others. Nice to have the help you offer. I've had blogs before, and I think the more you can monetize them the better, not just for the money, but if you ever want to sell them you need to show they can make a profit too, and the higher your monthly profits the more you get when you sell.

  4. Nice list! Thanks for breaking those strategies down for someone who is just starting to make sense of the monetization side of blogging. In it for the passion…but some extra cash for my couture jean collection would be nice. Just got my first advertiser and planning to put the OIO Publisher plugin to work…as well as couple more of your suggestions. Thanks for the help and great seeing you at BlogWorld!

  5. Great information for those starting out. This was actually one of my future post ideas. You beat me to it. 🙂

  6. Really good points, bookmarking for when I start to monetize my blog. Just got to make sure I can blog for two months first 😉

  7. Thanks for posting the different networks Zac. I just visited and signed up with them all. (using your links of course) 🙂

  8. Some excellent tips for someone like myself just getting into advertising…with the possible exception of those that will get you a Google penalty. 🙂

  9. A good list with the ways to monetize your blog. I am already using most of the ways but 2-3 new things which I will like to try.

  10. Well, good post. I'm only one step away from monetizing my blog and it's good to see that I have all this options available.

  11. Hey Zac…

    It was nice meeting you at Blog world and I have to say that I wish I had read this list before I made my post today about some of the things you and John Chow, Darren Rowse and Shoemoney made. This is a good summary. Nice job.

  12. Lots of great info just what I was looking for thanks for putting out there for people me to find it! Keep up the good work!

    Thanks Again,

  13. I got an email the other day from Widget Bucks about their newly available widgets that show local info such as weather and geo target ads. Might have to give them a go again.

  14. This is a nice list but I read sites like pay per post and the whole paid reviews thing can get you blacklisted in search engines.

  15. Don't forget AdBrite which accept any traffic level for your website in their advertising program!

    Despite of the fact that i wasn't pretty satisfied when advertising on few high traffic websites on their network…

    All in all worth trying.

  16. Great post on blogging. You offer fresh and innovative techniques. I am so glad to see blogging getting the attention it deserves. It wasn't that long ago, and business builders were not recognizing the benefits of blogging consistently. Seems 2009 is opening the doors to a blogging craze

    Love your template. Can't believe many leave when they see it. Kudos for a job well done

  17. Very informative post but I have a question. For sites like PayPerPost and ReviewMe, can you reject doing some reviews? I'd hate to have to review sites completely unrelated and make mine look like a sellout.

  18. those are some great tips! I do see a lot of blog posts lately being masked as biased reviews to get a person to sign up…seems unethical on one side but a sly marketing angle to boost sales via referrals I guess. Its a risky area if your worried about retaining credibility and readers me thinks.

  19. Hey..nice post, the only problem is that most of these paid review sites still require you to insert a code to let your readers know that they are reading a paid review. This will only get you banned from Google. This is NOT a good look, I rather sell paid reviews by myself.

  20. I want to give wp-affiliate-pro a try. But I read that the link name will always contain the name of the plugin(i.e "wp-affiliate-pro"). This makes the affiliate link look very unprofessional. Any solution for this issue?

  21. Always nice to be reminded of the basics — a chance to check off the checklist and make sure the monetization fundamentals are being addressed. Thanks!

  22. Totally comprehensive and a real survival guide for monetizing any property online

  23. I think the consulting one is easier said than done.

    It can take years to get the kind of reputation you'd need to do consulting work, and you'd probably be making enough by then not to bother 🙂

  24. Damn! is good info dud 🙂 nice to be here 🙂

    <abbr>Toufan’s last blog post..Why Most Bloggers Are Stuck Reporting</abbr>

  25. I have joined with some of them and failed to join the rest

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  26. that's what i call an interesting post , as a new blogger i really needed these information, thank you so much

    <abbr>el kouahy’s last blog post..Let’s Know About : E-Books</abbr>

  27. i Just affiliate program for clickbank and amazon too.

    <abbr>Koh Samui Hotels’s last blog post..Koh Samui Thailand Attractions</abbr>

  28. Thanks for helping me make money.I'm for sure going to do the direct advertising.

    Thank you so much.This is for sure going to help my online business.Thanks again!!!

  29. I read your article carefully because a lot of very useful information that I get, thanks a lot

  30. Justbux is a premum high paying PTC that provides you with ways to earn money fast. We also offer low cost online advertising. Justbux is an instant paying ptc so you can just surf and earn.

  31. Very useful info on blogging. Thanks. It's all about keeping it fresh and regular. Once you build a following you have to keep them coming back. Planning on building my blog this year. 2009 is a good year if you survive the economic downturn.


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  32. Let's face it. The only reason to leave a comment in the 60+ list is to try to get the occasional reader to visit my blog.

    Oh, and it is a good summary. Thanks Zac.

    <abbr>Not John Chow’s last blog post..Unemployed? Now What?</abbr>

  33. Thanks for the interesting information, great post … except for articles about Referrals … I hate all the programs associated with Referrals …:-)

  34. This is good very helpful. i am looking for suitable affiliate programs to be ads on my blog and am sorting out the best of top 50 affiliate networks.

  35. This blog post is very true and informative. It amazes me how many people fail to optimize their blog. These are some very good tips.

    <abbr>Rob’s last blog post..How Pages Are Ranked</abbr>

  36. This is very interesting and good means of earning money online. Thanks for sharing and I hope you can share more of your make money tips in here. All the best!

  37. What an informative and helpful article specially for beginners who want to get started and make money blogging!

    What I mostly recommend to my audience in the beginning is running PPC Contextual Ads and Affiliate Offers. However, what you have to always consider is the content itself.

    Prepare a rich content on your blog and they will come. I mean your visitors holding their credit cards in their hand willing to buy from you. That's why, your ads and offers should be relevant to the theme and topic of your blog.

    Zac, thanks again for this amazing post and keep up the great work!



    <abbr>Hooshmand Moslemi’s last blog post..Niche Review Templates</abbr>

  38. its always good to back to the basic, surprisingly am using i above means.

    <abbr>Shanker Bakshi’s last blog post..Google Lifted Ban from John Chow dot Com</abbr>

  39. Excellent post…with very useful information… I just think that Adsense is overrated, although I do agree with you that is a very good solution for beginners.

  40. an amazing post.. never come across such a post on money making in blogging.. these internet marketing tips will help beginners.. these 10 tips will really improve the status of de blog as well as de income..

  41. I'd love to find out some valid alternatives to adsense…(I came to dislike adsense and google stubborness).

    It's good that you listed multiple income sources, as I believe that founding a business on a single source, like many people just on adsense, is just a business suicide!

  42. Very nice this list. The knowledge of this route is easier to organize a company or business!

  43. Well I can't help benefiting from this post. As you have given a load of stuff in one post.. I will surely try these out.

  44. There are a number of ways you can get involved in a affiliate marketing… and you don't have to spend a lot of money to get started. The one thing you do need to invest is time…

  45. I build my blog and SEO, but I don't have many visitors from search engine, do you know how can I have my blog to be in the Top in Google ?

  46. I so appreciate the tips you provide. It is helping me to really jump into the online marketing business and inspires me to keep at it.

  47. Informative post, Zac. I tried to go to OIO, but got a note the link is not longer available. Could you please check it out? Thanks.


  48. nice one i've gained alot from steps above i hope to try out the google adsense and do link up my website thanks……………

  49. This is a very comprehensive list of ways to monetize blogs. However, Nno matter what methods a blogger employs to monetize a site it will all come to nothing if the blog itself doesn't deliver. If you are not passionate about what you are writing about and actually would do it anyway whether or not it makes you money then probably you are better off setting up a website instead and promoting products through affiliate links.
    My recent post Starting an internet marketing business the right way

  50. Quite a lot of ideas for my blogging that I hadn't considered before that you have pointed out hear very informative, thanks.
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  51. Hey Zac,

    Loved all your insights however I don't know about the 125×125 boxes.

    I have heard they don't convert that much and many bloggers getting rid of those, but, I have also heard of people like Pay Flynn, saying that they convert awesome for him.

    So I guess it all depends on how massive your traffic is.

    I still think OIO Publisher is an amazing tool to save our time for selling ads.

    I just don't use it as a personal preference.

    I really liked your "Widget Based Programs" section, I have never tried one of those before.

    A definite must check out, thanks!

    My recent post How To Record Your First Video Online

  52. This blog is really very interesting and useful for me as I am new to blogging and I dint know about the profits that we can generate with blogging but after reading this blog I am feeling that its really helpful for beginner and freshers in the filed of blogging.

  53. The use of job boards can also be a way to generate money with your blog. A lot of people are unemployed; so they visit your blog just to check on the latest job listing. This can help you make money.

    In addition, running interviews can also be a good way to get new readers to your blog and increase its popularity
    My recent post How To Earn Your First $200 Writing Sponsored Reviews

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