For some, blogging is a hobby, something to do on the side to share things and to have fun. But for many of us, it is a way to make money. By creating a personal brand that resonates with readers, blogging has become a way that hundreds of thousands of people make a living and create an income for themselves and their families.

I’ve been a professional blogger for over four years now, and for most of that time, I have been able to make a steady income with my blog. I am always asked about how I monetize my platform, so I thought I would share some tips here on the Fresh Media blog to help you put your thinking caps on and create a formidable income with your blog.

So I give you, Six Surefire Ways to Monetize Your Blog.

Advertising and Ad Networks

One of the oldest ways to make money on your blog is with advertising. By selling ad space on your blog, you can leverage your audience reach with advertisers who want to get in good with your demographic. You can sell stand-alone ads on your site as well as work through ad networks who do the groundwork for you. Ad networks work as the middle man to secure advertising on your blog. Many of these agencies have a list of criteria that you need to meet while others (like Google AdSense) allow everyone who accepts their Terms of Service onto their ad platform.

Advertising can be tricky, though, and to make a nice chunk of change, you will need to have a steady amount of traffic.

Sponsored Blog Posts

Many brands will want to work with you and will pay you to write about their product or service. This is usually referred to as a sponsored post, and is one of the most popular ways bloggers make money on with their blogs. It consists of you writing a post with a theme or subject outlined by the brand and sharing it on your blog. Depending on the brand and the campaign, you can make a nice amount each month with sponsored posts. I typically do about 4-5 sponsored posts a month on average, and it equals a little over half of my income for that month. Sponsored posts work well when there’s a good fit and is authentic to your personal brand and voice. Keep in mind that when you are paid for a blog post, you must disclose it at the very top of your post, per FCC rules. The amount a brand will pay you will vary, but always negotiate compensation to make sure that you are properly paid for your work and your influence.

Brand Partnerships

A brand partnership is usually an expanded role for the blog owner. As a brand partner, you are contracted to write a certain amount of posts for a particular time frame, for which you are compensated accordingly. This also may include other items like hosting or participating in a Twitter Party or Twitter Chat, visiting their headquarters or taking part in a brand themed trip, utilizing the product and/or service for a significant amount of time and sharing your experience, etc. Brand partnership is a more long-term type of relationship that can be a win/win for all parties involved, and pays pretty well, too.

Spokesperson

Being a paid spokesperson usually includes you speaking publicly about the brand for a fee. You may work as a spokesperson for the brand doing television appearances, in-person events, and more. As a spokesperson, you are a contracted player and must disclose that you’ve been compensated by the brand. Being a spokesperson for a brand is a wonderful way to not only make money, but to get your feet wet in terms of multimedia appearances and experience.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing, I feel, is one of the best kept secrets in blogging. By just plugging in affiliate links into the content you already have written, or content you plan to write, you can make money when people click on that link and make a purchase. For example, let’s say you are writing a blog post about your favorite must-have kitchen utensils. You can add links to the very items you are talking about that lead the reader to the company’s website. And voila, you are making money. You can also add links not only to blog posts, but to your e-newsletters, social media shares, and more—talk about a gift that can keep on giving! There are a multitude of affiliate programs and tools for bloggers to join (and full disclosure here, I am a member of the Fresh Press Media Advisory Board), including Fresh Press Media. Fresh Press Media offers valuable, automatically updated deal content, so there’s no need to update links in old posts. It is pretty simple to set up, and in no time, you can be creating yet another income stream for your blog.

Social Media

You can also make money by posting sponsored material on your social media channels. Tweets, Facebook shares, and Instagram pictures are just three ways you can make additional income by sharing sponsored content.

To monetize properly, ensure that you have an up-to-date media kit with all of your audience demographic, audience, and influencer information. A proper media kit will help you leverage your voice and personal brand so that you get compensated accordingly.

So go forth and be bold and use your voice and your blog to make an income. You’ve already got the tools necessary to create an income with your personal brand. Now it’s time to be like Nike and Just Do It!

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