So, you want to get rich off a blog. Maybe you’ve seen pictures of Marcus Frind, founder of free online dating site Plenty of Fish, holding up his check for $901,733—money generated through Google’s AdSense. Or perhaps you’ve heard of Jeremy Schoemaker—they call him “Shoe Money”—who also posted a picture of himself holding a check from Google for a month’s worth of clicks: $132,995.
You’ve heard these outrageous tales of success, and you know that you have great blog ideas yourself. And you, too, want to get rich, quick.
As the founder of Today’s Growth Consultant and Income Store, two companies that collectively own over 200 income-generating websites, I regularly partner with industry thought leaders, CEOs, authors, and athletes to create a generous amount of blog content. Our websites are seen over 50 million times a year, and we’re currently under contracts to split revenues in the eight figures. I’m here to tell you, you can make money on a blog. But not if you are exclusively focused on dollars.
The bad news: the days of monetizing a blog simply by plastering it with ads were well over by about 2008. Back then, you could get $40 per CPM, where today, it’s about $2. Even if you decide to go that route, you’ll need a substantial amount of traffic to make it lucrative. If you’re new to the blogging game and don’t have traffic yet, that’s going to take a while to build. So, you probably aren’t going to turn into the next Marcus Frind or Shoe Money simply by pasting ads all over your blog.
But there’s another way.
It’s all about adding value to your brand. If you can use your blog to leverage your brand, eventually, you’re going to make more money by virtue of having a stronger, more recognizable brand. And that’s how you’ll make money with your blog.
In order to do this, of course, you need to have ongoing content, and that can be a concern for business owners who don’t always have time to write. You probably have a few good ideas that you can churn out quickly to get the ball rolling on your blog, but sooner or later you might run out of words, and your blog will flounder.
There are a few ways to keep it alive.
User-Generate Your Content
If you poke around on some of the more successful blogs, you’ll quickly realize that a lot of their content is written by guest contributors. This is called user-generated content, and it can be a great way to keep your blog alive and kicking.
Editorialize Other People’s Content
Go to Google Alerts—a free tool that Google offers—and sign up to receive alerts on a handful of keywords related to your subject matter. For instance, if your website and blog are about furniture making, sign up to receive Google Alerts on “furniture making,” “furniture building,” “carpentry,” etc. You will then receive daily email alerts about new web content in those categories.
Once Google starts pointing out good articles about furniture making, you can create blog posts that editorialize those articles. In other words, write a few words or sentences about why you’re recommending an article—or why you disagree with it—then point to it. (Of course, you have to give full credit to the person who posted the original article; you can’t just plagiarize it.)
If you want to keep your blog running into eternity and never run out of things to write about, start learning how to editorialize good content. By editorializing other people’s content, you’ll start to build a following of furniture-lovers who trust your industry opinion. You’ll become a “thought leader” in the field.
These are ways in which you can create a lively blog that will eventually make money. Stick with it, and who knows, you just might become the next big check-holder after all.