Today I’m taking part in a fun series of tips with some great bloggers! We’re talking about 5 Simple Ways to improve photos, dress for less, save time cooking, successfully homeschool, live a natural lifestyle, organize, decorate your home, start using coupons, and yes, make money from your blog!
Making money from your blog. Sounds like a dream job, right? Well, it can be, but making even a part-time income requires a great deal of time and effort, much like owning your own business!
So, what if you have a just-for-fun blog, but wouldn’t mind making a little bit of money from it? After all, you’re doing it anyway – why not earn enough to pay for a pizza night now and then, or to do something you might not otherwise be able to do?
Here are five simple ways to earn money from your blog. They’re things anyone can do, no matter how big or small your blog. They don’t take too much time or effort or technical know-how.
You won’t get rich, but they’re easy ways to help your family with that extra pizza night.
1. Put up ads with Lijit.
Most banner ad programs are either inaccessible to smaller bloggers, or require a lot of maintenance and setup to make sure they only show family-friendly ads. But, I’m really excited about the Lijit ad network!
Their ads are easy-to-use, and in my experience, very nice looking ads that seem to be very family-friendly. You get paid when the ads are shown on your site, not when someone clicks or signs up for something. They’re virtually maintenance-free, and it’s a cash payment (minimum of $25 in earnings before you’ll receive a payment).
Depending on the size of your blog, it may take awhile to add up, but it’s so easy it’s a no-brainer. You can use it on a WordPress blog, or Blogger, or really any blogging platform!
2. Get referral credits.
Many daily deal sites like Groupon, Mamapedia, and Living Social offer referral credits when you share their deals on your site. Groupon will credit your account with $10 in Groupon bucks when a friend you’ve referred makes their first purchase; Living Social offers $5.
As a side note, you may want to talk to a CPA about any money you make from blogging. Those $10 Groupon credits are awesome until you realize that you may need to report them as income and pay 30+% income taxes on those “free” credits.
But you’re saying I’m not into blogging about good deals, just personal, family stuff like a trip to the zoo? Well, if you used a Groupon to pay for a trip to the zoo, mention it to your friends when you tell them about the awesome time you had at the zoo! If you’re blogging about a fun experience you had shopping downtown, tell them you got a great deal at that little boutique with a voucher you got from Living Social!
3. Earn by helping your friends earn cash and gift cards.
I love sharing about ways to save money, but I also love sharing about how to earn money! Here’s a couple of easy programs you can use to help your blog readers earn cash and gift cards, and you’ll earn right along side them:
You can help your friends earn Amazon or Starbucks gift cards through programs like Swagbucks – if they sign up under your referral link, you earn points when they earn points; so you both win!
I recommend only promoting companies that you have personal experience with or otherwise know to be reputable. There are lots of scam “making money” programs out there, so do exercise caution when referring friends!
I love referring people to places like MySurvey and Pinecone Reseach – two legitimate survey sites that actually pay out in cash! And, MySurvey gives you points whenever a friend you refer completes their first survey! (Pinecone Research does not have a referral program and they only accept applications periodically.) These sites usually love families with small children – that demographic gets lots of surveys.
Again, you don’t have to do a whole post about Swagbucks to use your referral link. Maybe you’re going to tell them about the great deal you got on EMU boots from Amazon and how you paid for part of it with Amazon gift cards you earned from Swagbucks!
4. Recommend relevant products
Have you ever written about how awesome a new toy you got for your kid’s birthday is? Or about a fun new book you’ve been enjoying recently? Chances are you probably linked to the product on Amazon or the manufacturer’s website so that your blog readers could find out more about it.
Well, in many cases, you can actually earn a “commission” if they happen to buy that product or another one after clicking on your link to that site! It’s called an affiliate link, and the link allows the company to know that you clicked to their site via your friend’s link, and they’ll credit that site with a small percentage of the sale if your friend happens to buy it. It’s how many companies choose to market their products instead of paying up-front for other advertising – this way, they just pay the affiliate “advertiser” if they happen to make a sale.
Never recommend a product just because you might make a commission on it! Here’s my commitment to my readers.
You can join Amazon’s affiliate program here – unless you’re in Colorado or a few other states that they don’t work with because of sales tax laws.
Or, another, simpler option is to sign up with VigLink. It’s a simple script that you can embed onto your blog that automatically adds a personal affiliate link to the links on your blog if that merchant allows it, and it extends much farther than just Amazon. Obviously, VigLink takes a cut off the top of that, but once it’s installed, all the work is done for you and they just pay you via Paypal.
5. Sell your own products.
If you have a blog with any readership at all, you have an audience that is interested in what you are doing. Maybe, just maybe, you might be able to use your blog to launch an Etsy store, or publish an eBook.
If you’re always showing off your amazing craft projects and people are saying “I wish I could do that!”, why not make those projects and sell them on Etsy? Or, you could make an eBook with step-by-step instructions for a variety of craft projects, and sell the eBook.
Marketing products, whether tangible or digital, is difficult. Trust me: I’ve done it. But, it can be fun and financially rewarding to sell something you enjoy creating!
That’s all I’ve got.
I’ve now written over 1,200 words about Five Simple Ways To Make Money From Your Blog. Somehow, I’m thinking I got a little farther from simple than was intended, but trust me – it gets lots more complicated!
I hope this post has been helpful to you, and gotten you brainstorming about ways you could use your blog to make a little bit of extra spending money.