In the first two parts of this series on blogging, I discussed how to get started blogging and 9 ways to get your blog to stand out, and now, part three is about how to go pro as a blogger and build a business. This blog post is all about how to monetize a blog.
Author, Michael Hyatt is chairman of Thomas Nelson Publishing by day and the publisher of the one of the nation’s top leadership blogs www.michaelhyatt.com, by night. His blog attracts more than 300K visitors a month, and he admitted that 90% of his time these days is spent blogging and speaking to promote his personal brand. In June, Hyatt released, Platform: Get Noticed In a Noisy World, which debuted on the New York Times Bestseller List. He says it is a practitioner’s guide to blogging and social media marketing. (It’s a great book, which I put on SmallBizLady’s Summer Reading List 2012)
Hyatt started blogging in 2004, and to his surprise was able to make a living at it. He admits he was no overnight success, “It wasn’t until 2008 that my traffic took off.” In 2010, Hyatt took his blog up to posting 5 days week, and each week, one of his posts is the transcription of 30-minute podcast, which he also distributes through i-tunes. He has one of the top downloaded podcasts on i-tunes in the business category, too.
Hyatt makes a pretty good living off of his blog, clearing at least $35,000 a month. He outlined his five revenue streams: banner ads, affiliate links of products he loves and uses, in fact he’s the biggest affiliate reseller of Brent Kelly’s Evernote Essentials e-book. He sells two e-books of his own on how to get a book deal, and he attracts his biggest revenue from speaking – about 50 dates a year that come as the result of his blog content – and he also sells his new book.
One of the ways that I make revenue is to blog for corporate clients who need expert content for their business websites. Depending on the client, I charge a flat fee per article or per word for original content, podcasts and or videos.
If you’re blogging, it’s a whole lot easier to get a book deal or self-publish successfully, too. Rick Calvert, CEO and co-founder of the BlogWorld Conference says, “Blogging has not eliminated the need for literary agents, publishers or book stores, but it has made them much less important and shifted the balance of power”.
Other forms of blog revenue come from brands connecting with bloggers, joining blog networks, or allowing content syndication. However, it appears you’d better be a heavy social media user to monetize a blog. According to IZEA 2012 State of Social Media Sponsorships, 28% of social media influencers report spending over 160 hours per month using social media – the equivalent of a full time job with 69% report tweeting multiple times per day.
IZEA, Federated Media and BlogHer run blog networks that will filter sponsorship opportunities for bloggers who are in their networks. Ted Murphy, President of the Orlando, Florida based IZEA, LLC, which sources sponsorship deals for the 740,000 online publishers in his network, says social media sponsorships are on the rise for bloggers who have an integrated social media presence. “We have over 50K client advertisers and PR firms are paying with cash and product.”
If you are an authoritative blogger, there are syndication firms who do licensing deals for content, for information databases and mobile apps, too. If you blog about top companies, celebrities, current events, industry trends or give specific advice, you could earn a 30% royalty on the sale of your content according to Aura Sajaritchan Novenbre of Newstex, LLC. Some bloggers earn from a couple hundred dollars a month up to several thousand dollars a month in income from developing quality content.
The future of blogging looks bright, but in order to turn it into a real business, the key is to own your niche content area and leverage your influence across social media as well.
Do you have any unique ways you are generating money from blogging?
For more tips on how start or grow your small business subscribe to Melinda Emerson’s blog http://www.succeedasyourownboss.com.