According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, blog means “a web site on which someone writes about personal opinions, activities, and experiences”. The term blog was coined for the first time in the late 1990s. Although online journal keeping has traces as early as in the 80s, in the early days of internet, blogging became popular around the turn of the millennium. The name “blog” originates from its predecessor “weblog”.
The term “weblog” was devised by Jorn Barger in 1997. It changed into the shorter form “blog” through Peter Merholz, who broke the word “weblog” down into the phrase “we blog” in his website Peterme.com in 1999. Since then, it has been generally known by the same name. Today, blogs have become one of the major components in the huge ocean internet. There are hundreds of millions of blogs in existence today. The most popular blogging platforms are tumblr.com, wordpress.com and blogger.com.
Among these large number of blogs, pretty considerable ones are professional ones i.e. the owners make a living out of these blogs. And even larger is the number of the blogs which earn at least some money. How do they make money out of the blogs? Well, here are the best and also the most common ways to monetize any blog:
1. Banner Ads
The banner ads are displayed in the form of a still or a flash image on the blog, which display the information about and offers from the advertisers. They work in two ways i.e. Pay per Click (PPC) and Cost per Mile (CPM). PPC ads, as their name suggests, provide money whenever the ad is clicked. Meanwhile, CPM ads generate cash even when a page on the blog is visited, based on the supposition that the ad has been seen by visitors. The CPM ads generally work on per thousand impressions basis and pay much less than PPC ads.
The major networks providing banner ads to monetize a blog are Google AdSense, Yahoo! Advertising Network and Microsoft Ad Network.
2. Affiliate programs
Affiliate programs work on the basis of affiliate links, which are the images that mention about a product offered by others and linking to the entry about that product on their page. They work on Click per Action (CPA) basis i.e. whenever a visitor on a blog clicks the affiliate link placed on it and buys the same product from the site of the advertiser within certain time, the owner of the blog gets commission from the sale.
The major affiliate programs are offered by Amazon and ebay.
3. Direct ads
Direct ads are another great way of monetizing blogs. They are similar to banner ads on their appearance. They are the ads displayed on the blogs, which are agreed to be put through direct contacts with advertisers, rather than through banner advertisement networks. They may not be bound to PPC and CPM. Often, direct ads can cash out just by their display on the blog. And, most often they pay much more than banner ads. However the direct or local ads are likely to be obtained only when the blog has established its reputation, although it may be only in a locality.
4. Product sales
This may not be applicable and feasible to all the blogs. This is the localized version of affiliate programs. Promoting and selling products through a blog can be a great way to monetize blogs. The product may be manufactured or distributed by the company running the blog itself. This technique doesn’t solely rely upon blogging however blog plays a vital role on monetization.
5. In-text advertising
In-text advertising is another popular way to monetize blogs. In this technique, ads are attached to text in the content of blog, which show up as underlined or double underlined clickable words. The ads are not displayed all the time like banner ads. However, little advertisements may pop up when the word is moused over. A major downfall of this method is that it can seem annoying for visitors, who may be distracted and unwilling for future visits.
The major companies that offer in-text advertising are Kontera, Infolinks and Vibrat Media.
What do you think of the ways we presented here for monetizing blogs? Do you know other ways? Please comment below.