Of the more than 1.7 billion websites worldwide, it’s estimated that over 500 million of them are blogs. Is one of those blogs yours? If not, are you thinking about starting one?

Blogs are an excellent way to share your experience and knowledge, but blogs can also be a huge time drain. Many people start blogging, then give it up when they find out how much effort it takes. Others create ways to “monetize” their blogs — meaning they develop a strategy to make all the time they’ve invested pay off. That’s what The Monkey calls “smart blogging.” And it’s what we’ll talk about here.

How to Monetize Your Blog

The first step towards getting paid for blogging is to understand some of the different monetization options available to you. Smart bloggers don’t just hear about something and jump into it. They do the research, list the options, and choose the one that seems best suited to their own style and their own blog.

Most blogs that earn money are monetized in one of the following ways:

  1. Become an affiliate marketer, and help others sell their products or services

Businesses like Verizon and UPS hire salespeople to help them present their offers to potential customers and/or urge current customers to buy more. Maybe you’ve visited a Verizon store or a UPS salesperson has visited your company to look for ways to earn more of your shipping budget.

In the same way, many businesses hire salespeople who work online. Many of those people don’t have to drive to an office or staff the counter at a retail store. They can work from home (or wherever there is an internet connection). Some of those online salespeople are “affiliate marketers.” They aren’t employees. They are independent agents who promote products and services on a commission basis.

There’s a huge need for affiliate marketers who know how to develop leads, build interest, and send qualified prospects to the right offers. If you want to find out more about how to build an ethical, successful career as an affiliate marketer, sign up via the form at the bottom of this article for The Online Money Monkey’s special updates.

2. Develop an audience, then sell advertising space on your blog

The more people who visit your blog and engage with the content, the more advertisers will want to get their offers and branded content to appear on your website. Many popular blogs earn tens of thousands of dollars each month by selling advertising space. Plenty of others earn a thousand or more. Would you like to be one of those blog owners who are cashing in on their hard work?

The Monkey has one major warning here: Be sure the advertisements you allow are a good fit for your readership, and take extra care to vet the advertisers for honesty and quality. You’ve earned the traffic you get by providing quality information. It’s important that you only expose your audience to companies that will treat them well and follow through on claims made.

3. Create and Promote Your Own Offers

The Online Money Monkey recommends that, no matter which monetization method you begin with, you start a list of potential products or services you can someday create on your own. Not only will having your own offers give you more profit potential, but it will help build your brand and will create loyal followers who love your work and will tell others about you.

The Online Money Monkey, for instance, provides special training programs for people who want to get going quicker or go deeper into the skills associated with earning money online.

Now It’s Time For Your Next Step

Begin by considering your own abilities and desires, then select one primary monetization method to begin. If you don’t yet have a lot of visitor traffic to your blog (or don’t have a blog yet), you’ll probably want to begin by helping others through affiliate marketing, then include your own products and services as you create them.

If you already have thousands of visitors each month, it may make more sense to begin introducing advertising on your site. Again, though, make absolutely sure those offers will benefit the people who are trusting you to provide desirable content to them. Done wrong, advertising can drive your visitors away. Always be helpful. Put your visitor’s needs above your desire to make money, and you’ll do fine.

You can do it.

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