Is a blog enough to earn handsomely from blogging?

Some bloggers have asked on Quora and two on email whether they can earn enough from blogging.

One query is from a new student blogger. His classmate, who has opened an SEO-crammed blog, claims that he would start making at least a thousand dollars a month from the blog within a few months. [We asked the blogger after many months of publishing this blog, and he shared that that the friend is now into 'other type of businesses' on the web!]

One query is from an old blogger who has tried all tricks given on reputed websites that come up on top of Google search pages when you search for making money through blogging, but has failed to make even Rs.70 (about a dollar) a month from AdSense and almost nothing from a host of affiliates. In fact he has tried a number of other things such as being active on forums and link farms, paying money to a techie on the promise of making the blog a money spinner, himself trying monetization tricks on the blog, trying the tips given by bloggers claiming to be making thousands of dollars, using some gigs on Fiverr, comparing products, and giving tips on photography and travel to India. The total that he's got from all these efforts in the last five years is Rs.4500 (about $75) and for this he must have spent no less than 1000 hours and about Rs.1000.

We engaged in email conversation with both the bloggers, did our own research and had discussion with a tech expert who we know has made good money from web operations. The present post is a result of that.


To earn money from blogging, the slow and steady strategy works the best.


One scenario of how bloggers try to earn from blogging: You start a blog and keep posting on it. The blog is usually on a free blogging platform. That keeps adding to the wealth of resources and people engage with you. It gets popular over time. Then you think of earning from it. You put AdSense or other ads on it but it does not get you dollars. You use tips that you get on the web but it does not pay you well.

The second scenario is when bloggers open a new blog and try to earn dollars from day one, by hook or by crook. In this case, you open the blog, usually as a self-hosted blog, and apply tricks of getting traffic without much depth of content. You [may] start earning money soon but it does not last long. You move on to open another blog for short-term gain or try something else.

The third scenario is like this: You open a blog, slowly make it rich in content, and keep taking actions to improve its web design etc. You use ethical SEO and social media interaction to popularize it. You might also spend some money on paid promotion on the web. And you, slowly, monetize it by placing ads or other actions. Over time, you start making good amount of money.

We, therefore, always advocate the third method, which some bloggers don't like because they do not have patience and they do not want to work hard. If you want to earn from blogging, please have lots of patience and work like a businessman rather than a gambler. 

We have talked in detail on how to earn from blogging and we have given link to them here and there. The present post is limited to listing the major advertisement types available for bloggers. If you are a blogger who is new to the subject, read each paragraph below. If you already know them but have not been able to earn big from blogging, go to the next post on other streams of earning from blogs and other linked posts. 

    AdSense ads suit most types of blogs


      AdSense is an advertisement service offered by Google. It publishes ads of companies etc to the website/blog and the website owner or blogger earns commission when people click on ads and buy products through those ads.

      For availing this free service, go to the AdSense site and apply for an account. Once your account is approved, you can post advertisements on your blog. 

      We have published a detailed post on AdSense that tells what actions to take/ not take for earning big from AdSense.

        Affiliate advertisements work well on blogs that are popular


          Affiliate ads are those which are put on your blog by an affiliate partner who pays you when people buy its  products using the ad on your blog. The commission is higher than that offered by AdSense. 

          If interested, you can look at these major affiliate programs: Amazon, eBay, Clickbank, CJ.
           
          Some affiliate networks work better in different geographies and for different products, so go for the ones active in your area of work and your country.

            Direct ads pay the most


              If your blog talks about something that visitors would like to buy, you have a good chance of getting ads directly from sellers. For example, if you review fashion products, you can approach those product makers/ sellers to place their ads on your blog; if you give updates on mobile phones, there are chances that you get direct ads from mobile companies (though this market is quite crowded); if you discuss gardening matters, people selling seeds, pesticides and plant nutrients, garden equipment etc might be interested in giving you ads; if your blog is about some city or local tourism, local businesses might be attracted towards your blog; and so on.

              Getting direct ads is difficult till the blog is fairly established. In addition, you need to do more than just blogging and working with AdSense or affiliates; you need to talk to the target advertisers (the seller, company PRO, PR agency, etc).