A Different Way to Profit From Your Blog

21 March 2010 2,465 views 11 Comments

Have you thought about making profits from your blog?

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Most folks that write to me asking for advice on blogging are looking for ways to make a little money for their hard efforts with writing, networking, and growing their blog.

It makes sense; we all want a little in return for the hard work that goes into blogging. However, profits are difficult to come by regarding the two forms of revenue most think of with blogging:

1) Ads

2) Affiliates.

It’s difficult for 99% of bloggers to make money this way. Obtaining the traffic bloggers use as justification for ad revenue takes lots of time and effort and most bloggers simply give up before reaching that level.

Ad revenue to support blogging can be done, but there is another option you can consider…

You can focus on obtaining freelance, part-time, or even full-time work as a writer for major publications.

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Your Blog as a Resume

I agree with Adam Singer that your resume is meaningless

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.

While you probably need some kind of short list of accomplishments and certifications or the like, an actual resume is no longer important when it comes to finding a meaningful job.

The work you do online will be what defines you if you’re looking for quality work in the online world. If you’re writing a blog then your posts are your resume. The way your blog looks represents you and the quality of work you share with your audience.

What Publishers Want

The ability to steadily grow an audience that cares about what you have to say is huge when it comes to publishers that are looking for quality writers. They want to build their own audience as large as possible since their revenue is built on advertising and subscribers (which compete against each other in my opinion).

Prove that you can consistently write interesting content while steadily growing a loyal audience and you’ll be a prime candidate for publishers – online and offline.

What Publishers’ Readers Want

As a way to focus your writing for the publisher audience it would make sense to pick out a handful of publications you would imagine working for and write your content with their readers in mind.

Say for example you choose Field & Stream as a place where you could blog.

Figure out what the readers of Field & Stream are interested in reading. Go beyond the obvious (they like fishing and hunting). Think about the details they like reading.

Look at the articles already being published in the print magazine and on the online blogs. What are the most popular articles on the Field & Stream Website? Learn what their audience is already craving regarding online content and write some posts using their successful patterns

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.

The most popular articles from my own quick look at the site points to lists, how-to articles, and good stories about hunting and fishing that strike an emotional nerve with readers.

Figure out the publications you’d like to write for and work to find the article formulas that will attract the attention of their readers. The publication’s decision makers will take notice if you’re attracting their audience.

And also link to their articles and mention the publication’s name…the decision makers will get notices if they’re apt at the online world and they’ll check you out.

Reality of Profits

Now, before getting all excited about the prospects of a new writing job for Field & Stream please remember that most writers don’t become millionaires.

However, it’s possible to turn your love of writing about the outdoors into a decent secondary source or in the best case a primary source of income for a comfortable lifestyle.

Other Opportunities

Writing and publishing articles on your own blog is a great way to build your archives and build you understanding of the type of content people are interested in. As a result of this knowledge, you’ll be able to potentially land some writing jobs that can lead to some good secondary income.

If you wish, there are also opportunities to write content that people are willing to purchase. You could write a how-to book and share the profits with a major publisher. You can use their clout to help you promote the content (say for example a book) while giving them some of the revenue in return.

Deer & Deer Hunting has a great collection of how-to books on deer hunting. They do research and analyses on everything to do with deer hunting and avid hunters pay a good deal of money to read what their writers have to say.

You can take a similar approach as your grow you audience and begin understanding the type of content they would be willing purchase.

Summary

Making profits online is difficult in the sense of advertising and affiliate revenue.

And while making secondary income by becoming employed as a writer for other publishers is difficult as well, it may be a more obtainable goal for most bloggers.

Growing an audience takes time and ad and affiliate revenue require large audiences. Most bloggers will simply give up and not be willing to put in the time and effort to grow a huge audience that can generate substantial secondary income.

Try focusing on a gaining some income from writing for other publishers and you might be able to turn your hobby into a real source of secondary income sooner.

What are your thoughts?

Do you have experience with writing for other publishers?

Please share in the comments.

What to read next on Hunting Business Marketing

I’m New to the Web – Where Do I Start?

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Ways to Make Money With Your Website

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The Hunting Offseason: The Best Time to Improve

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What to read next on the Web

How to Discover Profitable Affiliate Niches

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What to Do When Blog Creativity Wanes

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Seven Simple Mistakes That Can Lead to an Audit

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11 Comments »
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  • Mark - Wired To Hunt
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    said:

    Great article Dayne. I think making profit from your blog, either in advertising or by getting hired by another company, is going to be hard any way you go about it. But with a lot of hard work, I’m sure it can happen. For an interesting book about this topic, check out “Crush It” by Gary Vaynerchuk. I really enjoyed it and learned some good things.

  • Dayne Shuda
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    (author)
    said:

    I’ve read about that book and nearly all the reviews have been good. I haven’t yet picked it up, but I may have to finally add it to my Amazon cart. I remember a video with Gary where he wanted to show how to get advertising for a blog or site. He simply searched Google for a term and started calling the companies advertising on the results pages. It seemed like an obvious step after seeing it.

  • Jared O'Toole
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    said:

    Great stuff. I think its important people realize ads and affiliates are the worst model for making money online. While not impossible by any means most people don’t realize how long it will take to get your site to where you can live off of that revenue.

    I like the idea of using the blog to leverage for publishers or bigger content creators. However you go about it, it is much more effective to use the blog as a resume for jobs or freelance work.

  • Jeff Jackson
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    said:

    Thanks for the spot-on insights, Dayne. A real “DOH!” moment for me. I wonder how many blogs/twitter accounts/facebook pages editors at outdoor pubs follow on a regular basis?

  • Dayne Shuda
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    (author)
    said:

    Thanks Jared.

    @Jeff – Editors do follow the outdoor blogging world quite a bit. Most are on Twitter and Facebook at the least and with a little interaction with them on those channels you might be able to coax them into checking out your blog.

    I know that The Sportsman Channel, Field and Stream, and Sportsmen of North America have Twitter accounts for sure. A few writers for D&DH have Facebook accounts as well. The guys at D&DH are active on their forum too.

    Just start connecting :-)

  • Chris Guthrie
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    said:

    I don’t think I agree with the blanket statement like “It’s difficult for 99% of bloggers to make money this way” (in reference to ads and affiliate marketing)

    I believe this totally depends on the niche you are in. For example the niche you’re in now – internet marketing, seo etc. yes it’s difficult to make money via ads and affiliate marketing because you’re targeting an audience that already knows and plays the game.

    By contrast, if you are targeting people that know nothing about how affiliate links in posts work then it is easy to clean up.

  • Dayne Shuda
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    said:

    That’s a good point to bring up, Chris. Niche is extremely important.

  • Dayne Shuda
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    said:

    Those checking this post out should definitely check out Chris’ site, especially his post February 2010 Income Report: $5,294

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    He has some great tips on Amazon Associates income as well: Top 7 tips I used to make $41,438.42 in 2009 with Amazon Associates

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    and Top 5 Worst Ways to Make Money with Amazon Associates
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    It looks like he’s doing well today and shows that making money is definitely possible.

    I like this quote: “There was a time I couldn’t even afford to pay for my dedicated server’s $200 a month cost with the money I made online so it’s been a long and arduous road.”

    It’s tough, but possible to make a living online.

    I also love this quote: “But before I had that record breaking month I had to experience something else first – getting fired. Yes, I got fired from my IT sales job October 13th 2009 which was very upsetting at first. I was very good at my job and they gave me no reason for why I was getting fired. I’m still trying to find out from friend that still work there, but fortunately for me it was the kick in the pants that I needed. Without a job and entering a terrible job market in the winter of 2009 I knew what I had to do. So I decided to go full time with my web business and since then I haven’t looked back. I am a full time internet entrepreneur making a healthy living and have been since Oct 13th 2009.”

    That’s from About | Make Money on the Internet

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  • T.W. Warr
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    said:

    Your advise sounds reasonable and practical. I have experimented with both ads and affiliate programs in the past. Although I did make money, the total return in regards to the amount of effort was not really worth it.

  • Genesis Alexander
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    said:

    my Affiliate Revenue this month on Amazon is not as good as last year.~’~

  • Kevin Mitchell
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    said:

    affiliate revenue is always higher than ppc revenue that is why i love affiliate marketing*;`