There are plenty of reasons why people start blogs. Some start it as a passion project that evolves into something greater. Some people start them to turn it into or supplement their career. Either way nowadays, it seems like everyone is scrounging for a bit more cash. Sometimes it feels like the bills are never ending and just the idea of a second job can be tiring as well as discouraging. But there always seems to be someone you know who’s doing a little better and always seems to have a little extra cash on hand. They never talk about it, so how do they do it? There are plenty of ways to make legitimate, totally legal money without having to have a second boss. Or perhaps it isn’t about the money. Some people find themselves in very unfortunate circumstances that don’t allow them to have a traditional job. These reasons can be diseases that are mental such as anxiety or depression, physical ailments such as sickness or diseases that affect their ability to work, temporary states like post pregnancy, and many other. With the rise of the internet, how we work and earn money is changing. Through blogs about a related niche, you can begin to generate income.

Making Money Online


Before any kind of progress can be made financially, you need to set up your blog and find your niche. Once you’ve engaged the audience for this niche here are some ways to make money online through your blog.

eBay

EBay is first on this list because of its practicality. That old shirt you don’t want? Sell it for $5.00. That mug you were given as a gift by a relative? It’s an antique worth $20.00. On eBay, almost everything you own has a place and a price. Founded by Pierre Omidyar in 1995, eBay has long since outgrown the rumors of shady under dealings and massive fraud. Buyers are prioritized over sellers to avoid scams and sellers receive their money safely through PayPal before they have to ship it out.

If you run a very popular blog, with followers and fans, eBay is a great way to auction off items that they’ve grown accustomed to. By having a stake in your history and success, you’d be surprised the kinds of items bloggers sell for big bucks on eBay. Auctions for charity are also very popular and although you may or may not reap the benefits from these auctions, it’s a great way to engage your fans.

If you do decide to sell on eBay, the process is easy! On the sell page, properly title your item and eBay’s keyword algorithm will bring up similar items whose information you can use to save time. If no items come up or you don’t want to copy another item, no worries, you can fill out the information yourself. Afterwards, simply take a clear photo of the item you want to sell, upload it to the site, and choose a price for your item and shipping method. Choose either ‘Buy It Now’ or you can choose ‘Auction’ where buyers bid on your item! After that, add a short description of your item and hit post. Your item is posted and ready to sell.

You’d be surprised at some of the things people will pay money for. There are plenty of people called “Power Sellers” who make a full time living off of eBay and if you have a large enough fan base, you can be one of them.

Ad Space

This is the most common way a blog will make money. Passive income is the new rage on the internet. Imagine setting up a few links, walking away and having money go straight into your pocket. That’s what passive income is! There are so many ways to earn passive income but the one we’ll focus on is Ad Space. Perhaps you have one or several websites that fill a particular niche like camera lenses or Japanese cartoons; you can make money off of these sites passively by selling Ad Space. Ad Space is a section of your website you “rent out” to other companies to advertise their product. Think of these links as digital billboards on your site. When someone visiting your site clicks one of these Ads, you get paid.

There are plenty of ways to integrate Ad Space selling into your website. The easiest way is through an Ad Service. There are many legitimate ad services on the internet, the most popular being Google AdSense, but there are plenty more like Infolinks and Adversal. Find which ad service works for you and your site and start making passive income!

Affiliate marketing

Another form of passive income is known as affiliate marketing. This method works really great if you have a personal blog, or have a niche audience. It’s very simple; you provide a link through your site that your viewers can click on. If they click on the link and purchase the item the link provides, you get a percentage of that sale! Amazon Associates takes it one step further where you get a percentage of anything they buy on Amazon.com if they get there from visiting your site. Another way to attain passive income through affiliate marketing is if you have a strong social media presence. Many Vine and Instagram stars are paid through affiliate marketing by selling products their audience would love.

This is all possible through a system called “cookies.” These cookies are unfortunately, neither delicious nor visible. Instead, whenever someone visits a site, their web browser downloads these cookies, which are actually tiny bits of computer data. Next time someone visits that site the site itself will register them as a returning visitor and will change the site in some way. Cookies allow websites to “remember” a computer. And because they attained the cookie to the site from a link you provided, you get paid if they purchase anything!

Craft Sites

If you run an art related blog, you really should become familiar with the following sites. If you run an art blog, you WILL generate interest in the items you make, especially if you do tutorials. Your fans will want whatever items you produce simply because they’re your fans.

There are many sites for creative people who want to sell their work. It’s really all about identifying which site your art belongs on. Are you a sound designer who makes stock sound effects for movies? Websites like Audio Jungle and Pond5 are for you! Do you take photos for stock images and wallpapers? Try Shutterstock or Flickr. Do you create beautiful graphic designs but don’t have the materials to print them? Sites like Zazzle and Teespring will sell them for you. But what if your items are already physical? Maybe you knit or sew, or make items from recycled materials. Then sites like Etsy or Artfire are for you.

Another cool thing about art sites is that some also offer an affiliate marketing program. Etsy and Zazzle in particular offer a programs where you can get a percentage of every sale that links back to your blog.

Patreon

Do you have a strong online following as a creative person? Do you want your audience to feel closer and more involved in your projects and releases? Then Patreon is for you. Designed for the consistent creator, Patreon allows its creators to set up a donation service. The donations work in price point tiers set by the creator.

For example if you create comics, each follower who donates $1.00 could possibly receive a personal thank you message. If they donate $5.00 they could receive an uncolored sketch and a thank you message. If they donate $20.00 or more, they could receive a fully colored splash page with a caricature of them drawn into the page and a thank you message. It’s really up to the creator to set each tier and is a great way to make money while connecting with your audience. This is a great way for writers to not only engage their fans, but directly involve them. Fans will pay big money to their favorite authors for a chance to be listed in the credits of their favorite series. Other fans just genuinely want to help out and see you succeed. Regardless of their intentions, starting a Patreon can only help you and your blog in the long run.

YouTube

If you have a YouTube account it’s pretty clear that YouTube and blogs have a symbiotic relationship. Having a blog and a YouTube account gets your face or voice out there to fans, while a blog helps you engage them in a more personal way. YouTube has changed in recent years and has created a way for blog owners to make money directly through the video service. YouTube has recently added monetization to the platform. Content creators are able to place ads on their videos to earn money. If you have a YouTube account, enable monetization, connect your YouTube to your AdSense account then choose your preferred ad format. Here are the different kinds of ad formats:

• Display ads

Display Ads appear to the right of your video and at the top of the video suggestions list. This type of ad only works on desktop computers and will not work on mobile browsers.

• Overlay ads

Overlay ads are semi-transparent ads that pop up on the lower part of your video. This type of ad only works on desktop computers and will not work on mobile browsers.

• Skippable video ads

Skippable video ads allow viewers to skip ads after 5 seconds if they want to. These ads can be inserted before, during, or after the main video. This type of ad works on desktop, mobile devices, TV, and game consoles.

• Non-skippable video ads and long, non-skippable video ads

Non-skippable video ads must be watched before your video can be viewed while long non-skippable video ads may be up to 30 seconds long. These ads can appear before, during, or after the main video. This type of ad works desktop and mobile devices.

• Bumper ads

Bumper ads are mon-skippable video ads of up to 6 seconds that must be watched before your video can be viewed. This ad works on desktop and mobile devices.

• Sponsored cards

Sponsored cards are ads that display content that might be related to your video, such as an item the video might be about. They can also click the logo in the top right corner of your video to browse cards. This ad works on desktop and mobile devices.

Try out different ad types for your video or you can enable all of them for maximum revenue!

Ebooks

If you are writing a blog and have a considerable fan base, it’s very likely that you have some talent for writing. Ebooks are a great way to generate income by providing fans new and old a direct source of information. Ebooks work great for many topics but work especially well for motivational niches. By providing Ebooks you can generate continual income from a single source. Services like Amazon make it easy to sell your Ebooks online. You can also sell them directly through your site.

Sponsorship

Writing for a particular niche is sure to attract a particular audience. Because this audience is looking for a specific genre of topics from you, it is possible to monetize your reach. By pitching to potential sponsors your online following’s interests you can generate income. For example, if you write a blog about power tools with a considerable following, reach out to a sponsor who provides power tools to the public. Create a relationship where you review or promote the product and benefit the sponsor with a new audience. Afterwards, you can either be compensated with promotion, cash, or a free product from the sponsor which you can potentially auction off.

Online Auctions

As we learned with eBay, online auctions are a great way to generate visitors to your blog, however to generate sales, you require product. Another added bonus of visiting these online auction sites is being able to purchase products to review for very cheap. Everything from cars to electronics can be found on these little known sites and make for ample writing material. Some of these sites are so sparsely known, that they themselves can make up articles for your niche content. Here are some little known sites that you can get great items for cheap.

• Police auctions

If you run a blog about police work, noir, or anything generally crime related, police auctions are interesting websites to find yourself. Police auctions are auctions of items confiscated from their original owners. Confiscation can occur for many reason such as lack of payment, the item was acquired by illegal means or for repossessed for tax reasons. There are a vast range of items such as; jewelry, like rings, watches, and necklaces; Fine art, such paintings or antiques; Electronics like laptops, radios, flashlights, cell phones and video games; or vehicles like vans, sedans and boats. Sometimes, police equipment such as old squad cars will be auctioned off as well. There are a few online sites, but police auctions are primarily done locally and can be found with a quick search engine search or a phone call to your local government authority. Although you can find some great items, keep in mind almost of all these items are used and some may be in poor condition or outright broken. If your blog primarily runs off the trading and review of good, or something way out there like product destruction, police auctions are a good place to find items on the cheaper side.

• Storage auctions

Popularized by the show Storage Wars, Storage auctions occur after someone has left a rented storage unit unpaid for too long. This can happen for many reasons, such as the renter being unable to afford payment, the renter is imprisoned and is unable to pay, or they have simply abandoned their items. The storage company will then hold a cash auction and sell all the contents of the storage unit to the highest bidder. Like police auctions, most storage auctions are held in-person although there are plenty held online. Storage auctions are a great writing experience for blogs. Items found here can be auctioned off to your fans for cash.

• Government/ Postal auctions

If you have a blog that revolves around anything government related, it’s probably a good idea to familiarize yourself with government auctions. Government auctions are usually the selling of surplus items from different government agencies like the military. Items on sale at government auctions may also have been confiscated from their owners by different branches of the government. Government auctions have a vast range of different items ranging from communications equipment, filing cabinets, boats, private jets, homes, heavy machinery, fire arms, medical and electrical equipment and more. It really is astounding the variety of items that pass through these auctions. Everything from private jets and helicopter parts to excess desks and typewriters can be bid on.

• Postal auctions are usually items that have entered the postal system and for one reason or another could not be delivered to their recipient or returned to sender. After all options have been exhausted to return the parcel, the items are sent to what is known as a dead letter office. After a certain period of time has passed, if no one comes to claim the items, they are auctioned off to the highest bidder through various government agencies.

Government auction sites often have a search feature to find government auctions near your location. There are some auctions you can even attend locally or you can bid online and pick it up in person. Ask your local government office!

Car auctions

If you have a blog revolved around automobiles, car auctions are the go to place for you. Car auctions are a great place to purchase a used vehicle cheap. You’d be surprised how often cars in amazing condition pass through these auctions and sell for 1/10th their normal value. The source of these cars is as varied as the vehicles themselves. Most often, the vehicles are owned by someone and being sold by the auction. After the car sells, the final price is split at an agreed percentage by the owner and the dealer. Other times, the cars are donated are sold directly to the dealer and are then sold off. Cars can range in quality from totally unusable to nearly pristine condition. Imagine how your fans will feel if you are able to auction off an entire vehicle on your blog!

Online Workshops

I you have a very specific niche chances are your followers are coming to your blog to learn from you. Hosting an online workshop through your website or YouTube is not only a powerful way to connect to your fans it allows you to voice your knowledge in a meaningful way. Setting up an online workshop is very simple. Here are the steps to do so:

Live VS Recorded

When releasing your online workshop, it’s critical to choose whether you will be archiving the video for download from your website or you will be streaming live using your website or a service. If your website is not capable of streaming or you have a strong following elsewhere, choose one of these streaming services.

• Google Hangouts – One of the most popular and well built apps on this list, google hangouts allows for multiple people in the same room to interact via webcam. This offers the chance for direct questions.

• Twitch – A popular gaming platform, Twitch offers streaming for other creative topics as well, such as piano and guitar lessons. Twitch is a well-built online network with a subscriber feed so people can be notified whenever you are online. Communication is usually through a text feed.

• YouTube – YouTube has recently seen the value in live streaming because its rising popularity. The streams are simple to set up and work as if they are live YouTube videos. Communication is more text based.

• Ustream – For the serious professional, Ustream offers advanced services for anyone streaming. It also offers great online tech support if there is an issue with your stream.

• Periscope- A good choice for mobile users, periscope feeds you into an online pool of other content creators.

Donations

The final option is donations. With something as simple as a donate button on your blog, you’ll be surprised how many people will fund you simply because they enjoy the content you offer. Donation buttons can be installed with a simple link and work great with the online money service PayPal. Don’t overlook the power of the donation button.

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