Make money with a blog – part 5

This is the final part in our series to help you to make money online by blogging.

Here’s Part 4.

Work on the above SEO tactics for your blog and you will be well on your way towards a healthy search engine ranking. Meaning, be prepared for traffic to your blog.

Another very important benefit to publishing a blog, is something called Real Simple Syndication or RSS for short. RSS is a content delivery channel, distributing your content to your audience wherever they may be. Blogs use RSS to automatically deliver your content to your readers without them having to visit your site everyday to check whether your blog had been updated recently.

To accomplish this, your audience needs to subscribe to your blog’s feed. Using an RSS Feed Reader, they can now read your latest posts from the reader itself. It works like a simple subscription form. You place your feed icons in a prominent place on your blog where your readers simply click on it and get subscribed. You must have seen these icons. They look something like this:

RSS Feed Readers are available as desktop downloads or as Web-based applications. Many are freely available like Bloglines.com and Google Reader. Both of which are Web-based. Newsgator.com offers a desktop version but that doesn’t come free.

Using RSS is a much better way of syndicating your content than e-mail because RSS goes beyond just e-zines. And if you were wondering how managing your blog’s subscribers could be possible, there’s Feedburner.com to answer your question. Probably the best in the business, Feedburner.com provides the most detailed stats about your blog subscribers, giving you the edge to improve your blog’s performance as you see fit.

Promoting Your Blog To Find Even More Readers

If you’ve read this far, you’re already armed with enough knowledge to publish well-optimized business blogs. But there can never be enough readers for your blog. This is where some promotional strategies can come into play. Let’s run through some of them:

* Use Trackbacks – We mentioned commenting on other blogs previously, but trackbacks is another useful feature found on most blog platforms. If you were writing about someone else’s blog, you should perform a trackback.

Trackbacks deposit your content onto that particular person’s blog you just wrote about. Sounds complicated but this is a great way of getting another person’s audience to pay attention to what you have to say.

* Post To Article Directories – You know about submitting your blogs to blog directories. But why not submit your content as articles to article directories? You will be reaching out to a significant amount of targeted readers this way. An e-zine publisher could easily use your articles as content for his audience and that could mean lots more eyeballs for your blog.

* Use Offline Promotional Methods – Get your blog’s URL printed on your business brochures, flyers, business cards, letter heads, envelopes, ads or anywhere else you advertise offline. This is a great potential stream of new targeted readers. You may consider advertising online too.

* Add Your Blog’s URL To Outgoing E-mail – An often overlooked strategy but very effective. You never know, your recipient might be a potential customer.

* Promote Using Web 2.0 Methods – Participate in social networking sites, online groups and forums to let them know about your business blog. Because they share the same interest, they are bound to pay your blog a visit.

Make use of social bookmarking services to spread the word about your blog. You can do this by placing icons offered by these bookmarking services on your blog. Anytime your readers find something worthy of being spread around, they would click this icon. It works like the Tell-A-Friend script used by many websites during the Paleolithic age (ok, about two years ago), but with these bookmarking services, the reach is far greater.

Can I Monetize My Blogs?

Absolutely. Once you’ve got a good stream of traffic coming in, monetizing your blogs is a cinch. Today’s most popular method of monetizing blogs is allowing advertisements on it. And the company offering the world’s largest online contextual advertising program is Google. This program is known as Adsense.

By signing-up with Adsense, you are allowing Google to place targeted ads on your blog that are relevant to the theme of your blog. If a reader sees an ad and clicks on it out of interest, you earn yourself some money. The more readers that click on the ads, the more money you make. There are people making a full-time income doing nothing but creating sites for Adsense. This may not necessarily be the best way to monetize your blog, but it is one of the easiest.

There are many more types of advertising programs like CPC advertising, Impression-Based Ads, Text Ads, etc. Take some time to study which advertising model works best for your blog.

The other way of monetizing your blog is to place affiliate links throughout your content. Amazon.com is an example of a company that offers an affiliate program. Signing-up for it is free as with most companies offering such programs. CommissionJunction.com is another. If you find a product that appeals to both you and your audience, you can sign-up as an affiliate to sell it. Doing so involves either placing banners on your site, or text-links that you can weave into your content. When a reader clicks on that link or banner and buys the product, you earn a commission.

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Here are some other ideas you could implement towards monetizing your blog:

* Seeking sponsorship

* Donations or tip jars

* Selling merchandise

* Selling blogs

* Selling content via a subscription-based model

* Get paid to write for a blog network.

* Turn your blog content into a book

* Selling downloadable products

Ultimately, the key to making your business blog an overwhelming success is to keep it real and have fun with it. Make it a point to interact with everyone of your subscribers. The truth about publishing a blog is that it does not belong to you. It belongs to the community. Use this to your advantage to tap into the minds of your readers. If you’re planning a new product, ask them for some of the features they would like to see in it. The blog makes it a perfect feedback mechanism to get the answers you need to make your business an ongoing success.

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