As Sonia Simone points out in her post “Why You Can’t Make Money Blogging” having a huge amount of traffic on your site won’t translate into sales if your readers aren’t coming to your site for solutions to real world problems. If your readers are just looking for entertainment or a good way to kill a few minutes, they most likely won’t look at your banner ads.
So if a huge amount of traffic isn’t how bloggers make money, exactly what are they doing? I’m glad you asked! Brian Clark, Executive Director of Copyblogger, made four suggestions in his post “Blog Money: The Income Outlook for 2009” that I thought were outstanding suggestions:
1. Direct Sales – Having something to sell your audience that they have told you either directly or indirectly that they are interested in buying.
2. Affiliate Marketing – Brian points out that the key to successful affiliate marketing is to pick a product or service that is perfect for your audience and then stand behind it 100%.
3. Integrated Sponsorships – If you’re passionate about a product or service, seek out fee based sponsors and then work out some kind of contest, bundled deal, or discount that will benefit your readers.
4. Network Marketing – Very similar to Affiliate Marketing except you need to use and be passionate about the products of the company you choose. If you’ve read Ann Seig’s free e-book “The 7Great Lies About Network Marketing”, then you already know the benefits of doing Network Marketing online!
I think Sonia sums things up pretty well, “If you don’t offer customers something they dearly want, whether it’s to gain some great pleasure or escape some great pain, you’re not going to make any money.”