Aloha! You see the post below this one? Good! What you see there is what I’m about to teach you put into practice. The idea is quite simple really. Just think of your blog as your own personal newspaper. Obviously the major way newspapers make money is by the patronage of advertisers. So what you can do is apply the same revenue model to your blog.
Most people already have Google AdSense banners and other such pay-per-click advertisements, however, I believe that a paid post can be more valuable to a potential advertiser than any banner can simply because the post will earn the advertiser a continual source of hits or leads for the entire time your blog remains online. Search engines like Google will pick up on such posts and index them and your advertiser’s exposure will grow surprisingly large, especially if this advertiser is smart enough to advertise on more than one blog. If your blog happens to be very popular and gets a lot of hits daily I assure you advertisers will come flocking to you.
There are several ways you can make sponsored blog posts work for you:
1) You write a normal posting as you usually do but at the bottom of the posting you include a “byline” or a link to your sponsor’s website(s).
2) You convince your advertiser to produce an article that is relevant to your blog’s theme. In exchange the advertiser will link certain words in the post to their chosen website(s).
3) You dedicate the entire post to promoting the advertiser’s product or service. Think of this as being like a full page newspaper ad.
4) YOU become the advertiser and DIRECTLY promote some product or service that is relevant to your blog’s theme. However, this option requires that you write your own adverting material, which you may or may not be good at.
Now let’s get into the technical details.
The first obvious step you need to take if you don’t already have a blog is to set one up. There are so many choices out there but the usually fall within tow categories:
1) Get a free blog from providers such as blogger, wordpress.com ,etc (see list below)
2) Install your own blog using WordPress or whatever other blogging software you may prefer.
Here is a list of free blog providers:
Blogger – http://www.blogger.com/
Blogbuddy – http://blogbuddy.ca/ (WordPress – Administered by me)
MSN Spaces – http://spaces.live.com/
AOL Blog – http://journals.aol.com/
BlogThing – http://www.blogthing.com/
Wordpress – http://wordpress.com/ (WordPress)
BlogEasy – http://www.blogeasy.com/
Aeonity – http://www.aeonity.com/
OkayBlog – http://okayblog.net/
Blogates – http://blogates.com/ (WordPress)
Weblogs.us – http://weblogs.us/
BlogSavy – http://blogsavy.com/
Supersized – http://www.supersized.org/ (Serendipity)
Tblog – http://www.tblog.com/
BlogRox – http://blogrox.com/ (WordPress)
Blogsome – http://www.blogsome.com/
Blog.com – http://blog.com/
SelectABlog – http://www.selectablog.com/
ClearBlogs – http://clearblogs.com/
BlogsLive – http://www.blogslive.net/
Skaffe – http://blogs.skaffe.com/
Atom5 – http://www.atom5.com/
Blog City USA – http://blogcityusa.com/
Hosting 365 – http://www.hosting365.com/
Upwith – http://www.upwith.net/
Blogshifter – http://blogshifter.com/
Bloggles – http://bloggles.info/
Blogtonomy – http://www.blogtonomy.com/
If you prefer to host your own blog then the best option in my opinion is to go to http://www.wordpress.org and download the latest version of WordPress.
Now if you decide to go with option number 4 (write your own sponsored posts) you obviously need to find some product or service to promote. In my opinion one easy to use source of relevant products is ClickBank. Sign-up for an account and then on their homepage click on the “Marketplace” link to search for relevant products. Another good source is Commission Junction. These are just two among a plethora of possibilities, so I encourage you to explore and I have no doubt that you will eventually find some worthwhile products to promote.
Some guidlines I recommend you follow:
1) Do no just write sponsored posts for the sake of it. Littering your blog with advertisements that are totally irrelevant to what your blog is about is a guaranteed way to turn off your readers. So if you are going to do this, I highly recommend you put some effort into finding out products and services that your blog’s readers will find interesting and useful. In other words try to cater to your reader’s tastes. If your blog is about Forex trading for example, do go promoting credit card products or mortgages or whatever other irrelevant products.
2) Do some research into the products you promote and try to NOT push junk products
3) Invest some time into each sponsored post. Word it properly with correct spelling and grammar. Also make sure your post is honest and doesn’t just consist of a bunch of BS marketing speak
4) Limit the use of graphics. If you noticed on some of my sponsored posts I only have one picture in each post. Do not overload the post with pictures. I highly recommend that you DO NOT use animated GIF’s or banners – it will make your blog/post look tawdry!
5) Properly categorize your sponsored posts. I would suggest that you NOT intersperse your sponsored posts with your other posts. Although doing so can give you better results I feel that it would annoy your readers far too much when they dig through your blog trying to find some specific content and they come across some advertisement. What I suggest you do is create a specific category such as “Sponsored Posts” (like I’ve done) and make all your sponsored posts belong to that category.
I think that about does it for this non-sponsored post 😉 I hope you found this brief tutorial useful and hopefully it will contribute a little bit of cash in your pocket to sweeten the rewards of blogging even more.