Explore the many ways to make money online by blogging with or without a blog, get paid to write reviews of products and services, and earn extra cash by writing articles, content and blogging for Google AdSense blog networks.
1. An overview on paid blogging
There are 3 main flavours of paid blogging – your own blog on your own domain and webhost, using a blog on a free blog service such as Blogger and creating a blog on a blog network. The work is the same. You get paid to write or blog about a product, service or anything required by a customer.
The amount paid varies greatly from US$1 to US$200 or more for about 50 to 200 words depending on advertiser requirement. The more popular or higher traffic your blog has, the greater your reach and therefore the higher you are paid. Terms vary in that you may be asked to write a single post from time to time or you may be contracted to blog a minimum of 1 post a day for a few weeks for a specified sum.
2. Blog requirements
Usually, there are certain requirements that your blog will have to meet before being accepted for assignments. Requirements vary with each paid-to-blog network. Generally though, paid-to-blog networks do not accept new blogs with little content and no readership base, so you will need to spend the first few weeks or months writing posts regularly to build up a sizeable amount of content.
You could buy articles or use free articles from various sources of course, but ultimately you will have to write your own unique content to keep readers coming back. It’s a lot of hard work.
Other requirements could be that your blog has to be several months old, be indexed by Google, be of a certain pagerank or have a certain amount of traffic. Blog content and writing standard also affect approval. If you do not own a blog, you may be asked to provide some writing samples for evaluation.
3. Using a free blog on a blogging service
Creating a free blog on Blogger, Live Journal, WordPress and other free blogging services is how most bloggers will start off. These sites are fine for personal blogs but if you have plans to monetize your blog and use it as a means to provide some form of viable revenue, it is best to register your own domain and host your own blog on a web host.
This is because you will have complete control over how you want to monetize your blog and have your own entity and identity eg. yourblog.com instead of yourblog.blogspot.com. Also, some paid-to-blog networks do not accept blogs created on a free blogging service.
4. Creating a blog on a blog network
If you do not own a blog, you can still earn from blogging. Some blog networks require you to create a blog hosted on their network with their revenue earned directly from advertisers, syndication or other means. Sites: Blogchex, Gather, DigitalJournal.
Other blog networks engage you as their freelance professional blogger where you have to commit to making regular posts. In such cases, the content you create could belong to the blog network and you will not be able to use your content anywhere else. These have very high journalistic standards and are difficult to get accepted. Sites: 451press, Blog Republic, Weblogsinc.
5. Posting on Google AdSense blog networks
Other blog networks who use Google’s AdSense programme to generate revenue are less restrictive in terms of topics to write about and tend to be less demanding when it comes to content quality and the reuse of content at other sites.
Bloggers are paid by Google AdSense from the number of clicks received on ads embedded in their posts. Therefore you must first sign up for Google’s AdSense programme before joining these blog networks. You also get paid for referrals. Payouts may seem too little to bother with but if you are active in many networks, the amounts add up. Sites: WriteNiche, WritingUp, Hubpages, Squidoo, Xoomba.
6. Setting up your own blog on your own domain
Buying your own domain costs about US$8 a year while buying a basic hosting plan costs from about US$5 a month. Choose a reliable web host which has a good uptime track record and customer service is important. You may have to be prepared to spend a little more to ensure some reasonable level of quality hosting.
Visiting a web host’s forum where members discuss the web host’s service will give you a good idea of its reliability but since most have a 30-day money-back guarantee, signing up to try would probably be the best way to go.
After building up a fair amount of quality content, you can apply to join professional blog networks if your blog meets the high standards of these sites: Blogburst, B5media, Orble, Webbleyou.net
7. Paid reviews
Some blog networks will assign offers to you from time to time and all you have to do is blog about the product or service and provide links as required on your blog. Other options of monetizing your blog may also be given such as placing banners and buttons or text links on your blog. Sites: PayPerPost, Blogsvertise, LoudLaunch, CreamAid.
Other blog networks provide a common platform to let advertisers select the blog they want to buy advertising space, links or pay for a review from the list of registered blogs. Sites: ReviewMe, ReverseLinks, Buzzbyblog, InBlogads, SponsoredReviews.
8. Variations of paid blogging
There are several offshoots of paid blogging which instead of writing about a product or service, you get paid for your knowledge on certain topics and for providing answers to questions asked by other members in the community. Topics range from business to automobiles to health. You will be evaluated by a test before being accepted but earnings could be substantially higher than regular blogging. Site: JustAnswer.
You can also earn by providing a writing service such as academic papers and resumes, or writing content for end users such as websites, magazines and newsletters. These pay more than the usual paid blogging and is the the way to go if you have the skills. Sites: Constant-Content, CyberEdit, Academia-Research, Manuscriptservices.co.uk, AssociatedContent only accepts US residents.
9. Blogging for companies
Businesses recognise the blog revolution and even large corporations have set up blogs. Many look to freelance professional bloggers for their blog. Software development companies may require bloggers for gadgets and tech-related topics. A lifestyle magazine may require bloggers to write about the night scene in their city or updates on celebrity gossip. The scope is restricted only by your ability and time. Sites: Bloggerjobs.biz, Jobs.problogger.net, Elance.com
10. Blogging for individuals
There are people who need help blogging or who want to build up unique content the fastest way possible and so recruit a few people to contribute posts. The amount to be paid is entirely by mutual agreement and you possibly run a certain risk of not getting paid for your work. Sites: Bloggerforum.com, Earnersforum.com, Goldage.net, Forums.digitalpoint.com.