Scott Hanselman

Monetizing your Blog

October 8, '06 Comments [7] Posted in DasBlog
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Unless you're a top tier blogger (I'm not one, and I'm not sure what the demographic of one is, as I don't know any REALLY big bloggers.) you're not likely to make a lot of money blogging. I make enough to pay my hosting company (ORCSWeb) and pay for lunches along with the occasional gadget or shareware app.

However, paying for your hosting costs and getting a little spending money isn't a bad thing to aim for. Here's the programs I use on my blog to make extra money:

  • Google Adsense - I've got some Google Ads running just above the first post. I don't think it's too obtrusive and they'll do a direct deposit when the earnings get over a certain amount.
  • Amazon Associates - Any time you post about books you read like I did last year, you include your Amazon Associates ID
    If you have a Cuecat, I made it easier to create Amazon links just by scanning the books directly into Windows Live Writer and blogging from there. You can also use Roy Osherove's Amazoner tool to create these links. Amazon will pay you in Amazon Gift Certificates or real money.
  • Sell premium advertising space directly. If you know what your traffic is like and you know your demographic (I've got a good idea of both) then you can offer premium space directly. However, only support products that you personally recommend. Xceed has had a banner at the top of my blog for the last several months. Their libraries are gold, especially their ZIP stuff.
    • Some other companies have products that offer affiliate programs where you get a small percentage (~5%ish) if someone orders from your link. Often you'll be able to offer a coupon or deal to your readers. Again, only do this when a product kicks ass. I dig MaxiVista the virtual network Video Card software (kind of has to be seen to be believed and understood). SyncBackSE is another application that I recommend highly. I use it to synchronize trees between three local harddrives and an FTP server. Both these programs have affiliate programs that pay small dividends.
  • I almost forgot (thanks Phil!) the best for last - FeedBurner and their FAN (FeedBurner Ad Network). They are starting slow, so you have to apply to get into their advertising system, but I've found them to not only be a classy bunch of guys, but also meticulous about metrics. They measure freakin' everything and give you reports up the wazoo. I was very down on RSS Advertising, but these guys changed my mine. I have control over exactly what ads I will show and how often I show them. I can decide against any ads that I think might be wrong for my audience.
  • UPDATE: Another idea is jobs.codebetter.com and their referral program. They are a jobs posting site, except you can insert javascript in your own blog to spread the word about the jobs. You get a finders fee if a job is filled from an ad on your blog.

Again, none of this adds up to rent money, but if you're going to write blog posts occasionally, you should at least make US$6-10/hr doing it, right?

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Sunday, October 08, 2006 12:25:10 PM UTC
Thanks to your kitchen article, the google ads now show tile and kitchen related ads :).
Sunday, October 08, 2006 12:49:43 PM UTC
Well, compared to others like me, you're a big celebrity, seriously :) I only run adsense on my site, but I will admit I make almost no money out of it on a regular basis... that said I think it will still manage to be enough to cover this year's hosting fees, which isn't that bad.

Actually, you should tell us how to get as big an audience as yours instead :)
Sunday, October 08, 2006 5:28:25 PM UTC
Nice tips. I didn't know about the Amazon store feature, even though I signed up for amazon associates about a month ago.
As far as I can tell though, they only let you select 9 books for display. I'm interested in educational research plus books on programming (for developing educational software), so as you can imagine there are many more than just 9 books that I've found helpful: http://astore.amazon.com/edtechdev-20
I guess I would have to set up my own webspace like you did with your diabetic books site.
Sunday, October 08, 2006 6:32:58 PM UTC
What about Feedburner?
Monday, October 09, 2006 6:55:49 AM UTC
Hi Scott,

Slightly off topic, but I see you too are using SyncBackSe with a FTP server. I am curious whether this FTP server is a public service and which one if it is. Does it offer secure authentication?
Monday, October 09, 2006 6:35:49 PM UTC
<cite>you should at least make US$6-10/hr doing it, right?</cite>

well, here in Israel, most developers make about US$10/hr for their day jobs ...
Wednesday, October 11, 2006 8:53:52 AM UTC
Hi Scott,

You might be interested in http://hiddennetwork.com/ - run by the guy at http://thedailywtf.com/
anon
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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.