Blogging is more powerful than ever now, thanks to the might of social media. When you publish a good blog post, people Like it on Facebook, ReTweet it on Twitter, or comment it from Disqus. Often, you can find your blog post has spread quickly all over the social web. If you handle your online presence well through social media, you can develop an audience, and build your reputation in your chosen niches in a fairly short time.
So, is blogging just a hobby to you? Do you just enjoy sharing your thoughts with others? Or, would you love to turn blogging into a steady revenue stream?
So can only the top bloggers earn money from their blog?
You might feel envious of all those top bloggers. They have speech invitations, product endorsement offers, and even book contracts. It seems that there are numerous opportunities for them to earn money as a blogger. Should we face the fact that it is a privilege exclusively for the bloggers at the top of the pyramid?
How about us? We have thousands of views on our blog-posts, and loyal readers. People listen to us, follow us, and trust us. Can we also make use of our reputation, and generate a decent income from it? Yes, you can.
Beating top bloggers at their own game
Some interesting start-ups have seen this problem, and offered interesting solutions for amateur bloggers like yourself to start making money online. Today, I am introducing 3 web startup companies that can help bloggers to generate extra income.
1. Affiliate programs
Affiliate links are probably one of the most common revenue streams for bloggers. You can use them to promote products that are relevant to your content, and promoting other people’s products can be lucrative.
Unfortunately, there is a lot of hard work to be done behind the scenes. You have to sign up to an affiliate network, get approved by all the merchants separately, and then you have to create and maintain the links with those merchants.
Skimlinks, is an award winning start-up, who cleverly handle all the hard work for you. Skimlinks converts plain merchant links that you have included in the post content into equivalent affiliate links on-the-fly.
2. Fan donation
You might get a lot of Retweets or Likes from your audience. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all those Retweets and Likes were turned into cash? A new start-up, Flattr, is making that dream come true.
Flattr encourages fans to set a small pool of money to show their appreciation for the things they like on the web. When they see something they like, they click the Flattr button. The money they decide to donate every month will be divided between all the content creators whom they have recognised using the Flattr button.
3. Sell your time
Nothing demonstrates your knowledge and expertise in your field better than a well-written blog. Of course, people who read your blogs or follow you on Twitter know you, and trust your expertise. It is very likely that they might want to consult you, and pick your brain about their specific issues.
A new start-up, MinuteBox, enables you to sell your time via your blog to the people who trust you. They can pay for your time and get advice or a second opinion from you online via multi-media chat (video/audio/text chat).
You simply embed the MinuteBox Direct widget on your website or blog. This allows people to see your online credentials, your availability, and your rate. They can then buy your time directly using that widget.
MinuteBox has created a sophisticated web-based application to facilitate the live advisory session with your client and collect the payment for you. All you need to do is to have a Paypal account to receive cash in return for your advice.
Guest Bio: Josh Liu is an entrepreneur and an amateur blogger. His blog is www.joshliu.co, talking about technology, social media, social capital, and entrepreneurship.