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You’ve built up your blog readership and are now a force to be reckoned with. But you’re still making next to nothing from ads. It just doesn’t make sense. There has to be a better way of converting all those eyeballs into hard cash. It’s not that you write your blog just to get paid – but it would be nice to get a decent reward for all that hard work.

The good news is there are many different ways to make more money from your blog. There isn’t a single get-rich-quick strategy, but there are lots of great ways to boost your blog’s earnings. Here are eight to get you started:

Direct Ad Placements

Direct Ad Placements

Like many bloggers, you probably use advertising to monetize your blog. But if you’re just relying on Google AdSense, then you’re likely missing a big opportunity. Unless you’re in a high-value niche like insurance, AdSense and other ad networks pay very little for clicks – and they take a big cut for themselves.

It’s often a better strategy to contact potential advertisers directly. Pitch the value of your readership base, and explain exactly why you are a perfect fit for the advertiser. You could even put together a small prospectus that you can reuse.

Offer the advertiser a rate for placing ads on your blog – a good starting point is 2x what you get for pay-per-click (PPC) ads, since ad networks charge this and take a 50% cut. You may be able to get an even better rate if your blog is a good fit for the advertiser.

Paid Reviews

Paid Reviews

It’s true. You can write product reviews on your blog and get paid for it. There’s nothing wrong with this, provided you give an honest opinion and disclose the fact that it’s a paid review. In the past, manufacturers were reluctant to pay for reviews, but it is now an accepted practice.

You can use sites such as Tomoson to connect with product companies – they’ll even be happy to send you free samples. Just be sure to disclose that you received the product at no charge to review it and nofollow the links.

Sell Products

Sell Products

If you have physical products that you want to sell, then combine your blog with an online store. For instance, if you make your living as a painter, sell prints of your paintings on your site.

You can also sell other people’s products – and in many cases you can get these products drop shipped. [Drop shipping is where a warehouse sends the products you sell directly to your buyer; you never have to handle the products.]

Just make sure that the products are relevant for your audience, and that you’re personally happy with the quality of what you’re selling.

Affiliate Programs

Affiliate Programs

This is another twist on selling products. Rather than doing it directly, you can promote products on your blog and link back to the seller’s site. When a visitor clicks on this link, the seller knows that the referral came from your blog and pays you a commission if they make a sale.

Most affiliate programs pay out even if the visitor doesn’t buy the product right away. As long as they buy within a fixed period – 30 or 60 days, for example – you’ll still get a check.

Commissions can be quite generous, particularly for downloadable items such as software and training guides.

Directory Listings

Directory Listings

Another killer way to monetize your blog is to use paid directory listings. For example, if you write a blog about interior design, set up a directory broken down by city and state – then ask interior designers to pay to be listed. In some ways, this is like selling direct ad placements.

But since you’re selling listings to many companies, you can afford to charge each of them much less – which makes it a much simpler sale provided you have a strong blog following. You can make lots of money this way. For example, if you charge five dollars a month for a listing and get 1000 companies to sign up, that’s an income of $60,000 a year.

Write Your Own eBook

Write Your Own eBook

Since you’re writing a blog, there’s a good chance that you’re an expert on something. Why not write an eBookabout what you love doing anyway? Offer premium information – such as a tutorial or a guide – and sell it on your blog.

This may seem a daunting task, but remember that eBooks don’t have to be as long as printed books – if you produce 30 or 40 pages of high-quality content, this is perfectly acceptable.

Have the eBook professionally produced, including getting a graphic designer to create the cover art – this will let your readers know that they’re getting a quality product.

The other great thing about this approach is that you get to keep 100% of the money you make, instead of just getting a cut from an eBook seller.

Consulting

Consulting

Another way to leverage your expertise is to offer consulting services. This isn’t monetizing your blog directly, but it can be very lucrative. You’ve already built your brand with the right audience, so consulting is a natural next step. Alternatively, sell training or coaching services – or offer your services as a paid speaker.

The only downside with this approach is that you’re selling your time, which can be difficult if you have a day job. On the other hand, it can be the perfect opportunity to be your own boss. Here are some tips on how to get more freelance work.

[Gail tells me that most bloggers make a living freelancing with the most common earnings coming from consulting, writing, managing social media accounts, or working for others. You could even work for other bloggers. Find out what kind of work bloggers hire each other to do.]