Blog Meaning – How can a blog generate income?

This post was last updated on February 18th, 2021

Passion led us here written on the ground - Blog Meaning - How can a blog generate income?

How can a blog generate income?  And what is the actual Blog meaning and where did the word come from?  Well I was originally curious about this too, so I’ve researched the background of blogs and will share my findings in this article.  I remember hearing of blogging as a business, but in the beginning I never knew how it could be possible to monetise one.  In a nutshell, the answer is:

Most blogs generate income through a mixture of advertising and by promoting products for sale.  These promoted goods and services are often monetised through an affiliate marketing arrangement whereby the product owner pays the blogger a commission per sale. 

It turns out that there are numerous other ways to generate income through a blog which I’ll share with you below.

Blog Meaning – Origins of the Word

The term Blog is a shortened version of the original term Web-Log. 

The first Weblog is believed to be Justin Hall’s personal site links.net which he started in 1994.  It’s still going today. Justin’s maintained the early retro web look of the site which is kind of cool.  The focus is on quality content, rather than modern styling, which is refreshing. 

Here is how Links.net still looks today:-

links

Weblogs gained in popularity over the following years and the shortened term “blog” was coined in 1999.  Blogger.com also started in 1999. The rest is history.

Blog Meaning – What is a Blog

A Blog is simply a type of website that contains a series of written articles (blog posts).  These posts are usually organised chronologically and also by category. 

It’s a place where you can share your passions and views on current topics.   The best blog posts are rich sources of useful information. By including images, diagrams and even videos in your posts, your readers will keep coming back for more.  

Specialised niches or interests are perfect for blogs.  No matter your interest, you can probably find a blog that serves it.  If you can’t, why not start one!

The Best Style of Writing for your Blog

Be conversational and draw your readers in. Also try to avoid complex words. If something can be said simply, say it simply.

By doing this, you’re more likely to keep your reader on the page.  Sentence length is important. Keep them short to assist with readability. 

be conversational - Blog Introduction - Grab your Reader from the Start - be conversational

Keeping your paragraphs short to only two or three sentences will help with readability.  This is because we need to consider those people reading our blog on a mobile device.  If your paragraphs are too long on a mobile device, they will wrap over the page and your blog becomes really difficult to read.

Blog Meaning: Types of Blogs

Blogs are often the sole driving purpose of a website eg  Matthew Woodward’s SEO blog which I highly recommend for growing your blog.

Often you will see the blog combined with a regular website containing other static pages.  It’s quite common for large companies to include a blog on their websites. Yoast’s blog would be a great example of this.

Blogs also work really well within e-commerce.  If you’ve got a Shopify store or any other online store, blogging is a great way to promote your products by writing about them. 

For example, we love this blog on the Mvmt watches store where they skillfully combine blogging and e-commerce:-

 

Mvmt blog attached to store - how can a blog generate income

Try to help people with solutions to questions that are frequently asked in your industry. You’ll engage more with your customers and it will help the SEO of your overall site.  

The types of blogs that you could create are limitless.

Blogging Platforms 

Blogging really doesn’t need to cost you anything.  The first platform Blogger (which is now part of Google) is still free.  The catch is that your blog will show the extension .blogspot.com. Alternatively, you can attach your own URL to your Blogger blog for a small fee. 

One easy method of setting up a blog is to use a site builder such as Wix. For

Build websites with Wix

Wix have many ready-to-use professional design templates which you can just jump into and start using straight away.  In terms of ease-of-use, Wix is hands-down the easiest with their drag and drop editor.

Self-Hosted Blogging 

If you’re serious about setting up your blog as a long-term business, self-hosted WordPress is your best bet.  With this method, you own the site so you have full control. You’re not at the whim of a platform and have free reign and total ownership.  You’ll need to sign up with a host and install WordPress onto your hosting provider’s servers.  

Installing WordPress is an easy process.  Most hosts such as Bluehost or Siteground will help you through the steps.  

If you’re interested in starting a blog, we’ve written this useful guide to setting up your blog which you will find helpful. 

How can a Blog Generate Income? – You’ll need sufficient traffic first 

Growing your blog and getting organic traffic is the first step to earning income.  Organic traffic can be achieved through Google and Bing search by targeting keywords that people are already searching for.  If you develop high quality content to answer these needs, over time you will start to see organic traffic.

Keywords Everywhere Sample Search Results

It might take 3 to 6 months of regular publishing, but once you start to see a decent amount of traffic coming in, you can look at ways to monetise your site. 

How can a Blog generate Income – Advertising 

Once you’ve got regular sufficient traffic coming to your site, you can apply to Google Adsense to place advertising blocks on your site.  If you’re approved, you can start running ads. Google will serve up the ads on your page independently based on your niche and you’ll be paid a monthly fee depending on the number of users who click on them.  

 

Ad Sense - how can a blog generate income

Adsense is a good way of monetising your site particularly when you have a high amount of traffic. 

How can a Bog generate income – Affiliate marketing 

Affiliate marketing is another great way to generate income from your blog.  By using this method, you will review, recommend and endorse other company’s products. 

If you already use and love a product, why not endorse it? To do this, you need to sign up with the specific company as part of their affiliate program.  They will then give you a special affiliate link to their website for your referrals.  

For example, many tech blogs are monetised through Amazon Associates

 

Amazon Associates - How a blog can generate Income

You will then use Amazon’s referral link in your blog posts when you are reviewing or endorsing products.  Depending on the affiliate program, you’ll earn a commission each time your referral results in a sale.

The great thing is that the buyer doesn’t need to make a sale immediately for you to earn a commission.  This is because a cookie in the reader’s browser has recorded that the person clicked through to the affiliate.  You’ll earn a commission for as long as that cookie lasts.

If the reader also goes on to buy other products at Amazon, you’ll probably earn a commission for those items too!

Other Ways a Blog can generate Income

If you’ve got a product or service that you want to market, what better way than to blog about it?

Say you’ve designed and built your own super SEO-friendly WordPress theme.  Then why not write a series of blog posts addressing how your product fills a gap in the market.  Target these blog posts to specific keywords related to the problem that you are solving with your product. 

 

Summary – Blog Meaning and how can a Blog Generate Income? 

So to summarise Blog Meaning – it’s a website where you can share written articles which would be of interest to your audience.  The best blogs are very good at drawing the reader in with a conversational style. Keep your readers happy with photos, diagrams and videos as well.  Start to grow a mailing list and share your blog posts with your lists as you publish them.

There are super-easy online platforms for blogging such as Wix, but self-hosted WordPress is the recommended method if you’re serious about growing your blog.

How can a blog generate income?  The two main methods are by running Adsense ads on your site or by earning affiliate commissions.  Both can make good money. But your main focus should always be on providing high value content to your audience.

Frequently Asked Questions – blog meaning

Is it more important to grow organic traffic or build your audience? 

They’re equally important and are both great ways to get traffic to your site.  The former via Google search and the latter by returning visitors.  To grow your audience, utilise YouTube, engage with social media and send out newsletters by email.

Are there any alternatives to Adsense?

Yes, you could try a wholesale ad reseller such as Mediavine or Adthrive.  Both of these providers require you to have a higher volume of monthly visitors than Adsense.  As a website owner, they can help you to make higher advertising revenues than you would on Adsense.

What are the advantages of affiliate marketing?

With affiliate marketing, you don’t need to handle a product, hold inventories or deal with customer service. 

All three parties benefit from the transaction:

  • The affiliate makes a commission.  
  • A new sale is made by the product seller.  
  • The buyer often gets a longer trial period or discount.

Is WordPress really the best blogging service? 

Yes.  The main benefit of self-hosted WordPress is it’s scalability.  As it’s a fully fledged CMS, it can intuitively handle a huge volume of content, media and visitors.  There’s also a massive number of plugin integrations, themes and hosting options available.  

Main Photo by Ian Schneider on Unsplash

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