I know, I know, you just started blogging and you’re itching to make that first dollar. Not so much because you need a dollar, but so you can prove to yourself that you can really do it. I’m going to share three methods I used when I first started out and you can take your pick.
A lot of new bloggers start off with Google Adsense because it’s so easy to add it to your blog. You just get a Gmail account, configure your ad and add the script to your blog. If you’re using WordPress there are plenty of themes or plug-ins that make this whole thing a one-click process.
While it’s pretty easy to earn that first dollar with Adsense, you have to earn a minimum of $100 before you get paid, and that might take a while. The more you learn about keywords and targeting, the faster you’ll earn, and you can set up multiple blogs to bring in the money faster.
Affiliate marketing is another easy way to make that first buck. A lot of the big-name networks require an application and there’s usually a three- or four-day waiting period. However, there are a few networks, like Clickbank or Commission Junction, where you can immediately begin selling. Just sign up for a free account, pick a product and add some links to your blog.
On the downside, most affiliate networks have a minimum payout. You might earn that first $1 easily, but you’ll have to earn $50 or $100 before you get paid. Additionally, Clickbank makes it a little more difficult to reach that first payout by requiring that your first five transactions all use a different type of payment method – and Paypal doesn’t count.
Personally, for beginners, I think Amazon has the best affiliate program. There’s an application process involved but once you’re accepted you can promote any product you find on the Amazon website. The real benefit for beginners is that once someone goes to Amazon using one of your links, no matter what they buy you earn a commission. Everybody buys something when they go to Amazon, so even if you’re not the best at targeting a market yet you’re bound to make sales.
Honestly, if you like to write and you enjoy blogging, I highly recommend this method over the others for five reasons:
There’s always a market for good writers: Visit and/or email your favorite blogs to see if they’re looking for a blogger. Visit Elance.com and bid on the paid blogging gigs. Set up your own gig on Fiverr.com and start building a business.
You’ll learn so much more about blogging for traffic: Blogging for traffic is like anything else – your results improve with practice. You can only post so much to your own blog before you get burned out. Blogging for others lets you practice your technique which only makes you own blog that much stronger.
You’ll get paid for doing something you enjoy: Some people just really enjoy all the writing that goes along with blogging. Others absolutely hate it – and they’re willing to pay YOU to do it for them.
No application or wait-time and no minimum pay-outs: With most of the freelance sites you’ll have some type of waiting period, but when you go directly to other bloggers you can set up your own payment terms. Have them pay you directly to your Paypal account every time you post if you want.
You don’t need a blog: While it’s nice if you have your own blog, it’s not necessary. There are lots of paid bloggers who make a very good living running their business directly from Elance.com or Fiverr.com.