Strategic CIO // IT Strategy
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8/12/2008
03:34 PM
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8 Ways To Make Money Online

You won't get rich (probably), but you can pad your income by turning your knowledge, skills, and talents into blogs, online videos -- and cash money.

Blog To A Specific Niche
In the spring of 2004, Jay Brewer launched a blog dedicated to an extremely specific subject: coffee makers that make only one cup of coffee at a time. Within a month, traffic doubled. Within two, it doubled again, and companies were asking to advertise on the site. The advertisers knew what Brewer had suspected: Readers who care enough to read about a very particular topic are likely to click on ads about that topic.

"Blogs that are about specific topics generate traffic from people who are either really interested in the topic or doing research," says Jay Brewer, CEO of Blogpire (www.blogpire.com), which operates subject-specific blogs on topics such as shaving equipment and GPS receivers, in addition to the aforementioned single-serve coffee makers.

Some of the sites on blogpire have advertising and affiliate click through rates of up to ten percent, he says. Furthermore, the more specific the subject, the less competition it will face from other Web sites. A Google search for "dogs" yields about 278 million results. A Google search for "grooming products for Golden Retrievers" yields one result.

To bolster the revenue you receive from general advertising and affiliate programs, you can seek out individual advertisers whose products you might be featuring on your blog. While giant corporations aren't likely to advertise on your little Web site, their partners might. "Find the PR person's name and send them a note," Brewer says. "And don't dream too big. You don't have to have Philips or Sony as an advertiser. You can have an online site that sells products from Philips and Sony."

3. Now Sell Your Blog

After several months of daily blogging, you may develop a case of blogger's fatigue and decide you have nothing more to say about the subject at hand. In that case, don't abandon your blog. Sell it. The Sitepoint Marketplace hosts hundreds of listings of Web sites and domain names for sale via online auctions.

Recent Web site auction sales included a blog about traveling in Cyprus, which sold for $850; a site dedicated to Secure Digital camcorders, which sold for $150; and a site called puppiesforsale.org, which sold for $10,000. Sitepoint offers several sales tips on its own site. To wit: "More traffic = more money. It's that simple."

4. Stay In The Knol

If you know enough about a topic to write an encyclopedia entry, but you don't have the time to blog about it every day, consider creating a Knol. A Knol is "an authoritative article about a specific topic," according to search giant Google Inc., which launched the Knol project in July.

The concept is similar to that of the online encyclopedia Wikipedia, in that all the content is created and dynamically edited by the site's users. But there's a key difference: The first person who creates a Knol is considered the "owner," a title that comes with the rights to feature Google ads and collect Google Adsense revenue from that Knol, if they so choose.

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