The Insider’s Guide to Automating Your Blog Earnings

Maintaining a blog can very quickly become a full-time job. Writing posts, selling ad space, arranging for guest bloggers and managing affiliate programs eats up time. Many a blogger gives up in frustration, believing the blog’s benefits don’t match the required effort.

With a little planning and some initial effort, you can automate many of your blog’s moneymakingstrategies, freeing up time for little details like eating or sleep. Alternatively, if you consider such activities luxuries, you could always use the extra time to write more blog posts.

Automate Your Affiliate Links

Blogs often rely heavily on affiliate programs to generate income. With an affiliate link, you link to a retailer when you mention a product or service in your blog. If a reader clicks on the link and makes a purchase, you’re paid a commission.Affiliate programs sell everything from household items like appliances and clothing to investment opportunities and SEO services.

For blogs with decent traffic, affiliateprograms provide significant income. Unfortunately, to leverage maximum earnings, bloggers need to join multiple affiliate programs. A blogger could work with ten or more affiliate programs, and deciding which posts should link to which affiliate takes time.

Enter automated affiliate link services. Sites such as VigLink allow bloggers to sign up with multiple affiliate programs at once. When you mention a product in your blog, VigLink assigns it a retailer link.

Signing up for an automated affiliate link service is free. You can, however, expect to pay up to 25 percent of your commissions to the service. While the fee takes a chunk out of your potential earnings, the time saved may make the cost worthwhile, especially if you maintain more than one blog.

Run a Mini Store

Bloggers can also sell products directly from their blogs. Now running your own store is hardly timesaving, and many bloggers have little interest in maintaining stock, processing payments or providing customer service. After all, you’re already losing sleep and missing meals to maintain your blog!

Fortunately, a number of retailers now allow bloggers to add "mini stores" to their blogs. Sites such as Ubokia offer plug-ins that directly embed marketplaces into a blog. The site customizes the marketplace so only items relevant to the blog appear in the store.

You profit in a couple of ways. First, the plug-in helps generate repeat traffic, as buyers return to your site to make purchases. Second, you receive a commission for every sale made through the marketplace.

Other Options

Like affiliate programs, ads bring in the most cash when you tailor ad sales to your blog. Offering customized ad posts, however, takes time. Joining ad networks means giving up some control over ads but automates the process. Blogs that reach a wide audience get the most profit from ad networks. But having a niche blog doesn’t hurt – you might find that you are making more concentrated sales because the ads shown are more likely to relate to your audience.

Other options include selling white papers and eBooks based on your blog posts. You’ve already done the writing, so you might as well reap the profits. Stretch those writing fingers and whip up an eBook! Some bloggers also offer online classes by subscription. Have a skill that others would pay to learn – how to automate your blog earnings, for example? Have them pay you to teach them.

Byline: Carl is an aspiring writer who currently works for an SEO company. He’s passionate about a variety of subjects including technology, marketing, and anything Internet-related.

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