Google Adsense seems to be the fallback position for most everyone writing on the internet on a blog today in order to make money with their blog. Unfortunately, the majority of people who have Adsense on just one or two blogs or websites are not going to see any significant money coming in from Adsense. Google is really set up for their Adsense program to run on large websites, with lots of traffic. Small blog sites or sites with niche markets aren’t going to see much money, and the ads tend to be more annoying than they are something people click on anymore. Most people have learned to tune out the ones that aren’t obnoxious, and refuse to visit sites with the ones that are obnoxious.

Then there’s ad blocking software that many people use that prevents them from even seeing the ads, and thus prevents you from making any money from them. Contextual linking is another method used to make money, but the semantic understanding of contextual linking has a long time to go before it’s accurate enough to be truly helpful to the reader. Because of that, I’m not sure sure how helpful it is to the advertisers.

So how can you make money on a blog if you choose not to use Adsense or contextual links, or if you do use Adsense and the pennies are trickling in way too slowly?

Well, some people have chosen affiliate marketing, using affiliate links in the text over key words. Then there’s sponsored posts, but if you use those and aren’t super careful to use no follow links and have your disclaimers all written exactly right, then Google tends to de-index or knock your Page Rank from your blog.

But all these options aren’t going to make you rich any time soon.

Just how DO you make money with your blog without adsense, contextual advertising or sponsored posts?

It’s tough, but not impossible.

What’s your blog about?

Rambling blogs and daily journals aren’t going to make money. Your blog needs to be about something and it should be about something that people are interested in reading. While you can stray off the topic now and again, the majority of your posts should focus on that topics. Is it cars? Jewelry? Writing? Book reviews? Once you know what your blog is about, you’ll be able to figure out what your target readership is. Your next job is to figure out who else, the people with the money, have the same target readership.

For example, if you write about cars all the time, and you get a couple hundred to a couple thousand hits on your blog per day on a regular basis, hit up a local car repair shop and ask them if they’d like to advertise their company on your blog. If there’s a small online car parts company, email them and tell them you’ll give them a banner ad for 30 days on your site, and a sidebar ad for the entire year in exchange for $300 bucks. That’s less than one dollar per day for them, but it’s more than you’ll likely get from Adsense for that one blog for the entire year, so anything else you get after that is gravy.

But what if you went to a different but not competitive company, in this example, let’s say a company that sells car covers instead of car parts, and you sold them a small sidebar button ad for $30 bucks for 30 days? Then you go to a car wax seller on Amazon and ask him if he’ll pay you $30 bucks for 30 days.

As your traffic increases, so can the quality and the price you charge for advertising on your blog.

If you’re a mommy blogger, offer to sell adverting on your blog for cheap to other mommy bloggers. Contact manufacturers of baby or kid toys and supplies and ask them if they would like to advertise on your blog.

If you spent just one hour every week sending out a few emails to a few advertising contacts (and most company websites have a place to contact for things just like this on their websites, but if they don’t, they at least have a general email address to send to), and send out your pitch.

Write up your blog, tell them what it’s about, build it up, tell them how you plan to market it, tell them what your readership is, and make it sound like you can benefit them as much as they can benefit you, and then make them an offer. $30 bucks for an ad is nothing to these companies, but it’s more than you’d see in Adsense for that month, for almost all Adsense-only niche bloggers out there.

In the meantime, keep increasing your traffic, keep building your brand on the internet, keep improving your product (your blog and your writing) and stick with it. Building a profitable blog takes time and patience. If you’re lucky, something you write will go viral and you’ll get noticed by a lot of people, but the chances of that happening are slimmer than you think. Most people who start niche blogs leaves within the first year, or simply piddle with it, a post here, a post there.

Post every day, at least once per day, sometimes more, and give it time. It will take time for it to index in Google, get enough content to have a good archive, to get people to find it organically and link to it. There ARE things you can do to help that along, but that’s not what this blog post is about.

For now, start looking around and see if there’s not some way you can find someone or some company that can advertise on your blog and benefit you both. Just something to keep in mind.

Love and stuff,