Online: Blog Monetization

Iris I

Iris I on Flickr

Recently I received an email from another artist with this inquiry: “I had a question … how does one make money from a blog?” An easy question to pose, a complicated one to answer. Here is a quick look at a few ideas.

A blog can be used for multiple purposes, monetization (making money) being one of them:

  • Marketing: extends branding into new readership areas, and directs traffic to related sources.
  • Information: provides unique information, or additional useful information that supports a web site, newsletter, forum, web site, or social network sites (Example: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Digg, and Delicious).
  • Relationship building: provides a service or information that followers can use and/or interact with (comments, newsletters, guest writer opportunities, or membership site subscription. Example: Google Friend Connect or Ning).
  • Monetization: provide various means to create money streams through direct and indirect means.

Making money from your blog may take several forms.  Sales are generally generated either directly or indirectly. Direct sales are from your blog, by you, with your products and services. Indirect sales are created by referrals by way of other web technologies such as ad networks, or referred links to an online shopping cart, or your gallery website. Examples:

Direct: Sales of products or services sold from your blog

  • Products such as paintings, prints, drawings, or materials/tools relating to the creation of works of art
  • Secondary products based on your work such as calendars, t-shirts, or cards (Example: Zazzle)
  • Class sign up and payment page
  • Subscription class/lecture PDFs for fee
  • Webinars or online course (Example:
  • Video tutorials, web discussions, chats, or podcasts/vidcasts
  • Digital Ebooks (your work or thoughts)
  • Subscription blog articles
  • Self published books (Example:  Lulu or Blurb)

Indirect: Referral information and links to related sources online

  • Links to another website, e-cart, or gallery site that sells or supports your products or services
  • Advertising using an ad network (Example:  AdSense, Chitika, Amazon Associates)
  • Private ad sales (arrange with vendors you regularly do business with)

Think about what you want to do with your blog and optimize for your specific goals. Take a look at other artist blogs to see what they are doing, and choose the strategies that make sense to you.  Once you have your solutions in place, don’t forget to revisit them on a regular basis to make sure you are still getting the results you want. Save money by using free tools (Example:  WordPress, Blogger, Twitter, Facebook). As with anything else, it takes time to develop a strategy and carefully implement it.




[No, I do not make money from any entry on this page. These are just my thoughts on this topic.]