Blogging Business Models — 8 Ways to Build a Business Using a Blog
Starting a blog is so easy nowadays. If you know how to use email apps, you know enough to start using a blog. However, despite what others say about it, making money by blogging is not easy, although the blogging business model can be quite simple.
Now that we have millions of blogs, the last thing anyone needs is another one. Unless you can provide unique and informative content, you will most likely end up like one of those abandoned blogs.
A blog is just a tool. It works wonder if you know how to use it, but you are the one who have to work. A blog could be used to establish relationship with the readers and other bloggers, but no one would like to talk to a robot or a piece of software. You have to do the work.
How you use a blog for your business is only limited by your imagination. Understanding how blogging works can help a lot. The following is a list of blogging business models to help you get started:
1. Corporate Business Blog
A business blog is about using a blog as a marketing vehicle for an existing business. Two popular examples would be Stonefield Farm and IBM blogs.
A blog can be used as part of the marketing mix for generating buzz, establishing relationship with the audience, building anticipation of future products and other marketing applications.
Businesses of all sizes, from small businesses to Forbes Global 2000 companies, are using blogs as a communication tool to reach their prospects and customers.
2. Service Professional Blog
Service professionals know their fields inside out. They could use a blog to demonstrate expertise and build authority in the niche.
A blog could feature anything from case studies, articles, questions and answers, educational information, e-courses, free teleseminar promotions and recordings, transcriptions, and much more.
In this model, often a prospect who calls to ask for more information regarding a service feels like she already know what the professional has to offer to solve her problem — all without cold calling or any other hard selling tactics.
3. Ad-Supported Blog
This model is very popular especially among beginners, mainly because it is very easy and it looks cool. (This doesn’t mean bloggers can’t make full-time income by starting ad-supported blog though.)
By partnering up with advertising networks, bloggers can put small piece of code on their blog template / layout, and immediately get ads displayed on their sites. They are paid based on the views or clicks.
Other bloggers decide to sell their own ad space independently. This is feasible for established blogs because no one will buy ads on a blog that has little or no audience.
4. Affiliate Blog
Nowadays, you can find affiliate programs in almost any niche. Basically, you refer leads or sales to a product or service from a company, and you earn a share of the revenue (commission).
That means you don’t have to create a product, maintain and ship inventory, provide customer support and all the details in accepting online payment.
The affiliate model is also very popular among bloggers because they can diversify the type of products they could offer to their audience.
5. Product Development and Promotion Blog
A business can start a blog during the product development process to gain feedback from readers.
Book writers start a blog and post the draft of the content to get insights from the future customers and to see how the readers respond to the product. Bloggers can ask for feedback for the cover design and other things as well.
A blog is a very powerful mechanism to gauge acceptance of the product too. By building a buzz around a product, people will line up even before the product is ready to launch.
After sales, a blog can be used to give ideas and tips on how to get the most out of the product and establish a great customer support. In turn, this builds strong customer base who are not only loyal but also advocate the product.
6. Information Business
Information business is a multi-billion dollar industry. With so many information, why people want more information?
What doesn’t grow is the time people have. They are willing to purchase premium content if it saves them time and effort. Some types of content is not available on the Internet and the customers prefer them. A good example of this is people who prefer to get CD recording of a teleseminar sent to them.
7. Freelance Blogger
Freelance blogger is more of a job than a business model but nonetheless a way to earn money from blogging. There are blog networks and independent blog publishers who recruit paid bloggers to blog. They are always in demand for fresh content in almost any imaginable topic. Writers can be paid per post, per month or based on a signed agreement.
8. Blog Network Model
In a blog network a group of blogs formed into a network. They could have any topic on earth or focus on a broad niche such as business or marketing.
Blog network business models usually revolve around web publishing and advertising income. Bloggers in the network maybe independent or paid by the network to produce content.
When blogs join a network, they usually leverage each other knowledge, traffic and link popularity.
You can combine two or more of the bloging business models above as part of your strategy, especially they are compatible and support each other.
It is always recommended that you aim for the lowest hanging fruit though. When you get the momentum, you can expand and diversify your income streams.
Doing too many things at once may overwhelm you, especially when starting a new blog. If this is your first one, you may have to struggle with other details, and that’s already too much for some people.
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