Hello I’m Jennifer. You have probably read many ridiculous stories about people who state that they are making a pile of money online and you think, wow, that can’t be true. Guess what? You are right. I am here to tell you that my story is not much different than yours. I am a mom of three and decided that I needed to work from home (have you seen what day care costs are these days?!). I was really unsure of where to start, all I knew is that I needed to find a way to make money online because it would allow me to stay home to work and to be there for my kids.
I found the most inspiring post on this topic, quite by accident. I was looking for a way to monetize this blog, and stumbled over this post by a guy called Ewen Chia, and although I was completely skeptical at first, I decided to give it a shot. I had experimented with a variety of supposed income building ideas in the past, but had never found success until I found this site. In all honesty, I did not think that this site would be any different from countless others that I had been involved in during the past several years, but I decided to put a great deal of effort into following the exact steps that were laid out for me.
So I signed up and dove right into the site. I spent quite a bit of time reading other people’s success stories and then I decided it was my turn. The forum there is chock full of success stories as well as people who are ready, willing and able to help you with your questions about absolutely everything.
I am completely crazy about books of all types and I read a lot. In fact, my husband thinks I am some kind of weirdo because I read so much, but I decided that this would be a great niche for me because it is something I love anyway. What I needed to find out was how I could monetize my love for books while learning how to make money online.
The Accidental Book Reviewer
By following the steps set out in Ewen Chia’s post that I mentioned before, I set up my own blog and started to add content to that blog. I started with some recently published books that have been growing in popularity. It showed me the steps I needed to take in order to get my content up in the SERPS so that it would be seen on Page 1 of Google and not be buried thousands of pages in. Once I had the technique down for getting my content ranked, I started to see some excellent results and to see some money coming back to me for my efforts.
Top 6 Ways you can make Money Online being a Book Blogger
I bet you are pretty crazy curious right now as to how I am making a profit by reviewing books with my blog. I am going to list some ways that I see a return on my various investments right here so you can read them for yourself. Start by adding useful content that people want to read and once you have many readers and a reasonable amount of traffic, it’s time to start monetizing your blog.
Google has a program called “Adsense”. How does it work? You sign up for their program once your site has been online for a while and then Google explores your site, and gives you the okay (approval) or no way (turns you down). Most sites are accepted, based on them providing reasonably relevant content. You need to be honest with yourself here – “Is my site providing some unique and original content and is it going to educate people or provide them with something that they cannot find elsewhere?” Google won’t send you a dime if you commit click fraud, so don’t even bother. You want real traffic and natural clicks and for this you will be paid a few cents per click (or more depending upon the ads). You get a check when you reach the $100.00 payout threshold.
I review books of all kinds, kindle books, hard copy books, ebooks, etc. When I review any books, I provide a link that any reader of my review can easily click on which takes them to my affiliate sales link and allows them to purchase the book. For this I get a percentage of the sales (commission) which I am responsible for.
As you know, Amazon is a website where you can purchase just about anything from books to clothes and all items in between. I add relevant products to the sidebar of my site where I write my book reviews, whether it be books with similar topics or items that a person reading the book may be interested in. Amazon is like Pandora’s Box in that once you are shopping on the site, a pile of suggestions keep popping up, suggesting that a person buy something else. You can sign up to their affiliate program here. Cookies are kept for quite some time, so even if someone does not buy anything that day, they may come back after a few weeks and make a purchase, and guess what? You get paid!
Once your site has a reasonable amount of traffic, you can sell your own ad spaces on your own site. Some really big name bloggers make a substantial amount of money selling ad space on their sites because their readership is big and advertisers want to get their ads in front of their audience. You will want to ensure that the ads you sell on your site are completely relevant to your content or you may be penalized by Google. (Yes, they monitor all of these things on your site).
If you are a member of a program that you use for your site or you highly recommend one, place links to those programs on your site. Shareasale is has a good collection of links you can use to make money. You can add widgets in your sidebar and this allows you to place something relevant that you think is helpful onto your site. If someone reads your blog, clicks on your link and joins the program or makes a purchase, you get paid. There are many excellent ways to monetize your blog with affiliate programs. You can tell people about how you have monetized your site (as I am doing here) and then give links to the various sites that they will need to join or read up on to mimic your success. One great example would be adding a link to a hosting site where you are hosting re-seller affiliate. People who have blogs may start with free blogs, but you can explain how that might limit their success when it comes to getting ranked in Google. Suggest that they start with their own hosting right away so that they are not limited by the parameters of the free blog.
Add a donation button to your site; you will be very surprised about how people who enjoy your blog are willing to donate to it. PayPal has donation buttons that are easy to integrate into any site. Just mention that you are able to keep your blog running because of the generosity of your readers (to cover costs of hosting, etc.) If people continue reading your blog on a regular basis, they are going to send you a few bucks if you ask. Remember to mention the request for a donation once at the end of a blog post or people are not going to notice it.
The important thing to remember is that blogging will not make you instantly rich overnight. If this is your goal, then you need to find something else to fill your time. You will have to invest a lot of sweat equity into your website and make a commitment to work on it on a daily basis. At first you may find it difficult (and what stay at home mom does not?) Your kids need a lot of care and attention, but you must put aside at least one hour per day for your blog work.
Working from home with your own online blog means that you are working on a business for yourself. The blog may start off slowly, but as you start to increase your readership, you will earn money online and see a profit from the different programs that you are involved in. The goal of trying to generate an income from your blog is to set up multiple income streams so that you are never dependent on just one income stream.
For example, if something happens and Google suspends your Adsense account (it happens), will it completely kill your business and what can you do instead? It is wise to never rely heavily on one income source over another. Google is pretty notorious for suspending their Adsense accounts and they are pretty ruthless if they do suspend your account. You can beg and plead, they probably won’t reinstate it, so you best be careful and read their terms of service in great detail and be an absolute stickler ensuring that you adhere to their terms and conditions.
As a book reviewer, many people are interested in your opinion, and if they like your reviews, they will start to trust you. Don’t abuse that trust, make sure that you carefully read each book that you plan to review. I set a goal for myself, like reading one book per week and then writing a comprehensive review afterwards. I summarize the book, list the main things I took away from the book (if it is educational) and then start making a list of items that I can add to my site that would make me money. I write my review and read it over a few times to make sure I have covered all of the main points. After publication, I keep a close eye on comments and approve the real ones, ignoring the obvious spam ones.
On your blog you can use a variety of useful plug ins that will sort out the spam comments for you so that you don’t have to constantly police your site. I found that spammers will latch on to a certain keyword and you may be bombarded, so a plug in such as Akismet is extremely useful. This spam blocker will look for certain keywords and links and automatically reject comments so that you don’t even have to see them.
If you are interested in getting started with your own blog online, then you need to take your time to do it right. I would highly recommend starting off with following the instructions here. This will give you a full online education on blogging and how to monetize your blog. After you have a good understanding, you can set up your own blog and get started. Don’t expect a pile of traffic right away; you are a drop of water in the giant ocean of the internet. Do the work and reap the rewards, traffic will come to you if you are diligent and work hard at this!