They do it by using the blog to sell something.
As I wrote recently,
There are basically three ways to make money from a blog:
- Sell your own product
- Sell your own service
- Sell someone else’s product or service
If you want to live the untethered expat life through a blog, you’ll most likely start, as I did, by selling someone else’s product or service.
Sell Someone Else’s
You can use a blog to sell a product or a service, or even a combination of the two.
The most common ways to sell someone else’s stuff are:
- Affiliate marketing
When a company wants to expand their online marketing without hiring a bunch of new people, they can do it through affiliate marketing.
Basically, they agree to give you a percentage of the sale if you refer someone to their site who makes a purchase. Referrals are tracked through specially encoded links.
If you’ve spent more than five minutes online, you’ve probably come across affiliate links. Amazon.com has an affiliate program. So do office products giant Office Depot and DVD rental company Netflix.
Here’s an example of an affiliate link to a book on Amazon.com. (Disclaimer: It’s a book about affiliate marketing. I haven’t read it, so don’t take this as a recommendation. It’s just an illustration.)
If you click on that link and make a purchase, I’ll earn a small percentage of the sale, only a few pennies. Darren Rowse, owner the the Digital Photography School website, does better as an Amazon.com affiliate because he’s promoting cameras and accessories which cost more than a book does.
Some people make an annual six-figure income as Amazon.com affiliates, but their websites have to attract a huge amount of traffic to do so.
Affiliate links work best when you choose products or services which closely relate to the subject of your blog. That’s why I’m affiliated with expat publishers like the Overseas Retirement Letter.
Generally, you need pretty high numbers of site visitors to make money from affiliate links.
Selling ad space on your blog is another way to earn money by promoting someone else’s product. You can join an advertising network, or you can sell ads directly to individual businesses.
Google AdWords is a commonly used network. Here are a couple of examples.
Here’s an example of a couple of ads that were probably sold directly.
Partnerships are unique and individual. They occur when two (or more) people join together to accomplish a common goal. If you want to partner with someone to market his product or service, you’d better have solid, up-to-date online marketing skills before you start.
This is the second post in a very basic series about blogging as a way to fund your expat life. I’m considering adding to this series once a week. If you’d be interested in a regular “WordPress Wednesday” post, please leave a comment below.