When you think about starting a blog, one thing you need to think about is the type of blog you want to run.
And in order to take that decision, you should to be aware of the various possible options.
Here is a list of the types of blogs that are possible, and their pros and cons, so that you can determine which one is the most suitable for you.
The 3 As of Blogging
Broadly speaking, there are 3 types of blogs that you can have:
- AdSense blog
- Affiliate marketing blog
- Authority blog
Each type has its advantages and disadvantages, and of course, there are variations among these as well. So let’s discuss these in detail!
1. AdSense or Advertisement Based Blog
To put it bluntly, this is a quick and dirty way to make some money online. You just create a blog with a few posts targeting a particular keyword, and earn from people clicking on the ads on the blog.
Here are the steps that you follow to start an AdSense based blog:
- You do basic keyword research
- You narrow down on some keywords that have relatively low competition but high CPC (cost per click)
- You register an appropriate domain name
- You write a couple of posts around the keyword you have chosen
- You build some traffic to the blog so that you start earning from AdSense clicks
- You rinse and repeat this process!
As I said, this is a quick way to earn some spare cash without too much investment of your time.
However, Google has started to crack down on such “thin” blogs – blogs with just a few web pages, designed primarily to attract people for earning ad income. With Google’s recent algorithm updates, such blogs have seen a big drop in traffic – and earnings. So think hard before you start a new AdSense based blog!
You earn money primarily by running Google AdSense ads. When people click on an advertisement, you earn some money.
You can also check out other ad networks, but Google AdSense is by far the most popular and the easiest to implement.
I run multiple blogs, and they are all around the spectrum. So yes, I do have some AdSense based blogs, and they are making me a coupe of hundred bucks a month.
But I would like to add that each has some good content that is actually useful to its visitors – that’s the only reason why they have been getting some traffic (and have been making money) even after the recent Google algorithm changes!
2. Affiliate Marketing Blog
These are the blogs that revolve around a particular product or type of products. They earn by referring people to the websites that sell these products – when someone clicks a link on your affiliate blog, goes to the product website and buys a product, you get a commission.
This commission can be either a percentage of the sale amount, or can be a fixed dollar amount per sale. The products that you refer people to can be physical products or virtual products.
There are multiple ways you can refer people for such affiliate sales. Some examples:
- You can talk about the products that you have used and benefited from (you can see an example here – I talk about the services and tools used by me)
- You can write a detailed review of a product so that people can find out everything about it and decide if it is right for them (again, you can see an example at my HostGator web hosting service review)
- You can compile a bestseller list, or talk about the top selling product with a particular feature (for example, you can write a post on top 3 digital cameras with high optical zoom, and embed your affiliate links in the post)
AdSense Blog vs Affiliate Marketing Blog
In a AdSense or other advertisement based blogs, you earn money as soon as someone clicks on an ad. However, the amount that you earn from one click is quite small – it starts from $0.05, but the average is about $0.50 (the exact amount per click depends on your niche and the advertiser).
Compared to this, earning from an affiliate blog is more difficult – you earn money only when someone actually buys something. However, the amount that you get is usually a lot more than the amount that you get from ad clicks.
Typically, you get 5%-8% commission on the same of physical products, and 25%-100% on the sale of virtual products!
A Variation of an Affiliate Blog
A popular variation of an affiliate blog is a blog that focuses on CPA, or Cost Per Action affiliate offerings. This combines the best of ad-based blogs and pure affiliate blogs.
Here, you promote a CPA offer – people click on your link, and take an action on the target website. This “action” is not a purchase – it is something a lot simpler.For example, it can be signing up for an email newsletter, generating a free car insurance quote, etc.
Since there is no purchase required, more number of people would perform this action compared to an actual purchase, resulting in more earnings for you. Your earning per action is somewhere between what you earn from AdSense clicks and affiliate commissions.
As I mentioned earlier, you can promote both physical and virtual products.
I do have a lot of affiliate marketing blogs – I have 10+ such blogs in various niches.
My primary focus has been on promoting physical products from Amazon.com, and I have seen good success here.
I also plan to venture into virtual products, and have been looking around ClickBank for an opportunity. A couple of products that I plan to look into are:
- CB Surge – Shows you the products on ClickBank that have the most profitability potential
- CB Affiliate Blueprints – A step-by-step system for making money with ClickBank
3. Authority Blog
This is a blog that focuses on one topic or niche, and has posts about that particular topic. The niche can be narrow or broad, but the posts are informative articles about that particular topic.
Usually, such a blog revolves around your passion – if you are really into something, you can write a lot of content about it. Therefore, it makes sense to start an authority blog around your passion.
But if you want to be successful – get lots of traffic and make lots of money – then you also need to determine of the topic has a large appeal or not. That’s where keyword research comes into the picture.
An authority blog is not for making quick money – it is for the long haul. You have to keep blogging for a while before your readers start trusting you and start seeing you as an authority in your field.
Only after this happens, you can start making serious money from an authority blog.
On an authority blog, you also build and maintain an email list using your own email newsletter and autoresponders – this further helps in getting more traffic and earning more over time.
With an authority blog, you have multiple options to earn money:
- Running advertisements through ad networks like Google AdSense
- Direct ad sales where you sell ads spots on your blog to advertisers
- Affiliate marketing
- Launching your own products – ebook, training courses, membership sites, etc.
I would soon be writing a post about various monetization options for your blog that would discuss all these in detail – so stay tuned!
Out of the 20+ blogs that I run, 5 are authority blogs. All the blogs whose traffic and income report I discuss here are authority blogs – including this blog. My New York City blog and the Cruising Tips blog are also authority blogs.
I have had good success with these blogs – I have been able to build good authority in my niches, and have been successfully making money using a mix of ad income, affiliate commissions and my own products.
So, what kind of blog should you run? I believe that an authority blog is the best blog to have.
You work on something that you are passionate about, so you can keep going ahead with full steam for a long time without getting bored. Plus, an authority blog offers the most opportunities to earn online.
However, it does take significant time and effort to get established with a authority blog, and it can be a while before you start generating some real cash.
So you can also have a couple of affiliate blogs as well – they are relatively easy to set up and establish, and they can start generating profits sooner.
(In any case, I strongly believe that you should have more than one blog – for multiple reasons)
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