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Wyoming Business Tips for Aug. 30-Sept. 5

August 21, 2015

A weekly look at Wyoming business questions from the Wyoming Small Business Development Center (WSBDC), part of WyomingEntrepreneur.Biz, a collection of business assistance programs at the University of Wyoming.

By Nicholas Giraldo, WyomingEntrepreneur.Biz market researcher

“I want to be a full-time blogger, but I don’t know how to make money from it. Any advice?” Lauren, Lander

There are many ways bloggers earn a living, but the more successful bloggers generate income through multiple forms of advertising or selling their goods and services directly to their readers.

Below are some common ways bloggers are monetizing their blogs:

-- Display advertising. These ads work like the ads you see in a newspaper or on popular websites. Most bloggers set up these ads through ad networks like Google’s AdSense, which is easy to set up. It works with most audiences and displays ads based on your page’s content.

Display ads work best if your site is getting a lot of traffic -- like tens of thousands of visitor-level traffic. But, for most bloggers with very modest traffic numbers, display ads are not a large source of revenue. Display ads also have the potential to interrupt the user experience and can visually clutter your blog.

-- Affiliate marketing. With this method, bloggers earn income by referring their audience to purchase a particular item or service, and getting a percentage of the sale. This approach can be seen in any blog post that assembles a list of “need to buy” items with links to purchasing those items.

Affiliate programs tend to be less intrusive than display ads and fit it better with lists and how-to content that is popular with readers. But, once again, traffic will be the deciding factor on whether you can convince a brand or an affiliate marketing program to partner with your blog.

-- Sell goods and services. Another popular method to generate income from a blog is to create a product or training course and sell it to your devoted readers. Selling eBooks, training courses and seminars are examples of bloggers generating income through direct sales. This approach is the most time-intensive, requires expertise in a particular field, and may not always be the best approach for newcomers.

The key takeaway from all these methods is how important traffic is to building a successful blog. By focusing on developing and promoting quality content through a website that is search engine optimized, you are laying the groundwork for a successful blog.

A blog version of this article and an opportunity to post comments are available at

The WSBDC is a partnership of the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Wyoming Business Council and the University of Wyoming. To ask a question, call 1-800-348-5194, email, or write 1000 E. University Ave., Dept. 3922, Laramie, WY, 82071-3922.

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