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How to Make Money With Your Author Blog

They say the way to make a small fortune in publishing is to start with a large one. But not for everyone. Some authors get more money from their blogs than from their royalties.

Here is how they do it.

Step One

Before you can start to monetize your blog you need traffic. You need thousands of visitors coming to your blog each month before you can expect to make money. If you sign up for our free Author Tech Tips newsletter you will get a free ebook on how to boost traffic to your blog.

The equation is simple: more traffic = more money.

Here are a few more articles to help you boost traffic:

Amazon Affiliates

Some authors I work with make more money from Amazon’s Affiliate program than they do from their royalties. If you have published a book and are not a part of Amazon’s Affiliate program you are missing out.

The key is to have your website act as a magnet. Anyone interested in your book should come to your website first. Then they click the Amazon link to buy the book. This can more than double the amount of money you make on each book.

You will need great content and great SEO for this to work. You also need to be a member of Amazon’s Affiliate program.

How to Join Amazon Affiliates

  1. Sign up at affiliate-program.amazon.com. After you sign up, you will see a gray bar at the top of every Amazon page.
  2. Find your book on Amazon.
  3. Click “link to this page” on that gray bar at the top.
  4. Use this link on your website. You can right click and copy link if you just want the URL and not the HTML.

Amazon gives you between 4-8% on the price of the cart. That means that if someone buys your book and another book then you get twice the commission. If they also buy a new digital camera you would make even more.

Have you ever used Amazon Affiliates? What do you think?

Recommend Other Books

Do you recommend books or other products on your website? Did you know you can make money on that as well?

The Amazon Affiliate program not only works on your own book, it works on every product on Amazon. One book I recommend a lot is Inbound Marketing: Get Found Using Google, Social Media, and Blogs. Every time I link to this book I use my special affiliate URL that Amazon provides.

Are there books related to your topic that your blog visitors would appreciate? Are there other authors who write similar types of fiction?

Some blogs, like Garr Reynold’s Presentation Zen, have a list of recommended books on the sidebar. These carefully selected books not only make Garr money, they also help him build relationships with the authors of those books. Many of those authors recommended Garr’s book, Presentation Zen, on their blogs.

Other Ways to Make Money on Your Blog

There are dozens of other ways to make money on your blog. The book ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income has a lot of great advice on how to make a lot of money off your blog. That link for ProBlogger is an Amazon Affiliate link. See how easy recommending books is?

E-Books & Digital Goods

One popular way is to put together an ebook to sell for $20-$100. The nice thing about selling ebooks and and other digital products like mp3s is that the money you make is virtually all profit. There are no paper costs or shipping costs.

E-junkie is a company that will handle all the details for you. All you need to do is upload your ebook and then e-junkie does the rest.

Premium Memberships

I’m not a big fan of this model but I have seen it used effectively. A premium membership for your blog means you set aside some content only for paying members. Then you have them pay a membership fee to get the exclusive content. This is a lot of work for you. You must create enough exclusive content to be worth the membership fee while also providing enough free content to attract more members. But if you have the time and/or a lot of content for which people are willing to pay, this can be a great deal.

What do you think?

  • Do you make money off your author blog?
  • How do you do it?
  • Have you had good luck with Amazon Affiliates?

About Thomas Umstattd

Thomas Umstattd Jr. is the CEO of Castle Media Group the parent company of Author Media. You can follow him on Twitter @ThomasUmstattd. and on Google+ He loves helping people use technology to change the world.

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9 Responses to How to Make Money With Your Author Blog

  1. Angela Lane Woods #

    You guys always have the best articles. Thanks for such amazing content. I've taken pointers that I've gleaned from some of your previous postings and have implemented them with good success.

    ~Angela

  2. Regarding recommending other books through Amazon Affiliates, with an editable widget you can now create annotated slideshows of a series of books. Here's an example I recently started at my blog about hybrid life reads (expat, emigree, travel lit). If I alter it at Amazon, adding captions, new titles, etc, it propagates the changes at my blog. Easy to use, too.

    I imagine you could do an Amazon affiliate slideshow of all the tools you use, etc.

  3. I have been promoting Amazon products. Especially books but Amazon associate program has weird rules somewhat, like cookie duration, cart rules etc.. There are other sellers who offer better commissions compared to amazon. I'd prefer to use them. There is great toolset for associates but with really weird rules.

  4. I make money as an Amazon affiliate. I've sold everything from ebooks to electric fireplaces and tvs. :) (Though I don't promote the latter on my author blog, heh.)

    I just signed up to have my blog listed in the kindle store too. Not sure if anything will come out of that, but people can subscribe for 99 cents and have the content automatically delivered to their kindles. The blogger gets something like 35%.

    My recent post Kindle Nation Sponsorship Results

  5. I really don’t like the cookie duration for amazon, i have given up on them due to this

  6. This is really awesome. I think this is the first article I've read in a long time where I've actually learned something new.

    Much kudos and thanks to you!
    My recent post Writer’s Block Doesn’t Exist

  7. they are great

  8. Bonu #

    Hey now this was worth the read. I have understood a lot about affiliates and marketing stuff related with it. What tips would you suggest to get more visitors and increase the ratio of click through products.

  9. I can’t tell you how many authors I have told to do this, that who continue to send people directly to Amazon without applying an affiliate code. Even for authors who live in states where affiliates are not allowed can use the affiliate code of someone else — anyone otherwise you are leaving 4 to 8%, or more, of each transaction on the table.

    There is no telling how long Amazon will keep this up. Here is a similar article i wrote on the subject: http://aalbc.it/writersmustdo

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