Is it possible for blogs to click their way to riches?

Starting a business site or personal blog can at times seem like randomly casting a digital message in a ubiquitous bottle deep into the vast sea of online content. Many site owners do so hoping earnestly that someone might enjoy and appreciate their captivating cupcake recipes, precocious parrot videos or even pithy commentary on humdrum of everyday life. Then there are others who set out to develop loyal and sizable followings, keen to strike money from the pool of audiences.

Take the case of Atlanta based homemaker, Stephanie Nelson, who in 2001founded CouponMom.com. It shares simple and practical tips on saving money by using coupons. Incidentally, she made no money first three years, but she did not give up. To put it in the avid blogger’s word: “I simply had to love what I was doing so as to keep going. Now, Ms. Nelson’s website claims to have more than 3.7 million visitors every month. The income her site generates can well support her family. She reveals, “I am still not tired of it (blogging).” Her advice to follower bloggers is to pick a topic that you would probably never get tired of, which is crucial to success.

Half of her site’s revenue is generated from Google’s AdSense, and the rest of it comes from companies such as LivingSocial and Groupon. They directly buy ads from her. AdSense, as is known, generates text ads on basis of the keywords appearing on Web pages. For instance, if a blog is about pets, ads for dog grooming or dog food might appear alongside it.

However, many of these Google ads actually generate income only after readers happen to click on them, thus ensuring a fraction of a cent for every click. It is also possible that you will get paid each time a visitor will see a Google ad. Generally, the payment rate is determined partly by advertisers’ bids during an online auction. A few other companies such as BlogAds and BuySellAds.com let self-publishers decide what they wish to charge for placement of ads on their respective websites and then match the same with keen advertisers for a fixed percentage of total ad sales – 15 to 30 percent is common.

Operating in a similar manner Federated Media is another advertising company. It claims to be a bit more selective. It looks to negotiate rates on independent content creators’ behalf that it consents to represent. The company won’t reveal the cut that it actually takes from overall ad sales, but according to industry sources it’s probably variable. Largely speaking, online ad rates typically vary from a whopping $54,000 per day for an ad on popular blogs such as PerezHilton.com to as low as mere $10 or even less a month for an ad on a blog.