Cash in on your social network

So says Duane Forrester, author of How to Make Money with your Blog (R185, loot.co.za).

Hone your concept “Every blog should have a clear focus,” says Forrester. “You have to be known for something. Being an authority on a topic brings readers to you.”

In short, be useful. Each posting should have a perceived benefit to your reader.

Know your audience

“The trick is in the testing,” says Forrester. Try to understand the psychological reasons people click on your posts. Google Analytics helps you to do this by tracking which of your links are most successful. Which beats calling them “funny cat”.

Get advertising

Sign up to Google AdSense to intergrate relevant cost-per-click adverts in your web content. “The most popular blogs can make up to R10 000 a month, but it takes a long time to work up to that kind of profit,” says Forrester.

Become an affiliate

The likes of Amazon and eBay will pay you for referring customers via your blog. It’s called “affiliate marketing”. Watch your stats: if readers click, your blog has instant value.

Go professional

“Bloggers make the mistake of talking ‘hits’ rather than ‘visitors’,” says Forrester. “When your visitor numbers hit the thousands, advertisers will show interest.” And that’s when your bank balance will show interest, too.