6 Ways to Make Passive Income from Your Blog or Website


Yesterday I discovered a gold mine I had no idea I owned. A blog that I started in early days of blogging in 2004 is now ranked in the top 1,000,000 of all the sites on the Internet.

While this is a wonderful surprise, I am also kicking myself.

I could be making money, and my blog is just sitting there.

Are you sitting on an Internet gold mine?

Over time, blogs and websites can become “properties” with high virtual value on the Internet.  If you have an old blog or even a business website, do yourself a favor and learn your Google Page Rank and your Alexa rank. You might be very surprised.

A surprising number of my clients also have no idea how potentially lucrative their websites are, and I’m usually the one who breaks the good news to them.

For example, one day, I typed a client’s url into Alexa and discovered his website was ranked in the top 1 million sites on the entire internet! He had absolutely no idea.

Another client just shut down a website because their event had ended — despite that fact that it was getting 1,000,000 hits a month from the aggressive promotion and PR we were doing. That site is now very connected on the Internet and it could be making money, or even flipped for a profit.

I checked the Alexa rank for a new client I just started this week and discovered she has 250 inbound links on her blog, and a very respectable rank in the top 2 million of all websites in the US. No, she had no idea at all she was sitting on a possible Internet fixer upper.

Even this site, Visibility Shift, has a surprisingly high search rank and great SEO. The main reason is because my name and URL go out on press releases on PR Web every time I send out a release for a client. This builds tons of links back to their page — and to my own page.

1. Sell Links

This is controversial, but I see no reason why not, as long as the links are for sites you feel ok about promoting and not just some skanky “enlargement” product.  The advantage to links is they are small and unobtrusive and won’t clutter your margins like a virtual Times Square.

You can contact websites with products in your niche directly, and offer to sell them links, or you can use a firm like Magenet that will broker this for you.

2. Google Ad Words or other pay per click ad services

The trick to using Ad Words is to have lots of relevant key words in your content, and highly focused content relevant to an ad category that has a high cost per click. There are sites like About.com that generate the majority of their revenue this way.

3. Amazon.com Affiliate Programs

Personally, this has not been a big money maker for me, but I do know people who successfully promote books, supplements or other merchandise that is very closely aligned with the content on their page.

4. Niche Affiliate Programs

I like the idea of targeted niche affiliate programs better — for example, I have a spirituality and yoga blog and joined an affiliate program for an online store that sells buddah statues.

5. Banner ads

Create an “Advertise” tab on your blog, and offer an invitation to advertise. Include all the statistics that advertisers want to see, such as your Google page rank, Alexa rank, traffic, social media statistics, links to your social pages, press coverage you’ve received, and any other work you’re doing to build traffic, credibility and brand awareness. Include a phone number and email address so you can be reached. Then visit five blogs that are written by competitors, find out who their advertisers are, and contact those advertisers directly.  A client of mine did this and got a banner advertiser the first day he tried.

6. Flip your website. 

Yes, just like the flip and remodel craze that hit housing in the 1990s, you can flip and remodel a URL. A bare URL is not worth nearly as much as one with inbound links, a Google page rank and lots of keyword-rich content. Upgrade it with fresh content, paint it with a nicer interface and a new template, and do some social media promotion to spruce up your Page Rank, traffic and SEO and you might have a blog that’s worth more than your car. A friend sold one of his urls for $18,000. Go Daddy auctioned off two of my expired URLs for thousands of dollars — which is what tipped me off that I could be doing this myself.

Never let an URL expire until you check it out to see if it’s accumulated some traffic and a Page Rank. Even a page rank of 1 could pull in ads. There are many brokers that specialize in auctioning off websites, or you can even sell it on Ebay or Craigslist.

More about remodeling your blog or website for better Search Optimization and using press releases, press coverage and Social Media to drive traffic to it in a future post.

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118 thoughts on “6 Ways to Make Passive Income from Your Blog or Website

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