Many people use blogs to write about their personal experiences, to communicate with their friends and family, especially if they live far away, and of course to promote products and services. That is why some people consider them as an on-line journal or diary and others as a very effective marketing tool.
What anyone writing a blog should know however, is that with a few very simple steps they could actually start to earn an income from their blog and it doesn't really matter if it is a private journal, a diary type blog or a blog being used specifically to promote products and services; the process is the same. It actually doesn't take much effort to do this either. The set up is very simple, especially if you are using perhaps Googles' Blogger or Wordpress (own domain version) to publish your blogs.
So what are the steps you need to take to monetize your blog.
There are a number of sites that desperately want to use your blog to place their ads and they are prepared to pay you for the privilege; probably the best known company that does this is Google, using their Adsense campaigns.
You will need to register with these companies and set up an account which tells them how they can pay you, who you are and where you live etc. But once that is done its just a question of following a few simple instructions for activating their ads on your blog. Adsense pays you every time their advert is clicked on, but don't be tempted to click on your own ads as you will find yourself very quickly banned from participating in the program.
Plenty of companies are seeking affiliate relationships, either directly or through affiliate marketing companies. Affiliate Window is a good example of a company that operates out of the UK and can help you apply for and arrange affiliate agreements with many different online businesses. Very often with a traditional high street presence as well, people like B&Q, John Lewis, Boots the Chemist and so on. Typically you can place what are called advertising banners on your blog, or if you find that too intrusive, it can be a simple link that contains a reference back to you as the source of the traffic you send their way. If people buy products after visiting their site from your link then you will receive some commission.
This is an even simpler method of advertising, what happens in this instance is the company (once you have copied their code to your blog) analyzes your posting and identify what they call key words or phrases. They highlight these words and phrases and turn them into a hyperlink that takes your visitor to a sponsored site offering products or services related to that term, but only if your visitor clicks on the link. Again you can earn money from the number of clicks that are made from your site. This is probably the least intrusive method as they are actually using the words you have written and embed the advert within those words. Konterra is an example of a company that operates in this way.
Of course traffic (or visitors) to your blog is the key to earning reasonable money, so if you are getting lots of traffic already and want to earn some money from all those people visiting your blog, then it really doesn't take much effort.