This week’s news: Bloglovin, Disqus, Google Wallet and more

Welcome to the new edition of “This week’s news”, a selection of links to interesting articles and news from the worlds of blogs, commerce and e-commerce.

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Bloglovin, a Sweden-born but now New York-based blog and lifestyle portal, is growing rapidly according to this article by All Things D. The concept of a combined blog/RSS reader with social networking features seems to have found many fans, especially among female users. Of the site’s audience of 10 million monthly unique visitors, 93 percent are women.

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Disqus is a quite popular comment system for blogs that adds social network-like features to the comments section. Now the free service has launched an update that allows commenters to post video, audio and images within a comment. So prepare yourself for more interactive content when sifting through blog comments.

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With Wallet, Google offers a digital wallet which they can use to transfer money to friends or to buy stuff in stores with their NFC-enabled smartphone. But since many phones and retailers still lack NFC support, the internet giant has come up with a handy workaround: Users in the U.S. can now get a free debit card to make purchases or ATM withdrawals using their Google Wallet balance.

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If you happen to walk by the Westfield Mall in San Francisco these days, you have the chance to order directly from a touch-enabled connected digital storefront, powered by eBay. If you found something to purchase, you get the order pushed to your mobile phone during checkout. It’s probably not really the future of retail, but a nice experiment nevertheless.

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If you instead decide to check out one out of two Macy’s stores in New York and San Francisco while carrying an iOS 7 device, you might get a notification about special deals, made possible with Apples new iBeacon feature. For now Macy’s will only ping your iPhone while entering the store. In the future, the retailer might also send you department-specific notifications.

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Zulily, a fast-growing flash-sales platform that hardly is being talked about in the media, has pulled of a successful IPO. The site operates daily flash sales with 4.500 products from children’s and women’s apparel to kitchen accessories.

5 strategies to make money by blogging

Among the Twingly users a rather big number of people runs a blog. The total population of bloggers around the world is estimated to be somewhere between 100 and 200 million. How many of them are dreaming of earning money by blogging?

We don’t know, but for sure it is more than a minority. Most users (hopefully) know that they won’t become rich by blogging, but it’s definitely possible to earn some cash to go to a nice restaurant or to buy a new gadget from time to time. A few bloggers even manage to make blogging pay all their bills. In the end, it’s up to each and every person’s talent and determination.

There are several ways for a you as a blogger to create a revenue stream. Here are five strategies to make money by blogging.

1. Ads (pay per click, pay per impression)
This is the most boring and probably least effective way of monetizing your blog, but it is the one that costs you very little time. By signing up for an advertising program like Google AdSense, you can integrate ads (text or display) into your site, based on what content you are generating. Each time an ad is clicked or viewed, you earn a few cents, depending on the program.

While almost every site can join, the outcome is usually pretty low, especially if your blog doesn’t have many visitors. Furthermore, despite different targeting techniques, those ads are not always properly matched with your content, and often they don’t look that nice either. Still, it might be worth a try.

2. Affiliate
Affiliate is another category of online advertising, where you are not getting paid for impressions or clicks, but for actions, like when somebody buys a product or signs up for a service. At a first glance that might sound unattractive to you, but for some sites, affiliate marketing works out pretty well.

The potential of affiliate is dependent on your blog’s content. Do you write about things that are being sold, like for example books or cameras? Then you could sign-up for an affiliate program and use affiliate links in your blog posts to get a commission every time a visitor from your site buys something after following a link.

3. Sponsoring
Let’s say you blog about a very specific niche topic where you are a real expert in. Even though you maybe don’t have many visitors, the people that are coming to your site are highly passionate about your content and engaged in comment discussions etc. Instead of putting ugly irrelevant ads on your page that no one pays attention to, you could try to get sponsored by a company that is interested in reaching out to your highly specific target group. Even though you only have a few hundred visitors per month, the sponsor knows that each of those is part of the target group and therefore potentially interested in the company’s product/service.

This approach will cost some time since you need to get in touch with companies and offer them a sponsorship of your blog. But if you find a company willing to pay you a monthly amount for in return getting their logo on your site, it could help you earn some money and will make your blog look really professional.

4. Syndication
If you are a good writer and an expert in your area, there might be other content/news sites that would benefit from getting your articles on their site. This is called syndication and not that common yet among blogs. But since newspapers are faced with declining ad revenues and have to deal with budget cuts, it’s not unlikely that more of them will try to get affordable content from bloggers in the future. Keep your eyes open for possibilities!

5. Consulting
This is an indirect way of monetizing your blog. Instead of getting paid for what you publish at your blog, you get hired for external consulting in the field where you have proven that you have smart things to say. This approach is very long term oriented and requires a lot of patience and persistence, since you first have to build a reputation. When you feel that you are ready to take your blogging career to the next level, watch out for consulting opportunities and make it easy for your readers to get in touch with you. You could also write a blog post informing your readers that you are available for consulting or speeches in your specific area of expertise.

Conclusion
As you see there are different ways of earning money with your blog. All of them have in common that you need to be good. You need to be quality-focused and you should be passionate about the things you write about. This will increase your chances of success tremendously.

Do you want to share your experience of monetizing your blog?

/martinweigert

photo credit: stock.xchng

Introducing Martin Weigert as Twingly’s new blogger

Hello Twingly fans!

My name is Martin Weigert, from now on I will write regularly in the Twingly blog. I will introduce you to new features of existing Twingly products, write about launches of totally fresh Twingly services and keep you posted about what’s going on in the exciting social web world where Twingly is an important part of.

Let me tell you a few words about me: I’m originally from Berlin, but moved to Stockholm after finishing my Bachelor studies in Business Communication Management. I have been working as a Project Manager within advertising/print media for three and a half years. Simultaneously I followed my passion of blogging about web topics, like the rise of social networks, the real time web or – in the past month – the young but thriving sector of location based services.

At first I had an own blog in German together with a friend, then I started to write at one of Germany’s leading tech blogs netzwertig.com, and recently I got the chance to take over the role of the editor for netzwertig.com. That is a little bit like if I realized a dream, since I always wanted to blog for living. There is nothing more exciting than covering the web world. A world that is changing rapidly and developing faster than many can imagine. From time to time, I also publish some thoughts in English on martinweigert.com.

At least once a week you will read an update from me here on the Twingly blog, and me and the Twingly team would be happy to hear your feedback in the comments.