4 Ways to Expand Your Blog

You'll find it repeated on many of the make money online blogs, the concept that your blog is a business. As a business you want the blog's audience and income to grow. Someone like John Chow did this successfully, going from about $300 a month to $30,000! I'm a big fan of Google Adsense, which everyone uses these days to produce income, but I'm always looking for ways to add even more income to blogs I run. Eventually you may find that your blog's earnings hit a plateau, and you want to increase them. While it could included more advertsising and marketing costs, you can also consider ways to expand your blog as a website. Here's 4 ideas to consider.

1) Add a forum - The obvious choice, and a great idea for all those who love Adsense. Adding a forum to your blog gives readers and passers by another spot besides comments to leave opinions. It also can help you keep readers around, and attract them to your latest blog entries. Adsense and other advertising or affiliate programs can work well with forums, in addition to your blog.

2) Offer an online course - If you have a particular area or subject you want to teach readers, offer enrollment for a class. This may be one of the New School ideas for adding additional income to your site. It's something that John Cow & Garry Conn both have employed in their blogging battle, to teach readers. Make sure you've prepared materials for the course in advance, and syllabus, so that you can give readers what they pay for. Affiliate programs tend to work well as you include references to them in your ebooks or other course materials.

3) Offer catchy extras - The best example here involves social media sites. Offer readers applications they can use on Facebook, graphics for their Myspace or anything else you can think of. With Facebook it will take some skill, but many claim building useful applications is where the big money is to be made. Another option involves the ebook which could include affiliate or referral links to produce more income.

4) Merchandising - Some may view this as egotistical, but consider your blog site as a brand just like Coca Cola or GE. You can easily create catchy items with your logo, phrases and URL over at Cafepress (using art programs to design). If you don't have the graphic design savvy, enlist someone to help. This is a great offline way of expanding your blog into new areas. It makes you visible in the "real world" and if you design something catchy enough, it just might become a big moneymaker offline.

Keep these 4 ideas in mind with your blog site. A smart approach may be to invest in web hosting early on that will also give you a forum and other extras. Setting this up early on may give you plenty to work with in the future as your blog audience grows. The last thing you want is to hit an earnings plateau!

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