by Jeffrey Kishner
There are many reasons why astrologers blog, and making money directly from blogging is probably the last thing on our minds. For many of us, just the act of sharing our love for astrology with the community is reason enough to self-publish. However, the joy of writing is often not our only motivation.
Yes, many astrologers want to earn a living from … being an astrologer. In the internet age, an easy way to promote our practices is via blogging. Free blogs are easy to set up on Blogger or WordPress, and with the help of great aggregation sites like AstroDispatch, getting your blog exposed to the larger astrological community is not so difficult.
We often attract just those clients who need our services, and blogging helps readers to suss out whether they resonate with your approach to astrology and consulting. All you have to do is include an About page, and include your contact information so they can reach out to you. Or better yet, use a form to allow potential clients to send you their birth data and specific concerns.
You can make money from ads, but there’s no point in even bothering if you don’t have a significant amount of traffic. The easiest way to earn cash is from Google Adsense. You just choose an ad size and plop some code into your blog template. (Blogger will automate this for you.) Google analyzes the content of your blog and includes ads that are relevant to your readers. But be forewarned: if your blogging is not tightly focused on astrology, your ads may often be off-topic. If your blog includes some posts about astrology and some about your knitting hobby, the ads served by Google could be judged irrelevant by your readers, and this can ultimately hurt your reputation. (Readers are often OK with ads if they perceive those ads as being useful.)
You can also join an ad publishing network. These networks “collect” lots of blogs under one umbrella so that they can convince major brands to advertise within their network. Big ad networks can command high CPM (cost per thousand page impressions) ads, and they often split the revenue with you 50/50.
The cost-per-transaction model is low-risk for sellers, as they only pay you when one of your readers purchase their product. One of the most popular affiliate programs is Amazon Associates. If you love a particular astrology book, you can easily create a widget and post it on your blog. If a reader buys it, you get a 4% commission. Frankly, you’re only going to earn pennies from Amazon if you publish an astrology blog. The big earners are folks who blog about digital cameras and other high-price items.
The big astrology sites have affiliate programs. Astrology.com, Tarot.com and Matrix Software pay you a commission if your reader purchases an astrology report from their site. (Matrix pays higher commissions than the former two.) You can also join affiliate programs like Commission Junction and ClickBank. These programs feature more obscure astrology sites that pay a commission if your reader purchases a report, an ebook or a physical object like an astrology-themed bracelet. However, you ought to inspect the specific product to make sure it’s not crap. If you refer a reader to purchase something that makes astrology look bad, you’ll look bad, too.
Sell Your Own Reports
Many professional astrology software products have modules that enable you to print out customized natal, compatibility and transit reports for clients. These modules come with “canned” interpretations written by professional astrologers. You can often whip out a PDF report in a minute or two. This is a pretty easy way to earn extra cash.
You can also write your own interpretations. You can charge a pretty penny for these reports ($40-$60). The consumer is buying your report because she values your specific expertise and writing style. Of course, this option is much more labor-intensive, but over time it can be lucrative. In addition, having written your own astrology report boosts your reputation.
Approach Advertisers Directly, or Have Them Approach You
If your blog gets big enough, potential advertisers or sponsors will reach out to you, because they want to capture the attention of your readers. Or you can directly contact businesses whose products would be of interest to your readers. It helps to have demographic information about your readers. You can register with Quantcast to provide stats about your readers, or you can use SurveyMonkey to ask your readers specific questions (age, gender, household income, etc.). Armed with this data, you may be able to convince a company to be a direct advertiser. This way, you don’t have to split your profits with an ad network.
Jeffrey Kishner is editor/publisher of Sasstrology. He is also a regular contributor at AOL Horoscopes. Jeffrey is available for professional consultations regarding WordPress blogs and social media optimization. You can contact him at email@example.com.