It is hard for a blogger to make money for living. As per the Knight Digital media Center, to make $36,500 a year, an average salary for a journalist, you'd need to earn $100 a day on your site. At $10 CPM (unlikely, given the atmosphere), you need 10,000 unique page views/day. At $5 CPM (doable if you cover profitable niches - games, films, products etc. and use other ad revenue sources besides Google Adsense), you would need a daily traffic of 20,000 unique page views/day. For that, you have to post at least 10 times a day.
Content websites typically earn money through one of four ways:
1. Advertising networks Google AdSense http://www.google.com/adsense http://www.blogads.com/ Chitika http://chitika.com/ Yahoo Publisher Network http://publisher.yahoo.com/ Glam http://glam.com
2. Commissions / Affiliate links Amazon, Befree https://affiliates.befree.com/Affiliates/index.jsp, Commission junction
3. Selling your own ads: start with having your ad manager using Google Ad Manager, or OpenAds http://www.openads.org/
4. Paid content: Paidcontent.org (on Digital Media Business) sells reports and studies, and so does GigaOm.com.
5. Sponsorships/Grants - Everyblock http:;//everyblock.com is financed by a grant from the Knight Digital Center.
6. Donations - PayPal http://paypal.com/ PayPal allows you to set up a donations system on your site. Your readers can click a button that will bring them to a page where they can send you some cash.
7. Books - New Media Blogger Jeff Jarvis http://buzzmachine.com made his name blogging and has just come out with a book which he is promoting everywhere
8. Sell stuff - Blogging pioneer Dave Winer sell software under the Userland name.
9. Sell Links - this is a grey area for Google doesn't take link selling kindly, for reasons more competitive than qualitative. TextLinkAds is a well-known provider of Text link ads. http://www.text-link-ads.com/feedvertising/
10. Sell consulting: SEO experts such as Rand Fishkin http://seomoz.org or Aaron Wall http://seobook.com write about the SEO industry and sell their SEO services.
11. Job Boards: Popular sites such as Problogger, Techcrunch, Mashable accept money to post ads on their job boards. For this, you require to develop decent traffic.
12. Multimedia: If you can produce short videos on a regular basis, doing profiles, interviews etc. you might be able to get sponsorships.
What other revenue sources are there for there for the online journalist?
Given below is a fluid list of sites that used to pay users for their contributions. - fluid because all depends on their business models which may change anytime in today's market conditions. You can check them out but no guarantees.
Money for video
During the heydays of web 2.0 video in 2006-7, sites such as Revver http://www.revver.com/, Break.com http://www.break.com/, Metacafe http://www.metacafe.com/, Eefoof http://www.eefoof.com/, Flixya http://www.flixya.com/, Guba http://www.guba.com/ used to pay you for your videos outright, or referrals, or for your videos depending on views and it could be anywhere from $25 a pop to $100.
Citizen news TV sites such as Current Tv http://current.tv also paid. I am not sure how many of these sites pay. It is hard, seeing that times are so hard. Anyway, you must check out these sites about whether they still pay and for what.
Money for Photos
SpyMedia http://www.spymedia.com/, Scoopt http://www.scoopt.com/ , ScoopLive http://www.scooplive.com/ and CellJournalist http://www.celljournalist.com/ used to pay users for their news photos, especially of celebs. Among these sites, Scoopt.som is closed.
Cash for Writing
BlogBurst http://www.blogburst.com/ , which used to syndicate blog posts to big news sites is closed.
Review sites like PayPerPost http://www.payperpost.com/ and ReviewMe http://www.reviewme.com/ pay you write about companies and products. The amount you pay depends upon the popularity of your blog. Then there is the controversy about credibility.
On citizen news sites such as GroundReport: http://groundreport.com/, writers share from the ad revenue.
On Ohmynews, http://english.ohmynews.com/, writers are paid if their stories reach the homepage or through reader donations.
Last time I checked, India-based Instablogs http://instablogs.com paid its freelancers who write news articles. [disclosure: I was the founding managing editor at Instablogs from 2005-2006]
Human-edited Search Engine Mahalo http://mahalo.com also pays its contributors and editors. However, there have been reports about the site tightening its belts during the downturn.
Another human-edited search engine, ChaCha http://www.chacha.com/ also used to pay its search guides.
Helium http://helium.com the Wikipedia wannabe employs writers who get paid.
What other ideas and sites do you know that pay online journalists? Please share.