You’ve probably seen the ads, emails and squeeze pages for how to make money overnight with your blog. These pitches can be compelling, especially if you are in a position where you need to make money fast. The problem is you can’t just set up a blog and have it make money for you overnight. Making money with your blog or website takes a lot of work – something these sites and emails rarely tell you. In fact, they go to great lengths to try to tell you how easy it is to make money with your blog, so easy all you have to do is purchase their product and the rest happens on auto-pilot.

The truth is these are lies. They are great, and not so great sales pitches to people who are in a desperate position with regard to their finances. They are selling to people who need to make money right away and will do just about anything for a chance to do it.

The only people making money overnight with their blogs are the ones selling the product.

I know this because I’ve been that mark that the slick internet marketers are going after. I’ve paid more money that I am willing to admit for products that sounded wonderful, even too good to be true, but because I was looking for something, anything… I was willing to give it a try. And my $47.

There is no shortcut to a successful blog that makes money. In order to make money off your blog – overnight or otherwise – you need traffic. The only way to get traffic to your blog, without paying for it, is to fill your blog with compelling content of which people are searching.

It’s pretty simple, really.

If you want to make money with your blog or website you can do it several different ways:

1. Place ads on your website – this is a great passive way to earn a little money on your site. All you have to do is put a little code from Adsense or some other advertiser and you never have to do anything again except cash the check. About once a year if you have about 300 visitors per day. Still, if you’re going to use the real estate on your sidebar you may as well use it for something that pays something.

2. Affiliates – similar to placing ads on your site except instead of letting Adsense choose the ads you do and you create copy for them. Sign up with CJ.com to get started. From there you’ll need to join find an advertiser that is relevant to the topic of your blog (it doesn’t have to be but you’ll have better results). I’m an affiliate for Freshbooks, an online accounting service that is perfect for freelancers. That link will take you to the Freshbook site and if you sign up for their product I’ll make a little money for referring you over there. You can also see the graphic ad in the sidebar, that also has my unique affiliate link embedded in it.

3. Sell your own product or service – instead of selling someone else’s product, you sell your own. What can you sell online? Anything, really. Create your own eBook, sell a service, sell a product that you made.

There are other ways to make money with your blog or website but all of them utilize one of the above methods. You’re either selling space on your site to sell someone else’s products, you’re selling someone else’s products or your selling your own products. Of course, you can do all three of these methods to increase your income. All of these methods require that you have a fair amount of traffic to your website. No out of the box product for sale online can give you traffic (and if they make that promise they’re lying or about to sell you something that could get you penalized by the search engines).