Brad discussed one of 5 potential ways to maximize your Team Blog: recruit 'Your Affiliates Who Contribute to Your Business and Success'. Debbie posted that how her hyper-local content about Lynchburg, VA was sending business to some other local businesses that she mentioned in her blog.
Often times, the obvious isn't such, so I'd like to point out an easy way to monetize and otherwise add value to your AR Individual and/or Team Blog: Recruit local businesses to contribute and/or advertise on your blog.
Think about it...you have The Juice, Google Juice, which is an online marketers Holy Grail. Hyper-local blogs are quickly replacing Newspapers as the go to source for local news, events and area service providers. Write a review about a local restaurant or 3rd party service provider, show them how they show up in the SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages) and offer up an advertisement placement in your sidebar for $25, $50, $100 (?) a month. As your traffic increases so does the value of your online real estate.
With the pending release of 'Widgets' to our outside blogging platform, specifically the ability embed images in the sidebar, there is a great opportunity to sell that space to local advertisers, whether they be a service provider like a good plumber or simply a great restaurant that you want to share with others.
Couple of points...
Be selective. Don't indescriminantly slap up 30 advertisers; be thoughtful with who gets a spot on your site, they reflect on you. Preferably only allow businesses or people with whom you've had a positive experience with to participate. I'd personally limit the advertising space to 3-4 to begin with.
Be creative. People ignore vanilla or ugly ads. The ad should have a succinct call to action, offer a clear tangible benefit and look good.
Stay focused. The more you write about your local areas the more likely you are to rank for seach terms for that area. Concentrate your content and tag your posts appropriately.
This can be a great way to pay for the cost of the blog and subsidize your income, all for doing what you're already doing. Start generating a Social Media ROI!