As the business of blogging matures, 2008 might just be the year that you make real money off your website. There are a handful of success stories -- bloggers making a living off their sites, and some even scoring six figures for their work. But can the ordinary person make real money off their website? And what does it take?

First, it will likely take an established blogger. You can't open site today and expect to be rolling in money next week. Making money from blogging requires a devoted, sizable reader base. And that's not built overnight. Those making money have probably been blogging for at least a couple of years and have set themselves apart with consistent and creative content.

You also need to sift through the many money-making opportunities on the web to determine what will help you make the most money. Google AdSense is probably one of the most popular way to make money online, but there are many other advertisers out there offering advertising and affiliate opportunities.

It's reported that most bloggers currently make less than $10 or $20 a month through advertising on their sites, so most of you have a long way to go before you can make a living from your site. New methods of advertising on websites include audio ads and video ads, but it remains to be seen how popular these will get. Experiment with your content and advertisers and see where you can go with making money from your blog... but don't quit your day job until you know that you've got a stable income from blogging, which could take quite a while.

Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, MBA, CFE performs fraud examinations and financial investigations for her company Sequence Inc. Forensic Accounting, and is the author of Essentials of Corporate Fraud.

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