You can earn direct income from your blog - through ads and becoming an affiliate - but it's also possible to make money indirectly. You can sell a product or service through your blog to your readers.
Now, there are many of these that you can choose from, but I'm going to talk about one in particular in this post - lessons. I decided to try it out with one of my other blogs, Authentic Greek Recipes, and all the indications so far are that it is going to be successful. We are going to organise Greek Cookery Lessons here next summer - see the post.
To get an idea if there was any interest in this, I simply put up a poll on the site to get an indication if it was worth proceeding. So far, out of the 165 responses, 51 (31%) have said Yes and 33 (20%) have said that they would seriously consider it. Now, these are not huge numbers but as we plan just to do small, friendly groups it's more than enough for us to go ahead and organise the lessons.
This is the kind of thing several kinds of blogs could consider doing. Apart from cookery blogs, crafts people and photographers immediately spring to mind. How about arranging a holiday for people to come to you for lessons? It's a good way of using the readership that you have built up, who consider you to be an authority on the subject.
To get an indication of the potential interest, you can set up a poll on your blog - I got mine free from PollDaddy. I wrote a post about it and then left the poll up in the top left corner of the site.
Let me know what you think and if it's something that you could do.