Let us look at how to monetize your blog, as most people who have a blog would love to earn some sort of income from it.
Whatever your reasons for starting your blog, be it for fun, for charity, for business, for personal reasons or even to make money, there are always ways and means to monetize it.
When it comes to monetizing your blog it can be done in a number of different ways from affiliate advertising to personal products. So let’s look at the best ways to monetize your blog and you can work out what is going to work for you.
How To Monetize Your Blog
Your niche should determine what advertising or monetization techniques you will need to use. There are some techniques that will only work for some niches and not for others. Before we take a look at this, I want to take you through what you shouldn’t do when learning how to monetize your blog. This will give you an insight into how your strategies can work without getting into trouble first.
What Not To Do When Monetizing Your Blog
Don’t set out to make money in the beginning. I know it sounds crazy, but the more you concentrate on content, the more people will trust your judgment and buy recommendations from you in the future. Get to know your blog, and get to know your readers and get some organic traffic before you start to monetize your blog.
By providing nothing but free information with no ads, people will soak up your content and become loyal readers. When the time comes to monetize your blog, you will know what people want and what ads you can make the most profit from. You can then target your readers and maximize your profits.
There are so many people monetizing their blogs from the very start with the view of making an affiliate income instantly without any content. 1 or 2 ads you may be able to get away with at the start, however it’s best to concentrate on building your blog rather than thinking about money. It will be very minimal in the beginning stages in any case as you won’t be getting a lot of traffic unless you are paying for it.
When the time comes for monetizing your blog, don’t over monetize. I have seen so many blogs with masses of ads on the home page which are very distracting to your readers.
Imagine you are looking for some information on a certain subject which you are interested in. You complete a Google search and you find a blog which looks to be the one to provide you with the correct info, only to find a ton of ads trying to sell you anything related to the chosen subject. My guess is you will ‘X’ away from that blog very quickly.
More ads do not mean you are going to make more money. Less is more in most cases. Be strategic in your ad placement and selection and you will reap the rewards.
When you get to know your blog and your readers, you will know exactly what ads to place on your blog and what is going to work for you. Keep your ads relevant, keep them simple and make them look professional.
Affiliate Ads And Income
If your blog is in the Internet Marketing (IM) industry, like this one is, it makes affiliate ads a great asset as they are perfect for the “make money” niche.
Some of the best and biggest commissions can be made from the “make money” niche where commissions are typically 50%, with recurring income advantages in most cases.
If you can harness a good company with a recurring income, you can create a truly passive income and earn on autopilot for the length of the buyer’s membership. If you can retain a good click rate and buy rate, your monthly recurring income will increase.
There are some great market places you can use to place affiliate ads on your blog and make some great commissions. These ads are free to use and typically the developer will give you 50% commission. Examples of places you can join to promote affiliate products are Clickbank and JV Zoo.
Using a reputable marketplace where affiliated products are found means you get paid regularly and on time.
Try Being Product Specific
If you take this website you are reading for example. It promotes various products and tools that I use in my own online business. My top recommendation is linked to on just about every page in this website, as I use it so much and get so much value for my money. You can read more about it here.
Staying with affiliate ads and promoting programs that you use is always a good idea, because your readers will always want to know what you use within your business and what is working for you.
Take an online auto responder and email subscription service such as Aweber for example. I used Aweber for years, and still use their free service. I consider an autoresponder to be one of the most important marketing tools I use. And if you use this tool within your business, why not tell other people why and how it is helping you. Just for referring somebody you could earn a recurring income.
You will notice some common products which are advertised on a lot of blog sidebars and resource pages which are usually related to the running of those blogs. These are essential products which people need to run their blogs and services. Some of these tools could be:
Key Word Tools
Auto Responders and Traffic Guides
Blog specific products
All the above services work well for all types of blogs as they are so generic. When it comes to your own blog and your own niche, you will find the tools and services that work for you. You can then tailor your ads to suit your readers, who will see them as services and not adverts.
Google’s Adsense Program
Google’s Adsense program is a content based ad program in which you can insert a select code to your blog and Google inserts the relevant adverts according to certain algorithms based on your content.
You can check out Google’s Adsense program as a way to monetize your blog. The popularity of your blog does determine the amount of revenue you get paid from Google. Google places ads on your blog based on topic, page rank and traffic. The more traffic and value your blog has the more revenue you should earn from clicks due to the higher Pay Per Click (PPC) advertisers.
Many people don’t like using Google Adwords, as they say it takes people off their website when they click on the ad, as they will then be directed elsewhere. My advice is to place them sparingly and not let them drown out your blog or your other affiliate offers.
The pay is not as good as it used to be, so you may only find it worthwhile if you are getting a lot of visitors. The advantage is that it is automatic, so once you set it up it runs on autopilot and you don’t need to worry about it again. In most cases, AdSense in the make money online niche will not earn as much as affiliate ads targeted to your readers.
The best thing to do is test it for a while and if you find it isn’t working for you then move in to affiliate ads or another form of advertising.
As your blog grows in popularity, you can start to seek direct advertising. Think of it like an ad you see in a magazine or a newspaper. The concept is the same, you can charge the advertiser for the privilege of exposure on your blog, it’s very simple.
Depending on how popular your blog is, you may be approached by advertisers, or you can seek out your own advertising and offer them a spot on your blog for a set fee.
When it comes to fees for advertising on your blog, try to negotiate a monthly fee which is set on recurring billing. This ensures a regular payment. If this option is not available to you and you still want to use the advertiser, try to negotiate something with them that will make it as easy as possible for you to manage. You don’t want to be changing adverts every week or changing ads every day, managing clicks and tracking ads. Keep it simple.
Remember to have your traffic stats at hand for advertisers as they will want to see them. Using the Google Analytic plugin can solve this very easily.
Your Own Products
Many people start blogs with the intent of selling their own products. Having your own products on your blog allows you to keep all of your readers within your own sales funnel. This means you get to keep all the profits from your products and do not have to split the affiliate fee’s.
The advantages of having your own product on your blog are:
You keep your subscribers within your own circles
Your subscribers stay in your sales funnel
Further commissions from more products in your funnel and you can create an affiliate base
By creating affiliates for your own products, you ultimately increase your revenue and your subscriber base. The only disadvantage to using your own products is supporting your buyer’s questions and problems. If you don’t have someone handling your support, time could be an issue. If you do have enough products and services related to your own niche, advertising your own products is certainly one of the best monetizing strategies out there.
Text Link Ads
If your blog has a page rank and a decent amount of traffic, you can also use text link ads. Text links ads are exactly as described, a text link on your blog either in the sidebar or the footer which advertises another product or blog. You can use http:// forums.digitalpoint.com to advertise your blog as a platform for text link and charge a fee for the privilege.
This is very similar to direct advertising where you negotiate a price for the link. You can also use Text-Link-Ad’s which is a brokering service that allows paying advertisers to provide links which you can place in your blog. They have a good, simple, automated setup; however, they do take commissions for the privilege. Ultimately, the higher the page rank the more revenue you will get in return for link placement.
There are a lot of brokers who will work for you to advertise on your blog links and banners that will appeal to your readers. They do charge a commission, but it does take the work away from you. This type of advertising is not geared toward a personal blog, it may however work well for niche blogs.
Some advertisers to consider are:
Very similar to the above brokers, also a lot like Clickbank, you have companies such as Commissions Junction and Affiliate Future. These companies have a very large network of advertisers, usually consisting of high grossing and very well-known companies who outsource their affiliate programs to brokers.
Companies like Commission Junction can be joined for free, but some of the affiliated companies which are attached to them do require you as the affiliate to have a high ranking niche compatible website. These companies are great for niche blogs and promotions to mailing lists in certain niches.
Ad Swaps / Link Exchanges
Speaking of trading links, is it true that trading banners or text links with another company similar to your own (or in a related field) is a waste of time? Not exactly. True, there has been a lot of publicity lately stating, in so many words, that link exchanges are not as effective as you once thought them to be. And this makes perfect sense.
Consider, that for a while, many poor marketers online were creating “mutual benefit” link exchanges with each other in hopes of artificially inflating their external links— and thus getting special attention from Google for being a high PR site. That’s not really the same thing as a small company that actually works hard for its links by creating press releases, blogs, articles for directories and other mediums.
So yes, many SEO “experts” were stopped dead in their tracks as Google and other big wigs informed the world that link exchanges are simply not valuable in most cases. Namely, when companies just use them as a means of leverage.
This is not to say that mutual link exchanges are always a bad thing. When there is a good reason for a link exchange, as in a “blog roll” of authors who write on the same subject, then the search engines will count that as a legitimate link. In some cases, mutual link exchanges may work…but only if you prove to search engines that you are actually working together (such as, guest blogging) and are not mindlessly exchanging links for cheap traffic boosting purposes.
Don’t Forget Your Opt-In
Your opt-in is by far the most important part of your blog after content. Ask any blogger what their most valuable asset is and my guess they will say their subscribers list.
Ask any blogger what their most common mistake is or was, and I would bet that most will say not building a mailing list from day 1.
Your opt-in can also be used for monetizing your blog, which is why I have subscription boxes in more than one place on my blog. By placing opt-in boxes in various positions on your blog, you maximize the chances of building your list. Try placing your opt-in in places such as:
Below the post
Directly under the banner
Popup (can be annoying but converts well)
You can then use your list to promote affiliate offers from marketplaces such as Clickbank, WSO’s, JV Zoo, Aweber, or basically anything that has an affiliate link. Start building your list from day 1 – it’s vital!
Great Ad placement
Earlier I mentioned how ads can annoy the reader if placed in the wrong place, turning your blog into a huge advertising board, taking away from the main purpose of your blog which is supplying information. There are some key areas which you need to focus on when it comes to placing ads on your blog. These areas are:
Main post area
Above the comments section Footer
Obviously you have a lot of choice when it comes to advertising your blog. I find the best places for advertising are above the post, where your eye first looks when you hit the page. The sidebar as everyone looks for navigation and below the post after the reader has read the post. Remember, don’t over advertise, remember to look professional and limit the choice of ads on your blog. Too much choice will lead to your blog looking cluttered and unprofessional.
Top Tips For Success
When it comes to monetizing your blog, it’s all about testing what works for you. I see so many people slapping ads on their blogs and forgetting about them whether or not they are performing or not. If your ad is not performing, then the obvious course of action is to try another ad or even a whole new style of campaign.
Test your ads and find the best ads to suit you, your niche and your readers. Don’t settle for the easy ads like Google. If you can make more revenue from other types of targeted ads, then go for it.
But remember, less is more when it comes to how to monetize your blog, and your own products and product funnels are always the best way to make income and build your business.