Using Multiple Blog Monetization Strategies to Increase Your Income

Posted by Mark Thompson - July 21, 2010 - Blogging - 20 Comments

There are many bloggers out there who make a full-time living off of their blog.  Of course, like anything, it doesn’t come without a lot of hard work and dedication.  How much money you make from your blog is determined by most importantly…traffic!  If you have a loyal readership and have tons of traffic, monetizing your blog should be relatively easy.  Without traffic, it doesn’t matter how many of these strategies you implement; you won’t make money.  Once you have built the traffic, doing things like A/B testing, creating new products, running promos and specials, etc…can increase your conversion rates on the traffic you have already built.

You should also not put all of the ways you make money on your blog in one basket.  It is important to diversify your monetization strategy just in case one or two tactics are not performing as well as you thought they would.  Also by using various monetization tactics you can test which works best for your blog.

Let’s take a look at the different blog monetization strategies that are available.  Even though there are plenty of other ways you can make money from you blog, these are probably the most used.

Product Reviews

One way you can make money is by reviewing a 3rd party product or service.  Basically it is where you do a write up of the product or service and describe how it works, it’s features/benefits, who the target audience would be, and how it solves a specific audiences problems. Usually great product reviews will include images, screenshots, demos, videos, or audio that will help the user understand what the product does.

There are a number of websites that bring together advertisers and publishers specific to paid reviews.  The most popular include ReviewMe, Pay-Per-Post, and SponsoredReviews.

I should state that if you do decide to go this route, that you should truly believe in the product.  It should be a product that you actually use and would recommend to a friend.

Start an Affiliate Program

In order to start your own affiliate program on your blog, you will need to have a product to sell.  This will allow others to sign up for your program and start marketing your product(s) for you.  The affiliate would then get a cut of how ever many sales they make, that resulted in traffic they drove to your site or landing page. Starting an affiliate program can essentially create an army of marketers working for you, however you only pay them when they produce sales.

Some of the more popular services you can use to setup your affiliate program are ClickBank, Ejunkie, LinkShare, and ShareASale.

Join Affiliate Programs

On the flip side of things, you can become an affiliate for other peoples products and promote them on your site.  For everyone that you drive to that site and they purchase, you get a cut.  Again if you have a significant  amount of traffic and a loyal readership, it should make it easier to get people to purchase products you promote on your blog.  Just like paid reviews, you should try to stick with products that you believe in, unless you explain why you don’t like a certain product.

Probably the most popular affiliate programs are the Amazon Affiliate Program, ClickBank, Linkshare and EJunkie.  However depending on the site, they can be using one of hundreds of affiliate programs out there.  Usually you can find a link in the footer of their site that says “Affiliate” that will explain how to sign-up for their program.

Google Adsense

One of the oldest forms of making money through your blog is through Google Adsense.  Basically this is where you add a line of Google Ads on your site that are relevant to the content on the page.  For each ad that someone clicks, you get a commission for that click.  Depending on the industry your commission on the click will vary.

For savvy website visitors like in the Internet Marketing industry, Google Adsense ads are not as effective because the visitors are aware of what the ads look like.  Similar to how peoples eyes have been trained to look away from banner ads, because they have seen them for so long and understand that the banner is just trying to sell something to you.

Sell Banner Ads

Banner ads are fairly simple ways to monetize your blog, however they are usually not as effective in terms of driving traffic to the advertisers website.  Some ad networks will work on a PPC model, where you only make money when someone clicks on the banner ad, however others will set flat monthly fee to the advertiser.  Some of the more popular ad networks that will help to sell banner ads for your blog are BuySellAds.com, OIO Publisher, and DoubleClick

Sell Text Links

A topic for debate and a bit grey hat are selling text links on your website.  Why it is such a topic for discussion is because people who are looking to manipulate the organic search results by purchasing links on quality websites is seen as unethical.  If you feel this way, you can always sell the link and use a NoFollow attribute so that they will not receive the link value.

If you are looking for some text links networks you can try Text Link Ads, Link Adage, Text Links Forum, Text Link Brokers, and BackLinks.com.

Add a Job Board

Another way you can monetize your blog is to add a Job Board.  Posting industry specific jobs that are available for your visitors to view and apply to, can be very enticing to Job Recruiters.  Normally these type of job boards are cheaper than places like Monster and Career Builder and have a more targeted audience.

A good example is the Job Board that I launched on StayOnSearch.  Currently it is free to post a job, so I would encourage any companies who are trying to find qualified Internet Marketers to post their job openings.  If you are wondering how I created this job board, I used a WordPress Theme called JobPress, which has all of the functionality built for you.

Create a Membership Section

A way that you can really make a lot of money, but requires the most time and effort is to create a membership section on your site that offers premium content.  Only people who pay for the membership will have access to the premium content.  Typically this includes additional videos, whitepapers, interviews, podcasts, webinars, etc…that are not offered to a normal visitor.

Some of the top Internet Marketing membership sites include SEO Book, Huomah, and Blog Mastermind.

Create and Sell a Product

You can also stick to being an affiliate and selling other peoples products, however the down side is that you will only get whatever the affiliate decides as the percentage of the sale.  If you are serious about making money from your blog, you should really create your own product(s).  Creating eBooks, training courses, tangible products, videos, podcasts, etc… are all great ways to make money from your blog.

Keep in mind that when you are creating a product, you should really have a reason as to why people should pay for your content.  Since there is so much free content already out there, you need to have a competitive edge and selling point as to why people should spend the money to pay for your content.

Consulting

Offering consulting services can be an easy way to make money.  If your blog is meant to educate people on a particular industry, it only makes sense that some of the people reading your content are going to need someone or a company to help with strategy or implementation.  Have a section on your blog that talks about your consulting services and how they can contact you.


About the Author

Mark Thompson

Mark is the creator of StayOnSearch and president of Search Creatively, a full-service Internet Marketing Company located in Raleigh, North Carolina. He also contributes to many industry related blogs including Search Engine Journal and is active on Facebook and Twitter. Follow Mark on Twitter