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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Although I Do Most of The Above Steps, Still I Would Like To Thank You For The Wonderful Article. Thanks.
Having multiple income generating blogs can really be a good idea. However, one will have to be prepared for the hardwork inherent for maintaining these blogs and should have the sufficient resources to manage each and every blog properly. It's important to remember that just like any website, constant release of unique and original content is mandatory. Now this is what one must try to figure out on how to go about producing content regularly for each and every blog.
There is a widget http://www.widgetbox.com/widget/make-money-via-so... which display Groupon and other social deals on a local map (GEO IP location detected so that the map is always centered at the reader's location). You can monetize your site by configuring the widget with your own affiliation id and display it on your site. These deals are usually quite attractive with huge discount and they are local. It also give your reader update on daily deals. Blogger /website owner should be able to generate good revenue from it.
Thanks for the great info. I'll definitely implement some of these strategies and let everyone know which one worked best for me.
Great post... about text link ads, that's so powerful, I first learned it from the richjerk dude and It has change my business dramaticly
In the past months I tried almost all the strategies described in your post, except of consulting and selling a product. Anyway, sponsored reviews and affiliate programs work best for me...
Thanks Alex for the kind words.The great thing is, is that there are so many other ways that you can monetize your blog...however these are probably the most mainstream ways.Glad you stopped by!
Mark,I logged onto My Blog Guest and found your email and popped over to have a look and I'm really glad that I did! (I will contact you in regards to a post)This is an amazing post of epic proportions.I have seen soooo many post about this same topic but I clicked anyway and when I did I was blown away! The detail is awesome and really is a how to guide for any blogger looking to seriously take the next step. I especially love the screen shot of your Adsense account because it shows you are walking the walk - unlike so many others.Thanks for a great post, and for contacting me in the forum so I could find and subscribe to this amazing site.Alex
Hi Mark! I have tried all the strategies above except for writing a sponsored review. I will try it now. Thanks for your detail sharing!
I think using adsense on affiliate sites where you promote products may decrease your actual sales and people can be directed towards adsense clicks.......
Geno,Great insights!To respond to your first point. I was speaking in regards to promoting other people's affiliate programs on your website. Not necessarily using your own affiliate links for your products. I agree that would be contradictory.I will have to take a look at SkimLinks, never explore their platform.Thanks for your comments.
Mark, interesting post. I can help but chime in. :)1) It is important to point out that running an affiliate program, and being an affiliate yourself is often contradictory. Why would your affiliates (who decide to promote your product via the affiliate program you create) send traffic to your blog if this traffic may leak through your own affiliate links (a) not bringing them any money, and (b) being potentially competitive with their own links (as you two may be promoting the same merchants).2) Some may wonder if adding AdSense units to the already-existing affiliate links on a blog hurts affiliate performance. It doesn't! I've talked about this with affiliates that are running both, and they are happy with both.3) SkimLinks (another platform for monetization of contextual links) also deserves a mention.
Hi Mark, an alternative resource not mentioned above regarding text links is Linknami.com where website owners and bloggers can make money publishing static text links on websites and internal pages as well as contextual links within content like articles and blog posts on their sites. Also publishing sponsored articles and writing reviews is possible.
Thanks for the comment Kristi.I agree that Adsense is much more of a relevant strategy if you have lots of SE traffic.Also adding onto building trust and promoting affiliate products, I think that they should only be promoted sparingly on your blog, compared to every post just trying to promote an affiliate product. At that point people would just think you are out to make money and can devalue your blog.
Great explanation of monetizing methods!I find that Google Adsense works best if you have a lot of search engine traffic coming into your site - regular visitors and other website owners who also use Adsense are much less likely to click on the ads than the regular web surfer. And yes, promoting affiliate products can be quite lucrative so long as you have earned your readers trust and only share products that you truly find useful yourself plus know will be useful for your readers.