Monetization Strategies

Published by Gerald Kuehn on

affiliate_marketing

Now that you have a website fully optimized, tweaked and filled to the brim with relevant content, and you have begun to generate traffic to your website using free resources such as blog communities and social networks, it’s time to transform your blog into a cash generating machine.

This is where it gets interesting!

When it comes to making money with online blogs, there are many different opportunities available. Like regular websites, you could integrate Google Adsense,  or you could implement CPA offers from services like CPALead.com.

But it doesn’t stop there.

As a blogger, you can make money by promoting affiliate products on your website, by growing a list that you can promote your own products and services to, and you can even make money by joining blog project databases, where you are paid for writing about new launches, providing feedback on company products, or in offering paid reviews for other new bloggers who are interested in gaining traffic from you.

Of course, how much money you can make will ultimately depend on how much traffic you are able to generate to your website.

The more traffic, the more lucrative your blog will be to potential paid sponsors, and of course, with consistent traffic you can make money through commissions from affiliate products that are purchased through your referral.

As someone who has been blogging for over five years, I always recommend to new bloggers that they focus on growing traffic before ever trying to monetize their blogs.

You need to build a reputation within your market, generate as many back links as possible, and push your website out in front of as many potential prospects as possible before you focus on making money from your blog. You need a captive audience, a loyal following, and return visitors who find your website informative, useful, interesting and worth returning to time and time again.

Once you have solidified yourself within the blogging community, you can then take it a step further by implementing money-making strategies into all areas of your blog, but you need to lay the groundwork first and focus on generating a steady stream of traffic to your website.

That being said, even from the birth of your website there are a few things that you should do that can be monetized in the future. One of these things involves building a list.

While you may have an RSS subscription option on your website, you need to take it a step further by implementing an autoresponder opt-in form on your site that captures your visitors information and lets you stay in touch with your subscribers.

By doing this, you are able to grow a relationship with your target market, and once you have developed that relationship, you can begin to make money with direct offers, affiliate products and referrals even before your blog is generating a lot of traffic.

To do this, you need two things:

1) Code Banter’s autoresponder plugin available free at http://www.CodeBanter.com

2) An Autoresponder Account, available at http://www.GetResponse.com or http://www.Aweber.com or run your own cost-effective mailing service via http://sendy.co

With these two resources, you will be able to start growing a list from the very first day that your website is developed. All you need to do is consider what “subscription bait” (also referred to as your “opt in bribe”) you are going to use in order to motivate your visitors into becoming newsletter subscribers.

The easiest way to do this is by purchasing rights to a high quality report from places like http://www.ContentGrab.com or in outsourcing the development of a free report or ebook from an experienced freelancer on websites such as http://www.Elance.com .

If you are capable of writing yourself, you could save yourself time and money by developing a short report that specifically caters to your blogs theme. You NEED to make sure that what you are offering is relevant to your topic.

Once you have a report ready, you can log into your autoresponder account and create your welcome email, which is the introductory email automatically sent to each subscriber upon confirmation of their request to join your list.

This email will thank them for subscribing and will include the download link to your report.

Just like in monetizing your website, you need to first work to build a relationship with your list so that they trust your recommendations and look to you as a sound source of advice, tips and information relating to the subjects that interest them.

Spend some time engaging with your subscribers, offering them free material, information, tips and resources that will help them.

If you do this, it won’t be long before you have a loyal following of people who will eagerly open up your emails, respond to your offers and genuinely investigate the products that you promote.

Affiliate Links

The most popular affiliate programs out there for blogs are Clickbank, Commission Junction, Amazon, and Ebay. A great way to integrate these into your blog is either through banners ads or reviews.

When writing a review make sure you include a description of the product, the benefits, the disadvantages (don’t leave this out because adding the negative points about a product will make your review more credible to your readers), how the product has helped you, and add your affiliate link to the site where they can buy the product.

This is a great technique because it’s pre-selling to your readers and will help to encourage a higher conversion rate.

Clickbank
http://www.clickbank.com
Clickbank sells only digital products such as video courses, ebooks and software. You can find a huge range of products to promote and it’s very easy to do. Also, a lot of the payouts are 65%-75% and on average about $30. If you go to Clickbank’s marketplace you can sort the products by different criteria and categories.

Commission Junction
http://www.cj.com
Commission Junction has a range of different affiliate programs for a range of products; both physical and digital. You can get paid for either a lead or a sale.

Amazon
http://affiliate-program.amazon.com
Although Amazon doesn’t pay as big of a commission as Clickbank and Commission Junction does, it is good at converting clicks to sales.

Plus there’s a variety of ways they provide you with to advertise their products on your website, such as rotating widgets displaying lots of products and Amazon aStores that allow you to have a whole customized Amazon product store on your blog.

Ebay
http://www.ebaypartnernetwork.com
Ebay is similar to Amazon and has a large range of products you can promote on your blog. They also have a Pay Per Click program too.
The Clickbank.com marketplace is filled with thousands of products that you can promote. It’s free to setup a Clickbank.com affiliate account, so you can begin exploring potential products and services instantly.

Here is an overview of how to choose the best products for your niche:

Visit http://www.ClickBank.com and click on the Marketplace link. Then, enter in keywords relating to your market in order to generate a page listing products and services that you can promote as a ClickBank affiliate.

Whenever you view the details of any given offer, you will see stats located under each listing, one of these statistics is called gravity.

The gravity rating in Clickbank.com is just an estimate of the most recent sales for a particular product. The higher the gravity rating, the more popular the product is among affiliates since it appears that the product is receiving a large number of sales.

When a product also has a high gravity rating, since sales are factored in, it means that the product is converting. That’s the critical aspect of selecting a product to promote within Clickbank.com. You always want to ensure that the product you are promoting actually converts.

Google Adsense Ads
This is a form of advertising that involves full text classified ads getting displayed on your websites or blog.

Once you apply for the program and get approved, Google will display relevant adsense ads on your website that look like this:
How it works is that every time a visitor to your site clicks on one of the Google ads displayed on your blog, you will get a small commission. The average commission per click is about 20 cents, but it depends on how competitive the keywords used in the ads are. Advertisers will have to pay more money for more competitive keywords.

These are usually the keywords for topics that are very profitable such as making money online, insurance, credit cards etc. More competitive keywords can cost up to $30 per click sometimes.

With Adsense, you are paid for every click made to advertisements featured throughout your blog. It’s free to join as an Adsense advertiser, and you are able to generate code that you simply copy and paste into your blogs pages that will feature advertising boxes from various merchants.

To sign up, visit http://www.Google.com/adsense and create your account. Once you have it all set up, you will be able to customize the size and color scheme of your Adsense advertising boxes so that it blends well with your existing blog’s theme.

This is an easy way to start making money with your blog even with little traffic, because rather than selling directly to your target audience, you are simply making money each time they click on your ads, costing them nothing in the process (you earn money even if they never purchase anything from these external websites).

You can also create campaigns within your Adsense account so that you can have a number of different advertisements across a network of blogs, which will give you the ability to determine what advertisements are converting and working well, and which ones may need to be tweaked to better preform.

From personal experience, larger square ad boxes convert better, with the colors modified to blend well with your website. You don’t want these advertisements to intrude on your visitors experience navigating throughout your website, but instead focus on creating advertisements that fit well within your template and use a similar color scheme.

Start with the 250×250 square ad boxes o the 300×250 medium size if your blog’s theme can accommodate it. Otherwise, the tower advertisements can be integrated into the side panels of most blog themes.

The 728×90 leaderboard ad box is great for the upper portion of your blog’s theme, right under the header, or at the very bottom, featured within the footer area of your website.

Just be sure to avoid overloading your website with Adsense advertisement boxes.

Remember, that you want to provide your visitors with the most experience possible so that they return to your site frequently.

Besides, if that isn’t enough incentive to be careful about the number of ads that appear on your website, Google’s Terms of Service state that you are not permitted to feature more than three advertisements on any given page, so be sure to review their restrictions and terms prior to integrating Adsense on your website.

There is a free plugin available for WordPress that will help you integrate Google Adsense advertisements into your blogs pages.

You can download it from:
https://wordpress.org/plugins/adsense-plugin/

You will also want to create individual channels for each blog that you plan to feature Adsense on, so that you can determine what campaigns are working well, and track the CTR of each advertisement.

If you find that a particular ad isn’t preforming well, you can choose to change the placement, color scheme or size of the ad, as well as the general channel so that your advertisements are highly targeted to your audience.

For those who are interested in participating in blog networks that pay you per assignment or project, there are many different opportunities available to even the newest blogger. Here is a break down of the different options available to you:

Pay Per Post
http://www.PayPerPost.com

Pay Per Post is one of the larger services available that offer bloggers the opportunity to get paid for blogging about specific subjects. In fact, they are one of the pioneers of “paid to blog” opportunity-based marketplaces.

Blogitive
http://www.Blogitive.com
This is a super program for start up bloggers as you can earn $5.00 per post regardless of your current traffic, or how new your blog may be. I joined this network immediately after settting up my blog and have experienced great success with it. It’s really a lot of fun!

Loud Launch
http://www.LoudLaunch.com
This works similarly to Pay Per Post where you can browse and accept opportunities however it’s still growing in size and isn’t nearly as popular as Pay Per Post.

Still, It’s a great opportunity for new blogs and bloggers with very few requirements such as the fact that your blog must be at least two months old and you must have the ability to use Paypal to receive your earnings.

Review Me
http://www.ReviewMe.com
The Review Me program works differently than the Pay Per Post one because with ReviewMe.com, potential advertisers will contact you directly offering to pay you to review their website or blog.

Sponsored Reviews
http://www.SponsoredReviews.com

This site includes aspects of both Pay Per Post and Review Me, in which you can browse and accept offers as well as allow advertisers to contact you directly with project offers.

Blogger Wave

http://www.BloggerWave.com

Blogger Wave can pay you up to $10.00 per post and have very few requirements, making this is a great choice for new bloggers.

Smorty
http://www.Smorty.com
This company will pay you $6.00 + per post with the payments increasing as your blog grows in popularity.

BlogVertise
http://www.BlogVertise.com
Blogvertise works very differently from that of Pay Per Post and Review Me in terms of how opportunities are offered and completed. With Blogvertise, their system matches bloggers to available offers, based on the type of content and ranking.

Link Worth
http://www.LinkWorth.com
LinkWorth is one of the web’s largest and most innovative marketing portals that caters to both Advertisers and Partners. We have a multitude of products and services to fill your every online marketing need.

Your Own Products
Another great way to monetize your blog is to simply sell your own products. This is a great way to build even more credibility and popularity for your blog. Having your own ebook or video course will help you to be seen as an authority in your niche and someone to go to for information. Plus you get to keep 100% of the sales!

Creating Products Yourself
Two of the most popular forms of products are ebooks and video courses. For ebooks, all you need to do is have Microsoft word or open office (free open-source software you can download from the internet), and convert your word document into a pdf so your customers can download it.

For video courses, I suggest making power point slides with Microsoft Powerpoint or Open Office and then using a screen capture software such as Camtasia or Camstudio (Camstudio is open-source software so it’s free, just do a Google search for it), to record the powerpoint slides as you narrate them.

Private Label Products
If you’re not up to making your own products or you’re short on time, a good option is to purchase Private Label Rights Products.

If you do a search, you will find plenty of ebooks, and video courses in all sorts of niches that come with PLR. Simple purchase the products you want, edit it to suit your brand if you want to, and then it’s ready to be sold as your own product on your blog!

Here are a few of my top resources:

http://www.PrivateLabelReleases.com
http://www.PrivateLabelTreasury.com

 

List Building
If you’re serious about long-term success on the internet and making enough money for your online business to be able to replace your day job, then building a list is vital.

Almost anyone who makes a substantial amount of money on the internet has a mailing list of targeted subscribers who are interested in their niche. Imagine being able to wake up in the morning, send out 1 email to your list of subscribers, and making more money in 1 day from that email then you do working a month in your regular 9-5 job. It’s entirely possible and very worthwhile.

The best way to do this is to offer your visitors something of value to them for free in exchange for their email address. It could be something like a free report or an ebook, or a 7-part eCourse. Below your offer have an opt-in box where they can enter their email so they can be sent their free gift.

Building a list of targeted, potential customers is very valuable and is an excellent asset, because since you now have their email address you can email them directly with your product offers and affiliate links, as well as plenty of helpful, free info!

 



This entry is part 11 of 12 from Complete Blogging Guide

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