Blogging for Money – Monetizing Your Blog
Here's the part you've been waiting for, time to start making money! You have a decent amount of steady traffic and your readers like what you have to say. Your network keeps growing and your blog is doing well. So how do we turn this traffic into money? There are several ways, and each technique works best in certain situations.
AdSense banners are one of the most common ways that people try to profit from their blog. All you need to do to implement this is sign up for an account at AdSense, create a banner, and paste the code on your site. When people click the banner, you usually get less than a dollar or so. This is not much money at all, but the good part is that they do not have to buy anything for you to get paid, you get money just for a click. This method is better suited for established sites with lots of traffic than for start-up blogs. Placement is everything with AdSense, make sure your banners are at focal points where people will spend some time looking at them.
One of the most lucrative methods of monetization for beginners is Affiliate Marketing. This is a broad term that pretty much means that you refer people to a product or service that someone else is offering and you get a percentage of the price for everyone who buys it through your link. There are a whole slew of different affiliate networks you can join for marketing opportunities that pertain to your niche.
ClickBank is a very popular affiliate network that mostly focuses on digital products. If your users would be interested in certain information or guides, ClickBank is worth a look to see if they have anything of interest. The downside of ClickBank is that a lot of their products are "scammy" looking and tend to have one-page sales pitches. This can scare away a lot of potential customers if you try marketing products in a niche where people need to trust their supplier.
Another great place to look is Commission Junction or CJ.com. This is an affiliate network similar to ClickBank, but they offer many products from established sources that people trust. They also have a handy SmartZone feature that allows you to manage your CJ ads the same way you would manage AdSense ads. They are highly recommended for nearly any niche.
Now here's an affiliate network that everyone should be a part of: Amazon. The Amazon marketplace is one of the most trusted and established on the internet, so you know people will not be wary or suspicious. The Amazon Associate program is different in a few key areas from other networks. Their commission is less than most coming in at around% 4 for most products as a starting point. This is more than made up for by the fact that you get a commission for every product that your users buy from Amazon within 24 hours after clicking your link, regardless of what product it is. That means if someone clicks on your link for a book and then decides they want an HDTV, that commission is yours!
No matter what affiliate network you decide to use for monetization, there are a few key principles to being successful when you market these products. Throwing up banners and forgetting about them probably will not make enough money to even cover your hosting fees, so you need to get creative to turn a good profit.
Do not be too shy to actually talk about products in your posts. For example, if you review a great book on Amazon and then provide an affiliate link to that book, more people are more likely to click than if you had just pulled it on the sidebar or the footer. Be careful not to sound like a salesman, be authentic when you talk about products and sound like an authoritative source of information. Trust is the name of the game.
There is one method of monetization that when combined with affiliate marketing or even your own informational products, can be the most lucrative of all. This is called the list. The list is the Holy Grail for many internet marketers and having a good list can be difference between a few dollars and a few thousand dollars. The list refers to a collection of email addresses that are interested enough in your niche that they agreed to be emailed regularly about it. This means that this list of emails is completely targeted and they will willingly choose to be sent information from you. This is a perfect chance to build trust.
Building a list takes a lot of time and marketing techniques, but I will briefly touch on the basics so that you can at least have a good idea of ??how the pros make money online. What they do is offer a free gift of some sort, where it is an eBook or an article or guide, maybe a newsletter or piece of software. Whatever the case is, it needs to be free. In order to claim this free gift, all they need to do is provide their name and email address to you. By receiving your gift and signing up to your list (make sure the gift is related to your niche), they express great interest in your topic and consider you a trusted source of information. Email your list regularly with new information and content that they would not be able to find otherwise, and do not make any sales offers or charge them for anything for the first 5-10 emails or so. Once you have provided them with lots of great content to build their trust, then you can pose with an affiliate offer or try to sell your own eBook or product. This is the framework that internet entrepreneurs use all the time to make great profits. Use an auto-responder like Aweber to manage your list.