There are a few very important things that you must always consider in regards to online money making. Below is a list of the most common monetization methods, along with some important things to consider for your blog. Google Adsense and affiliate marketing should be used as the primary monetization method.
Email marketing and direct advertising are two monetization methods that you can, and really should, almost always use as a secondary monetization method.
1. Google Adsense
The placement of your Google Adsense units/ads is very important when it comes to both conversion and also ranking, if you’re doing any SEO. I find that, in most cases, blending the ad in with the site (using the theme’s link color for the title, the theme’s background color for the background/border and the theme’s font color for the description) results in the highest conversion.
In practice, I see the best conversions with large rectangle units (336×280) and large, horizontal “leaderboards” (728×90) with horizontal banners (468×60) coming in a close third place.
I USUALLY end up using two banners in the content (one directly below the post title and one below the post) and one large rectangle (in the sidebar). That’s because the large rectangles are bad news in Google these days when used directly below the post title. They want to see alot of content “above the fold” (the part of the site that is seen without having to scroll down) and a large rectangle so high up pushes your content down.
2. Affiliate Marketing
There are so many different affiliate programs and networks and techniques and platforms out there that it would take an entire, large e-book to cover every one of them. But the main thing is to always be thinking about conversion(s)!
Always make the visitor’s main desire your #1 concern! Once you’ve done that and you’ve decided that “this” product from “this” affiliate network, is going to give you the best chance for high conversions, you can implement it.
If you’re trying to sell something, you need to SELL IT! Banner ads are fine and I do use them, but a good call to action will result in multiple times more sales than any banner ad! So stick a nice banner ad in the sidebar… it’s not a bad idea to stick one in the content to. But you should always have at LEAST one good call to action in your content.
3. Email Marketing
You can collect opt-ins via Popups (offering something of value for free… like a short report) on almost any site! You can then mail that list weekly, sending them to a new post that you’ve published on the site and then every so often send out a promo for a good affiliate offer, or a product that you create yourself.
Although popups are frowned upon by some, they work. As long as you don’t do anything ridiculous, like preventing the user from closing it or showing it every 10 seconds, they will not cause any major issues and will only earn you more money.
If you sell any products, whether digital or physical, you should definitely be asking every one of them to opt-in for updates and announcements immediately after payment. A customer list is the most profitable type of list!
You can always put an opt-in form on your actual landing page as well, but whether or not this is a good idea depends on several different factors and usually comes down to testing.
If you’re dealing with an adsense site, see what your adsense profit is after 5,000 or so visitors without it, then see what it is after the same number of visitors with it. Then come up with a reasonable amount of profit you think the list will result in over the next several months and decide for yourself whether you think it’s more profitable with it or without it.
Some niches are better for this than others, as some tight niches just aren’t good candidates for email marketing in general (more on that in a minute) but if you’re targeting a niche that is good for email marketing, setting up a squeeze page giving away something of value. NEVER hurts and usually results in some steady opt-ins on a regular basis.
4. Direct Advertising
I have sites that make more money from direct advertising than anything else and I don’t reach out to ANYONE to provoke the offers! All I do is setup a very basic “Advertising” page that briefly outlines the type of advertising that is available (banner ads, links etc.) and the traffic potential.
From there, my sites that get any kind of decent exposure (especially in Google) receive advertising inquiries naturally. There are a great deal of big, medium and small companies out there that are regularly on the lookout for sites to advertise on.
It has resulted in thousands and thousands of dollars for me over the years and it’s something that requires little time or effort, yet many people do not do it.
On that page you should show some traffic stats, tell the visitor what kind of ads are available and you CAN show pricing, although I like to simply give them an email address to send all advertising queries to.
One thing to be careful of though, is when people offer to pay for a blog post or for them to publish their content on your site. That can be fine (I’ve done it) but you want to make SURE the content is high quality, unique, useful to the visitor and not too commercial.
5. Lead Brokerage
It’s a pretty popular technique these days, especially with local small businesses. You find a local realtor (for example), you build a site targeting “CITY realtor” and get traffic coming to it. Then you charge that realtor “$XXX” for each lead that converts.
On this type of site, the primary concern is obviously the lead. So, just like with affiliate marketing, you want to be sure to add a good call to action and add it in multiple spots throughout the site!
On the homepage you want a big telephone number (if you’re having them contact him/her directly) and/or a contact form in a VERY prominent spot on the site.
You don’t want to rely on the visitor to find your contact link, go to the contact page and then contact you/him/her that way. You want to make it very clear that you want that person to contact you and that “THIS” is how to do it.
Check also our other article on this matter:
If you haven’t already noticed, the “secret” to earning more money with your blog really comes down to having the right plan and mindset more than anything else.