There are countless topics to blog about out there, some more easy to monetize than others. Your choice of content and niche can have a bigger impact on your ease of monetization than your actual work rate! What I mean by this is that certain topics can generate more “qualified” buyers than others. By “qualified” i mean people who are ready to buy. Take a review site for example – generally people look at reviews right around the time that they are ready to buy something. So by creating reviews on highly commissionable items you could theoretically increase your chances of turning a profit.
Another example of this is “hot” niches, such as dating, gaming, even porn. Web users gravitate en masse to these niches! You could create a brand new gaming site and have it take-off overnight, with little or no advertising. You could then either create an affiliate partnership with a distributor like Gamestop or toys r us and make some good money! You could even sell your own games and gaming equipment if you wanted to and potentially make even more!
There are a lot of niche’s however that will take time, work and heavy promotion to turn a decent profit, and unfortunately most other niches fall into this category. So before you decide that you wan to make money from our blog, you need to think heavily about your choice of niche. Once you decide that you want to make money from your blog you have to look at is as a business and less as a hobby.
You could create a blog for your yourself, for personal fulfillment and a “cash cow” blog simply to pay the bills. Whatever you choose, remember that if you are trying to make money blogging, one of the easiest ways to do it is to choose a “hot” niche. Learning the ropes of blogging while trying to build traffic is one of the most difficult undertakings you can do, and can add months or years to monetizing successfully.
Affiliate Marketing – Affiliate Marketing is simply the act of placing ads from an online store (like walmart.com, apple.com, dell.com, etc) on your blog. You get paid either from a lead (a click-through or a form submission) or click-through that leads to a qualified sale. It’s a very popular monetization method and you can earn a lot of money through it. The key is to generate enough traffic to get enough clicks to make a decent income!
Amazon Associate Program – works like traditional affiliate marketing, but mostly effective for review sites. This is a great method for casual bloggers and reviewers to earn a mall incremental income from their blog.
Lead Generation – An indirect method of earning income, but can be very effective nonetheless. You blog about an industry you also work in to send qualified buyers to your business. Say you where a Lawyer and wanted to get more clients from the internet. You could create a Law Tips blog and refer people to your practice for paid legal advice.
Paid Reviews – Simply reviewing websites, blogs, products and services in exchange for money. Works only if you already have a lot of traffic and credibility.
Free Reviews – You create reviews in order to refer your visitors to Affiliates, and collect the commission from the sale.
Google Ads – Placing Google ads on your site to earn commission every time someone clicks on an ad. The most popular and basic way to monetize. Only generates “big money” if you have a lot of traffic.
Paid Posting (Guest blogging) – Works only if you are already a “big name” blogger with clout. Bloggers pay you to write guest posts on their blog to attract more traffic to their blogs.
Paypal Donations – Instead of going the indirect route, you simply ask users to leave a donation if they enjoy your content. ot very effective most of the time!
eBooks – You create a eBook and charge a small fee for your readers to buy it. Your free blog content builds interest and credibility for it so your readers will be more likely to buy it. Benefits are that you only have to write it once and can distribute it endlessly!
Membership Site – You can offer a “paid” section or offer “premium” content for a monthly fee. Works best after you get traffic and credibility.
Consulting – You offer free tips, trick and advice to your readers to refer them to your consulting services.
There are many other ways to make money with your blog, but i wanted to show these methods to start you off. Now I will go into the actual management of your sales.
Once you have your niche and have chosen your revenue streams, you need to create a sales plan to serve as your guide to manage your cash flow. Let’s say you are going to do affiliate marketing, using scratchbacks, and offering membership. You need to create a plan on how you intend to execute your idea’s and track your progress. An idea without a plan is a WISH. You should set goals, restrictions and make a schedule on when and how you are going to execute on your monetization strategies.
What type of sites do you want to attract on your scratchbacks? How will you promote the fact that you are offering scratchbacks on your blog? What will you do if no one wants to advertise on your top spots? Also, how many members do you want to join your membership site a day? a week? a month? How will you promote and get them to join? What benefits will you offer members? What types of affiliate offers do you want to promote? What affiliate networks offer the best payouts? You need to have an answer for these questions BEFORE you even start! Once your sales plan and strategy are in place, you need to then set a FORECAST of how much money you want to earn and when.
Would you go out on a rainy day without an umbrella? Then why would you throw up a bunch of ads on your blog without a sales forecast? You need to set a plan for how much you intend to earn on each ad, and set a timeframe goal for it. If you have ads that aren’t making you money, why aren’t you changing or removing them? I hears tons of tweets daily on how people have ads but don’t make any money on their blog. I wonder if those people ever changed the ads or there placement. That’s why forecasting s important. It forces you into action.
If you know you HAVE to make $100 in 5 days through “AWeber Newsletter” leads, and you don’t hit your goal, you can then analyze way and change your strategy. You could change the ads placement or even the ad’s graphic. You could even remove them altogether and put up Constant Contact ads! The point is that you need to set cash goals for your revenue sources and stick by them. Only then will you learn how to MAKE MONEY with yor blog!
Be sure to come back tomorrow for the final part in this series!
Mike Wayne (me!) is a Serial Entrepreneur residing in New York City. I created this blog to provide tools, advice and tips to help Entrepreneurs understand the world of Online Business. I’m also the Founder & Lead Developer at MediaCraft Marketing, a New York Based Internet Marketing Firm that reeks of Awesomeness =)
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Setting Goals to Improve Your Blog Part Four: The Legal Aspects of Blogging
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