Why Most of the Bloggers are Flat Broke
When it comes to monetization most bloggers can’t think beyond banner ads (you get paid when people click on ads) as a source of revenue for a blog. And it’s sucks because most bloggers work really hard to build up traffic but see little or no results in their bank account.
Banner ads won’t make you gobs of money unless you command a LOT of traffic.
When you run contextual ads from networks (Adsense, Chitika, Adbrite etc), profits are usually 50/50 – 50% to website owner, 50% to a network. So how much you’re going to make depends on how many clicks you will get and how much advertisers are willing to pay to appear on your website.
Why Google AdSense is NOT for You
Let’s use Google Adsense as an example. Average cost per click is a relative indication of how much you can expect to make from Adsense ads running on your website – the more advertisers are willing to pay for a keyword the more you can expect to make from each click. Let’s do the math really quickly. So for keyword “dog training” advertisers are willing to pay up to $2.02 to appear at the top spots at search results; for keyword “learn guitar” up to $0.88. (You can look up prices for keywords for your niche here choose option “Views > show all columns”).
Let’s say you have a blog about “learning to play the guitar” and you have 100 visitors a day.
- 100 visitors a day
- 2% CTR – 2 people out of 100 click on ads (this is actually pretty good CTR a lot of bloggers don’t have even that)
- $0.44 – your earning per click (50% of $0.88)
So your approximate revenue would be 100*2%*$0.44=$0.88 a day. I don’t think you can live off that. With 1000 daily visitors you can expect to make $8.88 a day. With 10 000 daily visitors – $88 (To get 10K visitors a day – that’s insane amount of work). So you see why bloggers that rely solely on contextual advertising are flat broke.
How to make money fast
I am sure you don’t want to spend 2 or 3 years building up traffic to your blog so you can hit $100 a day. You want money as fast as possible even if you don’t have loads of traffic. So let’s talk about affiliate marketing. So what is affiliate marketing in nutshell? You get paid to promote other people’s products and services for share of the profits. I prefer to stick with information products because an owner doesn’t have any “hard cost”, so affiliate commissions go as high as 90% and you hardly have to do any work after the sale is done.
You can actually make money worth your time with far less traffic. After all, if you have a following of people interested in a particular market, then recommending products that are relevant to that market and actually useful is not only adding value to your blog, but making you sales commissions.
As long as you keep your integrity and don’t just recommend crap solely for the commission, everybody wins.
So let’s say the owner of the “learn guitar” blog from the example above decides to switch from contextual advertising to recommending an ebook that pays him $35 in affiliate commissions.
- 100 visitors a day
- 2% Conversion Rate – 2 people out of 100 buy the product (this is actually pretty low conversion rate I constantly see 5%-15% on my product reviews and recommendations)
- $35 – your earning per sale
So your approximate revenue would be 100*2%*$35= $70 a day. Not bad, you probably can’t have luxurious living off that but it surely could help you with mortgage payments or payments for a descent car.
Best Affiliate Networks
Finding affiliate programs to run on your site is easy, I use three affiliate networks:
They cover almost every product or service you can dream of. Signing up is FREE and once logged in you can search the marketplace for products in your niche to promote!
Unfortunately, a lot of people think about affiliate marketing as “instant riches” and that by throwing together bunch of poorly written pages on a fake review blog they would be able to have an autopilot income. Yes, sometimes someone following this path may have a quick hit and make little bit of money but then they vanish. Please don’t fall into the trap of following that path. If you want to have long, enduring success in online business (any business as a matter of fact), please make sure you provide value first and then ask for sale.
Secret To Massive Affiliate Income
If you’re planning to make money as an affiliate, there is one thing you can do to magnify your income tremendously. That is membership programs. The reason for this is because you sell it once and gain recurring commissions each and every month that the person renews. It turns into a recursive affiliate income stream. So, promote quality programs and monthly services which solve a real need.
Protect your rear
Do not keep all the eggs in one basket – diversify income streams on your blog. It is always a good idea to have multiple sources of revenue, so if something goes boom your business is not going down overnight. You’re not going to recommend affiliate products on every page and in every post of your blog. So, to monetize rather informational posts of your blog and have guaranteed income every month utilize advertising banners.
The secret to advertising deals is not to treat vendors like advertisers but to treat them as partners.
They are not looking for putting banner on your website – they are looking for traffic, conversions and sales.
Finding those first time advertisers can be a real problem. Two things will greatly increase your chances of turning potential advertisers into paying customers – advertising page and media kit.
- Advertising Page – page that shows potential advertisers exactly what they can expect to get and include testimonials from other advertisers letting them know just how great your blog is.
- Media Kit – every marketing rep, vendor or media company expects to see media kit with your advertising rates, traffic stats, and, if available, demographics because those are crucial metrics when deciding whether your blog is a good fit for their product.
Where to find advertisers
When reporter asked Willie Sutton (famous bank robber) “Why do you rob the banks?” He answered “Because that’s where the money is.” So if you want to find advertisers for your blog go to affiliate networks – that’s where are the vendors that are willing to pay money for traffic and leads. Most of the time they would have contact email or phone in the description of their affiliate program. Browse around popular blogs in your niche – see who’s advertising. If you want to go step further – find them on Twitter (now almost every company has twitter account for their business). Reach out to them directly – explain your offer, why you’re relevant, give them your media kit. Another good place to find advertisers is marketplaces for webmasters such as Sitepoint, WebmasterTalk and DigitalPoint. When you get in touch with a right person use this trick – offer them something for FREE, perhaps a review, text link or a mentioning on your website – it makes them feel special, and advertising on your website looks superior to advertising on any other website.
Guaranteed advertising income
You also want to make sure you get every advertiser on a subscription payment, so each month they automatically pay via PayPal and you can sit back knowing the money will be there every month.