5 Ways to Monetise your Blog

GraphThese days, even with a small site or a new blog, monetisation (monetization for Americans) is a constant consideration. This can be a double edged sword, as getting the right kind of monetisation is key. Fortunately, there are so many options out there you can not only pick and choose, but also test and optimise. If one method of monetisation isn’t working, why not just try another. This is a crucial point to make, just because one site is making lots of money from a program like adsense, doesn’t mean adsense is the best solution for everyone.

For example, this blog makes only a negligible amount of money from adsense, especially considering the decent amount of traffic it receives. Compare this to another blog I run, which gets less traffic, and the click through rates and profits are much higher. This is despite similar ad placements and a smaller audience. Therefore, I’ve recently been investigating other means to monetise (or monetize if you like) this blog, and I was surprised at the wide range of options available.

So below I’ll run through the five most popular methods for monetising websites, along with a brief explanation of the technique and a recommended provider. Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links.

Cost Per Click – This is probably the most common type of advertisement currently on the Internet. Essentially, you display an advert, or a list of links, and you get paid every time someone clicks on them. The most popular provider of this service is Adsense, which is provided by Google. Adsense does put a slight twist on this approach by detecting the type of content on the page and only showing adverts relevant to that content. This should, in theory, should not only increase the number of advertisements people click but also prevent them from being bothered by advertisements they aren’t interested in. To join Adsense, click the image below.

Cost Per Action – Cost per action advertisements are similar to the cost per click approach but require the user to do something once they have clicked the link. This is usually buying something, signing up to something or downloading something. While this may sound more difficult to profit from than cost per click (you not only have to get a visitor to click on a link, but also to buy something once they’ve reached the advertising site) the rewards are often much greater. For example, the Amazon Affiliate program offers a percentage of the items sale price if the sold was made through your site. The percentage tends to start at 5% and then go up the more you sell. Essentially, every £100 someone spends after going through your link will net you a minimum of £5, which would take hundreds of cost per click clicks. And just remember how many times you’ve gone to Amazon and ended up spending way more than you intended. There are many companies offering Cost Per Action adverts. Google are pretty new to the market (see link above) whereas Amazon have been going for some time. Amazon can be very successful for some publishers, but you are limited to just the one vendor. Personally, I’d recommend a service such as TradeDoubler who have a huge list of companies waiting to advertise on your site. Everyone from Apple through to American Express. Click the link below to sign up with Trade Doubler.

Sign Up with TradeDoubler

Selling Space – Whereas the above approaches require your visitors to do something, this approach guarentees you an income regardless of whether your visitors click the links or buy anything. Quite simply, this approach involves selling some space on your blog that can then be filled with advertisements. Text Link Ads is a great way to turn some of the space on your blog into real money. The great thing about Text Link Ads is that they take up very little space and can be easily integrated into your design. After all, they are just normal links. The way Text Link Ads work is to sell a number of links on your website to advertisers at a set rate. The rate will vary depending on your site and the amount of links you’re trying to sell. Some sites can achieve thousands of dollars a month per link. Even smaller sites can command a few hundred a month. Click on the image below to sign up with Text Link Ads.

Text Link Ads

Paid for Content – Personally I think paid-for-content is shaky ground. Anything that even hints at a lack of trustworthiness in a blog is dangerous, and I certainly feel as if paid-for-content leaves some questions. I make it clear in the policies of this blog that we do no accept paid for content for that very reason. Essentially, if you sign up for a paid for content service the advertiser will give you a subject, usually a product or service, to write about. When they are happy you have covered the subject appropriately (and met their terms and conditions) you’ll get paid the agreed amount. If you do decide that paid for content is right for you, I have some advice. Disclose everything. Make sure your readers know the content your writing has been paid for and make sure you don’t let the money corrupt your opinions at all. I don’t agree with this approach so I shan’t link to any of the providers, but a google for “pay per post” or “pay per review” should have you covered.

Promote Yourself – While this may only apply to a handfull of bloggers, it shouldn’t be overlooked due to it’s effectiveness. Quite simply, a blog is a very public way to sell yourself or any services you provide. Web developers have been doing this for years, and slowly other people are catching up. If you have a service or product to push, do it through your blog. A word of warning, a good blog can really help sell a product, likewise a bad blog can really hurt a product. If you do intend using your blog for this purpose, keep it professional and ensure only the highest quality content makes it live.

As you can see, the methods of monetising your blog can vary greately. Across the sites I run one makes the most money from adsense, one from Tradedoubler and one from Text Link Ads. You really need to tailor your ads, just like your content, to your audience. I think it’s also important to consider the stage your blog is currently at when looking at monetisation options. If you are just starting out, it’s quite unlikely Text Link Ads will accept you (although there are ways around this, using an affiliate link apparently helps) so AdSense may be your only option. The downside to AdSense is that it treats all sites as equal, so if you have a popular site, you still get paid the same per click as smaller sites (pricing is based on keyword) whereas Text Link Ads will acknowledge more popular sites and reward them with a higher rate. And of course you have to balance the fact that Text Link Ads provides a guaranteed income whereas the CPC and CPA approaches do not.

I’ve just posted a technique to not only make money from your blog, but also turn zero investment into an advertising campaign worth at least $125. Read my free money, and free promotion for bloggers article.

I hope you enjoyed this post. If you did, why not check out 5 Simple Steps to a Better Blog, How to Scientifically Identify Content that’s Perfect for your Blog and Adsense Optimisation, Straight from the Horse’s Mouth.