How to Make Money Blogging
As I stated in my article about how to start your own blog, you can make a successful blog on any topic. As long as you continue to add quality content to your site, there’s nothing to stop you from making money with your blog.
There are 3 main techniques you can use to monetize the traffic coming to your blog.
Ways to Make Money Blogging
#1 Google AdSense
The simplest way to earn from the traffic arriving at your site is through Google AdSense.
Google AdSense is the most popular ad network online. It allows you to display relevant ads on your site and earn money for every click your ads get. The amount you earn per click depends on the niche that your site is in, but is usually somewhere between $0.20-$2.
You can signup for Adsense here.
The amount of money you earn from ads relies on mostly on two factors:
- Your traffic
- Your conversion rate
The first factor, your traffic, is simply the amount of traffic your site receives. Obviously, the more traffic you receive the more clicks you are likely to get. You can use some of my favorite SEO tips for blogging to get more traffic.
The second part is the conversion rate of the ads you are displaying. Your conversion rate is simply the percentage of people who click on your ads. For instance, if 100 people visit your site and you get 2 ad clicks, then you have a 2% conversion rate.
Increasing Ad Revenue
If you are earning $0.50 per click and you get 100 visits and 2 clicks a day then you would earn $1 a day. The obvious way to earn more is to increase your traffic. It’s fair to assume that 200 visits a day would earn you $2 a day.
But you can earn more with the traffic you already have with conversion rate optimization.
Increasing the click-through rate (CTR) on your ads simply requires testing. You should try placing ads in different areas on your site to find out where they are most profitable.
For instance, you may try putting an ad in your sidebar. You can adjust how high up it appears here or also try displaying multiple ad blocks. The same goes for any ads you display within your own content.
The most effective way to increase your ad revenue is to split-test.
Split-testing, or A/B testing, is a simple method of comparing two different variables. In our case, this would mean comparing the conversion rates between two different ad placements. One of the ads is displayed randomly each time a page is loaded.
The great thing about split-testing is that you can use it over and over again. You might find that moving your ad from the sidebar to below your blog posts gets you 10% more clicks.
You can take the winning ad space and then compare it against another. After repeat testing in different positions you will eventually find the most profitable space for your ads.
You can use this WordPress plugin to split-test your ads.
#2 Affiliate Marketing
AdSense is a great method for making money blogging because it’s extremely easy to implement and works in every niche. However, blogs have the power to make a lot more money from other techniques. Affiliate marketing is one of them…
An affiliate is someone who is compensated to refer traffic to a vendor. In other words, an affiliate earns a commission every time someone uses their affiliate link to visit a sales page and then purchase the product.
The benefits of using affiliate marketing to earn an income online are huge. You can make money from amazing products other people have made and you never have to
- deal with customers
- make a product
- handle orders
All you have to do is drive traffic.
What separates the highest earning affiliates from those struggling is not that they drive tons more traffic, it’s that then drive more qualified traffic.
Getting the right traffic
“Preselling” is the technique of preparing visitors to be buyers. In other words, you are making them more likely to buy a product by the time they visit the sales page.
To make things easier (and more profitable) for yourself, position yourself to get “buy ready” traffic. This is why many affiliate marketers like to make review sites.
If you get a visitor looking for a review for a product then they are already preparing to buy it. They just want to read some reviews before they make the purchase. The best way to position yourself in front of these people is to rank for a review keyword. This would be “product name review”.
As an affiliate, you just need to be the last link they click before buying. Getting in front of a potential buyer just before they purchase by writing product reviews is a great way to do this.
The other part of preselling is the difference you make in their purchase decision. You want to make the visitor more likely to purchase a product then before they got to your site. This is where the power of your blog and reputation make a difference.
Visitors who regularly read your blog are much more likely to trust your reviews and recommendations. If you have a recipe or cooking site then you can write a review for your favorite blender. Now whenever you write a recipe that requires the use of a blender you can link back to your review and tell people that’s the one you always use.
Now the blender is also a part of a process. People like following instructions step-by-step, so they will be even more likely to buy the blender so they can stick to your recipe.
You may be wondering, “where do I find these products to promote?”
Not a problem, I’ve got ya covered
Finding Affiliate Programs
Don’t let the product dictate your blog. You can find affiliate marketing opportunities in every niche online.
The first place you should look is Amazon.
What product isn’t available on Amazon? All you need to do is signup to be an affiliate and then find some products in your niche.
Another very popular affiliate program made for digital products is Clickbank. Before signing up, you should know that many of the top products on ClickBank are extremely competitive. I often avoid Clickbank products for this reason.
A very easy way to find affiliate programs in your niche is just to search for some popular keywords. Then visit any site that sells products and look for a link to an affiliate program. They may have a custom affiliate portal or utilize a popular platform such as Commission Junction or Linkshare.
#3 Product Creation / Services
The last method to earn money with your blog is to sell your own products or offer your own services.
This method has a big advantage over others because people who visit your blog trust you. They may like to try products you recommend, but they will definitely trust the products that you make. If they read your blog and know you make great content, why would they expect anything different from an ebook you sell?
You get to interact with commenters and build a relationship with your readers so when you decide to sell your own product it’s just that much easier.
The problem with making your own product is that it’s a lot of work. For most bloggers, the three easiest products to create are:
- video courses
- membership sites
These are all essentially “info products”. The goal here is to provide premium content in these that people have to pay for.
You can also find a way to offer services on your site. Some popular bloggers do paid blog audits and consulting. It may be more difficult in some niches than others to offer services, but you should consider finding a way as it can be very profitable.
The Big Picture
Get traffic, build trust, convert.
As a blogger you have a great opportunity to build trust with potential buyers. All you need to do to make money is get traffic, show them how awesome you are, and then give them the right offers.
Remember to try different affiliate offers and ad placements to earn more from your traffic, and never stop blogging!
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