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Make Money Online Step #3: Monetize Your Traffic

7 July 2008 3 Comments

In the previous two posts for this series, we went through launching your online presence and how to drive traffic to your site. In this post, we will assume you have started to see an increase in traffic and now you want to start monetizing your traffic. This post mostly applies to blogs since if you are selling a product or service then your monetization strategy is obvious. If you are seeking additional methods of making money besides simply selling a product or service, then read on.

Advertising

Most people assume bloggers and website owners make most of their money through displaying advertisements on the site. In reality, this is simply a small portion of an entire monetization strategy. The most widely used advertisement program is Google Adsense. Google has revolutionized online advertising and the world wide web as a result. Through Adsense, anyone can make money through advertising, even the smallest of players. This is because you make money when people click the ads, not when people see the ads. Therefore, no traffic means no clicks and no money. Simply plastering ads throughout your site isn’t enough. You need to know how to blend ads into your web layout and design to not ruin the interface for your visitors.

Another way to earn some advertising revenue is to offer in-text advertising. Sign up for a program such as Kontera and you can create advertisements through the text in your articles. You may see some with the double underlined words in this article. This is an easy way to add monetization without adding more large banners that ruin your interface.

Text Links

Another good way to earn some revenue through your site is to sell text links. This is as simple as it sounds. You can sign up for services like Linkworth and Text Link Ads and register your blog/site and they will sell links for you. Both are extremely easy services to use. I definitely recommend them. You may not be able to use both (they each want to be your exclusive seller of text links), so sign up for one and if you don’t have much success, consider giving the other a try.

Affiliate Programs

Affiliate marketing is a huge industry these days with the rise of so many blogs. Basically, companies leverage the power of blog-like communication by letting a blogger recommend or sell a product. The company then will give the blogger a cut of the revenue gained from the sale. Some affiliate program will even pay simply for a lead. You can sign up directly with some companies, but if you are new, definitely check out a service like Commission Junction. With CJ, you can register you blog and then browse potential affiliate programs that would work for your site. Remember, your recommendations are much more powerful when they pertain to first hand use and apply to your niche (I wouldn’t be able to recommend make up through a finance web site). Plus you want to truly provide recommendations that are valuable for your readers. Like all monetization strategies, keep your readers in mind first, earn a buck or two second. It will pay off in the long term.

Earn Money By Writing

I recently joined a service that will let me earn money by blogging about things I want to blog about. PayPerPost will let you find writing opportunities that pertain to your blog or audience and earn money by writing them on your own blog! Definitely a great service. Your sponsored posts should be few and far between your regular content, but there is definitely nothing wrong with supplementing your regular content with sponsored posts as long as they still offer your readers value.

Another service is Review Me which is similar in that advertisers will pay you to write a review or post about a certain product or service. Your post could earn anywhere from $50 to $500 depending on your traffic and niche. Not everyone can get accepted into this program as they focus on higher trafficked blogs. If you don’t meet their criteria, focus on building your traffic and simply keep the service in mind. It may be a good opportunity down the road.

Strategy

A successful monetization strategy is one that leverages multiple methods and blends them seamlessly into the regular content while enhancing the overall user experience at the same time. Remember, you need to keep growing your traffic, so don’t hinder that progress with too many advertisements or sales pitches. The more established your blog is, the more you can probably get away with.

I recommend trying out several services and then performing regular analysis to see what works and what makes money. If nobody is clicking your ads, maybe they are in the wrong position. If nobody is following through with your affiliate promotions, maybe you are promoting the wrong products. Even the most successful blogs making thirty grand a month continue to modify their monetization strategy. You will never get to the point where you set it and forget it.

In the next step of this series, we’ll take a look at how to fine tune your established blog and how to tweak your monetization further. Good luck.

3 Comments »

  • ryan Carbaugh said:

    Very nice information. Thanks for this.

  • raymondhthomas said:

    What service brings you the most income? I currently use Adsense on my site but have heard good things about OpenX and just get the feeling I could be making more… Any tips?