Monday, July 16, 2012

How to Monetize Your Blog

   Hello my name is Grady, and I'm major cinephile.  It have been 14 days since I have been to the movies.  

   I have always loved movies.  I even took a course on the history of the cinema in college.  I have seen all sorts of movies; drama, comedy, documentary, independent, epic, awful, scary, creepy, wholesome, irreverent.  Many times after seeing a bad film I wished someone would have warned me.  It is part of the reason why I started Mormon Media Reviews.  Click the link for the rest of the story.  

  Not many bloggers are in it for the money.  Many of us just have a story to tell or desire to help others out.  I don't know when the last time was you went to the movie theatre, but it is expensive!  Try going on a movie date for under $30 after sunset.

  So in order to help finance our movie reviews we chose to put ads on our site.  You can see them all on the left panel.  I didn't want them to be every where or mixed in with our own content, so we just dedicated that column to our sponsored content.  We wanted to share with our fellow bloggers ways to monetize your site  

Google Adsense:

   Google Adsense is one of our best paying type of advertisement.  It is also a very easy way to get started.  If you use Blogger to manage your Blog there is even a widget to simplify the process.  The ads are customized based on the content of the page as well as the interests of the viewer.  My Mother is trying to sell her 3 Yorkie Puppies and had been looking online for websites to list them.  Later she was reading my blog cause she is a great mom, and saw an ad for a great great listing site.  

   I like that the ads are relevant. If they kept popping up with scamish ads for the one trick to lose weight, the perfect time to refinance, or money for moms to go back to school I would have dropped them.  Luckily I can edit those types of ads out.  It is important to me the ads are a benefit to my viewers.
  To get started with Google Adsense click the link above.  There is an application process and they will review your site to make sure it is a good fit.  Make sure your blog has current content and healthy traffic before applying. It usually take a few days for approval, but once you get in make sure you read all the rules.  Google is very quick to cancel account, and very slow to appeal.  

  Ads that feature a picture usually pay about a dollar a click and text ads pay just a few cents.  Only certain sizes allow image/rich ads, so keep that in mind when designing your blog layout.

Cash Back Shopping Referrals:

  I have to admit, I am a little new to these.  A few years ago I used a site called Blastoff to save some money on online shopping.  These sites provide links to popular online shopping destinations and offer off a percentage back to you.  

  Two site I recently partnered with are Beesavy (it drives me crazy they spelled "savvy" wrong) and Ebates.  The reason I include these sites is because not only do you get money back for purchases you make, but you also get money back from the purchases of those you refer.

  BeeSavy is a bit of a Pyramid system.  You get your money back, you get 40% rebate of each person below you, and 10% of each rebate below them, to the 7th degree.  They offer coupons and have great offers like 2% back at F.Y.E.

  I like the idea of continual income, but Ebates usually offers better percentages off.  While Beesavy offers 2% back on iTunes, Ebates offers 3%.  Walmart is 1% to 3%.  I just got 15% back on all my restaurant reservations for my 10 year anniversary through (vs. 6%) and 4.5% on our hotel reservation through Priceline (vs. 1%).  Plus I got a $10 Gift Certificate for signing up!

  Referral Payments are only a one time payment of $5 for referrals that spend $25.  They also don't trickle up so referrals of referrals do not benefit you.  I have not made a firm determination on who I like more yet.  Try them out and give me your feedback.

Affiliate Networks: 

   A lot of companies need traffic driven to their sites.  A more direct way for them to compensate content providers is to pay them a portion of every closed sale.  We have partnered with a good number of affiliates.

   Amazon is one of the #1 Online Retailer in the US. Many large companies even use them as their online distributor.  An applications is also required to be an associate.  So as with Google, make sure you have a site already put together with content and traffic before applying.  Amazon has a lot of tools for promotion too.  All kinds of Banner ads and you can create custom product ads too.  The image to the right to the Amazon page featuring "Singin' in the Rain."  Which is one of my favorite movies.  I discovered how wonderful it is when I was in my college film class.  It come out tomorrow (July 17 2012) and is a must for any DVD collection.

  If you have a deal of coupon site there are all sorts of great deals you can share on Amazon.  For example, right now Yukon Gold Solitaire is being offered for free any Android Device.  Of course you won't make any commissions off a free sale, but any other item they buy in that 24 hour period you get credit for.  So while they went to Amazon for the free game, they might decide it is time to upgrade to the Samsung Galaxy S III.  Commissions vary by type of product and the volume you sell, but the base payout is 4%.

We also have agreements through Link Share with iTunes and Walmart

Direct Advertisements: 

Once you have a good healthy following one area you might want to explore is Direct Advertisements.  We don't have the viewership right now to market this sort of advertisement, but my sister does for her blog, Made by Munchie's Mama.  She offers a limited number of ads of various sizes.  For each purchase level you get to place a banner ad on her popular blog as well as take advantage of other perks.  These include social media mentions, giveaway sponsor invites, blog mentions, etc.  She charges a flat rate that gives her guaranteed advertising income each month.  

When it comes to all these types of advertising it is important to keep your site clean.  No one likes feeling like they were tricked into clicking an advertisement.  Now these methods aren't going to make you rich, but they will help you to offset costs associated with running your blog, like domain hosting, giveaways, purchasing products for craft demos, and a little retail therapy when you just need a break.

Let us know what you do to monetize your blog.  What has worked, what hasn't?  How do you feel about the ads we have on our site?

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