The hardest thing when you’re starting out is monetizing your blog. Review sites won’t approve you up because your blog is too young. Advertisers are hesitant to buy direct ads for the same reason. So the question is, how do you monetize? From least effective to most effective, here’s the list:
Ever seen the “Buy me a beer” plugin? I’m guilty of having used it myself. Even some of the biggest bloggers online use it. There are dozens of plugins that help you hit your readers up for money. But I personally find that they’re not very effective. The sites that have had success tend to be established ones that recognize their “beer buyers”. It’s just another from of direct ad sales.
4. Direct Ad Sales
Are also not very good for a new blog to monetize, though I recommend you still offer them just in case. As your blog grows they will allow you to sell ads without losing the 50% commission Text Link Ads charges.
Kontera is ok to monetize the blog, but I’ve made about 50 cents / thousand page views with them so I’m not thrilled. Perhaps if your posts tend to be buzzword heavy (which is also good for SEO) Kontera will make you more money. But if you’re only focused on quality content and readibility, you may not have much success with this. Still, it’s worth installing because money’s money, and the ads are hardly intrusive.
Adsense is supposed to be the coolest thing since sliced bread when it comes to internet advertising. While you will most likely make more money with Adsense than Kontera, you have to be careful to position it correctly or your site will look like one big adzone. In addition, I earn about $2 per thousand page views so while I like it, it’ll take a lot of traffic for Adsense to really pay off.
1. Affiliate Programs
Affiliate programs are the black sheep of blog advertising. After all, you write a review or post a link, and you take all the risk if nobody buys. But the truth is, affiliate Marketing programs are the BEST monetization strategy for a budding blogger. I personally have made about 90% of my revenue with affiliate programs, and the best part is you’re helping your readers out in the process. (If you recommend products you actually use or think highly of.)
Expect to see a post here soon about monetizing with affiliate programs. Until then, please Digg this post using the icon of the man with the shovel below so that all new bloggers can benefit from this list.