As everyone knows from my comment last month, I am not exactly a fan of using Adsense to monetize blogs. And, in reality, I am more of the “build it now, grow it tomorrow and monetize a year from now” kind of person.
However, when that year does come, it can be tricky to figure out what types of monetization one should utilize on their blog.
Should they put advertising up or is that not really a good idea? Perhaps it’s a better move to sell a product? How do I sell a product?
Naturally, it makes the most sense to just throw Adsense up because that’s easy, right? It’s a piece of cake to make the Adsense ad, throw it up and then watch as those quarters trickle in, 25 cents at a time, and you grin.
The problem is, you’re shooting yourself in the foot here, and are not going to make a whole lot of money. Sure, you might make enough to go out to dinner a couple of times, but are you going to be able to live off that income?
Because of that, I wanted to provide a bit of guidance in helping you decide which type of monetization you should implement based on the type of site you own. Granted, none of this is concrete and you can always try and monetize any way you want, but it’s been my experience that these are some of the better methods in which you can monetize your blog.
High Traffic News Blogs
If you are running a blog that focuses primarily on publishing timely news and getting a lot of people to your blog quickly, chances are, you’re going to want to sell advertising.
When someone comes to your blog in this situation, they’re not looking for an answer to a problem. They’re looking for information about that topic simply for information.
Do you read the New York Times to learn how to lose weight or to learn about the latest thing going on in Libya?
Therefore, why would anyone really buy a product from a blog that focuses on the news?
Because of that, you want to convert all of that traffic into eyes on ads. Now, I am an advocate of selling private advertisement rather than utilizing Adsense because I feel I can make more money from it. How you choose to do it is up to you.
But, selling ads is probably the best way to monetize this type of a blog because you’ve got people interested in that news topic who are not in the buying mood.
Niche News Blogs
But, what happens when you’re running a niche news blog. You’re still trying to get as much traffic to the blog, but instead of just being about getting eyes on the ads, you are going to want a bit more.
Yes, you’ll want to sell advertisements because this is easy money.
However, you’ll also want to look into other forms of monetization. The big one, in my opinion, is niche related affiliate offers.
For example…I am launching a sports blog about a particular team. And one of the monetization techniques I am going to have is selling tickets to those games. I get a commission every time someone buys a ticket and, since they are in that particular niche state of mind, they are more likely to buy the ticket.
While it’s not me selling the product myself, I am still generating revenue off of the idea of that sports game.
So, with the advertising revenue and the affiliate revenue, I’ve found two ways to monetize this type of a blog.
The final type, in my opinion, is the service blog. This isn’t one that offers a service as in graphic design or SEO or something, but instead, is the type of blog that teaches these things.
JohnChow.com is a service blog. BlogRevolter.com is a service blog. DPS is a service blog.
These are all blogs that solve a problem for readers. John Chow and Blog Revolter teach you how to build your blog while DPS helps you to become a better photographer.
These types of blogs have readers that are looking for answers and therefore, they are the most likely to open up their wallet.
And an open wallet, my friends, means you can sell a product.
On blogs like these, I am less of an advocate of advertising and more of an advocate for selling your own product.
You should want to get as many people into your mailing list as possible so that you can sell your product to them. You should want to ensure that people are staying connected to you and if you have advertising on it, people are more likely to find the door and leave—that’s what an ad does.
By keeping the person around and connected, when the time comes to buy your latest product, they will open up their wallet and give you their money.
Monetizing Can be Confusing
Look, I get it…Monetizing can be confusing. However, when you take a step back and evaluate the type of blog that you have, you can do a better job really figuring out what type is best for you.
In the end, experiment, experiment, experiment. Oh yeah, and experiment. By experimenting, you are more likely to find the right monetization model for your blog. I remember when John changed the in-content ad from Adsense to private sales. That was an experiment that panned out nicely for him.
You need to conduct your own experiment that works.
Jacob is the owner of BlogRevolter.com where he talks about a lot of different topics including monetization, e-mail marketing and WordPress SEO. Be sure to follow him on Facebook and Twitter and check out his free e-book.