Choosing the Right Monetization for Your Blog

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.

Service 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. is a service blog. 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 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.

53 thoughts on “Choosing the Right Monetization for Your Blog”

  1. Abhik says:

    Awesome tips, Jacob.

    1. PPC Ian says:

      I agree. Traffic is half the battle. The other half is monetization, and these are very helpful tips.

      1. Michael says:

        I 100% agree PPC Ian.

        I have to battle with both right now. Right now I think I am shooting myself in the foot by using too much Adsense on my blog and not enough product selling. I think moving forward with my blog I’ll remove adsense, add products, and work on traffic.

        Also add an email list.

        Thanks for the tips Jacob.

  2. Tony Milano says:

    Great stuff. I’m always interested in new ways to make money with my blog. Thanks for sharing. -Tony

  3. PPC Ian says:

    Great tips! I have had a lot of luck with AdSense and eBay Partner Network.

    1. Yeah we know that you have very good network of Ian ….

      Why dont you also add a guest post on John about adsense.

      After all affiliate is not the cup of tea of everyone specially asian countries bloggers.

      1. Make Money says:

        I would be down for reading a guest post from Ian.

        1. PPC Ian says:

          Thanks guys, for the support! I would love to do a guest post, let me see what I can do… I want to write something truly great if it’s going to be considered for John Chow dot Com. 🙂

          1. Handbags says:

            I’m also a fan of what you write. I would read what you had to say if you wrote something on here. John is a cool person. I’m sure he would be down for it.

          2. Make Money says:

            Come up with something epic for us to read and let him post it. I’m patiently waiting ;-P


    2. If you run Adsense on your blog. WOW.

      Adsense is chicken feed to what you would of made with Affiliate Revenue.

  4. I do agree that monetization should be started only after you got yourself a nice pack of readers. Build your reputation first, give away free stuff and then start asking money for your content.

  5. I really enjoyed to read your blog posts like this and thanks for this post.

  6. Kent says:

    I agree with you on Adsense. Once I saw the commission structure for that program, I immediately said “NEXT!”

    Plus I think Adsense can make make a beautiful website look dreadful.

    1. Handbags says:

      If someone does use Adsense they should take the border away and make sure to match the colors to their site. Also I think it’s best to use one Ad from Adsense so it keeps the site looking cleaner. I use one Ad from Google Adsense and it doesn’t look bad I think on my site 🙂

    2. Depends how you use their ad blending!

  7. What is your specific advice for those bloggers who statrted their blog one month before …

    1. Handbags says:

      I think people should use Amazon and write reviews. And make sure to link to each product individually. That’s what I do, and I get many clicks.

  8. Wonderul advice and I’m sure people will put it into practise and enjoy the rewards.
    Keep the advice coming. Gabz

  9. ScorpionGod says:

    Good post friend. Learn a lot from your article Jacob.

    1. Yup Jacob knows what he’s talking bout

    1. Make Money says:

      I never have good results with CPA but that just be my methods of utilizing it.

  10. Adsense is not that great

  11. Yes you are right that I can do a better job really figuring out what type is best for me.i really thankful to you by this awesome post..

  12. your above mentioned tips are awesome,and i like Monetizing Can be Confusing sharing too much better..

  13. Thomas says:

    You made some good points. Thx.

  14. Thanks for sharing this informative article, in my opinion the best way to monetize your blog is to build a list and sending a weekly newsletter where you can give value to your subscribers by sharing informative articles and suggest good affiliate products to your subscribers.

    1. Make Money says:

      This is what I am starting to try. Only offering the quality products to my list and this enables me to minimize the amount of advertisements that are on the site making it more fun for the surfer to surf.

  15. Hotdogman says:

    I think you are off base on Adsense. It is the BEST way for a newbie blogger to earn SOMETHING. It can also be a good tool to help organize a blogs layout to maximize clicks on ads-you can test different layouts based on Google’s “heat maps” and measure the success easily. Adsense is a no brainer for the newb- they can just plug it in and let it earn while they focus on what is really important for a new blog: creating quality content.
    When the newb is ready for the next step (affiliate sales, banners, paid ads etc), the Adsense ads on their site are an excellent tool to be successful in those areas. I have sold more ads on my site from directly soliciting Adsense advertisers and we both win when they sign on: I make more from a direct ad and the advertiser pays less.
    Adsense is also a good way to find affiliate programs that would do well on the blog. Google is smart (smarter than you) and they will match ads to your content that you might not have thought of-check the advertisers that are displaying in your adsense ads frequently and check to see if they offer an affiliate program. If they do, sign up, disable that ad from displaying in adsense and put up a link or banner advertising that product. My single largest affiliate earner was discovered this way.
    So before you let some guru’s steer you wrong by “poopooing” adsense, think long and hard about using it. For a newbie, a “bunch of quarters” is better than nothing- and they can add up fast!
    P.S. I am doing an Affiliate Summit webinar on this topic in greater detail in June.

    1. Make Money says:

      It might be the best way for a newbie to learn but once you get things figured out and start really wanting to monetize your blog moving away from Adsense and more onto lists and things of that nature. After all, why stick with making $2 per thousand views when you could be making 10-100?

      1. Hotdogman says:

        Best to get your CONTENT squared away before moving on to other things. Like I said, Adsense also shows you what affiliate products and/or direct advertisers to target. As a blog matures, push the Adsense further down the page and leave the “above the fold” space for more profitable ads. If your adsense is near the bottom, it still continues to give continuous hints to affiliate banners/ direct advertisers you can target. Lists are good if you have a specific niche of products, but not everyone is in the “make money online” space (many that are suck anyway). Lists can be used to sell all sorts of goodies from insurance to JibJab subscriptions- not just the next “hot product.”
        Blogs must INFORM or ENTERTAIN to maintain traffic. John is successful because he has a plethora of information and is an authority in the “make money online” space. If John was doing just posts about where he eats, his audience would be different as would his monetization. Blindly soliciting email addresses without an endgame in mind is just as foolish as slapping up adsense (or any other monetization method) without a plan.

  16. Good article jacob. That is where I am at now. I’m making a few bucks here and there, but really need to experiment with my monetizing model to see if I can up the game a bit.


    1. I have been making a couple thousand a month but want to jump to the next level, thanks for the tips but does anyone else have any more advice?

  17. Some fantastic points on the post. Thanks for the article. Gabz

  18. Jos says:

    Does John Chow change his hosting from HostGator to GoDaddy? Just curious! The nameserver is pointed to:

    1. I don’t know if John would want to share that publicly.

  19. Jacob,
    I have adsense on my blog and will remove it as I get more revenue from other means. I would only promote affiliate products that I have tried out myself. I would love to get a free copy of the product so I could write an honest review.

    1. Make Money says:

      As you steadily build bookmarkers and your list you will be in the mix big time. Your site is quality and the use of free products to build your mailing list will put you in the proper spot to really start making some cash.

      1. Great points, it’s all about steadily improving.

  20. fazal mayar says:

    Jacob good post. I think we should try different monitezation strategies when we first start our blog and when we start growing our blog, this is when we can make money!

    1. Handbags says:

      I agree it’s very smart to test things out. That’s how we will find out what works and doesn’t work. You can use StatCounter to find out what people click on and how much. This way you know what works and doesn’t work. That’s what I do right now!

  21. fas says:

    Also depends on your location. Some type of advertising works wonders in some places and not so in others.

  22. Victoria says:

    I’ve personally never found Adsense to work that well. If you have a blog with ridiculously high traffic, then maybe. But generally you can make more money from private ads.

  23. Louie Sison says:

    Awesome post indeed. very useful not just for newbies.

  24. Thanks for sharing an awesome post John

  25. Interesting read, I am always looking for more tips.

  26. You could have a look at guest blogging as a way to monetize. Its more productive than sponsored posts since no writing is required and with Web Traffic Control the entire process is automated. You could earn up to $750 p/m for each blog that you own.

  27. Impressive tips,i am completely agree with you….

  28. I really enjoy reading most part of the article.having read two time…awesome post.

  29. I like your blogging tips better than Darren Rowse at Pro Blogger! Just sent you another link. Thanks! Matt.

  30. rakesh kumar says:

    Great tips as we start creating our website focusing first on monetization and then on building it properly. And from here all we are not able to generate that amount ,we ever dream of.

  31. I enjoyed reading this post with some great points

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