Click here to get this post as a PDF and read it later!
Requests from people taking the Making It Pay Lifestyle course have inspired me to share more posts on what I have acquired from operating my own blog for the past two years. The internet is flooded with blog advertising advice and that can be overwhelming to new or aspiring bloggers. That’s why I’ve put this beginners guide to advertising on your blog together. In this post, I’ll break down the best steps you can take for making an income while working from home on your own blog.
Where to begin
I assume I am like most individuals who release material on the Internet. I classify myself as a small-but-serious blogger. I am also a big-time consumer of online material such as ebooks, courses, and follow many blogs in several niches, both for material and to learn what works. For me, blogging is basically a relationship. Two crucial components of any relationship are intent and association. Choose what you want to achieve. You are able to find dozens of high-quality resources about every aspect of arranging and controlling your blog, but none of it is one-size-fits-all. Each choice, design, program, post length, style—depends on the ending goal you have. Conclusions that do not seem like a big deal now may become crucial later. Especially if you want to make money.
For instance, self-hosting with your own domain may feel like an unneeded expense, but it is crucial if your goal is to construct a
personal brand or a business around your website. Remember that it is about your audience. Making your website a .com address is memorable and helps your readers find you. Need help choosing how to set up your site? The Making It Pay Lifestyle course covers all of that! Your design should fit the blog’s personality. An overly easy design might appear plain and undesirable, but a minimalist theme, in reality, sets the tone for the message and heightens the material. Everything matters. Every choice either moves you towards your goal or away from it.
Personally, I do not pay a lot of attention to figures because traffic it’s not part of my objective. I consider and track analytics each month, but that is really more about curiosity. I seek trends, try out other ideas, and learn from my errors. I consider my site as a ring, and I think about appealing to readers who heighten the quality of the discussion. The point? My technique is deliberate and fits my total goal. Incidentally, my figures have more than tripled since 11/1/14. Information, expertise, and opinions are promptly available from an endless assortment of sources if you’re deciding on how to get your blog in front of the right audience. I consistently follow writers and other bloggers to keep up with the trends and ideas of others. The things that are most important are consistency and legitimacy. Antics and tricks provide short-term spikes at the expense of long-term trust and loyalty. You may fool me into visiting, but I won’t be back if you treat me like a fool. Keep that in mind and never purchase likes or comments on your blog.
Beware of barriers
I appreciate concerns about spam and privacy but balance those against the need for readers to connect.
Make your contact form friendly and inviting. With so many available forums, I’m likely to choose those that cater to my communication preferences. For example, some blogs force me to use my ancient blogger ID to comment. Since I don’t access my blogger account, I’ll never see follow-up comments; why bother composing a thoughtful comment? I know there are ways around that, but why should I have to do extra work to contribute to your blog? I find that many folks don’t like to leave public comments, but they love more personal contact. If you don’t want to provide your email address, consider creating a simple contact form. It seems obvious but fewer barriers, more connection, and so more readers.
What Are You Losing Money On?
What is the culture medium with the biggest advertising spending on the globe? Television. Television ads are so effective for advertisers and so lucrative for TV companies because viewers will inevitably pay attention to the advertisements. Or how about YouTube? Most monetized sites force you to watch at least a few seconds of an ad at the beginning of the video and then intersperse them throughout the video. Would we be able to say the same things about content-based websites, like blogs? Not exactly. If you consider Google AdSense or banner ads, the most used monetization methods, you’ll conclude that they’re different from the editorial content.
For instance, if you have a blog and display ads on your sidebar only (see the sidebar of this blog for an example) your readers will be able to altogether brush off the advertisements if they desire. A few even use ad-blockers, so they will not see your AdSense units or banners regardless where you place them. What would the equivalent of a television ad be for a blog? Likely an advertorial, which is an article written by the advertiser about his product, and put up on the blog like an additional post.
Another option is sponsored reviews, which are posts published by the blogger critiquing a particular product or service. Most bloggers choose this example because they get to write the article content themselves and readers will not be bothered with another writing style.
Here’s a fact that reinforces the similarity of sponsored reviews with TV advertisements: If you ask any advertiser whether he would like to pay for a banner ad or for a sponsored review, he will certainly say the sponsored review. Why? Because he will acquire a much better return on investment, as the sponsored review will give his product a better and greater kind of exposure with the readers of that blog.
As a result, a sponsored review is probably among the most lucrative way to monetize a blog. I’ve made $60 per hour by receiving $50 sponsor opportunities to write a short critique of a product. I accept if it’s related to my niche, and I’m sure most of my readers would find it of value. They only take about 30 minutes to write which is a great return on my time investment.
This made me wonder: are most bloggers leaving money on the table by not doing sponsored reviews? For instance, if I started doing them more frequently on this blog I could easily add another several hundred dollars per month in profits (considering one sponsored review per week at a low $50-$100 per post), which would simply double up my advertising profit on the blog. I think this proportion is true for most bloggers. If bloggers started doing sponsored reviews they’d double up their ad revenue. That being said, I think it’s possible for a blogger to do sponsored reviews while keeping his integrity.
There are 3 main requirements:
1. A clear disclosure on each review.
2. Honest opinions while writing the review.
3. The choice of products that is truly relevant and useful for the reader.
Other people claim that sponsored posts could get you in trouble with Google, but this isn’t true as long as you use the no-follow
attribute on the links inside the review. Google does not have a problem with sponsored links, as long as you clearly label them as such. In essence, the question that’s raised is are your readers going to be put off by sponsored reviews and whether or not you feel this a good avenue for your blog.
Adsense? What Is That?
Adsense is among the primary profit generators for blogs and sites. Usually, you are able to drastically improve your click-through rate and total net by placing the advertisements wisely, by improving the material targeting or by optimizing the ad units directly. Below I will cover the last point, how to optimize the Adsense units with 8 simple tips:
1. The three top performing ad units are 336×280 large rectangle, 300×250 inline rectangle, and 160×600 wide skyscraper. Think about using those units if possible, but bear in mind that other formats would be more appropriate for your site design.
This is what a Google Adsense ad looks like:
2. The more successful link color is blue. This info is connected with the roots of the internet where all major sites used to feature blue links. The color blue also invokes trust and loyalty.
3. Aside from blue links you are able to also use a link color that matches the pattern of your site (i.e. if you use green links make the Adsense links of the same color).
4. As a general rule of thumb, blend (no border, same background) your Adsense units if your site has a light color scheme and contrast (border, contrasting background) the units if you’re using a dark color scheme.
5. If the advertisements are based on the content you should avoid using borders while advertisement units outside of the content can use borders to call attention.
6. If your site has mainly repeat visitors (like forums or membership communities) you are able to rotate the background color of the units to cut back advertisement blindness.
7. Consider removing the “Advertise on this site” message from your units.
8. Test, test, and test. Every website is unique so make sure you test with different colors and formats and track the results to fine-tune your Adsense.
More Tips To Be Successful
Most individuals who advertise on a blog do very well. How come? Most of the times the blogger did her research. If you would
like to maximize your chances of advertising, these tips below will help you.
- Make sure your blog is generating traffic
This is the most crucial factor. If you want to advertise on a blog with
success your blog has to have huge traffic, listing it before monetizing
that traffic would be a bad decision. You would be able to advertise it,
but the money you’d get might be far below the real measure of the
- Work on your trust rating
Each member on the internet has a trust rating, and most advertisers
will check it before placing their bids. In other words, the higher your
trust rating, the higher the chances of advertising on your blog. As a
result, you should take all the actions that will improve your trust
rating (e.g., connect your accounts with Facebook, Twitter, and
LinkedIn, verify your telephone number and so on).
- Don’t hype your description
The more hype you put in your description, the more people will
think you’re desperate to advertise and that your blog isn’t a solid
one. Examples of remarks you should avoid include: “Huge
potential!”, “A lifetime opportunity!”, “My loss is your gain!” Secondly,
don’t hypothesize what the blog could be earning. Some people list
blogs that are making $10 per month currently, and they go on
saying: “This blog has the potential to make $4,000 per month
easily!” If you knew this for certain you would not be selling the
advertising space for such a low price.
- An answer to every comment
Even if you write a crystal clear description people will still have
questions and they will ask them through the comment section. It’s
important to answer to every single comment, as this won’t only
encourage these commenters to want to advertise on your blog, but it
will also improve the overall credibility.
Finally, have a plausible reason for advertising
One of the first things people will ask you is why you are advertising? If there is no plausible reason, they will rightly assume that the blog is going downhill and that you want to get rid of it before it becomes worthless. In fact, it would be a good idea to include the reason for advertising. You definitely need to find one that fits with your blog and doesn’t annoy your readers with ads that have nothing to do with your blog.
Choosing a Niche
Choosing a niche or topic because you love it is a good route to success, but choosing a profitable one and approaching it
scientifically can be equally successful. When you need some ideas, Google the word of the area you need help in and add either “help” or “community” to it.
Seek a community, like a Facebook group or other blog online you are able to hang out in for a while. You’ll come off feeling refreshed and possibly even with some great new tips from individuals who are out there suffering the same troubles as you and turning them into successes.
Start with one blog. If you have a lot of items on your list of possible topics, don’t give in to the temptation to start a different blog for each one. By dividing your effort between several blogs, you increase the likelihood that all of them will fail. Put all of your efforts on one blog to start. Once you get the hang of things, then you might consider branching out with additional blogs.
If you’re unsure, test drive it. The fact is that many people do not have the drive or stamina to blog for income successfully. If you are not sure, try a starter blog on a free service such as Blogger or WordPress.com (not to be confused with a self-hosted WordPress managed site). Feel it out for a few weeks. If, by the end of this time, you have stuck with it and find you like blogging is right for you, go ahead and commit to the effort and then move your content to your own self-hosted domain. This advice applies equally well to test driving new topics if you’re unsure what to write about. I still advocate purchasing your own domain first and if you don’t stick with it, you can cancel the hosting fees and get your prorated money back.
Place advertisements wisely
Some individuals recommend not placing advertisements on a blog until it has matured somewhat. Others advocate putting them up right away. There are rewards and risks to both approaches. Just make certain to place your advertisements tactfully so as not to overwhelm your readers. Put the user experience in the first place. I used to have many more advertisements, but I’ve paired them down in favor of sponsored posts, reviews in exchange for free products, guest posting, and freelance blogging gigs. Those avenues are much more profitable.
This is the real key to successful blogging. If you pick a topic that you enjoy and blog about it with passion for months and
years on end, your blog will build a readership, generate income, and generally be a success. If, however, your blog becomes a chore to maintain, it will inevitably fail. Thus, if you keep up with your blog and you love it, it will succeed and generate profit. If you do not do your research, write about things that are not of interest, and generally don’t keep up with it, your blog will inevitably fail.
Selling Products on your blog
When clients buy your product or service for the first time they really make a trial purchase. If they’re gratified they’ll keep coming back to you. Making a beneficial product isn’t the end of the story. A lot of business owners make the same error. As soon as a product is purchased they forget the buyer. If you want to hold a customer for repeat purchases you should improve your customer service. Provide great service to a reader who’s bought a product or service. They’ll certainly come back to you as everyone prefers safe, familiar and quality products. Follow up with them using email sequences. My favorite tool for this is ConvertKit. With ConvertKit, it’s super easy to make automated drag and drop automated email sequences, landing pages for courses and products, and newsletter broadcasts.
Providing good quality product or service is just the start of the story. Don’t try to fool the buyer. When a buyer gets a good product from you at a fair price he develops certain expectations. Now it’s your responsibility to live up to that expectation by keeping up the quality. If they don’t get good products in the 2nd or 3rd purchase they’ll switch to another provider. Remember that your competitors are there to draw their attention. Brand loyalty not only earns you prompt profits but maximizes your revenue in the long haul.
Remember, advertising doesn’t have to be a long hard cognitive process.
Even on a minor scale, personal blogs can definitely generate revenue. The internet and social networking sites make this easier than ever before. Advertising on your blog can be fun, and more significantly, very rewarding. Remember, humankind runs deep with consumer awareness. You can make money off your blog.