Sunday, November 18, 2007

7 Ways To Monetize Your Blog

First, I should preface this discussion by saying you first need to seriously evaluate whether you want to work at monetizing your blog.
Second, you have to make sure that making money from your blog directly is your goal. It’s quite possible that your blogging goals may just to network, write about something you’re interested in, or serve some business purpose that isn’t direct income generation.

With that out of the way, let’s get started:

1. Contextual Advertising
Advertising is easily the most popular blog monetization tactic, mostly due to it being the easiest thing to implement. Advertising comes in many forms, and contextual advertising is the most popular due to Google Adsense and it’s general success with blogs and niche sites.
I’m going to assume everyone reading this is familiar with it, but I think it should be mentioned that too many bloggers assume that Adsense is the best solution for their blog. For some blogs and topics it works great, for others, not very well at all.
My advice is to not limit your blog to one ad network or just one form of advertising. Other contextual options include the Yahoo Publisher Network, Chitika, Clicksor, AdSonar, and others.

2. Display Advertising
As I mentioned above, contextual networks aren’t always the best solution for blogs. In some cases there aren’t enough advertisers in niche topics, and in others the users just isn’t likely to click. In this case, you want to be working with ad networks that provide CPM display advertising. This means you get paid something for every ad viewed, opposed to only getting paid per click.
Just like with contextual networks, it’s important to use multiple display ad networks to get more variety from your ads, to not let any one network control your inventory, and to make sure you’re earning the most amount of money possible.

3. Targeted Advertising
The most desirable form of advertising is having companies that wish to pay good rates to advertise on your blog directly whether it’s text or image ads.
There are a number of key things you have to do though in order to get this type of advertising:
* Have a blog with leading content in your niche and a professional design

* Create a “media kit” which is essentially a page on your blog that explains that you take targeted advertising, what your rates are, demographics of your users, your traffic levels, examples of the types of ads people can run, testimonials from any companies that have advertised with you, and a phone number and email address they can use to get more information.

* Have obvious “Advertise On This Blog” links in key places on your blog.

* Be willing to be creative to help your advertisers achieve their goals, and lower your price to get the deals.

Once you’ve set your blog up properly, start approaching companies in your niche who will want to reach your traffic. You don’t need to go after the biggest companies, there are many small companies who are looking to get better results from the web, and they might not even know about your blog. Make it easy on them to work with you, help them create ads, help them determine what sizes to use, and work with them to make sure they get the results they need. It seems like hard work at first, but after you get a solid base of advertisers going, it’s a great source of income and it starts to streamline.

4. Text Link Advertising
Another somewhat unobtrusive form of advertising is using services like Text Link Ads or Adbrite to sell text ads directly to companies. This is pretty low effort and often doesn’t take up too much space on a site, so it’s easy to implement and try out. It should be noted though that you need significant traffic for it to be a big source of income.

5. Affiliate Links
If you’ve got a blog in a specific area, there’s a very large chance that there are companies out there that sell products or services your users are interested in. You can earn some nice income recommending or linking to those products. is probably the most common affiliate merchant used by bloggers.
Another nice thing about affiliate links is that they fit well with quality content. Reviewing products and services for your users is valuable content, and if you can make money off it as well it’s a great combination. While traffic also helps for affiliate links, it can sometimes be an easier way to generate income without high traffic levels like advertising requires.

6. Selling Your Content (Ebooks, Videos, DVDs)
If you’ve got great content, another option is to package it and sell it. There are numerous bloggers who have created ebooks and even real books based on their blog content and made great income selling them. You can also expand to infoproducts like videos, DVDs, audio CDs, and printed books on demand.
This can take some significant work and it requires great content to actually sell, but it can be a nice income stream that lasts a long time. For which there is a section in this blog as well.

7. Selling Products
Besides infoproducts, you can sell real products like t-shirts, bumper stickers, clothing, or whatever other kind of merchandise makes sense for your topic. Companies like Goodstorm, CafePress, Lulu, and others make it easy by creating the products based on your design and letting you set up a shop. There is no risk to bloggers, which makes it a great opportunity.

It definitely takes some work to monetize your site well, and having good traffic really helps out. Work on building a blog with a solid userbase, and you should be on your way to generating income using any of the methods above. Good luck, and please share any blog monetization experiences you have in the comments.

Really Simple Syndication (RSS)

RSS is a tool for saving or retaining updated information on web sites that you frequently visit or web sites that are your favorite. RSS utilizes a XML code which scans continuously the content or subject matter of a certain website in search for new information then transmits the information updates by way of feeding the information to subscribers.

RSS feeds are generally being utilized in blogs or news sites, though any website wanting to broadcast and publish information can use them. Once new information is sent, it will contain a headline, a little bit of text, and either a rundown or a brief review of the news or story. Also, a link is needed be clicked upon to read further.

So as to accept RSS feeds, a feed reader is needed, called aggregator. Aggregators are widely and freely available online, and by searching you will be able to locate a certain interface that best interest you. What’s more, RSS feeds can likewise be read and retrieved from cell phones.

Once you encounter upon a website that you want to add or insert to the aggregator, the process can be done in two ways. Almost all sites offering a RSS feed displays a “RSS” or “XML” or “ATOM” button in their homepage and with one click, it promptly add that particular feed to one’s aggregator. Some aggregator however, requires the need to copy and then paste the URL of the feed unto the program.

Whatever the method used, you can be certain that the feed will be accessible soon as you have inserted it, likewise, in just seconds, the next update can arrive. In the event that you do not anymore would want to accept or take in updates, you may simply delete or erase the feed from the aggregator.

Through e-mail subscriptions, you can receive newsletters. RSS feeds on the other hand, can be more convenient in keeping up with newsletter updates since they are prompt and available in an instant; you no longer have to wait for a scheduled time or day to obtain a news summary, plus, these news will never be detained through a spam filter.


Aggregators are popular use of feeds, having several kinds. Web aggregators or portals as they are sometimes called, create this view that is then made available in a Web page. Also, aggregators have been incorporated into e-mail patrons, users of desktops, or dedicated and standalone software.

Why make a feed available?
You will have more viewers, since now, your viewers can conveniently see your site without even going out and looking for that certain site. While at first, it may seem corrupt, it will in fact enhance the visibility of your site; this is so because users can easily keep up or keep tract with your site, to allow them to view in a way that they want to; it’s more probable that guests are aware should something that is in their interest is available or accessible on your site.

For instance, every month your website broadcasts a new feature. Having no feed, your viewers will always have to keep in mind to go to your site in a certain time to see if they discover something new; that is, if they can remember, and if they still have the time. However, if you supply a feed for your viewers, they can just point to their aggregator and it will instantly provide them a link along with a description of happenings or events at your site immediately.