There are a small number of people who have made a fortune from setting up a blog and there are many more who dream of following suit. Unfortunately, to join the select group of high earners takes an awful lot of hard work, requires having connections with other online influencers and needs a certain amount of good luck. However, if you are just looking for ways to use a blog to develop a new stream of income, then this post will explain three easy ways that you can monetize your blog and start earning quickly.
Put Pay Per Click adverts on your blog
One of the most common ways that bloggers make money is from showing adverts on their posts and in their sidebars. The most popular way they do this is from joining Google Adsense – in fact over two million websites currently show Google ads as a way of earning money.
Google Adsense is free to join, though you will need to have a Google account and register for Adsense itself. It works by providing you with a small section of code which you can cut and paste into a post or a sidebar text widget. Once you have done this and clicked save, the ads will begin to appear on your website.
To earn money from Google Adsense you need your visitors to click on the adverts. The amount of money you will earn depends on how competitive the market is for the products being advertised. The more an advertiser has to bid for an ad, the more you are likely to get paid for each click.
The amount per click is really out of your hands – the main reason for this is that Google will have used cookies to track the users’ recent browsing sessions and will show them products which they think they will be interested in.
How much you will earn depends on the value of each ad and the number of people who click on them. This itself, is dependent on how many visitors you have. As your blog grows and you hopefully begin to see increases in traffic, the chances are that your Adsense income will increase too.
Another advertising solution is Infolinks which looks at the text on your website and converts some of the words into text links that link to products your current visitor might be interested in. Different vistors will be presented with different links depending on their previous browsing choices. Infolinks may also show banner ads on your site just like Adsense. Again, to make money, you just need your visitors to click on the ads.
One word of warning – whatever you do, do not click on the adverts yourself or get your friends to click on them for you. These companies, Google in particular, log the IP addresses of each click, and if they find that you have been clicking on your own ads in order to try and make money, they will consider it as fraud and disable your account. You will not get paid and you will not be allowed to open a new account with them.
Become an affiliate
One of the most lucrative monetising methods used by bloggers is using affiliate links. Many companies have affiliate programs and when you become an affiliate you can put special links and adverts on your site that take customers to that company’s website. If your visitor buys from that website, you earn a commission.
Unlike Adsense or Infolinks, you do not get paid for a click, only if the visitor buys, however, depending on the products you are promoting and the commission rate, this can be considerable. Generally speaking, physical products give a commission rate around the 5% mark, so if your visitor goes on to buy a product worth £100, you’ll get £5 just for sending them there. With non-physical, downloadable products, such as software, the commission can be nearer the 50% level. So if your visitor buys £50 premium WordPress theme, you could earn £25 a sale. With subscription products, where the visitor buys something they pay monthly for, you can find yourself earning up to 200% commission – i.e., the equivalent of two months subscription. So if your visitor buys an annual subscription to a digital marketing solution at £100 per month, you could be looking at up to £200 per sale.
One of the main benefits of affiliate links over Adsense and Infolinks is that you can choose to promote products that link to the theme of your blog. So, if you blog about health and fitness, you can promote the products of companies in your niche, knowing that your visitors will be interested in them. You also have greater control over the quality of products you promote – so that you ensure you are giving your customers a better service.
Many bloggers use affiliate programs as a way of helping them generate content. If you are a health and fitness blogger you can write reviews of some of the best products available for your readers and then add a link to the company’s website where they can buy it. Your readers can then see that your reviews are a useful addition to your blog’s content.
Unlike Adsense or Infolinks, affiliate links can also be included in your emails and newsletters, so if you find a product worth sharing you are not just restricted to putting it on your website – you can let your subscribers go straight there from their email client.
The most popular affiliate program on the planet, with over 900,000 affiliates, is Amazon Associates. Amazon Associates lets you link to any individual item, page or search result on its platform and commission levels increase the more you sell. Most products start at 4%, but others are as high as 10%. Amazon has separate affiliate programs for each of its sites – so you may have to sign up to several if you want to promote products to readers in different countries.
You can find affiliate programs in two ways – either you can go to the company’s website and look for a link for ‘affiliates’ or ‘affiliate program’ – usually found in the footer menu, or you can join an affiliate network such as Webgains, Affiliate Window or Trade Doubler. These companies recruit advertisers and publishers (bloggers) with the aim of promoting relationships between the two. There are thousands of companies who you can search through to find the best ones for the type of blog you have.
To become an affiliate you will usually need to make an application. This is so either the company or the affiliate network can judge whether you are an appropriate match. Some companies are very protective of their brand and will not allow their products to be advertised on particular websites. So, if your blog has adult content, for example, it is unlikely that family friendly brands will accept you. Most businesses will require that your site is live and complete and if you are promoting products to people in the USA you will be required to have a disclaimer where you inform your readers that you will be compensated if they buy from clicking on the links you display.
Sell your web space
As your blog grows and gets more attention, some businesses or their marketing companies will see you as an appropriate place to promote their products and services. One of the ways they will want to do this is to ask you to publish a guest post on your website – for which they will normally offer to pay a fee. The companies usually provide a post that is suited to your audience and relevant to other subject matter you promote, it will also include a link to their website. Alternatively, they may ask you to write the post on their behalf – and offer a bigger fee as a result.
To ensure that you get these kinds of offers, you should always have an ‘Advertise / PR’ page on your WordPress blog. This should detail what advertising and PR services you are willing to offer, the conditions you wish to put in place (e.g. any subject matter you are not willing to publish) and the cost of advertising on your site. This will make you easier to find when marketing companies search for guest post opportunities.
The amount you get paid usually depends on your domain authority and the amount of traffic your website gets. Smaller blogs with reasonable traffic can expect around £30 to £50 per article. You can find your website’s domain authority at Moz’s Open Site Explorer and your traffic statistics from joining Google Analytics.
From reading this article you can see that it is relatively easy to use PPC advertising and affiliate marketing to begin monetizing your WordPress website. As your blog grows, you should also make it obvious that you are willing to accept paid guest posts to add an additional income stream.
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