Hello and welcome to the third installment of “How to be an Urban Blogger and Make Money.” We’ve talked a lot about how to get started and how to create SEO friendly content for the web. But now it’s time for the good part, making money off your blog. Monetizing your blog is the #1 thing most people want to learn how to do. But it’s not as easy as it seems.
When I first started GreasyGuide.com I was making a few cents a day but nothing major. Now by using various methods I pull in an extra $1000 a month. And this is for only spending $9 a month on the up keep of the site. And in terms of design I’ve only spent about $90. So GreasyGuide.com pays for itself and so can you blog
Before You Start Monetizing/Income Generation Strategy
Before you start monetizing your blog you need to take a few things into account. First is your traffic at the level to start making money? If you join an ad network like BlogAds your site needs to be pulling in a few thousand visitors a day. So if your not up to that level yet you will need to start small and then progressively grow into using one of the niche blog advertisement network. But if your just starting out and want to make money quickly Google Adsense is your best friend.
But before you start you need to figure out your income generation strategy. What services out there will you use on your blog to generate the most income? Is my site ready to place ads in prime locations? Do I need to redesign the site for the best ad placement? Who is my audience and what would they be looking for on this site?
These are all questions you have to figure out before you begin, otherwise your just throwing things up on your site that no one will click.
I make most of the money from GreasyGuide.com via Google Adsense. It’s free and easy to install and you can get it up and running on your site in less then 5 minutes. Now you must know by now that most people ignore advertising. We’ve all seen it so much in our lifetimes that we just ignore it. But Google Adsense it by far the most effective form of marketing and the best way bloggers can make money. If you have a Gmail account you are just one step closer to Google Adsense. You can use your gmail login to get into adsense and grab the code for your blog.
The ad module comes in may different sizes so you should be able to find something that works well on your site. The ad module is refered to as Contextual Advertising. What is does is that is scans the content that you post for keywords and then serves ads that are closely related to that keyword. So if you wrote a post on the new Kanye West album the Google Adsense ads will more then likely serve an ad for a Kanye West ring tone.
Think about it like this. Most of your traffic is going to come from search engines. So if someone was searching for Kanye West and landed on your site then serving an ad for a Kanye West ring tone ads to the relevance of the search experience and will more then likely lead to that user clicking through. And getting them to click is the most important thing. The more people click though on the ads on your blog the more money you make. The act of clicking through and earning money is called Cost Per Action. The advertiser pays you money for each time one of your readers clicks on their ad. The CPA rate can be anywhere from 5cents to $2 depending on the advertiser.
Warning: Never click on your own Google Adsense ads as that is called Click fraud and will get you banned from Google Adsense.
You can not just stick an anywhere on your blog. You must always think of your readers first. Your ad placement is just as important as the blog post it self. You must make sure that your ads do not interfere with the users experience with your site. I use a 3-column wordpress template which is optimized for ads. You want the focus of your blog to be on the content first and foremost. So make sure they content is readable and in a clear location on your site.
I put my content in the center of the site and then and advertising off to the side. Google Adsense allows you to place 3 ad units on your site. So I use 2 text ad units and then one image ad unit. This works out the best and doesn’t interfere with the reader getting to the content.
Here are 18 wordpress themes you can use to maximize your Adsense earnings.
Display/Niche Ad Networks
Google Adsense allows you to earn money off each click through to your blog. But there are other companies that allow you to earn for each time a reader lands on a page where their ads are placed, this is called Display Advertising or CPM (cost per million.) So this means that usually each time 1,000 readers hit your site you earn money for those readers. If you look at GreasyGuide.com now you see that the site is apart of the Today Show network display ad group. It’s placed at the top so that everyone landing on the site can see it and I can get that impression. The CPM on that is about .60 per 1000 and after 1 month of using that ad service I have earned about $60. Which isn’t to bad.
Text Link Ads
Text links ads are really good and require no effort to get going. If you have wordpress you can install the WordPress plugin. The best thing about text link ads is that they are unobtrusive form of advertising. Your readers will almost never notice that it’s on your site. Services buy text link ads because they are looking to increase their page rank in Google. The higher your page rank the most trusted of a site you are to Google and the higher your content will display on a page of search results. In order to really benefit you need to have a page rank of 5 or more to really reap the benefits.
Get Making Money
So those are my tips and methods for earning money on the web. I’ve been pretty successful at it and as the GreasyGuide.com grows the more money will flow to the site. Your site rev. is the most important because if you ever decide to sell your site your site will sell at 24x your monthly revenues.