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The Secrets to Long-Term Blogging Success [Part 5]

by Steve Scott | Join Him On Facebook

It’s time for another post in our lengthy series about creating long-term success with your blog.  In this series, we’re covering a battle-plan you can use to increase traffic to your site, write about what you love, and generate a profit at the same time.

So far we’ve covered:

Part 1: How to develop a winning content strategy

Part 2: Different techniques for improving your blogging productivity

Part 3: Creating a Blog Business Plan Using a Mind Map

Part 4: Focusing on your Most Wanted Response (MWR)

What are we talking about today?  Well, in part four we talked about the concept of the “Most Wanted Response.” Here I emphasized the importance of determining what strategy your blog uses to make money, then structuring the design and layout to ensure that you’re getting the exact response you want.

So this leaves us with the question… “How DO you make money with a blog?” The answer isn’t as simple as you would think.  In truth, there are dozens of ways to monetize your blog.  Today, I would like to cover the most common methods:

#13- Ways to Monetize Your Blog

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is the most common way to make money.  All you do is talk about a product, insert a link to it, and you get a sales commission if someone decides to buy.

In my opinion, this is an excellent way to monetize a site.  The problem is many bloggers tend to get lazy when it comes to this method.  Usually, their “promotion” consists of placing an image on their site and once in awhile doing a review.

The trick to affiliate marketing with a blog is to constantly discuss how YOU use the product on a daily basis.  In a way, you’re treating it like it’s one of your own.  I recommend regularly talking about it…even it’s something that’s not beneficial.

We’ve reached a point in our society where a lot of folks are simply tired of marketing B.S.  They want honesty, even if you’re telling them about the faults of a product.

For instance, I recently did a review of a site that teaches affiliate marketing.   Here, I talked about the benefits of the site.  But I also listed a few drawbacks and reasons why certain people shouldn’t join.

Bottom line is your affiliate marketing efforts should be honest as possible.  If you can’t find anything good to say about a product, then you shouldn’t be promoting it in the first place.

Now, if you’re unsure about where to get started, I recommend you check out the Clickbank and Commission Junction websites.   Both have a large marketplace, that’s filled with excellent products, waiting for you to promote them.

Promoting Your Information Products

One of the natural evolutions of a blog is to go from affiliate marketing to pitching your own information products.  To be honest, this is something I’m hoping to do with the “Steve Scott Site.”

Obviously, this takes a lot more effort than promoting an affiliate program.  You have to actually take the time to find something that people want, and then write the sucker.

When promoting an info product, you would use the same techniques that I recommend for affiliate marketing.  In addition, you want to showcase your expert knowledge of the subject.  By demonstrating authority, many readers will want to buy things from you that’ll further help solve their problems.

To get started with this method, I recommend paying close attention to the questions you get a on a regular basis.  If you can’t find any, then start asking your audience what they want to learn. You’d be surprised at how many hidden opportunities that you’re probably missing.

Also, I recommend you check out my 4-part series on information products that I wrote a few months back.

CPA Offers

A CPA offer is similar to affiliate marketing.  You get paid by promoting a particular offer.  The major difference is you make money whenever someone takes an action.  This can include if they simply click over to a website.  Or you earn a commission if a reader fills out a form, generating a lead for the company you’re promoting.

I want to be very honest with you here… I have almost NO experience with CPA offers.  I’m aware they exist and some people make a killing with this method, but I’ve never bothered to take the time to learn how it really works.

If this sounds like something you’re interested in, then I recommend taking an afternoon, and doing research into this topic.  Also, I know that Azoogle has a wide selection of companies you can use to promote CPA offers.

Google Adsense

About five years ago, Google Adsense blogs were all the rage.  They became popular because you could make LOTS of money simply by having people click on an ad.  How do I know this?  Well, because in 2005 I made a sizeable income by creating Adsense sites.

In my opinion, a Google Adsense site isn’t the best long-term strategy for a blog.  To make it really work, you need a massive audience.  And the way I figure things is if you have a large audience, then you should be building a relationship with them instead of simply directing them to click on an advertisement.

However, if you’re interested in this type of business, I recommend you find a WordPress Theme that’s specifically optimized for Google Adsense.  These should have a layout that places these ads in a prominent spot where they look like a regular link.  (In essence, you’re “tricking” your audience into thinking you’re linking to more content on your blog).

Promoting Your Services or Consulting

Many people use a blog as an extension of their business.  Whether they’re offering a specific service or they want to get more clients for their consulting business, these people are basically demonstrating their authority in a particular topic.

Again, this is a method where I have limited experience.  With that said, I feel that it’s extremely important to “brand” yourself with this monetization model.  Here’s what I mean…

Let’s say you want to increase business for your article writing outsourcing service.  Your blog should showcase your skills at writing.  You should discuss the challenges that people have with coming up with their own content.  Plus you should constantly refer your readers to samples of your work.

My point is this.  If you’re offering a specific service, then you have to show that you’re walking the walk instead of talking the talk.

At first, a person might not buy from you.  But if they’re a regular reader, they’ll eventually come to the point when they think to themselves, “Gee, I need someone to write a few articles for my site.  Where do I find someone like this?” If you branded yourself properly, then most people will think of contacting you.

Final Thoughts…

Like I said, there are a number of ways you can profit from a blog.  I really only covered the major methods that most people use.

I’m curious about how you’re trying to earn income from your site.  Do you use one of the methods I just described?  If so, do you have any special techniques that you’re successfully using?

Also, do you use a monetization method I didn’t cover?  How is it working for you?

Please comment below…

Take Action. Get Results.



{ 10 comments }

Joe

Steve,

Thanks for the review and suggestions. There are so many options for trying to monetize a blog, it can be a bit overwhelming to choose. That being said, it does seem that affiliate marketing and creating your own products & membership sites seem like the best ways to go that I’ve seen.

Now I’m going to go back and read the first four parts of the series.
.-= Joe´s last blog ..Marketing Lessons from Sarah Palin =-.

Steve Scott

CRAP! I forgot to talk about membership sites…I’ll have to add that when I create this a whole course for visitors. Thanks for the reminder!

Dia

Hi Steve,

Thanks for these tips. Personally, I use google adsense, coaching, and I have just released my first ebook 2 weeks ago. I have heard that the best ways to make money out of your blog is selling products (ebooks, audios) and offering your services (coaching)

In regards to google adsense, you are right that you need massive audience. For example, if your site gets half a million visitor a month, then you can make around $4000 a month.
.-= Dia´s last blog ..Program your mind for success =-.

Steve Scott

Sounds like you have a healthy mix of different monetization methods. (I forgot to recommend doing that).

I do like the idea of Google Adsense, but it does require a HUGE audience. My main money making site for affiliate marketing only gets about new 400 visitors a day and I turn that it into $5000+ per month. That’s hard to beat with Adsense.

Btw, what is your ebook about?

Fitness Philippines

Great post, Steve. I currently have Google Adsense on my blog, but am actively looking into adding affiliate marketing and promoting my consultation services on there as well. I know it’ll be a long hard, road, but I’m enjoying it so far!
.-= Fitness Philippines´s last blog ..MY TRIBUTE TO MORTAL KOMBAT =-.

Steve Scott

Thanks dude! In my opinion, Affiliate marketing or your own products are the ways to go!

Brandon Connell

I use all of those methods. But the cost of my consulting services always end up beating the rest in regards to the portion of income it provides.
.-= Brandon Connell´s last blog ..How to steal a bloggers article without making an enemy =-.

Steve Scott

Like I said, I know very little about consulting. But that it’s extremely profitable for people in the business. Since you show your expertise in a given topic, it’s much easier to get clients since they’ve come to know and trust you.

Gail

I’ve been using affiliate marketing and adsense, and not really pushing my own services as a freelance writer through the blog as I have other sites set up for that, and don’t really want to take on too much more. The reason being freelance writing is OK for generating immediate income, but I want to concentrate on building my passive income. To date I’ve been doing that through writing for content mills and promoting those articles through twitter.
So I’ve had a three pronged approach that’s taken me from nothing to around £500 a month in seven months, but after discovering your blog last week, and reading through from start to (almost) finish, I have a whole heap of notes to help me design my own blog business blueprint, and I’m going to be doing some restructuring.
Thanks again for all the time and effort you (and your outsourcers) put into this blog, for me it’s been worth it’s (digital) weight in gold.
.-= Gail´s last blog ..Investing in Junk Coins by Keith Hamburger =-.

Steve Scott

Sounds like you’re on the right path…I’ll be sure to start including more affiliate marketing stuff when I get a chance. Hopefully that’ll give a better idea of what I do.

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