Blog monetization can be a challenging task, as there’s no one-size-fits-all solution, particularly when you consider the niche-specific differentials. When considering the best blog monetization option for your site, it’s important to consider who your readers are and what device they’re using to view your blog, what their goal is when they visit (i.e. Are they seeking information? Is their ultimate goal to make a purchase?)
Let’s take a look at a few of the options for blog monetization.
Blog Monetization Through Contextual Advertising
Contextual advertisements can be displayed on your site through programs like AdSense and InfoLinks. The ads are automatically matched to the topic of the content on a given page. Some programs even allow you to restrict the types of ads that appear on your site to avoid a situation where you’re advertising competitors.
Earnings are typically per ad click, although there are some ad programs that pay out per page views, which may be a good option for high-traffic sites.
Blog Monetization Through Affiliate Links
There are an endless number of affiliate programs available today, many of them through centralized programs such as Commission Junction and Rakuten LinkShare. Amazon’s Affiliate program is also quite extensive.
These programs allow you to get affiliate links, ads and images from hundreds of different retailers. Bloggers can share affiliate links and images in product reviews, buyer guides and other useful content. So when the individual finishes reading, there’s a good chance they’ll click to purchase the product or service that you’re discussing.
The key is to offer useful, engaging content in conjunction with those affiliate links or images. “Thin” posts that are purely promotional just won’t bring results and you risk alienating your existing readership. These affiliate links can also be used in other areas, such as e-newsletters.
Blog Monetization Through Paid Reviews or Paid Advertising
If you have a high-traffic blog with a well-established readership, you may be in a good position to work directly with potential advertisers who are seeking to purchase advertising space on your site.
Advertisers may also pay you to publish reviews or give you free products/services in exchange for a review. If you do get compensated for a review in any way (including free products/services), then it’s important to indicate this somewhere in the review.
Remember, when trying a new monetization option, you must evaluate how that monetization technique impacts your readerships. Some ads and other monetization options can harm user experience, ultimately leading to more harm than good. So when implementing a new form of monetization, carefully monitor analytics such as total traffic volume, average time spent on-site, the average number of pages viewed per visit and the average percentage of traffic that is attributed to returning visitors. If you see a dip in one or more of these areas after implementing a monetization method, then you may want to explore a different option.