When you’re running a serious blog with quality content, chances are at some point you want to monetize it in some way. AdSense ads, banners, links, donations, reviews or affiliate programs, whatever.
But if you take the jump to monetize your blog, it implies that you’ll need readers first. After all, who would see your offers and click on the ads without visitors, right? And the only way to get visitors is to generate traffic.
So, before even thinking about making money with your blog, you first should create great value in the form of quality content and a kind of community of readers that return frequently to read and post their comments.
Now, the question is: when do you start monetizing your blog?
Daniel Sacco of Daily Blog Tips answers that question as a guest poster on Problogger.net: When Should I Put Advertising on My Blog?.
That is, Daniel doesn’t give an exact time table, but states that any monetizing efforts before 6 months of existence is too early.
I took my time with this blog. I started it back in 2004 just as an experiment, but really began blogging seriously about a year ago. All I did was post quality articles and market them to get visitors and RSS and email subscribers.
My first little steps to monetize this blog was an occasional promotion as an affiliate for some excellent products that I strongly believe in and use myself. It’s the easiest way to start monetizing your blog. And probably the most profitable.
Still, most content posted was free advice on the topics listed under categories. Readership is growing, slowly, -dang, I have so many other things to do- but steadily.
A couple of months ago, I tweaked the template, so I was able to show some banner ads in the sidebar and make money with them. My second little step.
The reason for that were a couple of emails I received for banner and link advertising quotations. Imagine, people asking for fees to place ads on my blog!
Next, because I want to keep in control and therefore do not like to use an external service, I had to select an ad management system.
Since I took Yoro Stark’s Blog Mastermind, I first checked out the program he uses as described in Making money from your website using advertising.
I briefly tested it, but then read a post by Andy Beard about Oiopublisher (amongst other systems) and found that much easier to implement.
The funny thing is, as soon as I implemented Oiopublisher, I immediately got a customer, even before I was able to test this system online. They did it for me and it worked like charm; not a finger to lift!
Since Oiopublisher also comes with paid link management, I can add that in a blink too and that’s what I just did.
The next step could be paid reviews, since Oiopublisher manages that too, but I’m not sure about that strategy. Some bloggers ask $50 or as low as $30 for a review and they probably create such posts in less than an hour.
I need at least several hours to make an honest review. Spending that much time forces me to ask at least $150 for a review, if not more. That may be too early for this blog.
An alternative is to add Adsense, but personally I’m not that fond of ads in my posts. Also, although I must admit that they probably will work, I’m not sure about the proceeds.
So, I’m back to the resources I used to set up a monetization strategy. And the first one is BlogMasterMind, the excellent and complete blogging course, already mentioned above.
And of course the posts from the most successful bloggers on the Net. Like Marlon Sanders used to say: “Do not create mediocrity when you can copy genius”.