One thing that kills business is the fact that people read or hear things and make strategic decisions without proper research backed by data and facts.
We have read and heard that making money with banners is dead because of a sickness called banner blindness. This happens when visitors to your website consciously or subconsciously ignore your banners.
But activities around the web are a clear proof that you can still monetize and make money selling ad space on your blog. On the next five blogs you are going to visit today, four are certainly carrying some banner-like information.
That’s clear evidence that it still works and you too can benefit from this exercise and generate some additional income from your blog.
A common question I get from many newbie bloggers is whether to sign up to an affiliate network, grab some banners and paste on their blogs or join some ad networks that will allow them sell space to advertisers.
In either case, I tell them you can still make money. It boils down to what you want. Whether they are affiliate banners or advertisers’, the truth is banner noise may be a problem but you can still make money with it.
Advertising Networks VS Affiliate Banners!
It is difficult to clearly state that one of these is better than the other. For most people, affiliate option allows them to choose whatever to place on their blogs.
To add to this, if you are smart in affiliate marketing, you can quickly grow your earnings and build a lucrative source of passive income, promoting products that pay recurring commission.
However, there are two problems linked to affiliate banners:
- Commission theft
Commission theft is something you can control. Simply cloaking your affiliate links or promoting products that tag special coupon codes to affiliate accounts, you stand a better chance not to lose your commissions to thieves.
But for refunds, you are at the mercy of the buyers. If they are not satisfied with the products bought, they are simply going to hit the refund button and you loos the commission instantly.
You may make the terrible mistake of not wisely choosing the product to promote. The sales page of the product you promote may not convert to your satisfaction. The banners you choose may not be well designed to attract clicks, etc.
Ad blindness in Affiliate Marketing is even more consequential. The same banners on your blog might have been published on a thousand other blogs and that has a huge multiplier effect on the blandness.
Though a few vendors may want to do unique and customer banners for some of their affiliates, this will not be a large scale solution you can rely on.
These and more are some issues you will have to deal with if you go by the option of affiliate banners.
So what about Advertising Networks?
This looks like a better option for a few who know they are never going to have to deal with commission theft, refunds, low conversion, etc.
They simply signup to a network like Publicityclerks and hope for advertisers to buy space on their blogs. It sounds exciting but if no one buys your space, you are never going to make any money.
While some advertisers may buy space on your blog for a longer period of time, the recurring earning with Ad networks is limited in scope.
The main problem in monetizing with Ad Networks is that most of the widely used platforms are so difficult to go through. BuySellAds for instance is a good example but getting most blogs accepted on it is like a monstrous luxury.
Despite running a pretty active blog with thousands of readers (and over 50000 monthly impressions as required by BSA), I’ve tried this network a couple of times to no avail.
The bad thing is that they won’t even tell you where you are wrong. They are keeping from you the most vital piece of information that is required for improvement.
There are many BSA alternatives out there but most of them are filled with garbage. Besides looking for networks that will quickly accept your application, it’s crucial to pay serious attention to the quality and number of advertisers on board.
How much to charge on ad networks!
Some folks will recommend charging about $1 CPM. That means for every 1000 impressions your blog generates, you get paid $1. If your monthly impressions are 50k, you should be charging $50/month for ad space on your blog.
Well, I think the banner space and position also matter. Banners above the fold get the most exposure and conversion is generally the best.
But here is what I recommend…
Once you’ve made your choice of the ad network, make a list of sites as popular as yours on that same platform. Find out how much they charge for various banner spaces. The next thing is to find out if they are really selling space on that network. Then set your prices within their range too.
Given the intricacies around this subject, it is difficult to have clear-cut opinions that will suite everyone. We are all in different niches and reader behavior is different too.
The best way is to test and take decision based on data value. I have seen many blogs running the two (Affiliate and Ad Network Banners) as there are generally no rules prohibiting it.
If you’ve not had luck on BSA, try Publicityclerks or any other BSA alternative. Give yourself time to put together enough stats to aid your decision.
Advertising Revenue: Yes or No?
Are you a new blogger ready to hop on the Adsense train?
Pump your breaks a few times. Slow down and think this through.
Advertising revenue can prove to be a lucrative income stream for bloggers over the long term. Build a large, loyal following. Be generous. Be patient. Success will be yours, as will Adsense ad clicks and increased blogging revenue. New bloggers have a different Adsense experience though. I see excited newbies ready to cash their first Adsense check on receiving approval. 6 months later, after making $.02 per month, the enthusiasm dies and the blogger removes Adsense from their blog. Why? Bloggers learn a harsh lesson about advertising revenue: you need a huge, loyal following to generate significant income through advertising channels.
Most new bloggers get 5, 10 or 50 people to visit their blog daily. Imagine if 20 people visit your blog daily. How many of those 20 people click on your Adsense ad, or any ad? 99.99% of the time, none. Tomorrow sees 14 blog visitors. None click your ads. After 1 month, 240 people visit your blog. 2 people click your ad. This sounds about right. At the end of the month, you made $0.04 USD. Of course this is common because you are a new blogger with little traffic. Low traffic blogs generate low profit ad revenue.
Do you know who makes hundreds to thousands of dollars in Adsense revenue monthly? Bloggers who blog effectively and generously for 2-3-5 or more years generate this type of sweet income. Advertising revenue takes SERIOUS work! Maybe 1% of bloggers – or less – put in the work that drives the thousands of people daily to blogs which nets a steady, solid Adsense income. But most new bloggers mistakenly believe their 30 visitor a day blog will yield $100 to $500 per month or more. Never gonna happen guys. Sorry to burst your bubble.
Advertising Revenue: Yes or No?
I share profitable income streams in my eBook:
Buy it to explore different ways and means of profiting, to beef up your multiple streams of income.
Newbie bloggers should never open ad revenue streams because they do not have a large, loyal, targeted readership needed to generate substantial ad revenue. Write and self-publish an eBook. Toss that widget on your sidebar, replacing the ad widget. Brand yourself. Make more money.
Experienced bloggers with large, loyal tribes should consider ad revenue if the ads:
- feel like a match for the blog and brand
- are highly targeted for your readership
- add value for your readers
Think targeting. Sites like the Huffington Post can post any ad and completely disregard relevance because millions upon millions of humans visiting the blog monthly have millions and millions of interests. When advertisers pay a million dollars for a short Super Bowl ad they understand not every one of the 1 billion people watching the Super Bowl is highly interested in their ad, but many folks out of the billion plus people will be interested, and net advertiser revenue, through the commercial.
For you, even if your tribe is large and loyal, you likely do not attract millions of blog visitors monthly. Target advertisements to ensure most if not all of your readers seem highly interested in the ad. Even if a small percentage clicks through you will generates steadily increasing ad revenue by this approach because you intelligently match your ad with your reader.
As a new blogger go with non-ad income streams. Experienced veterans can lay out ads but make sure your ads align with your readers.
The Ultimate Checklist To Grow Your Blog in 2019
Perhaps you’re here because you’ve had a blog for a long time now, but you feel like it’s just not growing as you hoped it would. The good news, however, is that you aren’t alone. Even blogs that you think are “famous” may have also gone through this same challenge. Fortunately, there are many tricks you can apply to help your blog reach its fullest potential. These are doable, and with a little help from experts, you’re sure to achieve the growth you’ve been dreaming of.
Here’s a checklist you can follow:
- Venture Into Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is one of the most effective strategies in digital marketing, which you can also apply on your blogs. Affiliate marketing refers to the act of partnering with companies and businesses that are looking for bloggers who are willing to try out and promote their products and services. In the beginning, you might not be able to reach more prominent brands and companies, but if you keep going, affiliate marketing can also be very effective in helping your blog grow in terms of audience reach. The more you network with affiliates, the more traffic comes to your site.To provide you more insights on digital and affiliate marketing, read through this digital marketing checklist.
- Link With Other Bloggers
In the blogging industry, success isn’t so much about competing with each other. In fact, there’s a lot you can achieve by simply linking with other bloggers as well. This means that, from time to time, you create posts that allow you to connect with others in the industry, or you create collaboration posts with other bloggers. That way, you’re both doing each other a favor by expanding each other’s blogs to the current networks that you both have, much like exchanging gifts.
Here are other ways for you to also link or engage with other bloggers:
- Comment on the posts of other bloggers
- Mention other bloggers in your posts
- Engage in the social media pages of other bloggers
- Create Detailed Content
Especially if you’re writing about solutions to common problems of your viewers, be very detailed about it. Readers want to have answers as soon as they visit your website. Without clear, actionable content, you’re not only going to lose one reader, but you’re going to lose others as well.
Some of the best strategies you can employ to ensure detailed content are the following:
- If you’re talking about technical or serious matters, include statistics and case studies
- Stay away from broad statements that are going to leave your readers guessing
- Whenever you can, include actionable and real data. (e.g. Climate change is expected to hit a _____ mark by 2020. To combat this, one of the things you can do is…)
While the optimum length of every blog post should still be around 500 to 2,000 words, this doesn’t mean that you cannot put in detail. Never write and post anything haphazardly. Be sure to do your fair share in researching beforehand.
- Enable Social Media Sharing
If you’re a blogger, you’d know it’s inevitable to also have social media accounts. If you can, go for the three major social media pages, such as Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. The more active you are on social media, the more effective you become as well. Keep in mind the following techniques in terms of social media posting:
- Keep a fixed schedule of when you usually post new content. This will make it easier for your visitors to expect new posts. Through this, you can also build anticipation among your readers.
- As you schedule your content posting, also factor in the usual available time of your target market. For instance, if your blog is about parenting, you might want to post at night, when all mommy duties have been done for the day, and they can check their social media.
- Refrain from posting every hour. Keep your posts within a healthy interval so that your followers won’t become bored or even annoyed. At least every other day is enough to keep your followers excited.
What you can do is post an update on each social media account when you also have a new blog. Link your blog post to your social media post so you can draw traffic to your website. With social media, it’s also easier for your followers to share and spread the word about your content. By simply clicking the share button, they’re able to post this on their social media sites as well.
When you strive to make your blog perform better, it shouldn’t end only with the growth per se. You also have a more significant task to fulfill, which is to apply the necessary strategies that are going to motivate your readers to keep coming back. These above-mentioned tips can help you achieve these two goals. Now you can be on your way towards running your blog to its fullest potential.
7 Reasons Nobody is Reading Your Blog
Blogging is tough work. It’s not backbreaking labor like ditch digging, but it can be mentally and emotionally exhausting.
It may consume hours, days, weeks, and months of dedication before you see results. Even with a solid commitment of time and creative energy, results aren’t guaranteed. It’s not just about coming out with new content, it’s more about coming out with content that is of real value, will rank in Google, and that people are actually going to read and share.
Millions of blogs are humming along on the Internet, but only a fraction could be termed successful. If you have a blog and it has no significant readership to speak of, there are a few possible explanations.
1 – You Write About Things People Don’t Care About
“It’s easy when you first start blogging to act like your blog is an online journal. While your blog should be personalized, it should be focused on your reader,” copywriter Michael Leonard explains.
“People, for the most part, only care about themselves. As a content creator, it’s your responsibility to give the reader what they want.”
If you’re only writing about yourself, people will eventually tune out. The best thing you can do is to switch your focus to topics your audience is passionate about. Not sure what that might be? Go ahead and ask your existing readers for their input on topic selection.
2 – You Lack a Consistent Voice
Consistency is a huge facet of blogging success. People need to feel they’re encountering the same voice, style, and personality one post to the next. If there’s too much variety in style and content, you’ll fail to resonate with readers and eventually they’re apt to wander elsewhere.
3 – You Have No Social Media Presence
Blogging and social media go hand in hand these days. If you don’t have a social media presence, you’re missing out on the opportunity to expand your blog readership (and vice versa).
Instead of trying to be on every social media platform that exists, spend your time focusing on one or two platforms (such as Instagram or Facebook). By pouring all your energy into building up audiences on these channels, you’ll be much more likely to see a positive impact on your blog.
4 – You’ve Never Done SEO
SEO might be a bit technical for your taste, but it’s still essential. Without an SEO strategy, you won’t be able to capitalize on organic search traffic.
This will leave you 100 percent reliant on paid and/or social traffic … and that will damage your results and lower your chance of building a flourishing audience.
5 – You’ve Never Invested in Link Building
In order to satisfy Google’s algorithm and prove you have an authoritative website that’s worth turning up in the search rankings, you have to demonstrate that you’re a trusted source for content. One of the ways to do this is by developing a link-building strategy.
Link building is the process of acquiring backlinks from other authoritative websites to your own. Though you can do this manually, it’s far more efficient and cost-effective to hire a white-label link-building service like SEO.co.
This approach frees you to focus on the content side, without neglecting the optimization facet of the equation.
6 – You’re All Words and No Visuals
All words and no visuals is a recipe for supreme boredom. If you aren’t careful, it’ll destroy your audience and leave you with an echo chamber of a blog.
As tough as it may be to swallow, accept the fact that people will likely read only an average of 20 percent of the content on your page. In other words, the average person will ignore 80 percent of your blog content.
Much of this depends on the limited nature of the human attention span. The quickest way to get past this is to incorporate some visuals to provide some relief and boost engagement.
“Visual elements jump off the page,” Quick Sprout explains. “If someone is scanning through your blog post, they’ll likely stop at the images. They’ll skim the first few lines before and after the picture to digest your points of emphasis.”
You don’t have to change your entire blogging strategy, but it’s wise to give some attention to visuals. An occasional infographic or video will go a long way with your audience.
7 – You Don’t Post Enough
You don’t have to post a blog piece every day to be successful. But if you’re uploading only one every few weeks, you’re forfeiting your opportunity to engage an audience.
As a general rule, you should post at least three times a week. This means you’ll have to generate something once every two days (with an occasional lapse of an extra day or two). At that rate, you’re most apt to stay at the front of your readers’ minds without overwhelming them.
Develop Your Blogging Strategy
Publishing a random blog post here and another casual commentary there isn’t going to get you the results you desire … no matter how good the content might be. You need a defined strategy that delivers high value to a specific group of readers in a manner that’s consistent with your brand personality and objectives.
One would hope this article has opened your eyes to what that can look like moving forward.
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