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5 Best Ways To Monetize Your Blog

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ways to monetize your blog

More traffic, more money? Wrong!

There was a story about the fake Steve Jobs blogger who revealed his real identity in 2007. The New York Times wrote about him. Almost every news outlet wrote about him.

The New York Times article sent him half a million visitors in a single day.

Do you know how much he made from that traffic?

Just a hundred dollars!

He made $1,039.81 for the entire month from Google AdSense. Disappointed! Daniel Lyons the fake Steve Jobs became a celebrity blogger and all he could show for it is $1,039.81.

Lyons wrote in the Newsweek two years later:

I learned the hard way: while blogs can do many wonderful things, making huge amounts of money isn’t one of them.

I disagree with Lyon.

Blogging can make huge amounts of money. I know bloggers who are making thousands of hundred dollars from their blogs every month. Pat Flynn is one of them. Darren Rowse is one of them. Neil Patel is one of them. These guys do the right thing, monetizing the right ways.

Please, forget about AdSense. Forget about building a site and populating it with ads. There are different and better ways to do it.

Johnny B. Truant described his experience with AdSense in this blog post on Copyblogger:

Right around a year ago now, I made my first cent online. It was literally a cent — $0.01 — and it showed up in my Google AdSense account after a certain number of people had viewed an ad for dog food or a shiatsu massager or whatever on my old humor blog.

That first cent was exciting, because it proved that you really could make money online in the way it seemed that everyone said you could — by creating sites populated with ads, and then sitting back and letting the earnings pile up. Then, if the gurus were to be believed, it was only a matter of time before I would be living in Hawaii, while bikini body girls used the Mona Lisa to wax my Lamborghini.

But that dream never came true with AdSense. It was only an illusion that never materialize with AdSense. In fact, Truant was disappointed with AdSense.

Then he changed course.

Truant built a funny blog where he writes funny blog posts. He offered website development service on the funny site. This felt like a real business.

Nine months passed. He was building his 180th website for a client when his first ever AdSense check came in from Google. It was $111.

Imagine $111 for a whole year? Isn’t that crazy?

Maybe he could have done better. But even if he made $888, it still doesn’t worth the effort.

Let’s assume he charged $1,000 for each website he built. He would have made $180,000 at the end of the year. Or, maybe he charged $500, he would have made $90,000 at the end of the year. Compare that to $111, you’ll see that it looks idiotic to stick with AdSense.

I’m not criticizing AdSense. I still see AdSense as one of the quickest ways to make money online. But not a huge money your living can depend upon.

The problem with AdSense has nothing to do with its ability to make money. So many people have made a bunch with it. Zac Johnson is an example.

The problem with AdSense is you have no control over your earnings. You can increase your site’s traffic by 1,000% and still be making the same amount you were making before. You may even make lower than that.

You need something you can call a business. Blogging can surely give you that. But monetizing your site with AdSense isn’t a business model. It doesn’t add value to your blog. You can do 500 times better than AdSense.

There are five best ways to monetize your site. Whether it’s a low or high traffic site, you can monetize it and build a source of income you can depend upon through your blog.

I will like to say that it’s always good to have a high traffic site that’s getting at least 500, 1,000 to 2,000 visitors per day. If you have this kind of site, then congratulations to you. But if your site isn’t getting that much traffic, then you can learn how to build a high-traffic blog here.

So, what are the five best ways to make money from your blog?

1. Create Membership Sites

A regular monthly income, nonstop. How would that feel like?

You’ll feel good, of course. You can travel the world, see different amazing places and still have enough time to be with your loved ones. That’s the kind of life I wish for you. Creating your own membership site can give you that.

Copyblogger is doing it with their Authority membership program where they teach people how to become better content marketers. Ali Luke is doing it with Writers’ Huddle, a membership program where she teaches writers new writing techniques, help them get inspired to write and share their work with the world.

The membership fee for Writers’ Huddle is $19.99 per month. That may not sound a lot for each member, but when you calculate that by 1,000 members, she could be earning $20,000 just from that membership site alone.

Imagine your membership site only has 500 members each paying you $10 per month, how much is that at the end of each month?

$5,000! Easy.

This is better than having over a million of web users hit your site, and you have less than $500 to show for it at the end of the month.

You can learn how membership site works from sites like Copyblogger and Writers’ Huddle. Join them! Learn how they deliver their contents, how they treat each member. Learn what makes them good, what makes people like them and keep paying each month. Learn how they market their membership program.

Steal their strategies. You can use it in a different niche your blog is about. You can even do it better than them.

One thing is certain:

You’ll have a reliable income source that allows you to work from anywhere in the world.

2. Create And Sell Information Products

Information products are hot cakes online, especially ebooks.

In the comment section of this post on his personal blog, Joe Konrath said he made $14,000 within 5 weeks from selling ebooks on Amazon through their Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) platform.

Joe Konrath

Nathan Barry made $12,000 within 24 hours of launching his ebook. In fact, Barry’s blog was only receiving around 100 visitors per day. He only had 100 RSS subscribers.

Nathan Barry

Barry went on to make $85,000 that year from selling just two ebooks. 2012, that was his first year of being self-employed.

You can sell your own information products on your blog. And you can make thousands of dollars doing just that. You don’t even have to quit your job to get started. If you can write in your spare time, then you can do this.

Your blog is a good place to start from. You don’t need to have thousands of monthly readers before you can begin making money selling information products like ebooks and video tutorials. As you can see from above, Nathan Barry only receives around 100 daily visitors on his blog.

You have to create something people can’t wait to buy. How do you know what people can’t wait to buy on your blog?

If your blog has a decent traffic, you should look for the most popular articles on your blog. What are they about?

If people are reading a particular blog post on your blog, it means they are interested in that topic. You can turn that blog post into an information product like an ebook. It has to be a high-quality resource that people will be willing to pay for. Release your ebook on your blog, reference it in your popular blog posts and others, and watch the sales roll in.

You just have to write, create that information product.

You can also self-publish your ebook on Amazon through their KDP program.

Even if an ebook generates $400 per month and you have like 10 ebooks, that would produce $4,000 per month.

3. Promote Affiliate Products On Your Blog

Long ago back in September 2007, Yaro Starak reported he made $10,899.83 in that month alone. $4,400 of that came from affiliate sales.

Take a look at the image of that income report:

yaro starak affiliate income

Today, affiliate marketing still remains one of the lucrative ways to make money from blogs.

Pat Flynn reported he made $144, 777.37 in the month of September 2015, and $101,998.49 of that came from affiliate marketing.

He made $70,350 as an affiliate of Bluehost.

You can see the full details of his affiliate income in the image below:

affiliate income

You can do it!

4. Sponsorship: Make Money From Brands

Brands are always willing to work with bloggers who have a relevant and an engaged audience.

Whether you’re popular on Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, many brands will want to do business with you. The same is true for Blogging and Podcasting.

In the month of September 2015, John Lee Dumas had a gross income of $271,612.50. $110,402 came from sponsorships. Though this is podcast sponsorships, but it applies to blogging too.

You have to build an audience. Brands don’t work with bloggers that have zero or little audience. So you need a relevant and an engaged audience if you want to make money through sponsorships.

Helen made $7,360.10 from her blog in the month of September. And as you’ll see below, $1,275 of that came from writing sponsored posts.

Helen income report

Doesn’t look too interesting, but it tells you that you can make money from writing sponsored posts on your blog.

5. Email Marketing

Email marketing has an ROI of 4,300% according to a study conducted by Direct Marketing Association.

You’ll often hear internet marketers say that “the money is in the list”. It is true.

Your email list is your most valuable asset as a blogger. The biggest mistake you can make as a blogger is not building your own email list.

Email helps you connect deeper with your blog readers. But people won’t just give you their email address for nothing. You have to bribe them. You have to give them something valuable for free. I mean something they can’t get for free elsewhere.

Just putting your opt-in form on the sidebar of your blog and asking people to subscribe for nothing won’t work.

Imagine you have like 10,000 people on your email list and you decide to release a product, and 200 people ended up buying the product at $50 each. That would net you $10,000 at the time of launch.

With your an email list, you can sell again and again.

Email marketing isn’t a product or a service itself. It only gives you the privilege of marketing to your readers anytime you want.

No doubt, blogging can help you quit your boring job and become self-employed. You have to do the right thing by monetizing the right way.

These five methods are great ways to monetize a blog that makes over $5,000 per month.

Don’t wait to get started! Get started today. Right now!

Have you been making money with your blog? What are you doing right?

Tell me your answers in the comment.

Michael Akinlaby is a Freelance Writer and SEO Consultant. He's the founder of RankRain, a marketing agency that specializes in Content Marketing and Search Engine Optimization.

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Successful Blogging: EXPERIENCE and Learn

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Do you know how people tell you to live and learn? Not the best advice. EXPERIENCE life and observe your lessons. THEN learn. Successful blogging is observing, learning then moving forward with those lessons firmly impressed on your mind. All that sweet blogging money only appears if you experience blogging by diving in, and blogging every single day for hours daily. After, you need to observe your experience. What did you learn? Take those lessons with you to succeed online. Living is useless unless you learn from experiences. EXPERIENCING blogging and learning from experiences separates successful bloggers from everybody else.

Let me explain…..

Me and my wife house sit in Brooklyn for 3 weeks now. The homeowners have a car. I need to move the car to find a new parking spot once weekly as alternate side of the street parking rules are in effect due to weekly street cleaning. The owners simply told me it’d be easy to find a spot early in the afternoon. Cool. But their advice did nothing to prepare me for the EXPERIENCE of actually trying to start the car, and find a new parking spot. I never used a key-less car before. I had no idea you need to press on the brake while pushing the start button because I had no experience doing so, and the owners did not give me instructions to do this. I know you place a key into ignition and turn it because that is my experience for 30 years as a driver. Anyway, 45 minutes later, I figured how to start the car. But wait! I had a new experience to…..experience. I had lessons to learn. Because after exiting the parking spot, I drove side streets for another 50 minutes before finding a spot. Frustrated and agitated, I learned a valuable lesson *from* my experience; change parking spots from one street side to another immediately after the street sweeper comes through. Cool.

But I had another lesson to learn. Traffic cops give tickets if you park on the alternate side before 1 PM; even if the street cleaner plowed through. Being burned by yesterday, I drove around for 90 minutes today to ensure I’d have an entire city block of open parking to choose from. OK; I also illegally parked on that open block for about 45 of those minutes. Why? Yesterday’s agitating experience told me it’s wiser and less time consuming to circle for 90 minutes to guarantee I get easy parking. Wait! I learned another lesson based on today’s experience. Never leave your parking spot at 11:30 AM when street cleaners move thru because you’ve 90 minutes to kill before legally parking on the alternate side. I asked a traffic cop. He offered the answer. More experience. Next week, I hop in the car only if the alternate side seems to fill up fast but based on prior experience, this only happens at about 12:50 PM, 10 minutes before the expiry time.

Blessed experience wins again. Life-wise. Blogging-wise. Seize it. Capitalize on it. Succeed. Blogging is no spectator sport.

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1 Blogging Lesson I Learned from Parking a Car in NYC

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Alternate side of the street parking day here in NYC. This means you need to move your car to the other side of the street for street cleaning. Cool. I heard it on the radio many times. First time I had to experience it in person, though. We house sit for a couple in Brooklyn. This couple owns a car. Cool. But the car did not start for a good hour because I did not know one steps on brakes while pressing key-less start buttons. Oh well. But after that, I drove around for 45 minutes looking for a new spot on the other side of the road because you get a nice ticket otherwise. No spots availed themselves for 45 minutes. I spoke to my wife. She told me cars need be parked 15 feet from fire hydrants. I was 5 feet away. Shoot. On returning to the car, a bus moved in front of me. I slid in to a parking spot. Phew. Relief.

What lesson did I learn? No matter how calm you THINK you are, agitation arises in you. Unless you’re enlightened. Alas I am not. I am a regular guy. Calm? Yep. But I routinely find events feeling uncomfortable to navigate. Sometimes, aka rarely, I experience events triggering deeper fears. Today was one such event. I did not flip out, scream, panic or throw a tantrum. I did however feel super agitated about needing to spend almost 2 hours driving around NYC and trying to start a key-less car because 2 hours are precious to me. I hate wasting time. Inefficient actions disgust me. BUT perfect place, perfect time. I needed this experience to trigger fears for feeling, hugging and clearing, to make me even more calm. No matter how much growth and success you experience, leveling up introduces you to new fears. Deeper fears. More unpleasant fears.

With deeper fears comes greater responsibility and even more success. I suspect if I do become a billionaire blogger how I’ll keep nudging into unpleasant-feeling fears along the way. But inspiring millions and making billions? Worth it. I am humble enough to know my calm demeanor a good 95% of the time may-does evolve into agitation some 5% of the time. Maybe less. Progress has been attained. Because I have not genuinely screamed at someone in about 1 year and I have been agitated like today about 5 times over the past year. I am calm most of the time. Agitation arises rarely because I am human and apt to be afraid of stuff. Sue me, LOL.

Be with fears as you grow. Energies arise. Anger. Terror. Horror at the future. Blanket disgust. Never resist these energies. I stumble across non-enlightened folks who hold self to enlightened standards. No way guys. Never be surprised at your getting angry or upset because only enlightened souls and repressed people never anger or feel agitated. Burying fear stifles your growth. Hugging fear accelerates your growth. You know I hug my fears. NYC parking agitation still subsiding now.

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5 Greatest Landing Page Optimization Tools For Your Blog

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landing page optimization tools

Landing pages can steal people’s attention. And if you play your cards right, these pages hold the ticket to attracting more customers.

However, let’s be clear:

Landing pages are double-edged swords. While they can help you, they can also harm you — unless you’ve optimized them accordingly.

So if you know your landing page needs work, why not get around it?

Well, there are plenty reasons for this, and there are also many landing page plugins that can help to further critique your LPs as well.

As you go through this article, you’ll find five landing page optimization tools for your blog. With them, you can revamp your landing page then have it increase conversions and your blog’s income.

Unbounce

Unbounce - landing page optimization tools

Optimizing landing pages is not possible if you haven’t built them yet. So to construct great landing pages, the tool for you is Unbounce.

And Effin Amazing, a Florida-based agency that specializes in analytics and growth, will tell you all about the tool’s power.

When one of its clients, Chupa Mobile, asked for help generating new leads, Effin Amazing used Unbounce. The team’s idea for its client involved a lead nurturing strategy and a content calendar. That and Effin Amazing wanted to get it done as quickly as possible.

True, it was a rather ambitious plan. However, it was realistic. And get this:

The marketing agency reached its goal. Chupa Mobile was satisfied with its landing page. It also began generating dozens of new leads. Plus, it also walked away with a 44% increase in conversions.

Crazy Egg

Electronic Arts is a successful media company that knows that Crazy Egg lets you set up an A/B test in minutes. It also knows that the tool features Visitor Insights and Heatmaps. Both of which provide information about user behavior on landing pages. So before launching SimCity 5 in 2013, it set up an A/B testing process to maximize revenue.

Crazy Egg

For the control version of its landing page, it merely focuses on promoting the simulation game. While on the other version, the company offers a 20% discount.

Here’s the control version of its landing page:

Crazy Egg - SimCity5Control

Here’s the variation:

Crazy Egg - SimCity5Variation

After a while, the media company discovered that its landing page’s variation was a hit. Compared to the version that brings an incentive into the table, the landing page design without a 20% discount performed 43.4% better.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics

If you combine Google Analytics and Google Adwords, a powerful tool is in your hands. You can use it to track landing page performance to haul in leads even after they exit your site.

To demonstrate the power of Analytics, let’s explore Marketo’s conversion increase that happened after using the tool.

So here’s the story:

As a go-to company for many B2B and B2C folks when it comes to marketing and automation, Marketo’s goal is to help its clients improve conversions. And to reach that goal, the plan was to use Analytics and real-time personalization.

So it took its clients’ website data such as industry vertical and top products. Then it merged all of it with the user behavior data it got from Google Analytics.

Because of what the analytics tool reveals, Marketo provided audiences with relevant data. From what it gathered, it also created topnotch remarketing campaigns. The fruits of the marketing company’s labor? A 10x conversion rate improvement for its clients!

Thrive Architect

Thrive Architect

Thrive Architect is a WordPress page builder. And if you’re searching for a tool that can help you create visually impressive, high-converting landing pages, it’s the tool you need.

Take it from Louise Hendon. She is a solopreneur who uses Thrive Architect to whip up topnotch landing pages for Nourishing Brands. That’s why, over the years, she succeeded in building a sizeable six-figure business.

An upside is this:

Thrive Architect features a drag-and-drop interface that lets you build your page quickly. If you want detailed instructions on how to use the page builder, this article from ProfitBlitz will come to your rescue.

Pingdom

Pingdom

Did you know that Refinery29, a globally recognized brand for smart, creative women, uses Pingdom? And because the tool provides insights about how to increase page loading speed, the brand welcomes 36 million monthly visits.

So if your landing page loads slowly, Pingdom can help you. The tool works by taking your site out for a spin and pointing you to the root of the problem.

The excellent news is Pingdom is free and easy-to-use. All you must do is paste your site’s URL where the tool specifies, and you’re good to go.

To see it work in action, let’s check the page loading speed of a random site. For this, let’s go with Goliath National Bank’s website. So let’s paste its URL on the appropriate field and click START TEST.

Pingdom - Example

After the tool is done with the analysis, scroll down the same page to see the results.

Pingdom - Results

And if you scroll down some more, you’ll find suggestions on how to improve page performance. If you want a detailed explanation on how to improve page performance, expand the suggestion.

Pingdom - How to Improve Page Performance

Final Thoughts

Put yourself in a potential customer’s shoes and think of a landing page as a gateway to something unknown. Now, if someone herded you toward this gateway, would you want to see what’s on the other side of the fence if the entry point is dreary?

Chances are, you won’t. By the looks of it, choosing to pursue the dark path won’t lead to anywhere promising.

Remember, creating landing pages and creating landing pages that convert are two different things. So as you build your landing pages, make sure to implement nothing but the best landing page optimization practices.

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