Are you ready to start making money from your site but not sure where to begin? There are a multitude of ways to make money blogging including ad networks, affiliates, sponsored content and so much more! Below you’ll find some great tips, resources and more on how to start making money blogging!
Make Money Blogging
Most of us don’t have our websites behind a paid wall. What I mean by that is that most of our websites are completely free to view and read. There is nothing wrong with that! However, what would you think if I told you that you COULD get paid for every single view, scroll down the page and inner link?
You are probably wondering, where do I sign up?! Well, I will tell you!
You need to sign up with an Ad Network (or 2 or 3 or 4…)!
How Do Ad Networks Work?
Getting started is simple. You simply join an ad network, they provide you with some HTML code you can put on your sidebar or into your content, and every time a reader views or in some cases clicks that ad…you get paid!
The closer your ads are to your content, as a general rule, the more money you’ll make. Below is an example of ideal ad placement for a blog.
Ad networks take the advertising their clients provide them and they serve those ads on your website through the code you have placed.
- There are different size ads. Some common sizes are 728×90, 300,250 and now there are responsive ads that change size based on what device your reader is viewing your site on!
- Some are display, some are text. You might be able to brand the text ads to fit the theme of your site.
- Some require a click for payment (CPC) and some simply require a view (CPM – If an ad network claims they can offer you $7 CPM, that means that they will pay you $7 for every 1000 views on that ad).
How Do I Sign Up For An Ad Network?
There are TONS of ad networks out there. They all have their own requirements. Some require a certain level of pageviews. Some ad networks require a certain niche. To find the ad network that is the best fit for your blog, you might need to do some digging into other blogs within your niche.
Here is a good list of ad networks you might want to check into:
Google AdSense (everyone should have Google AdSense!)
Amazon (you need to be part of their affiliate program to access their ads)
Keep in mind that some ad networks require exclusivity. Some require you sign a contract. A good rule of thumb before you sign up for any ad networks is to put Google Ad Sense ads on your site. Keep track of how much each ad earns you. Do not replace your Google Ad Sense ads with anything other than a higher paying ad. If an ad network can’t beat what you make with Google AdSense…stick with AdSense!
How to Use Ad Networks Effectively
Most ad networks will work with you to create a “waterfall” of ads on your site. They will allow you to give them code that will work as a backup for whenever they don’t have a high enough paying ad to serve on your site. This insures you get paid for as many views as possible. If you are tech savvy, you can do this yourself by using Google DFP.
Another thing to keep in mind is that you can negotiate with ad networks in most cases. Revenue sharing is popular with ad networks, and how most of them make their money. Sometimes, you can negotiate this percentage down. You also might be able to negotiate your CPM if you have history of higher paying ads in the spots that the ad network wants to place ads (typically above the fold…meaning above the first scroll).
Also, be very clear on what kind of ads you are comfortable with serving on your site. You might not want political ads, gambling ads, adult content ads or competitor ads on your site. Be sure to work with your ad network to make sure only ads you feel comfortable with are displaying on your site.
Finally, advertising income from ad networks can ebb and flow seasonally based on your niche. It’s also typically highest during Quarter 4 and lowest during Quarter 1. Expect that this will not be consistent income, even if your traffic remains consistent.
A great way to earn some extra income on your blog is through purposeful and thoughtful affiliate marketing.
Now, don’t be scared by the “marketing” part of that sentence! Affiliate marketing can be done very organically and in such a way that it provides an incredibly valuable service to your readers instead of coming across as a tacky used car salesman pitch.
The best (and most effective) way to use affiliate marketing is to make it the cherry on top of your content. Go ahead and write your blog post. Make it wonderful! Make it unique! Then add some helpful links…affiliate links!
Before we go any further, I feel like I should define what an affiliate link actually is.
Affiliate link – any link that includes tracking info that will result in some form of commission being paid to you in the event you reader either clicks, purchases or subscribes after clicking said link.
How To Begin Affiliate Marketing
First you’ll need to sign up with the companies you want to work with! Some companies directly handle their own affiliate programs. Amazon has it’s own robust affiliate platform that allows you to create affiliate links directly from the product page!
Here are a few companies who run their own affiliate platform:
However, many companies choose to work with larger platforms. For instance, at this time, to work with Walmart, you have to be a part of the Rakuten Linkshare Affiliate Program. As part of the Rakuten Linkshare Affiliate program, you can also apply to work with Kohl’s, Lane Bryant, Best Buy, Crocs, etc. Most of these companies require you to apply to the larger platform and then request to join the affiliate program for each individual company you wish to work with.
Here are some popular affiliate marketing platforms:
Finally, there are other affiliate companies that deal more with offers and coupons. These are generally limited time promotions with limited budgets, but it’s worth joining a few to see if any offers pop up that fit your site and your audience:
How To Use Your Affiliate Links
Now that you are a part of a few affiliate networks, you’ll want to start peppering the links into your content. This can be done very authentically:
Ex: “Next, you are going to want to put everything into your slow cooker (this is the one I use, it’s amazing!)”
It can also be done in a more direct manner (this might work better on a deal/shopping blog):
Ex: “Wow! Did y’all see the price that Amazon currently has on this ___________ ? The price probably won’t last long! Hurry and grab it!”
How you use affiliate links will depend on the nature of your site. If you are linking to something that you can use an affiliate link for…always use your affiliate link!
IMPORTANT: It is important that you always disclose when you are using affiliate links. FTC guidelines require it! You must disclose at the beginning of your post that you have affiliate links in your content.
How You Earn Money with Affiliate Marketing
Clicks – In some cases, you will earn money anytime somebody clicks your link. They do not have to make a purchase, just click!
Subscribe – Some affiliate links require the reader to both click and to sign up for something. Sometimes it is a newsletter, sometimes it is a service. Your payment is dependant on them subscribing and in most cases confirming their subscription
Purchase – The most common form of affiliate marketing is purchase driven. Your reader needs to click the link AND make the purchase in order for you to receive commission. Sometimes this commission is a flat fee, and sometimes it is a percentage of the purchase.
Finally, different affiliate companies have different threshholds for payment. Some will pay you weekly regardles of how much you have earned. Some pay quaterly and some will only pay you once you have both met their payment threshhold ($100 is common) at the time they send out payments.
Affiliate marketing can become a great passive way to put your website to work for you earning passive income. Obviously, the more traffic you receive, the higher your income will be! Make sure your links make sense, aren’t overly sale-sy and that you are promoting items, offers and companies that you believe in. The money will follow!