AFter having built up your website to have a a reasonable flow of traffic coming through regularly you have no doubt asked yourself the question: “Now what?” The question on your mind is how do you make money blogging? If you’ve tried Google Adsense you’ve probably realised that unless you’re getting hundreds of thousands of unique visitors to your site daily you’re unlikely to make more than 20 or 30 dollars a month – barely enough to cover your hosting costs in most cases. There are other advertising options – some ad networks like Adbrite, Add-Dynamo, Project Wonderful etc,. While these are not as ubiquitous as Google Adsense, they can generate a little more revenue. In our experience though, these have been marginally better and then only if you pick the right ad partners that align with your blog content.
Another interesting option to explore is blog Affiliate Programs. These usually provide some kind of commission based revenue depending on the amount of sales you help your partner generate. There are a number of these programs that are worth exploring and have proven to be quite effective for Wonkie:
Affiliate programs: Join OfferForge and become a super-affiliate. You can earn up to $350 (R2,500) for a successful lead converted into a sale. OfferForge already has the agreements set up with other affiliate programmes – if you’re starting off this is probably the best option for you. Once you determine which affiliate sales are working for you, you can sign up directly and cut out the middle-man. There’s a bit more work in terms of administration then but the effort is usually worth it to do it directly.
BOOKS: Both Amazon.com; and Barnes & Noble have solid programmes. If you’re based in South Africa, you may want to try out bid or buy or kalahari.net.
LOTTERY: The margins may be much less when dealing with smaller ticket items but the advantage is that visitors convert much more easily when the amount they have to spend is less. The value of repeat business in these programs is quite high so once you capture a customer, the ongoing value over time makes it worth the effort. One of the most reliable lottery affiliate programs we’ve come across is LottaRewards – they are generous with their bonus offers and very reliable when it comes to payment. Click on the link below to sign up with them:
GAMBLING affiliates: These probably represent the best long-term value for a blogger however not every blog’s content is suited to market these websites. Once you secure a depositing customer you make a percentage of any losses that customer makes for the life of that customer on that site. The downside of these are that some casino affiliate programs are notoriously unreliable at payments. The ones that we found were good have links below. Again, it’s best to try out different ones and see what works for your blog. Blogs that are financially oriented tend to perform better with these than lifestyle oriented blogs. For those blogs lottery programs tend to perform better.
Wonkie will continue to update this page as we find new and reliable affiliate programs to add to our list above. Again it’s best to try out different programs and figure out what works best with your blog content.
SPONSORSHIP: If you have a topical, frequently updated blog or news-related website, you may also want to consider approaching companies to purchase sponsorship messages on your key pages or news items. While this route is often challenging for new bloggers, those that are more well-established (and run less controversial blogs) may find such advertising spot sales quite effective for generating annuity revenue streams.
Be sure to prepare a rate card containing the inventory of banners and text links etc and the price of each per month before you attempt to contact sponsors. The prices you charge depend largely on the amount of traffic and page impressions you get every month – you should have these statistics handy per advertising inventory item on your list. Sponsors usually buy and evaluate their purchases on a CPM (cost per 1000 impressions) or CPC (cost per click) basis. If you’re just starting off however to keep the admin low it’s best to provide the average monthly statistics and quote a flat fee per month per ad spot.
So there are lots of approaches to test on your blog or website – try them amount for at least 6 weeks before giving up. That way any effect of in-month seasonality will be accounted for and you’ll have a better idea of whether that strategy works or not. Have fun and we hope you make money blogging – it’s a great way to earn a living!