Ten Resolutions: Make Your Blog Earn More Money This Year
Want To Make More Money With Your Blog this Year? Here is a list of 10+ things you can do right now that will have instant effect your blog. All of the suggestions below will get either you more traffic, better traffic, make you more money on your blog or help you understand how to make more money on your blog. These are the things I tell my best friends, husbands and relatives to do to make money by blogging.
1. Start A New Blog
If you can commit make 2-3 posts a week then start another blog. Make sure it is something you are interested in- not something you *think* will do well. Stuck for idea- read my post on Finding Your Passion or What Should I Blog About?.
Don’t futz around with plugins, new themes, etc. If you have a blog structure/ theme that you have tweaked and it is working well for you then just use that . You can change some of the colors and fonts later in CSS to make it look different.
I have a folder of plugin that i use and install as soon as I start a new blog, you can find most of them in Top !0 WordPress Plugins. You should be able to set up and have running in half a day.
As I have said ENDLESS times if it is a choice between changing CSS and playing with new colours in your blog- write a new post instead. Don’t get too caught up in the mechanics of your blog- write something!
2. Try a New Revenue Stream
I rely pretty heavily on Adsense and Amazon and have been playing with other money makers for my blogs the last few months.
You might want to try PayPerPost/IZEA and their new SocialSpark, which is being launched anytime now. They will have nofollow tags for all links (so they say) and you will not be penalized by Google for selling page rank.
Should I Sign Up For PayPerPost?
If you are feeling risky and have decent page rank- Pr4/5 you can make pretty good money. I do caution you that you may be penalized for selling page rank and get your page ranks zapped at some point. If you are new to blogging or have no page rank I would spend your time and effort on increasing traffic and building some bulks and content on your blog. PayPerPost can make you a lot of money if you know what you are doing, but so can a lot of other programs available for bloggers. At this time- I would have to put it on my “not recommend” list.
Chitika and Kontera
Chitika and Kontera are context link programs, sometimes called In Text Advertising. You place a code into your site and links from you post are automatically created. You are paid by the click I have more info on these program on my Which is Better Kontera or Chitika post. I have not found that the have produced near the amount of revenue for me as Adsense or Amazon. You do need a decent amount of content and traffic for it to be effective. Both are worth a try.
Context link ads tend to work better on product based sites rather then service sites. For example they would work MUCH better on a site about home theater systems or pets then they would on a site about politics. Over time I have been able to spin anything into anything – so if you can work a product into posts- do so 🙂
Do expect lower CTR than Adsense and Amazon and watch for backlash from your readers. Not everyone likes these ads. A well known tip for getter better CTR is to make the link colour the same as links in your CSS and making them blend into your site- also less offensive to readers.
Other Popular Context Link Programs
Amazon Content Link program- This is based on sales on not clicks. I would try Kontera or other before using this. Use Amazon more effectively by handpicking the links yourself and embedding links into your posts, you can use a plugin like WP-Amazon to easily had links into your posts
Getting into the habit of doing this- particularly your popular posts- will really pay off over time. If you have a new blog don’t expect big money with Amazon right off the bat.
Adbrite Similar to Kontera and Chitika. I have not used but many have had success with it.
Widgetbucks is fairly new to the monetizing your blog scene. I have very good returns on this. You can build your own widget that features specific product9s) within a category i.e Home and garden, Electronic, Video Games, etc. You build a custom list of products you’d like to see displayed OR set up with MerchSense which crawls your page and finds relevant products to include in your widget. The test one below is set up with MerchSense. I do prefer setting up manually and popping into posts that are a good fit.
Looks like this:
WIDGETBUCKS REMOVED- edit- I removed this because the script became malicious and forced a popup window. I do not recommend Widgetbucks. Oct.2008
My biggest complaint is the ads are too big. I would like to see a 200×200 square or 120×300 skyscraper for blog sidebar. They do have a blog side bar ad that you can pop into your WordPress widget theme but it is too big for a lot of themes.
I tend to just use the banner size ( as above) . You can also customize colours to blend with your site.
I would encourage you to try this one – it is easy to set up and you have a lot of control over the ads that appear on your site. I am quite happy with CTR and money I make per click. Another bonus is they give you a $25.00 sign up bonus and you can place referral link k on your site. You will earn ( or so they say) 10% revenue off others that sign up through your referral link for 12 months. Nothing to sneeze at. Sign up using my referral link or sign up without I do think its worth the 10 minutes to try out. Place in product related posts or related posts for maximum benefit.
Text Link Ads and Text Link Brokers
Text Link Ads and Text Link Brokers and similar can both make you big money- if you have good page rank. However Google has been penalizing sites that do not have nofollow tags in their paid for links. If you are just starting out – don’t delve onto it just yet.
4. Install All-In-One SEO Pack Plugin For WordPress
How can a plugin in make you more money- or more specifically- how can THIS plug-in make you more money? You can make posts with natural sounding titles and change the meta title ( this is title used by search engines- the one you see at the very top of your browser) manually to be more SEO friendly. Don;t know what I am taking about? By using keywords or words people are using in search engines ( like Google) you will get more traffic. This is the VERY short version.
Read up about keywords and why you should know about them here in my series. Its the Keywords Stupid.
You can also write a description of your post in “description” section.
See Screenshot below (click to enlarge image)
I cannot over estimate what an important part of making your blog easily found by search engines is to making you money. More RELATED traffic will mean more money for you.
Download this fantastic plugin, All In One SEO Pack wordpress plugin
5. Keyword Research
I am a broken record. I know You MUST know what your best keywords are and use them! Get in the habit of replacing pronouns with actually names, i.e. “This will help make more money” vs. ” This WordPress plugin will help your blog make more money” .
Some good, easy ways to figure out ways some good keywords to use are???
Try Hitail. It is a free tool that tracks your keywords ( how people found you) and suggests what other strings to use. This is better for long tail search ideas but is a starting point for uninitiated.
Try Keyword Discovery. tool as well. Keyword research is a science in itself and I don’t want to intimidate you into not trying or giving up.
6. Master Basic Analytics
Try and do these to things- install Google Analytics on your site and use some sort of keyword research tool. You can get good Google Analytics WordPress plugin here.
try and pepper you posts and titles with keywords. Note” Do NOT over use or keyword stuff! Get in the habit of spinning news . products and ideas into your “niche” .
You will find your traffic will go dramatically up. You Adsense Ads will be more en pointe and your CTR will be higher. I go into greater detail and more specific examples on my Importance of Analytics Blog for Money post .
7. Review Your Ad Placement
Re-examine your ad placement. A limit of 3 Google Adsense ads will appear on a single page. Find your hotspots. If you can- in the header place a leaderboard or banner ad. Use Google Ad units ( they do not count as one of the 3 ads displayed) in sidebar or footer. I have had ZERO luck with ads in footer so in my opinion- get rid of them. Make your ads blend in with your theme. I am not suggesting you trick readers into clicking your ad.. but the better you can blend you ads in the better, Do this with color and font. The Google Ad fonts can be found by viewing source code in either IE or Firefox.
8. Make An Effort to Comment on Other Blogs and Post on Forums
Become part of a community. Build relationships with other bloggers in your are of “expertise” . Don’t get into the mindset of keeping everything for yourself. Becoming engaged with other bloggers on forum posters will payoff.
Will become more visible and more of a player. Several years ago a prominent blogger commented on one of my blogs and I never forgot her. I mention her name and her site often. You never know when a newbie or up-and-comer will break through an d become an industry expert! Foster relationships. Visit blog and forums and help others with knowledge you have. I don’t mean- “for answer to your question visit my blog here” .
Make a point of picking out 3 or 3 blogger you admire every month or so. Visit their sites, refer and link to their post on your own blog. Visit newer blogs and post/comment as well. A new blogger will appreciate the content you give them and the shout out. One of my blogs is an “authority” type site and I make it common practice to do this. It is encouraging and lifts other bloggers spirits and they are so grateful to know that other are reading what they have written. Anytime you can lift some one else’s spirit is a good thing! I often tell my kids ” Your flame does not burn brighter when you blow out some one else’s ” or something to that effect.
Comments on other blogs also bring traffic- and targeted traffic. People who are interested in the things you write about. This will make you money because they may be interested in the ads on your site- more interested in the some one who stumbled on your site by accident or with some bizarre string of keywords.
8. Experiment and Implement Linkbait
This is getting into more work and time and harder and harder to do effectively. You create a reason for other sites to link to you- other than great content. It can be a tool that you allow others to place on your site ( with link embedded back to your site) or a tool that is unique to you and encourages others to visit. Example of link bait are the future page rank tools that iweb.com offers to site owners. You place the tool on your site- and in return you automatically link back to their site. The tool is all over the pace- regardless of accuracy.
Tickerfactory did it brilliantly as well- by offering tickers for every occasion. They create a personalized ticker to use on your website or forum signature and links back to their site.
Other types of link bait are contests. Most romantic wedding proposal for a jewellery site, cutest dog picture for pet blog. Anything to create buzz and get people linking to you.
9. Link Building – Get Links for Your Site
Yes great content will get you links. So will asking people for them. Make an effort to get backlinks for your site. Flat out asking sometimes works.”Hey Judy- can you put me in your blog roll?” ” Mike- Can you mention my contest in your blog?” is a start.
This is where all that relationship work you have been doing really helps. Not sure why you should care about links? Please read my post on Link Building and Anchor Text.
10. Figure Out Social Media
Time to dive in. Join a social media site and get involved, If you can find one that fits your niche- good, the more niche a social media is the better for you to make a dent. Add sociable WordPress plugin to your site- make it easy for others to diig/stumble/sphinn your article or post. I particularly recommend Andy Beard’s modified Anti-Social sociable plugin, anti-social plugin for WordPress. Tale 3 minutes ans install it. You will be shocked at traffic you get from social media sites.
Try out MyBlogLog and get to know people in your “community” .
11. Bonus Resolution- Set up an ADVERTISING PAGE for Potential Advertisers on Your Site
Don’t be shy. Set up a page outlining where you will place their ad and how much. Describe what type of ad you will accept- how big and can it be animated. Give them a reason to advertise with you. Mention your fantastic traffic and the type of person that visits your site. Most important- supply contact information. Try using contact form- another WordPress plugin worth mentioning.
One thing to keep an eye on- Are you better off making 100.00/ month from Google Adsense ad in sidebar that may or may not change or 50.00/month guaranteed from an advertiser for 3 months?Keep this in mind and don’t under price yourself.
if you can work on even ONE of these things- try a new source of revenue for your blog, install a new plugin, post more often or learn analyze your stats this year- then you will get higher earnings.