The most important question all professional bloggers will have, is how does a blog make money. The first thing most bloggers add to their blog is Google Adsense. There is a myth going around that they are the best way to monetize sites. Using adsense is OK, but relying totally on adsense alone is not the best way to monetize most blogs. If I were to rely on adsense only, then my revenue would be only a portion of what it is today. Adsense makes me less than 10% of my total income across all my websites, which is why my sites use many different types of ways to generate money. Plus, relying on Adsense alone is risky anyways because you can get banned for suspected click fraud.
Types of advertising for blogs to make money
Below are the types of advertising I have used personally, to maximize income on my blogs. I recommend using many different types at the same time because that is how you make the most money.
Pay Per click Networks – Pay per click networks automatically serve text or image ads. When a visitor clicks on the link you get paid. How much you get paid depends on the advertiser and the niche. Some keyword niches pay better than others. Some pay per click networks allow you to target the keywords manually, while others serve ads automatically targeted based on the text of each page (contextual ads). Google Adsense serves contextual ads and is the best of all the pay per click networks because it serves the most relevant ads and pays the highest per click on average. If you can’t use adsense for whatever reason then the next best choice is Bidvertiser.
I also highly recommend in addition to Adsense or Bidvertiser you use another network called Exitjunction.com that shows pay per click ads ONLY after a visitor leaves your site via the back button after landing on your site from the search engine. This is a great way to boost your income from visitors who normally would just leave your site without clicking ads. It will not annoy visitors because these visitors had the intention of leaving your site back onto the search engine never to come back again. Its a way to get a little bit of extra money from visitors who never really were interested in your site. Sign up to Exit Junction
Sponsored Posts When I first started blogging, I didn’t do any sponsored posts on purpose. I was afraid of it annoying my visitors, for a few extra bucks. Earning wise, it was the biggest mistake I ever made! Sponsored posts is by far the biggest earner for probably 99% of the bloggers! You might make a few bucks off adsense in one month, but you can earn that in a few minutes on just one sponsored post. And your readership won’t suffer (at least not that much) because you still have to integrate it into your usual non-sponsored content to stay in good standing in these networks.
Take a look at my Sponspored Post Network Reviews to see which ones I have had the best success with. If your blog has medium traffic and/or medium PR, you will have no problem making a few hundred a month from using one or more sponsored post networks at the same time, if you are motivated. You can still make money with a blog that has little traffic or PR, but it is much tougher.
Affiliate Ads I recommend first signing up to Shareasale to find affiliate programs, before any other affiliate network. Shareasale has a lot of good choices for affiliate merchants and they do the best job of providing a lot of tools, information, and security. A lot of the information they show, unlike the other networks, helps you seperate quality affiliates from the unreliable shady ones. A lot of the other networks keep really important information private from affiliates, such as program uptime history, compliance testing dates, auto-deposit, and EPC earning history. These are all very important to know and some affiliates don’t even do compliance testing. Shareasale gives us all that information and that is why I find them the best.
Direct advertising Some bloggers sell 125 X 125 banner ads or text links on their site themselves. Most advertisers pay better for a ad spot for a month than what you would earn from having your affiliate or adsense ad there, but it is up to you how to set the price for the ad spot. This idea of going it alone works best for high traffic sites with a good reputation or in unique niches with little competition. I wouldn’t bother with the hassle of trying to set up your site for selling ads to your visitors because you probably won’t get any offers anyways, unless you have a lot of traffic(tens of thousands).
Text link Brokers Instead of trying to sell text links off your site yourself, I recommend using a text link broker service like Text Link Ads. The text link brokers handle everything and have a large advertiser base already in their system, so it’s usually pretty easy to get a lot advertisers to find your site and buy some links. Text link ads are a great way to sneak in some extra income without adding much clutter to a site. The more link authority and traffic your sites have, the more you make selling links for SEO purposes.