Proper blog monetization is one of the most vital and distinguishing feature between a newbie blogger and a seasoned pro.
While a newbie wanders through ‘blogville’ deploying Adsense today, Chitika on the morrow, media.net on the next or worse still, all of them at once, the seasoned pro deploys a brilliant strategy and hits with just a method or two…
…and makes the money like there is no tomorrow!
For the JJC’s who just bought a domain name and have not been privileged to renew it, this is close to Jazz! ‘How could Abass monetize as brilliant as that?’ They ask. Or, ‘how come Tosin is so successful being just a writers’ coach?’ Or what is more curious: ‘How on earth does Akaahan live the dot com lifestyle right here in Nigeria?’
Now, I believe, it’s time to answer some of these questions for you! What I demand is that you grab the answers as I make them available. If something isn’t covered here, be gracious (and bold) to blast me questions in the comment box below.
Shall we explore the almighty 9 blog monetization tips no one will ever tell you? Right — I’ve engaged my gears already. By the way, my name is Akaahan Terungwa. But, forget the name for now…you’re about to learn something you will pay for elsewhere and still not get!
My unique professional tips? Here we go:
1. Adsense Is Good — But Not Great: Get Used To This!
Adsense! That two syllable word is one of the very first words a blogger gets to hear — and desire. The promise is that once you have Adsense running on your blog, Google will be very eager to give you money from simple clicks (which should be easy to make happen anyway).
What you are not told however is that Google Adsense is just an average (sorry), poor monetization method when compared to obviously superior models like selling your product directly or offering to sell for someone via the instrumentality of affiliate marketing.
However, that rejection from Google has killed more great blogging dreams than even almighty NEPA (sorry, PHCN).
Tip no. 1 is thus simple and quite straightforward: Adsense is no king, neither does it hold the keys to the doors of blog monetization!
If however you have found a way to make Adsense useful like my host Abass has, great. If you are handed a rejection note, still great. Remember, the biggest guys online like Pat Flynn, John Chow, Jon Morrow, Derek Halpern, Jeff Goins etc have all shunned Adsense…
Reason? They got something better: their own products and affiliate marketing. Go, learn the first lesson (after reading the remaining 8 of course 🙂 ).
2. Massive Traffic Does Not Always Equal Conversion
One of the greatest mistakes you’ll ever make as a blogger is to equate raw traffic with polished, finished conversion — ripe and ready for the taking. The two are not the same — and never will be.
Unfortunately, many newbies believe that once a site has a ton of ‘hits’, all is well (in the voice of Rancho)…unfortunately, no bigger mistake can one make than this.
Unfortunately (still), such newbies have no idea that some unintelligent analytic reports also include search engine bots and other non-humans spiders crawling the web. With such great ignorance, you’re likely (as a newbie) to pay someone on Fiverr to write some script that will generate ‘traffic’. Or worse, join some auto surf program.
Sh*t! You would be getting 50,000 hits a day but no click(s). 50,000 hits a day and no sale. 50,000 hits a day and no optin. Ask yourself: ‘where in hell is this traffic coming from?’
Now, if you’re ready to turn pro, you’ll push it right to the pit of hell where it has emanated from! Lesson 2.
3. The Money Isn’t In The List…Stop The Lies!
I’ve heard this gigantic lie since the very first day I came online! Now, what really bothers me is that other folks who should have known better themselves propagate this lie in the crudest possible way…
“The money is in the list…” Biggest scam ever! The money isn’t in the list! Quote me anywhere!
You don’t agree? OK, let’s strike a compromise: to equate a list with an ATM machine, you must make certain that your list is:
- Reliant on you for the knowledge you provide.
A responsive list opens and clicks through, a targeted list is one that is comprised of persons who really are interested in what you are saying (not some random, bought list) and a list that is reliant on you for knowledge is a list that trusts you.
3 very special characteristics. Does your list have them? If yes, congratulations! If no, shut up and listen!
To monetize like a pro therefore, understand that if your list does not meet the 3 criteria mentioned above, it is useless; instead of making money with it, it will be making money off you instead for maintenance every month 🙂
Tell me, does that make sense? Therein lies lesson no 3.
4. Traffic Alone Is Nonsense. Pure Nonsense. Targeted Traffic Is Key
Thanks to Facebook groups, Nairaland and blogs that don’t take comment moderation serious, every update or comment is followed by a URL powered by Blogspot or WordPress! What many of these newbies (maybe even you) fail to understand is that most of these platforms contain visitors who are not interested in what you are saying (even if you are promising them overnight riches or the exact location of the Philosopher’s Stone)!
What’s the point? Driving untargeted traffic only ensures that your visitors bounce away immediately they land on your site! If someone will bounce away, why bother even inviting him/her over?
To monetize like a true professional, focus on promoting your site where you believe know that your audience will be waiting, eager to devour what you have to offer. Why waste precious time trying to sell ice to the Eskimos? Learn to sell them room heaters instead! BTW, that’s tip number 4.
5. Know Your Audience Like The Back Of Your Palm. Or Go, Watch Some Nigerian Film
It’s sad — and quite pathetic; but the simple truth is that you’re never going to make money online with your current strategy if you have not factored in your audience and what they really need + what really makes them tick. Without this basic information, simple as it seems, you’ll be enjoying a merry go around so far as monetization is concerned only to begin again!
However, to master the monetization process of your blog, kindly understand what works best with your audience. Ask them. If they are very reluctant to divulge, use your analytics reports and get some basic data about your community; for only when you truly know your audience can you offer them something they cannot resist.
[Quick question]: would you opine that an entertainment blogger would be able to lure his readers to subscribe to his mailing list using as incentive, an eBook on the basics of programming?
6. Your Niche Is Probably The Best In The Whole Wide World: Stick To It — But Open Your Eyes Wide
Newbie bloggers usually start with a well-defined niche. However, after a few months of making no money blogging, they imagine that the pasture is certainly greener at the other end and off they go!
They spend some time on their new found niches and then, discover to their utter dismal that the new niche too isn’t productive. Then, they do something really clueless: they foolishly brilliantly combine all the niches that they imagine are lucrative!
And that is the point you lose all and embark on a journey of no return! Point 6.
However, it is wise to note that some niches are by nature quite inferior…if you find yourself in them (and are interested in making money) you’ll wind up waiting for an eternity!
This tip, perhaps will guide you, appropriately.
7. The Banner Ad Is Dead — Don’t Imagine Your Audience Will Resurrect It!
Your visitors will not always be in a great mood to click on your banners…however, a coated link with a tempting anchor text is really hard to resist. Herein lies an advantage I’m certain you are not already using: intext link advertising.
To monetize like a professional, you must understand that your anchor texts are going to be clicked on far more than a bold leader-board banner. You must accordingly make great use of this method as much as you can.
However, as you do this, kindly remember two things: there can be something called ‘too much’ and when that happens, even the most sugar coated anchor text would be ignored. Yes – it’s really that simple and straightforward.
8. An Impressive Alexa Rank Means Nothing. Really.
When I came online as a blogger, roughly 3 years ago, I was preoccupied with one thing: my Alexa rank.
I was told that my Alexa rank measured my popularity as a blogger; that advertisers would look at the rank before sending me ads; that fellow bloggers would check the rank before accepting a guest entry from me and that even my wife would need to take a look at the rank before allowing me access to our lovely kid who was barely 8 months then 🙂
In summary, a great blog was determined by a great Alexa rank!
I toiled. And toiled. And toiled. At last, I hit the Alexa first 100k. Then, hit the first 90k. Then 80k. But, unfortunately, nothing happened. Instead, small sites (which were nothing compared to mine because they read something like 400,000) were busy making money via means like direct product sale and affiliate marketing. I pushed further – then made a measly $30 – and that was all my impressive Alexa rank could give me!
I learnt my lesson (so that you could learn off me). An Alexa rank, when great, ensures a good feeling. However, it stops there – nothing more. In your monetization efforts, do not for a second mistake the two (Alexa and money); you’ll only get your nose stuck in thick mud!
9. There Are No Rules Afterall…
This is the most beautiful part…
The 9th tip is simple: there are actually no tips or rules so far as monetization is concerned!
What?! So, does that mean that I have only wasted my time here?
No; by no means.
Understand this however: there are classical exceptions — and this guide makes no understanding for that. Accordingly, your task as a smart blogger is to see what I have written and compare it against your own blog and reality…
Does it work — or make sense? By all means, adopt. You feel you are an isolated case? Formulate your own rules — rules that you are certain will work for you!
C’mon, Don’t Fold Your Arms…Talk To Me. Agree Or Disagree. But Talk.
Writing this article took some time; time that I would have used in playing with my son. However, since I denied him that time and decided instead to write quite a thought provoking article for you on this platform, I deserve at least one thing back: Comments.
My training bothered on talking and the more of it I see, the better my brain becomes 🙂 Now, don’t be the one to cause me some brain mishap!