I know I’ve said it before, but it’s worth repeating….
There’s never been an easier time to start an online business.
There’s a downside though…
The internet is quickly filling up with self-proclaimed online marketing ‘experts’.
It’s like that scene from Disney’s Fantasia where Mickey Mouse’s “helpful” brooms keep on multiplying, bringing more and more pails of water until there’s a flood.
If you like quantity, this is good news.
In terms of quality – it’s a nightmare.
The internet is an increasingly raucous babble of people spouting off about the dos and don’ts of making money online.
Most of them haven’t a clue what they are talking about.
Or, more accurately, most repeat what they read about making money online from other blogs.
They’ve never tested or measured the results of what they are recommending.
For example, last week I came across something called, “Bloggers Share Their Favorite Blog Monetization Strategies” (you can guess it’s American from the spelling!)
Here is one of the entries:
“There are so many ways bloggers go about monetizing their blogs. I did a lot of reading and making some decisions on the best way I can monetize my blog. Keeping my focus on growing my blog to the point where I create additional options for myself. The challenge was, how do I accomplish this with a newer blog, all while blogging part-time.”
Errrr? What does any of that mean?
This seems to be the word “blog” repeated over and over.
Really, this is typical of many of the things you will read.
Few of the people offering such advice have actually made money.
They will suggest things like “Sell affiliate products”…. “sell your own products”…“put adverts on your website”.
All obvious stuff.
Worse, a lot of them talk about a ‘blog’ in abstract terms, like it is a business in itself, rather than a tool.
So let’s get something straight right here
When it comes to online business, a blog is a regularly updated information website that can be used to:
- Generate interest in you, your products and your field of business
- Build loyalty and trust with prospects and customers
- Attract website visitors – people who search for information on Google or see your blog posts shared on social networks like Facebook and Twitter
- Convert website visitors into email and social media followers
- Directly sell products through endorsements or affiliate links.
- For entrepreneurs, a blog always forms part of a greater business. And in this respect, an online business is no different to an offline business.
After all, you wouldn’t rent a shop in town then work out later what you’re going to sell in it.
Same goes for a website…
Even if your blog is going to be your principle selling tool (and in a successful online business this is rarely the case, sorry pro-bloggers!), it’s never about the blog itself, it’s about your business – that is you, your customers and your products.
Before you consider “monetization strategies” you need to think about:
- What niche or field you are blogging about
- Specifically who your blog is aimed at and what desires/needs/fears they have
- The approach you take to your blog (are you an expert, a seeker, an insider, a professional, an enthusiastic amateur?)
- How and where you’re going to be finding your blog readers (social networks, organic searches, advertising)
- What you want to sell, why the customer is going to want it and where you’re going to get it from.
If you don’t know these things before you start a blog, then really you’re going to be shooting in the dark and very lucky to make any money at all, ever.
In other words, if you already have a blog and you’re reading a ‘how to monetise your blog’ article – you’re too late!
So if you are in the process of setting up your business, then I highly recommend you go to the Digital Upstart website now. You’ll find information on how to profile your ideal customer, find the latest hot niche market, and get the content sources for your blog all organised up front.
If you’re not yet a full member, click here and you can get access to everything on the site in a free trial: Digital Upstart
However, if you do have a blog or website already and you want help making money from it, then don’t panic. I’d love to help you out. But not by hurling out the usual generalised guff that’s clogging up the internet.
What I’d like to do is briefly list some of the income producing options now.
Over the coming months I want to share with you some very specific, detailed blueprints about how to generate an income from a website into Digital Upstart, with a whole lot more practical and real-life tested advice than you’ll see on many of the marketing blogs.
There are 3 core ways to monetise a blog which you probably know about.
* Sell your own product/service
* Sell someone else’s product/service (affiliate)
* Sell advertising space
However, there are many ways you can go about the above.
1. Become an affiliate
You can do this independently, by getting in touch with a product creator (a publisher or supplier, for instance) and doing a deal.
For every item you sell to your customers, you can get a cut. This can be anything from 10%-50%.
Or you can join an automated affiliate programme such as:
- Amazon Associates – you can earn anything from 4% commission on consumer electronic sales to 10% on some digital products
- The eBay Partner Network pays commissions based on a percentage of the eBay fee
- CJ Affiliate – formerly Commission Junction, started back in 1998 and still one of the best affiliate platforms around
- You Tube affiliate – if you are a video blogger, your videos can earn money from YouTube’s advertising.
- LinkShare is an affiliate network – connecting affiliates with cost-per-sale and cost-per-action programmes.
- ClickBank is an online digital product store (eBooks and software, mainly) which you can sell for up to 75% commissions
- JV Zoo – a relative newcomer to the affiliate market and a serious alternaive to Clickbank
- MoreNiche – offering up to 50% commissions on health and beauty products
Even when you sign up to an affiliate programme, there are options as to how you’re going to drive customers to those links.
It could be:
- Advertorial: Adding affiliate links to regular blog posts you create yourself
- Guest advertorial: hosting a guest post that includes affiliate links
- Direct endorsement: a blog post that directly recommends a product or service on a blog post.
- Email: You might prefer to use the blog to convert your viewers into email newsletter subscribers, then do your hard selling through private email.
- Autoresponder campaigns: you could get people to sign up for a pre-set email or video series that leads towards a big product push or launch.
2. Sell your own product/service
- Hire Out Your Services – If you are a professional, skilled or experienced in you field, you can directly offer your services as a consultant, advisor or coach.
- Create a Digital Product – you can create an eBook, eCourse, video series or any number of digital products to promote. These could be based on your own blog material, new information you research, or content you can repurpose from public domain or Private Label Rights products.
- Create a physical product – this could be food, clothing, art, books, toys, crafts that you created.
- Online shop – you could have an online shop embedded in your blog that sells products you’ve sourced, or that your create yourself. There are now eCommerce platforms that allow you to do this easily.
- Offer a subscription – you might make some of your content ‘members-only’ and charge for access, whether it’s online content or delivered by email.
3. Sell advertising space
You can rent out advertising space on your website that links to another business’s products.
- An ‘advertise here’ page. You can sell your own space on your website by offering business the opportunity to advertise. You can do this with a special page on your site, or by contacting businesses
- BuySellAds You set up the pricing and placement details. They will include a “digital media kit” for advertisers so they can see the stats
- Google Adsense You can display targeted ads next to your posts and even customise them for your site.
Okay, so that’s the overview.
Of course, how do you choose?
How do you weigh up what’s right for your business?
Then how do you go about implementing your plan?
Well, to help me get you the very best advice, I’d love to know….
– Which of these options most interests you?
– Is there anything you need to know that I’ve not included?
– What worries you most about monetising your website?
– Have you tried any of these options? What obstacles did you face?
Send your answers in an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll get to work.
at 11am tomorrow morning…
Make sure you check your inbox tomorrow morning (Wednesday 15th April) around 11am.
The email will contain a idea packed message from my good friend and former editor of Internet Income Detective – Jon Street!
Now, if you remember Jon, then you know just how big a deal this is. If you haven’t, then you are in for a really big treat.
What Jon has to share with you could save you hundreds or thousands of pounds and weeks, months or even years of your time on online ventures that are destined to fail from day one.
You’ll discover why most new online entrepreneurs fail and how you can make sure you are not one of them.
This is an absolute must-read, whatever stage of business you’re at – it could change everything for you.
Look out for that on Wednesday from 11:00am.