Every single day over 8,000 people start a new Internet business and it is said 90% of them fail / never really take off! There are a lot of reasons why a business fails but in the end it comes down to one main thing – it isn’t making money!
It doesn’t matter if you get 100,000 visitors a day, if you can’t monetize your site, then you will lose money and fail like most other people. Most Internet Marketers suggest you put up adverts on your site to make money. OK, that appears an easy option, but if you don’t have much traffic you will fail to sell the advertising and frankly in my experience there are many better ways to make money.
So today I have decided to go through some of my own sites and also some my favorite bookmarks and show you how and why some sites (even with the same traffic) make a lot more money than other sites in their niche. And, I’m not just talking about an extra $1000 a month – in many cases it is significantly more.
Why Typical Blog Monetization Doesn’t Work
The main reason it doesn’t work is because you can only make so much. If you only have 8 advertising spots on your site, that will Net you a total of $600 at an average of $75 per spot. Truth is that in many cases unless you have significant traffic you will struggle to get even $75 per spot.
Now if you use some of the monetization techniques I will cover below, instead of making say $600 for the month you could make $3000 or even more! (I estimate you need around 20000 visitors per month in most niches to achieve this) Banner advertising to some degree isn’t scalable and therefore isn’t a good long term solution. That said, if you are ‘lazy” (as I sometimes am) then the one good thing about banner advertising is it’s guaranteed money most of the time, provided you can keep selling those spots!
But to give you some comparison, if I had decided to go with only offering banner advertising when I launched IncomeDiary, I would of been lucky to earn $300 from advertisers in the first month, instead of the $5000 that I did.
This is something that has been increasingly more popular over the last couple years for a bunch of reasons. The main reason obviously is money, selling an eBook to your readers is easier then selling someone else’s product because your readers know who you are, what your about and you should have a good track record for offering good content. One of the big benefits of launching an eBook on your blog is traffic. I have seen blog’s traffic saw once they launch an eBook because they set up an affiliate program, so even if they don’t buy your eBook, they still look around your blog and can make you money in other ways and the best thing, you don’t have to pay the affiliate for it.
How To Sell eBooks On Your Blog
On some levels, most blogs do the whole selling an eBook thing completely wrong. Having a eBook on your blog will mean a lot of leakage because they can go off in a million different directions such as check out your about page, past posts, advertisers etc. Typically sales page give you the option to either buy the eBook or leave the website which keeps the buyer more concentrated as they won’t get distracted by other things on your blog. Here are a few rules I would encourage you to abide by:
- Have an affiliate program (via E-Junkie)
- Offer Testimonials from people who have read your eBook. Including names, website URL’s, country and picture will help reinforce the fact that these are real people giving real opinions on your eBook.
- Offer a sample page or chapter so potential buyers can get a good feel for who you are and what you have to offer.
- Make sure you get an eCover designed because it will make your eBook worth more valuable. I used MyeCoverMarker to create some of my eCovers.
I have seen a lot of blog adding membership areas to their blogs recently, probably because of the demand for even better content and the fact that it’s so easy to set up. Think about it, would you be happy paying $10 a month (or even $100) to have access to content that will change your life or business in some way, of course you would! The real benefit of having a membership website over a eBook is that with a membership website, you don’t just bill them once but you bill them every month. Let me show you the maths then you will get really excited:
Option 1: Sell 1 eBook a day at $40, that will be $1200. Now say you do the same next month, you will make $1200 this month as well. Say you do this for a whole year, you will make $14,600!
Option 2: Sell 1 Membership Website a day for $40, that will be $1200. Now say you do the same next month, you will bring in $1200 of additional membership but you will also have the recurring revenue from last month, making it $2400 that month. Say you do this for a whole year, you will make $105,600! I will leave you to pick which one sounds best to you.
One small thing I should note about my maths above, some people will obviously cancel there membership, the amount of people who cancel depends on the value you provide them. For those who have already went with Option 1, don’t worry, here is what I would do; take your eBook that you are selling for $40 and charge $1 for it, you will now probably sell 20 or 30 copies a day instead of one. Now when they order, add them to a membership program for $39 a month and give them the first 30 days to try it for FREE. This approach will get a lot more people buying and convert more people into staying for your recurring program. For those of you think this is to much work, you could simple change your eBook into a membership program by time releasing the content.
IncomeDiary has it’s own membership website. We use Wishlist Members WordPress plugin. We customize the design using Optimizepress.
How To Add A Membership Website To Your Blog
From my research and recommendations from a lot of friends, there are 2 main ways to go about setting up your own membership website for WordPress. Them being:
- Wishlist Member – Very customizable plugin with lots of features to make your membership website stand out from the crowd! (My personal recommendation)
- aMember with WordPress Plugin – Gives a simple yet effective membership area allowing users to download and see files easily.
FREE eBooks and eCourses
As I mentioned in a past post, building your list is one of the most important things to do and the best way to attract people to sign up for your list is to offer them something for FREE! Now the benefit of having a good mailing list is, so that you can email out about new content and promotions which could make you more money. I know some people that have such great lists, that when they email out promoting a new online course, they can bring in as much as $300,000! Not bad for writing a few emails. Now this is great but sending emails can become a bit of a pain and some readers will be turned off by them. What I have done is built a really strong eCourse and eBooks sharing lots of great secrets, tips and tools on how I make money online and then monetized it with affiliate links. Now this took me around 2 days to write (partly because I’m dyslexic and writing isn’t my forty) but since then it’s made me tens of thousands of dollars with no additional effort. My advise to you is to create a eBook or course that you could sell and then give it away for free and make your money through affiliate commissions. Remember to check out my past post on making money with email marketing to make sure you approach it using my no leakage rule.
Adding an eBook/Course to your Website:
Adding your eBook to your website can be done in a variety of ways, personally I recommend my funnel system to work the best. This is how it works:
- Offer a sign up on your blog for a FREE eBook. I highly recommend using Aweber for your auto-responder as it’s what I use and most other Internet marketers. The best way to draw attract to your opt-in box is by placing a eCover of your eBook, this also gives it some physical value.
- Once they sign up for your eBook or Course, send them to a thank you page where you promote a few of your best selling affiliate programs. Also give them a personal thank you and remind them to check there emails and confirm that they want to be on the list.
- Now automatically dispatch an email using your auto-responder with your first email from your eCourse or a link to your eBook.
- Now build in several follow up emails promoting content on your blog and affiliate offers.
This method isn’t so common but looking from the examples I could find online, it is one of the most profitable! FreelanceSwitch has one of my favorite examples of a web directory, how it works is web designers who need work can pay monthly to have themselves listed in there web designers directory so people who are looking for web designers, can browse the directory and pick there favorite. What’s great about this approach is they have made the deal even better for web designers, they have included access to the website job board, where they can apply for jobs that are posted which has allowed them to make it free for people to submit jobs.
How To Add A Web Directory To Your Blog
Although there are dozens of free web directory plugins for WordPress, not many let you charge people to submit links to them. The first directory I created was for WebDesignDev which was a directory of all the resources web designers and developers would need such as hosting, scripts, domains, coding etc. I allowed people to submit for free but gave a premium option which for a price they would be posted at the top of the directory with a special border and made to stand out from the crowd. The software I used was PHPLinkDirectory which seems to be bringing out more and more WordPress friendly additions to it’s software and would be my pick for anyone trying to achieve a successful directory.
The great thing about offering a job board is that it’s offering a needed service to your users. Take for example you are visiting a web design blog because you wanted someone to design your blog. Now this blog has a job board and it was free for you submit a job, that’s a great additional service the blog is providing. But where is the money you are probably asking, what you do is you charge the designers who are looking to do the work, possibly a $50 monthly charge to reply to any design jobs. For any designer looking for work, this is a no brainer because these are the best leads you can get, people who are saying they want to give you work. This really is a no brainer and something I really am thinking about adding to IncomeDiary as it will solve the problem of people looking to hire people and the problem that WebDesignDev is over flowing with web designers looking for work.
How To Add A Job Board To Your Blog
There are two main WordPress plugins that will allow you to add a Job Board to your blog, those being WPJobBoard and JobPress. Pricing strategy is most important here, either deciding to charge people to post job or to reply to jobs. Personally I think charging people to post jobs works best because then you can focus on getting people to respond to work, which will be easier when its FREE for them although it seems it seems to be a mixed opinion between bloggers on which way is best to charge.
Done For You
Done for you is something new I’m working on but have seen some really great examples of some very clever Internet entrepreneurs using it. “Done For You” is basically a service you offer on your blog that is all done for you, one great example is Done For You Meal Plans, something that I have seen very popular in the fitness niche. So if you want to lose weight you need to create a meal plan but the problem is, you got to spend days researching to make sure you get it right and then put it together. Instead fitness marketers put together the plan for you at a price. Now a lot of the time they can use the same plan for a lot of people so the work is minimal or they could even outsource it to someone else for the fraction of the price.
How To Add A Done For You Section To Your Blog
This is one of easiest things to do, find a problem, supply the solution, bill them! All you need to do now is create a page on your blog with your offer, add a PayPal link to purchase and then outsource the work at a very small fraction of the price paid.
All of IncomeDiary’s income comes from affiliate commissions and I’m getting quite good at it, this has actually be my best month ever online by far! Now the best advise I could give you is testing, work as hard as you can to test everything possible. So IncomeDiary has been online for around 6 months and I have a lot of really popular content driving good traffic to affiliate offers but I knew I could do better so what I did was I used Google Analytics to find out which pages got the most visits and then used CrazyEgg to see what parts of a post are seen more and which links they clicked. To a surprise, my most popular page in two days had no clicks on my affiliate links so what I did was included a green stop sign (something tested by Internet marketers) and I added it to the paragraph with my links. Over night I got a few clicks, although it wasn’t many, comparing it to zero, it meant a big difference.
How To Monetize Your Blog Using Affiliate Marketing
A couple tips that I really recommend you take advantage of when doing affiliate marketing are, ask for a better commission rate and also ask for a coupon code to give your readers a discount. Doing these two things will greatly increase your success at making money online with affiliate marketing because you will be able to convert more readers with a coupon code and with a higher payout then other affiliates, you will be able to invest more to get more conversions. The most important thing is how you display your affiliate links, there are a few different ways to offer affiliate links on your website, the ones I suggest are:
- Comparison charts, this way you make the reader choose which one is the best choice. This works really well because you give them all the options and which ever one they take, you collect a commission on.
- Recommendations, this converts better for me because the reader gets to see you using the product in action and so know you are not promoting it just to make money but because it actually works!
Simply linking to an affiliate link and hoping people will buy it isn’t enough!
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To make money, you have to solve some kind of problem. Such as..
- Start collecting emails using Aweber. If you collect emails of people who come to your site, you can email them to come back and visit again. I know a lot of people make more than a full time living selling affiliate products from emailing their list just once a day!
- Create a free eBook solving a problem. Your eBook wants to be funneling readers on to something else, such as an affiliate link, your own eBook, consulting with you etc. More people will sign up for your free eBook if you have an eCover of it, I used MyeCoverMaker to create mine.
- Now that you have your mailing list system in place, you will want to get more subscribers! I created a bit of software that will let you play catch up on your competition and start getting a lot more subscribers fast! It’s called PopUp Domination, over 40,000 websites are using it right now. Go read all about it here!
- Now that your site is better monetized, you will want to start getting more traffic. Check out this free video about how we get over 100,000 people to visit our websites every month from day 1.