Monetizing Your Blog – 3 Simple Steps in Reaching Your Dream
So many owners of ‘review sites’ have made the decision to throw all their attention into one product. If this sounds like you, then you might not realize that you have more options than you think, to make money on your site.
The same can be said about ‘informational sites’, and you could be passing on easy opportunities to generate some revenue.
If you are new to the affiliate marketing world and not sure what an ‘informational site’ is, I’ll explain mine to give an example. I have always had a passion for kit cars. So, a while back I had a 1966 Shelby Cobra built from one…and it’s my baby. I then turned that passion into an ‘informational website”, to share all the information I have with others.
On my site, I placed high quality content, videos and images, which Google ate up. I enjoy a high ranking with them as a result. That is just one example.
However, I want to share the history of another successful ‘informational site’ that is rich with content and information, so you can see what it can do for you.
Developing the Platform to Showcase Your Passion
If you are passionate about something and put a lot of effort into content to share with others, then you want it on a platform, or website, that will do it justice. Fortunately, a functional and professional website can be yours, quickly and easily.
WordPress can be your best friend when in the affiliate marketing business, or any time you might want to build a website. With the many themes and plugins they have to offer, there isn’t much you can’t do with it. You certainly can build a site that is rich in appearance, as well as function.
Did you know there are plugins that will do some of the maintenance for you on your website, and allow you to do what you do best…create content? Yes, there are. For instance, the ad management plugin will eliminate ads that have expired, automatically. You don’t have to check dates, or delete them.
Another cool plugin is one they have for imaging, which again, works automatically, so you don’t have to do it. This one will adjust the size of the photos for proper loading, to save on your visitor’s patience.
Whatever plugins and themes you choose to use, they are there to make your experience better. Make sure you look through all they have to offer, then decide which ones will be best suited for your site.
Now, let’s talk revenue…
Strolling through the Park
Not too long ago I had the honor of meeting, and interviewing the President and Founder of CentralPark.com, Aric Boyles. He took his passion for the famous park and turned it into a hobby, at first. He gathered photos and quality content and developed the website.
This is the site that I mentioned above, that is rich in content. So much so that Google took notice of it, and rewarded him with approximately 250,000 hits each month. Yes, I said each month, which is significant traffic.
Google loved Aric’s work, and he was able to make this his primary income as a result. However, his site began with just one solo product, a poster that was created with an aerial shot of the park.
Aric soon realized that he could do a lot more with that kind of traffic going through his site. So, he turned to an affiliate advertising network, Commission Junction, to learn more. He soon turned his hobby into a career.
Right Under His Nose
The demographics that CentralPark.com was experiencing would be the envy of any affiliate marketer. The majority of his visitors tend to be affluent, with a higher education, and are a 50/50 split in gender… a marketers dream.
Aric was aware of the potential and what it could do for his site. He wondered if his visitors would be interested in offers with a high-end edge. The network then rotated some of the advertisements through the site to find out. Unfortunately, that didn’t work, other than a few ads on hotels and NYC Tour Lines, but not enough to make a difference.
Fortunately, he quickly learned what his audience was looking for, and it was right under his nose the whole time. You could find this too, if you do the following 3 easy steps.
#1 Know what Your Visitor Wants
For the most part, it was simple for Aric. The fact that they are on a site about Central Park, means they are most likely looking for things pertaining to…Central Park. Even though they might be financially well-off, that didn’t mean they were looking for luxury items on a site about a park.
So, his next step was to partner with businesses tied to Central Park. By doing this, he was able to post ads for park-related things, such as:
- Horse and Buggy Tours
- Bike Tours
These are all areas that a person looking up a famous park might be looking for.
#2 Communicate with Your Readers
Aric knew that he was on track this time, through a message from a reader. This reader was looking for Lower Manhattan tours. The ticket feature he has on his site opens up the possibility for communication, and gives Aric an idea on what they are looking for.
As more requests flooded in for things such as Broadway shows and helicopter rides, he was able to grow the business to a level well beyond a hobby. Pay attention to what your readers are looking for through basic communications.
#3 Test to Unleash New Possibilities
If you want to monetize your blog, then you don’t want to simply set it up and sit back. Doing some split testing through Google Analytics can help you significantly in knowing what changes you might want to make to be more functional and profitable.
For example, Aric first chose the green button for the ‘sign up now’ feature, in regards to his newsletter. He then decided to change it to PayPal orange. After doing that, his subscriptions soared by 28%, which is a large boost in circulation. A great marketing tactic, to say the least.
The best thing about all the information I just shared, is that it is universal…meaning you can apply these theories to any site you might have, or are thinking of building.
Anyway, those are my thoughts. If you have comments, suggestions, or questions, please leave them in the comment box below.
Jason Monroe enjoys an active career as a freelance writer and Internet Marketer, and understands how to make a website sing. He stays on top of the industry through attending conferences, reading, and researching. Jason is also trying his hand at social media and search engine.
Posted on: April 16, 2012