Basic requirements before you start monetising your blog

Have you heard somewhere that people online make more money than people who go for a 9 to 5 offline jobs? Then you might have heard it correct, indeed people make some good fortune online rather than offline. But it is not true with everyone, for instance there are 100 bloggers from a region and if you want to know how many bloggers are successful then the facts speak as follows.

5 people would be making $10,000 and above
5 people would be making above $5,000 to $10,000
10 people $1000 to $5000
10 people $500 to $1000
70 people $0 to $500

I have just made an assumption of the above data from a poll which I saw long back in Problogger blog by Darren Rowse. You could see the original picture below. That was a poll conducted for the month of  November 2005 Adsense earnings which was answered by 1205 readers which could clearly depict that very few earn a good living. It is true even today but I guess the numbers could have just tripled or even more.

Adsense earnings Poll
Credits: Problogger

I think as a blogger for some time you might have heard about Pat Flynn, Zac Johnson, John Chow, Yaro Starak, Micheal Dunlop and many others who have made millions using their blogs and selling their self made products (plugins, eBooks etc). Many people have successfully reached the six figure income mark and are still ruling the blogosphere. I have named only a few, but there are many who make some cool bucks which is far more than a day job. On the other hand there are many people still struggling to make $1 even after being online for 5 to 6 months. But most of them who have just started earning online income stay for at least 3 to 4 years. Even I have been online from past 5 years but income actually started from past one and a half year, that too not equals income from my day job and is also not stable.

BloggerSo after you read some inspiring stories of bloggers and seeing their income reports you might have thought to start your own blog and want to make money as these bloggers do or you might have already started a blog and are seeking sources to make money.

So before you start thinking on making money from a blog you need to know how a blogger actually makes money. If you think it is through Adsense then you are mistaken. Pat Flynn has only 5% of his income from Adsense which shows that there are more ways on making money online but very few know on how to tap into each of them exactly.

One thing is clear, blogging is not a one day or one month or not even a one year business. It is an art which could be mastered more and more by experimenting different monetizing methods and by staying online for quite a long time. Very few make money from the very first day and many won’t make a buck even after being online for one year. So in this post I want to focus on few basic requirements before you start monetizing your blog.

Traffic:

Before you think of making money you need to think of traffic, without which earning huge amounts is impossible. There are cases where we can make money from less traffic sites but that has an other strategy working around which could be difficult for a newbie. In fact I made experiments on low traffic sites and was able to make few bucks but that is very low. But I like the results, as two sites which hardly get 5 to 10 visitors made 3 dollars and 5 dollars each which I may speak of them later. But as a newbie, traffic for a site is one of the mandatory element to earn some money. It is with your traffic you get a lower alexa rank which can help you in times of getting some direct advertisements or getting some sponsored posts. So most of the cases more the traffic more could be the chances of earning.

Choosing Good Advertising Networks:

One of the easiest methods to monetize one’s blog is by placing an advertisement code from a third party site. In simple a third party ad network usually makes a coordination between publisher and an advertiser. So you need not run after the advertisers for direct advertisements, all you could do is join as a publisher in any of the advertising networks and paste their code in your blog. So every bloggers desire is to get an adsense account as the probability of earning more will always be high for adsense publishers. Still you can try over many other networks which could clear some of your expenses. I made $100 with adbrite before I had an Adsense account. Adbrite was one of the best alternative to adsense earlier but is now the company is closed due to some loss. I even used bidvertiser and have made $13 which could be very small but if you care about a saying “something is better than nothing” than you can start planning what one could do with thirteen dollars, in simple you could use it to buy two domain names if you know exactly where you could find them with some discounts. There are few major things you need to look in an advertising network before you actually choose one like payment threshold, payment method and support they provide for their services. Choosing a good advertising network is one of the basic thing before you plan to monetize your blog.

Recognizing the Right Service:

You might be a good web designer or good at some service, all you could do is provide your service at your blog. All you need to do is choose a right service you are good at before you start marketing it. There are many freelancers who earn well with the services they provide so show case your portfolio and tell clearly on what service you are going to provide. There are also some freelance writers who work as ghost writers and earn their living. So recognize one such service which you could provide and create a beautiful landing page. Choosing a service you are good at is one of the starting requirements before you monetize your blog.

Some examples of such Blogs which offer services are

Sporoutspire by Carlie Hamilton who offers Web Designing
WPstuffs by Vivek who offers Custom Genesis Child Theme
Angela McCall who offers cool logos and graphics for businesses

For the sake of example i took only three which I visit often but there are tons of blogs which offer services like the above blogs I have mentioned.

Build a Self hosted Blog:

Are you planning to convert your self made product like eBook or a plugin to hit a good number of sales. Then I think you need to have a blog which has the ability to be modified from the core. There are many free blog providers like blogger, WordPress, Tumblr etc where you can have a blog for free but that has lot of limitations, but when you switch over to a blog on a self hosting it gives you some control over your blog. You can modify it and use it as you wish. One of the best blogging software available is undoubtedly WordPress which can help you create one of the most successful blog you have ever imagined. If you ever wondered what it might cost to start a self hosted blog then you can read one of my previous article on What does it cost to start a Blog?

It would be better to go for a self hosted blog if you had been blogging for few days as that could just multiply the opportunities for you to earn money provided you know the basics on how to make it work.

Sidebar that Converts:

This always puzzled me, I always tried to make my sidebar look more appealing and beautiful but I always failed. Though it looks a bit clumsy now I am experimenting more on it to make it look more professional and converting. Yes, you heard it right sidebar is the one of the strongest resource anyone could ever have before monetizing ones blog. If you see Darren Rowse’s blog, Problogger you could see a very small sidebar with a subscription box, Facebook box and three product links of his which makes it clear that his focus is purely on his products rather than stuffing it with recent posts, popular posts, other ads, some useless widgets etc. People, even I have many things on the sidebar but one who is planning to monetize a blog need to pick up very few things on their sidebar for more conversions.

Proper Theme:

Lack of a good theme would, make you pay for every single minute you waste over your blog. If you have some good content in your blog and theme looks ugly chances are there that people would simply close your webpage or blog even before they realize what is written over there. So chances of clicking on your ads or on your products or services will simply drop because your theme is not good. Initially you might not afford to buy a premium theme but even if you use a free theme see that you make it look up to the point. If you are focusing on Adsense then you need to chose a proper theme where ads could look distinctly and clearly at proper places which could increase click through rate (CTR) and in turn increase your earnings.

One example of a neat, good looking, simple and professional theme is Carlie Hamilton’s SproutSpire Blog which I have already mentioned earlier.

So its up to you now on how you monetize your blog with the above discussed requirements. Money won’t flow until and unless you wont experiment, many people fail to monetize their blogs due to the fact they focus more on content rather than the things said above. Few people completely focus on fake traffic rather than genuine traffic which converts. All that I could suggest for now is try to replicate the success principles of probloggers in your style rather than their style. Sometimes a slight tweak in their strategy might work better than them.

14 Comments

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  1. Hello Vijesh

    Another great and awesome post. You have mentioned all the important stuff for monetizing a blog. It is important to pay attention to the primary things like Traffic, Backlinks, Alexa and User Engagement on your blog. If you have everything good you will eventually end up with decent amount in your pocket.
    But all of these things requires hard work and dedication.
    I just want to ask something. I have seen Advertise Here on many site. That is Direct Ad Sale. How can we use Direct Ad Sale on our Blog. Is there any good way to sell your Advertising space without any third party.
    Or
    If I prefer third party, which is the best site for that. I have heard that skyscraper provides you the opportunity to sell your ad space directly.

    • Hi Ashi,

      You can use direct advertisements for your site once you get decent traffic of about 5K visitors or sometimes even more. You need to create a Advertise with us page at your blog providing some required stats of your blog like your daily traffic, monthly traffic, your subscriber count, social media followers, your geographical traffic (which country reaches your blog more), kind of visitors (bloggers, Journalists, Consultants etc) and need to give some screenshots from your Google analytics. You need to show them rates for impressions so analytics data is most needed data for direct advertisements.

      Next you need to create a media kit (nothing but a PDF file containing a blue print of your site and the places where you are selling ads, you need to mention the ad units) then if you are a good brand people directly approach but if you are new to internet space you can try some of them by emails.

      If you are branded in Internet space then you will get advertisers all by themselves. I don’t know about skyscraper.io which you mentioned and I Googled it and saw that it helps you in doing what all I mentioned, but seriously I have no knowledge on it till you have mentioned thanks for letting me know.

      I suggest you to visit medianama blog and see their advertise page you will get some cool information on how they do. You will also have some of their advertisers list too who bought ads on their site once you get some good traffic you can try approaching them.

      • Hey Vijesh

        Thank you so much for the detailed answer. I was wondering about it. I have searched on Google but couldn’t find any satisfying answer.

        Well Now the main thing is traffic. and have to work hard for that.
        Thanks a lot once again brother
        have a great week ahead
        Regards

        • Hi Ashi, I recommend you to use Google Double CLick inorder to manage your sites direct ad inventory. Its like adsense but the ads displayed are your direct ads and you can upload it and track it. For example if advertiser wants you to pay for 50K ad impressions then you can create new ad for the advertiser and Double click will get you ad tag like Adsense. The ad will stop displaying once it gets full impressions.

  2. hi Vijesh

    There’s a system called reverse blogging, this is where you do the exact opposite of what everybody else is doing… you start off creating your Facebook fan page/or whatever, in order to build up your audience… and if they respond to your messages and see enough engagement, then you can start your blog.

    Imagine having an audience of ready buyers and raving fans, wouldn’t be easier to build your blog and tap into an established and active crowd?

    What these guys are doing to grow their Facebook audience and get more Likes is use the sponsored posts option (it costs a few bucks to advertise your post on Facebook)…

    What do you think about the idea? And, has anybody else tried it?

    • Hi John,

      This is one of the excellent idea’s I have ever heard, Its true that if we already have a Facebook page with engaging audience it would be easier for us to start a blog and earn from it from day one. But only thing is we need to have the knowledge of starting a blog and handling it.

      Thanks for this reverse blogging idea!

    • I heard about this but never tried because I’m too damn busy.

      Very well written Vijesh, like a lot how you spread the news, in fact the information.

      Catch up you next time. Best regards from I. C. Daniel

  3. Hi Vijesh,

    Thanks for sharing such a nice artticles, As u said A lot of things reflect online earning Like CPC, most of the times we earn from less trafic due to the large no. of cliks and high cpc. Choosing good add networks, right theme all play significant role in monetised blogging.

    Anyway keep shring such great articles….

  4. Hello Vijesh.

    Well it is obvious that good traffic always necessary to start monetizing for every blog. In addition to that loyal reader is also necessary which not only visit the blog but also click or buy our aff products.

    thanks

  5. Hi Vijesh,

    Am really convinced about this post, there are tens of way which bloggers can invloved in to make real money online except Google AdSense, displaying personally talent online by rendering service online can as well earn more money than AdSense can do and this means is more reliable than being a publisher in a sit that can at any time disable blogger authority from there service.

  6. money always matter first if you have money you can buy and do any thing in this world..

  7. Blogging is hard work and unless you are offering something special and you have a well known brand then you are most likely not going to get much out of using AdSense. I typically do not use blogging as my main income online as I am not up to that stage yet. I do my blog as a hobby sort of. I think that is the way you need to go until you have a lot of traffic and can convert that into sales.

  8. Hi Vijesh
    I agree with you. If in case case you miss all the steps you have listed above then the business will be at higher risk of collapsing. I have like your post. ~ Anetta

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