How to maximize blog ad revenue? We’ve all read articles telling us that we can make millions from our blogs if we just buy product x or subscribe to service y. What these articles never tell you is that none of this stuff works, that you’re not going to get rich quick with your blog. It takes time, patience and hard work to raise your site’s revenue to a level where you might – just might – consider quitting your day job.
Now that I’ve got your attention (and hopefully you haven’t left this article already in despair), I can tell you from personal experience that blogs can and do make money, just not overnight and not in the millions of dollars as some folks promise.
With a strong amount of patience and smart decision making, anyone can begin to make money with their blog and raise their site’s income to a reasonable level over time. Here are 5 effective ways to maximize revenue on your blog that I’ve found have worked for me.
1. Less is Always More
One of the biggest mistakes people make when it comes to placing ads on their site is thinking, “If I have more ads on my site I’ll make more money.” While the math in this statement seems to make sense, the psychology doesn’t always work out this way. Often having one ad, directly related to the content on your site, can get more clicks than twenty “generalized” ads on the same site.
Think about your ads from the perspective of a reader. When you land on someone’s blog, or even a commercial site, don’t you hate it when there are more ads on the screen than content? I know I do. Also, if you’re reading an article about guitars, would you really be enticed to click an ad about laundry detergent that was sitting next to the article?
Because of this, it’s always better and more lucrative to have fewer ads that are directly targeted at your readers than a bunch of generic ads cluttering your site. If people find their eyes wandering from your article to the sidebar, you want them to see a relative ad that will compel them to click on it.
2. Text Links
Text links are another great way to advertise on your site. Here’s a little experiment you can try right now. As you’re reading this article, do you even notice that there are ads on the sidebar and in other places across this very website? Most of you will answer no, because your attention is focused on the article and not the periphery.
With this knowledge in hand, you can now place ads directly where your readers are looking, in the text of each article you publish.
There are many ways to do this, but what I find works well is to use an affiliate site, such as Amazon, and link to product pages directly from the text of your posts. So, if you use the following sentence in an article you could attach a link to the word “Lost” and have it send your readers to the DVD’s of the latest season of that show on Amazon.
“I loved the season finale of Lost last night. It was truly captivating television.”
There are many ways to link to affiliate programs within the text of an article, such as linking from pictures of products, names of products or descriptions of products. Try a bunch of different ways at first, see which links your readers are clicking through, and then figure out which approaches work best for your site.
3. Calls to Action
A call to action is when you ask your readers to perform a specific action within the context of an article or post. A good example of this can be used with the Lost DVD’s from the previous example. If you’re writing an article about a certain subject or product, say Season 1 of Lost, you can insert a call to action inside the text of that article like so:
“Click to buy Season 1 of Lost from Amazon.com”
You would be surprised how many more clicks you’ll get just by asking your readers to click on a particular link in an article. I’ve also found that by bolding a call to action and using a bright color, like red, helps it to stand out from the rest of the article and draws more clicks than just using plain text.
Reviewing products is not only a great way to advertise on your blog, but it also helps build your reputation and a level of trust between you and your readers. I’ve found that my most successful in-article ads come from products that I’ve reviewed.
By reviewing a product, if it’s a positive review of course, you’re not only asking your readers to click through on a product link, you’re also telling them why you liked said product and how it will positively affect their lives.
Writing reviews can also be a slippery slope, especially if you write a positive review and ask your readers to buy a product that turns out to be a scam, doesn’t work or causes any hardships for your readers. There’s no easier way to lose a readers than by telling them how great something is when it’s really not. If you lose your reader’s trust this way, you’ll lose them forever.
Avoid the pitfalls of only writing positive reviews to sell a product. Write a positive review because you truly like something and believe that it will be enjoyed by your readers.
5. Direct Ad Sales
While most people who are in the early stages of their blogs might want to focus on the four ad strategies mentioned above, if you’re getting 500+ unique visitors per day you’re probably in a position where you can approach companies directly to buy advertising space on your site’s header, footer or sidebar.
The best way to go about doing this is to approach companies that sell products that are related to the content on your site. For example, if you write about flower arrangements, then flower delivery services would be your best bet as companies to start selling ad space to.
Though don’t be afraid to think outside of the box. That same website could also sell ads to wedding planners, greeting card companies, gift basket services etc., basically any company that deals with flowers and flower arrangements.
What Do You Think?
If you’ve tried some of these ideas out yourself, or have come up with your own successful ad technique, let us know about your experiences by commenting below. (See how I snuck a call to action in there?)
Guest author Dr. Matt Warnock is the Editor in Chief of GuitarInternational.com, a digital magazine that provides readers with well written and entertaining reviews, lessons and interviews with guitarists from around the globe.