Monetizing your cruising blog

I am not an expert on this subject matter but I thought I would share what I've learned from monetizing this site, the IWAC site and the Newly Salted site. If you have other ideas, please share here or if you have questions, feel free to ask. For the most part all of the programs below have very easy set up procedures with clear directions at least as far as integrating them with a blogger blog and I assume the same holds true for wordpress blogs.

I'm going to list three earnings options from most costly to least costly to your readers.

1) Donations. The most costly to your readers are direct donations. This is cash that goes directly out of their pocket to yours, usually through a paypal button. I have a paypal link stuffed somewhere on all three sites but they are not something that I have pushed. So far I have received a few reader donations for the IWAC project and we have received one on this site from my Mom. Thanks Mom!

2) Amazon. The middle ground option is the Amazon Affiliate program. When you are talking about a product, you can put a link to it and if someone buys the product you get a very small portion of the revenue. The best part is that you also get a portion of the revenue if they click on the item, do not buy the item, but instead buy something else they were already planning to buy. For example, if I pimp a book I enjoyed and a reader clicks on it, goes to Amazon and instead buys a toilet brush, we earn revenue for the toilet brush. Mostly I think this is a great win-win situation because, although there is cash outgoing and incoming, readers are doing shopping that they were already planning to doing and the blogger simple gets free beer as a result. However, I've noticed some bloggers suddenly starting to pimp random products (like toilet brushes, eh?) on their blog just to get more Amazon clicks and more revenue. I find this annoying as a reader and as a blogger I try to write whatever I was planning on writing and simply remember to amazon-ify the post if there are any products in the post that Amazon carries.

3.) Ads. The least costly to readers are Google ads. They are easy to add to your blog and they cost your reader nothing. Businesses pay per passive view (impressions) and per click and a portion of that revenue is passed along to the blog owner according to a formula Google does not share. It's clear that you make more for clicks than views and that they have ways to determine if you are clicking on your own site or asking others to do so. Some people get grumpy* about being advertised to on blogs but I think it is a great way for businesses to reach the right groups of consumers and for bloggers to get free beers.

There are definitely others who have found ad revenue a more lucrative proposition than I have. Check out SV Third Day's expense report (.pdf) as an example. I find the total incoming to be a steady trickle into the beer/coffee fund but nothing more. We blog for us, as our own way of remembering and processing the experiences. I monetized the sites anyways because it is easy and free beer is still free beer.

* this blog is free to read can only complain if the value of the blog is less than what you paid ;)

1 comment:

  1. I don't mind the ads, but that Living Social cupcake currently appearing sure is making me hungry!!



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