More Ways to Monetize Your Blog – Advertising, Coaching and Sponsorship

Continued From Selling Information and Advertising

10_ways_to_monetize_your_blog

If this is your landing page with the keyword “make money online”, or “how to monetize your blog”, may I advice you to take some time and read the primer on how to make money online from here. It will get your mind in the right mood and with a better understanding on why you need it and how you intend to get the job done right.

6. Accept Paid Advertising

While placing AdSense ads on your blog can bring you a few dollars, or even a few hundred dollars, a month, many people prefer to sell their blog real estate directly to advertisers. By cutting out the middleman, you can keep more of the profits yourself and keep control over the types of products and services you advertise on your site

When considering opening space for advertising, here are some things to think about:

How much will you charge? A good rule of thumb is to see what other blogs in your industry are asking, and price your spots accordingly. Keep in mind that in general, the more traffic (page views and unique visitors) you have, the more your ad space is worth.
What kinds of ads will you accept? Will you take any ads, or do you want them to be directly related to your market? If you offer reviews on your site, do you want to refuse to accept ads from sellers of products you might review? What about adult sites or online gaming? What about competitors? Know beforehand what you will accept and what you won’t.
Will you create the graphics? If you have to create graphics, then it’s going to take more of your time and energy. But if you don’t, you could end up with – to put it bluntly – lame graphics.
How will you charge and accept payment? PayPal is usually sufficient. You can even create recurring payments if someone books for more than one time period at once.
Where will you place ads, and what size will they be? Sidebar and leaderboard ads are common. You can Google “blog ad sizes” to see what standard sizes you might offer.

Once you’ve made these decisions, create a section on your blog where potential advertisers can click and easily see your rates and requirements, and the next steps for advertising. If the advertisers don’t come, you can approach them directly with your offer of advertising space.

7. Provide Paid Sponsorships

Many bloggers offer product and service reviews as part of their regular content. As companies want to leverage the power of bloggers, there are more and more opportunities to receive cash or products in exchange for blog mentions or reviews. Basically, you get paid to include a review or other information about the sponsoring company.

Sounds good, eh? Well, there are some guidelines to follow:

  1. Discloseeverything.Ifyou’vebeenpaidtoreviewaproduct,mentionasite, or otherwise plug or promote a company, tell your readers! The trust you create with them is hard to replace and easy to damage. Many bloggers place disclosures in each sponsored post; others create a site-wide disclaimer. In either case, be transparent. (For more information on disclosure statements, go to
  2. Have standards. Bloggers of integrity will not promote or give a good review to sub-standard products. If you cannot be honest in your assessment or review, it is not worth the money. Many sponsors will have guidelines regarding how you must talk about their product, site, or service. Pick sponsors who are a good match with your standards.
  3. Don’t overdo it. If every post you put up is a paid sponsorship, your readers may be wondering, “Where’s the beef?” Balance paid content with unpaid content. Also, make sure the sponsorship opportunities you accept are in line with your market. You might get approached by a dating site or – the latest for me – an anti-meat movie. The money may be good, but will your audience resonate with the message?
  4. Be of service. Even in a paid post, you can provide value to your readers. Honest reviews, additional information, hints and tips, and case studies are all great ways to put your own spin and unique value on paid posts.

Treat paid opportunities as you would your unpaid content. Make sure it’s valuable to your audience and adds something to their experience. Then you’ll be creating great content AND getting paid for it.

8. Offer Coaching

As a blogger, you are a position of authority. People come to your site to read about what you have to offer – whether it’s fly fishing, vegan cooking, making money online, or paper crafting. A natural next step for making money is to offer your expertise in a “live” coaching format. Here are some questions you might have about coaching:

Do I have to have any specific certification or education? If you’re an accountant, lawyer, doctor, or even personal trainer, you need to be certified in your particular field. But to hang out your shingle as a coach, no certification is necessary.

Who would come to me? If people are reading your blog, people would pay you to coach them. Not every blog reader will become a coaching client, of course, but a percentage will. That’s why it’s important to build up your readership before you launch your coaching program; the larger your list, the larger your potential coaching client base.

How much should I charge? It really depends on your field, what your competitors are charging, and the format of your coaching program. Typically, the more value you bring to a client and the more pressing their pain points, the higher rates you can charge. If you can help someone lose 20 lbs. in 30 days or make $5000 in a week, you’re going to be able to command more than you could for helping someone plan a beautiful garden.

What format should I use? Coaches have been early adopters of online technologies such as webcasting, teleseminars, and more. With services like UStream, Freeconferencecall.com, and Skype, you can transport yourself virtually to anywhere in the world. Some coaches work strictly via email; it’s going to depend on your market.

For beginner coaches, one of the most effective first steps is to offer a low-price, fixed-term (4-6 week), group coaching environment for 6-10 people. You could offer one structured call followed by a Q&A session each week, covering a certain segment of your topic, such as, “Planning your organic garden,” or “Financial planning for retirement.” Use the experience to test your materials and gauge interest and response.

At the end of the time period, evaluate your process and either change things up or offer the same coaching program again. Over time, you’ll be able to better target your offerings and raise your rates as you know – and deliver – exactly what your audience wants.

Loving the information? Please share with your friends and family.  Continue to read Option 9 and 10 or Go back to Introduction to making money online, or Make Money Online Blogging,  or Affiliate and Online Auction or Selling Information and Advertising.

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