We’ve been focusing on blog monetisation this week, so naturally there have been a few FAQs relating to this subject pop up via Twitter. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out the posts on Monetising Your Blog, Monetising with Blog Ads and Monetising with Affiliate Links.
I don’t want to be a sell out, and I don’t want to compromise the quality of my blog. Can I still make money?
Of course you can! In fact, retaining a high level of quality and focusing on brand alignment in your monetisation efforts has the potential to result in a greater overall income stream than a blog willing to throw any and all revenue generating systems at their readers.
Though your readers will understand your desire and need to make money from your blog or website, they will also appreciate you being discerning about the kinds of ads and affiliate links you run. Readers are more likely to stick around in the long term if they don’t feel your income generating efforts are negatively impacting their user experience. And readers who stick around are good for business.
Give careful consideration to the brands you promote on your blog, and where possible, ensure you are only promoting those blogs that align well with your blog’s tone, voice and content. Good brand alignment can work to elevate your position to prospective advertisers, and most importantly, can help to drive conversations.
There are so many options and systems and services! How do I know which monetisation option is right for me?
Most bloggers will opt to employ more than one monetisation tool across their blog to diversify their income streams.
Test the waters by trialling a few different advertising and affiliate options over the course of a couple of months, and analyse which tools worked best for your audience, niche and market. Blog advertising is certainly not a one-size-fits-all kind of deal, and it may take some time to discover the perfect combination of strategies to get the dollars rolling in.
The key is not to go overboard while trialling different options. You don’t want to overwhelm your readers with a slew of ads and links, the result of which could be a drop in traffic. You also don’t want to compromise your content, or the look of your blog.
If there’s a monetisation tool you really don’t like, it’s your blog and you don’t use it.
I want to go it alone and sell my own ads on my blog. How much should I charge?
Every blogger who decides to sell their own advertising space on their site struggles with this question, and it’s a tough one to answer – chiefly because it depends on a number of things, not least of all your blog traffic, and your niche. Pricing is by no means standardised in the blogosphere, and rates can change as demand fluctuates, meaning the cost of advertising on your blog may need to be reviewed regularly.
Research what your closest competitors are charging to advertise on their blogs, and consider whether those rates would feel appropriate for your site. Getting a feel for what other bloggers in your niche are doing can serve as a good point of reference, but there’s nothing wrong with thinking outside of the box. You don’t have to get your rates right the first time around, either. Trial and error is often the best means of hitting the nail on the head.
People will pay for what they believe has value, so it’s up to you to communicate the value you provide as a publisher to justify your rates. Don’t be tempted to undercut your competition by a huge margin, either, because advertisers don’t always associate cheap with value. If you undercharge, you may devalue your brand, which could result in less expressions of interest from the advertisers you do want (those who align well with your brand), and more expressions of interest from the advertisers you don’t want (those who do not align with your brand).