Judging by the high volume of blogs that specialize in the topic of blog monetization, it sure seems like blogging has emerged in recent years as a proper profession. But even people who started a blog to make a few bucks on the side need to up their ante due to the high volume of competition.
In theory, this makes a lot of sense, but in practice, it almost always comes at the expense of your blog’s readers. If you saturate your interface with banner ads, links to spammy websites and annoying pop-ups, your audience will likely get turned off. Many bloggers stay away from monetization for this reason.
However, it’s possible to make money from your blogin such a way that actually enriches the reader’s experience. Monetization can be a win-win. Consider using one or more of these three innovative platforms thathave been conceivedwith bloggers like you in mind.
Infolinks – Provide Rich Information
Infolinks offers bloggers the option to hyperlink phrases they are already using in their text to relevant brand messages. The context-appropriate information is displayed in attractive modal boxes, you have full control of what promoted content does and doesn’t appear on your site, and you can earn money when your users click through to the promotions.
The great thing about this type of advertising is that it’s so non-intrusive. Users who are interested will click to learn more, and those who are not will continue to read without interruption. Infolinksalso supports plenty of customization, so bloggers can determinehow many links appear on a page, what anchor text can and can’t have promotions, and even what the promotional content looks like. The publishing tools allow you to customize the links for maximum relevance to your content, so you don’t have to worry about random ads for virility products invading your fantasy football blog.
Amazon Associates – Get a Cut of the Ecommerce Action
Amazon Affiliates will pay you a small percentage of each item they sell to users whoclick through from your blog. Your blog should give you plenty of opportunities to link to products and books that are likely to be of interest to your readers. Amazon’s product line is as diverse as they come, so no matter what your blog’s niche is, you’re likely to find relevant products to mention and promote with links.
For full transparency, it’s probably best to let your readers know in a parenthetical disclosure statement that your links include your affiliate code in them. Most audience members will appreciate your disclosure, and even better, you can tell readers that they will be giving back to a publication they love by making a purchase through the link. However, in order to avoid Google erroneously flagging your site as web spam, make sure touse affiliate links only on pages that clearly offer value to your readers.
Shareaholic Recommendations – Link Out to More Relevant Bloggers
A leading plugin for social media sharing buttons, Shareaholic’s new Recommendations engine allows bloggers to earn a little extra by promoting posts by other publishers. When you link out, it shows that you’re genuinely interested in the topics you write about more than you care about hording traffic. In this sense, Shareaholic adds credibility and trustworthiness to your blog.
Promoted content canprovide you with income while allowing you to remain fully in control of what’s promoted – you set the number of recommended links as well as the proportion of internal vs. external links. What configuration gives you the most revenues and stickiness? Experiment with different settings to see what performs best on your site.
You Don’t Need to Sell Out to Earn
Web-based business success is all about acquiring and delighting an audience with great and memorable experiences. Engagement is the name of the game across the entire ecosystem of today’s internet, whether you’re talking about search rankings,social media reach or self-publishing.
Site stickiness hinges directly on your ability to provide UX value to your readership, so when you monetize your blog, it’s crucial to do so only in ways which are helpful to your readers. Thankfully, the software companies that build superior monetization platforms are aware of this issue and are offering more and more audience-friendly options.