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Monetization Strategies – What I’m Doing With My Online Business

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This year I will earn a lot more money from all of my websites! 2010 was my best year to date by a very long way, it may surprise you that it was also the year I worked the least due to health “issues”. I tried a lot of new ideas because I knew I couldn’t work as much as I was, which wasn’t much in the first place. I basically had to work smarter, not harder. I had three different blog designs last year which all taught me a lot about how people use my site, some ideas worked really well and some concepts just flopped. I think this April will be my best month ever with blogging, I’m just getting round to finally finishing a few last ideas and from early results and testing, I’m quietly confident about the changes. (how is it quietly if I blog about is :S)

How I Make Money From My Blog

1. Header Banner

This is a new idea I had when we rolled out version 3 design, it pushed all my site down further below the fold, however I think It’s going to pay off. I have already noticed that every time I publish new content and email my readers that I make sales for Site Profit Domination which I advertise in that slot. Recently while at underground I was speaking at Lunch with Dusty who has a JailBreak Blog and he told me how he has adverts in the same place as my large banner and that they get 10 x the clicks as the sidebar, which is massive right?

People know when I’m onto a winner, check these guys out who have already followed up with similar banners.

2. Email Marketing Concept Change

Most marketers will email promotions daily, some email more then once a day, I’ve been told I should do it because it makes them money but to be honest it’s just not me, besides I struggle to find good enough products to promote once a month, daily I would say would be impossible. Here’s my new idea: Like I just said in section 1, every time I email my list, I sell more and more of my own products, I’m better of working harder on my blog monetization and publish more content so every time I email my list about a new blog post, I earn the same as I would if I was promoting a product. This may seem impossible but I really believe I’m onto something here and it really motivates me to publish more content which in turn grows my blog and makes you guys more happy.

3. Banner Advertising

I haven’t touched banner advertising in quite a while, I think it was mainly down to the reason that I was making so much more money from other things and I got fed up with always looking for new advertisers and working with them. This time I expect things to be different, currently I’m using BuySellAds, which is a banner advertising marketplace, I expect quite quickly to negotiate long term ad placements with other marketers I know which will end up being around 20% of my total earnings which would end up being quite a considerable amount of money.

Personally, I’m aiming to get 5 advertisers, paying a high price each, deliver them results, encourage them to agree to long term placements with 2 month warning of cancellation. Ultimately as long as I deliver, they will stay. I have decided to remove a few hundred links through out my blog to affiliate products which aren’t converting as well, which will mean banner conversions will go up. If you know that you have a set amount of money coming in every month via PayPal, then you can plan ahead a lot better and it makes business a lot less stressful.

4. Reviewing Products

Last year I did two reviews, one brought in over $7000 and the other nearly $9000. Why were these so successful? Firstly, product choice, I choose amazing products and ones that had pages that would convert. A big lesson for affiliate marketers here, don’t promote something if they don’t have a good sales page, you will be shooting yourself in the foot. It also tells you something about the person who created the product, often they are not taking it to seriously or because there one of those people who believe “I’m so great, I don’t need a sales page, people will be begging me for it” – that is never true.

Creating a review is pretty simple, find a product your using, it can be anything, software, sports equipment, cooking utensils, electronics, gadgets, the list is endless. What you want to do is share your own personal experiences, I like to add lot’s of images of me using it, this firstly backs me up as I’ve actually used the product as well as show them how it can be used. Every time they may be convinced to buy, make sure you have an affiliate link, so for example, under a video, under images, at the beginning and end of the post. Another great idea is to show other people actively using it, so for example if you have a car blog, show a picture of Eminem driving the particular car your reviewing. Once your site gets big enough, you can really easily get products for free to review, some company’s will automatically send you invitations and products as they release them as they need people like us to support them.

IDEA: Although not quite ethical, as long as you like the product your using, most product owners will be happy to write the review for you if you ask.

5. Internal Product Launches

One thing you will notice is I always partner up on products, look at Popup Domination and Blog Creation Domination, I partnered with web developers for both these projects because it spread my risk, it didn’t rely on much of my time and allowed me to launch things a lot sooner then if I did it on my own. I recently listened to Craig Ballantyne speak to his mastermind group about how he makes money online and he mentioned the you want a whole line of products, the more you have, the more you will earn. Although this may appear common sense, not really many people do it. There are really quick ways to product products, such as:

  • 90 minute video/webinar presentations
  • 37 Things Report
  • Interview Series

Ultimately you will make a lot more money promoting your own range of products instead of other peoples, your readers trust you more and if every product is good, readers will be desperate for next. Someone I know has a site about basketball, his first product was about running faster, his readers then wanted to know how to jump higher so that ended up being his next.

My header banner will be a rotating advert for each of my products, instead of showing just an advert for Site Profit Domination, which some readers may of already published or not interested in purchasing, they can now see many offers, increasing my chances of a conversion.

In CLOSING ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

If your not monetizing, your not making money.

If you want to learn more about making money from a website, I highly recommend my course, Site Profit Domination.

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Comments

  1. Internet Geeks says:

    What I can say beside All the best!
    Wish you more success. I will try your header banner strategy.
    Thanks

    • Peter Hutyr says:

      I think the header banner is a great idea too. Its one of the places that bring in a lot of conversions because people will always see it as they head on to the main content.

  2. John Paul Aguiar says:

    Great list Mike.. I plan to grab your top banner idea.. was going to go with 2 side by side, but I think one full banner rotated the way I have my 300×250 add is best.

    Im surprised to see you going back to advertising.. I know it did it a lot on retire21,, but thought here you were trying to keep the leakage down.

    But I def understand why.. advertising money is almost guaranteed money for the traffic you get.

    Again.. great tips

    • John Paul Aguiar says:

      I agree.. and the peace of knowing that you have guaranteed income at the end of the month is nice.

    • patel sridhar says:

      Hi guys,
      I do have lot of product ideas, but no time to develop since bugged up in a 9-8 IT job. Can you recommend me someone who’s trustworthy of completing it.

      • Hi Patel. Have you tried elance, odesk, etc. There are a bunch of sites where you can find skilled workers.

  3. Interesting layout. I’m not making money from my blog because I’m not monitizing is and I’m not monitizing because I’m not getting truck-load of traffic.

    My strategy is to get traffic and follow your tips on using twitter and blog marketing. Ones that’s achieved, I can start thinking of other things…

    I love your analytical method of writing post. Quite impressive! Keep it up and enjoy your day!

  4. Onibalusi Bamidele says:

    Really awesome post about blog monetization, Michael! It is really great to read what works for you and yes, promoting high quality products to your email list every once in a while will be a great way to make a lot of sales because first, it makes them willing to open your emails, and second you only promote quality products that increase your trust.

    I’ve also had success with reviewing affiliate products and I plan to do more on improving the amount I earn from that this month.

    Thanks so much for the awesome post and have a great day,
    -Onibalusi

  5. Emmanuel says:

    Thanks Michael,

    I love these five methods you have started using for monetization this year, though The Header Banner and The Improved Email Marketing systems have struck a strong chotd with me.

    You don’t update so much nowadays and sometimes I just come to “stare” at your site for a while – you’re starving some of us!

    I relly enjoyed this post.

    • Michael Dunlop says:

      Lol… working on writing more content. I have another post scheduled this week 🙂

  6. Looks like a great strategy. As the owner of FlipWebsites.com (the first site shown above to have mirrored your header banner), I can confirm that those ads get a lot of attention. I love using them to promote my own content (perfect for product reviews) and products (like CTR Theme, which is being promoted in the screenshot you showed above).

    It can also be a great way to promote older content that is still valuable but might otherwise get lost in your blog. I’ve actually had several readers of my website email me to ask about that spot — some to ask if they can purchase advertising there and others inquiring what I’m using to run it on my site. I knew it was a winner when I first saw it here, but those emails have really confirmed it for me.

    Finally, just wanted to also note that my ad on your site through BuySellAds.com is working out quite nicely so far. I’m getting a strong clickthrough rate and the quality of visitors I’m getting to my site is quite high.

  7. TrafficColeman says:

    There are countless was to make money with a blog..but these are by far the easiest was once your site become popular enough for people to drop you big sums at time..good stuff Micheal

    “Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

  8. This is awesome Mike! I really love the header banner man 🙂 It got me tripping! I love the way you want to use your email list, that’s nice! When it comes to monetization, you just have to keep strategizing in order to see which work best 🙂 Thanks for sharing.

  9. Bjørn Kenneth says:

    It’s always great to have a strategy, and it looks like you got yours.
    I wish you good business in 2011!

  10. Hey Mike,

    I don’t like emailing promos everyday either. I usually just send people back to my blog. Developing interesting content isn’t tough if you know your niche.

    I’m testing out the banner idea now!

  11. You are an inspiration to many bloggers and just reading a post like this makes us believe more on ourselves…

  12. This is great information Michael, and especially helpful as I launch my first few blogs with the hope of monetizing them in the future. I have been following your site for quite some time now, and can safely say that you are one of my favourite two bloggers. Every post has given me new insight…
    Thanks for all the great tips and advice!

  13. Hi Michael,
    Do ad network like BuySellAds help us finding the advertiser, mayve my blog not really have high, but last year I tried similar program from BSA like advertisespace for about 8 months but I got no advertisers? and this year want to try BSA, any advice??

    • Michael Dunlop says:

      Hey,

      BuySellAds has a lot larger network then advertisespace.

      My suggestion is at the start, sell for low price to get attention and if you get enough traffic, I’m sure they will help you find people.

      Michael

  14. RandySmith@InternetMarketingRambles says:

    Great post Michael,

    I have to admit I like it when people talk about real tactics and how they’re working!
    If more people shared like this the whole community would benefit!

    I’m not sure some of the methods mentioned (like banner ads) would work as well for those with less traffic than you – but it’s certainly something to look into once there is a steady flow of traffic to our blogs

    Cheers
    Randy

  15. Wesley Channels says:

    Another great article. You really do know your stuff! I have to give it to you, you’re a bad boy. I’m going to try to add these strategies to my layout asap. Thanks!

  16. Nic Penrake says:

    As usual, great content Michael. (Sorry to hear you were under par last year, btw) It’s rare I find such sharp observations on blog monetization in a post. I’m going to bookmark the page! Will definitely check out your course when I next get a gap to take on a new course. Cheers, Nic

    PS. How do I get a rotating banner? Any recommendations for designers?

  17. Joshua Zamora says:

    Great post mike! Love the plan. Where can I get the banner ad? Is it a plugin? Or custom coded for your blog?

  18. Hey Michael,

    Thanks for this awesome info. It really helps to give me a nudge when I need it. Could you point me at the basketball site your friend has? I play a lot of local basketball and would be interested in looking that course up. Thanks!

  19. Marcelle says:

    I appreciate your transparency on what you’re learning and implementing, thank you!

  20. Fazal Mayar says:

    Hey Micheal,

    I think it was about time that you added direct advertising to your blog. It was the only thing lacking I think. You had good content, good email marketing tactics, etc,etc but you just lacked direct advertising.

  21. Thanks Michael,

    I like your ideas about review products. Especially If you are using a product yourself and can vouch for it. Why not? Some may have told a friend about a product they use but haven’t put together that they just advertised the company for free. This may be one of the easier ways to start monetisiiing a blog.

    Live it LOUD!

  22. raghavan says:

    THANK YOU MICHAEL A DIAMOND IN YOUR CROWN

  23. Secrets of Entrepreneurship says:

    Change is inevitable they say Mike, I’m glad you are changing to what works. Thanks for sharing.

  24. Getting out lots of good quality content is the key and when you’re doing some keyword research before publishing it – it really works. Thanks for all the ideas and tips. I do appreciate it. Good luck!

  25. Mark Gubuan says:

    This is killer stuff. I liked the idea bout “equalizing” your email broadcasts. This is business smart and makes your efforts more predictable and scalable in the long run.

  26. Carl Juneau says:

    Hi Michael,

    I’m 100% with you on mailing about your own stuff and ditching the crappy promotions.

    The gurus make me wanna puke with their onslaught of high-priced, cheap product.

    CJ

  27. Adam W. Warner says:

    Very useful to someone like me who has been studying monetization techniques and implementing little by little, thank you.

    Question:
    Can anyone here recommend a header banner rotator plugin for WordPress?

    I can simply add it in manually, but having the rotation option seems like a nice way to go…

  28. Gerri Stechschulte says:

    An amazing tactic. You really gave me a new way of looking at my blog. I need to really start monetizing it much more.

  29. Very interesting results regarding the top banner. Google Analytic’s new In Page analytics module made for some very interesting reading for me (partly because I didn’t even know the module existed) but it showed exactly what people were clicking on my pages and helped me to really define where my premium on-page real estate was. Then I took some screengrabs and used those to sell spots to advertisers, showing them their ads would appear in places that get a lot of click action – some degree of 3rd party proof.

  30. Awesome post as always – I think last year, I finally learned some things about blogging that has led to me actually “getting it”. Was definitely the most I.M educational year of my life.

    You definitely gave me a great idea for my site about making a membership out of it. Got my wheels spinning and am thinking of bringing out my own line of products now – Like you say, there’s nothing like your own line of products and I had to learn that this year 🙂 I used to write for keywords..but now I’ll be writing for my readers, the most important people.

    Last year was educational, this year has to be the most “action-taking” year of my life.

    Thanks again for the awesome posts – Really glad to see you’re doing even better by working smarter.

    Altug

  31. Stacey Hylen says:

    HI Michael,

    I like strategies 4 and 5. I think that readers always appreciate a good resource if it comes from a place of serving the client and helping them with a challenge and like you said helps you be able to create revenue when you don’t have a product.

    Strategy 5 I especially liked the idea of partnering with someone with another skill set which spreads the risk and speeds up the time til launch. I have made the mistake in the past of partnering up with people who all want my skill set and don’t bring enough to the table which SLOWS down the process. I am working on this one now with lots of interviews I have done and am now making products out of them.

  32. Dean Saliba says:

    I always follow your blog with great interesting Michael. I like the big banner at the top ideas and I have already implemented it. I’m going to give my blogs a serious rethink when it comes to advertising.

    I don’t think there is anything wrong with earning money by writing reviews as long as you do it right and don’t post loads in a row. 🙂

  33. Hey Michael,

    Thank you for providing this information. There are quite a few ways to start a home based business or make money online. It’s definitely not a walk in the park but it’s a heck of a lot easier than opening up a brick and mortar business. Start up cost are much lower as well.

    I’ve been working on making money via affiliate marketing by doing SEO and free traffic generation techniques.

    Thanks for the post.

    Matthew

  34. Mark Aylward says:

    Hey Michael
    Another great post and I agree with your frequency comment. Every day with anything is too much outside of eating food!

    Keep it coming

    Mark

  35. Brent Stone says:

    I have been reviewing products as a business model for a while . You are right Mike, it helps if you have used the product. It shows in your review.

    I believe that readers will connect with you and the product if you have some personal view rather than reeling of some statistics or generic benefits.

    This will in turn convert to higher sales, I know this has worked for me. I stick with what i know.

  36. Nicole Summers says:

    Great post Michael… You have a wonderful idea, I’ll have to try this one and see where this could take me… Thanks for sharing…

  37. Eunus Hosen says:

    Another awesome post Michael! Really enjoyed the post.

  38. Yes Michael some great info here. Am looking forward to reading some more.

  39. Amarpreet says:

    Great header image is a perfect method 😀

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