Finding unique ways to monetize a blog does not just happen as if by magic. Running a successful web site or blog is no easy or straightforward task either. Firstly define online success, what does it mean to you?

For some success with their web site is measured in the level of traffic the site receives. Traffic metrics like daily uniques, time on page, page views and bounce rate all convey a feeling of accomplishment. Your blog is active and busy and people keep returning so that’s a good thing right?

Of course your website maybe busy but perhaps to make it so it occupies all your precious free time. Leaving less resources for family, vacation and looking after the real world. Another factor is whether your blog is a hobbyist venture or whether it actually brings home the bacon and pays the bills.

5 Unique Ways to Monetize a Blog

Finding unique ways to monetize a blog does not just happen as if by magic

If the latter then your website is actually your business. Its’ importance and value magnified a hundredfold. For many running a web site that actually generates an income is a dream. Note we are not talking about get rich quick style sites here. Rather long term, carefully crafted sites that have been lovingly nurtured over many years.

A great example of this kind of self made blog is YTravelblog, which is a successful travel blog run Caz and Craig Makepeace, a married couple from the Central Coast of Australia. They put a lot of time into building their blog and while we haven’t seen their financials their site gets a lot of attention, has a sound reputation and presumably a decent income.

5 Unique Ways to Monetize a Blog

Of course this kind of traction does not just happen overnight. Some of the issues facing a blog owner determined to be a success are listed below. Far from exhaustive but should give you an idea of the workload heading your way. This is before you even get to write anything.

  • Choosing a topic or niche
  • Setting up web hosting and domain
  • Deciding on a platform, eg WordPress
  • Purchasing a theme ( or designing one )
  • Configuration of hosting and site
  • Social media account setup
  • Offline media and branding
  • Content writing and planning
  • Email and Legal

So you are spending money before you even write a post. You can cut a few corners here and there of course but if you are serious about long term success there are not that many to cut. Many of us start producing a blog while holding down a regular job. That makes sense after all it takes a lot of time and traffic to generate regular repeat income from your pages.

Build a Successful Blog Faster?

There are always those that try and speed things up. Granted once you have written your first 5-10 great articles it is only natural to start checking the traffic. This is where so many get disheartened. No one comes to read your pages, your page views are stuck on zero, not good. Temptation can strike and for many it does. Here are a few things that will guarantee failure for sure.

  • Copying another site
  • Using a content automator to create hundreds of junk pages
  • Using low rent SEO firms to purchase hundreds of spammy backlinks

You see, search engines like Google have a lot of traffic to give away but this is 2016, not 2001. In today’s world authority is king and quality over quantity is where you should be aiming high. A couple of those nefarious ideas might work, for a very short time.

There is a good chance that your hard work will go up in smoke just a few short months down the line as your site gets deindexed or heavily penalized by the search engines that you depend on for traffic and income.

Slow and Methodical Growth

Build a site properly and it will last a generation. So if we are not trying to game the system how can we make a blog worth the time and investment. Passion for a topic can only go so far if the bank account is empty. Here are a few ideas to try and improve revenues over time.

Adsense Alternatives

If you don’t know what Adsense is then where have you been? Adsense allows you to earn from CPC and CPM ads from Google. You can place three ads per page and don’t click on them. (update you can now place more than 3 Adsense ads per page.) However Adsense can only take you so far. Generally you need a lot of traffic to push past 3 figures a day. The best way to monetize a blog, particularly while its new is to blend monetization methods elegantly. Try adding a few of these additional networks to the site. They are all unique ways to monetize a blog.


media.net_

Media.net

This network syndicates Yahoo! and Bing ads. Poor old Yahoo! has taken a bit of a beating in the last five years. Yahoo! used to be a traffic arbitrageurs playground but this space has contracted. Instead Yahoo! now offers a tidy little network to site owners via it’s intermediaries. Just like with Adsense these ads are JavaScript tags but they pay on a RPM basis.

On some sites with certain demographics, Media.net ads can actually equal or surpass Adsense earnings. This is particularly true of high traffic sites that have a user base with less propensity to click ads. Volume is more of a factor than actual clicks when compiling ongoing earnings.

Another factor is that web users are very familiar with Adsense and may not click as much on certain types of site, this is banner blindness. How bad it is will depend on your niche. The Media.net ad blocks are customised to fit the style and design of your web site. This means that they do not look so much like ads and users interact more.

Overall Media.net is a very good addition to any publishers earning portfolio. It is also a very passive form of revenue requiring very little work once ads have been implemented onto your web site pages.

At DesignBump we recommend that all site owners try Media.net in addition to; or instead of Adsense. You might be happily surprised with the revenue and performance. Sign up for a Media.net account here.


connexity

Connexity

Connexity provides shopping feeds and tags. Adding CPC shopping ads on your blog are a great idea if your article content is highly commercial; product reviews, price comparison and so forth. Chances are if your visitors are not clicking on Google Adsense or ADX they will be clicking on here. Shopping offers on a cost per click basis are certainly one of the more unique ways to monetize a blog.

The shopping feeds from Connexity carry huge shopping inventory from every imaginable product and product retailer that your blog visitors might ever need to purchase from. These kind of CPC shopping ads can laser target their reach to fit article and post content perfectly.

Thus shopping ads from Connexity offer the very best chance of generating a consumer click and more ongoing revenue for your web site. CPC ads are relatively passive, meaning you can earn while away from the site.


Click.net

Click.net

Click.net provide access to Google ADX which is kind of like a Adsense Pro display ad solution that pays mainly on a CPM basis. If you are not getting as many clicks from Google as you would like then adding a CPM ad variant is the way to go. They also provide shopping feeds and toolbars.


infolinks

Infolinks

Infolinks are a company that provide ‘intext’ style solutions to site owners. Their systems scan your article content and inject adverts at optimal places within certain paragraphs or navigation menus. A gentle word of warning, these kind of ads can be a little on the spammy side. While it is tempting to cover your web site or blog in ads this can actually be detrimental longer term. I suggest you use intext ads sparingly and think about balancing revenue with user experience.


bsa

Buysellads (BSA)

BSA is an ad marketplace where you can advertise your site and it’s available inventory directly to scores of potential media buyers. In most cases your ads can sell at premium prices that surpass the backfill networks. However advertisers come and go, therefore the revenue is not as consistent as traditional display and CPC networks.

Even if your traffic quality is A+, advertisers can and will cancel for any or no reason at all. That said the opposite is true, sometimes your inventory will gain a waiting list that can act as a ‘snowball’ for other advertisers. Hence one advertiser drops off and another picks up the space. Be prepared to test and be patient.


Final Thought

Balance is key to long term success, do not just slap ads from every network onto your site and wait for the check in the mail. Too many ads can drive visitors away and too many ads of the wrong type can be to the detriment of another network. In addition to the unique ways to monetize a blog suggested in this post experiment with CPA offers.

Often these can be placed discretely at the end of a post or in a side bar. Over the weeks and months this income source can add up also. Collectively as you build traffic these sources when used wisely should massively increase the earning potential of your web site or blog.