Warning: you might want to refill your coffee or bookmark this post!
‘Cause every Single Way I Use to Make Money Online is Here
Your site has been on for the past 12 months, you have been working very hard and you’re starting to see some interesting traffic.
But the money is not there yet… not as you thought it would be anyway…
Are you looking to make more money with your blog?
If so, I’m writing this 2 part series for you! Today, I’ll present an extensive list of all my sources of income. Next week, I’ll be sharing some of my best practices to increase my income with you. You will see that some of them are awesome while others are barely making $1 per month. The goal is to generate as many ways as possible to make income. Since most become sources of passive income after you put them in place, there is no reason why you would not try all of them! Here are all my sources of income (in no particular order):
Adsense is by far my most productive source of income. It wasn’t the case for several years but I’ve learned to understand how to make it more profitable and substantially increase my revenues with it. I’m preparing a longer post on Adsense alone because I’m convinced that this is probably your best shot at making money with your blog.
The key is to understand that you need traffic. I’ll share some math with you. Technically, most sites have a click-through-rate (CTR) hovering between 1% and 3%. This means that 1% to 3% of ads appearing get a click. In the personal finance industry, a click is worth a lot when the topic of the ads is linked to credit cards, credit in general (credit repair, credit bureaus, loans), investment and insurance. Clicks are worth a lot less if your main topics are about how to save money or on frugality. Who wants to advertise on a page where you tell people not to spend, right? On average, you can expect to make $0.50 to $1.00 per click. I know that you can make a lot more with a single click, but if you want to run the numbers to know how much you will earn with Adsense, I would stay conservative.
So here’s the calculation:
Let’s say you have 10,000 ads appear each month (which can be attained with 2 ad blocks per page and 5,000 pages viewed a month).
The number of clicks will equal 2% * 10,000 impression = 200 clicks
At an average of $0.75/click, you can expect $150 per month.
There are a lot of factors to improve the 3 components of this equation (your number of ad appearances, yourCTRand your $/click). But this is going beyond the scope of this article. You’ll have to wait to get more J.
Finance Ads is my main CPM (Cost Per Mile) ad network. Since it’s a Canadian network and I run a lot of Canadian sites, this was a perfect fit for me. If you have a Canadian site, send me an email and I’ll introduce you to the owner of this ad network. The idea behind a CPM model is quite easy: you add the code on your site and the Ad Network manages the ad content (similar to Adsense). The good news is that you are paid per appearance and not per click. Therefore, the more appearances you get, the bigger your check is!
The CPM range can vary greatly. I’ve seen the network paying as low as $1 per mile, up to $20 CPM. The CPM network can come with restrictions as well (having their banner above the fold, canceling other advertisers to have exclusivity, etc). You also need a minimum of appearances to be considered by the CPM network. I’d say that if you are under 10,000 pages viewed per month, you can forget about it! Some bigger networks will ask for 50,000+ appearances per month. But it makes sense when you think about it. If you make $7CPM and you only have 10,000 pages viewed, this only generates $70/month. This is obviously an accounting nightmare for most Advertisers!
Another classic for any blogger would be register with major affiliate program managers. They are companies gathering huge inventories of clients who want to promote their products/services. They gather them and offer you the opportunity to manage several affiliate programs under the same account. This is an awesome way to save some time but I often find that you get lost inside of them and that they are not as profitable as you thought they would be.
My favorite is still Commission Junction because I use their Mint affiliate program. There is nothing better than a product that is free and that you are getting paid for a lead. A lead is when a visitor will enter personal information on the company’s site (such as his email address or phone number). You usually get less money for a lead than a sale since the company is not making money with the lead. It only gives them the opportunity to have enough information on a potential prospect to contact him. I find leads easier to generate than sales in most cases. This is why I’m focusing on such products.
Similar to CJ, there is Flex Offer, Link Share and Azoogle Ads. They are all represent different clients and operate different platforms. In the end, most of their affiliate programs are linked to big companies. The best performers in the finance industry are often credit cards and stock brokers.
There is also Click Bank who runs smaller affiliate programs. In fact, if you have made a product in your basement, you can submit it to Click Bank and they may offer it through their platform. You will find a lot of crap but you will also find great niche products. It’s always worth it to look around to see what is being offered. This is where I found a product for my EMT Training site.
As opposed to major affiliate program managers, private affiliate programs are operated directly with the company offering their products/services. It creates multiple accounts as you need 5 different logins for 5 different companies (as compared to having everything under CJ for example). On the other hand, I’ve been making a lot more money with private affiliate programs than with major affiliate program managers. It is maybe because they have a single offer that is pretty clear and their tools are customized to it. Therefore, it’s easier to focus and sell the right thing J. Here are a few examples of private affiliate programs:
I always have a few sales each month coming from my post on How to Use Market Samurai.
Then, twice a year, I make a few hundred bucks with Only72 offers. They have a very interesting concept of offering a package selling for $1000 at only $100. The prices are not inflated so it’s a win-win for everybody (both bloggers and clients!).
My most successful private affiliate is definitely INO since I host a lot of investment websites (and they offer free top trending stocks). It has notably originated the $463 email I sent a few months ago.
I’m trying another one as of last Monday where I was able to get a super deal on a reputed stock newsletter. You can check out the deal over at The Dividend Guy Blog.
Since the offer is custom made, you have higher chances of converting. Then again, I was able to find EMT Practice Exams products for my niche site. I’ve already sold a kit in 3 months J.
This used to be my main source of income but I’m slowing down drastically in order to preserve my site ranking. Private advertising is risky as it’s not always welcome by search engines. If you have too many of them, your site may look spammy and you might be deranked. This is why we have decided to say “adios amigos” to most of these sources of income and move towards other sources. If you still want to learn about this source, you can read my series on how to build a media kit.
When the whole Google PR Slap happened a few months ago, my partner and I decided to establish the number of links to be cut by the end of the year (some of them are long term agreements). Well in only 3 months, we have cut more links than expected for the rest of the year. I guess you can tell that the industry is not going towards this direction anymore…
I’m not going to elaborate more on this source of revenue as I certainly don’t think it’s the future for successful money making bloggers.
Since I have launched 3 eBooks with 3 different strategies with 3 completely different results, I’m a bit confused about making money with an eBook. I’m 100% sure you can make money with an eBook as tons of bloggers are doing just fine:
Pat Flynn with Green Exam Academy
Adam Baker with Sell Your Crap
On the other hand, I think it’s a lot harder to make money with an eBook than any other ways of making money online. The reason is simple; it requires multiple talents:
– Writing skills
– Understanding what your readers want (solving their problems/answering their needs)
– Patience (you can’t write a 50, 100, 150 pages eBook in a weekend)
– Marketing skills (creating the sales page, get your readers to take action, package your offer, etc).
If you compare that to Adsense where “all you need to do” is to play around the code for optimization, it’s a lot more complicate to launch an eBook!
One thing I truly enjoy about this company is that each year, we find new ways to make money! Some of them have been in existence for a long time and we just hadn’t take a look at it yet while others are completely new to us. Here’s a few projects I want to take a look at in 2012:
I was approached by Investing Channel to do a co-registration program with my investing newsletter. The goal behind co-registration is to send a promotional offer to new newsletter subscribers. In other words; after registering for my newsletter, we offer them the opportunity to register for other related services with an additional rebate. This is why we call it “co-registration”. I don’t know how well my readers will welcome such changes. Will they see it as spammy or will they be happy to benefit from a “special” rebate?
I’ve tried to promote a similar offer to my existing subscribers as previously mentioned. In a few weeks, I’ll let you know how it went. I’m not only interested in the amount of money I can make with it but also the number of unsubscriptions following my sending!
In order to qualify for such deals, you need to present some solid numbers. With an investing newsletter showing over 5,600 subscribers, I can tell you that I just hit the minimum level for some advertisers. My opening rates and clicking rates are very high and this is one of the reasons why I was able to manage some deals already. The good news is that the payout is very interesting; in most cases you get 50% commission :-D.
I have a few blogs oriented towards women and I think that I’ve should have looked at BlogHer a while ago. I actually registered my site about 2 weeks ago. I’m currently in the “review process” which takes up to 45 days they say. I just can’t wait to get my approval and try out this CPM network J. Since I have a lot of page views on these sites, I think I can make a few more hundred bucks with this addition. I’ll be able to optimize my ad placement by using Adsense code only to the place where it’s optimal and use other advertisers elsewhere.
I think that the best way to make money is to go through more private deals. When you are able to make “one-on-one” affiliate programs with companies, both sides are winners. If you really know your readership, you will actually provide higher quality to your readers, make money and the company offers special rebates will increase its customer base. How cool is that?
This is definitely something we will discuss in our 2012 meeting at the beginning of June!
Let me know if you have any questions regarding any of these sources of income for PF bloggers 😉
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