A little while ago I wrote this piece on starting a blog and making money, but as I didn’t want to overwhelm my readers, I just skimmed over the making money for beginners section. Starting a blog can be overwhelming at the best of times, as there is so much information available online, so I try to keep it simple.
In reality, when starting a new blog, monetizing should be the furthest thought from your mind as you need to concentrate on finding your voice, regularly posting and finding traffic.
So today I thought I’d dig a little deeper into the topics I’ve previously mentioned regarding making money from your blog.
Make Money from Blogging for Beginners
Most new bloggers are chasing the dream of earning money from their blogs from day one and make the mistake of turning towards banner ads way too soon.
What are Banner Ads?
Banner ads or display ads as they are sometimes known, are those boxes you see on websites that contain advertising messages.
Typically they are delivered through an ad server or through an Ad network such as Adsense.
And have standard sizes and that can be placed strategically on your website to gain the maximum click-throughs. The best positions for banner ads is above the fold or at the end of your post.
Now if you’ve been with me from day one, you would’ve noticed I’ve avoided display advertising networks altogether and went straight to affiliate marketing, because I can control which ads you see, and can ensure I’m only recommending products I use every day.
I’ve heard too many horror stories where people are turned off a website, because of the ads that appear which ends up distracting them from the content.
And worse still they paste these advertising cells all over their website, and people just get overwhelmed and leave.
As a website publisher, you have almost no control over what your readers are seeing when using display advertising, and you could be advertising a competitor’s product, right there on your website.
Who Should use Banner Ads?
Banner ads are perfect for websites that have plenty of traffic and are designed for the masses, rather than the personal one-on-one touch a blogger can give their readers.
However, older blogs that have been around for 5+ years can also use banner advertising effectively and take advantage of the free flowing traffic they should be receiving on their site.
Banner Ads works best for bloggers looking for passive income on their blogs and not necessarily trying to chase more money.
Who Shouldn’t use Banner Ads?
A new blogger, who is still searching for readers and is spending plenty of time building and customizing their blog.
During the early days of blogging those early readers are hard to come by so don’t lose them to a competitor in return for a few cents in advertising revenue.
Instead of using Banner Ads, use the space to promote your own articles and keep your readers hanging around.
The Future of Banner Ads
We are at a cross-road with banner advertising as more and more people begin to use ad blockers to avoid the mess that sometimes distracts them from their intended reasons for visiting a website, to learn and read.
Even Google have begun reporting ad revenues are slowing for traditional display advertising.
Final Thoughts on Banner Ads
Don’t be lazy and put up banner ads in the hope you’ll make lots of money, because you won’t. With a few cents per click, it’s hardly worth the money you’ll make, and you’ll find it’ll cost you more money to get those visitors back.
Your primary task as a blogger is to build your audience. Money is by product and will come if you successfully complete your first objective.
Tip: Avoid placing banner ads on your home page, but rather place them on your content pages, to ensure they don’t click off your website before having a look around.
Now if you want to make money from blogging as a beginner this is where you should be spending most of your time, learning about affiliate marketing.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is the process of earning a commission by promoting other people’s or companies products. You find products you like and promote them to others earning a small sales commission for each sale that you make.
Think of affiliate marketing as telling a friend about an awesome product you found, that is exactly what they were looking for. But, rather than a thank-you or a hug, you get a small finder’s fee. That’s essentially what an affiliate commission is; a finder’s fee.
So your aim as an affiliate marketer is to spend time learning about your readers and then find things they’ll be excited to find.
In my case I primarily help people to start blogs and promote a few products that I know will give bloggers the right start to blogging in this competitive arena. They are products I use every day, rather than products that will make me the most money.
This is also a reason why you hear so many people talk about blogging in a particular niche. It’s because a niche allows you to understand the primary needs of your audience without having to know them individually.
Your other option is to find specific products for people. This could be an actual be a style of blog you could develop, where you survey your audience and find things they are looking for. It’s a bit like being a personal assistant for one person, and then sharing what you’ve found for everyone else.
How Much Do You Make?
The sales commissions for Affiliate Marketing varies greatly, but you can expect at least a 25% sales commission and some digital products even return a healthy 75% from the sale. It really depends on the seller and whether they intend making future revenue from upselling other products to those customers later on.
Finding Affiliate Marketing Programs
There are a number of places where you can find affiliate marketing products to sell:-
However, sometimes people overlook the easier opportunities that are right in front of them.
For instance, if you’re a fashion blogger and find fashion pieces at local stores and you’d like to promote them in your blog. But when you check the stores website you can’t find an affiliate program to join, you could see if a cashback site might be useful to your readers.
Then you just promote your referral link and make a few extra dollars that way. Here’s one cashback site that is currently offering a $25 bounty on qualified referrals – Ebates and another in the UK that’s offering 10 pounds for a sign-up – Quidco
As you see your opportunities for promoting products aren’t limited to traditional affiliate products, but rather you have the freedom to promote anything you like.
So rather than fill up you spare blog space with banner ads, why not create your own banners ads and promote products using affiliate links.
Affiliate Marketing Tips
- Only promote products you’d use and trust
- Make sure you have a disclaimer on your website
- Don’t just promote the highest priced solution
- Find the right products for your audience
- Don’t come across too SPAMMY
If you want to learn more about affiliate marketing then check out this free video training series from Wealthy Affiliates as they are the leaders in Affiliate Marketing Training.
Final Thoughts on Affiliate Marketing
If done right, you can effectively use affilate marketing with a small audience to make money online. As a beginner blogger, you’ll have plenty to keep you busy so just choose a few products to start with that suit your niche, and try to attract people specifically for those products.
Over time, you’ll discover more products you can promote and can tailor blog posts specifically for them.
And feel free to create your own banner ads for the products you are promoting and place them statically around your website and then link them to your affiliates. However, an ad rotator might work better.
So I think that’s enough for Make Money from Blogging for Beginners – Part 1 and in Part 2 I’ll cover Email Marketing, which is big enough for it’s own blog post.
If you have any questions you’d like answering, then feel free to ask in the comments below or to reach out to me on Twitter @DIYBlogGuy