I have a simple, possibly hard headed, approach to monetization. Granted I haven’t ran a campaign personally in several years, and I know that the game has changed a lot in that time, but I don’t think that I am too far off base w/ my thought process here… (and I would love to get some feedback from any of my readers who are enjoying some success). Here are some principles that I have been putting into play with my monetization campaign on this website:
- Only work with advertisers that are contextually relevant to your websites content. For instance, if this website is geared toward web developers that work with PHP and wordpress, then my ads should be relevant to my audience.
- Only work with advertisers that you would do business with yourself. For instance, I got burned once by 1-800-Flowers, and for that reason their ads will never show up on my website. I feel like this is important because the products that you are pushing on your website are somewhat of a reflection of yourself. I have carefully built my blogs subscribers over time and I certainly don’t want to alienate them because they have a bad experience from one of the vendors on my website.
- Carefully utilize your sites real estate. I know that I am probably out of alignment with ShoeMoney’s teachings, if you notice his website, he has his ads up to the top of the page where they are in plain view of his audience. I prefer to gradually ease my audience into the idea that I am recommending products on my blog other than my own. It is for this reason that I have set my ads to run lower in my sidebar, and that they are only visible once a user scrolls down the page.
- When building my ads I ask myself, would I click on this link? Personally I do not click on ads that much, I just don’t do it. I don’t have a reason either, it’s just not in my habit to do it. A few things that turn me off about a lot of ads are the blinking animations. I feel like if your brand is strong enough, you don’t have to do that with your advertising. If you notice, none of the ads on this website are animated, they are simply logo images for companies that are already well established and reputable brands.
- Have a good balance of adsense and affiliate links on your site. Personally I don’t have adsense running on this website right now but I will soon. Of course, they will be smaller locations on the site. The thing about adsense and pay per click type ads is that the visitor only has to click on them to make you money, but with the affiliate links, your revenue is often tied to the actual purchase of goods or services.
- Don’t go overboard, one of the biggest things I see when people first start monetizing their websites is that they literally go overboard with the ads, and the content is somewhere hidden between three or four large blinking gif images.
Granted, I have only been running affiliate ads on this website for a short period of time but I have already seen some transactions take place as a result of using this philosophy. Could I make more revenue from this website through monetization by abandoning these principals, absolutely! I know that I could, but I don’t plan on ever pursuing it…
I would love to hear some feedback from online marketers that are involved in their own monetization campaigns and get their opinions.