Once you’ve put some thought into monetization and what you’re looking for, it’s time to consider the tools you’d like to use for monetization.
Here are eight options for monetizing a creative blog. These options can be used one off or collectively.
Pay Per Click or CPM Ads. Easily the simplest and most common form of monetization is pay per click/CPM advertising through an ad network. Though it’s easy to set up unless you have really high traffic, it can take a while for these to pay out.
Many bloggers start with Google AdSense, Technorati, Yahoo Publisher or AdBrite, but you can be even more specific with groups like Clever Girls Collective or Rivit. When considering which ad networks to affiliate with, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Try a couple of different networks.
You can expect to make around $2-5 per 1000 page views, although in this economy some networks pay far less.
Direct Ad Sales. The most successful ad placement is often direct advertising. With targeted advertising you can approach companies specific to your niche, who may be willing to pay more to reach your specific audience.
With direct ad sales, you can often target your ads well enough that traffic is not really an issue.
Sponsored posts. Sponsored posts can be some of the most lucrative (the sky’s the limit on payment), but they can also be the most annoying to your readers if they don’t mesh well with your regular content.
Consulting. Depending on your expertise, you may be able to sell consulting services. For instance, if you’re a home decor expert, you could offer design consultation services on your blog for an hourly fee.
This takes very little work to setup to implement this income stream beyond creating a page and outlining your services, getting a standard contract, and taking payment.
Affiliate marketing. One of the most common methods of monetization is affiliate sales.
Amazon.com is probably the most common affiliate program utilized by bloggers. The commission is low compared to many affiliate programs, but many readers are already buyers – and easier sell if your a promoting relevant products.
Though Amazon is a great option, you’re more likely to find merchants who pay better if you go with a smaller company that is a better fit for your niche. You can try searching for a company that fits you at an affiliate source organization like Revenue Curve. Want to go even more specific? Be even more specific about finding companies in your niche like Silhouette and Lifestyle Crafts.
One of the best things about affiliate links is that it is easy to incorporate them into quality content and reviews.
Membership. You’re offering your content for free. Consider allowing your readers to subscribe to a more premium service for a minimal fee. With auto-deductions, this becomes a steady stream of income.
For instance, if you offer printables on your site, consider offering the best of the crop each month to your premium readers only.
Sell Packaged Content. If you’ve got great content, consider packaging and selling it. Offer infoproducts like videos, DVDs, audio CDs, and printed books on demand.
This takes significant work and it requires great content, but it can be a heavy income stream that lasts over a long period of time.
Sell Your Blog. Hopefully, you’ve already thought what your “willing to sell for.” It may seem a little far fetched, but blogs are bought and sold everyday. Wondering what a realistic price tag is? Consider 15-20 times your monthly income as a good starting point for negotiations.
What options have you tried on your blog? What has worked out best?
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