If there’s one thing I learned in four years of FWJ, it’s that if you don’t know a thing about your community’s habits, you won’t be able to monetize your blogs. For instance, most of the freelance writing community are “clickers” not “buyers”. Putting up affiliate ads for products and services doesn’t work. However, many pay per click ads work or job search tools that pay me for each sign up also do OK. Truth be told, the bulk of FWJ’s income comes from Google Adsense. That doesn’t mean Adsense is the best source of revenue for you, however.
I didn’t learn all this right away, however. It took years of trial and error. I tried to sell books, writing products, magazine subscriptions and other items of interest of writers but no one was buying. Now I use a combination of job affiliates, pay per click and text link sales.
Sell Products on Product-Oriented Blogs Only
If you’re wishing to monetize your blog, your going to have to research your demographics and your community’s habits. For instance, if you have a food blog, folks might be ok with affiliate products for cooking stuff. If you have tech blog, selling gadgets may work well in your favor. A poetry or history blog might not do so well with product sales though.
Analyze Your Traffic
Many times bloggers will start a blog and immediately put up ads only to wonder why no one is buying. Give it some time and use your stats to analyze your traffic first. After traffic is flowing, figure out where folks are coming from. Learn what they’re talking about and what their interests are. Engage them in conversation. Learn which posts get the most comments, back links and traffic. Once you know your readers’ habits, you’re ready to monetize your blog.
It Takes Time
Finally, know that it takes time for a blog to bring in income. If I use FWJ as a case in point, I earned pennies at first. After several months, I was earning between $20 and $50 per month. It took two years of steady traffic building for me to earn $100 or more each month in revenue. Now, four years later, I’m earning over $1,000 a month. Of course, much of that goes to the maintenance and content for this blog, but that’s for another post. My point is, many bloggers make the same mistake. They start a blog, throw up a few random ads, and throw in the towel a few months later when the money isn’t flowing. Taking the time to do it right makes all the difference in the world.