Problem: How to start monetizing your blog
There are seven or eight different types of labels used in blog monetization. How do you know where to go, when to start, and what to do?
The best way to look at blog monetization is with labels.
Do not over-monetize. Your ads should be as minimal as possible and if you’re doing quality work, refrain from using display ads. Make sure those display ads are for your own product.
The Six Levels of Blog Monetization
According to Harsh, there are many levels of blog monetization. In today’s episode, he covers, in detail, what these levels are, which level we should aim for, and where we should never be.
Level 1: Google AdSense
Using Google AdSense and other similar ad networks are considered to be in level 1. How this works is, with only a few lines of code, the ad networks takes care of ad placement within your blog. While this is recommended for any “regular” blogger, SaaS companies and SaaS blogs should stay away from it. You wouldn’t want your SaaS competitors to run their ads on your blog, after all.
Even if it delays blog monetization for a few months, it’s okay. One should not be there.
Harsh suggests using Ezoic, which uses machine learning to optimize ads based on user devices and time frames.
Level 2: Affiliate Marketing
This is a simple concept and is especially recommended for SaaS sites. Affiliate marketing involves you promoting a product on your site. When people make purchases of those products, you get a kickback or a commission from those sales.
One of the best levels, recommended for any sites including Saas blogs.
One of the best tips for affiliate marketing is to work with a program or website that fits your specific niche. This will allow for marketing that feels natural and will not be jarring or forced in the eyes of the consumers.
FDC disclosure mandates that you disclose the fact that you are getting paid through affiliate links. However, you can be witty and funny with that disclosure, depending on your niche and brand. Some examples of affiliate websites and programs include Impact.com, ShareASale, and CommissionJunction.
Consider using link locking for affiliate links. If you are using a WordPress site, Harsh suggests going to Geni.us, which is both inexpensive but is also a great way to personalize links to different platforms. Other tools Harsh suggests are tables (consider TablePress, a table plugin for WordPress.
Level 3: eBooks
There are a lot of perks to writing eBooks and posting them on your site (and on Amazon) in order to generate interest in your blog, showcase your expertise, and generate income. A great example of a business that did this well is Basecamp.
I see a lot of SaaS companies using content marketing as a way of generating leads.
Level 4: Courses
After showing off your expertise, you can expand on that knowledge and sell a course to complement your book. With a course, you can help your community as well as making some good money.
You can turn that $20 book into a $200 course.
Level 5: Mastermind Group
Mastermind groups are groups of people who pay a subscription fee to attend meetings with like-minded people. There they discuss the various intricacies of their niche and businesses.
It requires a lot of effort but it pays really well. Plus you get to hang out with the smartest people in your tribe.
Level 6: Consulting
Once you’ve found your niche and you’ve become an expert in a certain aspect of that field or market, you should consider consulting. It brings in a lot of money, is a great networking tool, and you can add a significant amount of value to you, the market, and your brand.
Consulting is something that one should definitely look at.