Secrets to Monetizing Your Niche Book 2: Advanced Business Development
For example, I thought Clarity. However, that came because I was actively answering questions on that platform. So whatever you choose to try, you have to put continuous effort into maximizing. Leveraging my social media reach across channels, including my email list, has proven to be an effective means of generating sponsorship opportunities since my of followers or views on Snapchat is what grabs the attention of an advertiser more so than using my blog or website content as an asset.
Also, ensuring that the content I create aligns with the target demographic that a potential sponsor is trying to reach. Not knowing how much to charge can make one look very amateur. Have a rate card with three tiers for potential sponsors to choose. The most effective monetization technique by far has been promoting an affiliate product with original content directly on my blog, social media or email list. By providing my readers with valuable content about said product, I educate them and I build a bond of trust and familiarity with them.
The key to this technique is consistency and deep coverage about a product so that readers become familiar with the product and search engines recognize that there is a lot of content about the product on the blog. Banner ads have been so far the least effective technique for me. Things like AdSense or Switchads do not generate any significant revenue for me. Another negative side of this technique for me is that people will click away from my blog to some other property online, potentially costing me hundreds of dollars in exchange for a few pennies.
My most effective monetization technique has been through relationship-building and letting things happen organically. And what has come my way has not necessarily been what I might have imagined or from whom I imagined it! My least effective monetization technique is perhaps more common. Also not unusually, I have learned more from the latter category. Marketing that is born online may seem largely anonymous — one online construct to another — but the human element has surely never been more important. If you can put together a team of like minds, ethics and spirits, you can succeed even outside of your greatest comfort zones.
However, I wanted to concentrate on creating quality content and build up trust. Growing followers and traffic was also important. Affiliate links have been useful, however launching a course has been my most effective monetization technique. I am passionate about teaching and training. So, just as I was moving house earlier this year, it seemed the perfect time to launch a course on Facebook Live!
I quickly improved things and grow the platform.
After I created the course and started promoting it, I was overjoyed to see the sales coming in. The fact that it had taken me so long to launch a course is a case in point. I was really encouraged by how successful it was when it launched. The lesson is, at least for me, the least effective monetization technique is just not monetizing your skills and talents.
We all have talents and skills. We just need to get off our backside and do something about it! You get to meet me live. Building the know-like-trust with a Challenge has been less effective than, say, being visible and live in groups, answering in real-time. My list is my biggest money-maker — relationships and trust trump everything else again and again. Promoting affiliate links to courses or products that my readers would find useful has been somewhat effective for me. I position a product in my blog content or in a broadcast to my mailing list as a solution to a specific problem, and it typically generates a few sales.
This is, in fact, the only way I currently monetize my blog… and I think it has been effective since I leverage existing trust I have with my audience. Several years ago, I tried buying pay per click ads and solo ads to drive traffic to sales pages. No matter how targeted I thought the traffic was, my conversion rate was always poor. One of the most effective monetization techniques I have used is to include a lead magnet within content. Some examples include creating an eBook with additional bonus content or even something as simple as a PDF version of the blog post to download and read later.
Within the content, this is a good opportunity to provide an upsell for other programs and services that you offer, and in some cases, include affiliate links. If you decide to include affiliate links, be sure they are products you have used and personally recommend. Readers get a bonus with an article they are reading. At the same time, this helps to monetize the content so that you can continue to offer it for free. My least effective monetization technique is to include too many banners from affiliate channels in the sidebar and in between the content.
Initially, I thought the more banners, the better. Not only did it not result in a lot of revenue, it made reading the blog content distracting. Imagine spending time writing a 1, word article, only to have the reader leave words in because they got distracted by the shiny object you put in front of them.
If you do plan to include any banners with your content, consider ones that coincide with the post someone is reading. This can help reduce the number of shiny objects you put in front of readers and help keep them focused on the message in the content they are reading. We drive millions of people to our blog and monetize the traffic by selling software and services as opposed to selling ad space.
Usually the margins on software are remarkably high. We sold tens of millions of dollars of software last year. So, I think bloggers hoping to monetize their blog traffic should try to figure out a way to actually sell stuff — ideally higher margin products rather than lower margin services. There should be some end-game other than just selling banner ads.
I built a personal brand quiz that anyone can take and figure out within a couple minutes what kind of personal brand they are out of the six types identified in a New York Times-based study. This generated over 15k emails in several months. Eventually I offered a course for personal branding offered to these opt-ins, filling my course to capacity. I know it sounds cheesy, but not doing anything is my worst technique.
So many times we want to create something and never get to it. Simply doing nothing is my least effective approach. The most effective monetization technique for my blog is through affiliate marketing.
What I do is write reviews on tools that I love and that have helped me. I figured that if it can help me, someone must be looking to see if it can help them too. A mistake many make is reviewing everything. One of my least effective monetization technique is selling banner ads. I now focus on promoting affiliates through banners instead of selling banner ads. So far for me, the most effective monetization technique has been to focus primarily on one particular affiliate and to build an entire business around that primary affiliate. That domain name makes the purpose of the business crystal clear — you are at the site to learn about blog-building.
My other partnerships are like extras. They are nice, but Bluehost gets most of the attention and resources. This keeps the marketing message clear. All content created is in some way about building your own blog, and the other affiliates help people do that, but again, I stay primarily focused on the Bluehost funnel, and keep it my top priority. This is going to sound funny but I have to say my least effective monetization technique has been giving away so much for free!
Ours is an industry so competitive that the market is quickly becoming saturated with ROI ideas, both conventional and completely outside the box. The challenge is in finding the sweet spot between the tested and proven techniques and the unconventional but high-potential ones. When it comes to traffic monetization, event marketing through event management tools and social media has proven to be the most effective for us.
This year, however, we improved the content and were more aggressive and pervasive in social media. The result was an overwhelming 55 responses and 12 sign-ups. Although only five actually showed up and literally shared a cup of coffee with us, three signed contracts two new, one renewal right then and there. On the opposite end of the effectiveness spectrum are our shareables — blogs and articles we publish on the website — which create awareness at best. While we cannot discount the possibility that they may generate leads in the future, the fact remains that they have almost zero ROI as of this writing.
They typically get ignored or lost on the page and usually are not worth it, unless one gives them prime placement. Across several blogs, the most effective monetization technique is targeted affiliate marketing or cross-promotion marketing. This works really well especially when you have very specific content catering to a well defined audience persona. AdSense… What a waste!
My most effective monetization technique was to have a product or service apart from the blog. In itself, my blog is my lab to experiment with new ideas and as a portfolio of my knowledge and skill. In eons gone by, in a past blog, I used to try Amazon affiliate links. Given how few people visited the blog, I quickly scrapped this idea. My number one most effective monetization strategy is and has been Inbound Marketing.
This year I scaled my Inbound efforts by removing any ambiguity within my strategy. My focus had shifted and so had the content I was sharing. In 30 minutes time, you can articulate where your business is heading and why. Clarity, action and focus are the key to monetization. My number one least effective monetization strategy was building an end-to-end social media training program. While the experience was well worth it, selling the system proved to be the smartest move for me.
Derek Halpern from Social Triggers talks about that before you create a digital product, you should create a free product to see if that is a topic people are interested in. But there is no way I am going to waste my time to create a free product, before I KNOW this is something people want. So I created something I call The Pre-Free Technique, which is basically to create an opt-in for a free course before I had created it. Limited spots, sign up now. Then I created them as a VIP list, and started a new waiting list.
When people got on my email list, I asked them for their biggest struggle about the topic and in which format they wanted the free course to be presented in. In addition, I told them: And since you are a charter member, you will get access to it for a discounted price. I created the free course for them, built a targeted email list of subscribers in 3. To create the product without having validated it, and then trying to market it to my audience. The least effective monetization technique I have found is hoping others will do that work for me. I view my work online as building relationships, not generating leads.
That takes time, but it is really the only method that works to attract the big-brand clients I work with. Before they hire me as a speaker or strategist, they really have to know me and trust me. For awhile I added an option on blog posts to provide a supportive donation through Patreon — you know, maybe a buck or two a month. I think my content provides that kind of value and I gladly support the work of others in this way. But a very low number of people responded.
Becoming an influential platform has led to many sponsorship-related monetization opportunities that have become, by far, the most effective in monetization. Article-specific content upgrades more than doubled the rate at which we generate leads from our blog.
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Content Upgrades are when you create a piece of content and then offer readers a related piece of content to be emailed to them. It might be a checklist, swipe file, PDF version of the article, or something else along those lines. Another strength is that content upgrades being more specific than ebooks have allowed us to segment leads by interest more effectively. This has significantly increased the lead-to-signup conversion rate of our drip campaigns.
Every subsequent attempt at retroactive segmentation has proven frustrating. This makes upselling pre clients difficult. Gated Content refers to pieces of content that cannot be accessed without first providing your email address opening the gate. Perhaps a product-based incentive or in-dashboard scroll bar prompting feedback. Update — Dave no longer runs NinjaOutreach, but can be found at lesschurn. Although we have services and affiliate sales, having our own product that actually provides value to people and allows them to get a job done is the reason why people pay us.
I think you have to dedicate a lot of effort to promoting and showing the value of them to really get traction in that area. These ventures have a goal of increasing their brand visibility on the Internet and social media platforms. I designed my blog with the purpose of establishing thought leadership. The ideas and information are beneficial in more ways than presentation. It is a valuable component of the customer acquisition process. The blog also assists with funneling potential clients to the relevant offer. The combination of blogging and providing consulting services accelerates the sale of digital products specific to my field of knowledge.
Providing the opportunity to buy my products and allowing customers to work the programs in a do-it-yourself manner opens a venue for the clients who do not want to pay for the entire consulting program. Advertisements were initially placed with the thought that passive income would be made through blog traffic.
The expected results were not the actual outcome.
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The average pay rate of advertisements is minimal. It may seem like small earnings can add up, but the next problem usually outweighs some extra change in the account. Blogs are used to captivate and hold the attention of the audience; this is not an easy accomplishment. Advertisements are created to cause a distraction, thus putting them on your blog translates to an interference of your business presence.
Blog ads make a site appear unprofessional, and internally the ads are often taking money out of your pocket long before they ever pay back. My blog originally started out to increase exposure and to help with landing consulting and speaking engagements. Having a blog and a podcast that ties into that blog has helped land me opportunities working with companies like Social Media Examiner and speaking at their events.
That has led to increased opportunities to create my own products and partner with influencers in similar markets. The least effective monetization techniques have been affiliate links. However, with increased exposure that is starting to rise. The most effective blog monetization technique is obviously launching an info-product. Because think about it — people come to your blog because they crave knowledge — and thus the best thing you can sell them is more or deeper knowledge on the topic that is of interest to them. But even with millions of pageviews there are dozens of monetization strategies that will bring you much more money than banner ads.
Live video streaming revolutionized my business. It is the most powerful, authentic, and transparent way to engage directly with my audience. Lack of segmentation in my email list. Sending targeted emails to interested prospects is much more profitable. Selling my consulting services has been, by far, the most profitable monetization technique for my blog. The least effective technique for me has been AdSense. My blog just never had the overwhelming traffic volume to make PPC ads worthwhile. The tactic that works best for us — do not try too hard to make money through the blog.
Because a blog, first of all, is a platform for fresh ideas and useful information, not for pushy advertising campaigns. If users come to your blog for value, the best decision would be to give it to them. My favorite example from SEMrush blog: There was two signup forms on the blog — one was placed on the main page of the blog, the other at the end of each blog post.
It was a very successful campaign and proved that blog can become an important channel in the conversion funnel. The least effective technique is the opposite of offering value — direct sales. Links to the Prices page, blog posts about some SEO tips with links to the tools all over it. Combined together, these two factors make direct sales one of the most expensive monetization techniques. A mailing list is a database of leads you can nurture over time and form a relationship with.
Cold calling works if you make it work. Get to know your leads. Some may ask for your pricing. I combine blog posts along with my social posts to create a buzz for my travel adventures, which attracts brands that want to collaborate with me! Least effective were the two times that we paid for conference sponsorships. Even though it drove us a lot of in-person and online visits, we had to spend a lot of time repeating the same bits about what we do and qualifying clients.
In essence, we had to give out free consulting. There you have it. Over 50 pieces of advice and anecdotes from some of the best and brightest blogging minds on the planet. To help with your takeaways, we wanted to review some of the key points that were mentioned, and do a little analysis on the resulting answers.
Now, as we mentioned earlier, these experts represent a wide array of bloggers and online businesses, all of them with their own goals and models. Most of the experts cited Products , Email Marketing or Courses as their most effective technique for monetization. He said that he pre-launched his course by inviting interested people to subscribe, surveyed them, then built both a free course as promised and a more advanced course that was fee-based.
Combine multiple techniques and approaches to create revenue streams that are lucrative and sustainable. I did find the recurring theme of Lack of Focus particularly interesting. Businesses and bloggers have to be focused. The same is true with your monetization strategy. I hope that these suggestions from an incredibly diverse and successful group of marketers, business owners and content creators will help you achieve the kind of focus and improved monetization you deserve.
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Boost Your Income: 52 Influencers Reveal Their Best and Worst Monetization Secrets
AdSense has never been fantastic for me, but there have been far worse techniques. David Amerland of http: Jessica Ann of http: Sarah Arrow of http: Ryan Biddulph of https: This book should appeal to both managers and employees alike in making business plans and the need for speed in plan chalking. This book promotes the necessity of the focus on one thing at a time and opposes the multi-tasking approach.
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Buy the Book from Amazon. Given the volatility of the online marketplace, innovation and creativity extend out of traditional brick-and-mortar businesses to the online ventures. Innovation, creativity and finding your unique voice has become so much essential for online startups, just as much as it is important for any Fortune corporation.
A specialist in digital media marketing, author Jay Samit has to offer a lot of insider tips and tricks to make the most of your unique voice and flourish at both a startup and individual level. Learn more about how personal transformation could help you and your online venture reap entrepreneurial benefits in this must-read book before you start your own online business. Turning ideas into businesses or streams of income effortlessly is what author Chris Guillebeau is capable of.
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One of the oldest books in this list, it is definitely a goldie to cherish for a long time to come! The time-tested advice in this book has been said to help now-famous people climb up the ladder of success. It is what you think about it. An idea in itself is nothing powerful. Only when these ideas are acted upon, they start to make sense and reap yourself entrepreneurial benefits. This process of getting from the ideation phase to actual reality is something that many entrepreneurs fear of. Coming straight from the founder and CEO of Behance, there is a lot of inputs to take away from this amazing book.
While coming up with new ideas is a great way to get started with a business, it is more in making your ideas happen that matters at the end of the day.