Getting started with Making Money from Blog – Revenue Channels (Part-1)

It is important to note here that initially (Say for example first 6 months or whatever time it takes to build a sizable number of visitors towards the blog) the first priority of you as a new blogger should be to focus on building traffic rather than experimenting with different Ads and other revenue options. It is important because the time one will waste initially on experimenting with Monetizing Strategies can be used in blog promoting activities like surfing other blogs and writing “Excellent” posts etc. This is like a farmer sowing seeds, watering, caring and doing other activities for his crop before harvesting it, same way monetizing or making money from your blog should be the last activity for any blogger. So if you have not build a sizeable traffic still, then first, please read my earlier posts on building traffic guidelines.

Once you have established a decent level of traffic, you can proceed to decide on how you will derive revenue from your site. Depending on how your blog is oriented and positioned, you may be able to use one or more methods of revenue generation. Whichever method you choose, remember that your monetization strategy is about developing multiple revenue streams and sources of income. This will protect you from the risk of any single income source drying up and leaving you with no backup plan.

ADVERTISING

Advertising revenue can itself be categorized into multiple revenue streams and channels. The difficulty then is not in deciding whether advertising will work but on deciding which advertising channels are best suited to your blog. This is largely a trial and error method and you need to keep refining your channel mix to get the maximum possible revenue out of your site. (Note: Some of the advertising networks mentioned below may require you to have your own domain name andor may require you to have a minimum number of visitors or page views per month).

CONTEXTUAL AND DISPLAY ADVERTISING
Contextual advertising enables advertisers to display advertisements that closely match with the text of the content on your Web site or blog. The most famous of these is Google’s AdSense program. You can see Adsense ads on virtually every blog out there (including this one), why? well the reasons are many like it is a Google service (and don’t read if you are thinking Google who???), easy to handle, availability of wide range of Ad formats (Text, image, video and you-guess-what format), high paying eCPM and CPC. I will not delve deeper into setting up Adsense right now. This will be covered in depth later on.

Finally do not blame me if you are not getting what you expected from Adsense as success is not guaranteed and it is advisable to experiment other ad networks also to determine which one works best for you. In my own experience Google guys are very “Miserly” when it comes to giving money per Ad click especially for technology niche. Some of the other contextual advertising ad networks are:

Clicksor (http://www.clicksor.com)
Adsonar (http://quigo.com)

Contextual advertising is useful when your blog is primarily an information only blog. If you are promoting a specific product or a range of products, you will need to be careful with contextual advertising as there might be links to competitor advertisements. This may be detrimental to sales of your own products. Some of the ad networks like AdSense will also allow you give you some amount of control in blocking out competitor ads.

DISPLAY ADVERTISING
Display advertising is the grand old dame of internet advertising. Banner ads, buttons, and animated graphics are the some of the type of ads which were more prevalent in the old days. While contextual advertising yields better revenue, display advertising should be a serious consideration if your contextual ads are not performing. Besides Adsense some of the better known display advertisers are:
AdBrite (www.adbrite.com)
LinkShare (http://linkshare.com)
Commision Junction (http://cj.com)

Some of these networks may also offer interstitial ads—the type that floats in from the side. This type of ad is unpopular, especially with blog visitors due to the high level of irritation caused by having an ad rudely thrust in your face without any warning. Interstitials may also have a negative impact on your site traffic. However nothing is a final word in blogging realm and you may experiment with this format if you feel that this maybe something that will be acceptable to your audience and will also bring you revenue. Currently, there is a minor renaissance in display advertising as animated and video ads are becoming increasingly common.

The one big difference between contextual ads and display ads is the payment mode. In contextual ads the usual payment is on the basis of clicks. That is, advertising revenue is calculated based on each visitor who clicks on the advertisement links and is usually referred to as CPC—cost per click. In contrast, display advertising is usually based on CPM—cost per thousand impressions (M is the Roman numeral for thousand). That is, advertisers will pay on the basis of number of visitors to your site measured in multiples of thousands. Thus if the advertiser is willing to pay $10 CPM and your monthly traffic is about 10,000 visitors your revenue from display advertising would be $100

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