How I Plan to Increase My Blog Revenue

December 8, 2007 Posted by Tyler Cruz

If I’m going to meet my goal for December of making $1,200+ from my blog, I need to do more than just write content.

There are three main things I can do:

  • Write more than than just one post a day (twice per day would probably be ideal)
  • Market and advertise my blog (paid advertising, contests, buzz, etc.)
  • Increase ad prices, add more ads, diversify income sources, etc.

For now, I am going to focus on the last item.

I’m focusing very hard now on making the most from my blog, and am trying to really turn it into a viable source of income. A lot of "TylerHaters" have been questioning why I don’t work on growing my other sites for better backup income to my poker forum. Well, I’m not sure if they realize it yet, but I’m doing just exactly that with my blog. This is why I spend so much time and effort on my blog; I’m not giving up on my other sites, it’s just that my blog and monetizing it is my focus now.

I’ve actually only started to really try monetizing my blog back in July. In fact, that month I only made $98.25. In only four months, I’ve increased that to just over $1,000 - a 10x fold increase.

When reading blogs from the "big boys" who make a lot of money blogging, I found one thing in common between them all: they diversify their revenue sources. Yaro Starak (my new link partner), made a great post back in mid-October when he announced he made over $10,000 from his blog in September.

"As a broad explanation, the increase in income came from one of the key concepts I talk about in the Blog Profits Blueprint – compounding. Everything increased because the underlying metrics that drive my income – traffic and email subscribers – increased. When you have over 20 individual sources of income, if they all increase by 10% each month because your core metrics increase, you start to see some big gains overall."

Yaro Starak

Yaro is not the only person to preach the importance of a diversified revenue stream. Everton Blair, Sha MoneyMaker, and yes… even John Chow, all agree and use multiple advertising methods.

I’ve only been using three sources: private ads, Text-Link-Ads, and PayPerPost. I now plan on adding more streams to increase my revenue as well.

Anyhow, enough of the introduction. Here’s what I plan on doing to increase my blog’s revenue and to make my goal of $1,200 for the month of December. Most of these I’ve already implemented:

  • A few days ago I removed PayPerPost from my blog. It just didn’t make sense to use them anymore since they were only sending me, at best, 1 new offer a month. The rest of paid reviews were advertisers who found my blog first, not vice versa. And PPP was charging them a 10% fee, so no more PPP for me. I now sell my paid reviews completely privately, and replaced the PPP button with one of my own (courtesy of RealityHosting.ca).
  • I raised my price for paid reviews and paid plugs from $80 to $85. Then, a few hours ago, I raised it again from $85 to $90. I could justify this price increase by my higher RSS numbers, but I have a far better justification: I’ve been constantly backlogged with paid plugs and reviews for a couple weeks now. In fact, I currently have around 3-4 that I still need to do. I’m glad to see that my price for paid reviews is finally starting to come to a half-decent number for the amount of time and effort I put into writing them.
  • I’m currently in discussions with Kontera (I just spoke to the director of business development yesterday afternoon) on working with them. It may take a little while since I might be running them across my entire network of sites and forums. I’ll let you know how that progresses.
  • I updated my advertise page with up-to-date stats and prices, added a FeedBurner image of my RSS growth, and removed the demographics information since it doesn’t really pertain to most advertisers in this niche (as opposed to say poker, where many advertisers can’t accept US players).
  • I commissioned for a plugin to be made that lets my 728×90 leaderboard display in my RSS feed as well.
  • I raised the price for my leaderboard from $100 to $200 a month. This was done both because of heavy demand for the slot, and because it will be shown to my 900+ RSS readers soon as well.
  • I raised the maximum amount of slots available for the 125×125 side slots from 6 to 7. I might raise this again to 8 soon, because I currently have 5 advertisers on the waiting list for them!
  • I raised the 125×125 price from $25 to $30 because of the reason above
  • And lastly, which you’ve undoubtedly noticed already, I added a 250×250 embedded banner slot. The banner appears inside every post, on every post on the front page, and in the first four posts inside the RSS. This is the most prestigious advertising spot on my site now. And the fact that it is now seen in the RSS means that the 900+ RSS subscribers that previously never saw any banner ads will now finally see some. I started the price at $150 since it is brand new and not known how well it will perform, and was sold before I even put it up. My friend Stefan from InstantCoding.com bought it before I was even done setting it up. He, along with Lee who has been renewing my leaderboard banner, are very pleased with the results and clients they are getting from my site which is why he wanted to grab it up ASAP.
  • I installed OpenAds. It’s extremely confusing though to run, and I haven’t converted my advertising to it. But I may in the future, so that I know how many clicks I’m sending my advertisers and what ads perform best so I can adjust my prices accordingly. My main fear, however, is that all this data is stored via MySQL, and while I have daily backups made and a lot of backup measures in place, it’s that lingering fear that automating the process can really mess me up with advertisers should a severe data crash occur… as we speak I’m running around 60-70 active campaigns with 50-60 advertisers across my network of sites.

In the end however, if I ever want to reach numbers like $10,000 or $20,000 a month from my blog, I need to do more than simply increase ad prices. I’ll have to grow my site traffic and RSS readership, and I’ll have to do that through marketing and promotion. But for now, I’m working on maximizing my eCPM (which is currently at $50 eCPM) and getting all my monetizing efforts in order.

So far though, things are going well. All of my 9 available slots are sold out, I have 10 advertisers on the waiting list, and am backlogged with 3-4 paid reviews and paid posts…

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Posted: December 8th, 2007 under Blog Related  

44 Responses to “How I Plan to Increase My Blog Revenue”

  1. Jean Costa says:

    I think you made some great valid points, and I am looking forward to seeing the results.

  2. I don’t hate you, I was just asking why you don’t work harder

  3. free mp3 says:

    I’m impacient to see the results

  4. ArahMan7 says:

    Wow, that’s an impressive figure. Congratulations.

    Gotta read more of your posts if I’m to follow your footsteps.

    Greetings and lotta loves from Malaysia.

  5. Gyutae Park says:

    Nice plan. I think this blog has a lot of untapped potential in terms of monetization.

    About your fears regarding a MySQL data crash, I really wouldn’t worry about anything like this. WordPress uses MySQL in a similar way – why don’t you have fears about this? Just make sure you back up frequently and you should be able to sleep in peace.

    • Matt L. says:

      Yes, Tyler. WordPress and vBulletin use MySQL to store data. You use those already.

      Don’t fear automation. It is a great convenience and can save you a lot of time. Open source programs are really quite reliable with all the contributions to them from developers like myself.

  6. Jack says:

    Hey Brother,

    Glad to hear about your continued success! Looking forward to that earnings report in early January! Might even grab an adspace for myself!

  7. stumps256 says:

    You should consider affiliate commissions. You can make a fortune with ‘em, if you do it right.

  8. I think you need to set a new goal for December because you should make way more than $1200 this month.

    • Dan says:

      See, the issue is the first 2.5-3 weeks are good in December but the last week between christmas and new years sucks. I’m gonna be sad when that week hits.

    • Tyler Cruz says:

      I think my $1,200 goal is still a very good target. As things look right now, I’ll need several more paid reviews/paid plugs or _something_ if I want to meet it.. it will be close if anything – don’t be surprised if I fall short!

  9. Aaron says:

    It’s amazing how things develop. I remember coming to this blog when it was still hosted on Blogger.com and now you’re making good money from it.

  10. It’s really a good idea to take advantage of your blog improvements. If you have a very large RSS-reader number, or your traffic is just really high, do the same with your advertising rates! Well, not that high. :)

    Overall, that was a really nice move to increase your rates and diversify your sources of income. I am trying to do the same with mine.

  11. Daniel says:

    $50 eCPM? Dang.

    I do think the ads in each post are a bit intrusive. :/

    • Dan says:

      I agree completely; they’re obnoxious. This site now has so many ads. Get rid of that box and go with kontera or something.

    • Tyler Cruz says:

      I’ll be the first to agree that the site is getting a bit ad heavy now, and it could get ‘worse’ if I add Kontera. But I can almost promise you that after that, you wouldn’t see any other ads other than perhaps a few more on the sidebars.

      My blog had almost no ads on it a few months ago, and the recent influx of ads is definitely noticable.. but I think that eventually, readers will get used to them.

      There are very few, if any, big “make money online” blogs (I’m not saying I’m a big blog, heh) that don’t have a lot of ads…

      • Daniel says:

        Actually, all of the big “make money online” blogs that I read have what I would consider few, or a reasonable amount, of ads. Shoemoney, Problogger.net, and John Chow all have ads, but not an excessive amount – and none of them have ads integrated into the actual posts.

  12. Doron K says:

    Hello! I have created a poll to find out “The Best Website to Learn Money Making on the Internet”. You have qualified for the poll. Go to http://www.doronkutash.com to vote. Make sure your viewers vote as well. Can’t wait to see who comes out on top!

  13. Devon says:

    Look forward to more updates.

    Any chance you might start posting more about poker again?

    I really enjoyed the entries you did about how you did playing poker live in a casino. Updates on how you do on online poker would be awesome as well.

    • Tyler Cruz says:

      I’ve definitely considered it.. and would love to, in fact. I have a lot of poker contacts/advertisers and poker pays out scary amounts… the issue at hand is that poker takes a fair bit of time to play.. at least if you want to grind it out and profit from it.

      I may in the future though. I’m also actually taking a break from poker for a bit since I lost $2,500 in one day not too long ago.. ;)

      • I too would love to see some more of those poker posts you used to do in the past. They were a great read.

        I also miss those updates and guides about how your other webs were doing and improving etc. Do you plan any more of those?

  14. It sounds like you are pretty backed up with things to do. Keep up the good work. Tyler Haters? Who are they? People that make less money that you? I guess they’ll just jave to get over it.

    • A says:

      As far as I can make out, “TylerHaters” are people who point out that he’s plastering his site with ads and doesn’t post much in the way of useful content.

  15. Mike Huang says:

    Don’t worry Tyler, you’ll reach your goal. You’re not a giver-upper :)

    -Mike

    • fumbler says:

      as if two spammy comments above weren’t bad enough that you had to post another one. we get it already!

      when i get enough of this, it drives me away rather then to your website. that is, if you aren’t just a spam bot that keeps leaving “comments”

  16. Ethan Christ says:

    Looks to me like you’ve got your work cut out for you. I honestly hope you make your goal. I’ll be checking back to see just how well you did.

  17. Lets hope you achieve your goal tyler!

    Seems you’ve got some hard work and dedication to get to where you want to be (likewise with myself and my blog). However, its a realistic aim in which…once you achieve you can only build on :)

    Good Luck

  18. DotDriven says:

    Congrats on the record. You should set the goals even higher to make you actually reach for them ;). Maybe even make a game for yourself since you do so well with the work week ones. Like if you set it to $2k for the month and you don’t make that you will pay out $50 each to your top 5 comment posters or something (with spammers cleared out). Would help get even more readers posting and help get you at your weakness and MAKE you do it lol ;).

    At first I was going to say something about the price increase on review post…I mean you’re now pretty much 1/4th the cost of a chow review but odds are his review would give more than 4 times the results. But then again, after thinking about it, of any paid reviews I have read yours are ALWAYS top notch. You go way beyond the basic review and really spend time and are fair whether positive or negative. They may not bring the kind of attention a chow review might (yet) but if the buyer really wants to get an honest review while getting some exposure then your reviews are a steal!

    And I agree with Devon. Keep the hobby type post as well. I loved all the poker related post and it helps relate to you, as a blogger, more. Sure there are people that will complain and always want you to stay on topic but they will whine about anything ;). Keep it personal, fun and share yourself while you share your tips.

  19. DotDriven says:

    PS meant to add that I’m not a fan of the paid plugs…gives the “spammers” and easy way out without an honest review and the writing isn’t usually up to par with your own post.

  20. uncle sha says:

    thanks for the mention of shamoneymaker.com :)

    yeah don’t put all your eggs in one basket

    been a reader of your blog for the longest time

  21. simon says:

    some pretty interesting ideas, i dont yet have that power to do on my blog…

  22. bloggernoob says:

    it seems like you’re working harder on this blog. i think you’ll be able to hit your goal

  23. Nick says:

    Looks like you’re putting a lot of effort into the blog Ty, and raising you prices was a good way to go. Maybe you should raise them again next month (just a little).

    Be good to see where you get to by the end of the year and end of January.

  24. [...] How I Plan to Increase My Blog Revenue If I’m going to meet my goal for December of making $1,200+ from my blog, I need to do more than just write content. There are three main things I can do: Write more than than just one post a day (twice per day would probably be ideal) Market and advertise my blog (paid advertising, contests, buzz, […] [...]

  25. Chris M says:

    Tyler.. do you know any good affiliate system, which do not operate strictly on PayPal?

  26. Perhaps you could try reviewing products for affiliate marketing purposes?

  27. Well it’s good to have a plan. Even better when you letter people comment on it.
    ~ Dave

  28. [...] ·         How I Plan to Increase My Blog Revenue [...]

  29. Have you tried Sponsored reviews? They have a marketplace where you can find advertisers for your blog

PeerFly

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