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
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…