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Four Figure Blogging

Ben at College Startup is writing a useful series of posts on ‘How to Become a four figure blogger’.

So far he’s put together 2 parts (read them at part 1 and part 2). Here are a couple of key quotes from the series so far with a few of my own comments on each:

“If you have any hope of earning $1,000 a year from your blog you’re going to need traffic. You don’t need much, I am on track to earn over $1,000 a year and I am averaging well below 500 unique visits a day.”

This is stating the obvious but is a key point. Traffic is essential if you want to develop a blog that makes money (unless you’re going to get into some click fraud scheme). A blog doesn’t just make money – it needs people viewing it, interacting with it and participating in it. As traffic grows the potential it has to earn an income also rises.

“People don’t want to click on advertisements in your sidebar. Strategically placing affiliate links within posts gets a much better conversion rate. I’m not the only person who has discovered this – any professional blogger will tell you the same thing. People are much more likely to click on a link within a post than they are to click an obvious advertisement on your sidebar.”

Ben is talking about ‘affiliate programs’ here and not ‘advertising’. A common misconception that many new bloggers have is that once they have traffic all they have to do is put affiliate program buttons in their sidebar and the money will start rolling in. While it is possible to earn some money from such an approach Ben is correct in saying that links within content to affiliate programs are much more effective than sidebars.

This technique is often referred to as ‘deep linking’ and it works best when the links in your posts are genuine, relevant, transparent and helpful to your readers.

I’m looking forward to the rest of Ben’s four figure blogging series.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. brem says:

    Well, I’m glad to know I have the potential to be a 4 figure blogger… heheheh

    However, since my niche is “no niche”, then you can subtract one zero. If all goes well next year I could be a 3 figure blogger… whoo hoo! I don’t expect to do any better from a strictly personal blog about all things and nothings.

    All from AdSense and Crispads, although Crispads has been quiet these last months.

    I had tried affiliates for a while, with very little people paying attention to it, but i hadn’t put the links from within the posts…

  2. Ben says:

    Thanks for the comments (and the links), Darren :) The series was definitely inspired by the Six Figure Blogging course, which was actually my first success with affiliate marketing.

  3. Cary says:

    In my experience affiliate links within posts can be a double-edged sword. If your niche is right, and people are inclined to buy that type of product online, then affiliate links can make you some very nice money –– but there’s a downside.

    If visitors click through to an affiliate site but aren’t inclined to buy the product, you have more than likely just lost any income you could have made from that visitor had they left your site via a CPC ad instead.

    Do this over a number of visitors and the loss can really add up.

    I’ve found that you kind of have to experiment to see whether deep-links of this type help or hinder your bottom line. On some sites the affiliate income can more than off-set the loss in CPC income… on others it won’t.

  4. Cary says:

    Hey Mate, I followed the Trackback above and found that the guy had used your entire post, although he did have the decency to link back… I guess this is one of the down sides of publishing full feeds :(

  5. There’s no question that almost anyone can make $1,000 per year with a website, whether it’s a blog or static html.

  6. brem says:

    Darren: Then why does very few do?

  7. Ben says:
  8. Stuart says:

    It’s sad when people just copy and paste – rewriting something into your own words and using small quotes isn’t hard to do.

    But I guess it’s easier to bludge on others :(

  9. Darren Rowse says:

    unfortunately one of the problems with me moving to full feeds is that I’m finding more and more people doing what you guys have found above…. I’m getting good at sending cease and dissist emails though!

  10. Actually, deep linking is the act of linking directly to a specific page within another website, rather than just linking to their main page.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deep_linking

  11. row1 says:

    Being a 4 figure blogger would be the sweetest cherry!
    Looking forward to reading the rest of these, they certainly help with the motivation!

  12. Martin says:

    Then why does very few do?

    Brem – maybe because they don’t focus on a niche and/or don’t know how to monetize what they’re doing – hence why we’re all here picking Darren’s brain. :-)

    I find it very easy to make a $1,000 a year from a website/blog – break it down over 52 weeks and it’s not too hard to achieve.

    Strange, because for me the hard part is getting to $5,000 per site – once you reach that, getting to 10 is a breeze (takes half the time). It all builds on itself.

    A bit like getting 500 visitors to your site every week. Took me 6 hard months to get to that level. 3 months later I’m getting 3000 every week and not as nearly hard worked for.

  13. Jimmy says:

    hello guys ;-) thanks for telling me.

    jimmy

  14. brem says:

    I know Martin… I was at 4000 visitors a month for 3 consecutive months, and last month, I doubled to 8000.

    The web works in mysterious ways.

    So I guess I should start my niche blogs now if I have any hope of making 5k with each? :)

  15. Andy Merrett says:

    Definitely a snowball effect – getting some momentum going can be the hard part – once you reach a certain level it’s easier because people more easily find you, link to you, tell other people, which in turn increases your page rank/SERPS, which goes over again. And all the time you’re adding fresh content for more people to find.

  16. DJ Neawedde says:

    I agree, but why not have Google Ads in the sidebar get the clicks from people who will click on them. Try an dget ALL the clickage.