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3 Money-Making Magazine Strategies for Blogging Success

magazines.pngIn this post Rodricus Kirby shares some strategies of making money blogging by looking at strategies used in the Magazine world.

Magazines have been a medium to contend with for years because of their influence over readers, large subscription bases, and their power to generate big advertising dollars. By maximizing these 3 advertising strategies you’ll begin the profitable transformation of weblog into web property;

Seek Featured Advertisers

Strategy: Think of it as a “one advertiser to rule them all” type of deal. A featured advertiser should be one main company or brand that can get their message across effectively through every opportunity available on your site. This includes; a written featured article about the company, its products and services, a 1-on-1 interview to coincide with the article, a product or service review, and banner ads across high traffic areas of your site. Essentially you’ll come out from behind the desk as a blogger and into the arena of journalism and entrepreneurship. It’ll take some work, a little networking, and some sales tactics, but once you land that first account it’s all money from there.

Why is it a win for you? – You’re able to charge a premium advertising fee depending on your site’s traffic, your online social status, and how much targeted content you can generate for the advertiser.

Why is it a win for the advertiser? – It’s simple, less competition for your readers’ attention on your site = more traffic and profitability for them.

Note: Create different advertising packages with different price points. Depending on what the advertiser spends will depend on how much, “content coverage,” he or she receives. (Don’t go overboard with the pricing, if you’re a new blogger then you probably haven’t built up a large enough audience to entice big dollars from a major advertiser. Be strategic!)

Tools: When you write the featured article, use tools such as twitter search (real-time conversations) and yelp.com (community reviews) to find out what others are saying (only the good comments) about your featured advertiser. Also, try out Blogtalkradio.com (internet radio show hosting) for conducting your interviews, and possibly shooting video for the product or service review. The more dynamic the content the more engaged your readers will be which = an epic win for your advertiser.

Get Sponsors for Featured Content

Strategy: When I say featured content I don’t mean your life tips or opinion piece typed articles. The post has have a certain level of marketability. Something that will resonate with readers and be a perfect fit for a sponsor. For example; “Black Enterprise’s Top 100 Entrepreneurs under 40 Sponsored by Bank of America.” Or, “50 Greatest Gadgets of all time Sponsored by Microsoft.” Get it? This featured content becomes less of an article and more of a multimedia presentation as you should incorporate video, audio, and written pieces to drive your main points of view home. It’s a more targeted piece of content than that of the first tip. Where as the latter is kind of spread around with a focus on the advertiser, here, the advertiser focuses on a particular topic.

Why is it a win for you? – When you have a Featured advertiser as mentioned above, they will take up all the attention of your readers. However, having sponsors for your featured content easily allows you to sign as many advertisers as you would like since they’ll be attached to specific pieces of content on your blog. Say it with me together kids, “M-O-N-E-Y!”

Why is it a win for the advertiser/sponsor? – The first thing sponsoring featured content does is; it gets the advertiser closer to their target market. Trust me; Pepsi’s not going to sponsor a list of the “50 Greatest Kool-Aid Flavors of All Time.” The second thing it does is; it positions the advertiser’s brand as a participant in their market. It shows market engagement and a form of connection to who they want to buy their products or services.

Note: Brainstorm and come up with lists or featured stories that would resonate within your blog community. Select a few companies (online or off) who target the same kind of market, put together sponsorship proposals, and be persistent in pursing them. It might also be a good idea to partner with different bloggers and come together for a huge collaborative feature and seek sponsors together. The greater the “market basket” for a potential sponsor, the easier it is to seal the deal for the sponsor seeker.

Create a classified Ads Section

Strategy: Every magazine I flipped through had a classifieds section toward the back of their books. It listed every company under the sun that offered just about every kind of opportunity, service, or product. No doubt, this was the last line of offense for generating revenue for a magazine. Why can’t it work for bloggers as well if it’s done in a tasteful way?

Note: Keep your ads specific towards a certain market and you’ll attract more relevant advertisers. That means if you’re running a Christian blog then there shouldn’t be any Viagra ads on your site. Consider having a “free” classifieds section and run ad sense or other affiliate ads of your own for “traffic generating money.” Also, as mentioned above, you might pool your resources with other bloggers and split the costs, workload, and revenue of this marketing technique.

These are just a few examples that magazines give us as bloggers on effective advertising for our blogs. While ad sense, affiliate links, and text links are great ways to generate income, these techniques will take your blog to new heights. I would love to hear your feedback on this topic in the comments below.

Rodricus Kirby is an author, success coach, and consultant. He is also the editor-in-chief of The Success Center, the #1 online destination for Christian entrepreneurs to become inspired, empowered, and equipped for success.

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. That was a nice post.

    Maybe add in linking as well, which I think is also another great way to earn some money.

  2. Thanks..
    It will be helpful for me.

  3. Debo Hobo says:

    I have a Blog Roll Banner Page that is pretty much a free advertising for other bloggers. I do need to focus my strategy and tactics to better emulate the paper magazine. Classifieds is a great idea.

  4. S.K SHARMA says:

    Absolutely correct.Because Magazines were the main source of information but now the days are gone.Internet broken this bridge and make its own bridge to stick with readers.
    Blogs and some social media sites attracted the readers.So it is right to get featured advertisers on your blog.

  5. Robomaster says:

    Very nice post! The problem I’m dealing with is that nobody knows my blog exists in the first place – if the right people read it, I’m sure they’d love it.

    So how to get the right people to look at it?

    A post I wrote up:

    http://freshtechreviews.blogspot.com/2009/07/windows-7-new-era-for-windows.html

  6. @Joshua Elliot – glad you liked the write-up, linking is a good idea especially when you tie in the possibilities with adsense profit sharing.

    @Debo Hobo – The blog roll banner page idea is pretty good to garner relationships and give back to the blogging community. I don’t think you need to emulate magazines, but you can definitely maximize their sales and marketing tactics to improve your blog.

    @S.K SHARMA – Magazines still make money are a still a targeted source of exclusive content but I think, as bloggers, we have a unique opportunity to maximize the web. To become “magazines 2.0″

    Thanks for the great comments. If you enjoyed this article check out the one that started it all – “8 Magazine Strategies that add Value to Your Blog” Find it here; http://www.rodkirby.com/2009/06/22/8-magazine-strategies-that-add-value-to-your-blog/

    Rod

  7. Hmm.. This whole idea is new to me. I’m going to have to do more research on the topic. Maybe later down the line when my blog gets more popular, I’ll try some of these suggestions.

    Thanks for the advice!

  8. The classified ads section is a great idea. Especially if you want to get a large volume of low priced ads. Thanks for the tip.

  9. Great post. Thanks for sharing with us.

    It is good to see from the magazines perspective and how they make money by selecting a sponsor, featured sponsor and classifieds.

    -Guna
    Follow me on Twitter:
    http://www.twitter.com/startupbooster

  10. These are awesome tips that I can directly apply to my site and share with my clients, thanks Rod for writing this great article and thanks Darren for sharing it!

  11. @Christina Crowe – I would consider these as more so “power tips” for making money with your blog. If you’re a fairly new blogger then look at my “8 Magazine Strategies that add Value to Your Blog” article that shows a lot of things you can do no matter what level your blog is at. Read it here: http://www.rodkirby.com/2009/06/22/8-magazine-strategies-that-add-value-to-your-blog/

    @Duane Johnson – You wouldn’t happen to be “The Rock” Duane Johnson would you? Lol. (Just kidding . . . unless you’re him for real!) Glad you like the classifieds idea, you’re right it could generate lots of “right now” type of money. You can also maximize it with Google Adsense ads too!

  12. Pedro Lopes says:

    Interesting post, not a bad idea, but i think that maybe we are pushing a little bit too much here, readers don´t actually read ads, or don´t even see them, with featured content we are pushing the ads into the articles, maybe leading to lose readers, and proportionally less money, i think that finding a balance between too intrusive or not intrusive at all advertising in this way will be very difficult.

  13. Gary Arndt says:

    Can you provide any examples of where these actually worked for a blog??

    If Craigslist killed classified ads for newspapers around the world, why would classified ads make money for a blog??? No one would pay for the tiny niche exposure of a blog when they can get a much wider exposure on Craigslist.

    The last thing you should do as a blogger is try to mimic the business model of a dying industry.

  14. @Gary Arndt – Hi, Gary, the only blog example I can give you is a Featured post I did of an author, Named Paul Wilson, Jr. For the feature I did a Blogtalkradio interview with him and he wrote an article to support his feature. I also sold his new book via Amazon affiliate links. It was a good strategy and worked out pretty good. You can view the post here: http://www.rodkirby.com/2009/07/15/inside-the-success-dream-big-with-paul-wilson-jr/

    You said, “No one would pay for the tiny niche exposure of a blog when they can get a much wider exposure on Craigslist.” If there’s one thing I’ve learned about magazine strategies is that no one pays just for the niche of the magazine, they pay to be front and center of the magazine’s readers. You don’t have to follow the classifieds strategy verbatim – you can create something totally new like a video classified. Or maybe even do a free classifieds and make money from the traffic alone. Don’t think inside the box . . . the box is only there if you allow it to be!

  15. I’ve never thought about doing a sponsored articles or sponsored content before. Thanks for the idea!

  16. @Kimmoy the Curvy Coach – Thanks, glad you enjoyed it!
    @Pedro Lopes – First and foremost, decide on how you’ll profit from your blog. Are you going to use adsense links, affiliate programs, sponsorships, featured advertisers, all the above, or select a few from the list? Once you decide your advertising strategy then you have to make sure that whatever you go with it’s still relevant in some way to your readers and overrall target audience. As long as your content is grade a content, your advertising is relevant, you really can’t go wrong.

    If you choose to having sponsored featured content, keep it relative to your market, go after sponsors that identifies with your readers, and don’t be quiet about it. In other words, make it plain and in sight that your featured content is sponsored by company A, B, or C. Your readers might be fans of that company’s brand already and this will help to connect the 2 pieces of the puzzle even more.

  17. @Nicholas Z. Cardot – You’re welcome Nicholas! The idea is to think outside the box when it comes to making money from your blog. It doesn’t just have to be about affiliate links or adsense all the time. The opportunities are endless!

  18. Dean Saliba says:

    Very good article.

    I’ve thought about using classified ads on my blog but I doubt that enough people would use it to warrant the expense.

  19. @Robomaster – To get people to look at your blog in the first place, you really kind of have to back up and get people to notice YOU first. Brand yourself and grow everything around you! Secure you own domain name, maximize social networking websites like twitter, facebook, and linkedin. Link your blog posts to each site, optimize your blog to share on these networks, network, network, network! These are some of the basic things you can do to get yourself noticed. By doing this people will automatically want to know more about you – thus they’ll have to visit your blog at some point. And when they do . . . you’ll be ready with awesome content!

    @Dean Saliba – You won’t know if people will use a classifieds section on your site or not until you try it out. Darren talks a lot about testing out different blogging strategies when it comes to making money. So try it . . . what do you have to lose?

  20. KellieS says:

    Hey, great insight for beginning bloggers (like me). Just one thing I noticed that seemed odd. Why wouldn’t you put a viagra ad on a Christian website? Don’t Christians have sex, too? =)

  21. tillerman says:

    “If you’re running a Christian blog then there shouldn’t be any Viagra ads on your site.”

    I don’t understand.

    Why not? Don’t Christians ever get erectile dysfunction? If not, then that’s a great selling point for their religion that I haven’t heard before.

    Of if those Christian chappies occasionally need a bit of help in the erection department, don’t they believe that sildenafil citrate is a gift from God? If not, why not?

    Or are you saying that God doesn’t want us to make babies?

  22. Steve says:

    I like the classified advertising ideal a lot. You job board is very popular and I like how you promote it on Twitter and on the blog from time to time.

  23. Ben Goulding says:

    Thanks for posting. Classified ads is a great idea!

  24. Very informative post. Gives me a lot of new ideas to monetize my blog. Thanks.

  25. Interesting post. I’ll have to see which of these methods best suits my blog.

  26. @kellieS and @Tillerman – the main idea is that you don’t want to put up adds that your readers may find offensive. Don’t just put up an ad because you’re being paid to do so. Stay relative, true to what you believe, and above all else, make sure it’s an ad that your readers won’t mind looking at.

    @All – thanks for your feedback and I’m glad you enjoyed the ideas presented in this article. I’ve been hanging out here in the comments section just about all day. Glad I had a chance to answer a few questions. I write articles like this and others that are designed to inspire, empower, and equip you for success at my blog-a-zine, The Success Center. Stop by sometime and say hello. http://www.rodkirby.com

  27. 5×2 125×125 block, hardcore.

  28. Annmarie says:

    These are some great ideas. I really like the thought of sponsored content….

  29. Very interesting post. I was going to pretty much stay from advertising and instead concentrate on affiliate marketing and eventually selling my own product on my blog. However, I think advertising can still be a good way to bring in a bit of extra cash, even though I hope to stay away from PPC. With that, the middle man seems to make all the money unfortunately.

    Thanks for the write up.

    Gordie

  30. rob,BtG says:

    i’m with you on the “sponsorship” idea, but classified ads will likely to hard to monetize for most bloggers due to the class. ad biz is dead at all media, except Craigslist. but, it’s worth a try, even though the magazine biz is dying (how many shut down already this year??? )

  31. Starwrite says:

    Hay, this really interesting to my business..good post

  32. really puzzled .why i can not see my message ?

  33. There are some good ideas that can help my online business. Thanks for shearing.

  34. iWrite2Know says:

    Hi,
    We are pleased to confer upon you the “Friendship Chain” award. For more go to http://www.iwrite2know.com/2009/07/friendship-chain-award.html

    From the desk of the iW2K team

  35. Eric C says:

    I like the idea of a sponsor for featured content. not only magazines, but talk radio and television has been doing this for years.

    Writing up articles on advertisers, like affiliate marketing, still strikes me as something I wouldn’t want to put on my readers. That is something magazines and newspapers don’t do.

  36. Tech says:

    Good suggestions. Most people get fixated on one way to monetize and aren’t open to other options.

  37. Hi Darren,

    Rodricus Kirby have pointed out the right streamlines for optimizing the blog for advertisement. Great . But we are waiting for a post on the marketing tips and tricks used by the Top CEO’s of the famous Magazines, that can be follow by a common bloggers for promoting his/her blog.

    Thanks
    Rajput

  38. Joe says:

    As for as featured content is concerned someone told me that all your content is written for search engine perspective, it’s not useful for the readers at all. So, in the light of your article, it won’t be working to get sponsored by featured advertisers.

  39. Jennine says:

    wow, this is an interesting article. i have thought this about magazines for a while now, but not have had anyone actually confirm it.

    it’s interesting because there is a rise amongst bloggers who are against sponsored posts of any kind, that they wouldn’t do it because of their integrity. i’ve done a few sponsored posts, and they’ve both been very successful on my blog, and I don’t feel my integrity has been compromised, as i feel the posts benefited my readers.

    also, i wonder about the traditional media writing about sponsored blog posts, how it degrades blogger integrity, and the value of content online. do the traditional journalist know nothing about how to market and sell advertising in their own publications?
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124045072480346239.html

    how do we approach these issues? I’m really curious, because i don’t want to feel like the bad blogger for publishing sponsored posts.

  40. Tamia says:

    Great post, Rod! I’ve considered doing “sponsored” posts, but am trying to figure out how to do so without coming across as a creepy/pushy salesperson. That’s so not me.

    Thanks for being so responsive here in the comments, too.

  41. Mama Zen says:

    I’m really intrigued by the classified ads idea.

  42. J Stdy Rockn says:

    I really appreciate this article. I’m starting my own blog and this site has given me more reason to start my blog correctly. Thanks and keep up the good work!!!!!

  43. fas says:

    Ideas are good however the real truth is most bloggers have to rely on affiliate sales and CPC advertising for their bread, butter, jam and toast.

  44. JamesF says:

    @Gary Arndt I don’t think magazines/newspapers is a dying industry. Maybe being upgraded but definitely not dying. That’s what they also said about the newspaper when the radio was invented. And so did the radio when filmaking was invented, then tv and so forth. A lot of the strategies used with the newspapers were used with the later mediums. It’s just a matter of finding the right “recipe” to blend them well together.

  45. Interesting article, but just to clarify:

    “Featured Advertising” isn’t journalism but still advertising. I’ve done both straight-up reporting and what’s known as “advertorials,” aka featured advertising, for newspapers and magazines before as a freelancer. Most newspapers and magazines separate their editorial and advertising staff completely so that the latter write all advertorials, not the reporters and other traditional journalists. Otherwise there is the concern that reporters (and thus their reporting) are being influenced by the publication’s sponsors.

    Cheers,
    Marjorie

  46. Aaron says:

    I’m so excited to utilize all this great information.

  47. In my case, I was contacted by our local Good House Keeping Magazine to seek personal finance advice with their readers’ problems on money.

    I was glad that they also published the URL of my blog. That would be an added readership base given that Good House Keeping has around 300,000 readers monthly.

  48. Eric C says:

    @ Jennine, my inner french girl – Count me among the bloggers who doesn’t like affiliate marketing. I’ve worked in the newspaper industry before, and you would never see paid content put along side regular content. I’m actually a little surprised problogger treats the subject so casually, or that some blogs put out paid posts without revealing the financial connection. I think this issue will become bigger in the future.

  49. swag lamps says:

    i’ve even never thought about those strategy…hoping a chance for getting traffic just from search engine by unique content…

  50. Janus says:

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    Right now I need someone who’s willing to help me to create a blog to promote the Island as well as serving as an information center to all tourist wishing to travel to St.lucia. I have already started my website http://www.islelander.com, and now a blog I believe will provide the exposure I’m seeking. Anyone looking to take on this challenge i assure you it’s worth it. You can also refer my message to anyone who’s willing to help.. I appreciate you reading my post…email me at [email protected]