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13 Ways for Bloggers to Make Money with Advertising

Recently, I posted my “How bloggers make money MindMap” on Google+. I’ve had a few people ask for clarification around the Advertising section, and what all the options there mean. Here’s a summary:

1. Ad networks

These are services like AdSense and Chitika but also smaller or more local ones like NuffNang (which operates out of Australia and Asia). They can probably fit in some of the other categories as well, as they use different models to deliver their ads.

2. Cost Per Impression (CMP)

This is where you sell space for an ad and get paid based upon how many times it loads. Usually you get paid per 1000 impressions of the ad. The rate varies a lot, depending upon topic. There are lots of very low, “remnant” ad networks out there that pay you a pittance per impression, but if you have a higher value niche you can get better money. I’ve been paid up to $40 per 1000 impressions.

3. Cost Per Acquisition (CPA)

These ads pay out only when someone takes some kind of action after clicking the ad. The action might be a sale but could also be them signing up for a service, leaving an email address, etc.

4. Cost Per Click (CPC)

This is what AdSense used to be: every time someone clicked your ad, you’d get a certain amount. Now AdSense do a combination of CPC and CPM ads—they mix them in.

5. Sponsorships

This is what I do on ProBlogger. I sell ad spots on a month-by-month basis to sponsors for a fixed amount per month.

6. Text links

When you sell a text link on your site, the person buying the link is usually doing it for search engine ranking purposes. As a result, Google frowns on these and you could be risking your own search rankings by doing it. I don’t do this, as I see it as a little too risky, but some bloggers still do. Proceed with caution.

7. Pay per post

Also known as sponsored posts (advertorials), this is where you’re paid to review a product or to promote it in a post. Bloggers have varied ethical stances on this. Generally these days you are required to disclose that you’re being paid for the post.

8. Job board/classifieds

If you operate in a niche where people are buying and selling products or there are jobs that people want to advertise this can be a nice source of income. You need to be able to attract both advertisers and those they want to see the ads to make it work, though—so you need traffic and profile.

9. Newsletter advertising

This is a growing area for me. Some advertisers love to have their brand included in emails that you send to readers. We find bundling some onsite sponsorship banner ads with inclusions in our newsletter is a good way to sell space to advertisers.

Some ad networks (like AdSense) have ways of doing this but you can also sell sponsorships in your RSS feed directly. We use a WordPress plugin called RSS Footer to add an advertisement in the RSS feed of ProBlogger.

Here are a few more ideas that I should add to the mindmap…

Ad networks like Kontera offer these, and I think Chitika and a few others do, too. They are ads that appear in your posts, turning certain keywords into little ads (they usually change the color of the word and/or underline it to make it look like a link). When someone hovers over the word a little ad pops up with a description of a product that they can buy. Some bloggers find these ads convert well, but others find them intrusive.

12. Video advertising

If you publish videos, you might be interested in Youtube’s integration with AdSense, which allows you to earn money from ads that appear in your videos.

13. Image ads

Yesterday +Scott Fitzgerald alerted me to ImageSpace Media, who have a system that adds advertisements into your images. These are similar to the ads you might see in Youtube videos that pop up and that can be minimized.

There are of course other typs of ads and ads that fit into multiple categories above. What types do you use, if any?

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. Lonnie Ebel says:

    Great tips. Hope to make use of your advice! Thanks again!

  2. Laura Trevey says:

    Every time I visit Problogger, I am energized in a new direction! Thanks for this post. The newsletter advertising is definitely an area I want to pursue.

  3. Jon Simons says:

    I think you’ve covered most if not all of the main ones. There are also pop ups/unders in new windows (and also as a floating window) plus interstitials, but they get a lot more intrusive and I would say can affect, even significantly affect repeat visitor rate.

    Such aggressive (but potentially lucrative) advertising seems to be used largely on sites that don’t expect much if any repeat traffic like song lyric sites. As those sites get most of their traffic through the search engines, most visitors come once, get what they need from the site, and then are never to return. So those sites deliberately try to maximize revenue per visitor as much as they can, with no thought to that visitor ever returning.

    • I agree with you Simons. Pop ups reduce repeated visitor rate.
      i prefer to not monetize my blogs with pop up ads and floating windows.

      just make your reader happy, and they will come and again.

  4. simrankauwr says:

    The Pyramid system seemed to work earlier … But now its back to the basic manual link building that pays off in the end. Trust Google provide quality resources and you sure will grow ….

  5. Sol says:

    I’ve actually gotten offers from advertisers to advertise their products on my blog. It made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Haven’t sold any products through affiliate links, though. I must admit I haven’t posted any reviews or promoted any products, however. That’s probably the reason.

    That said, I am still a firm believer in being productive and selling your own products though. There’s kind of an… feeling of accomplishment there.

    I have never heard of newsletter advertising before. Maybe I’ll look into that. Seems like it would be a great way to connect with others.

    Lots of things to try out here!

  6. Joan says:

    Thanks for this post. I like reading the comments b/c I’m in the same boat – money comes slowly. The past 3 days I’ve had 246 page views. Now I’m tracking where these views are coming from b/c I signed up for Google Analytics. For a newbie, I didn’t think 246 page views was bad b/c I don’t spend a whole lot of time blogging….maybe 1 post a week. But really no $ coming in. I’m thinking the ads are not showing correctly from Adsense on my site, meaning, wrong in the layout of my blog. So I’m working on that part tomorrow. Plus, I’m going to try youtube out.

  7. Neil Johnson says:

    I believe that trying to heavily monetize a blog can be counter productive.
    When a visitor comes along to read your story, that is exactly what they are doing, reading a story.
    I feel that the fundamental reason for a blog is to have it as the centre of your bit of cyber space where people can feel safe rather than feel as though they are being sold too.
    Squeeze pages and money sites will form an external periphery to the blog for the monetization.
    As someone who is relatively new to internet marketing, I am finding that trying to monetize actually distracts from the delivery of value that I am striving for and makes the reader go to find the information elsewhere and there are plenty to chose from.
    This is not saying don’t sell, just be a little more aware of the readers needs as well as their wants.

  8. Jetta says:

    Great article! Very helpful tips. Recently I started a niche blog and I signed up for Adsense. It looks to me like the best and easy way to monetize your website.

    Thnx for the tips Darren.

  9. Mike Griffin says:

    Thanks for the post. Being new to blogging I am interested in ways to make money online. I am currently involved with promoting offline business.

  10. naijadotcom says:

    This post is very informative and educative, there are great tips here I need to learn.

  11. Joan says:

    I planned on trying a video on my blog site but first I need to figure out how to tweek it. I did the video on Monday so hopefully, it will be up soon. Then the next step was YouTube and Adsense. One of my friends son said there is a kid in high school that does funny videos of himself and puts them on YouTube. He’s bringing in around $800 a month! I was shocked and thought I need to check into this!

    Thank you for all your great posts.

  12. Sadek says:

    Thanks for answering that. I’ve always been curious about that as well

  13. Ek4zone says:

    i like this shared,. nice post.
    thanks

  14. Danielle says:

    Neil, I couldn’t agree more. It’s not a bad thing to make money from your blog, but it has to be in moderation. Work on developing a place where people want to visit and the amount of money you can make will increase dramatically.

  15. Lainey says:

    This is a great post! I use Google Adsense and the Amazon Associates program.

    I am looking forward to creating videos on Youtube.

    Thanks for the great tips!

  16. Bala Koh says:

    Great tips. I got this good idea. thanks.

  17. Rod Fewer says:

    With so many advertising options available, it’s difficult to decide which way to go. Is there any one method in particular you would recommend for someone on a tight budget?

    • Rod, I recommend you check into Amazon Affiliate program. There is no cost and when you write about what you like and recommend people visit Amazon via your link to learn more you have a chance to earn a small commission.

      I have used Amazon for a few years now and all is good.

      Check it out.

      David

  18. Hey Darren, thanks for the great post. And I will be starting
    putting my advertisement to my blog because it’s getting lots
    of traffic right now. And my rank with Alexa are getting high too.

  19. I use adsense, but have trouble getting the ads to convert. I have tried both channel specific ads, and letting Google choose the ads neither seems to provide more income than the other. The only strategy I know of to solve this is to increase my traffic. Any other suggestions?

    • Hi there,
      I believe that many people who use the internet today avoid clicking on Google ads since they know they are ads. In the past people clicked out of curiosity.

      I do use a small amount of Google Ads at the bottom of postings in case the posting has not got the readers attention and they are looking for a way to get more info elsewhere.

      Check out one of my postings and you will see what I mean.

      I recommend you consider the idea of the Amazon Affiliate program and when you talk about an item you like recommend the reader visit Amazon to learn more. Then sometimes you earn a commission. Darren has done this very well on his photography site.

      Good luck,
      David

  20. José says:

    Hi,

    Speaking of online advertising, at this moment I’m using Project Wonderful as a publisher and as an advertiser. As an advertiser I use it more to promote my blog than to sell a product.
    However I recently decided to invest my time in ideas to get free off line advertising.
    I believe that creative off line advertising is a great option, namely the “guerilla advertising.”

    Anyway, I’m going to leave two ideas, the first one is simple and free, the second one is free but it may get you hurt :-)

    1) Get a marker and write your website or blog name or adress on rocks that you may find. I’m not talking about doing grafitti on buildings, monuments, or parks, of course, I’m talking like on a rock that you see on the ground or something like that.

    2) Now for the dangerous one. You see those restaurant outdoor menus, usually on a white board or on a slate. Grab a marker or a piece of chalk and write your website’s name among the menu. Yeah !
    Now maybe it’s a good idea to leave the place :-)

    José

  21. Vince says:

    I implement Adsense in most of my sites. But adsense is only profitable if you have a high traffic website. But don’t get me wrong, income from adsense is not as sustainable than selling products. But at least, you get some. This means that I really don’t advise anyone to focus on adsense alone because you will get frustrated.

  22. I Like Text Link Ads Very Much.because its not look as a ad network.

  23. Anna says:

    I like most the CPM model than other methods to earn money

  24. Love reading your tips especially about making money since I want to be able to make blogging lucrative.
    eileen

  25. hashif says:

    Yeah, CPM is one of the best method i choose to make money from my high traffic websites..

  26. Eugene says:

    It’s always a good idea to have multiple streams on income. I’m going to pick at least 3 of the ideas above and begin implementing.

    Nice post.

  27. Darren, how to you feel about advertising affiliate programs as a way to monetize your blog? For me my blog is going to become the nerve center of my marketing efforts for my business, so in addition to providing value to my readers, I also want to share with them some of the tools and resources I personally use. I like the idea of newsletter advertising. I believe it would fit with what I want to achieve in building my business. Thanks for sharing the wealth of information that you did, it has certainly opened my eyes to some other potential income streams. .

  28. AstroGremlin says:

    Nice breakdown of the ads terrain. ImageSpace Media, I assume, does not violate the AdSense prohibition against deceptive links?

  29. Patrick Lef says:

    “If you publish videos, you might be interested in Youtube’s integration with AdSense, which allows you to earn money from ads that appear in your videos.”

    I would like to recommend Videofy.me there. A service where all users can earn money on their video content and not only users with a certain amount of viewers.

    Also VideofyMe is making bloggers life easier with features as widgets, mobile apps, wordpress plugins, recorder and automatic sharing to Facebook, WordPress, Tumblr, Twitter, Blogspot and more.

  30. abdul majid says:

    I agree with you Darren Rowse, Sell text links could be risking our search ranking. But I think it doesn’t matter if we sell text link as the text is not our targeted keyword for our website.

  31. kush says:

    check this link it gives money for reading smses and email and that to no sign up and free. worth trying common guys wat are you waiting for earn lots and lots of money by the simplest method every. and additional services like free smses and many more are there. so click the link on the website.

  32. A very nicely composed list of all the different ways we can monetize our website. I wasnt aware of the ImageSpace Media, that is very interesting and will surely prove to be useful for most of us who are into video marketing. Thanks for sharing.

  33. I have just started blogging and you have so much great info thank so much for sharing. I have a better understanding of things now thank you very much

  34. This is great tha you have so much information I was very suprised when I found this site just what I have been looking for. I have found everything I was looking for plus some. I was not sure what the whole AdSense thing on my site was about but after reading on your site I now have a much better understanding of what it is. Thank you so very much for all the wonderful info I will be back for sure.

  35. robin says:

    I love your posting. I just want to know, why do you only recomended chitika and amazon for money makers. Dont you recomended for adsense?

    Thanks for your help

  36. Peter Brooks says:

    Thank you, excellent blog, well written with lots of useful information, I also believing that logging to the bank is the only way to progress forward and make some decent money online, keep up the good work.

  37. Mategyero says:

    wooo great article Rowse, the distinction between CPC and CMP :-)

  38. Denise says:

    Enjoyed reading the comments as much as the article. The one comment about writing your website URL across a restaurant menu is funny (and creative). You can also leave product samples with your URL on them wherever you go.

    Didn’t know about the text link downside. Really appreciate that heads up.

    Cheers!

    Denise
    writemoneyinc.com

  39. well I am not thinking about monetizing yet because my blog is quite new, but it is always good to read
    and learn about so you can get prepared for that.

    @robin adsense is good too if you have a huge amount of traffic, but I have no luck with it.
    they disable my account always for some reason and I don’t get paid .

  40. At the end we always pay for the CPM.

  41. I would love to pay a (CPA) instead of (CPC). Currently i advertise my carpet cleaning company with Google and it’s pretty expensive, $2.50 per click. I had over a $200 adwords bill last month and only got 1 carpet job. Does anybody know of a good service that charges (CPA)? I know this is about Blogging, but just curious.

  42. Nice post!
    Hope I’ll see my blog earning some $$ too :)

    @Salah: My adsense got disabled too some days back without any reason :( will try info links soon.
    Wish Me Luck!

  43. Eugene Nwoji says:

    Thanks Darren for the insights. Heard a lot about your blog, had to check it out myself. Must say that you’re really adding value to your readers. I know my blog will do better from applying the tips from you. Thnx

  44. Dave says:

    Quite surprising to learn how many different options for advertising are really out there. Most bloggers focus only on putting up banners on their blogs or using AdSense (which is pretty much the same).

    I sure learned about some new methods and the image ads sounds really great so I will probably check that out.

    Thanks for the great info.

  45. Fery says:

    Many bloggers now are complaining about Google Panda algorithm that causes slightly traffic dropped which means dropped earning. How to prevent this Mr. Darren?

  46. Adrian says:

    I have been blogging for quite some time. I was thinking whether I can make money or it is a fruitless jobs. I am amazed to know that you can actually earn money by simply blogging. What a concept! Thanks for providing the idea! Really a wonderful blog! Kudos!

  47. jhian says:

    Thanks Darren for excellent tips about blogging.

  48. Sean Supplee says:

    Very cool some new effective ways to building additional income streams for my site.

  49. Dan Ray says:

    Good list, I’m working on monetising my blogs at the moment, I have a lot of traffic coming from India on one of them and am really struggling to turn those visits into money.

  50. kishore says:

    6th way and 7th ways are too dangerous all we know that, But Daren you said like go on but take some cautions. What are the cautions to avoid google penalty?