Two things are easy in the world of blogging –
- To believe that you can make a lot of money with your blog. (Don’t get me wrong, I believe this is actually a true statement.)
- To get discouraged trying to monetize a blog and quit.
So if 1. is a true statement, then how do so many people end up at point 2? Because they find out it is actually a lot of work.
And therein lies the rub. One day you wake up and say, “So many other people are doing this. I read about how to make $100 or $1000 a day with a blog or an RSS feed, there’s GOT to be something to this.” So you venture out and do some research, find out how to set things up. You get yourself a blog – maybe WordPress or Typepad. You get yourself an AdSense account. You might even use some syndicated articles to get a jump start on your content. Then you sit back and wait for the cash to roll in.
You wait… and you wait… and you wait…
You check your AdSense account after a month and find your total to be $1.00.
What went wrong? How come the Google truck didn’t just back up to your door and dump heaps of money on your stoop? You followed all the instructions, you submitted to search engines and rss aggregators. You optimized your content. You did all the right things, so what went wrong? It is at this point that the vast majority of people quit and move on to something else.
But this is precisely the wrong time to throw in the towel. See, the majority of people, when lured by the prospect of easy money, neglect to consider the amount of work something will take. And when they find out it does take work to make money, they move on looking for the next easy thing (which doesn’t exist, by the way).
You’ve already put in the work to get yourself to this point. Why not finish the job and get your little project profitable?
Here are some pointers:
1. Realize it’s a numbers game. Getting money from the online ad business is as simple as that. If 1000 page views generate a dollar for you, then reverse engineer your income objectives to fit this. In other words, if you are trying to make an extra $2000 per month, you will need to multiply what you’ve got out there to match. You need 2,000,000 page views getting you the same CPM (cost per thousand). Now getting from 1000 to 2,000,000 may seem daunting, considering the amount of work you put in to get 1000 page views. So…
2. Set reachable goals along the way. Begin by building out content to magnify the number of pageviews you are getting. More content will equal more traffic if you are doing things the right way. How many pages did you utilize to get that 1000 page views? 10? 100? Multiply out what you need to repeat to get to the 2,000,000 mark. Then break that down into baby-steps. Do the math all the way (even though we are not going to physically write 1,000,000 pages of content to get us there). Figure out reachable goals and start building content to get you there.
3. Evaluate your content and ad placement to optimize. At some point, it is physically impossible for one person to write enough pages to keep this going at $1.00 CPM. But you keep writing fresh content and building things out increasing your pageviews. This is good because now you should have some revenue stream (maybe not enough to quit your job). Now you can start tweaking what you’ve already got to try to build that CPM. Try different ad colors. Try text vs image ads. Try different placements. According to Google’s own research on the AdSense program, there is no one magic bullet. It’s going to depend on your site and you are going to have to figure out what works and what doesn’t. That means experimenting. When you do this, keep careful notes so you can track your results. If you don’t collect data when trying to optimize, what’s the point?
4. At this point, you should be seeing results. Again, maybe not enough to quit your job, but maybe an extra $100-$1000 per month. If you can get there, I think you should be home free because you are seeing the fruits of your labor. And that is the point at which you can get your second wind to repeat steps 1 – 3. You should now have a higher CPM so you can go back to step 1 and recalculate. This slead you to recalculate your baby steps in step 2. Then re-optimize in step 3. Continue to repeat 1-3 and you’ll get there.
If you do these steps right, you should see progress, leading to the will to go on. In all this, you might increase your revenue by multiplying your streams of income using additional blogs, affiliate programs, and additional advertising. But that is a topic for another time.