How do I monetize my blog? You don’t.

Greetings.

Today’s topic is courtesy of  of Driving Traffic. Have you ever wondered how to monetize your blog? Well, don’t! A blog serves many purposes, but making loadsamoney from it really should not be one of them.

Kevin’s article explains more, and provides some ideas on what you should be doing…

How do I monetize my blog? You don’t.

By  on February 18, 2013

So you have decided to make some extra money online. You followed the steps and got your domain, hosting, CMS, theme, social media, and the list goes on and on. You finally start blogging; only to find out, the money isn’t cascading in. What’s going on here? You’ve been told that millionaires are made everyday online. You were told, “If you build it, they will come”. You have followed all the steps you knew of, and the money just isn’t coming. Don’t fret; every part-time (and full-time) entrepreneur has been there.

Spending your part time blogging isn’t the novel idea it once was. After investing your free time reading, learning, building, and writing, it can be frustrating to not see the results and is easy to get discouraged. The good news is, by attempting to take control of your financial future, you are taking strides to do something most people will never do. If you have made it this far and haven’t seen a dollar yet, I urge you to stick with it. While making boatloads of cash online isn’t as easy as some would lead you to believe, when you do find some success, it makes all of the time and effort all well worth it.

Honest Inventory

Take a critical look at where you are. It is no easy task to be objective when looking at a passion project, but this is an essential part of finding success in your endeavors. Take an outsider’s look at your subject matter, how you write about it, and make an honest assessment. If an outsider looked at your blog what would they say is the biggest issue?

Are you in the right niche, or in a niche at all? This might be the most important thing to consider. If you are in a highly competitive niche, you aren’t doing yourself any favors for someone who is starting out. By picking the correct niche you can save yourself a lot of trouble by having fewer competitors.

Is your site getting traffic? If you are hoping to generate your income from advertising and you do not have a staggering amount of traffic to your site, you need to reconsider your plan of action. There are not many (single) blogs out there that can generate a living wage from advertising revenue alone. So, stop barking up that tree if you are in this position.

This assessment can go on forever, from site design to mobile or social media strategy. I don’t want to you to get hung up here. Unless you are questioning your niche and don’t have traffic, you are ok. If those two things are an issue, you should probably go back to the drawing board and decide on a new domain or direction. Otherwise, if traffic is your only issue, join the club. What you can do in the short term is attempt to stand out from the crowd by producing what you consider being incredibly good content. Be a little more daring, opinionated, or possibly controversial (What do you want to say, but aren’t).

The last short term traffic bump can come from watching the trends. What are other people in your niche talking about? Use tools like blog aggregators (Technorati & alltop), and google alerts. Google alerts are essential for content creators; it is the easiest way to keep your ear to the ground for your topics, without burning your whole day trolling the web. When news is made in your niche, you need to give your two cents, or at least curate someone who is.

Another big pitfall to look out for is focus. My biggest problem starting out was the distribution of my effort. I tended to spend all my free time working 10 different projects. I would spread myself so thin, that none of my projects were up to a standard that I was happy with. Consolidate your efforts. If it comes down to it, pick the project that you have the most fun working on and run with it. Let the others suffer in the mean time. Chances are that if you enjoy it, it will show in the finished product.

Keep in mind the 80/20 rule. I learned this trick from Ryan Deiss, and have seen a consistent trend of successful people who use it. For those of you who are not familiar, it is the concept where you should be spending 80% of your time on what is actually making the bulk of your money. The remaining 20% goes to the other projects. Often 20% of your efforts will generate 80% of your revenue; by identifying that 20% you can save yourself a lot of headaches. There is a lot more to the theory, and I am not really doing it justice here, so look it up if you have never heard it.

Making Money

So, here’s the deal, simply having a blog isn’t going to be your main source of income. You have start thinking about revenue generation. There are a number of ways to achieve that. You can build an authority site, you can focus on lead generation and build a list, but today we are going to talk about products. The most effective way to monetize your blog is to start promoting products; an even more effective way is to promote your own products. This is arguably the most efficient way of generating passive income if done correctly. For many this can be a daunting task. But, it really isn’t as hard as it sounds.

The first step is deciding whether you will be dealing with physical or digital products. There is a separate path for physical products, so today I am just going to focus on digital products. For the part-time entrepreneur I think selling/creating/marketing digital products will be “lower hanging fruit” than physical products. If there is interest, I can write an article on physical goods and drop shipping.

Next is becoming familiar with the products in your space. Get an account with an affiliate platform (clickbank, commission junction, JVZOO, WarriorPlus). Take a look at the marketplace and sort the products for your niche by popularity or gravity. Go through the products to see what is out there, and what seems to be doing well. Make notes of products you like, are interested in, and what their rating/popularity/gravity is (you will use this later).

After having a grasp of what is out there, you can identify “holes” & needs for your niche. Start making plans for potential products. Try and dream something up that is feasible with a unique selling point, something that will set it apart from other products in your space. What would provide real benefit or value to someone with your interests? What would you buy? What do you know that others don’t? What problem do people in your niche experience often? Carl White just wrote an excellent article on how he fulfills the needs of different niches by utilizing facebook and linkedin groups (How to beat the big dogs at affiliate marketing contests).

What I would suggest if you are just starting out is a special report of some kind. You are obviously already familiar with writing, and most likely already have a good grasp on your subject matter.

Find a popular report like this in the market place that is selling well, and buy it. While reading through, make notes of structure, length, format, and the kinds of information covered. You can use this report as a guide when outlining your own product. Something to keep in mind is that on these affiliate-based platforms, the market is typically flooded with “me-too” products. You will need to distance yourself from the collection of similar products on the subject you are writing about. So, if there are already 5 reports out there on the subject you were thinking about and you don’t have anything that drastically sets yours apart from them, you should move on to the next idea.

After you have decided on a product and outlined it, it is time to roll up your sleeves and get to work writing (or building). In the mean time while you develop your product, you can implement other ways of generating revenue like affiliate sales and/or lead generation (list building).

Affiliate Offers

Get the notes you made earlier on products you like in your niche, and their popularity. There are a few things to think about here. If the gravity is really high on the product this is an indication that this product will provide some stiff competition when you attempt to promote it. Do some research on what/who you are competing with. If all of your choices have a lot of competition, you might need to go a little lower on the gravity results and pick something a little less popular.

Once you have decided on a few products you would like to promote. You can start building a plan of action. The easiest way to promote an affiliate offer is adding a banner image to your site linked to your affiliate link. These are often placed in your sidebar in a “text/html widget”. I would also suggest writing a review article on some of the features or sections of the product that you really liked. While you might want to frame this as a product review, keep in mind that you are ultimately writing sales copy. Copy writing is an art form, and can take a lifetime to master. A good short guide to the structure of a sales letter can be found here written by Perry Belcher.

Be sure to read my article on my clickbank youtube hack. If you do decide to create a video sniper, be sure to post the video on your site to take full advantage of the traffic you are already getting.

Promoting your product

Once your product is complete, you need to make a marketing plan. The nuances of marketing your product go far beyond what I can cover in this short article but, I will do my best to concisely cover the basics.

You will want to “prime the pump”. This entails dropping hints, and building as much buzz for the product as you can. You can do this with preview posts, social media blasts, and guest posting about the product.

Do your best to write a sales letter or hire someone to write your sales letter, following the outline I linked to above. Hopefully, you have promoted a few affiliate products by now and you have developed a “feel” for what works for your readers and what doesn’t. I would suggest making a dedicated page for your sales letter on your blog and not only making a blog post about it. Make sure your home page is featuring the product in some way (above the fold of the page), whether that is a featured post, banner, or block of content in the side bar. Call in whatever favors you can for promotion via email drops, banners, etc.

Promoting a product can (and will) be an ongoing endeavor, of optimizing, tweaking, rewriting, testing, and tracking. The brevity of this post has been a challenge as each paragraph of this article could be expanded into its own book. Hopefully I was able to illustrate the big picture of monetizing your blog.

Becoming a full time entrepreneur can be a colossal challenge, but with adequate planning and a clear vision you can set yourself up for success. Don’t make a half effort and then give up when you aren’t driving a Bentley a week later. These things can take time and dedication and more than just a blog. As I said earlier in this article, there are countless methods to get you to your goal, and today I covered one. One thing is for certain, stopping after you get your blog built is a mistake.

About Kevin Clanton

Kevin Clanton is part of the new generation of Internet marketers, originally starting his career as a programmer obsessed with all things information / technology. Online Marketing has quickly become his primary focus; where he is able to leverage his background in development to implement his dreams & ideas in order to quickly produce data on their effectiveness. Google Kevin has an intense drive to be as well rounded as possible in his business pursuits. He isn’t satisfied until he has a firm understanding of all aspects of a given business strategy.

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Thanks, Kevin.  Hope this helped you – much food for thought, eh?

If you want to get in to affiliate marketing but have no idea where to start,  click here to check out an innovative license rights program.. 

Talk soon.

Chineme

 

The 3 Most Common Affiliate Marketing Mistakes

Greetings.

Affiliate marketing is one of the most effective and powerful ways of earning money online. It provides anyone at all with the opportunity to make a profit through the Internet. Since these affiliate marketing programs are easy to join, implement and pay regular commissions, more and more people are now getting in on the act.

However, like all businesses, there are lots of pitfalls in the affiliate marketing business for the unsuspecting newbie. Committing some of the most common mistakes could cost dearly. That’s why it’s better to avoid them from the beginning, rather than regret them in the end.

Mistake number 1: Choosing the wrong affiliate program.

Many people want to earn from affiliate marketing as fast as possible. In their rush to be part of a program, they tend to choose a bandwagon product. This is the kind of product that the marketer thinks is “hot”. They choose the product that is in demand without actually considering
whether the product actually appeals to them. This is clearly not a very wise move.

Instead of jumping on the bandwagon, try to choose a product in which you are truly interested. For any endeavour to succeed, you should take some time to plan and figure out your actions, and find out what you are, and are not, interested in.

Pick a product that appeals to you. Then do some research about that product to see if it is in demand. Promoting a product you are more passionate about is easier than promoting one for the sake of the earnings only.

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Mistake number 2: Joining too many affiliate programs.

Since affiliate programs are very easy to join, you might be tempted to join loads of programs to try and maximize the earnings you will be making.

Many programs may well be a great way to have multiple sources of income, but joining multiple programs (and attempting to promote them all at the same time) will prevent you from concentrating on any one of them.

The result? The maximum potential of your affiliate programs will not be realized and the income generated will be disappointing. The best way to get excellent result is by joining just one program that pays at least a
40% commission. Then give it your best effort by promoting that product enthusiastically. As soon as you see that it is making a reasonable profit, you can then join, set up and promote another program.

The technique is to do it slowly but surely. There is really no need to rush into things, especially with affiliate marketing. With the way things are going, the future is looking really bright and it seems that affiliate marketing is here to stay.

Mistake number 3: Not buying the product or using the service yourself.

As an affiliate, your main purpose is to effectively and convincingly promote a product or service and to find customers for it. For you to achieve this purpose, you must be able to relay your satisfaction to the potential customers of that certain product and service. It would therefore be difficult for you to do this when you yourself have not tried them out. Thus, you will fail to promote and recommend them convincingly and you will also fail to create the desire in your customers to own the product.

Try the product or service personally first before you sign up as an affiliate in order to see if it is really delivering what it promises. If you do this you are then a credible user, aware of its advantages and any potential disadvantages. Your marketing will then convey sincerity
and trust in you which will encourage your audience to try it out for themselves.

Many affiliate marketers make these 3 mistakes and are paying dearly for their actions. Do not be one of them!

Time is the key. Take the time to analyse your marketing strategy and check to make sure you’re on the right track. If done properly, you will be able to maximize your affiliate marketing programs and earn higher profits.

Talk soon.

Chineme
Presenting Your Future

Your ClickBank Freedom Formula

Greetings.

Today’s post is a guest post on the Clickbank blog by successful internet marketer, Simon Hodgkinson.  It details the issues to have in mind when considering affiliate marketing and is a must-read for all budding internet entreprenuers.

Author: Molly Lane, ClickBank | October 21st, 2010

Written by: Simon Hodgkinson, Guest Author

The secret to becoming a successful affiliate marketer: WORK BACKWARDS

This might seem odd so let me explain…

Over the last few years, we’ve generated millions in commissions and taught thousands of budding affiliate marketers how to make more money online. After many unsuccessful attempts, we finally realized what we were doing wrong.

Statistics show there’s a 95% chance that you aren’t as successful at affiliate marketing as you’d like to be, and even if you’re doing great, by simply applying the little ‘mind shift’ I’m about to share with you, you’ll be able to take your current success to an entirely new level.

Before you begin any promotional campaign you need to identify your end goal.

Think about it for a second, and ask yourself why are you even working as an affiliate in the first place? Although affiliate marketing can be fun, making money is essential.

Like everyone else, you’re an affiliate because you need the money. Making car payments, paying bills such as rent or mortgage, family vacations or the 101 different things that factor into our cost of living add up.

One of the biggest problems is that most people never sit down and add the cost of all these expenses. Once you begin to crunch those numbers and figure out exactly what it takes to live without the worry of how much things cost, or where the money for the next bill is coming from, is when you will start to see the true power of affiliate marketing.

The revelation is that affiliate marketing doesn’t just have the power to make you some ‘extra cash,’ it has the power to set you free!

So how do we start? First you need to know how much you need (pretty simple right). ☺

Grab a notebook and make a list of everything you spend money on each month. At the top of your sheet, you want to write “living expenses.” Go through the fixed costs that you have each month (everything should go in here, rent/mortgage, car payments, cell phone, utilities, food etc.).

Then you want add in your entertainment expenses (the fun stuff!). You can estimate the monthly costs but include things like movies, eating out, monthly mini-vacations etc. Next combine your living expenses with your entertainment costs and you’ll have a total monthly expense figure. Got it?

Don’t underestimate the power of doing this. This has been the number one exercise we ask our coaching students to do because affiliate marketing is not the be all and end all – it’s the tool that gets you there. Without the end goal, you don’t have any kind of way to evaluate your progress!

Let’s work an example: Say $5,000 is the amount you need each month. If your affiliate income can match $5,000 (which is peanuts compared to what you can do if you really push things), you’ll have all of your expenses covered!

Now it’s just a matter of building your system that will generate this income for you automatically, every month. We need to calculate how many sales we need to achieve our income goal. What I want you to do is take your income goal and divide it by the net amount of commission you plan to make with each sale.

For example, let’s say that we’re going to make $30 per sale. $5,000 divided by $30 is equivalent to 166 sales a month. When you break that down, it’s just 6 sales a day.

Now, if you think it’s hard to sell 6 ClickBank products a day, just understand that there are people who can sell 150 ClickBank products a day and more. What I’m talking about here doesn’t even take into account rebills and future payments and how they can compound over time!

So how much traffic do we need to get to those 6 sales?

Just take the monthly number of sales you need (which was 166), and divide that by the vendor’s sales page conversion rate.
We can make a quick assumption that sales page conversion rate will be around the industry standard of 2%. Then, we divide the total number of sales we need by .02, and see what we get from that. Don’t worry if you don’t want to do all the calculations right now, I have handy ‘one click’ resource for you coming up at the end. ☺

For example: 166 / 0.02 = 8,300 unique visitors a month. Break that down and it becomes just 277 unique visitors a day.
The point is, with this formula you’ll know how to figure out exactly how much traffic you need to reach that goal, and vice-versa. If you know how much traffic you site is getting right now, you can reverse the calculation to determine which programs to promote based on commission amounts. It’s not just random numbers floating around anymore!

You have a target to aim for!

Well, kind of. That’s the number of visitors you need to get to the vendor’s page (the page of the person you’re promoting), however, you’ll probably want to send them to your own site first, and then get them to the vendor’s site. In a perfect world you could get every visitor to go from your site to your vendor’s page (that would be a 100% conversion rate), but it’s not a perfect world. So the big question is how many do you actually need to come to your site to reach your goal?

For a quick and dirty answer just divide the number by 0.3 (this is a 30% conversion rate from your site to a vendor’s site). Although you may be able to achieve a higher conversion rate (we have pages that covert to 40%-50%), we will estimate on the conservative side. So, 8,300 / 0.3 is 27,666 and that’s the traffic we would need to reach the goal in our example. The next step is to take that 27,666 and divide it by 30. That tells us how many visitors per day we need to arrive at our own website. That’s 922 visitors a day.

And that’s everything you need for financial freedom! Beautiful how this works isn’t it?

Conclusion:

When you calculate your own personal freedom formula number, you might be surprised how close you are to it already. It’s just a matter of setting up your traffic plan and finding the best programs from the ClickBank Marketplace to promote.

You can also run more than one campaign, identify programs that offer recurring billing to automatically add fresh commissions each month to your tally without having to drive more traffic and test and tweak your own pages to increase conversions to ultimately reach your goal. In fact there are many easy-to-apply adjustments that will reduce the time it takes to achieve your objective. Just remember that knowing your objective first is the best way to achieve it.
If you’d like to calculate your own freedom formula number (and you don’t want to crunch through all those numbers in your head), we’ve put a useful online tool that will do it all for you with just a couple of clicks. Click Here: http://www.cbcashgrenade.com/freedom

About the Author

Simon Hodgkinson and his business partner Jeremy Gislason have been involved in Internet Marketing for more than 10 years and are the creators of a number of best selling information products and software applications. For more information about their business visit www.cbcashgrenade.com.

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Sound advice indeed and plenty to mull over and apply.

Do you know that one of the fastest growing,
& most successful, methods to earn money
online is to sell wholesale products!?  Click here to find out more.

Talk soon.

Chineme

http://internetmarketingviews.com

Little Known Ways to Make Money Online

A lot of people are trying to make money online. Some become
successful overnight, while others tend to struggle with a variety
of ideas, just hoping to earn their first hundred bucks.

There are a lot of ways to make money online, but not all of them will work out the way that you want. You’ve probably already tried to earn some quick cash online yourself, but have not gotten very far. You might even be thinking of giving up and going back to work in the “real world” and gettin another boring, low-paying, dead-end job.

Fortunately, there are affiliate websites available that will not
only help you to make a legitimate income, but will also pay you for
doing almost nothing.

While everyone else is sweating and laboring, all you have to do is
tell people about your websites. Marketing is one of the easiest
ways to make money because everyone is being benefited. It’s also an
enjoyable experience. You’ll not only like the money you make, but
you’ll also love your job.

Internet marketing is more popular now than it’s ever been,
especially because it works. There is a lot of proof that internet
marketing works, all you have to do is read. Type in the terms,
“internet marketing” and “affiliate marketing” into your search bar
and see what comes up. If it didn’t work, it wouldn’t be around.

One of the biggest problems people have is that they believe that
marketing businesses online sounds too good to be true. A lot of
people may wonder, “all you want me to do is tell my friends, and
that’s it? You’ll pay me for that?”. The truth is that yes, in the
marketing business world, people are paid huge commissions for
simply spreading the word. What’s even better is that the main
company does all the work for you. It’s true that you are helping to
make them money as well, which is how everyone comes out happy in the end.

Unlike other ways of making money online, you are not paid a simple
2 or 3 bucks, but more like hundreds and thousands of dollars within
months. It’s hard to believe that this is possible because those
figures are so big. The only way a person can know whether or not
affiliate marketing really works is to try to make money online
themselves.

You can read all you want to about the success previous marketers have experienced, but you’ll never have that experience yourself unless you take the risk.

Why would there be so many people who claim to have had big success in the marketing world if it wasn’t a real way to make money? One has to wonder, how are they making their money? It has to be by some means, and if they have no job and all they do is market, then there is your proof.

It’s absolutely okay to be skeptical about it at first, that is what will make you a believer. If you’re looking for a way to make money online quickly (within days and weeks, not months and years), internet marketing may just be what you are looking for.

Here’s one of the programs helping to change my life:
http://bit.ly/explosive-cash

It may just change yours too.. It Works!

Kickin’ It Up A Notch!

My next blog will be looking into the proliferation of profit
sharing sites
which are making people huge piles of cash!

Talk soon.

Chineme
http://internetmarketingviews.com