So you’ve got your new WordPress blog up and running – she’s looking good.
You’ve chosen an attractive theme and installed the basic plug-ins needed to get everything working just right.
If not, best go back and read ‘Build your own website‘
Now you want to earn some money – after all, that’s what makes the world go round.
Fair enough – you’ve got this far, you deserve a little payback.
Longer term, it will be important to use your content to build a list of subscribers but for now here’s the fastest ways to start generating some cash from your site.
1 Google Adsense
The daddy of online monetization (try saying that after a couple of drinks).
Google pretty well rules the internet and earns around 97% of its income from it’s ‘Adwords’ program. It’s not all take though, as well as showing adverts above and to the side of Google searches in their ‘sponsored listings’, they will show adverts on your site and pay you a percentage.
Every time someone clicks on an ad, you get paid a commission. The price paid depends on how much the Adwords customers are prepared to pay to get people to click on their ads.
Google decides what adverts to show based on what it thinks your site is about – if your site is about insurance, loans, mortgages or attorneys, you’re going to get paid much more for any click-throughs you generate than if your site is showing ads for obscure topics like ‘donkey mane grooming kits’.
Just head on over to www.google.com/adsense and sign up for an account. If you have a Google email or + account, you’re already half way there.
Setting the ads up is easy – you just need to get some visitors to click on the ads.
Don’t be tempted to click your own ads or go calling your mates to do the same – you’ll be in trouble in no time.
Try to get the adverts to fit in with the colour and theme of your blog to make them more appealing – now people are much more web savvy, they just ignore anything that’s too obviously an advert.
2 Affiliate Marketing
With Adsense, you have little control over what adverts are shown.
If you join an affiliate program you get to choose what you sell on your site and the commissions can be much higher.
There are countless programs on the net that give you the chance to earn commissions by selling someone else’s product or service. If you don’t know what your audience may want to buy, just do a bit of research on Google to get some ideas. Once your site starts to build up a following, hopefully they will trust your recommendations giving you the opportunity to sell them related items.
You can nearly always find things on Ebay or Amazon, both of whom have good affiliate schemes.
Clickbank is great for information products and pays good commissions. Just search the marketplace at http://www.clickbank.com/
3 Add Sponsored Content
Various companies will pay you to post sponsored content on your site.
I’ve written more about this in my post, “Where do you find content for your blog AND get paid at the same time?”
4 Sell your own ebook, product or service
You don’t need a whole online store, although easy to use plug-ins are available, PayPal makes it easy for anyone to sell items online.
Creating your own product takes a bit more imagination but most marketers will tell you – this is where the real money is. We’ll look further into these ideas in a future post.
5 Set up a membership site
If you have really good, exclusive content you could charge for it.
Using plug-ins you can put premium content in a membership protected area. Charge a monthly or one-off charge for people to gain access.
Obviously this isn’t going to be a quick fix – you need plenty of visitors and regularly updated content they’re willing to pay for. In the longer term, membership sites can be great recurring source of income.
Remember, you don’t need to ruin the hard work you put into designing your blog – if you’ve written a good article don’t fill it with adverts just for the sake of it – you’ll soon find no one’s interested. You can monetize whilst maintaining your credibility and values.
I hope some of these ideas help you get started with you’re online business but remember, in order for any of these ideas to work, first, you need to take ACTION!!