Blogs with different types of content and visitors required different monetization strategies.

I read a lot of blogs that talk about “I made money with this or that…”, but they don’t talk a lot about the type of site usually. I also read posts stating “I can’t make anything with “X” affiliate” as well. I often see the wrong type of monetization of certain blogs and I felt it was time to point out what IMHO works better.

First Monetizaton Rule:
Sign up for EVERY affiliate program you come accross. Just because you don’t have a use for it today – doesn’t mean you won’t tomorrow. I EVENTUALLY use every affiliate account I ever sign up for.

Examples of Affiliates to Sign Up for

PPC Text Ads:

Google Adsense (I use heavily)
AdBrite (I use on specific sites)

Contextual Ads:

Clicksor (I no longer use)
Kontera (I no longer use)
Infolinks (I now exclusively use)

Affiliate Links, Ads, Offers, and Banners:

Commission Junction (I use a LOT)
Amazon (I use a LOT)
Clickbank (I use for a few things)
eBay Partner Network (I use a LOT)
Pepperjam Network (I use quite a bit)
LinkShare (I use on many sites)
ShareASale (I use on specific sites)
NeverBlue Ads (just starting to use)

These are just examples of course, and I belong the hundreds and hundreds of affiliate programs enabling me to (literally) promote just about anything I want in any niche. Every time you sign up for an affiliate program – you get new options. The merchants for that affiliate may work well for some blogs or web sites you own, but not for others.

Types and Amount of Traffic determine Blog Profit

Too often I see odd monetization. The one that’s been overutilized in my opinion in year’s past were the Chitika Ads people placed on blogs. They don’t have the same types of ads any more (they’ve gotten better), but they used to have the “mini-mall” type of widget that displayed iPods, digital cameras, flat screen monitors – you remember the ones. I would see these on everything from blogs about making money online to politics and cooking. I think the odds of someone reading about wordpress plugins or how to roast a chicken seeing an ad for a Canon Sureshot, clicking on it, and buying it impulsively are pretty darn low.

Try to understand the traffic you have on a blog, the type of reader, what they’re looking for, how long they will stay, and their likeliness to click on ads. Analyzing my blog traffic, I have specific types of visitors I market to…

Types of Blog Visitors

  1. Pop Traffic: These are visitors that search for things like jokes, flash games, celebrity gossip, pics and videos, music, song lyrics, freebies, ringtones, etc. They don’t stay long, the click through rates are low, but this is the type of traffic to market offers through MaxBounty. It’s also good for using Adsense and contextual links through Infolinks. Sometimes you can use a product widget, but affiliate product links don’t usually work well here. Pop traffic visitors aren’t very loyal and they are a bit less educated (usually).
  2. Geek Traffic: These are visitors that use Firefox, Linux, and the web and gadgets a lot. They are pretty blind to normal ads on web pages, so it’s better to review something and then follow it up with affiliate links to that product or service. You won’t fool them with stupid offers, and contextual links aren’t worth bothering with. Using adsense can go either way. I’ve found that eBay auctions, Amazon products, and Commission Junction merchants can work well. Geeks have money, and if your content is good they will come back over and over again.
  3. Male of Female traffic: This applies to specific sites like a sports blog (male), a handbag or fashion site (female), or blogs that appeal to a particula demographic. Cater to that demographic like no tomorrow and you will do well. This is pretty easy to figure out – men don’t buy cosmetics and women (typically) aren’t interested in the latest Xbox game. Women like long detailed explanations, men like quick descriptions with pictures. Both can be impulsive and be conscious of the income and education level of your traffic. This will determine whether MaxBounty offers or contextual ads will work well, and what types of affiliate merchants you can promote best.
  4. Lifestyle or Research traffic: These are people looking for specific things, like health info, product reviews, tutorials, parts of some kind, research for a house or car, or even information about careers, sexuality, or education. Again – cater to the visitor paying careful attention to their demographic. If you’re good at this you can provide relevant affiliate offers, products, or ads that convert well because it looks more like you are providing a service than “selling” someone.

These of course aren’t the only types of traffic, it’s just a quick way to explain some of the types of traffic I get on some of my blogs.

Different Ways to Monetize the Same Offer

I usually use different affiliate programs for different things. Amazon, Commission Junction, and eBay are great for gadgets, computer type things, home entertainment products and such…but sometimes I can use an offer from MaxBounty (an affiliate program I normally reserve for “Pop” traffic) across multiple blogs with different content and visitors. I just have to modify the way that I present it.

I’ll give you an example. Today I logged in to MaxBounty to find a great new offer from Blockbuster.

Here’s the screenshot:
Max Bounty Offer Example

This is a pretty good offer! Blockbuster is aggresively trying to get new customers to catch up to Netflix, and they’re paying $44.00 for each signup you refer to them currently. That’s a massive payout per sale. In addition to that – people who signup get the first month for half off – only $9.99 to join! I can market this offer many different ways. On a joke site, I might just use a banner for the pop traffic. On the geek blog I’d write a review comparing it to Netflix. You could write a movie review or review of a DVD or Blu-Ray player and use the offer. I could put a text link to it in my sidebar on any blog. I could use it in a stripe ad accross the top of any blog. I could use a 125 graphic ad on any blog. This exact same offer could work 100x better on any given blog if you present it right for the demographic and type of traffic you get.

In future posts I’ll go into depth more about how about specific merchants and how to manage ads more effectively in your blog. I hope that this infomation at least points you in the right direction to better monetize your blog based on the type of traffic it gets!