4 Easy Ways to Monetize a Blog

monetize a blog

If you are looking for ways to monetize a blog or website there are tons of different affiliate programs, advertising networks, and other options you could look into.  Just because there are a lot of options for blog monetization doesn't mean you should use them all though.  My believe is that you should find what works for your blog or online business and stick with that.

Having been online for awhile these are 4 good programs to monetize a blog which I think meet a wide variety of needs for your blog or website.

  1. Amazon AssociatesHave you bought something on Amazon?  I assume you probably have since they are known as “Wal-Mart online.”  Amazon stocks a huge inventory and with their third party shipping programs offer a huge selection of products that no other online retailer can match.  This includes their massive Kindle self-publishing platform as well as MP3 and video downloads.  Chances are if you want to review a product or recommend something on your blog Amazon sells it or you can find it.  You can use Amazon Associates and link up to those products or display banner ads.  Amazon Associates also lets you built “stores” on your website.  I've found Amazon Associates has worked well for all of my blogs but especially Adam's Auto Advice.  (It seems auto products are something a lot of people order online.)  I've been happy with the Amazon Associates program and have been pleased with my reasonable earnings I have received which is why I recommend it.
  2. eBay Partner Network:  I have not had as much success with the eBay Partner Network but it is still worth a mention.  Why?  eBay is the world's largest online auction site and there a lot of different ways to use this affiliate program which could benefit your blog.  You can get paid just for sending qualified traffic to eBay and obviously get paid when users buy products through eBay.  If you have a specific hobby niche the eBay Partner Network is probably most ideal for you.  Ebay only accepts publishers with high quality content and decent traffic though.  Keep that in mind if you apply to the eBay Partner Network.
  3. Google AdSense:  Google wouldn't be the huge company it is today if it wasn't for Google AdSense and contextual advertising.  (Well technically Google AdWords, the counterpart to AdSense.)   Google AdSense allows online publishers big and small to display relevant ads to site visitors.  This means a better experience for your visitors and a higher Click-Through-Rates (CTR) for online publishers and Google, which means more moolah for everyone.  AdSense also allows you to monetize Youtube videos with contextual advertising.  Unfortunately I was kicked out of Google AdSense last year and I have no idea why.  So I would be careful of how you use AdSense and what sites you display ads on.  (Google only likes sites that are family safe.)  Since Google recently celebrated 10 Years of Google AdSense you don't need to worry about this program going anywhere.
  4. Media.net: Media.net is a Yahoo and Bing's contextual advertising program.  I won't pull any punches, it is not as good and will not earn you as much money as Google AdSense.  I was invited into this program though and feel that it is good alternative those who were booted from Google AdSense.  There is a large advertising pool bidding for keywords and you can really fine tune the colors and look of ad units.  I'd recommend giving Media.net a shot if you have decent traffic to your blog or website.  However do not rely on it for your advertising income.

Be aware any affiliate program you sign-up for you should understand the terms and conditions clearly.  I recommend reading the entire affiliate contract even though this is time consuming, painful, and probably a big hassle with all that legal jargon.  You really should if you want to avoid what happened to me with Google AdSense.

Like I mentioned before there are a ton of different advertising and affiliates programs you can choose from and these are just 4 popular ones that a lot of bloggers and webmasters use.  If you have found a way to monetize a blog that works better for you please leave a comment below and let me know.

Google celebrates 10 Years of Google Adsense with a Video

Google Adsense, Google's ad network, turned 10 years old this month.  It's hard to believe Google Adsense was launched 10 years ago as this helped Google's popular search engine turn a profit.  Well this didn't just make Google profitable but one of the most successful companies in the history of the world.

To celebrate this important milestone for Google and the Google Adsense program, what did Google decided to do?  Release a short video detailing the history of the Adsense on Youtube obviously.  Check it out.

Here is the timeline of the Adsense program from the video.  I've changed some of the milestones wording in the video slightly.

  • June 2004 – Introduces display ads (with pictures)
  • June 2005 – Placement targeting helps publishers and websites owners earn from ads that reach a specific audience
  • September 2005 – Adsense teams up with Blogger to help bloggers earn from their content.
  • November 2008 – Adsense welcomes its 1 millionth publisher
  • May 2007 – Site's videos, on YouTube, can incorporate Adsense for additional revenue.
  • September 2007 – A new revenue stream for publishers, ads on mobile content.
  • October 2008 – Adsense can now help you earn from games.  (I didn't even know that.)
  • March 2009 – Connect with more advertisers through expandable formats and internet based ads.  (Don't know what that means.)
  • November 2009 – Adsense gets a major makeover, offering new features to help publishers do more with their ads.
  • October 2010 – More display ads are now shown on AdSense than text ads.
  • January 2011 – Over 1 billion daily transactions between AdSense publishers and advertisers occur on mobile phones.
  • October 2011 – More transactions are made through AdSense, than all of the world's major stock exchanges.
  • January 2012 – Publisher toolbar offers greater efficiency and new controls.
  • May 2013 – 65% of the Top 200 ad supported sites in comScore use AdSense.

Advertising and specifically the Adsense program still accounts for about 90%+ of Google's income.  Well technically all that revenue comes from Google AdWords, the counterpart for advertiser's to AdSense.  (If you are a business looking to advertise across the AdSense network you would use AdWords to bid on keywords or display your graphic advertisements.)

Even though Google Adsense often unfairly shutdowns people's Adsense accounts wihtout explanation, like mine, there has been no Advertiser network that is so popular and has generated so much money in the last 10 years.   If you want contextual based advertising nobody else is going to beat AdSense.  (Contextual advertising means that you will only see ads that is relevant to your site visitors.)

Google Adsense now includes over 2 million publishers and sends out over 100,000 checks to people every month.  That's a lot of checks and a whole lot of money.

Interestingly WordPress celebrated it's 10th Anniversary recently as well.  Many people couldn't monetize their WordPress blogs without Adsense. For most web entities 10 years is like forever by the way.

What is in store for Google Adsense in the future?  I assume they will be focusing on more mobile, video, and even app advertising.   Whatever Google will do I am fairly sure Adsense will be around for another 10 years though.