There are many ways to make money with a blog. Just like in any other scenario, not all options are created equal. Some methods of making more revenue with a blog are very effective while other methods are not what they appear to be.
Advertising is a big don’t. Many people see advertising as a way to generate extra revenue for a blog, but advertisements distract a visitor from reading your blog content. In addition, if someone is visiting your blog for the first time and clicks an ad, that person may not come back. You lost a potential returning visitor (who could have been a customer) for two extra pennies in your pocket.
That being said, I still see a potential for making money on a blog with advertising. However, I only see advertising useful for the big guys like John Chow and Jeff Bullas. Being one of the big guys means being as low on the Top 100,000 list as possible. If your Alexa Rank is not under 100,000, then you are not ready for ads. If your Alexa Rank is under 100,000, then it is at that point when people know about you and you are popular in your niche. You can slip in some ads on your blog at that point because you are going to make much more than two cents, and those people are going to return anyway.
No matter where you are with a blog, having your own products is a big must. Having multiple products with these three different price structures as well as some free products that provide value will allow you to make more revenue with your blog. This pricing system is used by John Chow who now makes seven figures (yes, the big million) every year from his blog.
It is important to note that creating your own products and being an affiliate are two different things. Being an affiliate marketing means promoting someone else’s product and getting a cut. However, when you get the sale as an affiliate marketer, people don’t come back to you. Let’s say you are an Amazon Associate, and a customer buys something with your referral link. You get a cut, but people are not going to come back to your blog just to buy from your referral link. Instead, they go directly to Amazon. They don’t care about your affiliate link. They only care about Amazon.
So, is affiliate marketing dead? I don’t think so. You can do a mix of affiliate marketing and promoting your own products (although you want to promote your products more often). In addition, you can tell your visitors to buy something with their affiliate link and then you will throw in one of your products for free. This means it is still possible for you to get a returning customer.
Another thing that works well is consultation sessions, if you have the time to do them. When deciding whether you are the right person to consult with, people will look at how valuable your content is and what you charge for a consultation session. The less you charge, the more sales you are going to get, but at the same time, you are going to have to talk to more people for more hours. That may get in the way of your work. The best option is to charge a high (but not overwhelming) price that encourages some people to buy the consultation session.
Two great ways to make money with a blog are creating your own products and having a consultation session. Affiliate marketing can be used sparingly, and affiliate marketing works as a good substitute for the people who do not have their own product…yet. Advertising should not even be attempted until your blog’s Alexa rank goes under 100,000. That means you are getting a huge number of returning visitors even if you slipped in an ad or two on your blog. At the same time, you don’t want to display too many ads no matter how popular your blog is because that popularity can spiral downwards with too many ads.