Monetization strategies for new blogs

If you have a relatively new blog, or one that doesn’t receive a lot of traffic, then the following are monetization strategies you can put into place to start the revenue generation process.

Affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing allows you to generate income by promoting other people’s products for a small commission. This is probably the easiest monetization method to get into at the start because you can apply to most programs with little to no audience.

Here are some examples:

# If you have a blog all about reviewing WordPress themes, then you should apply to affiliate programs for any WordPress theme you want to write about and promote. Visitors to your blog would likely be interested in WordPress themes, and therefore would be likely to buy a WordPress theme after clicking on a link to it from your site. Popular affiliate programs for WordPress themes include Studio- Press, DIYthemes, and ElegantThemes.

# If you have a blog about gardening, then you should apply to affiliate programs for gardening books and products. Amazon Associates is a great affiliate program to join for any niche as they sell books and products related to just about everything.

# Another approach is to be an affiliate for anything you have paid for and use on your blog. So, if you use a StudioPress WordPress theme, MailChimp email marketing software, Hostgator hosting or any other product with an affiliate program, be sure to create a page on your blog with resources aimed at other bloggers in the niche. As your blog grows in popularity, other bloggers will want to follow in your footsteps and may sign up for the same services you use for their own blog, thus generating some revenue for you. To find other affiliate programs by doing a search for paid products and services use the search term + affiliate program.

You can also go to affiliate networks (sites that connect publishers like you and merchants who want publishers to promote their products) and look at the products they have available to promote. Networks like Shareasale, E-junkie and Clickbank allow you to preview programs before you join.

Following are best practices for promoting affiliate products

Write reviews about the product or service and include an affiliate link within your review post. Don’t just regurgitate the information found on the product or service sales page, but write your experience with it inside and out. People can recognize a thorough, honest review from one that is done purely to generate revenue.

Create a resource page on your blog of the top products and services you recommend, including an affiliate link for each, plus a link to your in-depth review if applicable.

Get banners for the top products and services you know your audience will love and put them in your blog’s header, sidebar, and at the end of posts. Affiliate product banners are also great placeholders for future advertising spots you may want to sell when you start getting a substantial amount of traffic.

Email your list whenever you write a great review or a particular affiliate program has a great special going on that your subscribers would be interested in.

Be prepared to do special promotions on your blog and email list around Black Friday and Cyber Monday - it’s the hottest time to share affiliate product sales and earn some great income.

Important reminder: Whenever you promote an affiliate product, be sure to include a disclaimer in your review, at the top of your resource page or in your emails that you are an affiliate of the product. It’s a good way to build trust with your audience and it’s also required in certain countries like the United States.


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