Monday, April 21, 2008

Monetizing Your Blog - the Reality of Making Money

Before you monetize your blog, or your website for that matter, it is important to consider your traffic and intentions before you insert code or change your site's layout to accommodate ads.

Case in point, www.StreetSoldiers.com - AdSense advertising was added to the site three years ago. The addition of the ads affected the overall clean look of the site and had not been planned for by the original designer. Although the ads were styled to match the site, they looked like they were an after thought. After three years of click traffic the client got a check for $100 for Google. You look at the site. Was it worth it?

The key to monetizing your blog and website is one, traffic, and two, that the items you are promoting are a match to the services you offer. In my case, I make a nice side income on clicks in on Google AdWords referrals, but I make pennies on other ads. (I have tested monetizing my own blogs a number of times and in different formats.) I sell, service, manage, and write about Google AdWords and so the promotion of AdWords effectively works for my site. However, when I say nice side income I mean specifically that in three months Google has paid me $180. You may consider that high or low, but that is the reality of what I generated.

If you are getting under 200 unique visitors in a month, you will never make "real" money with AdSense. What you as a site owner have to decide is, is the dilution of your message and disruption of your page layout appropriate with the return on investment. Monetizing may work for your site or it simply may be an annoyance for site visitors.

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