I got this request from two people and although they are only two people (lols), I thought I would share here with you right now how MelvinBlog Dot Com makes money.
First and foremost, I would first like to clarify that this blog makes very little to no money at all. Initially when I started this blog, I had in mind bloggers like Shoemoney and Carl Ocab and basically told myself that I’m really going to monetize this blog as hard as I could. Eventually it did especially the past few years where it makes a steady three-figure income every month which I thought was amazing considering I’m not really selling anything except ad space and also the fact that the blog isn’t a high traffic one.
Anyways enough schmoozing, today I am going to break down to you how this blog makes money in the past recent years. I may not totally give you the exact figures or the precise time period but I’d try to detail it as possible.
This blog is nowhere close to a high-traffic site but it’s enough for me to make some money out of it and take good care of all the bills. I also think it’s interesting to let people see how this blog makes money considering a lot of blogs who have much bigger traffic than this blog has been having difficulties with monetization. Without further ado, here we go.
It’s no secret and by simple observation you can easily see that majority of the money from this blog comes from selling ad spaces directly to advertisers. I sell several advertising which includes the well-known square banners at the sidebar, I also have text links and the premium spot which is the 468X60 banner space. Initially I wasn’t too keen on selling paid reviews but after realizing it’s totally just fine, I decided to give it a go.
I don’t know but I think I really do well with selling my ad spaces in this blog. I usually get sold out and if not, maybe 1-2 ad spaces were left. One reason is that my ad space is really cheap. I know some bloggers who have the same traffic than me yet they’re selling their spaces for like double of my amount. I’ve talked about it in my how to get that blog advertisers post and it’s all about really letting the marketplace decide for the price tag. Getting 4 $10 placement is always better than one $25 placement.
I’m also keen on giving out discounts especially if it’s on a commitment basis or if it’s a bulk package. Not only I get to be able to get sponsors but also it builds that publisher-advertiser relationship over time which is something that most bloggers don’t do.
And lastly yes I use a very awesome plugin called OIO Publisher. For those who do not know, what it basically does is make selling ad space automated. The advertiser purchases an ad, and then the plugin does everything. You don’t need to upload the banner manually, you don’t need to undergo to those long processes that you usually go into when doing it by yourself.
It also does have some other unique features like geo-targeting and stat-tracking in which it emails the advertisers about all the stats, the clicks, ecpm, and all those geeky number stuffs.
If you don’t have it yet, get your copy now. I know I was like having some pride into myself before and said “I’m not gonna jump into this OIO thing.” I was making good money then but upon purchasing, I almost doubled my advertising income alone because of this plugin. $47 is so cheap since you can use it in as many of your sites as possible.
Direct Ad Sales alone pays for my virtual private network hosting bills and some other couple of outsourcing works so maybe it’s not that dead after all.
Most of you here know that I’m an affiliate marketer primarily running CPA campaigns through Pay-per click and then Facebook so being an affiliate is usually my bread and butter in terms of making money. But then it’s not really something that is related to this blog so I really don’t count it as part of the revenue.
However, I made some money though with some affiliate products I recommend in this blog. On my earlier days I was promoting affiliate networks like Pepperjam Network and Clickbooth which back then was paying $5 and $10 respectively for every referral. I made a lot of money in that since I leveraged the blog’s traffic and my reputation in forums. Do take note that I was making money as well by promoting affiliate offers within the network so I was not just trying to refer people for the sake of making money.
Most commissions nowadays are from the products that I’ve used and recommend here in this blog. Some of them include the 31 day workbook by Darren Rowse, Elegant Themes, Theme Wars, and of course OIO affiliate program which is one of the lucrative programs out there. Again, I promote products that I use and recommend. I would say stay away from promoting stuffs that you haven’t used yourself.
Affiliate program isn’t really the main driving force of this blog but I know some blogs who do really quite well with this business model. One of them is Michael Dunlop of IncomeDiary.com who doesn’t sell ad space. Instead he leverages his traffic by providing tons of free good stuffs and then recommending products to them afterwards. It’s a great business model as well for the blog so you might as well look at that.
Selling my product
If you can remember I sold a product last year which was called “Make Money Online Blog Monetizer” in which it was my first info product ever. The product was launched for 2 and a half months before pulling it out in the market. I’m not gonna say it’s the best product ever since sliced bread but it did almost raked in a thousand dollars in that period. I know I could’ve done much better had the internship not started killing me back then.
Since then I closed the product down as my goal was really to test the market back then as well as analyze its scalability. Whether I had made $20, $200 or $2000, I would still close the launch for that thing for the same duration of time. Whether it is still going to get launched again or not remains to be seen though.
In the latter part of this year I am looking to release another product so stay tuned for that.
Unorthodox Monetization Ways
I always take blog monetization as a big challenge so I did some unorthodox ways to squeeze money from this blog as well. One of them is through the “put the banner and make money program”. During the past couple of years it was really kicking. I mean you don’t need traffic, don’t need page rank, all you need is to sign up, and then put those ugly looking banners that are made of frames and tables and then receive your 10 Euros (they were usually paying Euros). Some are on a recurring basis and most are on a one time basis.
I really didn’t get the other side of it, all I knew was it’s another way to make money. I even wrote a post about it on how you can money without any sweat at all.
I also did some paid text links in posts thing where I basically was approached by advertisers saying they want this keyword in this specific post to link on their site or whatnot. Probably it’s an evil tactic but is definitely another good way to make money. The buy sell text links forum in digital point was where I was getting most of my clients.
Finally I also tried my luck with CPM-based advertising where I get paid a dollar or more for a thousand impressions. I was a smart ass so all I did was to leverage social media traffic, setup some rotating IP addresses to view my blog and buy cheap traffic. It was a little profitable thing but then I stopped doing it when I switched with this magazine template.
I still have a couple at the back of my mind but I don’t think it’s good to share those things as well as it may probably harm your blog if you implement it. Anyways do take note too that this is what I’d like to call as “desperate monetization measures”. Like I’ve said, it’s always a challenge for me to make money and so even when people see me as trying too hard to make money, I really don’t mind.
As I’ve said I’m going to release a couple of products down the road this year and test the market for it. Since I started list-building last year, I would try to get something from it as well, try to build relationships and then leverage it by recommending some stuffs to them.
The direct advertising model is going to be here in my blog for at least this year since its making me some really good money although I would try to shy away from it probably starting next year once I start getting a more consistent stream of income from other sources
An interesting note to take as well is on how I myself have turned the focus of this blog from making as much money as possible to actually starting to work more on its personal brand and focusing with relationships instead. Although the blog still makes decent money, most of the goals that I’ve set this year aren’t really on the financial side, rather more on building a larger community towards it and bigger readability all throughout the blogosphere. Money is good, but I’d take growing credibility and expertise any time of the day.
Long post huh? What say you?