Ad networks are really starting to turn me off. Since my Google Adsense account was banned for reasons that will never be known to me, I’ve tried using a couple of different ad networks on my blogs. Let’s just say that the revenue has been poor and they struggle to place relevant ads on my sites.
Example: I have an Android App review site and a Military Spouse’s niche site. One day I saw a cell phone ad on my military spouse site and an ad for Military.com on my Android site. When I inquired with the advertising network about the issue they just told me how to “block” advertisers from my sites. Thanks, adBrite…you douches.
The shining apple in all of this has been Infolinks, In-Text advertising. Their ads are pretty relevant and I’ve been getting a pretty high payout with the sites that are monetized with them, especially the Military Spouse site. By the way, Infolinks, I know from the past that you all monitor your brand pretty well. So, when are we going to see an affiliate program?
Needless to say, I’ve been looking for ways to monetize my sites without the use of ad networks.
5 Ways I Monetize my Blogs Without Ad Networks.
- Affiliates: I just find a couple of relevant services or products, choose the ones that I KNOW are good and place their banners on my sites. As you can see in my side bar to the right, I have chosen “Start a Blog that Matters”, WooThemes, and Hosting as my main affiliates for Blogging Tips for Dads. I’ll occasionally write something nice about them, too! (By the way, you should appreciate the fact that I didn’t place affiliate links just now!)
- Sponsored Posts and Reviews: I don’t think this is a problem as long as you put a disclaimer saying that you do them. Also, I’d steer clear of sponsored review sites such as SocialSpark, Bidvertise and Sponsored Reviews. That’s just me though. If you have a blog that you don’t care much about and people are paying you to write a post then, by all means, go ahead. This has worked especially well for my Android app site where I review apps for developers and I’m making about $40 per review.
- Sell Direct Ad Space: From time to time you’ll have a company approach you for some advertising space on your blogs. You can even go out and search for advertisers if you have enough traffic and you can make it worth their while. I use CrankyAds for my direct ad sales…and NO, this is not an ad network.
- Twitter Blasts: This is my favorite of all and the easiest. With a blog that has a large enough Twitter following (5K followers or more) then you can sell Tweets. I get about $25 per Tweet for my Android blasts which has about 9.5k followers. It’s important that you not sell out here. Only tweet relevant content to your followers, no matter how good the money. Don’t break the trust there.
- Fiverr and gig sites: This works especially well for new sites. You can actually use all of the above mentioned techniques just by building gigs on Fiverr. “I’ll place your ad on my Android blog for 3 days for $5″ or “I’ll tweet your Android app URL to my 9.5K Twitter followers for $5″. See where I’m going with this? Once you get enough completed gigs and good ratings you can actually up-sell: “For an additional $10 I’ll let you write a guest post on my PR3 tech blog.”
There are a bunch of ways to make money with a blog without using ad networks. The only limit is with your imagination. For instance, on all of my blogs (except this one) there is usually a disclaimer that goes something like this: “This blog makes money through affiliate banners, in-text ads and the occasional sponsored post. If you’d like to find out how you can create a money making website please visit our ***insert the link to a blog building page***.”
On your blog building page you can offer to do a lot of things. I like to offer WordPress installation, theme upload and 2 pieces of SEO content…and all the customer has to do is purchase domains, hosting and themes through my affiliate links. They never pay me a thing…but I still get paid.
What kind of ideas or methods do you use to monetize your blogs other than ad networks? Anyone think I’m crazy?
Make Babies, Make Blogs…