5 Most Powerful Ways to Monetize Your Blog and Increase Traffic

Most people think making money from a blog is really hard.

But the truth is it’s not. Anyone who knows how to sell can make a decent income online.

If you have ever wondered how to make money blogging, this is the RIGHT place for you. I’m not only going to share you few incredible ways to make money from a blog but also going to show you few insider strategies to drive huge traffic to your sites.

Let’s dive into the details.

5 Powerful Ways to Monetize Your Blog

Infographic financial investment

#1. Create a money making online course

Ramit Sethi, Derek Halpern, Brian Clark – these big players have one thing in common. They are making huge income by selling online courses. They have built million-dollar online businesses by selling courses to their audience.

Online courses are the new craze now. Every top marketer or guru in your industry has an online course (or going to start one soon). Did you know why?

They give you passive income with less or zero investment. All you need is to have some experience around your niche to create a profitable online course for your audience.

So how can you create a successful online course that actually makes money?

  • The difference between a profitable online course and the mediocre one is the “authority”. No one likes to spend their money on a stranger especially if they don’t have any authority. If you are popular in your industry, people are going to pay you no matter how high your prices are.
  • Promotion is everything while making more money from online courses. Every profitable online course is well promoted via Facebook ads, affiliates; email lists, PPC ads etc. The more exposure you give to selling your courses the more people you can attract.
  • Answer “why should anyone buy from me”. If you don’t have convincing answers for why people should pay you for your online courses instead of your competitors, you will fail miserably to make money.

#2. Offer Consulting Services

Consulting

Did you know that consulting is a whopping $500 billion industry?

Consultants worldwide are getting paid to teach.

Neil Patel is a well-known consultant who teaches first at his blog QuickSprout and uses his audience to convert into his clients.

People love to pay him more for his consulting services not only because he delivers but he has worked with Fortune 500 companies.

Not everyone can repeat the same but you can definitely learn some of the lessons from other successful consultants to start making money from your blogging efforts.

Here are few important steps you need to follow to make more money by offering consulting services from your blog.

  • Produce highly informative content and get massive exposure to it. The simple truth about making more from online consulting through blogs is to share highly valuable content with your target audience first then giving them premium content in return of “one on one” coaching. This always works because people trust you if they see you offering huge value through your blog posts.
  • Learn how to turn normal website visitors into loyal readers. If you want others to pay you for your consulting services, you need to create a friendly blog where people love to read and share your stuff.
  • Make sure to improve your portfolio. Work with the authorities in your industry. If you have a sounding portfolio, it makes easier for people to take decisions to work with you. You can offer free services to the big guys in your niche so you can get some great testimonials from them later.

#3. Become a Go to Guy in a Small Niche

Notebook with monetization sign on a table.

Becoming an expert is really the key to growing your own hungry audience who are ready to pay you. It’s almost impossible to dominate a niche where there’s too much overloaded crowd.

And people don’t pay you if you are not an expert.

The best way to gain people’s attention is to pick a small niche and dominate it. Become the go to guy in that small niche. And people will come back more for you.

The idea here is to establish yourself as an expert in a very small niche where you can easily dominate. See, you can’t beat Google if you are creating another search engines. But you can definitely make your own mark by staying focused at one thing.

A niche market doesn’t mean small, it’s a focused market where even beginners can become sharks by providing more value. Bigger brands like Tech Crunch, Mashable use mass marketing where they post tons of articles every single week to drive more traffic and increase their ad revenue.

The same thing doesn’t work for you if you are a single blog owner who has a limited budget and time. You can’t spend most of your time creating content for your blogs, right? You need to be laser focused while defining your target audience. Only then, you can create a blog that builds business for you in the long run.

Also make sure to note that, it takes time to make money online. Making money from blogging is not a get rich quick scheme. It takes consistent efforts and lots of trial and errors to finally start making money from your blogs.

#4. Build a Sales Funnel

Creating a Sales Funnel with Autoresponders

A sales funnel is where the money is. A sales funnel is where the paying customers are. A sales funnel is what you really need to make more money from your sites.

If your blog doesn’t have a sales funnel yet, you need to create one. If you are struggling to make money blogging, it’s probably because you don’t have a sales funnel put in place.

If you want to create a profitable website sales funnel, try the following tips.

  • Offer a freebie (such as eBook, theme or plugin) to turn your website random visitors into subscribers. Then, find ways to add more value to your email list by sending educating emails about the products you promote.
  • The more you nurture your email list the more qualified leads you can generate.
  • The money you make from your sales funnel is directly proportional to the people you help. The more people you help with massive value the more you can make out of them.

#5. Affiliate Marketing is EVERGREEN

Internet

I know, it’s easier and faster to make money from Google AdSense. And there are a ton of other alternatives to AdSense if you are not happy with it. All you need is to drive more traffic and make your visitors click on random ads on your sites to make more cents. The problem with it is, you are just turning off your visitors.

Instead of sending your hard earned website visitors to random links, it’s a smart strategy to send to your own product links or affiliate links. It gives you more money whenever someone makes a purchase from your affiliate links.

Affiliate marketing is one the proven ways to make passive income online. If done right, within a year, you will be building a blog that makes you money on autopilot (even while you sleep!).

If you are wondering how to make more money by promoting affiliate products, here are 2 simple tips for you.

  1. Write in-depth case studies about the products you use. Use affiliate links. If people find your reviews genuine, you will get a lot of sales.
  2. Recommend less products. Most people recommend a lot of affiliate products and that’s a plain wrong approach to increasing your affiliate sales. If you give too many options to your readers, they choose nothing. Recommend as less products as possible but put your best efforts in getting more links and traffic to them to increase sales.

How to Grow Your Website Traffic?

Getting more visitors to your blog or website is a BIG deal especially if you are new to online and know nothing about SEO.

Here are 3 simple yet most effective ideas to bring more visitors to your sites.

#1. Give Your BEST Posts to Others

One of the biggest mistakes most bloggers and marketers make is they publish the BEST stuff on their own blogs. This isn’t a smart strategy to grow your audience especially when you have no prior online connections or readership.

I know how hard it is to refrain yourself from giving your best posts to other blogs. But what’s the point in writing great content to a smaller audience when you can get more exposure to it when you give it away as guest posts?

You will get more visitors and loyal audience if you have highly informational and valuable guest posts. As Matt Cutts said, guest blogging isn’t dead. It is still one of the most effective ways to build your audience from scratch.

#2. Be Active on Social Media

Social media is the new SEO. Did you know that your social shares increase your overall visibility in search engines?

Google gives high priority to the pages that get more social shares including tweets, G+ shares, Facebook shares etc. If you get hundreds of social shares on every post you publish, you will eventually start ranking higher in search engines even if you don’t have thousands of backlinks. 

But getting more social shares is hard if no one knows you. You should be active on social media. You need to interact with the social media active users and influencers in your niche. If you get mentions from them, in no time, your traffic will explode.

#3. Use Skyscraper Technique to Create Viral Content

Most people create content on random topics. They create content on the topics they think that could go viral. But the reality is 99% of the time it won’t create any buzz.

That’s why you need to focus on creating content that is proven to go viral. Brian Dean originally coined Skyscraper technique in which you create content that attracts more buzz. Here’s how you can use it to create content.

Find popular content in your niche using Buzzsumo. Then make it even better and promote it to the right people to get more exposure to your content.

Here’s a beginners guide to skyscraper technique if you want to find out more.

Final Thoughts About Monetizing Your Blog

The concept of “making money blogging” may sound strange to you if you are completely new to online world. But there are thousands of people who are using their blogs to make a living.

If done right, with the right efforts, you can turn your blog into a money making machine.

In order to do that, you need to build a sales funnel that turns normal visitors into subscribers into sales. You also need to find out the right monetization strategy for your blog audience to make money.

Let me know what you think about monetizing blogs. Do you have any more tips to drive more traffic and increase sales from blogs? Share your thoughts in the comments.

This post was an original contribution by Anil Agarwal of bloggerspassion.com.

Creating Your Own Web Hosting Service

Have you ever wanted to run your own web hosting service, or wanted to know how other services can charge only a few dollars a month for web hosting? It’s actually easier than you think. When you order cheap web hosting through a service like HostGator, which costs under $10 a month, you are actually placed on a dedicated server with a bunch of other web sites. By placing a bunch of people on the same server, hosting companies can offer low monthly costs, while still generating a great deal of revenue.

If you ever wanted to start your own hosting company, you would essentially do the same thing. Order a large dedicated server, then break up your clients into smaller hosting accounts which you then bill on a monthly basis. This is what 16 year old Mate Hegedus has been doing with his web hosting company, and he would like to show you how to do the same.

In addition to setting up your own web hosting service, you should also consider your options with email hosting as well. This is commonly done through the use of a Microsoft Exchange Server — which allows you to setup POP3 or IMAP email with higher levels of security and functionality versus using other third party email providers.

No matter what type of hosting (web site or email) you want to setup, this article will provide you with the necessary details to do both.

How to Setup Your Own Web Hosting Service

To walk through the whole process and get a better understanding, you can create your own free unlimited hosting company at no cost whatsoever, by visiting Powrhost.com! Once setup, you will be provided with free and unlimited hosting with no ads!

So how can a 16 year old do such a thing using just his MacBook?

YouHosting is a company that allows everyone to go and turn just their own domain name into a hosting business. You don’t even need to buy a domain name as you can just simply get one for free at www.cz.cc.

Without paying a single dime, you may allow your clients to have 10GB of disc space each and a whopping 100GB of bandwidth each month! And it really is that simple to create your own hosting company.

Simply go to YouHosting.com and sign up (it really is free). YouHosting will then tell you to point your domain’s nameserver to them and then you can just choose a pre-done theme and voila! You have your very own hosting business. The image below walks you through the process of how their service works.

Registration literally takes a minute and you can easily set up how much bandwidth you wish to allow in certain packages and how much you wish to charge users should they wish to upgrade for more bandwidth. You can really run a super powerful and competition ready free unlimited hosting website for no cost whatsoever!

But how can we make money from this?

As mentioned earlier, you can easily add your own upgraded packages which users can purchase should they need more MySQL databases, email accounts of more bandwidth.

Here is a screenshot of my master control panel’s packages selection:

As you can see I am only providing free unlimited hosting, but I could just as easily add upgrades to generate revenue.

You can also add advertisement to your client’s webpages, allowing you to generate revenue from that. Adding advertisements literally takes a few seconds and you can just simply take your Google AdSense code and put it in there!

You Can Also Sell Your Web Hosting Service

With the help of Flippa, this should be extremely easy for you. My own free unlimited hosting gets over 10 signups a day on its own and is hosting over 1 million page views a day. This was achieved with relative ease and I am sure I could do it too. My secret? I do not place advertisements onto my client’s websites but I do place a back link on their site back to Powrhost so that it has a better SEO.

Now all you need to do is get the first couple of users to your hosting site and that shouldn’t be too hard of you have a mailing list and you can just as easily place an advertisement into a hosting forum (something I am planning to do to catapult my site’s usage even more).

YouHosting’s control panel truly is revolutionary. It gives you access to do everything that you may need to do. You can set up domain names which your customers can use a free subdomain, you can create automatic email replies and YouHosting will even create and code your whole HTML website for you. All you have to do is just direct a domain name to their servers, get a free account and you have a fully functional hosting provider!

The super admin panel even allows for customers to submit their tickets should they have any queries:

Running your own hosting company, you will run into issues relating to support, downtime and possible security and software issues. Before jumping full on into your own hosting, make sure you have a good understanding of what’s going on, as you will be hosting web sites for other people, and it isn’t necessarily something you can just walk away from.

This article was written by Mate Hegedus who is a 16 year old internet marketer from Hungary.

My Story on “Entrepreneur on Fire” with John Lee Dumas

Rise of the EntrepreneurOver the past couple of years podcasting has just been on “fire“! It’s simply growing like blogging and WordPress was back when it was just catching on. Now everyone wants to be a part of it and it’s amazing to see how many bloggers, brands and experts are jumping in.

This is exactly what I did several months back when I launched my “Rise of the Entrepreneur” podcast.

I have to tell you… it’s not easy!

Podcasting Overload!

Podcasting is awesome… for both listeners and the people who are running shows of their own — however it’s quite overwhelming at the same time.

A lot of work goes into each and every podcast (if you do it right).

First, you need to have the right hardware and equipment to make everything sound awesome. My setup cost around $1,000. Then you need to make sure you do all the prior research for each of the guests you have on your show, master the audio for any errors/background noise (my audio guy does this), then you also need to invest some money into great looking cover art and also an intro for your show.

In short, it’s a lot of time, work and effort just to get started. You can skimp on a bunch of these areas, but if you want it done right… do it right!

zac-johnson-Rise-of-the-EntrepreneurRise of the Entrepreneur has been featured in Forbes and in iTune’s New & Noteworthy

As I was saying… running a podcast can be quite overwhelming if you’re already running a business and writing for various sites and blogs in the process.

For the first 15 weeks of my show, I was recording two episodes per week and this really took up a lot of time and focus. While I loved doing the show two times per week, it was just overkill. At that point I decided to push the show back to once a week and it was the right decision! (there is a huge difference between 8 shows a month and 4).

The listening audience is growing at a rapid pace and I’m getting amazing feedback from people all the time — many of which whom I’ve never talked to before.

Why Start a Podcast Anyway?

So you might be thinking… why would someone get into podcasting in the first place?

For most people the answer would usually be money, but let me tell you — it’s not easy to make money in podcasting, no matter what others say! I’m not trying to make money with Rise of the Entrepreneur, but unless you have a massive audience or selling a coaching program.

I decided to start my own podcast because I wanted to build own my brand and take it to a whole new level. I also wanted to become a better speaker and really put myself out there. Going live with my own podcast has definitely helped me with both.

It’s also all about connections… 

John Chow and Jeremy Schoemaker were two of the driving influencers behind starting my blog back in 2007.

John Lee Dumas and Pat Flynn were my two big influencers for starting my podcast (first episode).

I first listened to Pat Flynn’s podcast while I was living with my wife in an apartment during the reconstruction of our house after Super Storm Sandy. The content was awesome and it was something great to listen to while driving an hour to-and-from our house every few days.

I then came across John Lee Dumas’ story and saw he was making around $50,000 a month from podcasting. Jump forward nearly a year and he’s now pushing over $200,000 a month!

EOFire Income Reports

Sidenote: How does John Lee Dumas make so much money with a podcast? First off… he has a show every single day! His story is really cool and he’s monetized the heck out of it. EOF is one of the top listened to podcasts on iTunes and he makes money by selling ads on his show and also doing offering his own course teaching others how to start their own podcast.

Long story short… just like how I became good friends with Jeremy Schoemaker and John Chow when I was getting into the blogging space, I knew I had to do the same thing with these podcasting. I flew out to San Diego and met with Pat and John while at Social Media Marketing Expo, and also Cliff Ravenscraft, who was a big help during the startup of my podcast as well. Face to face interaction is a thousand times more important and effective that emails or online chat.

I would also meet up with John Lee Dumas again while at Podcaster Movement in Texas just a couple months ago. This was the first official “podcasting” conference and it was pretty cool to see something like this in it’s infancy… much like the old days of Affiliate Force / Affiliate Summit.

So what’s the lesson here?

Put yourself out there!

No matter what path or direction you are headed in life or business, it’s all about taking that extra step and making things happen. A perfect example of this would be John Lee Dumas… imagine where he would be if he didn’t start his once a day podcast?…

Entrepreneur on Fire – with Zac Johnson

Oh yea… here’s my full interview with on Entrepreneur on Fire with John Lee Dumas!

Zac Johnson on Entrepreneur on Fire with John Lee Dumas

How I Make Over Six Figures Every Year from Blogging

Eighteen years ago I started making money online and it’s been quite a journey since then. I’ve had my hands in everything from creating banner ads, pushing web hosting, creating sites to drive sales to Amazon, building out my own content sites, email marketing, affiliate marketing and of course blogging. You will notice it’s quite a list… but don’t forget, I did say 18 years!

To be successful in business, especially on the internet, is knowing how to adapt and change your business model with the world around you. All of the methods I mentioned above have changed a lot over the years, by being able to adapt your business to these changes you can continually tweak and improve your business with the times. Offline and retail businesses are failing miserably if they haven’t adapted to the world of internet marketing yet… and still some of them will sit on the sidelines and continue to lose money until they are completely bankrupt.

Of all of the methods I mentioned above, blogging has been on of the most fun and successful for me. However, finding success in the world of blogging is not easy… nothing in life worth doing is! It takes less than a few minutes to setup a blog of your own, but to build it into something amazing it will take a massive amount of time, effort and dedication. Money also helps…

Most people will start a blog and think they can throw content together and then traffic and money will start flowing through their sites. This is the worst thing you can think of… and it will never happen. Over 100,000 new sites are going live everyday… why would anyone want to visit your site over the others? This is what you need to find out and will ultimately determine the longterm growth and success of your blog.

Six Figure Blogging Formula

How I Make Over Six Figures Every Year from Blogging

My full page article can be found in the most recent article of FeedFront magazine. While it’s not a blue print for success, it does outline the basics of what every successful blogger needs. I’ve listed each of them below and also went into detail on how I use each to earn over six figures a year from blogging.

Be the Authority

It doesn’t matter what you are good at, as long as you are awesome at something. My calling was to start a blog in affiliate and online marketing, since this is what I’m good at. You will also want to choose a topic for your blog that interests you and that you will be able to leverage and write for over a long period of time. It’s also a good idea to start a blog that will have advertisers that want to buy placement on your site, or that you can create a product or service through.

In my case I get emails on a daily basis from advertisers that want to get exposure for their products and services on my site. Since I’ve built up my brand and authority, I can charge a high premium that other affiliate marketing blogs can not.

Be Everywhere

Imagine what it would cost you to buy a full month of newspaper advertisements or a billboard… this is all wasted money and it’s usually very expensive. On top of that you will also have limited reach, and there is also no guarantee it will even work for you. This is how the retail business is still being run.

Through the use of a blog and social media you can grow your brand and gain authority with little to no cost. Create something amazing, provide awesome advice, guest blog on various other sites and leave valuable comments and you will see a steady progression of your authority and your ability to be everywhere on the internet for an extremely low cost. This is without a doubt one of the best ways to grow your reach online.

I’m all over the place. I will answer interview requests whenever they come in, I guest blog on a bunch of sites, I’m active on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest and I’m always sharing content and commenting on top blogs across the internet.

Leverage Your Blog

I mentioned earlier that a lot of advertisers want to get exposure on my sites. If I’m not doing direct paid placement deals with them, there are usually other ways that we can work together. This can be another from a referral program or exchanging traffic and reviews on their sites. The important thing to know is that people want to work with you because of the blog that you have in place. Your blog isn’t only important for the people who are ready it, but also for leveraging yourself and your brand as well.

As a result of my blog I’ve been able to appear on Fox News, ABC News, speak around the world at difference conferences, launch a real book of my own, win some awesome prizes and meet amazing people from all around the world. On top of everything else, I’ve even been able to launch my own side brand through the blog which has grown immensely in just a few years.

Show Me the Money

The success of your blog and brand is contagious. Once you have a readership and brand following, people will read what you have to say and they will share it with their friends as well. The better the content, the more people will share it. All of this eventually leads to more exposure for your blog and brand, which increases your authority and your ability to charge a higher premium for advertising and gain the attention of Fortune 500 brands.

Anyone can start a blog, but it takes a massive amount of time and effort to turn it into something amazing. Earning $100,000 a year from a blog is definitely possible and some of you will likely accomplish this in the coming new year. Don’t look at the big picture, but instead focus on the core content and goal of your blog. Don’t be afraid to try something different, and also don’t try to replicate someone else’s success.

Creating a legitimate and profitable blog does not happen over night. Start small and try to earn $10 a day, then scale this to $1,000 a month in earnings and you will eventually hit your goal of six figures per year.

RetailMeNot – Never Pay Full Price Again

The thought of paying full price for something is just so archaic and it also makes you feel like a sucker in the process. Coupons and discounts were made to bring you into the store not only to save money, but to also buy a ton of other crap in the process… and it works!

Save Money with Online CouponsWhat’s even worse is when you pay full prices in stores that are known for having coupons all of the time. Bed Bath and Beyond is a perfect example. You can use as many 20% off coupons (per item) as you like when you checkout in their store. If you have 10 items and 10 coupons, you will save 20% on each… you can also use the coupons even after they expire. The bad news is that since so many people are using their coupons, their prices are likely inflated in the first place ( in addition to branding and advertising)… which means if you don’t have a coupon, you are really getting screwed.

Online shopping is much easier when it comes to finding online coupons. I used to run a bunch of free stuff and coupon sites in the past, so I know the sheer power and money that is made in this industry. So many people go to Google and search for coupons online before buying, and it would be stupid for them not to!

RetailMeNot is one of my favorite sites on the internet. You can find discounts and immediate coupons to use for almost anything you want to buy. They have one of the best platforms and updated sites for coupons anywhere, and they also don’t require you to sign up for their site to access their content.

Here’s just a recent example of how was I was able to instantly save money through their site, on a purchase I was going to make anyway!

I was watching NBA TV and saw a commercial for TommieCopper athletic clothing and I recently fractured my finger, so I wanted to see what they had for wrist and hand braces. I ended up spending around $100 on their site, but not before I quickly typed in “tommie copper coupons” into Google search and came across my favorite site right at the top of the search results.

Tommie Copper Coupons

Once I clicked over to RetailMeNot I took some time to look through their coupons for Tommie Copper that would save me the most money. Sometimes you will need to try different coupons codes until you find one that works.

Tommie Copper Coupon Codes

The process took probably 2 minutes in total and I ended up saving an immediate $12.35 on my purchase!

Tommie Copper Order

This might not sound like a huge deal, but it can really add up over time. It’s one thing if you go into a local retail store and not have a coupon and there’s no physical way for you to get a discount on your purchase, but going to a site and buying something online without a coupon code is just nuts.

The next time you are shopping for something online, if you see an area on the check out form that has an area for “COUPONS / DISCOUNT CODES”, this is a clear sign that they have coupons and discounts available. Your next step if to search Google for “site name + coupons” and see what comes up. The site doesn’t always have to be RetailMeNot and you might have to sign up for the site’s mailing list, but there is a good chance that you could save 10% or more on your purchase with just a few minutes of searching.

Coupon Code Box

 

The holiday season may be coming to a close, but we are all buying stuff online all the time. Be sure to use this process to instantly save money on your future purchases throughout the year.

Top Blogs and Their CPM Advertising Rates

What makes the cost of advertising on one blog $500 when another blog will charge you $5,000 for the same amount of traffic? Of course the blogs we are hypothetically talking about are going to be in the same niche, and most likely have some of the same people visiting both sites. The difference between the site that is selling their traffic for $500 (or $.50 cpm) is that they have little to no branding, while the site that can charge $5,000 (or $50/cpm) is very well branded and high a very loyal and respectable following of readers on their site.

A good example of this would be TechCrunch and Mashable. Both of these sites cover the same stories that are published on thousands of other sites, but they have the branding and name recognition to allow them to charge 10x, 50x… even 100x time more than other web sites.

I thought it would be a fun and interesting case study to see how much top blogs in the internet marketing, tech and blogging niche are able to charge in comparison to each other. To make the study easy to follow and understand, we will only be looking at sites that are currently using BuySellAds.com to sell their inventory and on a CPM basis only. I will also try and make sure all of the ad placements are in the same size and location on the sites.

What is CPM advertising? For anyone that might be new to advertising or forgot what CPM advertising, it’s the method of buying advertising on a “per view” basis. “CPM” is the cost per 1,000 views, as in visitors to a web site and 1 impression equals 1 view.

On to the advertising!

Search Engine Journal

SEJ is one of the largest blogs on the internet when it comes to online marketing and search related news. Not only are they ones of the largest sites, but they also have a well respected name and known by many in the industry. Advertising on their site in the top right corner with a 300×250 ad will cost a heft $16 CPM!

Search Engine Journal Ad Rates

WebDesignTuts

WebDesignTuts+ is another extremely well known and successful blog which is mostly known in the blogging and design market. The site currently has over 600,000 impressions per month and depending on what ad location you would like to buy, prices will vary. In comparison to SEJ and for the same location with a 300×250 ad size, you would be looking at a $12 CPM. When advertising on the site with the same banner size but at the end of their posts, the rate is only $1.50 CPM. This gives you an idea how important it is to place your advertising at the top of a site versus the bottom.

WebDesignTuts Ad Rates

LifeHack

While LifeHack really isn’t a tech or marketing web site, they are extremely well known and have massive traffic flowing through the site. Their site focuses on life tips and improving productivity. Fortunately they also have a 300×250 banner location on their site in the top right corner, which makes them another great addition for this case study. With over 12 million monthly visitors, you can buy a ton of traffic through their site in a prominent location at $4 CPM.

LifeHack Ad Rates

The Next Web

When it comes to internet marketing and technology news, The Next Web is one of the hottest sites on the internet. There over 6 million monthly impressions served through the site and they also have a nice 300×250 banner ad location on the top right side of all their pages. The cost to advertise in this location is $5 CPM.

The Next Web Ad Rates

Awesome Blogs Selling Out All Locations!

One thing you will notice about the blogs listed above is that they all have open inventory on their CPM advertising. While you might be surprised with how much some of these sites are charging (earning) for their advertising space, what’s even more amazing is to see blogs that are actually selling out on their CPM ad space. We’ve listed two of them for you below.

Killer Startups

Killer Startups used to be a blog that focused on new web sites and startups and anyone could be profiled on their site for a placement fee. Around a year ago the site went through a complete redesign is more blog/news focused now. KillerStartups only has one banner location on their site for sale, which is a 300×250 banner in the bottom right side area… but it’s important to note that they have over 520,000 impressions served monthly and are 100% selling out this location at $3 CPM.

KillerStartups Ad Rates

Personal Branding Blog

Just like the name of the blog says, Personal Branding Blog is all about blogging and is the product of well known marketer and speaker Dan Schawbel. Of all the sites we featured, PBB has the least amount of traffic, at 60,000 impressions per month, but the blog also is completely sold out in two of their CPM categories… one of which being the 300×250 banner location in the middle right side location of the site, at a cost of $7 CPM.

Personal Branding Blog Ad Rates

What Type of Advertising is Right for You?

The question here is two fold… if you are an advertiser you should be looking at your options when it comes to advertising on different sites. The good news is that if you are advertising through BuySellAds, this is an easy place for you to start split testing conversions and click through rates.

On the flip side, if you are a blog owner with a lot of traffic and have a well trusted and followed brand, should you be selling your ad space on a CPM or flat rate basis? You might be surprised at how much money you might be leaving on the table with either option. The best way to find out is for you to sell your traffic through both methods and see which earns you the most money, while also bringing the best results for your advertisers as well.

How Branding Affects Online Advertising Costs

Have you ever thought about how much of a difference “BRANDING” makes when someone is buying advertising online? What makes Google the best search engine for pay per click marketing? Yahoo and Bing are still getting BILLIONS of search results every month through their sites, but Google advertising comes at a much higher premium. Go one level deeper and look at search engines like 7Search… cost per click pricing is just a fraction of what it costs to advertise with Google.

Google Bing  Yahoo

When it comes to search engine marketing, quality is king. No advertiser is going to spend a ton of money on advertising if the leads aren’t backing out for them. Though the issue of volume is also one that Google has over other brands, even when against Yahoo and Bing combined.

Another way to look at branding and how it influences ad cost is to look at a site like TechCrunch. The ad rates on this site are quite amazing. Companies that want to advertise on TechCrunch are most likely paying what they are paying because they want to be associated with the TechCrunch brand. They could definitely reach the same audience through different outlets at a much lower rate.

TechCrunch advertising packages start out at $5,000 – and they have such a demand for advertising on their site, that they created a cool infographic that is posted on their sales page. (Doesn’t this make the process of buying ads on their site that much cooler, versus just an order form page!)

TechCrunch Advertising

But this is nothing new… 

Just look at the clothing and shoes you are wearing right now. What type of car in in your drive way… and how many of you are reading this on a Apple product right now?

The reason why people will pay more money to be associated with world famous brands is because they WANT to be associated with that brand that makes them feel better, blend in with the “cool” crowd or are sucked into the massive marketing campaigns that drive up the costs for many of the products of these large companies.

For example, a $20 sweater from KMart or Old Navy will probably keep you just as warm as a $200 Ralph Lauren sweater. It might not have the same quality and look, but in the end it still serves the same purpose. Yet there is still a massive demand for the Ralph Lauren “brand” and the stigma that it offers to it’s consumers.

So what can we learn form this?… two different things:

  1. Online advertising is greatly affected by branding, but not on all levels. Pay per click marketing is more influenced by the market and what keywords are being bid up to. On site advertising however is heavily focused on the type of site you are buying ad placement on (higher CPMs)
  2. If you are going to be building your own company or web site, you should be focusing on the overall brand of your organization. A brand will grow with your company and customers overt time and can become more valuable than the actual revenue being done through your site. Branding is more than just what someone sees, it’s also how passionate they are about a product and the reputation that is behind that brand.

At the end of the day it doesn’t matter what your personal preference and buying habits are, it’s just important for you to understand the power of branding and how it influences the mind of your customers and makes them want to pay more to be associated with your BRAND.

How I Save Hundreds of Dollars a Month with Freshbooks

Freshbooks is an awesome online invoicing platform for freelance marketers, businesses and anyone in between. I’ve known about them for a few years now, but it wasn’t til earlier this year that I actually started using. I’ve already made hundreds of dollars (in savings) by using their service and in this post I’m going to show you how you can do the same.

Who needs Freshbooks?

If you accept payments online, need invoicing and want to create a directory of all your clients/advertisers, then Freshbook is likely a great solution for you. I’m not the best book keeper in the world, but Freshbooks makes this pretty easy for me.

Through ZacJohnson.com and my other sites I get a lot of advertising requests. I will usually follow up to these requests with an email and we will build an advertising package for each client. I used to tell the advertiser my Paypal email address and have them send payment that way. The problem with this is that I was giving Paypal a nice chunk of my money! (more on that later)

Now when I have a new advertiser or something I am getting payment from someone for, I simply head over to my Freshbooks account. Once logged in, all I need to do is enter in their Name and Email along with the invoice details. I then click a button and the invoice is automatically sent to the advertiser and requests their payment.

Freshbooks Invoicing

How Freshbooks is Saving Me Money Over PayPal

The real value in any service really comes down to how much time or money it can save you. Since Freshbooks is already saving me a bunch of time, I will tell you about how it saves me money by issuing invoices through their system, yet still using Paypal to accept payments.

As a Paypal Standard user, when you accept payments you are getting charged 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction. That means if someone sends you $1,000, Paypal is taking a $29 + .30 cut. That can add up to a lot of money!

When you use Freshbook invoicing, you have the option to check off “PayPal Business Payments”, which charges you only .50 for the transaction… no matter how much money you are requesting. The only bad news about this is that the person sending the payment can’t use a credit card… but still, only using this method half of the time will still save you a ton of money!

Freshbooks PayPal Business

What does Freshbooks Cost?

If you accept more than $1,000 a month in payments from advertisers, Freshbooks is a no brainer. The monthly membership cost of Freshbooks starts at only $19.95 and allows you to manage 25 different clients. If you are doing quick invoices and don’t expect clients to come back again, you can simply remove them from your account and add new ones. This is what I have been doing and the $19.95 a month plan has been working perfectly for me.

There are plenty of other benefits and feature of Freshbooks that I’m not even using, but I recommend you take a tour through their site and check it out for yourself.

How I Built a 4 Figure Monthly Blog in 3 Months – Part 4

This is the final post in a series of post on how I built a blog that was making four figures monthly, and, most importantly, how you can do the same.

Here’s what the series covers:

I’ve addressed how I planned my blog, how I created my blog, how I make money from my blog, how I create key posts, and how I create key pages.

Today’s post will be addressing an essential part of my strategy; how I market my blog.

How I Market My Blog or My Guest Blogging Strategy

My marketing strategy is based solely on guest blogging; nothing complicated or fancy.

I’ve experimented with other marketing tactics in the past but guest blogging seems to be the only effective one for me, without really going out of my comfort zone, both on the long and short term.

However, I have been guest blogging for 3 years now so I have made quite a number of mistakes. This post will be teaching you my approach that works, eliminating all the guesswork I had to do when I was just getting started.

Why It is Important to Plan Your Guest Blogging

Most bloggers approach guest blogging in a simplistic way; by looking for blogs willing to publish their guest posts, and submitting posts to these blogs.

Before guest blogging, it is important to have a plan; in other words, you need to design a guest blogging campaign, and this campaign will often be influenced by the following factors:

  • What are your goals?
  • How soon do you want results?
  • How much time can you invest into guest blogging?
  • What niche are you in?

The above questions, and more, should influence your guest blogging plan. Here’s how they can influence your guest blogging plan:

1. What are your goals?

What are Your Goals?Do you want to use guest blogging to get one or two quick clients, or do you want it to be a core part of your blog growth strategy? Depending on your answer, the kind of guest posts you write, the kind of blogs you guest post on, and how many guest posts you write will be different.

Example: If I am a freelance writer who needs to get 1 – 2 clients within a month, and I’m considering doing this by guest blogging, instead of just submitting guest posts to any blogs I can find, it will be more effective to find the biggest blogs read by the kind of clients I want, that will publish my guest posts quickly, and submit my guest posts to them.

I will also want to make sure my post is in some way relevant to the freelance writing service I offer, so that clients can see a connection and then hire me.

In other words, looking for the top tech blogs and contributing a post about the top iPhone apps, or sending a random post to my favorite blog about blogging, won’t cut it.

2. How soon do you want results?

If you want results as soon as your guest post is published, you should focus on quality instead of quantity; in other words, you want to avoid targeting a lot of small blogs. Instead, you want to target the very big blogs since they tend to have a wider reach.

3. How much time can you invest into guest blogging?

The time you invest into guest blogging will, almost always, be directly proportional to the results you get. If you don’t have enough time, you need to ensure every minute you invest counts; in other words, you need to find the very best outlets for your guest posts so that every post you submit can make an impact.

If you have a lot of time, you can focus on a strategy that might not get immediate results but will have massive impact on the long run; by this, I mean you might also want to consider using guest blogging as part of your SEO strategy.

4. What niche are you in?

This is critical. Guest blogging isn’t the same in every niche; some niches have very few blogs, and the popular blogs in some niches have few readers. You have to factor this in when you’re guest blogging.

If you are in a niche that won’t really help you benefit from guest blogging, you might want to consider an approach where you target relevant blogs in much bigger niches and look for ways to link the topic of that niche with the topic of your niche.

Decide on the Number of Guest Posts You Want to Write

Once you’ve considered the 4 factors outlined above, the next step is to decide on the number of guest posts you will be writing on a monthly basis.

Pre Schedule Your Blog PostsThe number of guest post you decide on should be influenced by all these factors. Here’s a summary of the factors again:

  • Your goals
  • Your niche
  • Available time
  • How soon you want results

Depending on what your goals are, you will find yourself writing 2 – 20+ guest posts every month; no matter the situation, I will recommend not writing less than 2 guest posts a month.

For me, my initial plan was to write 20 guest posts a month but I soon realized that, with my other activities, that is easier said than done, and, most importantly, I didn’t need to write as much guest posts.

How to Find the Right Blogs to Guest Post On

When it comes to guest blogging effectively, a huge part of the process is finding the right blogs to publish your guest posts.

Here are some tips for you when trying to find blogs for your guest posts:

  • Make sure the blog is in your niche, or relevant to your niche.
  • If you can’t find a blog relevant to your niche, make sure there’s a way you can tie your topic to the topic of that blog. Example: I can promote a marketing blog on an iPhone blog by writing a post titled “10 Cool iPhone Apps for Marketers.”
  • Avoid writing guest posts for blogs have easy criteria; you are looking for results, not an easy guest blogging opportunity.

Techniques for Finding Blogs for Your Guest Post

Here are my favorite techniques for finding blogs that will publish my posts:

Guest Blogging Writers

1. Google Search: By searching for guest blogging-related terms + the niche I want to guest post on, I can find hundreds of blogs in Google after a few hours of searches. Assuming I’m looking for blogs in the design niche, here are terms I would use:

  • Design blog + “write for us”
  • Design + “write for us”
  • Design blog + “submit guest post”
  • Design blog + “guest blogging opportunities”
  • Design blog + “guest blogging”
  • Design blog + “guest posting”
  • Design blog + “contribute”
  • Design blog + “submit article”

You can also use variations of the above terms, replacing “design” with your niche. It’s also important to include the quotes in the guest blogging related terms when searching, as this only shows blogs that actually need guest posts.

How to Write Guest Posts that Get Results

When trying to write guest posts that get results, make sure you consider the following tips:

  • Look for a proven formula that works with the blog; try to see if you can find their most popular posts, or analyze their most recent guest posts, to see what they have in common. There’s every probability the blogger already has a formula she believes in, and you will increase the chances of your guest post being accepted if you stick to this formula.
  • Make sure the topic of your guest post has a connection to your niche; this way, readers of your guest post have a reason to check you out.
  • Link to relevant and authoritative sources in your guest post; this helps readers associate you with these sources, and it improves the chances of your guest post ranking well in the search engines for long-term gain.
  • Make sure your guest posts are properly formatted; you might already have your own formatting style, but it might help to study the blog you will be publishing on, and to format your guest post using the format common on that blog.
  • Make sure your bio describes you well; it can talk about your expertise, experience, as well as how you can help readers of your guest posts.

Conclusion

Guest blogging can be very powerful, especially when you use it as a core part of your marketing strategy; this post is the last past of this series and it details how I approach guest blogging for my blogs. I hope you are able to get results on your blog by following the suggestions in this post.

Bamidele Onibalusi is a blogger, freelance writer, and the founder of Writers in Charge, a popular blog for writers. If you want a proven formula for getting writing clients by blogging.

Making Money with Debt Relief Affiliate Programs

The finance and debt industry is one that is always going to make money. It doesn’t matter if the economy is good or bad… or if everyone has a job or not, financial services will always be needed! Throw in a national consumer debt of $2.8 trillion and I think we are safe to say that businesses focusing on debt consolidation and relief are going to be busy for quite some time. Debt isn’t just about personal money, it’s also about managing business costs as well. Debt Problems With all of that said, it’s a good opportunity for internet marketers to take advantage of the situation and build out web sites and ad campaigns to promote these offers. It obvious that people are going to Google and searching for debt relief solutions every day, so why shouldn’t you cash in on this market while it’s hot. As online marketers I’m sure we’ve all seen the different debt, insurance and financial offers out there. Many of them pay anywhere from $10-$100 depend on the data required.

Debt Relief Programs are in Demand

National Debt Relief is A BBB accredited business helping consumers with unsecured credit card debt and medical bills. The good news is that they also have an affiliate program run through CJ.com and  Shareasale.com, one of my favorite networks! National Debt Relief We already touched briefly on how the whole country is pretty much screwed from it comes to retirement and the amount of people already in debt. Throw in the fact that unemployment is at it’s lows, nearly everyone should be look at debt relief options right now. It’s also known that the average American doesn’t expect to be debt-free until the age of 53… so companies like National Debt Relief don’t only have marketing on their site, but also solid hard facts about life in America today.

Making Money with Debt Relief Affiliate Programs

Unlike other affiliate related offers that sell health products that don’t work, or game downloads that install garbage on your computer… this program actually provides value for everyone. The company gets new clients, the customer reduces their debt and the affiliate marketer earns a commission on all referred leads. Here are some of the benefits included with the National Debt Relief affiliate program.

  • Earn $25 Per Qualified Free Debt Relief Quote Request With Our Pay Per Lead Program
  • Short 6 Field Form Takes One Minute To Complete
  • Earn $38 Per Qualified Free Debt Relief Phone Call With Our Pay Per Call Program
  • NEW: Pay Per Sale Program – Earn $300 Per Sale. Contact Us for more details.
  • Earn 12% Override on Commissions on All Affiliates You Refer
  • Ongoing Training and Resources To Maximize Lead Conversions
  • National Debt Relief has helped thousands of consumer get help with their unsecured debts.
  • We offer consumers one of the lowest cost ways out of credit card debt.

As you can see, with commissions in the range of $25-$38 and all the way up to $300 per sale, there is a decent opportunity for anyone interesting in working in the financial niche market. In addition to the benefits above, National Debt Relief has also come out with their own Pay Per Call program (through Shareasale) that issues each of their affiliates a unique phone number that can be used on landing pages or in ad campaigns. We all know the value of posting a phone number on landing pages for driving conversions. Just ten sales a month is an extra $3,000 in commissions.

How to Promote National Debt Relief

Now let’s talk about some of the different ways you can start promoting National Debt Relief to make some good money. Online Marketing Methods

  • BLOG – A blog is a great way to build out content that can rank for long term keywords. When people are searching for ways to save money and eliminate their debt, you have a whole world of opportunity. Another good thing is that this is your best bet for building a long term ad campaign without needing a lot of money to get started.
  • FACEBOOK ADS – The power of advertising lies in the fact that there are over a billion users on their site and that you can advertise to them all based on their demographics. Target 30+ year old men in New York and build a targeted landing page with these parameters and you are good to go. Keep split testing ad copies til you find one that works, and use a low daily spend when getting started.
  • PAY PER CLICK - PPC is an extremely competitive and costly niche, however this is where leads are directly coming from. If someone is searching for “debt relief” in the search engines, you know they are very focused on getting something done. When using ppc marketing you are going to have to worry about quality scores, landing pages and dealing with advertisers that have huge budgets.
  • MEDIA BUYING – I’m sure you’ve already seen a ton of banners and pop-unders all over the place for home/car insurance and saving money at home. Using these same methods you can advertise National Debt Relief through the use of their banners and landing pages.

If you’d like to learn more about making money in the financial and debt niche, be sure to check out the National Debt Relief affiliate program.