How To Squeeze More Income Out Of Your Blog

Posted on Posted in Best of, Blog Tip

Let me tell you a little secret. In this day and age of Text Link Ads monetization, the key to squeezing income out of your blog is setting up discrete partitions.

When I first got started in blogging, I would dedicate a whole domain to a single blog. And often I still do this to get started. But as a long term strategy, I no longer limit each domain to a single entity. Once a domain is established, I utilize its strength to create new monetizable sections.

New monetizable regions of your site can come in the form of:

1. Directories
2. Sub-domain or sub-directory blogs
3. Paid press releases
4. Paid services (e.g. classifieds, rental listings, etc.)
5. Recommended products (affiliate)

And I’m sure there are more. The important thing is to set up your site so that it is structurally optimized for monetization.

Ok. So that’s the theory. Let’s get to some practical examples.

Identifying Potential Regions

Let’s say that you have a moderately successful poker blog that’s pulling in $400/month, but which has plateaued in its income growth. What do you do? Well, for starters, you could start a paid poker directory. The directory would draw income from paid submissions plus be a discrete unit for monetizing via Text Link Ads. No need to start a new blog from scratch, do link building, etc. If your current domain is strong, you’ll have much faster success by sticking with that domain then starting with a new one.

The paradigm shift that I’m asking you to go through here is to not think “one service per domain” but to think “how can I squeeze as many worthwhile services onto the domains I already own.” If you have a blog and you’re chomping at the bit to find ways to earn more monthly income, you should seriously consider capitalizing on the property you’ve already built rather than trying to build a new property from scratch. The two aren’t mutually exclusive, of course. But I find that far too many people think that they need to start something like 50 new websites to make a living wage as a problogger. By maximizing a few domains, you can achieve your immediate goals faster, and build stronger equity at the same time (your property becomes more valuable with more services and more sources of income).

Capitalizing on recent success

One way to capitalize on the success of your blog is to build out your brand by introducing new blogs on sub-domains. In January, my company hired a new writer at PopCrunch. She took the blog from making $3/day to making over $100/day in the matter of a few months. So how did we capitalize? By starting three new blogs as subdomains under the PopCrunch brand (a hiphop site, a style site and a television site). The subdomains we used were “hiphop” “style” and “tv” – each of these sites is now blossoming into success, and the cool thing is that each will eventually be separately monetizable via Text Link Ads.

Another Example: This time from scratch

To see my new philosophy on monetization in action, let’s take a look at the most recent site my company began developing, called OneBigMaine. As a rule, we’ve found that location based travel and real estate sites offer mucho bang for the monetizing buck.

But let’s take a look at our strategy in developing this site (which we’ve not fully implemented yet). In the past, as bloggeres, we might have just thrown up a WordPress blog and cranked out content, hoping to generate a mix of AdSense and TLA income 6 months down the road. That model is quite limited, though. It’s limited by its structure: a single discrete section.

Instead of just throwing up a blog, we’ve decided instead to strategically maximize the site’s earning potential by planning for as many discrete monetizable sections as possible. We’ve identified five:

Region 1 is the main page (i.e. the home directory) and it will serve as an informational guide (i.e. articles) on the state of Maine (property buying, history, vacation info, etc.). Region 2 is a blog about Maine, focusing primarily on Maine related news. Region 3 will be a property and rentals listing section of the site where people will pay an annual fee to list their Maine vacation homes. Region 4 will be a OneBig feed list and will serve a dual function. First, it will be a huge PageRank boost (getting linked in from more than 10 other sites in the OneBig network). Second, it will serve as an informational source showing up to the minute Maine related blog headlines. Region 5 will be a Maine related niche directory.

We haven’t implemented all five of these sections, but you can get a glimpse of our mindset. There is no reason to limit yourself to a lone blog per domain. When you develop your next blog, think about how the blog might fit into a broader, more monetizable context.

Author: ryancaldwell

9 thoughts on “How To Squeeze More Income Out Of Your Blog

  1. Hi ryancaldwell ,

    I am just wondering that your thought is quite similar to mine. I think in this day link builing become so much popular in the field of online business promotion. So many people find it as a prolific business. In this case blog can be a strong weapon rather than traditional link building. I found that some smart SEO Company ( http://www.eseoc.com ) use some relevant blogs with good pr that give full benifite to the site to rank in search engines. I have some more information, will share with you later. By the way thanks for sharing and well executed indeed. Good luck…

  2. like when micheal jackson died, i typed in his name a bunch of small time bloggers posted a story on him and then i refreshed it and all these news companies and celebrity blogs were in top 10.

  3. I like and use web directories. Personally, I never pay for any directories, and I keep a list of over 130 free directories just for blogs on my site (no personal plug here, I’m just saying . . .)

    I think the contextual route is the best way to go these days myself. I’m sure that will change in a couple years but for now . . .

    Regardless you do have a good article and its worth considering. I think there is more benefit in pulling people in to register for free, possibly for a reciprocal link exchange.

  4. Your post inspired me to make an expanded post about using web directories to monetize sites. Thanks for the idea!

  5. Great article and I agree with almost all of it, the parts that I’m not in full agreement on are more hypothetical disagreements. There is a site that we are all very familiar with that has been doing this for sometime. The original founders did not see this business plan and they ultimately gave up the site. The site doesn’t monetize things in this way yet, but they could(hint hint hint). Its got a little known name and at one time offered up several great tools like a firefox add in and metrics tool. The name of the site is Performancing and for anyone unfamiliar with it the web address is http://www.performancing.com. 😉

    I have been using a strategy like this since about the beginning of February. Prior to that I had about 8 blogs on separate niche targets. I had several new ideas and wanted to run with them, but I also looked at adding a monetization stream up front that you do not mention here (possibly because it is seen as the bane of the problogging world) and that is writing sponsored articles.

    When you factor sponsored articles into this type of strategy, you can monetize a blog almost instantly. The older services like Blogitive and PayPerPost require blogs to be 90 days old typically. However, some of the newer sites do not and have lesser requirements that allow a new blog in sometimes in 30 days(blogsvertise) or with a PR1(payu2blog) or under other circumstances(linkylovearmy.com)

    The reasons why they do this are two fold:

    1. the newer services need sign ups so if you sign up when they first launch you can get started sooner with a young blog
    2. Blogs in these communities typically grow in readers, content, backlinks and pr very very quickly so a PR Nothing unheard of blog, could be a PR 3 or better by the time the next update swings through so from the advertiser and pay to blog service perspective you can plant the seeds and watch them grow for a relative cheap up front amount

    Now I first started a variety of this strategy on NoMoreIncumbents.org. (I do like some of your ideas and will probably use several of them.) At this site I set up a home page for a political blog and I bring in feeds from individual blogs to provide content. I set up individual ‘home pages’ for each state also with individual feeds but also with links out to other blogs for those states – so I attract attention by being generous with 1 way links here. I then setup a blog for each state as I identify a blogger interested in covering the site. The bloggers can cover the state and can monetize their work through the sponsored article sites. Now as a group we are bringing more and more people into the site as readers and visitors. We benefit from the cross promotion as well as the linking (using directories as opposed to subdomains here concious choice hoping to benefit from the trickle down PR off the home page, but definitely planning to utilize subdomains on this project later and other projects soon).

    I then start by focusing on the home page and building links and PR there, filtering that out to the rest of the group.

    I’m repeating this model currently on 2 other sites that are not yet as developed, one of which has significantly more potential for reasons unrelated to this strategy.

    Basically, this allows a site to come up and be profitable in the first 2-3 weeks. As the site matures, it will be positioned as a force to be reckoned with on several levels including the financial side. We’ll work in multiple sponsored strategies for articles heavily up front and then transition to a TLA basis further down the road more and more. Adsense will become a factor as traffic increases, but I would note that with the heavy political spending in the US presidential campaign I think the potential here is going to be very large. There are several other things taking place as well, but you get the picture.

    I like the paid directory option you describe and I am also experimenting heavily with classified tools from several different sites. I anticipate working heavily in this area soon and its also important to note that writers working with a group in this way can leverage off of each other and have a bit of a round table discussion just like we do here in Performancing. What Performancing doesn’t do is leverage the strength of all of its ‘blogs’ for SEO purposes and for monetization purposes. Consider applying this model to Performancing and you do not have to make a very big change. The site already has multiple sections main page, forum, lots of blogs with lots of writers working for free! (wait a second I’m working for free?!?)

    The site is missing out however on the potential to throw its traffic and PR weight around and earn money from it, not just for the owners of the site but for all of the writers here. Now, there are a lot of strategies that I’m not throwing out in this response, but if many of you consider the tactics that you are employing already today and filter it through a subjective lens that contains this model, you will find many other ways to benefit in PR and in money as well.

  6. Great idea, Ryan. Though I’ve come to understand that a new blog on a subdirectory is a better idea than a subdomain. If I’m not mistaken, Google treats a subdomain like a whole separate entity. So it doesn’t get any PR transfer from the www domain.

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