A long while ago, someone posed this question to me (was it Miss Kitty??) "How many hits do you have to get before adding ads?". I think the better question is "How many hits do I have to have before I am a publishing "platform"? You see, advertisers want a platform to place their product on. You might not have tons and tons of traffic, but maybe you have a very highly niched blog with many loyal readers from a certain genre. Advertisers in that genre want to know you, so you need to play up that strength when initially contacting them. So think of yourself as a platform and consider your numbers when defining your platform. Then you are ready to start identifying where you are in the step by step working of becoming a paid blogger.
Now to be quite honest, I am not an expert on the behind the scenes workings at ad networks and I am not quite sure exactly what the cutoff rate is for including blogs into their network. What I do know is what I've gleaned from personal experience. Get ready for some actual numbers....here is to being an open book!
STEP by STEP to Becoming a Publishing Platform
Step 1 -- It seems like everything began when my monthly hits were hovering right around 20,000 a month or 700-1,000 hits a day. The emails started coming in from advertisers and I began to be accepted into networks and such.
Step 2 -- It seems like everything became a legitimate business when hits were around 30,000 or consistently hitting 1,000 a day.
Step 3 -- I actually started making worthwhile money around 50,000-100,000 hits a month.
Step 4 -- Your blog can make money when you are not actually posting. Several thousand hits are coming in on weekends when I post nothing thanks to sites like craftgawker and allfreesewing.com and PINTEREST! that never sleep and consistently send readers. Once readers arrive, there are backlogs of posts, (pages and pages of them!), and readers as readers sift through various posts, they create more traffic. So that content is king line...yeah that is true, but the HORSE that transports the king....those are your aggregation sites. You need both or your king might be grand, but he isn't going anywhere. (PS - sites like Shelterness that STEAL your content are NOT good for you. You want sites - like the SITS Girls! - that will PUSH traffic your way. I call this traffic sucks vs. traffic drivers. Be careful to whom you give your content to!)
Step 5 -- Other paid opportunities become available. This is where I am now. I am able to contact bigger publishers, or new aggregation sites come to me and offer opportunities to use my talent (writing and/or photography) or my publishing platform (my blog) for their benefit. What do I benefit? $$$ and a wee bit of exposure.
Step 6 -- Give me a few months and I'll let you know what step 6 is ;)
PS*** All stats listed are blogger stats, so if you are using google analytics, shave off some numbers and get started with ads when you are around 10,000 monthly unique visitors.
My favorite moneymaker is through ad networks. I am part of Rivit and Clever Girls and they are easy money because all I do is focus on my traffic and tweet once in awhile (for CG) and my numbers, content and hits bring in the bucks. You might want to try to find a niched network (Rivit is all Home/DIY blogs), or go with a large network like Blogher or Federated Media.
My next favorite money maker is the Amazon Affiliate Program. You can read all about my experiences with them right HERE.
Last, but not least are individual advertisers. Advertisers email me directly or through networks such as Blogvertise or Business to Blogger. These advertisers want buttons,badges, links and posts. I do these once in awhile, but not all the time. I don't want to use up all my trust bucks on singular companies. (What -- you missed the memo on trust bucks?? You can read all about my trust buck theories HERE!)
SO now it is time for YOUR questions! Do you want to start making money, but you don't think you have enough traffic? Have you created good content but it just isn't getting noticed? Are you curious about ad networks? What is stopping you from making a salary off of your work? Please ask anything...I will try my best to answer or someone else is bound to know!! No stupid questions!
Learn How to Make Money with Amazon Associates
What are Trust Bucks and Why do They Matter?
The Sins of Blogging - GREED
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