Monetization Strategies for Websites – Yes, You CAN Make Money!

Recently, I attended the 2013 Type-A Parent Conference in Atlanta, GA.  It was a fabulous weekend filled with tons of useful content.  This is the sixth in a Better Blogging Education Series of posts where I’ll be summarizing my notes from specific sessions that I attended.  Here’s what’s been covered so far:  Pinterest & Instagram SessionShort Form Video SessionWriting Engaging Content Session, Mobil Blogging Strategies Session, and the Google + Session.  In each post, I’ll be crediting back the individual speakers and providing you with their social media channels so that you can follow them.  If you are looking for a fun weekend of bonding and great education, I would strongly urge you to consider attending the 2014 Type-A Parent Conference.  Also being held in Atlanta next year, you can find more information on the conference and the ticket availability HERE (affiliate link).

Monetization, Yes You CAN Make Money session notes from Type A Parent Conference (www.memyselfandjen.com)

 

Moderator:
Linda Sellers, @createdigital, www.createdigital.com 

Speakers:
Toni Anderson, @HappyHousewifewww.thehappyhousewife.com

Erin Chase, @5dollardinnerswww.5dollardinners.com

Crystal Collins, @crystalcollins, www.thethriftymama.com 

Andrea Deckard, @SavingLifestyle, www.savingslifestyle.com

Ad Networks:
  • The one you are in is the worse one – everyone feels this way.
  • You don’t have to be with just one
  • Usually there’s one that wants you to be above the fold
  • Before you sign a contract, read it.  Set a floor.  What’s the lowest they will run.  CPM?  What’s their fill rate?  Can you back fill.  Maximize the space.
  • How many ads do you want on your site?
  • How do you find the right ad network?
    • Find someone in the network that you can email directly or call.
    • Hey, I’d like to get in to XXX do you know someone there?
    • Glam, Burst, Federated, Bing – ad networks
    • LinkedIN is a great resource for Ad Networks
    • Fall is a great time to do it.
Affiliate Marketing
  • Planning on content calendar quarter by quarter
  • which affiliate company has the deal that I am looking for
  • Be intentional
  • Make it part of your business plan
  • Add 1 affiliate revenue source per month for the next year
  • Start with your most trafficked post and put affiliate links in that.
  • Optimize to earn revenue and gain loyal fans
  • Figure out how you can learn from your most awesome post
  • Don’t be afraid to write more on a topic that your readers want and is more trafficked.  Create a web of inter-linking
  • Always think about could your post have a monetization angle
  • Are you reaching people who are looking to buy something from your post?
  • Search and SEO are important in crafting content
Affiliate Links with Sponsored Brand Content
  • Do not insert an affiliate link in sponsored content, as a general rule
  • ASK if it organically makes sense to the content
  • Some campaigns want you to include your affiliate links.  Be clear initially.
Brand Ambassador versus Spokesperson
  • There is a big difference between a spokesperson and a brand ambassador.
  • Brand Ambassador – content is on your site, may be unpaid.
  • Spokesperson – content lives on their site, paid more for.  Face of the product int he media realm.  Charge double to triple in comparison to a Brand Ambassador.  Really have to get outside of the box creatively.  What am I really good at and present that to PR and the brand.
  • What do you do when you get the offer?  Do you negotiate?
    • Let your media kit speak for itself.  You want to hit your baseline number
    • Make sure the money covers time, taxes, childcare.
    • It’s okay to say no.
    • Make sure you value yourself the right way
    • Go back to people, don’t be afraid
    • Don’t work for a jar of yogurt, but know where your line is between product versus compensation
Writing a Book
  • Establish you platform with a book.
  • Being a book author changes how people view you, even an e-book
  • Start a series on your site to see if there’s an interest first.
  • Repurpose your series in to an e-book
  • Find your passion and start a series on it to see if there’s interest, then turn it in an e-book
  • Don’t put it off.  Get up 15 minutes earlier every day.  What are you putting off?
  • Then what?  Have a plan for how you are going to market it
    • Are you willing to go on the news?
    • Tell people about it
    • Newspapers
    • Magazines
    • Guest posting on blogs
    • Pay to advertise
    • Facebook
    • Have a graphic designer make your cover!!
    • Ideal price for an e-book?  $.99 – $4.99 range unless it’s epic.  Kindle $7.99 – $12.99.  Could your book compete with a traditionally published book and then price accordingly.  30-60 or 70 pages.
Email marketing
  • Crucial for a lot of things
  • Email, they are YOURS!  They want to know what you have to say.  KEEP THEM.  They are interested in you and they are a captive audience.
  • Separate blast to the loyal email subscribers.
  • Offer exclusive or free content for email subscribers
  • Loyal customers – make them feel exclusive
  • Email is friendship with privileges
  • Announce that you are getting ready to launch a book and you;d love a few reviews on Amazon.  “You are the ONLY ones that are getting this!”
  • Find ways to let people know that they are valued.
Once a quarter –
  • Sit down a put a plan together
  • Keep an accounting of where your money comes from so you know when the best times of year are for certain affiliates.
  • What performs for you?  Why did it stop perform for you?
  • If you don’t know how you got there and how you got paid, how can you repeat it.
  • Be authentic
  • Treat your readers well
Final Thoughts:
  • Most successfully monetized websites receive revenue from a combination of media ads, sponsored campaigns, and affiliates.
  • Know where your line is between working for cash and working for product.
  • A media kit is crucial!
  • Don’t forget to include your offline involvement in your media kit.
  • Make sure you include your phone number
  • Have a content plan
  • Have a business plan
  • Have an advertising model

Do you have a media kit?  Do you currently have a monetization strategy for your website?   I’d love to hear what monetization strategies have worked for you!

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