Looking for a few good monetization tips?
These 21 tips will help you build a better sales funnel, generate more leads, sell more products, and make more money.
1. Be Everywhere
Some marketers think that they can throw up a website and be done.
Don’t do that, or your competitors will overwhelm you – because they will add social media, video monetization, Amazon products, and so on.
Expand your presence and you’ll get more customers, build your market share, and gain leverage.
2. Put More Ads on Your Blog
Text ads aren’t as clickable as they used to be. To make more money from your blog, test out display ads and even video ads.
3. Join 5 New Affiliate Networks Today
Affiliate marketing can be very, very lucrative if you’ve got a big enough audience.
If you think your niche isn’t relevant, think again. Join 5 new affiliate networks and explore your niche to see what new products you can start marketing.
4. Add a New Social Network
Facebook isn’t enough. More and more people are shifting to newer networks, such as Snapchat and Tumblr.
Test out a different network for a few months. If it looks promising, keep running with it.
5. Include Calls-to-Action in Every Blog Post
To make money, you’ve got to sell.
But people won’t buy unless you tell them to, so include calls-to-action at the bottom of every blog post – and even inside the post’s content.
6. Add Calls-to-Action in Social Media Posts
Social media posts should also be part of your sales toolbox.
Make sure you tell people what you need them to do here as well, whether it’s visit a website, buy a product, or sign up for a newsletter.
7. Ask for Money
If you want something, just ask for it!
Donations are a common way to get support. Just take a look at all the successful Kickstarter programs…
8. Incorporate Search Monetization
Search monetization isn’t a widely known monetization strategy. But it works.
When you include, for instance, CodeFuel’s search box on your website or in your app, you earn income with each search.
9. Max Out Ad Units
AdSense and other ad services often give you a maximum number of ad units per page.
Why use less?
10. Make a Funnel Flowchart
Your sales funnel should always drive traffic towards your offers: sales pages, download pages, signup forms, and so on.
Map out every piece of digital content you own in the form of a flowchart. And make sure every arrow on that chart points towards your money-making offers.
11. Mobilize Your Website
Is your website mobile-friendly?
If not, your search rankings are probably suffering, especially since “Mobilegeddon”.
Make your site responsive ASAP to save your search rankings.
12. Start an Email List
Email lists are your most valuable marketing tool.
You can stay in touch with people who would otherwise forget you, market to them directly, and build your value over the long term.
13. Advertise Inside Your Newsletter
While email newsletters are a great way to promote your own products and services, there’s nothing to stop you from advertising inside your emails. Or selling affiliate products.
14. Automate Your Social Media
Social media is critical to anyone’s online success. But it’s also a huge time sink.
To be successful with your social media, automate it with popular social media automation tools.
15. Design for Conversion
Designs that look pretty may be easy on the eyes. But they aren’t necessarily easy on the pocket book.
Everything on your site, from the copy to the visual design elements, should be aimed at influencing and converting customers.
16. Sell Hard – At the Right Time
Don’t shy away from the hard sale. The fact is, people want to be sold to. And they need to be sold to, especially if you want to make money.
While content marketing is a great way to communicate value and build authority, you also need to actively close the deal.
17. Package Content and Sell It
If you’ve got a blog, you’ve probably got lots of content. Take your content and package it up, then sell it on marketplaces such as Amazon or Google Play.
18. Get Away from the Keyboard
The real world is also a place to promote yourself and your services.
Networking events, trade association meetings, seminars, conferences, and other non-virtual events can have a huge impact on your bottom line.
19. Ramp Up Your Prices
Don’t settle for less.
When you have more business than you can handle, it’s time to increase your prices. And if you’re selling products that are selling a little too well, increase the price point.
20. Find Better Customers
Not all customers are created equal.
If you find yourself making less than you should, it could be because the quality of your audience is too low. Pre-qualify your customers by increasing prices, changing customer service policies, and so on.
21. Keep Escalating and Optimizing
To make the most money possible, keep increasing the quality of your services, the quality of your marketing, and the quality of your customers.
The higher your perceived value, the more you can raise your prices. The better your web design and copy, the better your conversion rate.
So keep escalating your monetization strategy and optimizing your marketing plan.
Pinterest recently made some noise in the affiliate marketing community when it banned affiliate links from appearing in users’ posts.
Affiliate marketing is the top way that the site’s “top pinners” make money from their Pinterest accounts. And, clearly, this move has made a lot of people very unhappy.
Why Pinterest Banned Affiliate Links
Before this declaration, anyone could make money by posting affiliate links to third-party websites. Each click-through and completed sale would earn the pinner a commission.
Pinterest – and Facebook, Twitter, and other major social networks – regularly cleaned out spammy affiliates. But in February they decided to completely remove all affiliate links, redirects, and trackers.
The unilateral ban was specifically aimed at affiliate networks Hello Society and RewardStyle. While past affiliate links were still clickable, any future pins would be stripped of affiliate links.
In a statement made to Business Insider, Pinterest stated that it was making the move to provide “the best possible experience for Pinners.” And the spokesperson claimed that the biggest reason for this was the large number of irrelevant pins, broken links, and spammy behavior.
The company’s goal was to maintain a “high bar of relevancy and quality Pinners expect from Pinterest.”
And the Response from Pinners and the Media…
Not all pinners were thrilled with the decision. In fact, many were decidedly unhappy with the decision.
A storm of negative tweets followed soon after. And most major media outlets noted that the timing coincided with Pinterest’s own efforts to ramp up its monetization campaign.
Soon before the story broke, Re/code and others reported on Pinterest’s plans to roll out a “Buy Now” button. But news of the button had been circulating last year. And some went so far as to say that it would revolutionize ecommerce.
Around the same time that news blogs were reporting on Pinterest’s “Buy Now” button in February, Business Insider noted that Pinterest and Apple were partnering to help people discover apps through the site.
Also, Pinterest has been pushing “Promoted Pins” to advertisers. These pins will give advertisers the same type of advertising capabilities that can be found on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media sites.
Pinterest told VentureBeat, though, the decision to ban affiliate links had absolutely nothing to do with the company’s own monetization agenda. They claimed that their choice was “100% about the Pinner experience.”
So how are affiliate marketers supposed to monetize through the network?
Pinterest suggests using their services to generate income the old-fashioned way: getting paid to perform social media marketing, curate a board, or generate marketing content for businesses.
Pinterest in the Context of Social Networks
While some may not consider Pinterest to be a social network, it ranks up there with Facebook and Twitter in terms of referral traffic.
Shareaholic ranked Pinterest in the top 3 in terms of social referrals. While Facebook is naturally the king of social referrals, Pinterest comes in second place, generating almost 6% of social referral traffic, next to Facebook’s 23%. Twitter comes in third place with around 1% of referral traffic. Pinterest, in fact, generates more referral traffic than Twitter, Reddit, and Stumbleupon combined.
And in terms of ecommerce, Pinterest actually outranks Facebook. It is, after all, a visual network ideally suited for shopping.
Pinterest values its own pins very highly. And it charges accordingly. A thousand impressions can cost anywhere from $30 to $40, according to Ad Age. This is a huge increase from Facebook’s most expensive ads, which can cost around $6.
Currently, the company is valued in the billions of dollars. With tens of millions of monthly visitors and such high social referral rankings, it’s no surprise that companies are willing to dump huge sums of money into advertising on the network.
What the Changes Mean for Affiliate Marketers
While Pinterest specifically targeted Hello Society and RewardStyle, there are a few lessons that marketers can take away from this ban:
Online, nothing is as stable as it seems. Google’s algorithm constantly changes. Best marketing practices always change. And company policies change left and right.
If your monetization strategy relies too much on one source of traffic, then any change to that company’s practices could cause a major disruption to your revenue.
Social networks will always put their own interests first. While Pinterest claims that its focus was 100% on the user experience, some have their doubts. Like every other social network, Pinterest is a profit-centric business intent on making money.
When affiliate marketing begins to interfere with a business’s revenue model, expect that company to take action. If, for instance, affiliate marketing begins to degrade a network’s quality of service, then expect the network to make some changes.
Spam can ruin it for everybody. There are plenty of bloggers and affiliate marketers who offer quality, valuable content to their followers. But spammy content ends up making it worse for every affiliate marketer.
So if Pinterest’s statements are true – that it only made these changes to enhance the user experience – then the responsibility for the ban falls squarely on the shoulders of the spammers.
In other words, if you flood a network with spammy content, don’t be surprised if you get banned…
What’s the real cause for this ban on affiliate links? It’s a coin toss. Affiliate marketers blame Pinterest and Pinterest blames spammers. Regardless of who’s at fault, it’s clear that Pinterest monetization has become much more difficult for affiliates.
Tumblr monetization has its own rules and best practices.
Like any other platform, it has its own do’s and don’ts. For instance, as Pinterest users recently discovered, affiliate links are no longer a viable option for the popular image-based network.
So what are your monetization options on the popular micro-blogging network, Tumblr?
This article offers 11 of the top Tumblr monetization tips that you can start using today.
To begin with, you’ll need to cover your marketing bases:
1. Base #1: Traffic
Traffic is essential to making money. If no one visits your blog, you won’t be able to earn clicks, sales, or income. To generate traffic, you can focus on two sources: Tumblr itself and the outside world.
Tumblr itself is probably the best place to start. Here are a few ways to do that:
- Follow other bloggers who share your interests. Keep following more of them every week. They’ll follow you and – if you share good content – they’ll promote your content and your blog.
- Make sure you hashtag your posts. And include plenty of keywords in your post content so that they’ll show up in searches.
- Comment on other Tumblr blogs to draw attention back to your own.
2. Base #2: Turn Visitors into Customers
Convert visitors into customers. That is, develop relationships with people who visit your site. Use time-tested techniques such as distributing free content, acquiring email addresses, and so on.
Like WordPress, Tumblr has plugins of its own. MailChimp, for instance, has a plugin that allows you to subscribe people to your newsletter.
Which brings us to the next point…
3. Base #3: Supplement Your Tumblr Monetization
Other marketing efforts should always go with any blog you own, whether that blog is a Tumblr blog, a WordPress blog, or a self-hosted solution.
Your online content network should be a full-fledged brand – at least, if you want to make the most money from your efforts. The best way to build relationships with customers – and get money from them – is to build a brand that delivers valuable content across multiple channels.
4. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is a staple of any marketing strategy. Unlike Pinterest, Tumblr hasn’t chosen to ban affiliate links. So you’re free to monetize your blog by posting relevant affiliate links throughout your content.
As long as you keep your content valuable and non-spammy, you shouldn’t run into any problems.
There are plenty of ad networks to choose from. Google AdSense is one of the easiest go-to ad networks to try, but there are plenty of others that can earn you cash for every click.
6. Content Locking
Content locking networks – also called pay-per-download networks – are networks that allow you to place a file or other digital content behind a “locked” hyperlink.
To access the content, users complete an action, such as filling out a survey. Each time they do, you earn cash.
7. Sell Products and Services
If you sell your own products and services, then you know how lucrative this monetization strategy can be. In this case, the Tumblr blog would become more like a gateway to your business.
Using your Tumblr blog as the central hub for your brand, your products, and your services may be a good idea if you really like the platform. Or if your audience is made up mostly of millennials.
8. Meme-ify and Promote
And since Tumblr caters to the younger generation: meme-ify. Just take a look at how brands are using Tumblr to reach younger audiences.
Animate gifs, be creative, be fun, and develop blog posts that are likely to go viral.
9. Target Gamers
Gamers are another demographic that flock to Tumblr. If your content appeals to that audience, all the better. So develop content, memes, and blog posts that would appeal to that demographic.
10. Create the Right Content
Given the fact that most of the Tumblr audience is made up of millennials, gamers, geeks, and other meme-loving segments, don’t be too serious with your content.
As any marketer knows, targeting is critical to the success of any sales message. So if you try selling irrelevant content to the Tumblr demographic, your monetization efforts might not be very successful.
11. Expanding to Mobile
Like other social networks, Tumblr users are mobile-heavy. Over half create posts with mobile apps.
To monetize the mobile market, focus your monetization strategy on mobile users:
- For best results, make sure your affiliate links and ads lead to mobile-friendly content. Otherwise conversions and commissions will suffer.
- As mentioned above, don’t make content too detailed or serious. Short and concise is best. Viral, short-attention-span posts can go a long way.
- Tumblr is experimenting with new ad formats – from video to app install ads – that are geared towards mobile devices. If you have an advertising budget and appropriate content, test them out and see if they’ll work for you.
Like other social networks and blogging platforms, Tumblr offers up its own monetization opportunities. But it does require some effort. Start by building your audience, focusing on a niche, and experimenting to see what your customers want.
If you’re a marketer, a business, or a product creator, Google Play monetization may be a great way for you to make money.
This online content marketplace offers ways to build your online presence, make connections, and make money while you’re doing it.
Here are 3 big strategies for monetizing Google Play:
1. Think Outside the App
When we think of Google Play, most of us think about Android apps. After all, that’s why most of us visit Google Play.
But Google Play is more than just an app store. It’s an online content marketplace that allows you to market and monetize all types of digital content.
Here are the main types of media content you can create and sell:
- Movies and TV
- Newspapers and Magazines
While Google Play can’t quite compete with major online retailers such as Amazon, it does offer yet another outlet for you to market and monetizes.
Publishing content on Google Play is fairly straightforward, and Google has a number of pages devoted to the topic.
To publish a book, for instance, you simply upload the file and adjust a few settings. Google does the rest. As with other self-publishing outlets, such as Amazon or Lulu, you share the royalties with Google.
Different formats offer different monetization options.
Here are the standard monetization strategies you can choose from:
- One-time charge at the time of purchase
- In-app or in-content purchases
- Subscription fees
- Advertising revenue
To employ some of these methods, you’ll need to be creative. A clever affiliate marketer, for instance, can place affiliate links inside of their books or magazines. And a business person who sells lectures via Google Play music may promote their products or services inside their lecture content.
As with any other business strategy, it pays to recognize that promotion and monetization go hand in hand…
2. Promote Yourself and Connect
Google Play is a global content marketplace. But online marketplaces like this offer more benefits than simply earning the profit from a sale.
In fact, self-promotion can be more helpful to your monetization efforts than the royalties you receive.
Here’s how to use these content marketplaces to multiply your earnings:
- Publish and gain instant access to a targeted, worldwide audience. Marketing is hard work. And it takes lots of effort to get a hold of the right customers at the right time. But when you release a product into content marketplaces like Google Play, you place your products directly into the hands of buyers…who are searching for products like yours.
- Publication improves your online presence. Another side effect of reaching these audiences through Google Play is increased visibility within your niche.
- You can leverage these marketplaces to build your reputation and authority. Creating and selling digital content is a great way to earn money. But it’s also a great way to establish yourself as a thought leader. Even self-published content lends an air of authority, which you can then use to drive up your marketplace value, sell more products, and increase your prices.
- Google Play is connected with Google Accounts…so use that to your advantage. For instance, when people review your content, you can respond to their comments. This level of interactivity allows you to add a personal touch to your marketing and monetization efforts. And, as every business person knows, people want to connect with people – so you’ll be able to improve your customer service.
3. Create a Tiered Pricing Structure
If you’re not yet well-known and you’re trying to increase your prices, create a tiered pricing system.
In other words, release content that is free – or very cheap – in order to gain access to a larger audience. People who don’t know you are more likely to buy inexpensive products at a lower price point. Then use that content as a stepping stone to your more expensive products or services.
For instance, release a series of books on a specific topic on Google Play for a dollar a piece. Then use those books to promote more expensive products such as online courses, membership programs, your business’s services, and so on.
Establishing a pricing structure like this will allow you to expand your reach, improve your value in your customers’ eyes, build trust, and acquire customers for your more expensive offers.
Always treat every product in your line-up as part of a larger sales funnel. The goal of every effective monetization strategy is, of course, building solid long-term relationships. Once you have customers on board, they are much easier to monetize and market to than new customers.
So to acquire new customers and build that trust, create a tiered pricing system that removes price as a barrier to entry.
Google Play is just one content marketplace among many. And, like other digital storefronts, it gives you immediate access to a worldwide audience. Leveraging these engines can help you market your products and build your online presence – and make money at the same time.
If you want to make money online, you’ve got to show off your content: affiliate sites, which includes most websites and blogs, rely heavily on content marketing, distribution, and sales. This content serves the two primary purposes of marketing and monetization – and sometimes both at once.
Many affiliate marketers want to jump right in, create an information product, and start selling it. But without traffic, you can’t do that. Creating fresh, valuable content is the solution to getting that traffic. And once you get the traffic, you can start monetizing it, often with some of the same, repurposed content.
Here are the top 5 ways to show off your content on affiliate sites so you can start making money.
1. Blog Articles
Blog articles are the top method to catch the attention of search engines and potential customers. Blog articles form an essential piece – often the core piece – of any content marketing campaign. What matters most is whether you have something to say that will interest people…not whether or not you are a poetic writer.
To be interesting, offer something that is valuable, such as something that is:
Useful – In general, people are searching for something online that will help them solve a problem. This is why how-to articles and top 10 tips are so popular.
Entertaining – Of course, sometimes people just want to have a good time. Some of the most effective content online is content that provides both utility and entertainment simultaneously.
While blog articles are used to catch the attention of search engines and web surfers, there are two common uses for ebooks:
Capturing Customers – Offering a free ebook can be one way to capture email addresses and other user information for email marketing and list-building. This method is very common, but is it overused? Find out how well ebooks fare in your industry before you start penning your first draft.
Making Money – Earn money by selling ebooks. This is easier when you have a loyal following and something valuable to offer.
While many affiliates offer ebooks exclusively through their websites as ways to make money, there are benefits to self-publication and mainstream publication. If you are building a long-term, sustainable business, publication can boost your credibility and authority within your niche.
Videos can also be used in two ways:
Capturing Customers – YouTube is one of the best, most common ways to capture customers. Video content has quickly taken much of the blogosphere’s market share, so the more quality video content you come up with, the more prominent you will appear in search results.
Earning Money – Many affiliates use videos in conjunction with ebooks and other informational material to develop information products. Self-help guides, tutorials, and other in-depth products can be a great way to show off your content and earn money at the same time.
Don’t think that videos must have high-production costs or cutting-edge graphics. PowerPoint presentations are also considered video content, which may offer some relief to those who are camera shy.
Today, we are inundated with data, but not all of that data is presented meaningfully or in an easily digestible manner. To solve this, many people have taken to creating infographics, which take data and present it visually, through graphs, charts, pictures, and sometimes with a storytelling element.
Infographics, like blog articles, are a great way to capture attention. However, infographics tend to grab attention more effectively. Since they are visual, they are easily digestible, and have a greater viral potential. The more people share them, the more that customers will find your site so you can monetize your other content.
Though high-end infographics can run into four digits in terms of cost, you can also purchase pre-made graphics from digital marketplaces. For a minimal cost, you can supply these graphics to a budding designer or an outsourcing website, and you’ll have a brand-new infographic in no time.
Podcasts are self-hosted radio shows. These are particularly useful if you plan to brand yourself or build an online persona and following.
If you have any speaking or stage presence at all, regular podcasts are a great way to build a loyal following that you can monetize. They are free to do, and the more followers you gain, the more you become positioned as an expert. Of course, to be an expert, you will first need to become an expert and demonstrate thought leadership in your field.
All of these methods are ideal ways of showing off your content. Affiliate sites that want to monetize anything will need to engage in at least one form of content marketing.