Blog Monetization Strategies

Blog Monetization Strategies

Last night I sat down and decided I wanted to list all the ways to monetize a blog. Not a list of websites, but a list of types. That way I could look at them all, weigh advantages and disadvantages, decide which work well together, and come up with a plan.

Up to this time, I have been an affiliate marketer. I have made a little money through Adsense, but this is nothing compared to what I made through affiliate programs. At the peak of my Adsense earnings, I was making about $1000 a month. But I used it to hedge my bets with people I drew into affiliate links. This was two years ago.

Shortly after that period, my Adsense earning dropped 90% and my opinion is about Adsense now is that it should only be used to hedge your bets unless you get thousands of visitors a day, not as your only or even main monetization method. I am looking to make real money, not pocket change and I don't want to write about Mesothelioma to make money. I want to write about what I want to write about.

Other bloggers may not agree with me, but I don't give a crap. My peak sales through affiliate programs was $800 in one day, $2500 in one week and close to $9000 in one month. If you have a site running Adsense or a network of sites that gets less than a 600 visitors a day and make this much from Adsense, I will accept your opinion.

Companies who have written me checks in order of lifetime profit:

But most of this money has not been made through blogs, which is why I am breaking this down for myself and anyone who happens to drop by my blog.

The #1, Clickbank, is responsible for close to $180,000 over the last three years in gross sales, gross being the operative word. Currently I spend about $2000 with on Adwords a month to make half of these sales. I want to switch this up a little. There are a lot of ways to make money from a blog and to money online in general. I need to get out every once in a while and have a look around and I need to categorize my list of sites to monetize websites.

Here is a short break down which a plan to expand. Please correct me or add to this list with comments.

Link Details

  • No Follow - Advertisers are paying for your visitors to see the ad only.
  • Do Follow - Advertisers are paying mainly for a backlink. Seeing the ad is an afterthought most of the time, although some of these ads do a good job of both.

Payment Type

  • CPA - You are paid a commission on making a sale or getting a lead.
  • CPC - You are paid per click
  • CPM - You are paid per thousand impressions. And impression is when the page containing the ad is loaded by a visitor.
  • Per Month - Most text link and private ads
  • Per Day - Project Wonderful is the only one I can think of now.
  • Per Post - Paid reviews and the like.

Getting Paid

  • Okay, this isn't a list but something to consider. Each company have their own payment terms. Picking a program like Linkshare or Clickbank to start with may help out newbies psychologically because they pay you very quickly. Some companies take months. It is also something to consider if you are paying for any advertising. You could rack up months of bills before you can even pay for your ads with your commission checks.

Newness and Saturation

  • Some programs are highly profitable in the beginning which is why it pays to try new things. But once they become more popular and the supply starts balancing with demand, the payments you get will begin to drop. Or the algorithm of the provider changes with time like Adsense. Or, with affiliate programs, the competition gets too fierce to even try (a home loan blog). In other words, new systems have loop holes that quickly get plugged.


  • Banners
  • Text Links
  • Kontera Type Ads
  • Reviews


  • Sitewide
  • Sitewide but varied - TNX
  • Within a post

Ad Serving

  • Contextual
  • Semi-contextual (using tags and the like)
  • Bid Based
  • Manual

Okay, that's what I can think of right now. It gives me something to start with and somewhere to go. If you can think of anything more, leave a comment. I use do follow.

Stephan Miller

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Kansas City Software Engineer and Author

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