If you want to make money from your website, you’re going to have to monetize it. The immediate questions that come to mind are when, what type and how much?
When Do You Monetize?
There are all kinds of theories about this. Some say to wait until you have some traffic, so that your early readers aren’t scared off by the ads. Others say to do at least a little right away.
And then there are the people that go beyond whole hog. You know the sort. The ones who put nothing but banners up and forget about content of any sort. But they hardly count as they rarely make anything from it.
I’m inclined to go with monetization right from the start. Not everyone likes seeing ads, but if they object so strongly do you really need them anyhow?
What Kind of Monetization Should You Use?
Your focus should be on providing interesting content to people you hope will allow you to earn money in one form or another. That means that both your content and monetization should be attractive to your current and potential readers.
There are a few kinds of ads to consider. The 125×125 ads are very popular in blogs right now. You will often see two columns of them off to the side, or sometimes just one. They’re big enough to get the point across without taking up excessive real estate on your site.
You may also see more traditional banner ads or large square ads beneath content. The idea here is to draw the eye as the reader finishes the article.
But you should not forget to monetize from within your content. Review relevant products and include your affiliate link. Keep it honest, of course. Dishonest reviews can quickly cost you your reputation. So can sloppy reviews.
You can also just throw in links when you mention a product, without doing a full review. Do this primarily for relevant products, but if you’re writing about how cute your cat is and decide to talk about how you take photographs of your cat, a link to the kind of camera you use isn’t so bad an idea.
How Much Should You Monetize?
Everyone has an opinion on this. Some feel even one ad is an intrusion. They probably never read magazines or newspapers, as those have far more advertising than just about any website. But no matter how much some want online content to be utterly free, even free of advertising, most people aren’t running websites just for the fun of it. They want to earn some money.
You should find the balance that works for you. Speaking frankly, I would say I monetize less than I should. It’s something I ought to take the time to work on, so I can increase my income. It would probably have more of an impact on my bottom line than spending hours writing articles, which is something I do willingly.
Placement is one of the major keys to solid monetization. If all your ads are in one place, they’re easily ignored. There’s a reason why people talk about ad blindness. Spread things out so that there are more chances for readers to notice your ads.
You’ll also want to consider how much you monetize by each type. All banner ads of a single type makes for easily ignored ads. A mixture of banners and text, placed appropriately throughout the page, should provide you with better results.
Above all else, don’t be afraid to try to earn money. You’re working hard on your site. You deserve something for your efforts.