Making Money Online | Unskippable - Marketing Keynote Speaker - Jim Kukral - Part 4

Category Archives for "Making Money Online"

How To Sell Ads On Your Blog Even With Hardly Any Traffic – A Step-By-Step Guide

I really don’t want to keep harping on Blogrush. I don’t hate it at all, and I’m not trying to scare anyone… I just think it won’t work for the majority of my low-traffic blogging brethren.

jfk_lowtraffic.jpgTime will tell. But rather than keeping bitching about my opinion of it, I’d rather help you, the low-traffic blogger who isn’t making any buck with your blog, with a few better ways/ideas to make some money with your blog.

Here’s my first idea, put to you in steps you can/should follow. Give it a try and let me know how it goes. In my opinion, this is a much better use of your prime real estate to generate profit for you down the road.

The problem for you? You have a low-traffic blog. You’re not a marketer, or do you wish to be one. You just know you like blogging and you wish that you could make a few extra bucks a month from your efforts. You’ve tried Adsense, didn’t work. You’ve tried Chitika, didn’t work. You’ve tried them all, they didn’t work. So you thought, “why don’t I sell some ads on my blog?” But you don’t know how to do that because you’re not a marketer. Plus, you have hardly any readers, so why would anyone want to buy an ad on your blog? So what do you do?

Step 1 To Selling Ads On Your Blog: Make Some Room!
The first thing you have to do is make some space on your blog for some ads. I suggest you work 2-4 ad spots into the top of one of your sidebars. Pick a standard ad unit like 125×125 and reserve that space on your blog for those ads.

Step 2 To Selling Ads On Your Blog: Explain Yourself!
Now build a page on your blog discussing ad rates. Make sure to include your monthly traffic stats (even if they are low) and also write a paragraph about what your blog is and why people like to read it, and who those people are. Advertisers want to know who they are reaching.

Step 3 To Selling Ads On Your Blog: Track Advertisers Down!
The next step then is to identify some advertisers to pursue. Go to the more popular blogs in your niche and see who is advertising there. For example, if I wrote a tech blog, I would go over to Techcrunch.com and see who is buying ads there. Make a list of the top 10 companies to contact.

Step 4 To Selling Ads On Your Blog: Pitch Them!
Send an email, or phone call if you can, to those companies telling them you’re giving away a free banner ad on your blog for 3 months. All they have to do is send you a 125×125 banner and you’ll post it up for free. Send them your ad rates page and explain to them that you’re simply trying to get noticed and that your blog is a good target for their potential customers. Be honest with them. Let them know that you’re giving them the free ad in hopes that in months time they’ll be interested in buying an ad from you, but will not be required.

Step 5 To Selling Ads On Your Blog: Report & Track!
Now hopefully you’ve gotten some advertisers to take you up on your offer. Set their banner ads up and closely monitor how many clicks and impressions they are getting from your blog. At the end of every month, send a quick note to the advertiser letting them know how the free ad is doing. Make sure you’re using a tracking program if you can, like Openads.com which is free, but kinda complex to setup. Not totally necessary to use, but helpful.

Step 6 To Selling Ads On Your Blog: Close Them!
At the end of the 3-month free ad, or right before the end, send your advertiser a summary report. Make your case. Ask them if they’d be interested in purchasing that spot now on your blog for a very low rate. Make it $100/month or something, whatever. Even if only one of them goes for it, you’re now making $1200 a year more than you were before.

Summary: This, in my opinion, is a much better use of your prime real estate than something like Blogrush, and is hardly any work really. Give it a try.

Will Scratchback Help Everyone Make Money Online?

No offense to my friends who run major online advertising channels like Text Link Ads, and Auction Ads and all that stuff…

But I wonder how they continue to operate because the majority of bloggers out there don’t make hardly any money from them. They just don’t. I’ve been researching this for years and years, and I’ve written about it constantly. And I’ve read many other comments and blog posts from all over the Internets, and everyone tells me that they don’t make any money with these programs.

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Disclaimer: Low-traffic bloggers don’t make money. Bigger sites that are the minority in the grand scheme of things drive, in my opinion, all the revenue for these companies.

When I read stuff like this from Zac Johnson, a personal friend of mine who I KNOW makes money hand over fist online, it really seems to validate my thoughts and my Scratchback.com launch coming soon.

I mean, if you look in those comments on that page, you will see what I’m saying. Most people are saying they don’t, or have ever, made any significant money from those systems. Even guys like Zac, who are pushing a TON of impressions are seeing those true profits they should be getting fade into dust.

I’ve been saying it for years. Low-traffic bloggers have a really, really hard push to make money from their blogs. My former company BlogKits is making a run at this as we speak and I wish them well.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I truly, truly believe that Scratchback can be the answer we’ve all been looking for. I cannot wait to show it to you, believe me. But I have to be patient and finish it first.

Again, I’m not trying to diss anyone else’s solution. They do work, just not for everyone. I’m simply being passionate about my own idea. Maybe it’ll suck and you can all laugh at me later, you never know.

Will Scratchback Amaze You? Or Will It Bomb?

My programmer I contracted who built Scratchback.com said to me the other day…

“What you’ve created here is either going to be huge and help millions of people with websites have fun and make money online, or it’ll bomb.”

He’s right. And the not knowing how it will be perceived scares the crap out of me and also motivates me.

The more I stare at my web publishing Frankenstein, the more I keep asking myself if it’s too simple to really catch on and work. When you work on something for so long you can begin to lose real perspective on it… clouding your brain with doubts.

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Honestly though, my biggest fear in releasing Scratchback is also what I think will be its greatest strength.

That it’s simple and fun. Maybe too simple?

No giant marketplaces that make things confusing. No controlling system that only allows you to price based upon someone else’s criteria. No fancy frills or complicated coding or processes to get started. No paid reviews that could possibly bring in the integrity of your website or blog.

None of that stuff.

I guess we’ll find out soon enough as the first beta approaches. I’m cutting off the beta signup list by the end of the week. I’ve gotten way more test users than I could possibly ever use for the first beta, which will only be a handful of testers anyway. I’m even considering only releasing the second beta test sample to those are signed up and making the general public wait for a few months.

Yes, I said a few months, or maybe more. I really want this system to grow slowly so we can work out the kinks and make it a robust, stable solution that runs on auto-pilot for everyone.

There’s still time to get into the beta list. If you want in, sign up now.

I leave you with this. Don’t EVER give up on your passion. I have not, and I cannot wait to show you what I’ve created.

10,000 Millionaire Losers I Feel Sorry For

I’m not sure what they thought we were supposed to “feel” for them in this NY Times piece. But all I felt after reading this was…

What a bunch of rich unhappy losers.

As you can probably tell, I don’t value money as my life’s goal as many other do. Perhaps this is why I’m not filthy rich. But perhaps this is also why I can honestly say that I truly believe that having money makes things easier… but in no way makes you happy. Me at least.

Mr. Steger, 51, a self-described geek, has banked more than $2 million. The $1.3 million house he and his wife own on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean is paid off. The couple’s net worth of roughly $3.5 million places them in the top 2 percent of families in the United States.

Yet each day Mr. Steger continues to toil in what a colleague calls “the Silicon Valley salt mines,” working as a marketing executive for a technology start-up company, still striving for his big strike. Most mornings, he can be found at his desk by 7. He typically works 12 hours a day and logs an extra 10 hours over the weekend.

“I know people looking in from the outside will ask why someone like me keeps working so hard,” Mr. Steger says. “But a few million doesn’t go as far as it used to. Maybe in the ’70s, a few million bucks meant ‘Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous,’ or Richie Rich living in a big house with a butler. But not anymore.”

12-hour days and working weekends is ridiculous, I don’t care how much money you’re making. More at livedigitally.

Final thought. Do you think maybe the NY times piece was too one-sided and really made these people look bad? I’m wondering if that is the case.

Watch the video here.

Make Money Online Tools & Resources

Mashable does it again, this time with a post that near and dear to my own heart. 100+ make money online tools and resources.

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Amazing list, although I see a few missing. Particularly my own Scratchback.com and my old network. To their defense, SB isn’t even released yet, but will need to be on that list once it is.

I encourage you to look through this list and see what works for you and your website/blog. I’ve used almost all of these, I think. How many have actually made me money? A handful.

Does Text Link Ads Make You Any Money As A Blogger?

No offense to my friends at TLA, but I’m wondering, do any “real” low-traffic bloggers make any money using their system? When I say “real” bloggers, I mean 99% of 60-70 million bloggers who get about 100 page views or less a week, or day even.

Again, I’m not trying to bait anyone or say that TLA is a bad solution. I’m simply trying to find out if it works for the majority of bloggers.

In my experience, it doesn’t, sorry. Plus I really worry about the whole follow thing. I don’t want Google thinking I’m selling page rank. Does that bother you?

Online Advertising Just Got Fun – My Latest Project: Scratchback.com

You thought I was done helping others make money online when I sold BlogKits eh? Not quite. Starting today, I’m accepting only 100 beta testing applications for my latest project called Scratchback.com.

The press release goes out later this week, but loyal JimKukral.com blog readers get the scoop early of course, and can apply for one of the spots early as well. I’m thinking they’re going to go fast though, so sign up now if you’ll want to have an invitation to the private beta in August.

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So what is Scratchback.com?

I’m not revealing the juicy details as of yet. Beta users will get a sneak peek though. All I will say for now is that it is an online advertising solution similar to things like Chitika, Blogads, AuctionAds or TextLinkAds and Adbrite. Similar in that it’s a publishing solution, but totally different and unique in how it works.

It’s mostly unique because it’s fun. In fact, the entire model is based around fun, not “making money online”.

I’ve been building this project in my head for 3-years now, and it’s almost done. I’m looking forward to sharing it with you and having some fun!

Want To Make Money Online As A Publisher? This Is How You Do It.

Quite possibly one of the smartest publisher strategy plays I’ve seen to date. It has all the great components with a few MAJOR things you must do to be successful…

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1. It’s not spammy and provides high quality content.

2. It has awesome problem solving video content. Entertaining too.

3. It is built in a blog platform so it’s SEO friendly and linkable. Rss/tags too.

4. It has great Adsense placements.

Even the videos, using monetization at Revver, have well designed watermarks at the top/bottom to drive traffic from embeds in other sites. This site is/will be a money-making machine across the board. Google will love it. YouTube will love it. Readers will love it.

Overall, A+ here. This is what you should be doing if you want to make money as a publisher in this business. I repeat, again…

Build high-quality content that solves problems and/or entertains. If you can do both in the same project, double win.

John Chow ain’t gonna tell you that, because it’s hard work. You may not even want to hear that, because it’s hard work.

Doesn’t matter, I’m still gonna tell you that this is how you do it. You can listen to me or not.

Now I wish I could draw.

John Chow Is Killing His Blog By Trying Too Hard To Make Money

johnchow.jpgBe careful not to try so hard to make money with your blog. Sometimes, like in the example I’m talking about below, you can do “too much” and as I’ve said before, you will start to lose your credibility and readership.

Read this comment on a post over at Problogger. #18 comment to be exact. He’s talking about JohnChow.com. The post is talking about using donations to monetize your blog.

I immediately thought of John Chow as an example of how NOT to do this.

While he does have a loyal readership he breaks a few of your other rules:

1. Already Monetizes in Other Ways – when I saw he put ‘buy me a beer’ on his blog I got really angry. He boasts every month about how much he earns and then has the arrogance to ask us for a few extra dollars?

2. Offers Little Value – he used to write some good valuable content but lately his blog has become largely about doing paid reviews, swapping links (in the name of ‘reviews’), boasting about his earnings. The actual tips about making money online are few and far between.

3. Greed – he’s recently even started charging people to leave comments without no-follow tags.

4. Buy me a beer on every post – I’m already sick of seeing that link at the bottom of every post.

Thanks for your tips on this Darren. I hope others do it in a more sensible way.

The reader is right. It is only a matter of time before a loyal readership decides that enough is enough. They start asking themselves, “Is this blogger really trying to help me, or just make money?” When they think the latter, they begin to question the blogger’s credibility and as soon as that happens a loyal reader can fade away fast.

I’ve had my issues with John Chow before, particularly way back in November of 2006 right here on this blog when I wrote about how this could actually happen to John.

Do you want to be known as a thought-leader, well respected in your community… or that internet marketing guy who pushes stuff just to make a buck?

Is that starting to happen? I don’t want to say I told you so. I’d rather use it as an example for other bloggers to learn from.

Promotion and marketing is all fine and good. Heck, I do it all over the place. The difference is that I’m not writing frequent content specifically to make money (paid reviews, etc…). Rather, I’m trying to help people. Has John’s blog gone too far?