Make Money Blogging – Part 3

In this series of articles I will show you the secrets of how I started making a living blogging online.

Now that you have your theme and plug-ins installed your website is looking very professional. You’re probably itching to get some quality content up and share the URL with all your friends, driving your first traffic to the site. Hold up there! You’re not quite ready for that yet. If you send people right away you won’t be giving a good first impression because your website isn’t done yet. Also, you won’t be making any money because you don’t have ads setup yet. Today we’re going to talk about advertisements and how to monetize your site. When you’re ready we’ll begin!

Make Money Blogging – Part 3

Monetizing your site

The majority of my online income comes from advertising. Before I go into great detail about how to maximize your returns on ads let’s take a look at the three different types of advertising.

Three different ways to make money from advertising:

1. Pay Per Click/CPM (Google Adsense)

2. Selling Ad Space (OIOPublisher)

3. Affiliate Sales (

Pay Per Click/CPM:

Google Adsense is the king when it comes to Pay Per Click advertising. There are other options out there, but Adsense is the easiest to integrate and start out with. I use Adsense and am usually checking my account multiple times a day.

The way it works is this: Advertisers come to Google with their ads and place a bid on how much they are willing to pay per click. Google Adsense gives you the option of placing ads on your website in trade for a portion of the “per click” money the advertisers are paying them. When your readers click on Adsense ads you get paid. The amount paid out depends greatly on how popular your website is and many other factors Adsense takes into consideration. CPM stands for “Cost Per Thousand” and is an amount which changes daily. Google Adsense will pay you the going amount for every 1,000 people that view your ads. I can talk all day about Adsense but the easiest way to see how it works is to sign up.

Selling Advertising Space:

Instead of advertisers going to Google or Facebook with their ads they can come directly to you! Essentially you are cutting out the middle man which saves your advertisers money and pays you a steady and reliable income. If your site gets extremely popular you have the potential to make hundreds or even thousands of dollars a month from selling advertising space alone. The easiest and most simplistic way to integrate ads into WordPress is through a plug-in program called OIOpublisher. Granted, they charge you a fee for this program, but the fee is a one time fee and you will make your money back after selling just one of your ad spaces for a month. I generally recommend starting listing your available ad slots at $19 for 30 days and $35 for 60 days. Once your site becomes more popular and the slots are always selling out you can experiment and start increasing prices. One of my 250×250 slots recently sold for a substantial amount of money for only 30 days of advertising! It can be done and you can make the most money from your website by dealing directly with the advertisers.

Subscription Payments is an option you will notice is available in OIOpublisher. Although many websites will tell you that an ongoing subscription is a good idea because it will provide a steady income, I disagree. As your website grows so will your traffic, if an advertiser who started with a subscription at $19 a month is still paying that 2 years down the road something is wrong. Especially if you have doubled or even quadrupled your traffic. Granted, long time advertisers should be rewarded, but you can work out specific deals for those long term consistent clients while keeping your current rates balanced with your current website traffic.

Make sure you cultivate your relationships with advertisers. Don’t ever let a communication slip past you. If an advertiser calls or emails make sure you get back to them in a timely manner. It’s good to create a working relationship with your advertisers so they keep coming back and create a steady income for you. This is what will help you move from a day job into working from home (or from an iPad on the beach!)

Affiliate Sales:

Affiliate programs are all over the internet. Over time I have signed up with almost every single one from Commission Junction to Linkshare. I can recommend various programs, but what I have found is that the best performing affiliate ads perform drastically different depending on the website. For example an ad for Dungeons & Dragons books will appeal greatly to my fellow nerds on whereas it won’t get a single click if placed on my JGN Web Development site. Most online businesses have affiliate programs and you can find them by scrolling down to the bottom of their homepage and looking for the “affiliates” link. If they don’t have their own program they will at least refer you to the company which handles their ads.

Once you find and choose the affiliates you would like to work with you can carefully hand pick ads and place them on your WordPress site to see how they perform. Over time you’ll want to remove any affiliate ads that are not generating revenue and replace them with others. You can also put affiliate links within your blog articles. When placed in plain text your readers are more likely to click the link if it pertains to the subject at hand. Remember though, you don’t make money per click with affiliates- actually the more clicks you get the less your percentage of income will be. You want people who click the link to follow through and purchase the product. The higher your “click through ratio” the bigger percentage you will get. It doesn’t work this way with all affiliate programs, but most of this big ones use this strategy. For example: on Cyber Monday I had 17,000 unique visitors on and I sold around $26,000 worth of merchandise through an affiliate link to Since almost every single person who clicked my links made a purchase, my commission percentage was through the roof!

Finally, don’t be afraid to recommend products and services to your readers! I use all of the following services and am extremely happy with them, so why not purchase through my links which gives back to me so I in turn can teach you my secrets?

Products/Services JGN Web Development recommends:

Coming up next article…

In the next article we will find the key to unlock the potential of your new website- VISITORS! A site without visitors is no good at all, so we will give you the tools and tips you need to make your website a huge success! I’ll see you again in Make Money Blogging – Part 4!


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About Jonathan G. Nelson

Jonathan G. Nelson is the editor-in-chief and owner of NERD TREK. He is also owner/publisher at AAW Games /, a tabletop gaming company based in Snoqualmie, WA. Connect with Jonathan via Facebook.