Advanced Monetization Strategies by Lynn Truong

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Personal Finance Bloggers Monetization Survey Results

What is your largest source of revenue?

  • 31% Display/Adsense
  • 21% Text Links
  • 20% Affiliate Marketing
  • 14% Sponsored Posts
  • 5% Freelance Writing
  • 5% Consulting
  • 3% Products
  • 1% Speaking

What ad networks do you use?

  • 25% Adsense
  • 17% Commission Junction
  • 11% Flex Offers
  • 8% Amazon
  • 6% Linkshare
  • 4% Google Affiliate Network
  • 4% Escalate
  • 3% Share A Sale
  • 3% My Savings
  • 2% BlogHer
  • 2% Chitika
  • 2% NCS
  • 2% Consumer Track

Are you a full time blogger?

  • 60% No
  • 26% Yes
  • 14% Plan to

How much money do you make from your site per month?

  • 34% < $500
  • 23% $500-$1000
  • 12% $1000-$2500
  • 11% $2500-$5000
  • 20% $5000+

Additional stat not included in presentation: Of those who make more than $5000/mo, what was their largest source of revenue?

  • Display/Adsense 43%
  • Affiliate Marketing 39%
  • Products 9%
  • Text Links 4%
  • Consulting 4%


60 Best Monetization Tips from PF Bloggers

"Relate to your readers. Make sure you are offering them something they will need and they will want to buy it."Free Snatcher

"Your readers are listening to what you write! Only promote deals and products that you have personally tested or used!"Coupons And Freebies Mom

"Don't sell out your readers for a quick buck. Only share things that are relevant or useful. People can spot spam a mile away!"Saving Dollars And Sense

"Don't put all your eggs in one basket - make sure you have multiple streams of income."Centsable Momma

"Always try out new things, you never know when a better opportunity will come along."Moolanomy

"Keep trying new avenues of monetization. Ask other bloggers what works for them, tinker with what you've got, come up with new ideas, and test them out."Bargain Babe

"Two things: 1) Be absolutely transparent with your readers about how you make money and then disclose clearly and often when you use affiliate links. It opens a conversation with your readers and builds trust about your motives - mission first, monetization second. 2) Set editorial guidelines that help you decide whether to post something or not. Sometimes we can be motivated by the opportunity to make money, but editorial guidelines can help you keep your mission first."Pocket Your Dollars

"Don't be afraid to try anything and everything. People think you have to do a review of a certain product and then get that page to rank well in order to make money, but you'd be surprised how you can monetize old posts by inserting any number of suitable offers."Generation X Finance

"Don't be afraid to experiment with ads and new sources. Don't sacrifice quality and user experience for ads."Financial Highway

"Pick products you like/use and find affiliate programs for those. Then you can honestly talk about the products in posts (along with links) and not have to worry about crossing any ethical lines."Free Money Finance

"Be flexible! Not all companies and ads work the same way. Some will convert with text links, others need a post, button, and social media help. Be willing to work with the company to find what will work best."Little People Wealth

"Provide valuable content. If you're valuable to readers, they'll reward you with traffic and affiliate sales."Baby Cheapskate

"Recognizing that search engine traffic is the most profitable type of traffic, monetize your site one page at a time. In other words, pick one page with revenue potential and work hard to get that page ranked well in the search engines for relevant keywords. This largely means building relevant backlinks to the page. But once you get a page ranking well that has a profitable affiliate offer, you'll then realize the potential blogging has for making money. And then you repeat with other pages on the site."The Dough Roller

"One on one interaction with users. Building up those personal relationships means people come back again and again, and generating a steady stream of future revenue."Bargainmoose Canada

"I hate negotiating so I asked another blogger to do it for me for a percentage of the income. It's been a win-win!"Bucksome Boomer

"Write about things that you use and like."Money Smart Life

"Focus on building your blog with good content and community, and the traffic and advertising opportunities will come. In other words, don't make monetization your top goal."The Frugal Girl

"I use Hootsuite to run some of my best offers to my Facebook fans at different times during the day without making them crazy! For example I may run a good Amazon deal at 9am and again at 8pm to catch two different types of people."Mummy Deals

"Concentrate on building your blog before even thinking about monetization."Budgeting In The Fun Stuff

"Be a good blogger."Frugal Zeitgeist

"Never ever violate any journalistic/ethical/SEO guidelines or best practices for the benefit of monetization. Your credibility and integrity are the most important things and no money is worth it. Optimize optimize optimize. Keep learning about new monetization techniques and test them."Cheapism

"Be open to negotiations."My Personal Finance Journey

"Advertise products that you truly believe will be useful to your readers. You'll be appreciated by your readers for providing pertinent product information, and your advertisers will see better results, so it's a win-win scenario."Maximizing Money

"Grow traffic first, then advertise."Money Reasons

"Be lucky. I've been at the right place at the right time for almost all my best opportunities. Sorry this won't be very helpful for most."Lazy Man And Money

"If you want to sell advertising, you need a media kit. I have built a media kit in a PDF format that I send to advertiser when they contact me. I include traffic stats, demographic profiles, pages viewed, PR, recent mention and historic of each blog. Pricing, type of ads and payment methods and process (I ask to be paid BEFORE I add their link) are also disclosed."The Financial Blogger

"I think that some blogs focus too much on SEO, especially newer blogs, and it reflects in their writing. The key to ranking high on Google is to build links. To build natural links, not only do you need to create great content on a consistent basis, I think you must be able to develop strong relationships with other bloggers so they will want to link to your work. The more links you get, the more search engine traffic you'll get, which will lead to more revenue."Boomer and Echo

"Don't make your site all about earning money. Make it all about your voice."Northern Cheapskate

"Since I don't care about advertising revenue much, I ask for astronomical numbers. A bank once agreed to my quote for $3000 for a text link ad (lump sum payment) even though I thought a more fair price at the time would've been about $500."Where Does All My Money Go

"Take the content you create from your blogs, rewrite it (for seo purposes), group it into niche topics and create stand alone mini websites which you can monetize beyond your blog without much additional effort since you already have the content."Saving Advice

"I hope this isn't too contrary, but my top monetization tip is to refrain from jumping at every advertising opportunity offered! For example on my blog,, I refuse about 80% of advertising requests. I don't sell text links, because the risk of a Google penalty just isn't worth it. I don't bother with Google AdSense because it looks naff and pays so little. I don't accept advertising that is at odds with my site's ethos. Miss Thrifty is all about making the most of what you have and getting out of debt - so advertisers of payday loans, credit cards and so on get short shrift from me. This approach works well for me on a couple of levels: not having a blog plastered with the dumbest of ads makes it more appealing and authoritative for readers. So I get more readers and subscribers - which, in turn, leads to more ad requests! So being picky doesn't necessarily mean that you lose out."Miss Thrifty

"Be patient; the advertisers will find you and traffic will come IF your content is good. Sounds cliche, but totally true."Darwin's Money

"Don't worry about monetization. Work on your content first and network/promote your content 2nd. Money will follow."Retire By 40

"Monetization is like growing a garden...if you water the soil too much, your seed will never sprout. Patience and consistency are the key."Fiscal Fizzle

"Make a useful product and charge money for it!"The Oblivious Investor

"Try some different things to see what monetizes best on your site. Don't go overboard though because it can drive people away. Try the low hanging fruit first like Adsense, and then work towards monetizing via affiliates, CPM ads (if you can find a good premium network) and selling your own products."Smart On Money

"Comment on other blogs and they will comment back. Write good content!"Young And Thrifty

"Join a great community to help better organize opportunities."Invest It Wisely

"Content is king - without good content you can forget making money. People come to read a clean blog with relevant content - not to click ads. Put the majority of your time & energy into creating good content and the rest will come."Wholesome Mommy

"Be aggressive when you negotiate. If you go overboard, there will always be another advertiser coming along."Live Real, Now

"Use good keywords in your title from the start! Not only does this help you when it comes to Google search, but it will help you find your own posts to link to. For example, I put up an image of the fuse schematic for my 1996 Nissan Pathfinder but I combined it with the fact that my vehicle just hit 300,000 miles and I named the post "My 1996 Nissan Pathfinder Just Rolled Over 300,000 Miles" and so I couldn't find the fuse schematic myself when I went to look for it, and no one else knew it was there either. Once I renamed the post accurately, I started to get hits."Out Of Debt Again

"Use wordpress plugins such as "Who Sees Ads" to only show intrusive ads to people who come to your site via google searches. Your regular readers aren't going to click on ads and they will appreciate not having to see them."Thousandaire

"Write about stuff you care about that you could actually promote. It transcends well. :)"Studenomics

"Content is King. Marketing is Queen. Advocacy is your Ace. Provide quality articles. Be active in promoting your blog. Help people through your posts. When you've achieved this, money will come."Ready To Be Rich

"Don't rush - advertisers will contact you when they're interested."So Over Debt

"Network with other bloggers and build up blog traffic. Advertisers seem to prefer advertising on sites with a page rank of 3 or higher. There's also more negotiating room with a higher PR ranking."Little House In The Valley

"Select the best network and ad relevant to the blog."Money Hacker Blog

"Keep personal finance blogs -personal -not political. Make it all about what's right and wrong --not what's right and left."Denise Richardson, Consumer Protection

"Write about topics that make money."Money Smarts

"I find that being overly aggressive with monetisation is a guaranteed one way and gets in the way of building up a readership. When it comes to monetisation, it's better to be the turtle."The Credit Letter

"Focus on your blog's content and the money will come."Financial Success For Young Adults

"Never compromise your content and integrity just to make a quick buck! Your readers are watching and you will lose a lot of credibility if you just sell out. Utilize space effectively - make your ad layout attractive but also be willing to put the ads where they'll get clicked. You have to think from the perspective of a reader. Where will their eyes go first? Will this look too cluttered? Are they going to stick around long enough to take an action that will be profitable for you? Finally, don't let money overshadow the necessity of providing top quality, helpful content that actually solves a problem for your readers or answers a question they're asking."Provident Planning

"Experiment! What works best for everybody else may not work best for you."Amateur Asset Allocator

"Ads that are visually appealing and relevant are by far the most effective. My blog layout and every post is tailored to my 'ideal reader,' so why wouldn't my ad be? I have found the best success (since BlogHer lets you tailor what types of ads are promoted) with ads I personally would trust or find appealing enough to click. I had NO luck with Google Adsense, the blue text links never seemed trustworthy to me and my readers seemed to have felt the same!"Frugal Beautiful

"Definitely sponsored guest posts."Stretching The One Income Dollar

"Write great content and find a bigger site to draw traffic."The Writer's Coin

"You're never too small to start. I got my book contract when I was not on twitter, Facebook or anything, just had 100+ followers on my blogspot blog. I also started getting advertising requests around the same time. Whilst not a huge amount, I started earning money almost straight away. Don't over do it though."Kylie Ofiu

"Enjoy sharing your thoughts and money will come in as a bonus."LaidTrades

"Keep trying different monetization options; your first attempt may be far from the best."The Amateur Financier

"1. Diversify your ad revenue just like you would diversify a stock portfolio. Some ad types may do better than others, some advertisers may drop their programs or change their rates, or drop you so you need to have a balanced portfolio to make up for these changes. Diversification doesn't just mean different ad types like CPC, CPA, text ads, but it also means diversification within each source. If you are selling insurance affiliates, line up more than one insurance company. If you are using CPC, use Adwords and other programs, etc. 2. Don't use affiliate programs that don't create value for your readers. Select programs carefully that you would use yourself, and offer them as a benefit to your readers as part of a financial or life improvement strategy. If you are inserting affiliate programs just for the sake of making money your readers will be able to sniff that out right away and will stop visiting."Car Negotiation Coach


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