5 Ways You Can Monetize Your Niche Blog

Teli Adlam —  July 20, 2007

This topic was chosen for me by Lynn Terry when she tagged me with the “5 ways you can…” meme. Frankly, I think she must have been reading my mind because I just started a blog series dubbed The Earning Curve. In any event, here’s my contribution.

1. Sell yourself.

Selling yourself isn’t just about providing a service. Consider for a moment that you run a knitting blog; chances are you knit a lot. While you could commission yourself out for custom jobs, it may be easier to set up a small Etsy store to sell your doilies or sweaters or other cool knitware. If you fancy yourself an artiste, share the joy by selling each of your paintings, or comics, or whatever your artistic craft may be. (And let’s not forget about CafePress which would allow you to sell just about anything from t-shirts to mouse pads to mugs.)

2. Display banners.

Something that was “oh, so 90’s” is making a come-back in a big way and it’s banner advertising. You don’t need to sell those gawd awful blinking banners that cause seizures or anything like that — you could even sell small 125×125 square banners. The better news is that you don’t even need to manage it yourself, you could sign up for a service like Blogads (invite only) or AdBrite. Both of these services, by the way, have a contextual ad component to them.

3. Contextual advertising.

It’s about more than just AdSense. Contextual advertising is made up by any type of text ad ranging from selling text links to paid reviews from services like ReviewMe or PayPerPost.

Contextual advertising doesn’t need to stop there either. You can move to the next level with affiliate marketing (AM). AM is great for a review or comparison blog because you can link out to your products using your affiliate links. (Chances are, you may already be dabbling with affiliate marketing if you have an Amazon account.)

4. Sell your content.

If you have a well established blog in your niche, then it’s possible to compile your blog into a book and sell it. Or, consider setting up a private membership blog.

This concept isn’t entirely new; bloggers have been converting their blogs into books for the mainstream for as long as blogs existed. A couple more well known blooks are My War: Killing Time in Iraq by Colby Buzzell, Lifehacker: 88 Tech Tricks to Turbocharge Your Day by Gina Trapani, and the ladies behind Go Fug Yourself are currently penning their own paperback.

5. Sell the blog.

I know this one caught you off guard, didn’t it? I firmly believe that a blog should be started with an exit strategy in mind, even if that exit strategy is just to mothball the site. However, another viable option is to sell it when the time comes.

The blog has served you well, possibly for years, and you no longer have the time or energy to maintain it, but you know it could continue doing well in the right hands — do your duty and put it there. There are a number of places to sell a blog, such as the Digital Point, SitePoint, and 5 Star Affiliate forums. Or, you can hire a private broker.

Tag, you’re it.

Now, it’s time to tag 5 other bloggers and give them something to blog about. What I like about this meme is that can you tailor the topic for the specific person or blog so the blogger doesn’t need to take her readers on a wild tangent and she still gets to participate in all the meme fun.

  1. Linda Buquet, your topic is 5 Ways You Can Keep Your Affiliates Happy.
  2. Anita Chaperon, your topic is 5 Ways You Can Write a Kick-Ass Review.
  3. Belle Wong, your topic is 5 Ways You Can Stay Cool Under Pressure (i.e. Deadlines).
  4. Brian Clark, your topic is 5 Ways You Can Improve Your Proofreading Skills.
  5. Andrew Flusche, your topic is 5 Ways You Can Stay Out of Legal Hot Water Online.

[tags]brian clark, copyblogger, linda buquet, 5 star affiliate programs, belle wong, working blogger, legal andrew flusche, anita chaperon, reviewlicious, blog meme[/tags]

Teli Adlam


15 responses to 5 Ways You Can Monetize Your Niche Blog

  1. Thanks for doing this, I was the one who tagged Lynn.

    I also tagged Brian too, never mind….hopefully we get ten tips! 😉

    Is it ok to ask you if you would link to my post as Lynn did so others could see what it was about should they want to have a go at the meme?

    Great tips you have, glad Lynn asked you.


  2. Great tips, Teli!! I am curious if you can tell us more about the term “mothball” in reference to blogs/sites. You are not the first person I have heard use that term… but I can only assume exactly what it means. I would be curious what it means to you…

    ~ Lynn

  3. Hi Lynn,
    Thanks for popping in and commenting. Mothball is a term that I’ve used a few times around here; it basically means to put a blog into archival mode and cease posting to it.

    I’ve actually discussed some tips for mothballing a blog in the exit strategy link in the entry. Another entry I wrote explains how to maintain search engine rankings when mothballing a blog.

    Was there anything specifically about mothballing a blog that you think I should discuss or would like to know more about?

    ~ Teli

  4. Mothballing?

    Interesting that is… thanks.

    I like Lynn am also intrigued by this… 😉


  5. Very interesting article. I would like to recommend to your readership DealDotCom.com which has a really (REALLY) tasty affiliate program.

    Its a great place on the web to find all the Internet Marketing products you really want for rock bottom prices. Anything and everything related to building an online business, increasing traffic, monetizing your websites, blogging, web design.. They’ve spent the last 4 months stalking big-name (and not-so-big-name) Internet Marketers who sell high-quality products, and convincing them to let us sell their stuff at huge discounts.

    When you refer others to DealDotCom and they get their free account, they are marked in their system as having been referred by you. Anything that they ever buy from them nets you a 35% commission FOREVER. What’s more, anyone that they refer to DealDotCom goes on your second tier. Anything people on your second tier buy nets you a 15% commission FOREVER.

  6. Hi,
    It is a great post. As I am new to this, I feel it is very interesting and informative. Contextual Advertising Technology allows online visitors to enjoy the content of the Web site and bring generous earnings to webmasters at the same time. Contextual advertising has made a major impact on earnings of many websites. As the ads are more targeted they are more likely to get clicked, thus generating revenue for the owner of the website (and the server of the advertisement). A large part of Google’s earnings are from their share of the contextual ads served on the millions of webpages running the Adsense program. Thanks for your suggestions.

  7. Good job on the article! Your tips are helpful and informative. Truth be told, a lot of newbie pro-bloggers and/or marketers still find themselves at a loss. I’m sure they can get great tips using this article.

    Maybe you can also expound on the niche part next time 🙂


  8. I’ve just started using one strategy and that is #3.

    I haven’t explored the others yet.

  9. I agree, it’s more than just AdSense. For example, Chitika is an excellent alternative. In fact, over the last year I compiled some statistics of my earnings and I actually earned twice as much with Chitika compared to AdSense.

  10. Great tips! Although i have been pretty much glued to my pc for the last 10 years the whole blogging concept seems to ran off without me…playing catch up!

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