Thursday, May 13, 2010

How to Monetize Your Blog

Today, we had Nick Copley, founder of The Sherpa Report as our special guest. He is a serial entrepreneur and has successfully founded and sold a few online businesses. The Sherpa Report provides news, reports and analysis on on private residence clubs, destination clubs, private jets and luxury fractional property. If you just went, "Huh?" Translation: The Sherpa Report provides reports on upscale, luxury timeshare plus other stuff for very high end clients such as fractional jet ownership.

We, of course, are very interesting in how to monetize our blogs and Nick provided some excellent insights:

  • Don't think ads as your revenue source. There is a surplus in inventory for online media (think all those blogs out there) that are seeking ads that ads have been become a commodity and are practically free.
  • Google Adsense and Google Affiliates Programs are a great toe into the pool as you begin, but this will never generate more than a cup of coffee revenue a day for you. Seriously, I have a friend with a blog that gets 3000 unique visitors a day, and he makes $5 a day on Google Adsense.
  • There are other ways to think about monetizing but first step back and think about who your audience is. And more importantly, who care about your audience? Is this audience hard to get elsewhere? If not, that is harder to monetize. Segment, people! Segment your market!
  • Will your audience pay for your content? If yes, give a teaser and charge. Maybe this is your revenue source.
  • Will companies pay for lead generation? If so, figure out how to get that audience to your site and collect their data as they prepare to make a purchase. If you went, "Huh?" again, here's an example. Nick's previous company sold White Papers on IT. A White Paper is like a short thesis that is comprehensive on a particular topic. Companies will create this to show that they are an expert in their field in hopes of generating more clients and being perceived as an expert in their fields. If they hire someone to "ghost" write a White Paper, that could cost $3000 to $10,000 to create. Nick could have sold the white papers to CTOs (Chief Technology Officers); that is one way to go and CTOs would probably happily pay $300-$500 a pop for a relevant white paper from their company budgets. But, instead, he sold the companies who produced the White Papers space on his site -- hey, they want to promote their site and in exchange they get lead generation from CTOs who must fill out a form to get the free White Paper.
  • So, there's two ends to charge: the person./company on the front end (ie the person who seeks the information) OR the person on the back end (ie the person/company who seeks the sale).
  • Paying for Lead Generation! Brilliant! Now, how to apply to our online brands?
More on that later!

Pragmatic Mom
Type A Parenting for the Modern World
I blog on education, parenting, and Children's Literature

1 comment:

  1. In my experience, if you blog, you can monetize.

    For my clients, Twitter is the key.

    It drives people to your blog or website and strangely they would rather pay for larger content than free shorter blog posts.

    E-books, novels, guides, etc are now easy to do and are instant profit centers.

    No offense whatsoever to Nick but I'm not sure how many White Papers a Mommy or Humor blogger can generate, ya know? :-)

    Now, selling through Twitter, that is do-able today (or as soon as you have some sellable product or service :-)