Check out my new guide for starting a blog to learn how to go about properly creating your own blog.
Although I just did my weekly blogging tips post yesterday, I want to share another piece of advice for all financial bloggers.
In particular I want to talk about monetizing your blog. I seem to get a lot of e-mail questions about that very issue. Since I have been running my own websites since 2004, I do know a fair bit about the topic.
Early on most blogs think Google AdSense is all they need to worry about. It’s simple enough to just paste the ad code into your theme and have it up and running. Unfortunately over the years AdSense has become less and less profitable. Google gradually took a bigger percentage of the click price and advertisers got more wary of advertising on random websites. So the price webmasters got per click shrank more and more.
Luckily there is a monetization method with much higher potential. This method is promoting financial affiliate programs. Basically you refer traffic to a specific product or service and you get a commission if they make a purchase. Since finance is a very profitable niche, the commission you can get per transaction can be quite substantial. There are also affiliate programs that pay per lead or per click.
You should be aware that to make much money through these kinds of affiliate programs you do need to attract targeted traffic. If your traffic consists mostly of other bloggers, chances are they will mostly ignore anything you promote. Well maybe they won’t outright ignore it, but it is a much tougher sell. To make good money you’ll want to get search engine traffic directly related to the product or service you are promoting. That way they’re already specifically looking for what you’re selling.
The challenge is that most keywords related to specific affiliate programs can be quite competitive. So you’ll either want to build up a lot of SEO strength first or get creative with the keywords you choose to target. Personally my plan it so start promoting affiliate programs more when my blog has a better chance of ranking well for such keywords.
One page that I have launched already features the best credit card offers. Since I have plenty of experience promoting credit cards on other websites, it was only natural for me to promote credit cards on this blog too. Credit cards happens to be one of the most competitive niches though. So to get headway there I’m going to have to use some extra marketing tactics that I’ve got up my sleeve.
You don’t have to promote credit cards though, especially since I know some of you choose to avoid using them yourself. Pretty much every financial product or service out there has an affiliate program. So think in terms of which specific financial products or services you are comfortable recommending to your readers.
Some of the things you could consider promoting include credit reports, loans, insurance, online banking, investment brokers, financial software and so on. If in doubt, check out what some of the more established bloggers are promoting. In a lot of cases they have taken the time to test what works best for them.
Have any of you had any success with specific affiliate programs? Or are there affiliate programs that you plan on promoting in the future?