Not all that long ago it was very easy to make money from your blog if it had decent traffic.
In the stone ages of blogging (circa 2010 and before) all you had to do was place a few contextual ads or banners on your pages and watch the money flow in month after month.
If your blog had a lot of visitors, you could earn a good passive income simply by placing ads on it.
But things are different now. In recent years ads have fallen out of favor with both bloggers and their readers.
Why it’s now counter-productive to place ads on your blog
You might not be aware of it, but many of your blog’s visitors now use ad blockers, and most of the ones who don’t have “ad blindness”.
What’s more, placing an advertising service’s ad code on your blog can slow down your page load times, and the major search engines are now penalizing slow-loading sites. That means there will be fewer visitors coming to your blog in the first place, reducing your ad revenues even more.
And here’s something else to think about: Most folks hate spam, and a blog that’s loaded down with ads just looks spammy to many folks. I don’t place much trust in anything a spammer has to say, and I’m guessing you don’t either.
Please don’t get me wrong. I’m NOT accusing you of spamming your blog’s visitors simply for having ads on your blog. Most people are NOT spammers, and I’m sure you’re not one of them either.
But in the Internet world reality typically loses out to perception, and if your blog is perceived to be spammy by your visitors they’ll likely just hit the back button and move on without reading whatever it is that you have to say. In a nutshell, all of your great content will go to waste.
By now you’re probably thinking that I’m against advertising in general, but I’m really not. For many decades ads have helped us find out about great new products and services, and in the right media they can still be quite beneficial.
All I’m saying is your blog (and you) would probably be better off if you skip the ads altogether and monetize it using other, more effective methods.
How to earn money from your blog without publishing ads
There are other ways of making good money with your blog that don’t have any of the downsides that come with posting ads on it.
In this post I’ll be discussing the one that performs the best for me: Affiliate text links!
I’m sure you probably read that and thought “What a hypocrite! He just told me that I shouldn’t place ads on my blog, but now he’s getting ready to recommend that I do just that“!
Well, not exactly…
When done correctly, affiliate advertising is vastly different than simply placing banners or contextual ads on your blog pages.
Unlike traditional ads, an affiliate link to a relevant product or service that perfectly complements the message in a post and/or truly helps solve a reader’s problem is welcomed by most readers.
In fact, I get messages from folks on a regular basis thanking me for helping them solve a problem by pointing out a product or service that fills their needs. And in the process I earn a commission on the item(s) they buy based upon my recommendation. That’s a true win-win situation in my opinion.
I know you’re probably thinking “But I don’t see any affiliate ads on RicksDailyTips!”
That’s because I don’t use affiliate “ads” – I use affiliate text links.
I prefer to use affiliate links instead of affiliate ads for all the same reasons I mentioned in the first few paragraphs of this post. I believe affiliate ads would make my blogs look spammy and I know for a fact that the underlying code used to display them would slow down the page load times.
Affiliate text links on the other hand, look natural (because they are). And they won’t slow your blog down because there’s no ad code for pulling graphics and text from a third-party website.
What’s more, affiliate text links tend to convert a lot better than affiliate banner or display ads (remember that ad blindness thing I mentioned earlier?). And even more important, they don’t get blocked by ad blockers!
A practical example of how I use affiliate text links to monetize this blog
I could write several paragraphs explaining how to best use affiliate text links in your blog posts, but I believe a simple demonstration will help you understand the concept a lot better.
Here’s a link to one of my most popular blog posts. Take a few moments to read it, paying special attention to the way I placed the affiliate links. I’ll wait here until you return…
As you can see, there was no hard selling in that post. In fact, there was no “selling” taking place at all. I simply provided the person who asked the question with a link to a device that helped her solve her problem – retrieving the files from her broken laptop.
In a nutshell, I was able to help that lady solve her problem and earn a commission at the same time. I didn’t “sell” anything to her, and she likely didn’t feel that I was trying to.
And here’s a sweet bonus: Since that happens to be one of the most popular posts on this blog, it has helped many readers solve the same problem while allowing me to earn many commission fees over time.
The most important thing to remember about affiliate text links is to only use them when they truly complement the content of the post and/or help the reader solve a problem he/she is having.
I only have affiliate links on approximately 25% of my posts. Why? Because those are the posts where an affiliate link truly adds value for the reader.
My primary goal for RicksDailyTips is to help people solve their problems and keep them informed about what’s happening in the world of technology.
That means the majority of my posts don’t have links to any products or services, and adding them where they don’t belong would put me in the same league as the spammers of the world. I don’t want that, and you probably don’t either.
There are many other ways to earn money from your blog that don’t involve placing ads on it. If you’re interested in learning about them simply Google “monetize my blog” and you’ll find plenty of options.
I chose to concentrate on affiliate text links in this post simply because they out-perform all the other things that I have tried, hands-down.
Bottom line: You don’t have to plaster obtrusive, page slowing ads all over your blog to earn some decent money from it. In fact, that’s the least effective strategy you could employ!
Bonus tip: I mentioned above how page load times are now helping determine where your blog will be ranked on in the search results pages Google, Bing and other popular search engines. In a nutshell, pages that load faster will outrank slower pages for a give search term (all other factors being equal of course).
Hosting your blog on a fast server with a great hosting company is critical to writing and maintaining a fast-loading blog.
This post explains why I host RicksDailyTips and all of my other blogs at inmotion Hosting (hint: server speed is just one reason, among many).
If you think your friends would like this post, I’d love you to share it! Thanks a bunch!