The 7 Levels of Revenue for your Blog

Posted on 25. May, 2007 in Online Advertising

  Level 1: Bottom Level = Google AdSense.  Yes, even though I strongly dislike AdSense, it can be used to soak up and remnant ad inventory that you have on your site.   Google, the biggest pimp in the ad industry world, will take any traffic they can get which includes the international traffic that most ad networks avoid.  Average CPM = $1
Level 2: Affiliate programs:  Either directly from the supplier or through a network like Commission Junction affiliate programs are still one of the lowest forms of revenue you can generate from your blog.   For example if you have a video game blog and you link to to purchase a PlayStation it might get you the odd sale, but the best way to do it, is to do a blog post on a very relevant product to your site, with an affiliate link to the offer.  (Use full discloser that the embedded link is an affiliate link as well)

 Level 3:  Ad Networks.  ContextWeb, ValueClick, AdOn and hundreds of others.   There are loads of Ad networks out there that will re-sell your banner inventory for you and everyone you speak to will ‘guarantee’ the highest CPM’s in the industry, but the fact of the matter is that a lot of the ads they display on your site will be low quality and the fill rates may be only 25% – 50%.  Another thing about ad networks is most of them only want US traffic so they will push back any international traffic you get.  Average CPM’s $1-$2

 Level 4:  Automated Text link Ads.  Yes, text link ads not only outperform AdSense, they blow away ad networks when it comes to eCPM’s as most text links are bought on a monthly fixed rate and not on a CPC basis.  The pure industry leader in this game is  One thing is you should do is manually approve the links bought on your site to ensure that they are at least somewhat relevant.  The best part about TLA is the pure automation of it, set it and forget it.  And another wonderful thing is it will even continue to make money long after your audience moves on. ( A distant second in this field is  Average price $25 per link x 6-8 links

Level 5: Fixed Text link Ads:  These are the direct buys you get from someone contacting you about buying a fixed link on your site.  Don’t let Matt Cutts  find out your doing this J Average price $50 per link.

 Level 6: Graphical Banner Ads:  Getting advertisers to buy ads on a CPM basis on your site that you yourself set.  Put together your own rate card and have it on your ‘Advertise with Us’ page. Anywhere from $5CPM to $20CPM. 

Level 7: Fixed Monthly Sponsors – Graphical or integrated:  The top of the food chain and the top of the money chain.  Getting a sponsor to pay a fixed flat monthly rate to have a graphical ad or an integrated ad on your site is the single highest paying and best option for your Blog.  Even one sponsor of your site, can potentially beat out all your other forms of revenue generations combined.  This one takes pounding the pavement and contacting relevant companies, but the payoff is sweet.  This is the Holy Grail…Good Luck.

The End of Ad Networks  ~ …Coming in 2010

Tags: ad network, adsense, Google AdSense, make money from your blog, text ads