While there are no shortage of bloggers all over the world, there is only a small percent who succeed in doing so. Even if you do observe the best blogging practices and have generated a substantial amount of blog traffic, it does not follow that you will achieve success by earning a living as a professional blogger.
The real measure of success as a blogger is what you do with the traffic you have generated. Visitors per se won’t rake in cash for you, which is why you need to devise a way that will allow you to monetize your visitors. One way of doing this is by setting up contextual ads on your blog.
The principle behind contextual ads is simple – you place the ads at places in your blog that can generate the most views from visitors. If they like the ad, they will click on it to learn more about the content of the ad. For every click, you earn a small amount to your account.
Since the ad units are contextual, you don’t have to worry about what appears there because it will automatically show ads based on the cookies and browser history of the visitors for increased chances of getting clicked on.
The challenge with earning through contextual ads is to get lots of visitors to click on your ads. Thankfully, there are different ad networks for you to use and choose from to maximize your profit online. Below are some of the best.
Ad type: In-line text
How much you can earn: “The sky is the limit!”
Infolinks lets you place ads in the form of links and units within the content body. This way, the ad links feel more natural and organic compared to others, thus maximizing your opportunity that visitors will click on them. Choosing the right category for your blog will help you come up with relevant ad links on your content. Here’s a link to tips and advice on how to set up your Infolinks ads to increase the chances of visitors clicking on your ads.
Ad type: Display ads
How much you can earn: 68% of the click price
Arguably the most popular ad network, Google AdSense allow you to place ad units on different places of your blog by simply adding a line of code to your blog. You can choose the size and dimensions of the ad unit to appear on your blog and customize whether the ads that will show on the units are text or images. Here’s a really good guide on how to use Google AdSense to optimize your options. Just make sure that you observe the ad placement policies to avoid getting your account banned.
Ad type: email ads
How much can you earn: “100% incremental revenue”
If you’ve built an email list and are sending out blog newsletters on a regular basis, then you ought to try and monetize your subscriptions as well by placing ads using this service. LiveIntent offers a static HTML LiveTags that you could simply set and forget on your email campaign. You can sell your items through the ads that will appear on the email or you can get other ads to appear and earn money from them.
Ad type: Sponsored content network
How much can you earn: “$0.37-$1.12 per thousand pageviews to publishers”
Outbrain allows blog owners to earn money by setting up a promoted discovery section (links to related posts from other sites registered with the network) below each of your blog posts. If people click on these links, you will earn a small amount in your account. On the other hand, signing up for Outbrain Amplify will get your posts shown as suggested articles at reputed online sites like CNN and Slate. By setting a daily budget that will determine the cap on the frequency that your post is clicked on from other sites.
Questions: What are your experiences in using contextual ads to earn a living through blogging? What are the other ad networks not mentioned above?
More on contextual ads: