March 27, 2014
Are you having difficulty optimizing your ad revenues? Establishing a successful blog requires a lot of planning, posting a slew of great content, and in general putting in a lot of hard work.
Considering this, if you are not making money from your blog, it can be disheartening. Fortunately, it is not that difficult to monetize your blog to recoup and profit from your investment of time, effort and money provided you have the right tools at your disposal.
The following is a list of 17 tools that will help you monetize your blog. We welcome your inputs on our list and individual tools in our comments section as this should help you and others make a more informed decision.
Tools for Displaying Related Content
One of the easiest methods of monetizing your blog is to become a member of a program which displays related content from other websites. These are visible across various blogs on the Internet and usually look like a part of the blog so as to conform to the established themes.
NRelate is a popular related content network. Examples of publishers that use NRelate include CBS Sports, Gamespot and CNet.
- The related content provided is uniquely fine-tuned to suit your particular traffic dynamics, which means better click through traffic and, resultantly, income is high.
- The display always comes with an image even if it’s generic.
- The tool makes customization very easy on WordPress (WP).
- Publisher network is much smaller compared to others available on the Internet.
Outbrain is another well-known name in this category. Its clients include highly respected names such as Rolling Stone and CNN. This tool will not only allow you to make money by displaying their network articles but also by promoting your own posts on their network.
- The payout is good here because Outbrain boasts huge advertiser and publisher networks.
- The support system of Outbrain is widely regarded as very efficient and helpful.
- The tool does not allow you to control the thumbnail size.
- The ‘key claiming’ process can be problematic initially.
Compared to Outbrain and NRelate, Taboola is smaller because it is new. However, this content network is growing very quickly and claims to promote around three billion pieces of content on a daily basis.
- Based on a highly sophisticated engine, which means better recommendations and, hence, click through rates.
- Provides an analytics system, showing information on performance of content.
- Takes away some control on content selection.
A/B Testing is a process, which can be used to figure out which ad units are performing better. The process mainly involves using ads with different sizes, themes, and placements and then measuring the CTR for each unit. The resulting intelligence can be used to make the best performing ad units with higher CTR.
(Disclaimer: I’m a co-founder) AdPushup is categorically designed for publishers and, hence, is easy to use. AdPushup is an A/B testing tool especially made for Publishers, using which you can optimize your ad revenue from ad networks like AdSense on an ongoing basis.
- Multiple options for ad customization. You can add different ad locations, sizes and ad themes.
- Automatically detects and fights banner blindness to ensure that your ad revenues stay optimized all the time.
- Still in Beta mode.
Visual Website Optimizer
The purpose of VWO is to make A/B Testing convenient for a website administrators. Owing to its simple setup for measuring the impact of ads, this tool is used by small and large websites alike.
- Simple and convenient user interface.
- Customizable traffic split options.
- Cannot be used to A/B Test Ad units.
Heatmaps are designed to help website owners get a clear understanding of what visitors do on their websites. The patterns of interaction found with Heatmaps can then be used to better determine the effectiveness of ad size, designs, and locations.
The wide variety of options and features of Crazy Egg allows it to be one of the most popular Heatmaps in the market currently.
- It can show all the data in a single screen but also offers detailed screens for each metric, which means data analysis becomes easy.
- Confetti and Scroll maps further add to its usefulness.
- Too much data and information can make decisions difficult to make.
As the name suggests, this tool would allow you to track the movements of a visitors’ mouse giving you another layer of useful intelligence.
- Information is provided on a real time basis i.e. current visitors’ mouse usage is available.
- Support recording and replaying mouse movements of visitors.
- Keystrokes and mouse movement recording throws up some critical privacy issues.
Cannoli is an open source option for website administrators that also allows for modifications in coding.
- Open source.
- It is free.
- Future development for this tool has stopped.
Monetize Bounce Traffic
Bouncing traffic is essentially visitors who leave your website without opening a second page. A typical example of this is people wanting to buy Halloween costumes ending up on a blog that offers tips for creating them. Technological advancements have resulted in many tools and programs designed to help blog owners monetize this bounce traffic.
WP Bounce is designed to monetize slightly irrelevant traffic. This tool will spot such visitors and, before they can leave, show them relevant products pulled from Amazon with your affiliate code.
- Designed to be user friendly.
- Ideal for monetizing search engine traffic.
- Boasts of a very good analytics module.
- Only useful on WP websites.
- Only useful for Amazon resellers.
This tool monitors visitor’s cursor movements on real-time basis and as soon as it detects that a visitor is about to close the window/tab (exit intent), it reveals a pop up message displaying your message where you can ask for a user to opt-in or provide a discount coupon.
- Many benefits as bounce traffic can turn into sales.
- Special technology for Exit Intent.
- Very expensive and only suitable for people with a huge budget.
Optinmonster is a tool with many different features designed to persuade leaving visitors to subscribe.
- Features A/B testing for opt in forms of different types.
- Customer messages can be customized for individual pages.
- Only useful for websites on WordPress.
It is possible to make money out of CAPTCHAs as well because, on average, people take about 14 seconds to solve a CAPTCHA. Such tools essentially place ads in the CAPTCHA, which can lead to monetary benefits.
The use of this tool would result in visitors answering questions or typing in brand phrases to solve the CAPTCHA. SolveMedia is widely used in the online ecosystem currently.
- Payouts can be better than they are with other options.
- The developers say that SolveMedia CAPTCHAs are quicker to solve.
- Replacement of text with advertisements can be considered to be too invasive.
This tool ensures that the visitor is more accepting of the sales message and advertisement because it requires people to drag and drop puzzles that are mentally stimulating.
- Simple to install.
- The CAPTCHA skin can be modified to suit the website theme.
- May not be compatible with some websites and blogs.
Similar to Confident CAPTCHA in many ways, NLP CAPTCHA follows the puzzle route which improves brand recall, improves website experience, and earns the owner income.
- Numerous types of available puzzles.
- N-gage and Fill-in CAPTCHAs are also available.
- Payouts can be lower if compared to other similar networks and tools.
If you have been struggling to make money from your blog or website then the tools and networks mentioned above can be very useful. However, you must ensure their suitability for your niche and your website. Best of luck.
Ankit Oberoi is a co-founder at AdPushup, a startup focused on helping publishers and bloggers optimize their ad revenues. You can reach him on Twitter @oberoiankit.