7 Levels Of Revenue For Your Blog

Chad Randall has written a post called the 7 Levels of Revenue For Your Blog, which ranks the various ways bloggers can make money, with level 1 being the lowest and Level 7 the highest.

Chad has placed Adsense at Level 1, which isn’t surprising given his views about Adsense – Chad was the author of the controversial post on Problogger encouraging bloggers to remove Adsense in order to attract advertisers. Chad places Fixed Monthly Sponsors in the top position at Level 7.

Here’s the full list – Do you agree with Chad’s rankings?

  • Level 1: Adsense
  • Level 2: Affiliate Programs
  • Level 3: Ad Networks
  • Level 4: Automated Text Link Ads
  • Level 5: Fixed Link Text Link Ads
  • Level 6: Graphical Banner Ads
  • Level 7: Fixed Monthly Sponsors

I think Chad is mistaken to put Adsense at number 1. Not only is Adsense the main money earner for most bloggers, it’s also the most accessible service. Although Graphical Banner Ads and Fixed Monthly Sponsors definitely do offer the best return, these tend to be only accessible to the big blogs. To be honest, I think when a ‘blog’ gets to the size of Gizmodo or Engadget, I think they stop becoming a blog.

Personally, my biggest earner remains Adsense and I think it will continue to be, unless I get lucky and sell more direct campaigns like I did in March where I sold over £3k in direct ads. However, constantly generating Direct Ad sales is tough unless you have the time to concentrate on approaching Direct Advertisers.

One area I’m still trying to work out to crack is Level 2: Affiliate Programs as no matter what I do, I never seem to generate any income. I’m also still experimenting with alternate ad schemes to supplement my Adsense income.

, , , , , , ,

16 Responses to 7 Levels Of Revenue For Your Blog

  1. Online Technology May 6, 2007 at 12:53 pm #

    I would agree, that getting completely into adsense is not a good idea. We cant get more money by increasing the units. Getting monyhly sponseres is best.

  2. Narayanan Hariharan May 6, 2007 at 3:04 pm #

    I completely agree with Chad on this. More because Adsense is the sole source of revenue for beginners while from Level 2 onwards, only those blogs which have been around for some time get a chance to use them as a source of revenue.

  3. Zath May 6, 2007 at 5:16 pm #

    For me right now, Adsense is the easy option and given I’ve only been blogging for a couple of months, the traffic probably doesn’t warrant investing lots of time in other forms when it could be better spent on the actual blog.

    Although I have got some affiliate links, but don’t find that they are used much, perhaps I need to work on that.

    I’m happy sticking with the “easy option” of Adsense for the time being at least.

  4. Make A Guitar May 6, 2007 at 5:55 pm #

    I think the list is a bit arbitrary. As you point out, Adsense is still the choice for most bloggers. Accessibility and ease of use are both there and even niche blogs like mine have some opportunity to generate a bit of income. Direct ad sales are great but put you in the role of sales person – something not all of us are cut out to do. Plus, they require a substantial investment in time that many of us already lack. – Robert Irizarry

  5. Brown Baron May 6, 2007 at 6:15 pm #

    I agree with Zack. For newer blogs like ours, Adsense is usually the first option. I think that when I get to the point where my blog’s traffic becomes substantial, Adsense will still be my best option.

  6. Avatar of Everton
    Everton May 6, 2007 at 6:21 pm #

    The beauty of adsense is it is effortless. Once you’ve worked out where your best positions are, and added your section targetting, basically you are done and you can concentrate on posting. Or, you could save yourself the hassle and download an adsense optimised theme like this one. The same tends to go for Text Link ads.

    The problem with 6&7 as Guitar boy said is that you need to know how to be a sales person and who to approach.

    I can’t really comment on number 2 as I’ve got no experience of this, and although there are lots of posts on affiliate marketing, I’ve yet to see anyone share any real results or share how other people can get in on the action.

  7. Investing Blog May 6, 2007 at 7:36 pm #

    Interesting topic, Everton. In the past couple of weeks, my advertising focus has changed drastically. While I was once overpromoting Adsense, I have backed off a bit to focus on growing my traffic and newsletter lists organically. List are very, very powerful.

    Here’s my thoughts on each level:

    * Level 1: Adsense – Yes, Adsense is easy, but once that visitors clicks the unit, he is usually gone forever. Adsense is merely a short-term revenue option.

    * Level 2: Affiliate Programs – The key is matching the product with the post. I plan to spend this weekend scouring through old posts and injecting reveal affiliate links when necessary. Links like Text Link Ads and ReviewMe don’t work well b/c they only sell to webmasters. Try Amazon.com and Ebay.com more. Everyone uses though guys. I think affiliates should be much higher up, like level 4 or 5.

    * Level 3: Ad Networks – My traffic isn’t large enough, so not sure here. But hey,
    * Level 4: Automated Text Link Ads – Easy money. Nuff said.

    * Level 5: Fixed Link Text Link Ads – Even better b/c you earn 100% of the cost. TLA is a 50% thief!

    * Level 6: Graphical Banner Ads – I hate banner ads, and never click them. This is be level 1 in my honest opinion. More people are becoming adverse to blatant advertisements. My banner ads generally earn CTR of 1 to 2%.

    * Level 7: Fixed Monthly Sponsors – The holy grail of advertising. Fixed is king. Plus, these advertisers usually have solid products that can be promoted to your e-mail lists.

    Great discussion, everton. I know if you spent more time focusing on list building, your affiliate sales would blossom. Take care!

  8. Avatar of Everton
    Everton May 6, 2007 at 7:49 pm #

    I know if you spent more time focusing on list building, your affiliate sales would blossom.

    What do you mean by list buidling?

  9. Investing Blog May 6, 2007 at 8:16 pm #

    I mean an opt-in list. Your subscribers give you their name and e-mail address so they can receive newsletter updates, free ebook, or just personal e-mails from you. Once you get their e-mail addresses, then you can promote products to them as an affiliate.

    If you visit a post on my blog, you’ll see my opt-in form at the bottom of every post. I had no idea how important this element was until I did a bit of reading yesterday. Right now I have 120 opt-in subscribers and am shooting for 250 by June.

    Now imagine this, you have a list of 500 subscribers, then you send an e-mail promoting a tech gadget or something related to your niche. If 5% of your subscribers by, you just made 25 commissions!

    I use Aweber to manage my e-mail list. Right now I’m using the 30 day free trail, and so far so good. Let me know if this helps.

  10. Avatar of Everton
    Everton May 6, 2007 at 8:36 pm #

    I struggle to see how that is significantly better than getting them to subscribe to the feed.

    I guess with email I can increase the chances that they will read the details.

  11. Investing Blog May 6, 2007 at 9:07 pm #

    Good point. Well it looks like you’ve encouraged me to start a case study. It’ll be one the effectiveness of RSS subscribers vs. newsletter subscribers. Can’t wait to blog about this one!

  12. Psychic May 6, 2007 at 10:39 pm #

    I believe the best one is the fixed link text ads. Once your site has good traffic and PR then placing these types of links on your site does not take up too much room
    TerryG Psychic ability

  13. Make A Guitar May 7, 2007 at 11:14 pm #

    Text link ads certainly have excellent potential once you’re up and going. Adsense is nice but still varies all over the place. With text link ads, you have a fixed bit of income and, as Psychic points out, they take precious little space.

  14. Make A Guitar May 8, 2007 at 12:14 am #

    Text link ads certainly have excellent potential once you’re up and going. Adsense is nice but still varies all over the place. With text link ads, you have a fixed bit of income and, as Psychic points out, they take precious little space.

  15. Selbourne August 15, 2007 at 2:44 pm #

    Well adsense comes out to be the best bet as they continuously innovate. You have seen text ads and then came the image ads. Now they have the video ads.

  16. Selbourne August 15, 2007 at 3:44 pm #

    Well adsense comes out to be the best bet as they continuously innovate. You have seen text ads and then came the image ads. Now they have the video ads.