I’m very excited about my blog reviews, they are starting to pick up steam. We’re now at review number four. We’re going to be looking at Wendyfulworld.
This is what Wendy submitted:
I have installed Adsense and a couple of affiliation links but so far very little money has been made. Perhaps the real issue real is driving traffic or generating interests in getting people to click. We have touched on that at yesterday’s meetup lunch.
One problem I see (I think) is I am too busy in trying to get the post out to fulfill my obligations to the PR companies that I don’t think about my own objective which is now more selfish (aka about me).
Thanks so much for taking the time to review my blog!
– Wendy from http://wendyfulworld.com/
Wendy has a great looking blog. But it could use some work and we’ll dive into it and we’re going to focus on the monetization part of it since that is what she requested.
By “affiliation” she means affiliate marketing. This is how I make most of my income online.
First let’s get some key points out of the way. These aren indirectly related to monetizing the website.
I was told that I haven’t given much practical advice in previous reviews. After I finished laughing I thought: maybe there is something to that commentary. So below you’ll find a bulleted list with some practical advice.
- Reduce image sizes. Your images are way too big in file size. There are ways to reduce them, this will help your website load faster and improve overall rankings and user experience. Try to aim for image sizes between 80 – 120kb per full size image. When saving an original image for web use the “save for web” feature in Photoshop and play around with the live feature showing you as you adjust the quality of the output. People online can’t tell the difference between an image saved at 85% quality and the same image saved at 72% quality and that could make a difference of 100-200kb. Currently there are images on the site that are over 400kb!
- Fix permalinks. Currently the default permalink scheme is being used and this isn’t the most friendly to visitors. Adjust this in your WordPress Settings. I wrote a short guide on how to setup permalinks.
- Remove the right-click disable feature. This doesn’t help you in any way and it diminishes the user experience, slows down browsing and could create other issues that could get you banned or blocked. It is a naive belief that disabling the right-click feature on your images will prevent image theft. That is completely false. Remove this feature asap.
- Move the photography credit to the end of the post vs the beginning. You already have really big watermarks on the images (not recommended) but you’re also inviting people to leave any one particular blogpost to go to the photography website. They’re here to read about your food experience. Currently it feels forced and will not get you results, better to put a small inconspicuous line at the end of your post saying “photography by” and then the link.
- Remove adsense and Amazon ads. Adsense is a great monetization tool for specific types of websites. Adsense does great when a website has lots of traffic. LOTS of it. When you get over 1000 unique visitors per day then Adsense may be a good option. But as a new site or one trying to begin monetization, adsense can hurt you more than help you. Instead focus on specific products or paid banner placements.
- Update your theme. I would suggest finding a new modern theme. Even some free ones may be great. If you can spend a little money, I have worked with Photocrati before and it does a really good job of helping you display awesome photos.
- Look for a theme that is responsive. Also Studiopress has some nice options for foodie/photo blogs.
Ok so that’s a lot of stuff to do, or not to do depending on how you look at it. But the question remains, how do you monetize a website like this.
By the way, here’s the video. This one ran longer than I anticipated.
As I mentioned in the list of stuff to do, Adsense is not that great for a website like this. Your topic is very competitive and because of that reason the ads that show up on your site will probably not pay a lot. The advertisers can bid in many
If you look at your adsense reports and you’re making between $0.05 and $0.75 per click on average then take it off. If you are making more than $1.00 per click then there is some room to work with but experience tells me that’s not the case here.
Now that Adsense is out of the way, what can you do to make money? Well You first need an email list and a way to stay in touch with your readers. I will say this until I turn blue. You have to have a way for people to stay in touch with your site and you have to in fact keep in touch with them by sending them regular updates once they joined your list.
With a list you can start making money almost immediately. You can now focus on creating value on your blog and cashing in that value with your emails. The key is to send valuable and actionable information to your email list on a regular basis. Don’t just send your latest blogpost.
Instead, pick certain topics that you will talk about on a regular basis. Repetition breeds familiarity. Familiarity builds trust and when there is trust, people buy. Once you pick a topic, for example: how to take great food photos in any situation. Take that and expand on it on a weekly basis.
One day you can talk about using your iPhone for the best shot. Another time you’ll explain how to use a point and shoot camera, then later on you can get into advanced studio techniques. So how would you make money with that?
Each time you teach or share one of those posts, you’ll recommend a product or service to help the reader further. Maybe you recommend an inexpensive pocket camera. Maybe you promote a piece of software that is essential. But it’s important to keep talking about it on a regular basis.
Talking about this regularly will improve your website rankings, elevate your authority status and encourage people to buy the products you are suggesting. A great example of this from a photography stand point is Ken Rockwell; visit his website and you’ll see what I mean. He gives you amazing information for free, better than entire books and then he tells you where and what to buy. And he actively asks you to give buy, or contribute.
That is the key to making money with affiliate products. You must ask people to buy it, sometimes a simple request makes all the difference.
Another way you could potentially make money is to work with local businesses (since your site has a large focus in local activity) and sell them banner ads. You can use OIO publisher ($47.00 one time fee) to sell ads and manage the whole thing automatically for you. This would certainly bring more than you can make with Adsense at this time.
Overall, the site needs a little updating and some modifications from a technical point of view, but if you want to make money with it you need a list, you need to align your traffic with your design and content a little bit more, and you need create the opportunities to make money by offering something people can buy. Ads alone won’t cut it.
I would recommend you promote specific Amazon products through their affiliate program but even beyond that, find relevant products that pay higher commissions and work on those. If you want to develop a stronger monetized relationship between the photography business and the food blog then you could use my example above as a ways to start.
Let me know if you have any questions via the comments!
OIO Publisher – Will allow you to run your own advertising platform 100% customizable. Easy to use with WordPress and almost hands off. Install, configure and start making money. You can always run “in-house” ads to make money while you sell an ad placement. Link
Aweber – You’ll need this for your email list. I’ve covered it before in more detail, click here to learn more. It costs $1.00 to start. They also recently released their “Test Drive” which is free and extremely educational. Join that program for free by entering your name and email on the box to the right. Link
Optinmonster – Although I didn’t mention this on the video or above, it would be a great addition to your site. Given that you already have a base audience, introducing them to your list could be difficult. Optinmonster will solve that problem by gently and intelligently asking people to join at precisely the right time. Link