Don’t Be the Crazy Street Peddler
This is a guest post from Arsene Hodali. If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here.
If you live in a large city (or seen a movie featuring one) then you definitely know who I’m talking about. You know, that guy on the street corner who’s usually dressed in a long winter jacket even though it’s summer. Yes! Him. That guy. The one with the lingering body odor (probably from the jacket), the suspicious look in his eyes, and surprise, surprise something to sell.
Don’t be him.
One of the, if not the, most frequent problem that every blogger faces is the issue of monetization (ugly word really- making that which is not meant to make money, make money… sounds wrong). Anyways, we all usually go through the same phases:
1. We blog for a while, then realize that we aren’t making money from this “blogging” thing magically. Millions of dollars were supposed to just start rolling in once we wrote our amazingly unbelievable content right? Right?!
2. We finally accept our fate and realize that if we want to make money with our blogs we have to actually do something other than produce great written content… So we turn to Google Adsense. COME ON! It’s easy and simply to set up. Leave us alone.
3. We hit a point in time (some of us sooner rather than later) where we realize that making 26 cents a day from Google Adsense won’t lead to the riches and fame we envisioned. So in our desperate flee (from Adsense) we grab onto “affiliate marketing”.
4. This is the beginning of one of the happiest stages in a young bloggers life (if done right). We (the blogger) are making 50% + commissions from the affiliate products we’re referring to our blog readers. The money is practically rolling in! “Yeah, Baby, yeah”- bad impression of Austin Powers.
5. Then we ponder. Hmm, more products to affiliate, more money. BRILLIANT! … So we sell two more products, five more products, ten more products, etc. Pretty soon our blog is covered with a vast quantity of affiliate links to products we haven’t even tried for ourselves yet. But whatever, we’re still making money, so all is well… Until it’s not.
Blog subscribers start unsubscribing, unique visitor count goes down, commentators start getting a little more snippy, and worst of all sales are at a stand still… of zero. What happened?
Well you, my friend, are now a crazy pedlar guy. Congratulations.
You’re always there selling products to us. Selling products you either haven’t tried yourself or that you darn well know is of low quality. You don’t care about the customer (reader) anymore, just about the money. Take your products and go find another street corner, because you’re not getting our services or trust anymore.
“But… but… Arsene, where did I go wrong?” you say. I had a significant amount of subscribers, I kept publishing good quality content, and I affiliated properly. I did all the things I was supposed to do.
You didn’t affiliate properly. You just affiliated, nothing I saw there was “proper”.
Let’s get a quick lesson in how to affiliate properly, shall we.
Use Google Adsense; as a statistics tool (not as a monetization tool).
Put Google Adsense on your site for a couple of weeks or so and look for the ads that most frequent your site. You can do this either by browsing your own site and seeing what pops up, by letting a friend browse it from their computer (different search history and all that), or by polling your daily blog readers. Now write down the ads and the companies that own them. You know what you’re going to do next? That’s right…
Contact the businesses who’s ads kept showing up on your blog via Adsense.
You’re going to contact them and tell them that their ads frequently populate your blog, and why you think so (mommy blogger – baby ads, entrepreneurship blogger – business ads, etc. not that hard to explain). Once you’ve properly conveyed why their ads are a perfect match for your blog, you now tell them that you’re willing to show their ad on your blog on a monthly basis for a small fee (the price of these ads is largely determined by your blogs traffic; the higher the better). Even better yet, inform them that if they purchases ad space in bulk (in two, three, or four month terms) they can get a discount (10% or something); what business will turn down a better ROI?
Up-sell your ad space one step further.
Most bloggers sell ad spots in 125 X 125 pixel increments. But I’m proposing you it take one step further. Ask the business whether they would like to invest more, and in doing so they would be the sole ad on your site, and get a bigger ad space. This would increase their presence on your blog, and eliminate their competition with the other ads in one feel swoop! And who would turn that down?
And finally, once that’s all done you can relax (there’s more, but I’m not writing a book). It gets easier from here, all you have to worry about at the moment is whether or not the business is making their daily monthly investments in your blog (until you meet with the next businesses, then you have your work cut out for you again).
Did you notice what happened by the end of the post? if everything was done as said, you should now be only affiliating one (or a few) companies which you know about *gasp*. You’re not spamming your readers with crappy affiliate products anymore. You’re not recommending products that you personally have no connection with anymore. And most important of all,
You’re not a crazy street peddler anymore… Congrats.
About the Author: Arsene is a dancer, artiste, and a writer. He’s also an “ubervegan”, and currently only sleeps two hours per day (really). He survived the Rwandan Genocide; later fled to America with his family; traveled all over Africa, America, and Canada; and now resides in Toronto (feel free to hold that against him). He’s arrogant but humble. You can find him writing thought provoking posts on self help over at his blog dancePROOF. You have the privilege to talk to him if you so choose (notice the arrogance).
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18 Responses to “Don’t Be the Crazy Street Peddler”
The Corner Girl
I am self-concious about appearing as the “crazy Street Peddler” to other bloggers, as you put it. I have been blogging for over a year, comment politely on people’s posts, and write blogs about my interests while trying to keep the writing clear and to the point, while not sounding idiotic.
Yet, I have less followers than anyone I know. Does everyone market themselves like some new face cream from Neutrogena? And why does everyone seem to be making handfuls of money when I have earned 26 cents (to date) using adsense? I am not blogging for money, certainly, but it would certainly be nice to get some positive reinforcement. What am I doing wrong?
Far too many people are blogging with the dream of becoming an affiliate millionaire without wanting to put out the quality content, or effort to even have a shot at such a possibility.
I also think that if you’re going to sell affiliate products, you should at least try it out yourself.
This will help you make more substancial reviews and posts about that product.
Wonderful guest post 😀 – I liked the way you write ideas with the funny and sometime sarcastic tone.
As for the contact adsense ads owners that’s a really good idea but it’ll mostly work on a niche specific site/blog – Nice tip anyway.
GoosPoos :: Web and Software Technology Blog
Making money online is the one fairy tale everybody chases now a days (Including ME!!). But everybody hits the wall hard way with initial failures and obstacles. Only determined and quality people go ahead and make their dream come true. Naive people look at the success and not the journey. This post conveys these things in rather lighter mood. Good read.
Gary David | Drive Thousands Of Traffic Now
Thanks for the post. I agree that making money online is more on giving valuable contents and building good relationship with other people as well. Do not focus on just making money, but rather focus on providing quality contents. When it comes to affiliate marketing, we should only recommend products that we have tried already, or products that we know will help our customers.
That is a great article. I always wonder why people just stick to copying everyone else when they try to ‘make money’ with their blogs.
When I talk to desperate bloggers, I tell them to think outside the box and be creative and you’ve just given a fabulous tip on the Adsense idea.
I hope folks actually take action though and give it time to succeed.
And, yes, your writing is witty with my favorite type of humor.
Keep it up
Roshan Ahmed | Make money online
I (too) liked your writing style. Anyway, your post is thought provoking too. And when you mentioned about people with 26 cents a day Adsense revenue, that includes me. Though I’m not planning to move to any affiliate program right now, I will keep your points in my head when I do. 😉
Great idea to contact the Adsense Advertisers. That didn’t really cross my mind as I thought they would turn me down. Will give it a try.
About street peddlers, absolutely correct. Some of the blogs I subscribed to are going to be dropped from my reader. They pump products all the time and it’s so annoying.
Most of what they sell is not theirs and they sometimes admit they would never spend money on most of the products they promote. Great read..thanks for all the help
Great tip on contacting the ads showing on Adsense. I think I will do that and wish me luck to gain more interests for my company too. 🙂
Great post Arsene! I like the idea to contacting the companies that show their ads on Adsense. It could a great way to find new advertiser.
Honestly I experienced those crazy thoughts and now I feel regret about it. Illogical and sometimes – ridiculous. But that’s the way some people learn – we learn through mistakes and believing in wrong things.
You had highlighted nice tips there. Thanks a lot, pal!
Haha, I do miss my pillow.
But I can tell you being an ubervegan isn’t the reason why I sleep two hours a day. It just helps (it cuts out the food that makes you sleepy).
What a great post, i’ve been pondering how i would get advertisers for my site, and your idea about the google adsense thing is brilliant!
thanks a bunch!
I was going to comment on this excellent post (I hadn’t thought about studying Google ads the way you mentioned!), but then I read your bio and got totally distracted. Sleeping two hours a day! Wow, that’s amazing. I’m a vegetarian but just might have to become an ubervegan if that’s the result! Then again, I’m rather fond of my pillow 😉
Nabeel | Create Your First Website
Wow. What a funny and witty article!
Your writing style is brilliant. It does not bore people!
I really liked how you depicted the situation/progress (regress) of a blogger.
I agree. It is very important to care about your customers and promote a product in which you actually believe in. If you think about giving more value and think about your visitor, and not about getting more money, the money part will follow itself!
I have never heard about your method of contacting the AdSense AD business owner. This is the first time I heard this.
Looks like a good idea!
Thank you Nabeel. Glad you liked it… I’m not THAT funny… am I?
- Arsene Hodali
You give great idea that by Contacting the businesses whoâ€™s ads are showing up on our blog via Adsense will be very effective to find potential advertiser.
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