No, this isn’t an instructional manual on how to monetize your blog…and for those not keen on interweb buzzwords, that means turning your content into cash. Unless you’re writing about porn, electronics, or willing to sell your soul to the devil, (or a combination of the three), it’s very difficult to do well.
Rather, I get quite a few emails about my NASCAR-ish right sidebar – especially all those “ads” running down the page as you scroll to the bottom.
|Boogity boogity boogity!|
While their primary function is to simply balance my page aesthetically (my blogroll is obscenely large), I still get the same questions all the time – Do you make money on them? How much? Can I get one? So in today’s post I’m going to give you all full disclosure about what’s going on there. Who else lets you behind the scenes to see the inner-workings of a super-mega-popular fishing blog? No…seriously, let me know…I’ve got a notepad ready…
Moving from top to bottom:
1. Lilly – She’s my kid & gets the top spot for a very good reason. She pays me in hugs and kisses every day. You can’t write a check for that.
2. Pottstown Mercury – It’s a local newspaper. I really don’t know how they found me, but they invited me to do a link exchange. I’m a “Town Square Blogger” for them, they even pick up some of my content from time to time, and in exchange, they get a link.
|My Merc “Glamour Shot”|
3. Kype Magazine – Another link exchange. They give me code to embed for free virtual mags (and sometimes offer free stuff to review) and I serve it up. Note: Free stuff does not equal gushing review.
4. Interactive Trout Map – A service to you, my readers. I don’t have a relationship with PA Fish & Boat Commission, I just think it’s a cool tool.
5. Online Store – Once upon a time, way before the blog, Troutrageous was a t-shirt design I hatched up…along with Basstastic, Pikeadelic, Sharkhaic, etc… It still exists, but I put 0 effort into that. Might change that at some point later this year, we’ll see…
|Your woman needs these.|
6. Links – They’re just links I like. No current agenda. That said if any of those companies/organizations want to barter, I’d happily change that link to a banner.
7. Favorite Fishing Forums – Before I had an active blog, I used to be really into forums. To be honest, the comments section of this blog (& the favorites I regularly read) have largely taken the place of forums. Regardless, I still list them, as each remains a great place to drop in and visit.
8. Abide – The Dude. It’s a lifestyle man. That banner really ties this blog together.
9. Blog Directories – They are what they are. I will note that Viglink.com is a monetization service. Basically, you sign up for their service, and they turn any link you make in a post that’s directed toward a retailer (like say a link back to a cool fishing rod you saw on Orvis) an affiliate link, given that retailer has an affiliate program. In simple terms, if somebody goes to Orvis and buys that rod, you get $. You don’t have to do anything. It’s kind of like monetization for the lazy, and I resemble that remark.
10. Fishfinders – They paid me to put that there. No questions asked. By the way, have I mentioned that I love fishfinders? Repeat after me, “Fishfinders take all of the guesswork out of choosing the best fishing spot.” Clif knows the magic of this mantra.
11. Hobie – They sponsored a review and giveaway last spring. Plus they were AWESOME to work with and I use & believe in their product. No joke. In return, I pimp their site. I’m not gonna lie, the formula is simple. Give me good free stuff that actually works & you get a banner like forever.
|A happy contest winner!|
12. Fish Creek Spinners – John (the owner) is one of those guys who does things right. I also consider him a friend. He gets this for free. I’d have it no other way.
13. The Next 4 – These are affiliate links through the AvantLink network. I notice other bloggers are using this service too. I try not to overdo it & pick more unique retailers/brands that are relevant to my blog & it’s topics. I must have done a crappy job because they’ve gotten a ton of views but have yet to convert. C’mon, you know you want to buy your new tenkara rod from Wildfly.com. Get on it already!
14. Google Adsense – This one actually makes money. Not a lot, but enough to actually be able to buy a few things from the McDonald’s Dollar Menu from time to time. Since Lilly loves her Happy Meals, this is not a bad thing.
So that’s it, the cat’s out of the bag. And to prove that you can make money from your blog, here’s a recent screen shot of a payment I received last week from a now defunct-affiliate program I worked with last fall.
|Good thing I blog for fun, not money.|