If you interview the most experienced bloggers, they will tell your that 80% to 90% of their blogging income comes from 1% to 10% of their posts. The most popular posts contain content that converts into a profit.
Meanwhile, you are slaving away and cranking out post after post hoping to get lucky.
How is it possible to write less but profit more? There are two paths you can take.
Path One: The Adsense way to profitability
Don’t bounce off yet. I know… many of you see the word ADSENSE and automatically freak out. I promise to make this as simple for you as possible.
How Adsense works
Google Adsense is a bidding-based advertising platform. Some companies are willing to bid more through Adsense to show up as an advertisement in search results and/or on your blog’s sidebar. When you use search engine optimization on your blog to create a blog post or page targeting these keywords, you can drive traffic to the Adsense ads on your blog.
Imagine an auction where people crowd in with their numbered paddles and wait for the auctioneer to open bidding on items of interest… except in this scenario, the crowd is full of advertisers and the auctioneer is Google.
But what are the items up for bid? They are keyword searches based on topics. For example, “easy slow cooker recipes,” “best laptop deals,” and “printable calendar” are all potential keyword searches.
As a hot item – or a popular keyword – is placed up for auction, the bidding begins and is pushed higher and higher until one advertiser trumps all others with a high bid. That advertiser is then seen in two potential places: search results and in space designated for Adsense ads on topical blog posts.
When you write a blog post or create a new page, Google sends robots to scan for keywords.
Keeping with the auction analogy, think of the robots as prospectors who are checking out the items before the auction begins. They report back to Google with what they find and Google creates a catalog of the entries in preparation for the auction.
When someone places those keywords into the search bar, the auction begins. When the person selects your link from the search results, the highest bidding advertisers shows in the Adsense placements available on your blog.
We will save how Google chooses who shows up first in search results for another day but this is the point… When a person clicks or views the advertisement (depending on the advertiser’s contract with Google), you receive a payout.
It boils down to how Google makes money. Content that attracts an expensive audience helps Google get paid. When you are using Adsense and writing the content people want, Google passes part of that profit on to you.
Using Adsense to monetize your blog
But should you write just to drive traffic from Google and get a payout? No.
Your content should be a natural extension of your blog’s personality. Otherwise, your tribe of readers will wonder what has happened to you and leave without a second glance. So, consider your current niche, your existing categories, and find the hot keywords related to your content.
Lucky for you… there is another way to write profitable posts.
Path Two: Affiliate-driven blog content
A different option for writing blog posts that convert into profit is to think from the outside and work inward.
Choosing your affiliate partnerships
When you consider your blog, what are your readers needing when they land on your posts? Which companies offer products that can solve their problems? And do those companies have an affiliate program?
Not sure? Just search the company name and the word “affiliate” to see what pops up.
Picking the payout
What if there are multiple companies who can offer the same solution and you have no loyalty to either? Choose the one with the higher commission.
Ever wonder why so many blog experts recommend BlueHost over other blog hosting companies? Is it because they are the best? (Insert choice adjective here) no! It’s because they have the highest payout of any blog host.
But, how do you find the profitable keywords?
How do you know which keywords receive the highest bids? Which words should you use in your posts to target the more profitable ads?
Ideally, you want to find keywords with a high popularity and low competition. Google Adsense Keyword Planner is a free tool available for advertisers trying to create Adsense campaigns but it is also available to you.
Keyword Analysis for Newbies
If the idea of using the Keyword Planner intimidates you, other keyword analysis tools are available.
HitTail -This is probably the simplest tool I have found to locate keywords you should target based on your existing blog content.
Have your website analyzed automatically and receive recommended keywords that fit the topics on your blog. You can try it for FREE and export the recommendations in a CSV file (which can be opened by Excel, Numbers, or with Google Drive.)
If you love it, you can keep the subscription and unlock more recommendations for just $9.95 per month.
HitTail also offers a free SEO crash course available to email subscribers.
SEMRush – You can see the keywords people are using to find your blog content and who is linking to you with SEMRush. Also use SEMRush to research keywords for new categories and see their popularity and the competition across the internet.
Get started now! Place your blog URL in the search bar and see your backlinks, popular keywords, referring blogs, and much more.
And a HUGE keyword tip
There are certain keyword helpers – or long tail keywords – that I call “cart triggers.”
As people are searching with the intent to purchase, they go to the browser search bar and look for the item PLUS a cart trigger word or phrase. These long tail keyword are often high traffic and low competition making them prime targets for your posts and pages.
Some of these cart triggers include “free,” “coupon code,” “best,” and “review.”
Let’s see how this looks in real life…
Sally goes to her computer because she is thinking of purchasing a new refrigerator. She is budget conscious and searches for “best refrigerators.” If you are have an affiliate relationship with a company that sells refrigerators, this is your moment to let her know by having a post on your website called “best refrigerators.”
Perhaps Sally has narrowed her search and wants to see what others are saying about a specific refrigerator. She searches for “LG refrigerator review.” See how these qualifiers can add value?
As you add cart triggers to your niche keywords, you will see the amount of traffic drops as people are making more general searches. However, the intent to make a purchase increases with specificity and that drives up your profit.
Final tips for converting content to profit
I would fail you miserably if I did not issue some final advice for writing content that produces a profit.
Give your best content
You want your content to convert into a profit? Then give those posts your absolute BEST. Hold nothing back. Fill the page with amazing, problem-solving solutions. Concise. To the point. But undeniably… the best you can write.
Don’t play games, making readers jump page to page. No. This is not about getting page views. This is about getting PAID.
Don’t fluff up your content with adjectives trying to make it sound more interesting than it is. Buyers can see right through that. Offer balanced advice and real solutions.
Do link to other amazing content on the subject. Do give readers a way to subscribe to your blog. Do remember to insert your affiliate links.
Then, promote the heck out of your post.
Abide within the rules
When you signed up with Adsense as an affiliate and each time you commit to a new affiliate agreement, you are agreeing to the terms of the partnership as outlined by that company. Did you read those contracts? If not, do it now.
You want to make sure you understand the rules and keep within the limitations. For instance, Google has limits on the number of Adsense placements you can have on each page of your blog. They also state that you cannot have a drop down menu (or any drop down feature) over an advertisement.
Do not risk getting bounced from the Adsense program by violating those rules. You will NEVER (okay… maybe not NEVER but it will be REALLY hard to) be added back.
Place ads in hot click locations
If you are thinking about the Adsense path, you want to maximize your efforts by putting your ads in strategic locations. Using a heat map can help you find those spots on your blog. Typically, the best locations are:
- below or within your blog header
- top of the left side bar
- under your post title (That’s mobile-responsive area too!)
- within the text of your post (That’s mobile-responsive area too!)
Not sure where to find a heat map? You have one available for free in your Google Analytics account. Just choose Behavior > In Page Analytics. Then, select to “show color.”
You can also use the Page Analytics Chrome Extension.
Keep it simple
As you are creating your new blog posts and pages, the temptation will be to load the page down with your affiliate links… but don’t.
Remember how your mother taught you that less is often more? In your blog post, you need to have a clear call to action that motivates the reader to the ONE THING you really want them to do. Often, if you give a reader too many options… too many links… too many ads in the sidebar… they will choose to do NOTHING.
Have a very clear call to action and let everything within your post, around your post, guide the reader toward your goal.
While researching and preparing your content for these profitable posts and pages will take significantly more time, the revenue will make the effort very satisfying.
Now… get busy.