ASW Report #1 – Make Money With Your Blog

Over the next few days I’ll be posting tips and tactics from the Affiliate Summit here on my blog so stay tuned and let’s get started…

I just attended a session called “The Future of Content Monetization & Online Publishing” and there was a panel of successful bloggers sharing how they make money on their content sites. Here were some of the key tips they shared…

Disclaimer: The following tips really apply to blogs and sites developed around a personality. They do not necessarily apply to all affiliate websites including comparison shopping, lead gen and niche review sites.

Tip #1: If you are going to create a blog that you can monetize you need people to actually read it which means you need to provide valuable, unique and engaging posts and content.

My Thoughts: It is sad that this has to actually be said since it really seems like commonsense but I’m always shocked at how many people think they can create an engaging blog by just reposting other people’s content or hiring ghost writers on eLance to write posts for them.

And more importantly, if you want to have a successful blog in any niche it needs to have a voice and personality. The most successful bloggers I know all have big personalities behind their blog (even if that isn’t really who they are in person).

I mean sites like are like one giant Seinfeld Episode. It’s not about anything in particular but it is so engaging that she has developed a massive following to the point that she can now influence buying decisions of the readers.

That should be YOUR goal.

The fact is, most people do not like writing but if you want to make money online you need to learn to like it. Sure video is becoming more commonplace but the written word is still #1.

Tips #2: Only recommend products you believe in.

My Thoughts: Once again it’s sad it needs to be said since this is another commonsense rule. If you are going to build a blog around your personality then you are putting your reputation behind the products you endorse.

But once again I’ve seen lots of greater bloggers destroy their blogs because they got greedy and started endorsing whatever paid the most.

Tip #3: Recommend… Don’t sell.

My Thoughts: I would rephrase this to “Soft sell instead of hard sell”.

If I’m creating a direct sales website to sell my products it will probably be a hard sell but if I’m recommending products on my blog I’m still going to ‘Sell’ but it is going to be much softer and come across as a recommendation… but my recommendation is still going to include an explanation as to why I think it is a good product – AKA a soft sell.

Tip #4: Email Is The Moneymaker – Not Display Ads

My Thoughts: The general consensus is all of the top bloggers make the most money from their email list. This means they all have aggressive opt-in offers and then put their leads into an autoresponder funnel that automatically builds a relationship through the delivery of free content and then generates revenue through product referrals.

That said, all of the bloggers on the panel all use some variation of display ads, Adsense and or product recommendations in posts but it is all a smaller portion of their revenue.

The money is in the list.

And the preferred tool for email is still… which is my favorite email marketing platform as well.

Stay tuned. More to come…



  1. Pam

    Derek I am so glad you are back. The internet world lost its “Steve Jobs” when you moved on. I agree with you on the Tips especially #1. My problem is the difficulty of creating content to make my readers constantly interested…but maybe I am expecting too much, since I go through many days of reading uninteresting newspapers and magazines and still subscribe to them.

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