Don’t Chase Chump Change On Your Blog. Think Bigger.

Are you a blogger with a smaller blog... looking to grow your revenue into something worth your time? Then consider this... When you spend your time chasing "chump change", then chances are that's all you'll ever make. Chump change is basically some amount of money which is insignificant.

Are you a blogger with a smaller blog… looking to grow your revenue into something worth your time? Then consider this…

When you spend your time chasing “chump change”, then chances are that’s all you’ll ever make. Chump change is basically some amount of money which is insignificant.

A situation arose recently where somebody was trying to increase clicks to a certain merchant on a blog. The idea was that it was being monetized by VigLink, that this particular merchant seemed to be paying about 8 cents per click. And, so, the effort was to drop links to this merchant in blog content and see what happens.

Even with idealistic views of how many clicks could be generated, we’re still talking about chump change.

On PCMech.com, we sell a membership which costs $5.99 per month. Not very much money and we’re providing value to our members.

Let’s compare to chasing per-click revenue via outbound links….

With outbound clicks,

  • It would take about 75 clicks (at 8 cents per click) to equal the initial month of membership at PCMech.
  • 75 clicks to a merchant in a blog post is a lot harder to pull off than one thinks. That is, unless you basically make the entire point of the post to drive clicks. And that’s spammy as hell.
  • To earn this chump change, you have to send people AWAY from your blog. That’s 75 people you’re sending away from your blog (after all the work it takes to get them there), and you only earn about 6 bucks.

Or, we use an in-house revenue model of the PCMech membership…

  • $5.99 up front.
  • $5.99 per month on a recurring basis for as long as they remain a member.
  • Being a member, we’re reaching out to them each week with a new newsletter. It keeps them “in the fold”, on our site, and in our community. We’re building our REAL audience this way.

Now, when you look at this from a strategic standpoint as a business owner, which option wins?

The answer is obvious.

And this is the same kind of calculation any blogger should be making who wants to make money. Doesn’t matter if we’re talking about pay-per-click outbound links or traditional banner ads. In either case, you’re chasing chump change and you’re sending people away.

Now, if you have so much traffic that those ads are more than chump change, then by all means. 🙂 But, most bloggers aren’t in that camp.

But, before I end this post, here’s another point about this…

If you focus your efforts on acquiring more revenue via the “chump change” method, then you’re going to GET more chump change. Because you get what you focus on. You’re thinking small, and because of that, you’ll stay small.

Think bigger. Think like a real business. What can you SELL which would be valuable to others?

As shown above, it doesn’t take big-ticket things to easily out-perform what most bloggers make via ads. One single $5.99 signup for the PCMech Insider program surpasses what most bloggers make in Adsense or with sites like VigLink.

So many more bloggers out there could make better money if they’d stop focusing on chump change and start focusing on building a real business.

If you want to start focusing on building a REAL business, consider joining the Academy. That’s my focus in there. For damn sure. 😉

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Responses

  1. If you want to earn money, then sell something. Sell your skill or sell your product. Build a service or an online store where you can sell real products.

  2. I love the message of this article David.  We need to be thinking about the horizon and building a brand.  Doing things that foster a community do that.  Doing things that foster click throughs do not.  Keep rockin!

  3. I understand the concept but for many people starting out that chump change keeps them going and believing. Most new blogs do not have the authority yet to successfully get people to pay a subscription or buy their premium products that you 10-15 year Gurus can.

    1. Sounds to me, Moe, like you’re a little bit stuck in the “internet marketing” mindset. Just forget about the whole IM space for a minute, with “gurus”, training courses and masterminds.

      Just take it down to plain ‘ol business.

      Businesses start up all the time in the “regular” world. And, with the right marketing and the right offer, they make money. They don’t require that the owner of that business be a “guru” to have any chance.

      So, why can’t you translate the same thing over to the Internet?

      Find a market with a demand, and serve it with an offer. It doesn’t require you be a “guru”. What it DOES require, though, is to stop comparing yourself to IM “gurus” and start realizing that this is just another medium for BUSINESS. The rules aren’t any different, and this Interwebz isn’t merely the land of gurus and prices that end in 7.

  4. I don’t chase chump change, but I also don’t turn it down completely.

    I have had multiple advertising offers come in for a couple of my sites in a certain niche that pay anywhere from $100 to $200 per year. Like I said, these people sought be out and made me the offer. I run a small operation and these ads help take care of operating costs such as servers, AWeber, and my Academy membership. 

    I receive other requests for advertising and when I give them a price based on the other offers some try to low ball me. If they don’t like the price I send them, oh well. It isn’t enough money for me to chase them down. 

    I don’t mind chump change if it doesn’t take me anytime to make it. I figure that I have made around a grand of chump change with under an hour’s worth of work. That too me isn’t too bad. 

    1. Good point! 🙂 You wouldn’t want to overdo it, though, because it still draws people away from your site. That matters if it is an authority site. If its a little niche site, then the considerations are different.

  5. I removed the big adsense ad from the top of my sidebar a couple of weeks ago. Didn’t generate “Jack” anyway. 

  6. Hi David,

    This is so true, the worst advice you can ever give someone to monetize a blog is adsense. You spend all the time generating traffic just to send it away for chump change. Make sure that all the links you put on your blog point to something that will give you a sizeable commission, even better if it’s your own mailing list or a product you already sell.

    The best place for self promotion is your own blog, so make sure your visitors know how to send you some money for the great content.

    Andrew

  7. Hey David – This is good….  I think we instinctively know this, but we don’t listen!  I think because Adsense is easy…even if it just throws off chump change.

    Anyway – love to hear your thoughts (or any of your readers) on how to monetize a political blog.  Ive got a web property that gets decent traffic – 4-500/day spiking to 2-3000 with a crazy news day (like supreme court rulings, for example).  

    Any ideas on how to monetize?  

    I’m at a loss – would love some creative ideas…

    Anyone?

    Best,

    1. Well, if anybody else has any input on this, please comment. 🙂

      From my end, political blogs would be difficult. In fact, I believe I used the political niche as an example of a particularly difficult niche in my Six Figure Blogger Blueprint report. It is easy to get people riled up with politics, but it isn’t the kind of energy you can direct into anything particular. It is akin to a general news niche, or an entertainment niche.

      In these cases, ads often end up being your only real option.

      Here’s something I’ll just toss off the top of my head… as a potential info product. Don’t know if anybody is tried it…

      In politics, what a lot of people are emotionally driven by is a deep need to be right and to make others wrong. They want the other side to be proven wrong and KNOW it. Rarely happens, but whatever. 🙂 So, what about an info product of some kind which contains all the arguments, fully backed up and supported, for a particular political persuasion? And counter-responses for typical replies from the other side. In other words, a playbook for political debate and… “winning”. 🙂

      Who knows. Might work. 🙂

    2.  Hi Harry,

      Do you have an “advertise here” page on your site? Selling advertising space can be pretty lucrative, and if you can provide demographics then you can charge a premium rate.

      Make sure that you also have a way of listbuilding, a good list of people interested in politics should be a good earner with certain lobbying groups and companies who want to do certain surveys. Kind of like really targeted PTC.

      Hope this gives you some ideas.

      Andrew

  8. David,

    This conversation we had in the academy was so very helpful.  I raised my rates for my golf lessons about 3x and lost no business.  Psychologically I felt so much better, it was like my hard work was more meaningful while I could still give golfers a more reasonable option for instruction…good job man!

    1. Glad to have helped, Sean. 🙂

      To everybody else, this is BLATANT (but unsolicited) promotion for joining the Academy. 😉

  9. Great points. Another issue with trying to generate revenue that way is that many companies don’t pay you until you’ve earned a certain amount, like $100, so someone could spend months getting those 8 cent clicks and never get paid because they didn’t hit the minimum. I looked all over that site for a stated minimum and couldn’t find any mention of it, which is a big red flag to me.

      1. There is no monthly minimum with VigLink. I’ve been paid 3c from them on occasion (but for links that I want to include in my posts for my readers’ benefit but don’t want to chase affiliate programs). Chump change: yes, but no big deal to me.

  10. Wow Excellent advise David.  I’ll have to share with my online peeps. 

    It takes people time to figure this out the hard way and usually by then many people quit.  

    How do you feel about ebooks in the comparison?  vs. recurring memberships vs PPC?

    1. Any direct source of revenue (i.e. product being directly sold to a customer) is going to beat the pants off of being on the receiving end of PPC.

      1. Besides AdSense (why not?), I have various affiliate relationships through Share a Sale, Commission Junction, etc. When I display their ads, either in a post or on a sidebar, readers can click on one, go to the affiliate site, and shop to  their heart’s content. Is that a direct source of income by your definition? Or is that the kind of banner ads that you dismiss.

        (So far no one has bought much of anything. I need more traffic than I’m getting from Twitter or my FB page.)

        1. It *can* be better, but selling affiliate products via banner ads can also be very difficult (as evidenced by the fact you haven’t made anything yet). Throwing more traffic at it doesn’t always help.

          Content marketing is more powerful than banners. People are there to look at your content. So, how can you tie your content into the offer as a call to action? The answer to that will be a lot more effective, I think, that simply injecting a banner into a blog post. People tend to be blind to banners, more and more.

        2. I agree with David here. One on of my niche sites I promote affiliate products through multiple avenues including CJ. But I do so with content. I do some keyword research, write a useful post and make create a title that includes the keywords.  

          While I haven’t made a living off of it, the article actually offers value to my readers and I do earn a bit here and there. 

          I also have banners on my site,it is sort of a niche norm, but they don’t get clicked. All my earnings have come through content marketing, not banner marketing

          1. If they don’t get clicked, you might want to re-consider having those ads there. 🙂

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