Running a football blog for a passion is fine, but like the beautiful game itself, you may decide you want to actually get rewarded for your words. In this part I’ll talk about the often mentioned, never achieved area of blogging – monetisation.
First Things First
It is very hard to monetise a football blog! You’re Supposed To Be At Home makes me around £10 a month. I think that is quite a lot for a football blog! You won’t become a millionaire writing a football blog (or, rather, it may be tough), but you could earn some pocket money.
Affiliate Schemes are probably the easiest to set up (and in some cases, the most profitable). Affiliate programmes rely on you on selling something to your visitors, and you will get a commission. Commission can vary wildly.
Which affiliate programmes should you look to promote on your football blog? Well there are loads, but good fits are:-
- Gambling (probably the most profitable)
- Travel (for longer away days)
They are the main three niches, however I’ll show you how to set you up with two of the main ones that you can use on any blog: Amazon & eBay.
Amazon Affiliate Scheme
To sign up to Amazon’s affiliate scheme, head to Amazon Associates & sign up to them. Now whenever you are logged into to your main Amazon page you should see a grey bar across the top of the screen:-
Visit a product you like and click on “Link to this Page”. Select the method of linking you’d prefer and copy and paste the HTML into WordPress (you may need to switch to HTML view – alternatively, copy the “Preview” and paste it into the rich text editor).
When published, you should get a link like this – Changing Ends: A Season in Non League Football. Should anybody click on that link and buy, then you get a portion of the sales. Usually it’s paid out after £25.
Incidentally, that book is highly recommended
eBay Partner Network
eBay’s Partner Network is a service that allows you to use eBay listings on your site. First of all, for this part, download and install eBay Feeds For WordPress (yes it’s my plugin!) on your blog, and then sign up to eBay’s Partner Network. When accepted, go to Tools > Widgets > RSS Feed Generator
Find a programme to use, create a campaign for your site, and the select keywords to search for. For this example I am doing a search for “Stoke City Shirt”. Click “Generate RSS Link” and an RSS link will be generated. Copy the RSS Feed URL.
In WordPress, in a post or page window, click on the “eBay” button on the navigation bar. Paste the RSS feed URL into the first box & then the amount of items to show in the next book. When published, you should get something that looks like this:-
End Date: Monday Apr-27-2015 22:46:18 BST
Buy It Now for only: £149.99
Buy It Now | Add to watch list
End Date: Monday Apr-27-2015 13:41:33 BST
Buy It Now for only: £24.99
Buy It Now | Add to watch list
|£12.99 (0 Bids)|
End Date: Friday Apr-3-2015 19:38:35 BST
Bid now | Add to watch list
Selling Advertising Space
You can sell advertising space on your site. This is handy when you are beginning to get traffic to your site. You may need to do a bit of legwork to get it started – approaching companies for advertising, alternatively you can go through a broker, who will take a portion of the sale fee.
There are two main types of advertising you can sell.
Banner Advertising is space for pictures and banners on the site. They are designed to create brand awareness and also to attract clicks. Although they dropped off significantly recently, they are experience a bit of resurgence.
Text Link Advertising
This advert is a lot more subtle and a lot more popular, though not without its risks. Basically, a text link advert is a link to a website with an specific anchor text – such as for this site it’d be Football Blog. Why are they done? Well, Google uses anchor text links from strong sites as a sign of quality, pushing sites up the rankings. People aren’t buying links on your site in the hope that somebody clicks them, they are buying them for the juice Google passes on.
It can be quite profitable, but risky. If Google does find out you are selling links, then you could be dropped for search engines. I don’t worry too much about search engine rankings, so don’t mind selling them, but yes, don’t say I didn’t warn you!
Recommended Product – OIO Publisher
For advertising and managing advertising, I use OIO Publisher. The WordPress Plugin (which is paid for) allows you to rotate banner ads, take payments, run subscriptions and generally manage your site’s advertising real estate. It also has a “Marketplace”, which is a sort of broker, but it doesn’t take a percentage. So simple yet so useful.
Sell Your Own Products
One way to make a fair bit of money a little easier with an audience is something that I’ve done before, yet not tried on this blog, is sell your own products. It may sound scary but it can be incredibly rewarding – there is no nicer feeling than going to bed and waking up richer than when you went to bed (well maybe there are).
Anyway, it’s quite straightforward to do, but really beyond the scope of this guide. However, here are a few suggestions:-
- Kindle Direct Publishing – good for selling eBooks direct to Kindle.
- E-Junkie – Good for selling non Kindle eBooks, and other digital products.
- Cafepress – Okay for selling T-Shirts, can probably be more profitable if you do the leg work yourself J
- iStockPhoto – Good for selling images as stock photography.
Unfortunately, I don’t know anywhere where you can sell prints of photos. If anybody recommends a service, please let me know!
That concludes part 4 of this guide. Part 5 is still to come, where I talk about stepping away from the day to day running of your blog and moving into owning a blog. To follow that part, please subscribe to my newsletter below and you will get it next Friday. Thank you!
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