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Blog Monetization

Posted on Thursday, Jun 12th 2008

I have been promising many of you that I will do this post based on where things are currently on the internet. So here it is.

If you have a blog that you are trying to monetize, you have a few “levels” of options, depending on what vertical segment you belong to and what traffic level your site is at. These are:

* Google AdSense for Content (basic, lowest CPC rates for the most part, and unless you have huge volume, this revenue stream adds up to very little). If you are in India or Indonesia, however, and have a reasonably high traffic site producing $300 a month, that could be real money.

* Adify powered Vertical AD Networks run by major media companies like Forbes and IDG (Business / Technology), iVillage and Martha’s Circle (Women), HotChalk (Education). AD Rates can be both CPM and CPC, and depending on your segment, they can be better than Google AdSense. They can also be underwhelming if you take into account what the networks promise you when they are pitching to recruit you. Read this comment as several networks don’t really have their act together. Yet. Although I have been a very big believer in this business model, the execution has been thoroughly disappointing. The advantage of Adify is that you can be on multiple networks without having to commit to one. The downside – they don’t commit to you either.

* Premier Vertical Ad Networks like Glam Media (Women), Federated Media (Multiple, in fact too many verticals, but they do well in Business and Technology), Travel AD Network (Travel). If you have enough traffic to be interesting to any of these networks, at this point, these are the ones that are monetizing the best. All three that I mentioned above have big funding, and from what I hear, some of them are offering guarantees to publishers that they want to recruit into their fold as exclusives. Glam, in particular, is known to do exclusive deals with guarantees, which most certainly is great for the publishers.

As a thumb rule, you would get better rates from a vertical ad network than from a generic one.

If you have questions about your particular site and what strategy to adopt, I will take those in comments. However, I request that you do not send me questions via personal emails, as I don’t have the bandwidth to provide private consulting for your various wonderful sites.

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[…] I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Sramana Mitra today, about the story of how I built multiple successful businesses out of a high school hobby and with no formal business training.  Sramana is a well known blogger.  She writes for Forbes, GigaOm, and other publications.  One of the things we spoke about today was monetization strategies, and she has posted about some of her best monetization tips to maximize revenue and CPM’s. […]

Sramana Mitra on Strategy, Monetization Tips | W Revenue dot Com Thursday, June 12, 2008 at 9:10 PM PT

I’m interested if you have similar advice for non-blogs. I run several high-traffic websites and our CPC monetization is pitiful. I’d like it to go up. 😉

Austin Friday, June 13, 2008 at 4:19 AM PT

I think you can explore these same sources for your monetization as well. I assume you have a vertical positioning.

Sramana Mitra Friday, June 13, 2008 at 8:59 AM PT

I am in the process of setting up this site (– it should be live in 2 weeks.

I’m thinking about selling “Category Sponsors” since the certificates appeal to specific groups of users. I’ve never sold advertising so I’m not sure where to start.

My certificate tool requires the user to take 4 steps. My thought process is that category sponsers could have 5 ads (the fifth ad is the email that sends the link to the 4th step).

Where should I start and who should I consider or approach for sponsorships?

Please note, I built after we had a really good response to the first version of our certificate creator at with just 5 really basic certificates. Our new tool will have hundreds of certificates.


Darrin Keller Friday, June 13, 2008 at 10:21 PM PT

For the past several months I’ve been developing a new web site that offers what I believe is the best online selection of free, full-length documentaries, classic movies and Independent films.

I have already set up an Adsense account and am getting moderatre traffic and making a few dollars each day.

How should I proceed with the vertical ad networks you suggested?

Please take a look at the site below:

Any help will be appreciated.


Rick Perez-Cruet Thursday, June 26, 2008 at 11:44 AM PT

Rick , My suggestion would be
1. Blog extensively about documentaries in general.

  1. Pick interesting things from the documentaries in your website and write about those.

  2. Link your site videos from your blog.

  3. Make sure your site comes in Google search when you someone searches about documentaries.

Few tips about blogging here (just in case you are not blogging already):

Saswat Praharaj Thursday, June 26, 2008 at 4:32 PM PT

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[…] Blog Monetization | Sramana Mitra on Strategy I have been promising many of you that I will do this post based on where things … these networks, at this point, these are the ones that are monetizing the best. … […]

monetization » Blog Archive » best monetize Tuesday, March 31, 2009 at 12:11 PM PT

Saw your request on HARO about innovation. I write about the future of agriculture.

Farmers are the biggest group of innovators that this country has. It’s just that they don’t talk about it and as a result neither does anybody else. This is a genetic-based talent that they use everyday. Farmers when asked will agree.

We need to start talking about this reserve of talent that could be put to work in oh so many ways.


Julie Gay Friday, July 10, 2009 at 6:22 AM PT