Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Monetize your RSS Feeds

When you start writing a blog you may not have any grand plans. Mostly, you want to get stuff off your chest or work on your writing skills, etc. After a little time though you find that you need to make some money at this blogging thing or you won't be doing it for very long.

Buzz Marketing with Blogs For Dummies (For Dummies (Business & Personal Finance))

So, you add Google adSense to your sidebar or a leaderboard, you sign up for Google referrals and add them to the blog and you look around for other ideas that will help you make some cash so, you add affiliate links to your sidebar as well in the hopes of incremental referral revenue. The key is to monetize the site without overwhelming the reader.

These are all great ideas but I wanted to take them one step further. I'm sure you've heard that adding images to your posts make them easier and more enjoyable to read and really help your RSS feeds draw attention to your posts. Many blogs have a high percentage of readers that read their feeds via an RSS reader so your subscribers never get to see your adSense ad's or affiliate links because they are not actually visiting your site.

So, why not wrap your posts around the picture of a great book or product that you recommend (like I've done here). This approach serves two purposes, it adds an image to the post to make it more visually appealing and secondly you can now monetize your RSS feeds because your subscriber can now see the product you are trying to sell in their RSS reader.

Google's blogger is not the best tool for this approach becasue it doesn't allow you to put Java Script inside your posts but it will let you include iframes. Why not use your Amazon affiliate account to add product links to your posts? I've seen a greatly increased clickthru on my affiliate ads when I've included them in my posts. This is a great approach but don't go overboard.

I'm sure there are many additional ways to monetize your RSS feeds but this is a simple and effective approach.