Let’s say that you built your platform the right way. You have a nice blog, a Twitter account, a Facebook page, all that. You have, what some might call, a following.
And maybe you’re not happy with the exposure you’re gaining from doing all this stuff (which, let’s face it, takes a lot of time.) So you want to earn a few extra bucks while you’re at it. Here are some of the ways you can do that.
The most obvious choice.
WordPress.com sites don’t allow for Google AdSense or other advertising programs, but you can use WordAds (apparently you need a custom domain to be eligible.) There are several options in terms of ads placement, and you get paid around $1 per thousand views. Which isn’t bad.
You can also sell banners/ads directly. Some self-publishers even make their own media kit and all that.
Another option is to use Feedburner to add advertisements to your RSS Feed.
I have a mixed feeling about all this. Honestly, I’ve considered this option, especially using WordAds. I get a decent amount of traffic on this website, but there are still drawbacks to consider, no matter how good the pay might be.
One of them is that those ads/banners/whatever are competing with your own ads (the ones you’re using to promote your books.) Furthermore, I feel that people might not like it. My site is still young, and I don’t want to irritate readers/potential followers, so I don’t want to rush into anything too early.
2. Affiliate Marketing
I’ve played a bit with Amazon Associate and I find it quite intriguing. You can set up an e-store type of thing, create banners, widgets, and all kinds of other cool stuff.
3. Paid Subscriptions
There’s no secret that information is a highly valuable asset, so if you’ve established yourself as an authority in your field and you’ve gathered a nice following, you can sell exclusive content, such as webinars, guides, essays. If you have an Amazon Payments account, you can use MailChimp.
I’ve seen some self-publishers offer formatting/editing services. Some might offer cover and book interior design. This way you can earn some extra money by helping other self-publishers.
My advice to all this: try to find a balance. There are websites out there that offer incredible amounts of information, but are just flooded with ads to the point that my laptop crashes. The key is to find the perfect balance between banners/ads, affiliate links, and other stuff.
If you’re primarily a writer, your website should be a place where you showcase your books. Too many ads and no one’s going to click on your covers.
As with paid subscriptions or services, the quality is very important. Be honest with yourself and try to set up a price that’s right for your followers. A fair price attached to a quality product/service is going to earn you a lot more money in the long haul.
I have a couple of questions for you:
- How do you feel about advertisements? Have you used them? Why? Why not?
- What other options have you tried/considered trying? Any you would recommend?
- Do you think a writer/self-publisher should use these alternative methods or simply stick to making money out of writing books? Do you think these alternatives are hurting the way readers perceive him?
Tomorrow: Giving it away for FREE (I know, ironic.)