Last night I spent the evening with 45 of Orlando’s top Affiliate Marketers at the January Affiliate Summit Meetup. In between some tacos and cervezas I got to spend some time talking with some of the newer marketers and the problems that they were having in making money online.
For many new online marketers, when they are getting started they have a tough time getting traffic. That was not the case with this crowd! They had built passionate communities with thousands of visitors clinging on every word.
They were writing amazing blog posts and had engaged communities through their Facebook Fan Pages. They had what nearly everyone wants and weren’t even trying all that hard – just writing and talking about things they were truly passionate about.
What they were having issues with was making money off of their traffic. They were trying AdSense and banner ads from ad networks to no luck.
Here is why they weren’t getting any results.
The people that came to their sites, commented on their posts and joined their communities wanted to hear from the writer, not from a random ad that was served based on keywords on the page. There was no connection to the ads, thus no one clicked on them.
When I finally got a chance to speak with them, I asked about their audience and what they loved doing. They said that they thought their audience was stingy and didn’t want to pull out their wallets. I reassured them this wasn’t the case. The case was that they were putting the wrong items in those banner places.
Their readers really want – MORE OF THEM!
The formula is simple, people buy people and in the case of these bloggers, they are the experts, the gurus, the voice that people listen to. That is what their market wants to buy. So instead of throwing up AdSense and hoping to get a few clicks and a small check every month, they should be focusing on building a product that their readers care about. Something that moves them. Something that involves their personality and the solving of a problem.
The answer to monetization was right in front of their eyes. They just couldn’t see it.
If you are starting to build a community of passionate people, you need to put yourself out in the open and give more of yourself to your market. You do this through video courses, audio programs, blog posts, newsletters, coaching groups, live calls, webinars and anything else that gives your community more access to you.
They may not want to buy the random widget that an ad service places on your site, but they will buy you. Every time. Without fail.
What other advice would you give to a group that has readers but no monetization strategy? Let us know in the comments below.