Planning Your Monetization Mix is covered in DAY 4 of the Action Guide. It is a critical GO/STOP step in the C T P M process. Get feedback on your chosen Monetization Mix for your new business; or get tips on which monetization options work best for your niche.

Moderator: Sheri from Uneeda

#1382827 by Debs from SiteSell
Mon Oct 02, 2017 12:11 pm
Choosing the right strategies for your niche, researching, prioritizing and implementing them, tie them into your MWR for selected pages.

What to expect from this Challenge:

A daily post by me providing the Challenge of the Day, regular replies to your posts (not instant, but multiple times a day), and real answers to your questions about monetizing.

What are some of the strategies available to you?

From Monetization HQ (the following image is not clickable, use this link to go to MHQ):

monetization1.png (30.1 KiB) Viewed 1486 times

Is there another strategy not listed above you would like to implement? No problem, you are not required to use the list above, add your own ideas to your list.

One of the first strategies that many sites implement is Adsense Contextual Advertising or one of the alternatives. However, we mustn’t overlook the more lucrative options also covered in Monetization HQ.

Tasks For Today

The first step in the Challenge is to select the top 5 strategies you are either using, or want to use for your site(s). Please prioritize them in the order you want to implement them. If you are using more than 5 monetization strategies, please note how many more are on your site at this time.

As a part of the selection, please post listing your prioritized strategies, and give a couple sentences on why you selected that particular strategy for each of the 5.

Please note if the strategy is *in place* or *pending*.

If you have any questions about your monetization, feel free to ask questions as we go along. If I can’t answer you, I’ll try to get the answer for you. If you know the answer to any questions posted, please feel free to jump in and help each other.

What's next?

Tomorrow we will work on researching the strategies you've chosen.

See you again soon!

All my best,


Challenge Tasks & Takeaways

Challenge Start-up Post (this one)

Day 2: Research Your Selected Strategies - Give the Details (Who have you chosen to source for each strategy? What are their stats? Free spreadsheet for you.)

Excellent post by Cat from re: Building Authority With Ebooks, Ebook Stats:

Day 3: Evaluating your research, additional research you may want to do, deciding on 1 or 2 new specific monetization strategies to add to your site.

Day 4: Preparing To Implement Your Chosen Monetization Strategies

Some nice tips from Michelle from [Domain Private]

Day 5: IMPLEMENTATION Day! Tips to help you along:

PREselling tips from Cath from [Domain Private]:

Debs replies to posts and also gives tips on conversions and How To Test & Track:
#1382837 by Cath from Italy
Mon Oct 02, 2017 3:09 pm

Thanks so much for leading this Challenge, Debs!

For those people who don't know me I have two sites, one about Italian culture and one about raising backyard chickens. So these are my 4 current most successful monetising strategies across both sites and the one I want to work on now:

1. Adsense: I started with this as most people do. It did ok, then tanked (as for most people). Recently, I took most of my Adsense ads off my chickens site - they didn't make enough for me to tolerate them making my content look ukky - and some off my Italian site. And guess what? My Adsense earnings have more than doubled from the time when they used to do well. Weird but true.

2. Amazon affiliate products: This was my second M strand. I make a lot of money with Amazon. But I also spend a lot of time writing good keyword-focused review pages for the products and keeping them updated. For me, this pays off. For my Italian site I also use Viator which pays well too. Same thing - I write detailed pages about their tours.

3. E-goods creator: I have 2 Kindle books I wrote which I sell on Amazon. They don't earn me a lot but they sit there bringing some money in without me having to do anything so that's fine and worth the time I spent writing them. I wrote them simply by using questions people repeatedly asked from my on-site Facebook commenting and my contact forms. So it's information I knew people wanted to know.

4. Hard goods seller: I met a lady at a poultry trade show (I know, weird or what) who makes beautiful chicken-themed jewellery. She only sells at shows. I did a deal with her whereby I can sell her jewellery online worldwide, so I'm the only supplier. This one I love because I can rightly claim to be a sole provider. :D It cost me a lot personally to approach her - I'm not naturally speaking a pushy person - but I'm glad I forced my way through my heart palpitations and made myself. :D

5. Selling an ecourse: This is the one I want to concentrate on during the Challenge. For the past 5 years I've had a course on my chickens site about how to hatch chicks successfully. It's a 28-day auto-responder and it's free. At any one time I have over 500 people signed up. Between Christmas and Easter that rises to around 1,000 (think Easter and all those pics of fluffy chicks who people forget grow up into smelly pooping chickens!).

I know I should make that course a paid for course. Should have done it years ago, but haven't. Why? I ask myself that all the time. I used to say because I don't know how to go about it, but that's a poor excuse because a very successful SBIer offered to help me out and still I couldn't do it. So it's mostly, I think, for more emotional reasons:

  • I don't like asking people for money and
  • What happens if when they're paying for it they hate it?

Well, it's time to bite the bullet and I'm relying on this group to give me a good talking-to until I do!

Thanks again, Debs! I know being accountable to this group will help me and hopefully a lot of other people too!

#1382867 by Cat from
Mon Oct 02, 2017 7:16 pm
Hi Debs,
Thank you for heading up this challenge. I've looked forward to it for several months, since the idea was first mentioned, so I'm pretty excited.

Here are my current monetization strategies:

    1. E-goods Creator/Seller *in place*
    From the time I was a girl, it was a dream of mine to be a published author. So, self-publishing books at all three of my websites is a long-term goal. Selling books is a numbers game, with the results varying as per genre. It's all about building a backlist and getting your books and name known in the marketplace. This takes a long time, but it is doable. At, I sell a series of travel guides I have self-published and earlier this year, made those guides available to the global market in various formats. This series will expand as I self-publish more travel guides. I currently make 10's of dollars each month in book sales and the amount is slowly growing. Because of these books sales, this will be the first year one of my websites will break even. Likewise, I am developing a series of cookbooks for and am currently finishing up the first draft of the first cookbook. I'm really excited about this cookbook, because I have already pre-sold copies to various taste-testers I have recruited. Selling my books is my foremost monetization strategy.

    2. Sponsors and Sponsorships *pending*
    After recently consulting with an SBI! Professional who helped me to make a business plan and fine tune my business focus, I am in the process of remodeling and engaging in other online business tasks in preparation for sponsors and sponsorship, hopefully happening in the next 12 months or less. To help get this off the ground, I will begin tapping into the local and national gluten-free scene by hand-shaking at the Gluten Free Food Allergy Fest coming to my area mid-October. I know most of the participants/vendors from relationships I've built with them online via social media and guest posting. So, it's going to be soft marketing with a personal touch, because one day, I will be an exhibitor at this annual function.

    3. Email Marketing *in place*
    I have an active monthly newsletter and have implemented various list building strategies to increase the subscription rate and to retain subscribers. Email Marketing has a high priority long-term as it works together with monetization strategies 1 and 2 listed above.

    4. Affiliate Business *in place*
    I have implemented (and am still implementing)'s SiteStripe OneLink, Native Shopping Ads (UK + SiteStripe) and various other affiliates as necessary for topic related product reviews that best serve my visitors' needs, wants and desires. While I don't earn much from these sales, the dollars add up and are growing as traffic grows.

    5. PREselling Solo Build It! as an Affiliate *in place*
    While I have yet to earn any income from featuring preselling SBI! I believe in supporting Ken, his team and promoting an online business platform I believe in. It's all about giving back, because I can't thank everyone at SBI! for all they do to support my success. Some monetization strategies, like this one, are priceless and its return is a bit measureless, because it's more about influence and making the world a better place one person at a time. Just because I don't make any money engaging in it, doesn't mean it doesn't benefit me. When someone joins the ranks of SBI!ers, we all win!

    6. AdSense Contextual Advertising *in place*
    I am rethinking this strategy as I feel long-term, AdSense takes up valuable website real estate that in the near future would be put to better use selling my books and upcoming sponsor/sponsorships, and future more lucrative advertising space I might wish to sell. I need to get my traffic numbers up before I make the shift, but it remains a long-term goal to achieve. Eventually, I plan to dump AdSense altogether, because the pennies aren't worth it.

    7. Accept Donations on Your Website *pending*
    By "pending" I mean, under consideration. I need more information to determine if this is a viable long-term option for any of my websites. I don't want it to deter from the monetization strategies listed above.

Whew! That's a lot going on for me, business-wise.

I look forward to meeting other participants and refining my short-term and long-term monetization action plans.
#1382869 by Judith from Quarryville
Mon Oct 02, 2017 7:32 pm
Hi Everyone

Thank you Debs for this! It seems the teaching in this way, as challenges here in the forums, works very well for me. I really appreciate the time and hard work you and Cath are putting into these, along with your own stuff. THANK YOU!!!

In way of explanation, as Cath has led the example for those who don't know me, [Domain Private] is a site I am not working on right now. It is generously, on SBI's part, in AutoPilotIt!. So whenever I share about working on my site, it is always [Domain Private].

1. Adsense - was my first money making venture on my site, starting about eleven years ago. I used to do much, much better than I do now of course. I actually just put up, about a month a ago, 2 large banner ads. And I have made so little I replaced one with a native ad from Amazon a week ago. I have a few here and there around my site. I am quite close to a payment threshold so would like to tip that over the peak, then I will ditch them for better choices. But I would turn away and leave that money if I found something better. (Recently I read a post Cath made some time ago about Amazon CPM(?) ads doing better than Adsense, but when I read the implementation instructions, found it was like working through Martian. And I was never good at that one. :roll: )

2. Amazon Affiliate products. Gaining in revenue every month. It's beginning to pay a bill or two, for which I am very happy! Looking to find better implementation though.

Over the years I used CJ, Shareasale, a couple of other independent affiliate programs,, infolinks and other run of the mill methods of monetization. But I am looking for richer options. :D

I finally, have some good ideas for my own books and tossing around the idea of my own gift products from Zazzle or something similar.

Made a plan for the entire next 8 months, after finishing my SBI review. Set goals, to accomplish more traffic and more lucrative monetization methods. So really looking forward to fine tuning and making it successful. (I will be finishing the Review Challenge alongside this one as part of my plan.

Oh yes, I am also working to incorporate my own products into a club or membership type of "something". I have some ideas that I think are getting good! :wink:

Let's get not only the good times rolling everyone but the bank rolls too! :lol:
#1382870 by Catherine from
Mon Oct 02, 2017 7:59 pm

Cat, with those lovely ebooks I had assumed you earned a lot from your sites. Sorry they don’t pay that well yet! (Maybe my under-earning is not as unusual as I thought!)

My report:

My EnglishHints website has about 200 pages with ideas, links, and practice to help non-native English learners (above beginner level; mostly intermediate English up) improve their vocabulary, reading & listening comprehension, writing, and test-taking skills. It also has a section with resources, activities, and lesson plans ESL teachers can use with their classes. I have very good traffic (currently averaging nearly 2000 visitors/day), but earn almost nothing from it right now—for reasons given below, but basically that I love to teach and have neither skills nor aptitude for sales. However, I would really like for the site to pay for itself and earn a living wage too if I can get there… I’ve worked on it full-time since fall 2011 (after Calif. cut way back on ESL and other adult school programs and I lost the class I had been teaching.)

>1. 19 pdfs for sale—mostly lesson plans and other resources for ESL teachers—my secondary (?) site audience (based on a Sitesell professional’s recommendation several years ago.) They average $4-7, though they range from $1-14.95—a bundle of packets—(and are worth far more in terms of what they offer & the time I spent) as well as many free. *in place.*

Last year I earned $310 net-- mostly from Teachers Pay Teachers, which takes 15% of each sale (going up to 20% this month), as well as $59.95/yr. to get that “premium” rate. So I could have made more selling them on my site or on other teacher sales sites, except that the other sites sell far less, and on my site I sell very few, though get LOTS of downloads of the free pdfs! (I use FastSpring to sell them on site, and it also takes a percentage of every sale, but doesn’t charge a fee for the service. I switched from EJunkie at the time VAT requirements went into effect in Europe several years ago. Incidentally, FastSpring has excellent service, even though their instructions can be difficult to understand. Right now I need to update their pages to match my months-old “new” site design, which will be a chore.)

These have been my only real site income so far, as well as the basis for my courses (modified and expanded for English learners rather than teachers). I need to learn to promote them better. I’m also considering raising the prices on some (but unsure, due to limited teacher budgets). In addition, I want to try inexpensive worksheet practice packets for English learners—probably using some course materials but without the Powerpoint videos and help.

2. Online courses (including a free trial lesson or to and a free demo course.) Two are *in place* since late last year, and three this year. There are lots of subscribers to the free course & some to free 1st lessons, but only 2 people have paid for any courses so far. I researched the topics and know there is a real demand for four of them, but have had trouble promoting them, and know the courses need some major redesigning to more quickly meet student needs/wants. (I’ve done the best I could, but it’s been a steep learning curve. Students aren’t even finishing the free course, or saying much about why not. I have a survey, and have offered to redo any lessons that are difficult or confusing, but need objective review.) I’m hoping if I can get it, and some good testimonials, that they may become my #1 source of income eventually.


3. Adsense/Ezoic. I tried Adsense several years ago but earned so little I took off site because as Cath said

they didn't make enough for me to tolerate them making my content look ukky.
A few weeks ago Ezoic contacted me about putting ads up again. I plan to try them but asked a little more time first to get though our daughter’s wedding (2 weeks ago) and get converted to https.

I also have received a number of offers to advertise on my site, including one today. Most I turned down when I saw their products. (Several sell essay-writing services, which are usually not ethical, though they point out the few exceptions when they might be…) Today’s offer doesn’t mention what he sells, and he wants to know what I charge (“please, send me your price list for 3/6/12 placement.”) I have no idea, and am inclined to see how Ezoic does, but would welcome hearing about anyone else’s experiences (& will read the M. HQs page about that before answering!)

4. I have become an affiliate of another very good ESL teacher, but haven’t yet started trying to promote her courses (& haven’t even put up an Affiliate Disclaimer page yet) because I have been busy working on my own courses. Now that I’ve reached a temporary impasse on them, I want to promote hers—but only where I’m not considering offering my own course. I’ve also considered becoming an Amazon affiliate. I recommend 4 or 5 excellent books they sell, but am not sure if it’s worth trying for just those.

5? (probably not.) I’ve considered offering proofreading services—something I’m good at and many non-native English speakers need, for everything from business to university studies to websites—but there is a lot of competition and I don’t have any unique qualifications. (In addition, I’m over 65 and feel I should aim for creating products that can continue to earn once made, rather than services I may not be up to in a few years, or if I need to sell EnglishHints.)

I’m also thinking of a possible collaboration/joint venture course, of the kind Ken talked about in the discussion on Trafease, but need to do more checking with the other person involved before this makes my list.
#1382872 by Janice from Creede
Mon Oct 02, 2017 8:39 pm
I am very excited about this challenge. I find I too, learn more by participating in them so thanks, Debs, Cath, Erin and everyone else who has taken time to make these challenges real.

I'm down to two sites now, so hopefully, I'll have more time to devote to monetization.

1. My biggest source of income comes from my smaller site about Shih Tzu dogs and there is where I sell "hard goods" (aka puppies!) I've also pushed dog food and vitamins, but stopped selling the dog food because I wasn't getting any sales. Since I'm 65 too, I"m looking to sell something that requires a bit less physical work, so I am also putting the finishing touches on an ebook. I've got my review done thanks to the review challenge, now, I just have to finish editing the book and then learn how to format it for Create Space, eJunkie and Amazon.

2. AdSense is also part of my monetization model, but like everyone else has gone down (practically in half since I first started it.) I picked up Sovrn ads which substitute their ad code for AdSense and between the two of them, I'm back up to where I was initially on AdSense.

3. Affiliates have never worked well for me, so I'm down to Amazon ads only, and they do reasonably well. That is my third form of revenue. I just saw today where Amazon is offering native shopping ads using their site stripe. It will be interesting to see if that makes any difference.

4. I sell one product (dog vitamins) directly from my site and promote it offline too. The income from that source is not regular and could be as low as $15.00 per month to $200 (USD). I don't rely on anything from them, so I'm not disappointed when I get a check for $15.00.

5. In the works: I've had a couple of ideas, one being to sell sponsorships, but really don't know how to go about it. One of my sites, (smalldogplace) has over 400 pages now and gets about 7000 visitors a day. Surely, you'd think I should be able to make something on that site.

The other thought that I had was to sell advertising space to breeders and rescue organizations who do not have much of a presence on the web. That idea is still an idea brewing in my brain.

Neither one of my sites lend themselves to e-courses so to speak, and we'll have to wait and see if ebook publishing will make money. If so, I will probably also think about a book to offer for my larger site.

I have one book that I give away for free for my newsletter sign-up. That could be enhanced or enlarged and sold too. So many choices.
#1382875 by Bill from Talos IV
Mon Oct 02, 2017 9:12 pm
This is going to be really helpful Debs. Thanks for doing this.

I currently monetize using only an Adsense alternative and Amazon affiliate sales.

1. Adsense Alternative: After using Adsense for the last 12 years, I finally dumped them September 1st, switching to Mediavine. By adding a single piece of code to each page (with a Sitewide dot), Mediavine totally controls ad placement, but give publishers a lot of control over how many and what type of ads display. My Mediavine September earnings were a good 3X what Adsense would've paid. (implemented)

1a. Sell Your Own Ads: I'm making this a part of 1, because Mediavine has a new program it's starting that allows you to sell advertising from your site, but Mediavine deals the advertisers and handles the pricing and advertiser payments- for a 30% cut. I think that's fair, and fewer headaches for me. It will make selling my own adspace more like a passive way to earn. (not implemented)

2. Affiliate Sales: I've used Amazon for years, but never made a huge amount of sales. My fault, because I didn't work the ads into relative content the way I should have. That's something I need to work on. Last week I was approved as an affiliate for another company (thermometer manufacturer) that has products that would fit perfectly with my site. And this company pays a 10% commission, instead of Amazon's 5 or 6%. And doing some research, I found the manufacturer of ANOTHER brand of smoker thermometer a few days ago. They pay a 12% commission. I haven't contacted them yet, but will. So, instead of counting on just Amazon, it may pay to find out if the manufacturers have their own affiliate programs- earning might be better. (amazon-implemented, other thermo. companies-pending)

3. E-goods Creator: I always planned to create e-books of some type to sell but never got very far when it came to their creation. (pending)

4. Hard Goods Creator: Another thing I've thought a lot about but never followed through. If I did, I'd probably use Fullfilled by Amazon to sell the product. Shipping, dealing with local taxes, etc., would be a lot of work, I think.

5. Email Marketing: This is something that would just be the logical thing to do if/when I have E-goods or hard goods to sell, and also for affiliate products. And using it just to promote my website, increasing traffic, would pay off in higher advertising earnings. I'd use the newsletter (which I stopped sending out years ago :( ). (pending)

6. Sell My SBI Site: I think this is probably the ultimate fate of every profitable site, and should be considered by all of us. I won't be around forever, and I doubt that anyone in my family would/could take over. Might be smart to set up website sale instructions/permissions with an estate attorney. (pending)
#1382882 by Joanne from New Zealand
Mon Oct 02, 2017 10:41 pm
Hi - thank you for taking this challenge Debs, I am quite excited to learn more about monetization strategies that I can implement on my site. The recent Pinterest challenge was an amazing eye opener! So looking forward to many more eye opening moments!!

Like others on this challenge I struggle with asking for money so prefer the more passive approach.

1.Adsense - this I have had on my site for quite a while and it has always earned just enough to pay my yearly SBI subs. Several months ago I changed to Ezoic and the earnings have been abysmal but I will give them 3 months then either go back to adsense or remove them completely.

2. Amazon - I have not made very much at all from these and need to revisit how best to use them within my site. As mentioned above I participated in the Pinterest challenge and I am steadily reworking my site with the aim of focusing on what I enjoy the most and what visitors have posted, used and repinned - interestingly they are exactly the same things so my passion obviously shines through there. Just what to do will all the useless pages that don't fit my new focus - I'm sure these will sort themselves out with time.

3. Affiliates - recently joined 2 programmes via Shareasale and have added their banners etc where appropriate on my site. Too early to say how these are going.

4. eBook - I made one then went cold on the idea of putting a price on it so it is offered for free.

5. eCourse pending - currently getting my head around this one but as I nail down my sites focus etc I think this will be my main earner.

I recently learned that we are all very good at least 'one thing', so much so that we take this skill for granted often not even realising it as special/unique. Now I have clarity on mine it will refocus my sites rebuild and consequently the monetization I will implement going forward. Thanks Cath your Pinterest challenge helped me a lot with this.

Looking forward Debs to learning heaps through this challenge!
#1382908 by Kathy from Mintaro
Tue Oct 03, 2017 10:07 am
Hi Debs
I am probably getting in over my my site is still very new. At this stage, I have not yet read anything from the Monetisation HQ and my head is still swimming from Cath's ROAR challenge.
But I see this as a great opportunity and love the guidance given in the challenges. So here I go

1 Hard Goods Creator/Seller Partly in place
I have written and self published a children's picture book...yes there is a stack in the spare room.
The above mentioned book is the first in a series. Also have plans for accompanying colouring in books and activities books.
Also plan on having merchandise created. Think this will have to be done in China or India. Now there is a challenge.
And to sell in Bedtime Pack Book, PJs and soft toy, Activities Pack Book, Activities Book, Printed Coloured Pencils and pencil case, Outdoors Pack Books, Tshirt, Big Black Boogie Swamp Slime

2 Online StorePending
Really interested in print on demand products and jewellery associated with books and reading. At this stage Amazon is not operating in Australia so no FBA, though forecast to open in 2018...not holding my breath. So only Kindle and Audible available here. Freight costs from Australia to the rest of the world are daunting.

3 egoods creator/seller Partly in place
Book available on Kindle. One Have not done any Kindle Marketing yet. Most likely convert to audible too.
Would also like to create "live" writing workshops online using skype and online writing summits.

4 Affiliate sales pending
This would mostly target other writers.

5 Membership pending
Podcasts of interviews with other writers.

I will be at 1000 before I get this sorted...

Best wishes
#1382926 by Cath from Italy
Tue Oct 03, 2017 2:57 pm

I'm loving reading everyone's Monetisation strategies and plans! It's funny, some of us have been in the same Challenges for a while, but I'm still learning about everyone's sites and it's brill!

Cat, can I ask - do you already or are you intending to sell hard copies of your books as well as Kindle / ebooks? I've wondered about doing that for mine but not sure how to go about it.

Judy, about this...

Recently I read a post Cath made some time ago about Amazon CPM(?) ads doing better than Adsense, but when I read the implementation instructions, found it was like working through Martian. And I was never good at that one
I can do a step-by-step (not here though - off topic I think Debs?). Well, I will if I can recall how I did it! But yes, CPM ads do earn me a lot now. In fact I just got a cheque from Amazon, part of which is paying for me to go to Madrid next week! :D

Janice, this
The other thought that I had was to sell advertising space to breeders and rescue organizations who do not have much of a presence on the web. That idea is still an idea brewing in my brain.

is interesting - I've been thinking about a third site about this very subject. the keywords for rescue dog/s are excellent. But a third site when I can't even keep up with two? Ken would not be pleased! :roll:

I won't be around forever, and I doubt that anyone in my family would/could take over. Might be smart to set up website sale instructions/permissions with an estate attorney.

Funnily enough this is a topic Erin and I have on our agenda to work on an article about. It's really critical, you're so right.

Loving this Challenge - thank you Debs!

#1382945 by Julia from Husum
Tue Oct 03, 2017 5:53 pm
Hi thank you Debs for setting up this challenge. It is something I definitely need to look at as I'm always working on keeping the website/social media up to date that I forget about the money!

My main website is called Disability Grants and it's an information website to help anyone with a disability or their carers find grants towards the high cost of disability - UK only website.

I've tried different monetization strategies over the years. At first the problem was myself as I've always volunteered and helped others so making money out of something I would willingly give away for free was very difficult for me to overcome. 7 years later I'm a lot better but don't really receive the wage I probably deserve for the work I put in.

My main monetization methods are...

Adsense and Contextual Advertising
Google Ads has been kind to me over the years and brings in a good sum each month. It does vary from month to month. There is however always the worry that Google could dump me at any time. I also use and this brings in a small amount each month. I've been wondering about dropping as their Ads showed up as not https compliant when I tried the https Resource Check.
This passive form of monetization has worked for me as once the Ads are set up I don't have to do anything - which is great as I don't have a lot of time! In place

I'm signed up to quite a few companies through AWIN though only a few bring in any income. One I have found suitable brings in a small amount each month. In Place

Products and books are on the website but it doesn't perform well. I get a small amount about every 2 or 3 months. In place

Book - Hard Copy
Last year I self published a book "Grants for Disabled Children". I only purchased 100 copies and they all sold. The problem is it needs to be a yearly publication as it is out of date very quickly. I tried to up date it this year but the changes were happening so fast I couldn't keep up. Things are changing here in the UK - Government austerity is killing charities and trusts. Some are closing and some are merging to survive. Maybe I should turn it into a downloadable PDF from the website. Pending

I have also tried advertising/sponsorship but didn't have a lot of success. I have requests for advertising but either they want it for next to nothing or they aren't companies I would like to deal with. I created a detailed Media Pack but no take ups from companies as my rates are quite high - but to have an ad I have to be sure it will replace the Google Ad income.

I have recently started another website Card Making Circle for fun and for a bit of break from disability as it all gets too intense at times. I am enjoying the creating and making cards for the website. I hoping to earn an income through promoting Stamin Up! products (direct sales or through my shop). Though I need to look at other options as well - such as Project Kits.
Last edited by Julia from Husum on Tue Oct 03, 2017 6:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
#1382946 by Wendy C (EelKat) from La Puente
Tue Oct 03, 2017 6:09 pm
Debs from SiteSell wrote:[size=150]

Tasks For Today

The first step in the Challenge is to select the top 5 strategies you are either using, or want to use for your site(s). Please prioritize them in the order you want to implement them. If you are using more than 5 monetization strategies, please note how many more are on your site at this time.

As a part of the selection, please post listing your prioritized strategies, and give a couple sentences on why you selected that particular strategy for each of the 5.

Please note if the strategy is *in place* or *pending*.

If you have any questions about your monetization, feel free to ask questions as we go along. If I can’t answer you, I’ll try to get the answer for you. If you know the answer to any questions posted, please feel free to jump in and help each other.

What's next?

Tomorrow we will work on researching the strategies you've chosen.

See you again soon!

All my best,

Intro: I'm an author of Epic Fantasy (main character is an Elf wizard with his unicorn; 130+ novels and 2,000+ short stories in the series which first started in 1978 - next year will be it's 40th anniversary), am an artist (watercolour, acrylics), art car builder, costume designer, CosPlayer, YouTuber (vlogger and gamer) and doll maker. My site started out in 1997 as an author home page for my books, it has moved host several times. Crashed WordPress servers when it reached 9,772 pages, and so I moved it to SBI in 2013. Currently 1,508 pages are moved to SBI... the Wordpress site is still live, but each page is being deleted as it get moved, so eventually the WP site will be gone once all 9,772 pages are moved to SBI.

The bulk of my income is of course sales of my books and art.

You know, I don't know how many monetization methods I'm using. So let's count and find out.

Things I'm already doing. In order by which one makes the top/most money per year to the one that makes the bottom/least money per year, I have:

  • my art on Zazzle products
  • AdSense from my YouTube vlog videos embedded on my site
  • my books for sale (both paperbacks and ebooks)(Novels, non-fiction books, and short stories)
  • my crafts/dolls/etc for sale on eTsy (often made with my Spoonflower fabrics)
  • designing fabric for Spoonflower
  • my art on CafePress products
  • Share-a-Sale Affiliate Program
  • LinkShare Affiliate Program
  • Commision Junction Affiliate Program
  • AdSense ads on my site
  • Amazon affiliates
  • SBI Affiliate program

Okay, so that's 12 different ones I'm using (I hope I didn't forget any).

Ones I've tried and no longer do:

Up until this past month I was also using Shopify, but I'm discontinuing that, and moving the pages to my current SBI site, with plans to possibly next year start a 2nd SBI site and then move them to there. For a few year I had the affiliate program and that was pretty good because I could illustrate my site with famous paintings and make money doing it, but sadly the company sold to a bigger company and the discontinued the program. I also had PepperJam for a while, but the company went out of business, then returned a year later and I never set up a second account due to loss of trust after their vanishing the first time.

So those are ones I had in the past until rather recently, but as of 2017 am no longer using.

Future plans, ways I want to monetize, but have not implemented yet:

  • Dropshipping
  • FameBit
  • Patreon
  • Loot Crate Affiliate Program
  • other affiliate programs I've not yet discovered, but hopefully will find soon

Now... which 5 do I want to focus on?

In order of priority...

#1: AdSense ads on my site (which are a very different beast from AdSense ads on my YouTube videos) While I feel I've got a handle of AdSense on my YouTube channel (which while not a large income, does increase steadily every month), AdSense ads on my site struggle to gain traction. In the past, AdSense on site (on my previous host before moving my site to SBI) was the top income, with some pages (just the 1 page, not the whole site) bringing in $200 every month, and many pages bringing in $90 per page each month. It was a really big income for several years, but then that webhost went out of business, I moved to WordPress, Google created Panda/Penguin/etc, and since 2012 AdSense income goes down instead of up. I moved to SBI in 2013, and saw a slight increase in AdSense in come, but from one month to the next, the increase is $1 more then last month, $2 more then last month, .50c more then last month, etc. In 2017, AdSense income has increased for me, but still, it's like $17 more in January 2017, then January 2016, etc. So, it's sluggish.

I know from the past, that AdSense has potential to be a huge income maker, but that was pre-Panda. I'd like to learn how to have a pre-Panda AdSense income in a post-Panda world.

#2: Amazon Affiliates: As you can see from the list, this is my worst avenue, bring in the least income. I beta tested this program in 2004, before it went live to the public. For years it was my top income. This income was massive. A full time job income. Then Maine (along with 16 other states) passed the Nexus Tax law in 2013, and to punish those states Amazon threw a hissy fit and closed everyone's accounts. In the blink of an eye, one of my largest income sources was gone without any warning. This was devastating on my family, as it was the bulk of the family income. For 4 years Amazon and the 16 governors battled it out in court. April 2017, the states won and Amazon was forced to let members have their accounts back. Now 6 months later, with Amazon back on my site for only a few weeks, it seems that Amazon links do not get the high rate of clicks they did before the Nexus tax debacle. In searching around, I've found a lot of articles, of people saying today it is difficult to make an income from Amazon Affiliates, but some people still do... I want to learn how to become one of those people. I did it before, I feel once I figure out their new system, I can do it again.

#3: Dropshipping: Not currently doing and in the stages of researching. I had an idea for a drop shipping store for several years now. I am thinking I want to start a 2nd SBI site and build a drop shipping store from it. I had started to do this with Shopify, because at the time everything I read was telling me "you can't dropship without Shopify!", but at the time, health issues sent the plans astray (me paralyzed for 5 months then relearning to walk) and I had to put the Shopify store on hiatus. It has sat for 2 years, costing monthly payments and bringing in no income. In that time I have learned more about drop shipping and no longer feel that I need a Shopify store to do it with. I've found several people who did dropshipping from their own sites and read their blogs. So I now feel that I can do the same thing. While I have no plans to implement dropshipping right now, this year, I would like to learn more about it right now, before go forward on starting a second SBI site with the goal of making it into a drop shipping store.

  • I already have a plan of theme/products - An Occult/Pagan/Hoodoo/Wiccan/Psychic supplies shop
  • I already have a contract with 3 suppliers of such products (I tracked down suppliers of products I use so I know these products and plan to make YouTube videos on how to use them - the videos to be embedded on the product sales pages - I already started making a few test run videos to see how they stand on their own on YouTube)
  • I already have/signed up with affiliate programs with 3 different online psychic readers, whose banners are currently on my current site to test them out, but will be moved to the drop shipping site once I build it
  • I already have my business license from the state and resellers license from the IRS
  • I already have my domain url, as I found the name of my store to be available so bought it immediately so I wouldn't lose out on having it - currently directing to Shopify
  • I've decided that once I get this up and running, to use the PayPal cart as it's something I've used in the past and am familiar with
  • hopefully by summer 2018 I'll have this site up and running
  • I am highly interested to know if anyone has ever done dropshipping via an SBI site before, and if so, what advice they could offer, things they recommend doing and avoiding, etc.

#4 SBI Affiliate Program: As you can see, this is the bottom of the list in terms of income. It's in place, but so far no income from it. I feel I could be doing something different here, but not sure what. I am highly interested in learning what strategies others have used with the SBI affiliate program.

#5: Finding ways to increase sales of my products. (Novels, ebooks, short stories, crafts, fabrics, art on POD goods, etc.) This encompasses Amazon CreateSpace, Amazon Kindle, Zazzle, CafePress, Etsy, LuLu, Spoonflower, etc. These are all products I make offline with my hands (typing stories, watercolor paintings, sewing dolls, etc) and then sell on line via various venues. These things are already making up the bulk of my income, but I feel I have definite room for improvement, especially in how I use SBI to direct traffic to my products thus increasing sales.


#1: As already stated, I am highly interested to know if anyone has ever done dropshipping via an SBI site before, and if so, what advice they could offer, things they recommend doing and avoiding, etc. This is probably my top question. I would love to know people's experiences in building a dropshipping store with SBI.

#2: Has any one tried Patreon on their SBI site? Patreon is very new, the company is less then a year old. I've heard a lot of success stories for YouTube gamers who've tried it, but I'm wondering how would it work for an SBI site? (If you've not heard of it yet, Patreon is a "tip jar"/"donation" program that allows your subscribers to become sponsors of you, by pledging a monthly donation amount. For example a person may pledge $10 a month for a year, thus you receive $120, $10 per month for 12 months.)

#3: I have recently opened a FameBit account as I'm fast closing in on the required amount of subs. (If you don't know it, FameBit is a place for businesses - BIG businesses, like Macy's, Canon, etc - to post advertisements requesting people to review their products; the requirement is 5k subs on your YouTube channel. The company sends you a product, you use it for a few weeks, make a series of videos of you using it, upload them to YouTube, set to private, send the company the links, and if they approve it, they pay you -varies by company but minimum is $20, most pay $100+ and then you publish the videos and keep 100% of any AdSense income as well.) I already make book review pages on my site and plan to expand this, via FameBit. The company is very new, almost 2 years old. I know a couple of people who use it. I was wondering, has anyone yet tried it on SBI, or am I the first one planning to do this? The program is aimed at helping YouTubers make an income, but I'm unaware of any YouTubers (other then myself) who use SBI as a promotional means of their videos. I feel I'm treading new grounds here and cutting the trail alone, as I seem to be the first and only SBIer doing this. Has anyone else tried FameBit yet? If so, any tips, advice, etc?
#1382948 by Cath from Italy
Tue Oct 03, 2017 6:25 pm
Hi Wendy,

I have been considering using Patreon on my site - but it's not exactly a donation programme. Customers pay for services on a sliding scale. So for example a dog trainer I follow has a scale where he goes from "Have a special frisbee!" to "I will do unlimited video evaluations of your dog's behaviour problems". You can see it here :

I was thinking of doing something like it for my chickens page - not that chickens have many behavioural issues! :lol::lol: but I get asked so many questions that I just don't have time to answer them all. I reckon if I have a way that people have to pay for me to answer as quickly as they generally demand from me, either the number of questions will go down or my income will rise drastically!

So for $x, I will provide a FB page where I'll go once a day and answer xx number of questions.
For $xy I'll answer individual emails within (say) 4 days.
For $xx I'll answer individuals within 24 hours.
For $xxx I'll do a weekly Skype...

and so on. I definitely think it has merit, but it's still very much a "thinking in progress" for me.

PS You're right that Patreon is a young company - but not that young! It was founded in 2013.
#1382956 by Debs from SiteSell
Tue Oct 03, 2017 8:20 pm

Hi Everyone!

I've read through all your posts and there are some similarities between you in the types of monetization strategies you are doing or would like to do. All very interesting and I know we will address these in more detail during the implementation part of the challenge.

Day 2 of Challenge:

Today is about details and about researching the monetization strategies you’ve posted that are a priority for you. To help with that, I’d like to go over some common terms we use.

CTR = Click Through Rate = the percentage of people visiting a web page who access a hypertext link to a particular advertisement. From Wikipedia:

Click-through rate (CTR) is the ratio of users who click on a specific link to the number of total users who view a page, email, or advertisement.

EPC = Earnings Per Click = divide Earnings by Clicks

EPV = Earnings Per Visitor = divide Earnings by Unique Visitors

Merchant 7 Day Earnings Per Click (m7/EPC) = What the merchant sells per click in the first 7 days of the click.

Merchant 3 Month EPC (m3/EPC) = What the merchant sells per click in the first 3 months after the initial click.

Total Unique Visitors = Uniques or Visitors = the number of unique people that visit your site in a given time period, more commonly seen in a daily or monthly count.

Monthly Click Through Count = the actual number of visitor clicks your site has for a given link/ad in a given month (or other time period).

I’ve created a [url=[Domain Private]/support-files/]spreadsheet to help you track your monetization strategies[/url]. It will also be used to do the initial research on the strategies you’ve posted.

The idea behind tracking is you can then compare month to month, year to year, and your stats vs. the merchant (when the merchant provides their stats to you, some do, some don’t).

If your results are worse than what the merchant has for their aggregate affiliates, then you need to look at improving your conversions by adjusting your sales page, for instance.

If you compare several merchants’ stats, you can see which may have the better landing page for the same products, and thereby which is the better merchant to go with, at least initially.

The Spreadsheet

If you don’t have Excel, that’s ok. You can get Open Office free from

If a cell has a colored background, you don’t enter anything there. The places to enter data are the cells with a white background (a/k/a No Fill background).

I’m using Commission Junction as an example of how to get data you need. However not all affiliate merchant aggregators, or all merchants, will provide their stats. If they don’t, you just have to decide if you will test them yourself, or try to find another merchant with similar products.

If you can’t find the merchant’s aggregate affiliate stats, ask them if they will provide them so you can track how your site does. See the image below, and where the red arrow points for how CJ merchants provide their stats:

cj.png (113.92 KiB) Viewed 1174 times

In ShareaSale, this is how you get the merchants stats. Search for merchants, click on details for a particular merchant, on the landing page you will see something like this:

shareasale.png (57.16 KiB) Viewed 1174 times

Tasks for Today

Break down your strategy (affiliate program, finders fee, etc.) into the actual merchants you want to try, to even the actual products you want to promote from the merchants. If you are selling your own goods, you are the merchant. In this case, under the Merchant, put where you are selling your own goods (Amazon, Ebay, your site, Clickbank, etc.)

Fill in the spreadsheet for your main strategies by merchant, and by product if you are going to promote multiple products from the same merchant. By “main” strategies, I mean the ones you want to focus on in this challenge. Break them down as noted.

Start with just 1 or 2, don’t try to do all five of the ones you listed. The list was to get you thinking about “types,” now we want you to think DETAILS! 😉

If the strategy has already been implemented on your site, insert the stats for the prior quarter (July, August, September), into the spreadsheet.

You don’t have to post your spreadsheets online. This is an exercise so you can see how you are really doing, or what the potential is for your site if it is a “pending” strategy.

What's Next?

Tomorrow (Wednesday) we will discuss how to evaluate your findings and what additional research might be needed.

All my best,

#1382963 by Cath from Italy
Tue Oct 03, 2017 9:09 pm
Wow, Debs!

How long have I been using affiliate programmes and I've never even thought of comparing how I do to their aggregate. I do my stats once a month and compare with my own performance, but of course - lightbulb moment! :idea: - I should be looking further than that.

In your ShareASale example, there's something called "reversal rate" - could you explain what that is please? I have to admit me and numbers do not go together so usually I just gloss over things like this.

Thank you for the spreadsheet, too.

It's late here in Italy now but I will be looking at this in detail tomorrow morning.

Thank you, Debs!

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