Yesterday I got the chance to chat with Liz Strauss about my blog redesign. She and I are working together to really maximize the changes I make to ensure the blog is readable, easy to navigate, and drives traffic to the information that you are most interested in. We’re also, of course, working on optimizing it better for monetization.
How to Make Money by Blogging Bananas
My biggest key takeaway from the meeting was that I need a Banana.
Lest you think I’m talking dirty to you, I mean as in monkeys, not body parts. 😉
Liz said that she sat in one of Seth Godin’s seminars once, and one of the points that he made was that a web page needs to have a big Banana – a simple main objective to offer your readers a reward – as well as get their permission to market to them.
- A free download (in exchange for an email address) – Meaning you offer a free ebook, course, graphics or anything that is downloadable (and highly targeted to your readers) in return for their email address. The reason for this is so that you can increase your conversions through email marketing. Some call this the most lucrative avenue for making money online.
- A ‘buy it now’ button that is both obvious and enticing to click. Have you ever been to a website where you thought about purchasing something and the button is tiny? Or worse, not working? A noticeable buy it now button feeds into the psychology of online persuasion and helps to add a little nudge for the potential buyer.
- Any large call to action on a page of your blog or site. This instructs to reader to do something and provokes an immediate response.
This was good advice. Indeed, when I first started this blog, I had no banana.
And I really struggled with this for a long time as a blogger. I wanted to write great content and make money on my blog – but I had no banana – not one, true call to action for my readers.
I started adding them along the way, but if you look at my blog template, I currently have 4 competing bananas.
- The top banner
- My RSS button and RSS email signup
- My WendyPiersall.com promo
- And my coaching ad which has no call to action at all. [Embarassing.]
This was the biggest thing I overlooked when starting this blog. If a blog is ever to make money, a call to action is critical.
How could I have forgotten this little bit of marketing knowledge 101? I knew this stuff!!
I think the problem laid in the fact that I made the erroneous assumption that if I wrote great content and got lots of traffic, that I could kick it in Hawaii with my AdSense earnings.
Reality couldn’t be further from the truth.
My earnings from this blog have come primarily from my coaching clients who have found me here – ones I built a relationship with through networking and swapping links.
Sure, advertising will always be a revenue generator around here, but my big banana – that my intervention work can quite literally change a life – is nowhere to be found.
Hence the reason for the redesign. 🙂
Making Money With a Blog Multiplied
So, have any of you made the same mistake as I did? Your banana could be as simple as an RSS icon – as big as your latest eBook, or a newsletter signup.
But to make money at blogging, you must ask yourself:
Where’s my Banana?
Great fruity examples of bananas ripe for the picking:
- Ariane’s Do it Yourself Organizing Library
- Steve Chou: My Wife Quit Her Job
- Dooce’s About page – “I’m Heather B. Armstrong. This is my website.” It sells you on wanting to read her blog (or running far, far away, I suppose…)
- Yaro’s Blog Traffic Tips
- Brian’s RSS feed and RSS email subscribe box