Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Sponsored Reviews can earn your blog big money

Have you heard of PayPerPost or ReviewMe or Smorty? These are the guys, especially the first one who are bringing a new revolution in the 'media' or 'advertising' world - creating thousands of sellable media options for advertisers and marketeers. If you have a blog and it's read by someone, you are ready to kick some ass with Sponsored Posts. Here's the dope:
Do you know what an advertorial is? Never mind, if you don't. You surely know what an advertisement is and you also do know awhat an editorial is - now combine the two and what have we got: An Advertorial. Basically an advertisement that looks like it's not - it rather looks the editorial part of the newspaper or magazine.
I read the Hindustan Times and the Times of India and i have been doing it for years, and the cells in my brain have by now configured where the ads are placed and where they are not. My brain knows that at the bottom right corner of the front page there is an advertisement and it has learnt to ignore it completely. I may read the entire story right above the ad or to the left of it, yet I may not even the ad even once. And this ad, referred to by media planners as the 'front page solus' is supposed to be the newspaper's supreme ad position and costs a bomb. What a waste! So, what does the smart media planner do next? He tries to put the ad into the editorial matter, so that my devious mind can't ignore it. Got it?!
Blogs are no different. When you visit a blog, you know that the 'juice' is in the centre or in the 'widest column'. The left and the right columns contain ads, links and thousand others things that you are not looking for!! That's where guys like PayPerPost come in. They will pay you for writing a sponsored piece as a post. PPP or ReviewMe are simply mediators - the advertiser places their orders with them and they connect with bloggers like you and me.
How does PPP work?
First thing first - register your blog with PPP. This guys are not the quickest in the world in terms of approving your blog, but once they do, you are immediately ready to make some money. PPP lists all opportunities available with them - but you may not qualify for each one.
Your blog will qualify based on one or more of the following:
1. Google Page Rank - this, by far, seems to be the most important parameter. (and this is because besides the ad the value of an outgoing link counts - higher the PageRank, the more valuable you are.)
2. Alexa Ranking - This is a worldwide ranking of websites, based on the traffic to your webpages. But don't get too worried. Lots and lots of opportunities don't ask for this criteria and secondly, there are quite a few who are ready to go even for the guy ranked 9,99,999. That's quite a bit, and if you make a concerted effort that's quite a reachable number.
3. Tack Rating - This is PayPerPost's internal rating system. Advertisers will give you positive or negative ratings depending on the quality of your previous posts.
The minimum payout is 5$ ( after subtracting the PPP commission) and the highest goes upto 500$, but that's a rare thing. However there are a good number of available opportunities between the 5$ to 50$ range. The highest i myself made on an individual post was 125 $ and i have averaged about 30$. Not bad money that, what say! PPP is not very surprisingly my biggest source of revenue, though Adsense ain't too far behind.
ReviewMe works on a similar basis, but with one important difference and it makes a hell lot of difference. At PPP, you choose the posts you want to do. At ReviewMe the advertiser selects the blogs - you are however free to accept or reject. Unless you have a good traffic blog, you are unlikely to get too many invites from ReviewMe, though their average payout is better so there ain't any harm in registering.
Smorty is akin to PPP, however Smorty is a comparatively newer entrant and the number of opportunities are far fewer. The good thing: their response rate is faster and the best thing: the money trickles into your account quicker. While PPP pays after 30 days, Smorty pays you next week.
All of them are currently paying through PayPal.
PPP has geographical segregation in place, but barring the rare opportunity which might be reserved for bloggers in the UK or North America only, most are open to the globe. And what with the internet penetration exploding in India, i won't be too surprised if very soon you start seeing a number of opportunities reserved for Indian Bloggers only. PPP currently allows you to take up 2 opportunities in a day. Even if you do two 5$ ones, that's about 300$ for the month. Convert that to Rupee and you got almost 12,00o bucks. Not bad at all! Raring to start making money right away? Click on the image below:

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Adsense for Indian Bloggers: How Good?

Even if you are the newest kid-on-the-Indian-blogstreet, you would have heard of Google Adsense before anything else. Barring a tiny percentage of Indian blogs, most employ Adsense in one form or the other. Let's try and understand Google Adsense and see if adsense makes sense for Indian Blog Sites.
What is Google Adsense?
It is an advertising programme managed by Google, wherein Google acts as an intermediary between the blog/site owner and the advertiser. Google places advertisements on your sites in the places designated by you. Revenues are shared between Google and the blog owner.
Within Adsense, there are 3 primarily different options:
1. The most popularly used form of Adsense is Content Based Ads or Contextual Advertising. It is also sometimes referred to as PPC or Pay Per Click Advertising. Essentially you are paid only when someone clicks on the ads on your site. It is called contextual because the Google software will serve ads that are in context to your site - for this it will mainly use the text matter you write.
Within this there are 2 variations:
a) Direct Ads on your site - someone clicks, you make money.
b) Links on your site - someone clicks on the link and is taken to another page with ads. If he clicks on them you make money.
2. Add a Google Search Box to your blog site: Someone searches through this and if he then clicks on any Google ad on the next page, you make money.

3. Referral Ads: You refer your users to certain products or websites. He will then be asked or motivated to perform a certain action - it could be to fill up a form or to purchase a product or service or something else. If he does that, you earn money. This is the most difficult one because you need your reader to make an 'extra' effort here, so the conversion rates are low. However you typically earn more than the regular PPC route whenever the conversion happens.

This is what the main page of Google Adsense looks like, with the 3 earning options for you to choose from. google adsense main page

If you haven't started using Google Adsense you can do it now by clicking here.
All the very best.

Now to the most important question: Does Google Adsense work for Indian Blogger?

Yes, it does. I have been using it myself for a year now and have seen it work. You need to be patient with adsense - You may not see any results or poor results in the first days or months. Look at other blogs that you think may be doing well. See how they have placed their ads on their blogs. Sometimes copying a successful format is not a bad idea. Else you may have to experiment with various permutations and combinations to arrive at your right format.

In certain cases, Adsense doesn't deliver as well for Indian bloggers as it will for bloggers in some other countries. For example - the referral ad for Firefox. While the US blogger may end up making a dollar for every conversion, you may end up making a measly 10 cents. But Google has now come up with lots more referral products. There are quite a few products and services specific to India and will deliver best for Indian bloggers. Spend some time searching for the right products. Do factor in the 'action' required. Indian net users are not as likely to purchase a product on the web as their counterpart in Europe or US. Realising this aspect, I don't refer products where the 'action' is purchase. Go instead for a 'form filling' or a 'sign up' action. However the final decision has to be yours, depending on the nature of your blog and the demographic and psychographic profile of your readers. Of course, it is also not necessary that Indian blogs will be read by Indian only. You may have a high percentage of NRI readers or even pure non-Indians. That can affect your decision completely.

( To be continued )

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Specialized Site for Money Making for Indian Blogs

Hi and Welcome to Monetizing Indian Blogs.
While there are many sites - good, bad and ugly telling you about making money through your blogs, unfortunately the good writers all seem to be based in the United States and as such, it's often not possible for Indian bloggers to connect to them. While there are guys like John Chow and Darren Rowes at ProBlogger who give out excellent information and will be invaluable resources to all bloggers, we will try and have a focus on India and Indian bloggers here. So while there will be the general principles and truths which you will get here as well, we will look at the blogosphere in India specifically.
Do write in with your comments, suggestions and ideas from time to time - Let's make money together!