When is the Best Time to Start Monetizing Your Blog?

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    Key Points

    • Monetizing your blog a few months in is safer to build a community around.
    • It is a risky move to monetize your blog immediately, but it will be easier for readers to cope with banner ads, or other forms of advertisements later on.
    • Two important factors to profit from your efforts are to have targeted traffic and great conversion rates (see post for greater explanation).

    Summary

    Picking the right time to start monetizing your blog is absolutely crucial if you plan to actually profit off of these techniques.

    Is monetizing your blog at the very beginning the best way to go? How about after you have been around for a few months? This post will provide opinions and facts to help you make that decision.

    Close

by Alan Mater

There are various reasons why someone would want to set up a blog. It could be to fulfill a need, an interest or an obsession in either his or her personal endeavors or business opportunities. For most people who have an online business, having a blog is an absolute must that serves its purpose and as an extension of his or her business.

For most of us trying to make an online income, monetizing our blog is a foregone conclusion. It’s just a matter of determining when the proper time is to do so.

While there are obvious benefits to the blogger who monetizes his or her blog at a later stage, rushing into it has its fair share of pitfalls too. So, care must be taken, and you should try to decide when that perfect time is to start.

Let’s take a look at both approaches, so you can see which approach will be best for you and your blog.

The “Monetize Later” Approach

I have to say that in general, I don’t see too many blogs without any obvious signs of monetization like banner ads or affiliate programs. 

Those who chose this approach tend to cater to a specific audience and are trying to build their blog to one that can command authority and trust.

Traffic is a top ingredient of its success and their first priority is to generate a huge amount of traffic to their blog, first, before anything else takes place. It’s like holding on to a trump card and waiting to find the perfect time to use it.

My Thoughts on This Approach

Banner ads used to be a popular and effective means of promotions years ago, but I personally feel they have lost much of their novelty.

In fact, some of these bloggers go from swearing by them years ago to swearing at them now. Perhaps those who preferred to monetize their blog later saw this coming and figured a better way would be to focus more on using their blog to build trust and market their brand name for their online business.

It depends a lot on the niche that you are targeting, too. The smaller the niche, the more targeted the audience becomes, and you have a higher chance of providing your product and services to this demographic of people who demand them.

On a small niche site I used to own, I had good success using banner ads. They were very targeted to the audience that I was catering to, which made them more appealing.

On a broader niche site, such as my replaceyoursalary.com site, it’s more of a hit or miss thing going on. Placement pays an important part.

My Final Verdict
Overall, with this approach, I think there are bloggers who want to gain recognition as a blogger who focus more on first building trust and getting traffic to his or her blog, then later looking for ways to monetize that traffic with targeted ads. You don’t have to agree, but there are many bloggers out there in various niches that use this approach. Did you use this approach? Why or why not?

The “Monetize at the Beginning” Approach

Monetizing your blog immediately when you first set it up has its advantages. Many people have used their blog specifically to make an online income; although, if you follow the exploits of John Chow and Darren Rowse of the blogging fraternity, it can be done but not as easy as it seems.

Most people choose to monetize earlier than later because they cannot find good reasons to wait. Earning a little money from a new blog now could go towards paying off some of the costs to operate your blog. Money is always the best motivation factor that can certainly make you work harder to achieve your goals in setting up the blog in the first place.

For some others, monetizing a new blog means not having to bother with redesigning it later to accommodate the banner ads and other forms of moneymaking strategies that may affect your overall look and feel. 

Those who choose this route may be seasoned bloggers who know just how to go about generating quick traffic to their new blog, too.

My Thoughts on This Approach

In order to be successful in monetizing a relatively new blog, you need to have at least two important things working well for you – targeted traffic and good conversions. You don’t want thousands of visitors coming to your blog and yet shy away from whatever products or services that your blog promotes, do you?

This is where your keyword research comes in handy and could make a difference between failure and success. It also depends on what content you are building on your blog.

If efforts have been made to focus on a specific topic, there is greater chance of very targeted traffic getting the information they are searching for on your blog. This of course translates to more sales and generates more income for your business.

My Final Verdict
Monetizing your blog at the beginning is a risky move, but can pay off later on as you are introducing your blog to the world already monetized. This way, readers will not be surprised or upset that you have added some forms of advertising to your blog later on down the road. Did you use this approach? Why or why not?

What Time is the Right Time?

As you can see, there is never a clear answer to when you should start monetizing your blog as there are many factors that determine the best time to do so. A lot depends on your goals in your business and the reason you set up your blog and what strategies you are currently using to meet those objectives.

Which approach do I prefer? As with my small niche site I talked about earlier, I set that up to monetize right away, and it worked. My broader niche site was set up the same way, and any future sites will follow suit. However, I have nothing wrong with the monetizing later approach.

Like I said, it all depends on what your ultimate goals are for you and your blog. For me, my goal is simple: to make money online.

What is your goal?

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Kathis October 19, 2010 at 4:02 pm

I found something awesome about this on google and I want u to check it out.

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tekkaus October 24, 2010 at 7:15 am

Yes, we earn our respect first. In turn our reputation will increase. Then only our voice will be an authority. :D

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Templates October 28, 2010 at 7:40 pm

I will never monetize my personal blog before PR=6.

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Alan Mater October 29, 2010 at 8:21 am

That’s interesting. Why would you wait till your blog is a PR 6? How long do you think it will take your blog to get that high of a PR?

You could end up waiting forever and never get the chance to monetize your blog if it doesn’t reach a PR of 6.

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Studenten Gent December 10, 2010 at 7:08 am

PR6? What does PR has to do with monetizing your blog?
Google stated already a few times that PR will not be that important in the future as it used to be.
I have a few sites with max PR of 4, some of them are earning a lot, some of them aren’t. Some of them had ads from the beginning, others not. No general rule in my case.

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mencari kebenaran October 29, 2010 at 5:30 am

OK..THANKS SO USEFUL FOR ME

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Ximena de la Serna October 30, 2010 at 2:52 pm

Very interesting Alan, thanks. I’ve owed my blog for almost a year now but just recently came across internet marketing and the ways of monetising a blog. I’m just starting to build my strategy and thought I’d build up traffic and a readership first, but reading your post makes me think if I should be starting the thing straightaway…

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Alan Mater November 5, 2010 at 12:03 pm

Hey Ximena,

It’s really up to you if you want to start monetizing it now or wait till you have a readership. It all depends on the individual and the type of blog it is.

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Imelda Novitsky October 30, 2010 at 11:19 pm

Useful posting. Nevertheless I can express you can actually monetize this website that will generate alot of exposure. I just now acquired started this web log two days back and acquired about 868 strikes the very first hr and also over 2k visits at this point and it also appears like it’s really raising. Without having this particular program this would not occur. In the event that just about any of you are bloggers and article writers this kind of software program will be the one. Check out here first for further info. http://www.bit.ly/powerfularticlesubmitter

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Rebecca Haden November 1, 2010 at 5:35 pm

My company blog isn’t monetized, except in the sense that it brings customers to the business, and I don’t plan to monetize it. However, we have an education blog that we’re using to test monetizing strategies.

We very quickly saw that a new blog with limited traffic wouldn’t be desirable to advertisers. Nor could we expect to entice paid subscribers with premium content on the strength of just a few months’ worth of content.

We went ahead and set up affiliate marketing, since the essential appropriateness of that doesn’t depend on traffic or quantity of content, but I think it makes sense to wait till you’re more established to get serious about monetizing your blog.

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Alan Mater November 5, 2010 at 12:08 pm

Hey Rebecca,

Affiliate marketing definitely makes sense until your blog gets to a certain level that will attract advertisers.

Thanks for your input.

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Tom Sowerby November 2, 2010 at 5:07 am

My company blog is similar to Rebecca’s in that we use it as a tool to get repeat visitors to our company website but it isn’t specifically monetised.

I haven’t experimented with monetising a blog yet but I can say that I’d probably go down the monetise from the start route so I can gather as much information as early as possible about what works with regards to banner placement etc.

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Ximena de la Serna November 2, 2010 at 5:32 am

Agree with you both, Rebecca and Tom. How do you plan to gather that info, Tom?

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HD Guy January 15, 2011 at 9:21 am

Building a community is hard enough, if you keep postponing you’ll feel that all your hard work is in vain. I’d say three months are enough to write content and promote the blog. After that, monetizing should start

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Tracy November 2, 2010 at 8:59 am

You make some great points with this article. I develop several blogs a week for other people and many want to monetize right away. The unrealistic expectations that you can create and blog and get rich quick has many not willing to spend the time to really get the blog established first.

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Alan Mater November 5, 2010 at 12:11 pm

Hey Tracy,

Unfortunately, this is the mindset of many beginners. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to monetize from the start, but it’s important to realize that money isn’t going to start coming in right away just because there are ads on the site.

Thanks for your input.

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John November 2, 2010 at 10:45 am

When you monetize at start, you’ll get marked as ‘spammy’ (especially in financial niches). That will make it hard to receive lots of social media traffic. So you should start out with no ads, and when your audience increases start to show ads.

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Alan Mater November 5, 2010 at 12:15 pm

Hey John,

Marked as spammy by who? Your visitors? I think most people almost expect to see some sort of advertising on sites these days. At least I do.

Regarding social media traffic, I’ve found that this kind of traffic doesn’t convert well at all, as far as clicking on ads is concerned. If you want to convert this type of traffic, you’ll have to think outside the box, and building a relationship with them is part of that.

Thanks for your input.

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Usama November 9, 2010 at 11:34 am

I think monetizing at he begging approach is better. It concludes that you know your goals and how to achieve them.

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studenti November 15, 2010 at 2:11 am

Most of the “new bloggers” immediatly want to cash in from the first day of thei blog .
But what about authority? what about trust, or becoming a well known blog?
I m not saying that u heave to get a pr6 (i realy dont care about pr anymore, and 6 is a grat number), but you must build a trusted blog before u monetize it!

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Alan Mater November 17, 2010 at 11:08 am

I agree that authority and trust are important. Also agree that PR is pretty irrelevant.

However, I think even with a new blog, if the few posts you do have so far can portray that you’re genuine and you truly want to help people, then having an ad or two would be fine.

Of course, it depends on the niche and type of blog/site you have, along with your goals you have for it.

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hans@ mobil kelurga ideal terbaik indonesia November 23, 2010 at 8:41 pm

I’m newbie in blogging and interesting for monetyze. I just focus with write nice articles first, thanks for this, it shall be my reference to learn about monetizing

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vipin November 25, 2010 at 1:33 am

long way to go for monetization in my blog. But this is a good article if I have atleast a decent number of traffic. Especially thanks for adding your personal opinions.

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netnotion.nl November 29, 2010 at 7:00 am

I tried but making money with a blog wasn’t my thing. I didn’t get any further than some Adsense ads. But you dont make money out of them :)

I think you need a team of bloggers before you can ever make money.

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Alan Mater December 20, 2010 at 1:00 pm

You can make money with Adsense, but you need to get traffic to your blog from the search engines. Also, you don’t need a team of bloggers in order to make money. I work solo and make a decent amount of money from my site and blog.

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NHL All Star Game 2011 November 29, 2010 at 10:05 am

I started monetizing far too early, but on the other hand – it was a great motivator to work harder and get the first minimal payment! And now I just can not stop!

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karen@pictures of warts November 29, 2010 at 4:45 pm

Yeah, don’t try to make that cash too quickly. 1st you want to create something wonderful that others will appreciate, because if you don’t who will want to come back time and time again…nobody, so you will have waisted all your time anyway. THEN, when you have it done, focus on how to add income streams to it! :)

Karen

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Cielo Libron December 9, 2010 at 10:33 am

A lot of interesting and helpful points you have. I really do think we should exercise a little patience when first developing a blog. Slow, but steady and sure. And of course, we constantly have to work at it, keep it truthful and informative, to the point and relevant.
Thanks for this article, I like how you presented everything, and honestly think it will definitely help all of us who are in this same business. :) Thanks again.
West London Removal

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Roger Smith December 9, 2010 at 7:39 pm

I definitely agree with your post. It’s better be sure rather than regret it. Anyways, you can actually do both if you want but don’t expect that you’ll see result in just a matter of short time because it’s no easy.

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monetizedude December 9, 2010 at 11:51 pm

I just startet with my blog and it brand new. But i think i will wait with monetizing proces until i build some trust and loyality , like your blog Alan :-)

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Alan Mater December 20, 2010 at 1:01 pm

Thanks for the comment, and glad to know you like my blog. :)

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brian December 27, 2010 at 9:48 am

nice post,after reading this article hopefully I can make my blog good trafic, thanks

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Mini Physics December 11, 2010 at 4:35 am

I just started this blog one month ago. And I monetize it within the first week. 2 days ago, my blog was approved by Google Adsense. I think its a step in the right direction. Hopefully my decision to monetize it at the start will be a good one. Cheers.

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Studenten Gent December 15, 2010 at 9:18 am

Good luck with that! :)

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Stacey December 15, 2010 at 12:10 pm

There’s nothing wrong, in my opinion, with monetizing a blog from the outset if you can possibly do so.

However, this should never, ever be at the expense of he quality of the content…. your readers won’t come back if your blog is just a walking advertisement.

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Alan Mater December 20, 2010 at 12:57 pm

Exactly. The content of the site should be the top priority. As long as you can provide quality content that people are looking for, there’s no reason why you can’t monetize from the beginning.

Thanks for the input!

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Dave@How To Get Rid Of Acne Fast | How To prevent Acne December 15, 2010 at 7:59 pm

Blogging for profits are what we are all after at the end of the day. I really appreciated this site addressing the pros and cons of whether to try to monetize from the get go or not. My take on it is that if one has a clear end goal providing beneficial content that grows with the subscribers there is no reason not to monetize from the beginning and changed as needed relevant to the current situation. It’s all part of the growing pains.

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Moneymakergal December 16, 2010 at 4:18 pm

I have several blogs, and I have chosen to monetize them from the beginning because I had a bad experience when I monetized a blog when it reached PR3 (a goal I had set for myself, for some reason I have forgotten), the loyal readers did not like the change.
So now, I add ads in the beginning, so no-one can complain later if I should want to do it. Better safe than sorry as they say!

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Alan Mater December 20, 2010 at 12:55 pm

Thank you for sharing your experience. That’s the first time I have heard that happen to someone. I personally feel that setting a goal of reaching a certain PR beforehand is pointless. Might as well monetize from the start and get first-time readers accustomed to your blog and ads, as you mentioned.

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Rakesh Kumar December 19, 2010 at 12:18 pm

I am still searching on this topic. According to me the best time to start monetizing for our blog is when we think about monetizing! Don’t just think be practical.

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Magento Themes December 24, 2010 at 2:36 pm

nice tips, I thought we should monitor audience when you decide to start monetize and switch back if not working.

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Dharmavirsinh Jhala December 26, 2010 at 1:31 pm

Alen,

Good article, basically I chose the 2nd approach and started monetizing from the beginning and as you said it helps me taking over some of the cost of operating the blog/website.

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Alan Mater December 31, 2010 at 7:54 am

Thanks! Yep, getting a little money at the beginning can help off-set expenses, and it’s a great motivator to keep on going.

Thanks for taking the time to comment.

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Alexa December 27, 2010 at 7:11 am

I choose to monetize my blog after the traffic increases and I notice a growing trend for my traffic. No point in doing this right from the beginning.

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TJ McDowell December 28, 2010 at 3:51 pm

I’ve got Adsense and Amazon ads running right now on my 6 month old blog. The Adsense is doing terrible. I’m considering replacing it with something else. I would expect a 1% click rate at least, but it’s not getting anywhere close to that. I’m getting the visitors, but not the clicks. I think it’s a lot of experimenting that probably ends up getting done with most blogs until you get something that works for your blog.

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Internet Marketing Workshop December 29, 2010 at 5:44 pm

Hello, its really important where you are starting , nice reading stuff. thank you for sharing this.

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Nulled Scripts December 30, 2010 at 12:14 pm

i think ,when our site is near 100k alexa,that is right time.

Thanks

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Alan Mater December 31, 2010 at 8:06 am

What does Alexa Rank have to do with anything? You could be waiting quite a while to reach that amount of traffic.

I have a tiny little niche site with an Alexa Rank over 1 million, but because the little bit of traffic it does receive is targeted, it makes money. You don’t need a ton of traffic to make money with a site or blog.

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Prue @ Lake Wanaka Accommodation January 1, 2011 at 6:50 am

Great article Alan. I have always thought if there was a “best time” to monetise a site, you have cleared a few thoughts up that i had. thank you

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Alan Mater January 13, 2011 at 10:55 pm

Awesome… glad it helped you out.

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Tech Empty January 3, 2011 at 11:36 am

Thank youuu for sharing this article…u cleared my doubts..

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Rajan Balana @ DreamBloggers January 5, 2011 at 12:46 am

Monetize when u have created a good community around ur blog, that is the exact time :)

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Angelique January 6, 2011 at 1:27 am

Yes I do monitize my all my blogs. One my strategies in monitizing my blog is to generate traffic using compelling headlines, networking, commenting, carnivals, memes, viral, social networking and SEO.

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Alan Mater January 13, 2011 at 10:57 pm

All are good strategies to bring in traffic and sales.

Thanks for the comment.

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Ryan @ Personal Finance Software Reviews January 6, 2011 at 11:27 pm

I think it really depends on the site model. If you’re going to for seth godin style blog with followers, then i’d say hold off, but if you’re selling products or services, start monetizing from day 1.

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Alan Mater January 13, 2011 at 10:58 pm

Right on, Ryan!

Thanks for the input.

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Arold Augustin January 7, 2011 at 8:50 am

I think the best time would be when you start getting ranked by search engine. That’s how you can get targeted traffic to your website.
Oil painting pictures

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Alan Mater January 13, 2011 at 11:02 pm

Exactly. You can’t make sales unless you’re ranking well in the search engines and getting targeted traffic.

Thanks for the comment here and on my blog posts as well. :)

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Crunch January 11, 2011 at 1:33 pm

Thanks ! It’s very usefull for me ;)

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Ankit Saini January 14, 2011 at 2:36 pm

This post really help me a lot…
Thanks

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Gabriel January 15, 2011 at 12:39 pm

For a single Google search “How to make money online” we can see millions of results, but the reality is something else. It is not easy to make money from net. First and foremost thing is to make a strong platform, for that the requirement is 99% hard work and 1% luck. Once you are in a right track, things will automatically favor you. I also think that if one wants to make money (online or offline), one must do honest work and earn their visitors trust. Provide something (and even extra) to your visitors.. make them feel your website is truly adds meaning to their life that will make them worth their time to check your website daily and/or buy your products. In short, you must give something first before you can expect to receive.

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Rahul solanki January 15, 2011 at 1:17 pm

hi alan,i started blogging November 2009 and till now not started monetizing my blog because i am to waiting for right time.thanks

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Techcrite January 15, 2011 at 6:57 pm

i think its better to go for money later approach. because when we start getting the traffic, and when people see that the blog is full of ads, that can make them to not to come back. so start with making traffic first. when you get enough traffic per day, then start monetizing it.

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Rose January 17, 2011 at 1:38 am

Thank you for providing this useful article. This helps a lot of newbies trying to earn money online. It’s one monetizing a blog is one one issue that we newbies should deal up with coz if not, our efforts may end up in the trash. Thank you for this article.

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Mohamed Belgaila January 19, 2011 at 5:59 am

Thanks a lot for providing such a wonderful information on starting-up Internet business. I am a 5+ years experienced freelance web developer, earning from the online marketplaces, this helps me a lot in new aspects on the same.

Thanks,
MBelgaila

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Caang January 24, 2011 at 9:00 am

Thanks 4 your post Alan. Now my blog are pr3 and I had Google Adsense, can I put some other monetized system to make a lot of money..?

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Sandra Gonzalez January 28, 2011 at 8:39 pm

In my experience it’s always better to put your ads on as soon as you have 50 plus uniques a day. My reasoning is if you start early as you build more and more traffic, your readers will be used to seeing the ads and it will not be a turn off to them. Also, by starting early you can see your monetization stats as they grow and make adjustments as they become necessary for more revenue.

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Alina Navarro February 17, 2011 at 4:11 pm

Thank you Alan for sharing your different opinions. I’ve been blogging for 4 months now, and while my tagline is: “Helping You Monetize Your Online Marketing” I personally have chosen to not fill my site with Ads. I elected to wait and build my following and readership first. I do promote my branding system as you can see from the Ad Peel in the upper right hand corner & incorporate different affiliate links in my articles, as well as drive traffic to my FB Fan Page.

Now that my ‘FB shares’ has grown and continues to climb I will add either 125×125 ads to my blog, even the bigger 250 size since I’ve read that they convert better. Of course I’m not going to suddenly get a Commission Junction Account and begin “Selling” unrelated products. I will seek products and companies that are congruent with my readership.

I should also advise you that my FB friend Yusuf Chowdry posted your article in a FB group we mutually romp around in, and I shall thank him for the heads up about you. I am grateful to him for this. I can olny hope to be as good as you when my blog grows up. LoL ;)

Yes, I also recognize that we target different niche markets and that’s Ok. I’m primarily working with Newbies in Trying to teach Network Marketers to refrain & desist from using Replicated Websites to promote their products and services.

I would certainly Love any Feedback from you, and will be back often to see what you are up to & how else I can learn. I am an avid student of others and give credit where credit is due! Sooo…. You Rock! ;)

Again Thanks!
also… @AlinaNavarro

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Arnout Hieminga April 17, 2011 at 7:34 am

I’d need to examine with you here. Which is not something I usually do! I enjoy reading a publish that can make people think. Also, thanks for allowing me to remark!

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