Generate Multiple streams of blogging income

Posted By Darren Rowse 29th of July 2007 Miscellaneous Blog Tips 0 Comments

Brad-IsaacThis guest post has been submitted by Brad Isaac – software programmer and blogger at Achieve-IT!

You are probably losing more money than you think…

One common beginning blogger question I hear is “what is the best ad or affiliate program that will make me the most money? ”

Unfortunately, this question is flawed because there is no right answer. In fact, after you have read this, I hope you will see that there are several right answers instead of just one.

What you’ll learn in this article is how creating multiple streams of income is the smart and safe way to increase the amount of money you make from your blog.

First the problem: You may have tried Adsense, or a different pay per click product and found that you only make a few dollars a day. It is easy to become discouraged when you see just a little amount.

But with a multiple stream philosophy, you are always looking at the forest – not the individual trees. So when the tree is small you don’t cut it down. You simply plant more trees so you can build a forest.

In blogging terms, you’d earn a little from Adsense, a little from Text-Link ads, a little from affiliates, a little from your own product and before you know it, you are earning a lot. The whole is much greater than the individual parts.

Here’s how it works on my site:

Pay per click – $150-$600/mo
Text Links network – $100/mo
Affiliates – $375/mo
My own products – $1200 – $4000/month

As you can see when you add it all up it’s not a bad part-time income. Some of you might think, “hey drop the others and focus only on your software!” When you do the math, it appears that by dropping the others, the software sales would increase. But the reality is software sales are seasonal for many of us. The other streams on my blog compensate for the down times.

In fact, all of the streams are ‘seasonal’ in some aspect or another. Some weeks Adsense performs better than others. Some weeks, my affiliate promotions outperform everything else.

Why it’s deadly to put all your eggs in one basket

Here’s why focusing in on only one income stream is a bad idea. What happens if that stream fails? Then what?

Many blogs are all Adsense focused as their only source of revenue. But how many times have you heard of a blog being banned by Google rightly or wrongly for invalid clicks? If that happened to you, you would have to scramble to find another revenue source and pray that once you’ve found it, it doesn’t go away too.

Therefore, putting all your effort into only one income source can be deadly for your business.

It’s the same with investing money. Normally you don’t put all of your capital into one stock. You diversify your investments so if one fails the others are there to take their place.

Seeking multiple streams optimizes your earnings

Another reason for coming up with multiple streams is you get a benefit of discovery. Let me explain with an example.

Suppose you have all your time, energy and site dedicated to doing Adsense but after reading this article, you diversify and find you earn 3x as much by placing affiliate promotions. A blog focused on only one revenue stream will never discover additional revenue streams. Having 4, 5, or 6 streams all propping up one another gives you freedom to experiment.

So ultimately, by not approaching the multiple stream technique, you are losing money.

How to set up multiple streams?

Arguably, if you are just starting out, you may have started with only one source. I keep going back to Adsense because it’s so popular. If you started with Adsense, you’ve likely optimized your site so that you get the most clicks and make the most money.

Once your first stream is earning, it’s time to add another. Instead of swapping out, leave Adsense where it is and add in another revenue stream. You might choose affiliate promotions, Chitika ads, or the most profitable option – your own product.

Some people pop up Adsense and then switch it for a different promotion. If you are getting some results from Adsense, leave it there until something else proves superior. Similar to fishing, you want to get many different lines out there with different enticing “bait”.

To summarize, even if you are earning a hefty income from one income stream, there’s no guarantee it will be there forever. Protecting yourself with multiple streams is just smart business. You’ll make more money and avoid business breaking accidents.

Brad Isaac is a lead software programmer and blogger. You can read his motivational strategies every day on his goal setting blog, Achieve-IT!

PS from Darren – Brad also put me onto my new favorite pen with his review of the Fisher Space Pen.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.
  1. I know that many surfers block adsense or javascript or have some other programs that can filter ads. If so, how we can get round this?

  2. A great post. I am inspired by the post to experiment with different streams. And I am totally sold on the idea of not just having AdSense. Just one big problem for me is that I am already pulling my hairs in figuring out why the revenue is so low in AdSense and venturing out to other income streams is not the right timing until I get some success with AdSense. Thank you for the inspiring post but I am still pulling my hairs.

  3. I’ve been studying investment for more than 6 years now and the concepts explained by Brad on investment diversification is correct. As bloggers diversify their sources of income, the risks involved are minimized. I just want to add that it’s also important that bloggers who monetize their blog should stick to well established companies. (eg. Adsense, TextLinkAds, Chitika etc.)

  4. Another important aspect to consider is to continuously test and monitor. Some monetization models may be profitable but they could bring about a impact on the visitor experience that would probably cause more harm than benefit in the long run. For example, when I first implemented AuctionAds on my site, and tagged the code with keywords such as “The Secret” (which was relevant in my niche), it brought up sleazy ads. In less than a week, I took it down. The same thing happened for Kontera. It was doing relatively ok, but the moment I realized it was decreasing the visitor average time spent on my site, I took it down as well.

    Multiple streams of income is an excellent concept but one should never be obsessed with it. The reader always comes first.

    Cheers, Ellesse

  5. You’re preaching to the choir AND you are 100% correct. I think many bloggers/website owners miss out on potential income because they are either addicted to Adsense or because they tried a product and found that it did not earn ‘enough’ ..
    I diversify earnings at my site (not as much on my blog) with several income streams.. Some large, some not.. But they all add up to a pretty darn good amount each month..

  6. Well done Brad!

  7. Carmelo Lisciotto says: 07/29/2007 at 2:45 am

    This is a all true providing the pro-blogger maintains some ethics and level of proffesionalism.

    Very few seem to.

    Carmelo Lisciotto

  8. This was very helpful and makes a lot of sense. I’m definately going to try this.

  9. One thing I’ve learned over the years is that everything on the web is in constant flux.. so you shouldn’t rely on any web related income as being fixed. I’ve been “making money online,” full time for 2 years and everything is always changing. When I first started, Adsense was my biggest income producer, now it’s my smallest.

  10. Are there any screenshots of your software anywhere? I couldn’t find them on the software page.

  11. I have diversified my blogging income beyond just AdSense, and I’m earning more. Everything Brad says is true. Once you go beyond just AdSense, though, you have start treating your blogging more like a business. You need to stay on top of the numbers. I’ve been using Google Docs and Spreadsheets for this.

  12. I can’t believe how much you guys actually make by blogging. For example, in Adsense, I only make $20 a month. But I’m a noob to blogging and I haven’t really focused on it yet. One day, I’ll be up there at your guys’ level.

    Brandon J

  13. I just started blogging as a complement to my comparison shopping website. I don’t make anywhere near what Brad does, but I am understanding more every day about diversifying income streams. As my new comparison shopping blog grows older and hopefully gains a reputation as a quality blog, I hope to see numbers like those mentioned above. It certainly won’t be for a lack of trying out what I learn here.

  14. Great post Brad!

    For those who haven’t been there, make sure and check out Brad’s website. I read it almost daily and it’s fantastic.

    Keep finding those “diamonds” Darren!

  15. This is a topic im currently thinking over… how far do you stretch your streams.. focus on one or two areas, or try the sample plate.

    I guess you gotta see what works and keep it.

  16. I agree. So many people focus on AdSense because it is “Easy Money”. When in reality a little work will make AdSense look like pocket change.

    BeachBum Michael

  17. Excellent read and professional site. Wish you the best in the future. You give young bloggers an optimistic outlook.

  18. Good thoughts. Right now I am holding off on monetizing my new Best of Web blog significantly (I have some adsense) b/c I want to show my visitors I am offering quality content and not just making a quick buck.

  19. I find this blog to be very informative and invaluable. I have four blogs now and I’m thinking of advertising on three of them. I’m definitely going to keep my options open when it comes to using and placing ads.

  20. Yeah right now I only use AdSense, just because it’s the easiest method to make a little money. My blog doesn’t have a huge readership, and I don’t make a lot on it. But I’m growing it slowly, and sometime in the near future I’ll experiment with other forms of advertising to increase my revenue.

    Thanks for the great post!

  21. Still a baby blog with little traffic
    so I have adsense and no other stream.

    Are there metrics as to the level of traffic needed
    to make each stream feasible?

  22. What is the best site to find affiliate programs that match your niche? I am stuck with Adsense too, probably just do to the sheer ease.

  23. Yes, putting all your eggs in one basket is a bad option.
    Choosing a vertical market is the best way to achieve success at this moment.