Monetizing a weblog. For many folks out there in a tough economy, this is the holy grail. For others however, it’s sacrilege. Regardless of where you fall on the issue, there are many folks out there earning from the Google Adsense program who are looking to diversify a bit. Don’t get me wrong, AdSense makes up a tidy sum for many who participate. Well, assuming their self-discipline holds up and they’re rocking along with a product/service related blog that is. Those are the types of sites that I have found do well enough to earn a comfortable CTR on average.

But when you’re looking to diversify out a bit, maybe with some AdSense alternatives, the choices can be confusing. To address this, I’d point out that in some cases, selling an information product can often earn the best alternative to AdSense. Why not another ad program? Because they stink. Sorry, but none of them hold a candle to AdSense. Monetarily speaking, it’s not even a contest.

Selling a product vs affiliate marketing

Without getting too specific, suffice to say that I see a monthly check from information sellers like Clickbank because of articles I have written in the past. While substantially more difficult to get people to buy something vs providing exposure to ads, the revenue can be substantial – quickly. The only real downside to Clickbank is a complete lack of product quality control. Bundled with the fact that products will be approved and some then removed from the Clickbank program, leaves a bad taste in the mouths of many. I have found that finding long term, non-scammy based products tend to work pretty well. Offer a nothing to lose sort of offer and the rest takes care of itself.

cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by Telendro

Selling a product of your creation

This is the most difficult while also being the easiest to sell. Why? Because if you actually took the time to write an ebook or guide, chances are you’re pretty serious about the subject matter included in it. Now this isn’t to say that you cannot create other real products like things you wear, use for specific tasks, etc. Rather this is me pointing out that written products created by you are both a huge time investment while being the most likely to earn you a tidy profit. The trick is to make sure you’re addressing something people have an emotional response to. Tech, food, sex, weight, you get the idea.

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket

AdSense is awesome. If you can earn with it, fantastic. But whatever you do, don’t make it the primary source of Web income. Spread out your interests a bit without giving up too much on your focus. The ideas above may or may not be a match for you. They work for me and I’d encourage you to check them out. If instead, you feel like other ad programs are where its at, have a LOT of traffic to make that work. Well then go for it. If however, you’re running a targeted blog on a given subject, I’d stick with information products or perhaps some targeted items form other affiliate programs.