7 Convincing Reasons Why You Should Cloak Your Blog’s Affiliate Links

[This post is part of a series on Exploring Affiliate Marketing.]

Cloaked Woman

Licensed under Creative Commons by Drodeian

I’ll get straight to the point: cloak your affiliate links and you’ll maximize their earning potential and save time managing your links. In my research, I came across seven important points that convinced me bloggers should cloak their affiliate links.

What is cloaking?

Link cloaking is when you make a link to a third-party website appear to point to another page on your blog. So when a reader hovers their cursor over the affiliate link, they see something like:

http://www.yourdomain.com/go/affiliate-merchant/

in their browser’s status bar instead of

http://www.affiliate-merchant.com

There are several ways to cloak your links (JavaScript, PHP, plugins, etc.). Since I use StudioPress’s Simple URLs plugin for my affiliate links, I’ll base my examples in this post on this very handy plugin.

1. Increase clickthroughs

Affiliate URLs are usually quite ugly. If someone hovers over an uncloaked affiliate link to StudioPress, they see something like this in their browser’s status bar (note not a real link):

http://www.shareasale.com/r.cfm?b=34as0&u=5sd11&m=2ds469&urllink=&afftrack=

It doesn’t look very elegant, and the fact that it goes to a seemingly unrelated site might prevent a wary reader from clicking on the affiliate link.

However, I can (and do) cloak my StudioPress and other affiliate links by creating an internal link that redirects to the affiliate link. Doesn’t this URL look more inviting?

http://www.thehobbyblogger.com/go/studiopress/

It appears to go a page on my own site, so the trustworthiness of the link is much higher than the naked ShareASale link.

2. Higher email delivery rates

If you put affiliate links in an email to your subscribers, cloaked links are less likely to trigger spam filters than bare affiliate links. Overzealous affiliate email marketers can cause the domain of an affiliate program to get blacklisted by spam filters. So any email you send containing a blacklisted link might never reach your subscribers.

If you send text-only emails, cloaked URLs which tend to be shorter are also less likely to improperly formatted by email clients than long affiliate URLs.

3. Easier link management

What if your affiliate program changed the links to its products or closed business? Unless you’re comfortable with database editing, it’d be a big chore to go back through all your posts and change the links.

If you use a plugin like Simple URLs to cloak your links, you only have to change the link in one place—very convenient.

4. Reduced commission loss

A lot of affiliate marketing websites (usually ones that push cloaking software) warn of malware on your visitor’s computers that can replace your affiliate code with another affiliate code, stealing your commission. The thing is, I can’t find any hard data on how prevalent this might be. There’s really nothing you can do about it, anyway, except partner with networks such as ShareASale or Commission Junction that actively discourage these “parasite” affiliates.

Another form of hijacking is when someone arrives at a product page, and then replaces your affiliate code in the address bar with his own code. However, this is only an issue with programs like ClickBank that allow affiliates to make purchases through their own links. If you belong to one of these programs, then cloaking will help.

Cloaking will also help against bypassers, who, when they notice they’re about to click on an affiliate link, will just chop off the affiliate ID and go straight to the product page. Though if someone really wants to deny you a commission, all they have to do is delete their cookies, so it’s better not to obsess over thwarting bypassers.

5. Tracking

Many of the cloaking or link shortening WordPress plugins out there like Simple URLs or Pretty Link will also keep track of how often your links are clicked. This is very useful for finding which posts, pages, and/or parts of your blog’s layout are driving your commissions.

6. Beat ad blockers

Many of your readers might be using browser extensions such as AdBlock Plus that will prevent them from seeing your ads. Among other techniques, ad blockers look for affiliate links to determine if an image is an ad banner. By cloaking your links, ad blockers will usually let the banner appear as long as it is not hotlinked from the merchant’s domain. So you should also download the banner ad graphic file and host it on your server.

7. Easier to nofollow your affiliate links

In my last post, I talked about nofollowing your affiliate links to make sure Google doesn’t penalize your blog’s search ranking. However, manually adding the rel=nofollow attribute by hand every time you create an affiliate link is a pain.

However, once you make sure your cloaked link is nofollow, you can easily use that link over and over again throughout your blog. Some plugins, like Pretty Link, give you an option to nofollow the cloaked links from within the plugin interface.

I use StudioPress’s Simple URLs because, just as the name says, it’s simple and doesn’t add a lot of extra overhead to my blog. It works by using WordPress’s custom post types and 301 redirects.

Unfortunately, Simple URLs doesn’t have a nofollow option like Pretty Link, but Yoast shows how to block search engines by simply adding one line to your site’s robots.txt file. If you don’t yet have a robots.txt file, all you have to do is create a text file named robots.txt with these two lines:

User-Agent: *
Disallow: /go/

Assuming you’re using the Simple URLs’s default /go/ slug, this code effectively nofollows your affiliate links by preventing search engines from crawling any link that contains http://yourdomain.com/go/.

On a side note, if you’re not fond of the /go/ slug, I discovered from trotterWay that you can change it to anything you like by editing the plugin.php file in the simple-urls/ plugin folder. You can easily edit this file from your WordPress Dashboard by going to the Installed Plugins panel and clicking on the Edit link for Simple URLs.

Edit Simple-URLs in WordPress Dashboard

In the editor, search for the word “slug” and replace the word “go” with your own word, maybe “recommends” or “affiliate”. Make sure you don’t erase the single quotes around the word.

Edit Simple URLs Slug

Also remember to change your robots.txt file to reflect the new slug.

But what about honesty?

Some might argue that link cloaking is a deceptive practice. But which of these two links do you think most people would say more accurately tells the reader that the link goes to a StudioPress page:

http://www.shareasale.com/r.cfm?b=34as0&u=5sd11&m=2ds469&urllink=&afftrack=

or

http://www.thehobbyblogger.com/go/studiopress/

I’d say the cloaked link is more “honest” than the naked affiliate link. If you’re still concerned, there are a couple of steps you can take to make sure you stay in your readers’ good graces:

  • You should have a good disclosure policy in place that discloses all of your affiliations.
  • You could also edit the title attribute of your affiliate links to show something like “Affiliate Link” whenever your readers mouse over the links.

You won’t be able to please everybody, but the benefits of cloaking far outweigh the few readers you might put off using this technique.

Final notes

For well-known merchants such as Amazon, some say that bare affiliate links are good because the reader sees the merchant’s domain (amazon.com) in the link. While that’s a good point, I feel the same can be accomplished with a cloaked link like

http://www.yoursite.com/go/Amazon-product-name/

and you still get all the other benefits of cloaking.

Finally, if you’re interested in using Simple URLs, Corrupted Development has a good run-through on how to set it up.

How do you handle your affiliate links? Do you think it’s shady to cloak your affiliate links?

NoFollow Affiliate Links? What Bloggers Need to Know to Save PageRank

[This post is part of a series on Exploring Affiliate Marketing.]

While learning how to be an effective affiliate marketer, you might read about how Google penalizes your blog’s PageRank if you don’t “nofollow” paid links. Since search engine traffic is key for getting commissions from your affiliate links, you can’t afford a hit to your blog’s ability to be found by search engines.

I had to wade through a lot of confusing information about nofollowing affiliate links. Here’s a break down of the issue so you don’t have do all the slogging I did.

Nofollow Your Blog's Affiliate Links

Licensed under Creative Commons.

What is nofollow?

I’ll let Wikipedia tell you:

nofollow is a value that can be assigned to the rel attribute of an HTML a element to instruct some search engines that a hyperlink should not influence the link target’s ranking in the search engine’s index.

So when you create a nofollow link to a site, you’re telling search engines not to use that link as a factor in figuring out the site’s rank in their search results.

Google devised the nofollow value to fight comment spam on blogs. The idea was that if links in comments couldn’t affect PageRank, there would be less incentive for spammers to post comments.

Why Google doesn’t like paid links

Paid links are links that appear on a blog because someone paid you to put them there.

Because a site’s search rank is partly based on the sites that link to it, Google doesn’t want paid links affecting its ranking. Makes sense right? Otherwise, websites with huge budgets would dominate search results.

Instead, Google wants a site to rank high because other bloggers linking to it believe its content is relevant and useful to their readers. Google allows bloggers to be paid for links as long as bloggers use the nofollow value in the paid links. If they don’t, Google will lower the bloggers’ rank in its search results.

The problem for Google is that they have a hard time detecting paid links. If I gave you money to put a link to my blog on yours, Google can’t distinguish it from a link selflessly posted because it was valuable to your readers. This is why they want to you to nofollow paid links: to help them know when a link exists for monetary purposes.

Google also asks people to report sites that try to increase PageRank using paid links.

How does nofollow apply to affiliate links and banners?

Does Google consider affiliate links and banners paid links? In a word, yes.

In an interview with Eric Enge, Matt Cutts, the head of Google’s Webspam team said of affiliate links:

“…the link is essentially driving people for money, so we usually would not count those as an endorsement.”

Later in the interview, Cutts specifically says that Google doesn’t “want advertisements to affect search engine rankings.”

In other words, Google feels affiliate links benefit the site owner more than its readers, so they don’t want those links influencing your blog’s search results.

Will Google penalize your blog if you don’t nofollow affiliate links?

Probably not. Matt Cutts has said that because of the way affiliate links work (redirection, affiliate IDs in the URL), “Google does a pretty good job of detecting and handling things like affiliate links or banner ads.” So they’ll automatically remove those links from their PageRank algorithm without penalizing your site.

However, if you stuff your site full of affiliate links and they’re not relevant to high quality content, then your PageRank will suffer.

How to make your affiliate links nofollow

If you typically use WordPress’s visual editor, switch to the HTML editor by clicking on the HTML tag.

Wordpress Visual Editor

Find the anchor tag (it starts with <a), and inside the closing angle bracket insert this text: rel=”nofollow”.

WordPress HTML Editor

This might become tedious if you use affiliate links often. When my next post in the affiliate marketing series talks about link cloaking, I’ll show you a more convenient way to make sure that search engines don’t follow your affiliate links.

Conclusion

To ensure you don’t hurt your blog’s search engine results, you should nofollow all your affiliate links and banners. It’s really a no-brainer. After all, your merchants don’t need the boost in PageRank. You’re already giving them what they really want: their products promoted on your blog.

Win Your Readers’ Trust with a Custom Privacy Policy for Your Blog

[This post is part of the Exploring Affiliate Marketing series.]

Do you worry whether your readers trust you? Are you trying to minimize your risk of being sued? Does your blog host ads? If so, your blog needs a privacy policy.

Online privacy is a hot topic these days. Because of questionable privacy practices by some high-profile companies, many people are wary about how their information is handled.

Like the disclosure policy, the most important reason to have a privacy policy is to put your readers at ease and earn their trust. Be upfront about what information you collect from them, as well as what you do with that information.

Studies show that people are more willing to give up private information to sites they feel are trustworthy. So being as transparent as possible with your privacy policy will help make your readers more willing to leave comments, subscribe to email lists, click on affiliate links, and purchase products.

A current and accurate privacy policy will also reduce your risk of legal liability.

Required for advertising

In addition, maintaining a privacy policy on your blog is required to be a part of many third party advertising and affiliate networks.

Do you use Google Adsense on your blog? Are you an affiliate for Amazon, HostGator or GoDaddy? What about Commission Junction or LinkShare? They all require you to have a privacy policy.

Even using Google Analytics requires a privacy policy.

Google has outright banned bloggers from AdSense for violating their terms, and once you’re banned, that’s it. No reinstatement.

Privacy policy content

So what should you put in your privacy policy? Well, it depends on what information you’re collecting and how you’re using that information.

I’ve spent the last week or so reading a ton of privacy policies, mostly on other blogs. I also played around with a few of the more commonly used policy generators out there.

Privacy policies run the gamut from short and vague to long and detailed, making it a bit confusing to figure out exactly what needs to be spelled out.

Mini-review of free privacy policy generators

If you want to compose a privacy policy with minimum effort, a policy generator is the way to go. Most of these generators ask you to fill out forms to help determine what info you collect and how it’s used.

Here’s a quick rundown of three free privacy policy generators.

SerpRank.com
SerpRank’s generator is primarily geared to cover Google AdSense publishers, so it’s not very comprehensive. Though it does have options to add language for several advertising and affiliate networks such as Commission Junction and Amazon.

GeneratePrivacyPolicy.com
I’ve seen this one used quite a bit on other blogs such as on BloggingWithAmy. It covers just about everything you’d need for your blog. You do have to register with the site in order to create your policy, but then you can store and edit multiple policies on that site.

FreePrivacyPolicy.com
FreePrivacyPolicy.com is pretty similar in scope to GeneratePrivacyPolicy.com, but it’s a bit more complete in that it adds language to comply with the California Online Privacy Protection Act. You can only have one privacy policy at a time, and you only get one shot at it. If you want regenerate the policy, you have to pony up $47.

Writing a custom privacy policy

None of the generated policies seemed adequate for what I wanted to communicate to my readers. I wanted my policy to be a bit more personal and detailed than the generated policies. So mine is a custom combination of those I’ve read on several blogs as well as the output from some of the generators.

I’ll walk you through each section of my policy to show how you can write your own.

At The Hobby Blogger (www.thehobbyblogger.com), the privacy of my visitors is extremely important. This Privacy Policy outlines the types of personal information that is received and collected and how it is used.

First and foremost, I will never share your email address or any other personal information to anyone without your direct consent. Period.

This is the introduction. I keep it short and sweet, and assure readers right off the bat that none of their information will be shared without their direct consent, which also makes sure I’m compliant with the California Online Privacy Protection Act.

Some bloggers use the introduction to give a “plain English” summary of the privacy policy before they get into the details of their policy.

1. Log Files

Like many other websites, I use log files to help learn about when, from where, and how often traffic flows to this site. The information in the log files include:

  • Internet Protocol addresses (IP)
  • Types of browser
  • Internet Service Provider (ISP)
  • Date and time stamp
  • Referring and exit pages
  • Number of clicks

All of this information is not linked to anything that is personally identifiable.

This section was based on the Log Files section of the SerpRank generator. The “Like many other websites” statement assures readers that what you are doing is not out of the ordinary.

2. Cookies and web beacons

Like nearly all WordPress blogs, this site stores “convenience” cookies on your computer whenever you leave a comment. The cookies record the name, email address, and URL that you enter when you submit a comment so that you won’t have to re-type that info the next time you leave a comment.

Third-party advertisers may also place and read cookies on your browser and/or use web beacons to collect information. TheHobbyBlogger has no access or control over these cookies. You should review the respective privacy policies on any and all third-party ad servers for more information regarding their practices and how to opt-out.

If you wish to disable cookies, you may do so through your web browser options. Instructions for doing so and for other cookie-related management can be found on the specific web browsers’ websites.

Most cookies are benign (user authentication, storing user preferences, keeping track of shopping cart contents or what ads have been clicked), but they can also be used to track a user’s browsing activity, something many people don’t want others to know.

Accordingly, people are a bit suspicious of cookies, so it’s important to let them know that your site uses them and that they can opt out by disabling cookies in their browser settings.

While much of this section was modified from the SerpRank generator, the first paragraph is completely my own. I’m trying to be as detailed and transparent as possible, so I’m going the extra mile to find out about and tell my readers about every cookie.

ShareASale

ShareASale, a third party affiliate marketing network, uses cookies to help make sure I get a commission when you buy a product after clicking on a link or ad banner that takes you to the site of one of their merchants. Here is ShareASale’s Privacy Policy.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a web analytics tool I use to help understand how visitors engage with this website. It reports website trends using cookies and web beacons without identifying individual visitors. You can read more at the Google Analytics Privacy Overview.

Here, I specifically describe how each company collects information and offer a link to each company’s privacy policy so readers can find out more if they wish to opt out. This list will grow as I add more ad networks, such as Google Adsense, to the blog.

3. Other

Users may choose to receive email blog updates via FeedBurner by submitting an email address to the email subscription form. I use a secure opt-in subscription system and I reserve the right to contact subscribers with information related to this website and blog. Subscribers may unsubscribe anytime and every email delivered will contain an “Unsubscribe” link.

When leaving a comment, users must submit a name and email address. To combat spam, the WordPress blogging platform also records the IP address of anyone submitting a comment.

Again, none of this information will be shared with anyone without your direct permission.

In this section, I address the information that readers give when they subscribe to my email list and submit comments. It’s important to mention that they can unsubscribe from the email list and any time.

Also, I’m surprised that most blog privacy policies don’t address the information that commenters give when they leave comments. I’m not sure that many readers even know that their IP address is logged when they comment. So it’s better to spell it out and inform them.

This is also a good place to repeat that this information won’t be shared with anyone without the reader’s consent. However, I do let them know that I might contact them at the email address they submit so they’re not taken aback when I contact them to say thanks for visiting, or ask them a question regarding a comment.

4. Children

TheHobbyBlogger.com does not knowingly collect or solicit Personally Identifiable Information from or about children under 13 except as permitted by law. If I discover I have received any information from a child under 13 in violation of this policy, I will delete that information immediately. If you believe TheHobbyBlogger.com has any information from or about anyone under 13, please contact me.

Lots of websites have this statement, so this one is copied nearly word-for-word. It basically says your site does not cater to children younger than 13 years old, and that you will not knowingly collect or keep any information from these children. Having this statement means you don’t have to take further steps to comply with the United States’ Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).

5. Consent

Your use of this site, in any and all forms, constitutes an acceptance of this Privacy Policy.

This statement is important so no one can complain that they didn’t explicitly agree to how your blog handles their information.

6. Changes to this policy

This Privacy Policy is reviewed and revised from time to time. You will want to revisit it regularly. When it does change, I’ll also change the “Last Updated” date at the bottom of the page.

Last Updated: February 15, 2012.

Tell your readers how they can find out about changes to your privacy policy. While sending out emails or posting a notice on the homepage are options, the least effort on your part is to simply post the date when your policy was last updated at the bottom of your privacy policy and ask readers to check it regularly.

More privacy policy tips

  • Personalize – You’ll notice that I try to personalize the policy by writing in the first person. It’s better to let your readers think they’re hearing from a real person rather than a one-size-fits-all boilerplate policy that feels like a lawyer wrote it. It’ll help convince them that your went all out to make sure you respect their privacy.
  • Be definite – Many privacy policies use the words “may” or “might” in order to cover as many bases as possible without having to frequently research and update the policy. Try to research exactly what information you and your third parties collect as much as possible. Using less vague words like “do” and “will” conveys that you’ve done a lot of work to know exactly how your users are affected.
  • Read every TOS – Make sure your read and comply with the Terms of Service for all of your advertising and affiliate networks. You don’t want your accounts shut down because you didn’t follow their guidelines for protecting your readers’ privacy.
  • Prominent link – While you don’t have to emblazon the link to your privacy policy on your navigation menu, it should be relatively easy to find. Standard practice is to place the link in your footer.
  • California – Note that compliance with the California Online Privacy Protection Act is required if anyone located in the state of California visits your blog, regardless of where your blog is based. Will California authorities come after you if you violate this law and you’re based in a different state? Probably not, but why take a chance?

A grain of salt

I’m not a lawyer; if you want to be absolutely certain that you’re protected, please seek legal advice.

Otherwise, feel free to use my policy as the basis for your own policy, and leave a link to it in the comments so we can all see each others’ policies.

Next up in this series, I’ll tell you what you need to know about nofollowing your affiliate links.

Earning Money From Your Blog? Better Post a Disclosure Policy

Be Transparent with Your Disclosure Policy

Image copyright Entienou – iStockphoto.com

[This post is part of a series on Exploring Affiliate Marketing.]

If you’re going to earn money from your blog in any way, there are two very important reasons why you need to have a disclosure policy. First, if your blog is based in the United States, it’s the law. Second, and perhaps more important, it helps strengthen the trust you’re developing with your readers.

After becoming a StudioPress affiliate, I had to put together my disclosure policy.

Disclosure policy hows and whys have been done to death in the two-plus years since the FTC added the new guidelines. You can easily Google the “disclosure policy” and find a wealth of information, but I think John Saddington’s post on TentBlogger is a good place to start.

If you need a policy right away, you can quickly generate a boilerplate policy, which can be used until you have time to write a custom version that better echoes the tone of your blog.

I took the time to write my own from the start, and here it is below.

How I make money

I make money on this site through an affiliate program. If you click an affiliate link or ad banner and buy the product, you help support this site because I’ll get a percentage of that sale.

Currently I’m an affiliate for StudioPress.

What this means for you

  • I do not put the cart before the horse and recommend a product just because I’m an affiliate.
  • I become an affiliate because I use and believe in the associated product.
  • I do not recommend products just for the sake of money.
  • I recommend products because I think they are valuable to my readers.
  • I do not let the compensation I receive influence the content, topics, posts, or opinions expressed on this blog.
  • I respect and value my readers too much to write anything other than my own genuine and objective opinions and advice.

Just like this blog, my Disclosure Policy is a work in progress. As the revenue streams evolve, so will this page.

I’ve placed a link to the policy in my theme’s footer so readers can easily find it without cluttering up the blog.

Next in the series, I’ll talk about another critical element for safely monetizing your blog: the privacy policy.

Feel free to post a link to your disclosure policy in the comments. I’d love to see what others are doing.

Exploring Affiliate Marketing

$100 Bills

Image copyright 401K – Flickr.com

One of my secondary goals for this blog is to learn how to make some money from it, not “quit your day job” money, but at least enough to pay for expenses and still have some extra pocket change left.

To that end, I recently joined the Affiliate Program for StudioPress, creators of the Genesis Theme Framework for WordPress.

This post kicks off a five-part series about setting your blog up for affiliate marketing based on my trials and tribulations. The rest of the series will talk about: creating disclosure and privacy policies; whether to use the nofollow attribute in your affiliate links; and the merits of cloaking your links.

Today, I’ll summarize how affiliate programs work, what prompted me to become an affiliate, and why I chose StudioPress as my first program.

How does an affiliate program work?

An affiliate program pays you a commission whenever someone purchases a product through a text link or banner on your blog. Each merchant assigns you a unique code (usually a text string of letters and numbers) that identifies your account when someone navigates to their site or product page through your links.

For example, if you click on a text link like this one, or the StudioPress banner in my sidebar, a cookie is left in your browser telling StudioPress that you clicked on one of my affiliate links/banners. If you purchase a Genesis theme anytime during that sixty-day window, I get a thirty-five percent commission.

Some merchants, like StudioPress, use an affiliate network (ShareASale) to manage their affiliate program. Others, like HostGator, go it alone and manage the affiliate program using their own internal staff. The benefits of affiliate networks include reporting tools (metrics) and payment aggregation.

Either the merchant or its affiliate network will provide you with the HTML code for your text links and banners which you can place anywhere on your blog.

An opportunity presents itself

I hadn’t planned on monetizing The Hobby Blogger so soon. I was trying to follow the oft-recommended advice to build a significant audience first.

However, early this year I received an email from a reader who was considering Genesis for his blog, and wanted to know if it was difficult to set up my theme. I crafted an honest reply about how simple it was to set up the Prose theme while also describing why I choose it over the other Genesis child themes, but I didn’t send the email right away.

I thought this was an excellent opportunity to get a possible commission as a StudioPress affiliate, so I immediately signed up for an account with their affiliate network, ShareASale. After I was approved, I then applied to StudioPress’s affiliate program.

Now that I knew I’d be a StudioPress affiliate within a couple of days I was ready to send my email response. I added one more paragraph to the end of the email saying that I’d be an affiliate in a couple days. I said that if he did decide to go with Genesis, I’d appreciate if he would return to The Hobby Blogger and click on the affiliate banner before making his purchase.

StudioPress approved me the next morning, so I was able to get their banner on my sidebar less than two days after receiving and responding to that reader’s email.

Why StudioPress?

I partnered with StudioPress simply because, so far, I’m very happy with the Prose child theme that powers this blog. Here are some of the reasons why:

  • Easy design changes. You can tweak most of your blog’s design elements (fonts, background colors, spacing, borders, etc.) using widgets in the WordPress Dashboard. This feature is huge because other themes usually require editing CSS files to make similar changes.
  • Free plugins. StudioPress also offers plugins to extend the ease and functionality of their themes. Simple URLs is one that I use to make my affiliate links user-friendly and track which ones are clicked. While there are other plugins that offer the same functionality, I’m assured that the StudioPress plugins will integrate well with their themes and always be kept up to date.
  • Good support. Whenever I’ve had questions, I’ve been able to find answers in their support forum. Questions receive quick responses (usually less than twenty-four hours).

Check out B2Web for another, more in-depth review of the Prose Theme, which also points out an important limitation regarding the inability to use content widgets on static homepages.

But what about the reader who emailed me?

I never heard back from him, but I hope my email was still helpful.

So maybe I went through all that trouble of quickly becoming an affiliate for nothing, and it’s possible the ads might stunt my blog’s growth by turning off new visitors. I guess I could just take down the banners until my traffic has grown more significant.

Meh. At this point, learning the ins and outs of blogging is more important to me than making a buck. If nothing else, it’s a good challenge to elevate my content to help make up for any traffic lost because of the ads.

But if you are looking for a theme for your blog, I’d appreciate it if you clicked here or on the StudioPress banner in my sidebar first.

How about you? Did you monetize right away or wait until you built a solid following?

This series continues with:
Earning Money From Your Blog? Better Post a Disclosure Policy
Win Your Readers’ Trust with a Custom Privacy Policy for Your Blog
NoFollow Affiliate Links? What Blogger’s Need to Know to Save PageRank
7 Convincing Reasons Why You Should Cloak Your Blog’s Affiliate Links