Blog Monetization Without Advertising

by · April 29, 201319 comments

Is it possible to monetize your blog, website or digital presence without advertising? Certainly it is, but only in certain contexts. Consultants or businesses can focus their energies on providing thought leadership and educational posts with the thought that interested parties will reach out to them to hire if and when they need the help. The organic content leads to search engine results which leads to traffic which leads to leads, and so on.

Put yourself in the shoes of the professional blogger or writer who doesn’t make ends meet with consulting or free-lance services for a moment, though. They almost have to depend on either online sales of what they write, often in the form of e-books and paid email subscriptions, or some sort of advertising as revenue. Affiliate advertising is enormously popular among this set and has proven a lucrative career for many online entrepreneurs.

But as audiences become desensitized to advertising, perhaps even antithetical to it, and the all-important conversion and click-through rates dwindle, what can individuals do to continue to drive revenue?

These are the questions we asked ourselves at CafePress a few months ago. (Disclosure – I’m an executive at CafePress. This post is about something we’ve launched. It’s cool, though. Keep reading.) Certainly, CafePress offers an opportunity for anyone to monetize their content — image or written — by placing it on any number of products. You can upload a picture you took of your family, a pet or sunset and turn it into a mouse pad, shower curtain, canvas wall art, wall clock and more. You can pull that funny Tweet you posted yesterday and make it a bumper sticker, poster or T-shirt, too.

So as we asked that question — how can we make it easier for people to monetize their content without just asking them to slap an affiliate ad on their blog — we landed on what we think might be a pretty neat idea: The PressIt Button.

The PressIt button allows you to apply a class to any image you have on your website and make any text on your blog or website active to be placed on CafePress products. When you set an image to be “Press-able” a little, green “PressIt” button appears in the upper corner of the image. You click it and a carosel of products with that image appears. Your audience can then buy something with the image if they so choose.

Photographers and graphic artists now have an easy way to productize their content!

But the button also appears when anyone visiting your website highlights any text on your site. The button appears in the upper corner of the highlight. If clicked, the carosel loads with products containing that word or phrase on them.

Here’s a little introductory video to show you what it looks like.

The WordPress plugin is available here. The JavaScript and other information can be found at the PressIt info page. We’d love for you to give it a try, of course.

But now back to the meat of the discussion: How can bloggers and non-profits and other companies monetize their online content in creative ways? Not everyone will want or need print-on-demand solutions to allow their content to be productized. But not everyone is a consultant or free-lancer either. How are you monetizing your online presence?

As always, the comments are yours.



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About Jason Falls

Jason Falls

Jason Falls is a leading thinker, speaker and strategist in the world of digital marketing and is co-author of two books, No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide To Social Media Marketing and The Rebel's Guide To Email Marketing. By day, he leads digital strategy for Elasticity, one of the world's most innovative digital marketing and public relations firms. Follow him on Twitter (@JasonFalls).

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Comments on Social Media Explorer are open to anyone. However, I will remove any comment that is disrespectful and not in the spirit of intelligent discourse. You are welcome to leave links to content relevant to the conversation, but I reserve the right to remove it if I don't see the relevancy. Be nice, have fun. Fair?

  • Holley Jacobs

    What an awesome application for me to add to my website. Thank you so much. I cannot wait to add this to my website – I recently published it and have been trying to figure out how to place prices on my Business Pinterest page. But your application takes it a step deeper. Awesome idea – Thanks again!
    ~ Holley Jacobs

    • Jean-Paul Chereau

      Always in for new ideas, I checked this post. Looks like a very good solution for our newspaper and website for brazilians living in Europe: … Thanks again!

  • Jim Berkowitz

    I think that is potentially a worthwhile tool for some who would like to be philanthropic as well as possibly make some money. You can check it out here –

  • Dara Khajavi

    Thanks for the idea. I am always trying to find out ways to advertise… without advertising. I personally find advertising on social media and blogs very annoying, and I know I am not the only one.

  • Proffesional Copywriting

    It is difficult to find effective ways to monetize a blog without resorting to using PPC or affiliate ads which may not produce enough revenue to make them worthwhile. At the same time not everyone has a site that can use print on demand products. To a certain degree, even blogs without any advertising are marketing the written content to build traffic and improve the profile of the writer. Perhaps that’s the best that some bloggers can hope for.

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  • LeadGenix

    The PressIt button is a really cool idea. For a lot of blogs, and other forms of content, monetizing through ads would dilute the message, so innovation such as the PressIt button provide a way to keep the message strong while still providing an opportunity to make money.

    • JasonFalls

      Thanks! We think so. Glad to see the feedback.

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  • Sunganani L. Manjolo

    I had totally forgotten about Cafe Press (sorry!) but this, this I will install now and track how it goes. Thanks Jason.

  • Alice Cornelios

    I am using Adsense for the ads in my website, But, I guess it is hard to to earn without ads and banners. Even if you rely on this method it pays so little when you do not have enough traffic going on to your site. Consulting and freelance are for the experts. I am looking forward to knowing more about affiliate advertising and how it works.

    • aivil vin

      Affiliate Advertising can earn you more than Adsense or any other monetization methods, provided that you choose the right product and write engaging content to support it. Though, this method is more suitable to Pro bloggers.

  • Olaf.white

    Find more tools to monetize your blog at

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