How to Create a Gift Guide With SEO, Marketing & Monetization Tips.

How to Create a Gift Guide With SEO, Marketing & Monetization Tips.

Ready to create a gift guide for your blog, YouTube channel or a newsletter?  Then I’m ready to help!

The post below is something I sent to the partners for some of the companies that hired me as their affiliate manager to help them grow their traffic and make money. Instead of keeping the strategies private for our partners, I wanted to share them with you because everyone can benefit.

But before we jump in I’d like to note that gift guides are not just for the holidays. People search year round for gift ideas and this type of content is the perfect way to get that traffic.

Below you will learn how to create high quality gift guides, discover themes you can use (with their current estimated monthly search volumes), and talking points for how to pick the right modifiers for SEO.

I’ve also included some bonus tips like in the “Christmas Gifts for Wife” where I share good examples of how modifiers can make a difference in both traffic and conversions and “Yoga Gifts” where I share a big hint as to how to find better themes for your gift guides.

The post has three sections:

  1. Marketing Tips and Strategies
  2. SEO Tips
  3. Gift Guide Examples & How to Build Them

Gift Guide Marketing Tips and Strategies

There’s a ton of competition out there so you need to stand out.  Here are some marketing tips to keep in mind while creating your gift guide.

Please remember I share some of the best gift guide marketing tips in the theme sections below, so make sure you reach through each.

  • Use an odd number in your title tag. Odd numbers normally stand out better than even numbers.
    • If everyone showing up in Google already uses a 7, 11 or 15, try 33 or something larger. The goal is to look unique and attract attention.
  • Change the wording for your H1 tag so that it is for a blog reader and not a search engine searcher.  Title tags and H1 tags serve different purposes.
    • Title tags show up in search engines and are designed to get someone to click to your website.
    • H1 tags are visible on the page itself and should be written to get the user to engage with the content below it.
  • Set the list to be reverse order (ascending). This entices your reader to scroll to find the number 1 gift because it may be assumed that number 1 will be the best.
  • Look at the top ten results in Google for the gift guide theme you are writing about. Next write down the adjectives and numbers being used in title tags and meta descriptions. Now come up with a better adjective and wording mix that is not being used and incorporate these words into your title tag, open graph, rich pins and meta descriptions.
  • Open your guide with unique copy about the benefits to the end user (not just about why you like the gifts). This lets the visitor know they have found a place that lists the gift ideas they are looking for.
    • Bonus tip – Remember, the gift guide is to help them find a gift for someone else, not about you and why you want or like something. The opening is about their needs, the product descriptions are for the person they are buying a gift for!
  • Define why you are the authority on this subject matter in the opening of your guide. This helps build trust with your visitor. Talk about your experience in a situation, any degrees or certifications you have, and other accolades.
  • The Big One!!!  In your copy, talk about how the recipient will enjoy the gift that your reader will purchase. Don’t focus why you personally like the gift. The goal is to get the person to shop for someone else. By helping your reader picture the moment the person receiving the gift opens it, you have pre-sold why the gifts you recommend are the right choice.

Gift Guide SEO Tips

But marketing alone isn’t enough. You need to get people to your gift guide.  SEO and social media optimizations are perfect for this.  Here are some ways to optimize your gift guides to get more traffic!

  • Use proper header tags (H1, H2, H3) for sections and subsections. Header tags tell search engines and users what each section is specifically about.
  • Use UL and OL tags to define that this is a list for the search engines.
  • Make sure all the items on the guide are set in LI tags.
  • Use proper schema on the page when necessary.
  • Add a “best of section” to the top of larger lists that has two links. This helps users quickly locate your top gift recommendations.
    • Make one link your affiliate link so the person can shop and the other an anchor link to read more about the gift idea.
  • Find topics with at least 1,000 estimated monthly searches for the topic. This helps make sure there are people searching for gift ideas in your niche. If there aren’t people searching then you have to build the audience for it which is much harder to do.
  • Use a proper advertising disclosure at the top of your guide and also use proper attributes like “sponsored” and “nofollow” on your links when needed.
  • Write a unique description for every product included in your gift guide. Do not copy and paste from the store’s website or from another website.
  • Create a featured image that is properly named for SEO and has a clear message about the gifts “The 25 best motorcycle gifts for Grandmas in 2020”.
  • Make sure to use proper meta data for the social networks and intent.
    • Facebook has people being entertained and blocks clickbait so creating something engaging that is worth interrupting their fun.
      • Facebook images are also landscape rectangles or squares so make sure to consider this and upload something unique.
    • Pinterest images are vertical and people are specifically looking for ideas and lists.  You’ll want to choose titles and wording that is relevant to these queries vs. being interruptive like on Facebook and use Pinterests ad platform to find high search volumes.
  • Big Bonus Tip – SEO modifiers for gift guides are not just prices, people and occasions.  Think about international delivery and shipping speeds. This is a perfect opportunity for you to stand out and get a conversion.
    • i.e. 25 Birthday Gifts for 5 Year Olds that Ship Free & Overnight.

Now that you have some gift guide marketing tips, lets jump into some example themes with their estimated keyword search volumes.

Gift Guide Examples & How to Build Them

These search volumes are year round (aside from Christmas, Valentine’s and other holidays or seasons) which means that if you make your guide evergreen vs. focusing on Q4 holidays you can create some extra income each month.

In the first few examples I focused heavily on women and wife. These modifiers could be replaced with men, spouse, boyfriend or husband. You could also try grandpa, grandma, cousin or stepmom.  Each of these likely has a high search volume depending on the theme or time of year.

Also, as the holidays approach the search volumes will likely increase as well. By writing them to be evergreen and using affiliate links you can increase your traffic and make money year round.

Below you will find the following gift guide themes:

One more quick thing, here are some affiliate programs I currently manage that are a perfect fit for the gift guides below.

For FTC compliance, these links are ads for the programs and I will earn commissions if you create a new account on some of the affiliate networks.

We also manage other brands. These are specific clients that match the themes below so feel free to contact me for more gift guide ideas and affiliate programs to join.

Gifts for New Moms

With a monthly search volume close to 50,000 this is a big money phrase. The important thing to remember is to talk about new mom problems and how the gifts will help make her life easier. It could be anything from physical and mental health to helping with her new daily routines.

Products for nursing, keeping the baby calm or simply providing her with a few 10 or 15 minute escapes so she can have some down time are all great options. You may also want to think about her body and find products to help restore areas affected from being pregnant and giving birth.

Because of the massive search volume you may want to up your guide to 55 gift ideas and create a few subsections. This will give you a better chance to show up in the search engines based on what I am seeing right now and help you get more long tail traffic.

The top modifiers with search volume include:

                Self Care Gifts

                Self care is something we all need, but we don’t always take the time to do. This topic has roughly 8,000 monthly searches and should spike as holiday or seasonal stress (back to school) sets in.

                Talk to the reader about helping that special someone that takes care of everyone else before themselves and how these gifts can help them relax. Your goal is to inspire the reader to treat that person in their lives who never treats themselves.

                Talk about how the products will help this person relax based on their interests. It could be wine, spa kits, lounge pants, books, in home massage appointments or anything else that will convince the recipient to take a break.

                Top modifiers with search volume include:

                              Christmas Gifts for Wife

                              This is an interesting topic. The word “thoughtful” has 4X more searches than “good”. Using the modifier “my” vs. “your” has a substantial difference in monthly searches too. Depending on the keyword phrase you go after, make sure you modify the tone and wording to match the intent of the website visitor.

                              Thoughtful gift descriptions should talk about creating an emotional reaction with smiles, happiness, and love. You could incorporate meaningful gift items with favorite photos and tchotchkes that are catered around her needs. A thoughtful gift could even be recommending a guaranteed night off each week where the reader watches the kids for the wife. The gift just has to be meaningful and selfless.

                              Good gifts on the other hand do not have to have an emotional attachment. They can be items she’s been asking about or hinting towards. Something that she’ll use or enjoy regularly but does not have that deep and emotional spark. Golf clubs (if she plays) or a nice bottle of wine are good gifts vs. something emotional.

                              You could tackle this post by doing a list of five gift ideas with three or four themes (food, relaxing, travel, romantic, etc…), or simply breaking it out with individual niche posts based on interests.

                              Top modifiers with search volume include:

                                            Gift Ideas for Girlfriend

                                            Shopping for a girlfriend can be intimidating. Your gift guide will be able to help the shopper navigate their way through this tricky topic.

                                            There are a ton of modifiers and themes here too. Below I list “anniversary”, “cute”, and “good” as examples.

                                            One way you may be able to increase your readers clicking through to shop is by focusing on her reaction to the present in your gift guide descriptions.

                                            While writing think about if the gift ideas set the mood for romance and love on an anniversary. Is it something useful or empowering if she is feeling down? Can it spark a memory and be something that makes her smile when she sees it?

                                            These talking points may be able to turn readers into shoppers because you’ve pre-sold why this gift item is the right one for their girlfriends.

                                            Estimated monthly search volume:

                                            gift ideas for girlfriend – 14800
                                            cute gift ideas for girlfriend – 1900
                                            romantic gift ideas for girlfriend – 720
                                            1 year anniversary gift ideas for girlfriend – 590
                                            good gift ideas for girlfriend – 590
                                            small gift ideas for girlfriend – 590
                                            10 romantic gift ideas for your girlfriend – 320
                                            gift basket ideas for girlfriend – 320

                                            Gift Ideas for Wife

                                            This topic is great year round and also has large spikes around Christmas and Valentine’s Day. Just like the girlfriend theme above there are modifiers for age, celebrations like anniversaries, and romance. There are large differences too.

                                            Gifts for girlfriends does not mean the couple is currently intimate whereas a person shopping for their wife likely is or has been intimate with the shopper. A spouse likely has more insight into the wife’s wants, needs and desires which could include opening up to new experiences including toys, lingerie and bedroom accessories.

                                            This guide can be done by theme or as a massive list with themed sections. The themes can be anniversaries, holidays, birthdays and situational like thinking of you gifts. Just like with the girlfriend gifts, try to think of ways to get the shopper to think about the recipient’s reaction and how the shopper will make her life better with the gift.

                                            And remember, there are more couple types than just man and woman so use inclusive and non-gender specific wording.  It helps with conversions as a bonus!

                                            Estimated monthly search volume:

                                            gift ideas for wife – 9,900
                                            christmas gift ideas for wife – 6,600
                                            mother’s day gift ideas for wife – 2,400
                                            anniversary gift ideas for wife – 1300
                                            40th birthday gift ideas for wife – 1,000
                                            3 year anniversary gift ideas for wife – 880
                                            50th birthday gift ideas for wife – 880
                                            gift ideas for wife who has everything – 880
                                            gift ideas for my wife – 720
                                            christmas gift ideas for my wife – 480

                                            Secret Santa Gift Ideas

                                            This topic will absolutely spike after Thanksgiving. The modifiers here include specific people or situations like co-workers or gender, and there are also variations with price points.

                                            From an SEO standpoint you could tackle this with a massive post of secret santa gift ideas divided into sections with 10 ideas for each modifier and a table of contents at the beginning. Another option is to build individual gift guides for the niche themes.

                                            Because it is Christmas focused, it could be “advent-ageous” (see what I did there) to have some fun by playing off of holiday themed numbers like 25 and 12. This is the perfect gift guide for a best of summary like I mentioned in the marketing tips section above.

                                            There are tons of last minute shoppers that need to “ship fast” and to specific regions. This is a gift guide where modifiers matter.

                                            Estimated monthly search volume:

                                            secret santa gift ideas – 9,900
                                            secret santa gift ideas for coworkers – 1,600
                                            secret santa gift ideas for friends – 880
                                            secret santa gift ideas for guys – 390
                                            12 days of christmas gift ideas for secret santa – 320
                                            secret santa gift ideas under $20 – 320
                                            secret santa gift ideas under $25 – 320
                                            secret santa gift ideas under $10 – 260
                                            secret santa gift ideas under $5 – 260

                                            Baking Gifts

                                            This is a fun topic. Guides can include anything from unique themed baking molds to gifts for specific people including kids, couples, and adults. There is also a search volume for life events like birthday gifts, and holidays.

                                            The more unique you get with gift ideas, the better chance you’ll get some extra social sharing to bring in more traffic and hopefully earn more commissions.

                                            Estimated Monthly Search Volume:

                                            baking gift basket – 1600
                                            baking gift ideas – 1300
                                            baking gift set – 590
                                            baking gifts for kids – 390
                                            baking gift basket ideas – 210
                                            gifts for baking lovers – 210
                                            unique baking gifts – 170

                                            Alcohol Gifts

                                            You can of course include a shaker set, beverage glasses and a wine or beer club in your guide. But if you want to be unique then think of creative items like a cocktail of the month subscription that teaches the person a new ingredient or drink type, or a science based cocktail kit to make drinks that smoke or change colors.

                                            Unique alcohol gifts like interesting flavors and ways to make drinks smoke with molecular gastronomy will help your listcicle to stand out. You could even try booze infused meats, liquor filled gummy candies and other alcohol items the shopper likely would not have thought of.

                                            Estimated Monthly Search Volume:

                                            alcohol gift baskets – 3600
                                            alcohol gifts – 2400
                                            send alcohol gift – 1000
                                            alcohol gift delivery – 720
                                            alcohol christmas gifts – 590
                                            alcohol gift ideas – 590
                                            best alcohol gifts – 480

                                            Craft and Crafting Gifts

                                            What makes this gift guide unique is the tense of the word craft and the intent of the user. The searches could be crafts to make as a gift for someone else, or a gift that is a crafting supply or project for the recipient to enjoy creating. It could also be a crafting gift for a kid so that the kid can then create a gift for a grandparent.  The wording choices you use and keywords you optimize matter here!

                                            The search volumes below are more oriented for someone looking to buy a gift for a person that likes to craft.

                                            Estimated Monthly Search Volume:

                                            craft gift ideas – 1600
                                            craft gifts for kids – 880
                                            arts and crafts gifts – 390
                                            craft gift box – 260

                                            Gifts for Long Distance Relationships

                                            For this gift guide, think about gifts that help couples enjoy some intimacy.

                                            Creativity is key here because you have to relate to the shopper and let them know you understand geographic obstacles. Because the couple cannot be together, toys that can be controlled via an app from a distance and kits to let you clone specific parts of the shopper or their partner’s body are items that make sense.  Remember, your goal is to help them feel together while distance has them separated.

                                            Estimated monthly search volume:

                                            sex gifts for long distance relationships – 2400
                                            sex gifts for long distance relationships gif gif – 30
                                            romantic sex gifts for long distance relationships – 20

                                            Romantic Gifts for (Insert Person)

                                            This guide could be someone shopping for a boyfriend, a girlfriend or a spouse. It could even be a group if the person is in a thruple. The goal here is to be unique.

                                            Most gift guides list renting a hotel room, a fancy dinner or romantic dice. What these gift guides forget is to provide how to take it to the next level. That is where you can make money as an affiliate and stand out for social media shares.

                                            Instead of just saying get a fancy hotel room with a bathtub. Tie in how to use the hotel room with products like massage oils, sexy board games and of course ties, toys and novelties.

                                            Bedroom blocks, aromatherapy with memories in mind, unique position cards and adventurous games are all great choices. And don’t forget to add in lingerie or costuming in to set a fun role-playing and romantic mood. You can talk about honeymoons or vacations and dressing up as someone from the resort or occasion to create a fun scene.

                                            Estimated Monthly Search Volume:

                                            romantic gifts for her – 4400
                                            romantic gifts for him – 4400
                                            romantic gift for wife – 2900
                                            romantic gifts – 2900
                                            romantic gifts for girlfriend – 2900
                                            romantic gift for boyfriend – 1900

                                            Sexy Gifts

                                            Just like the romantic gifts there is a heavy skew in search volumes for specific people. Unlikely romantic gifts there is also a large search volume for events like birthdays, anniversaries and Christmas.

                                            Creating unique themes for the specific events can give you more topics to write about, and you can also have fun with themed puns. Changing out “Claus” for “Claws” on Christmas and playing off “surprise parties” for birthdays.

                                            One thing to remember for this gift guide is that it is all about the recipient. But that doesn’t mean the gift has to be for them only. It could be lingerie for the shopper to wear as the gift, or something the shopper and recipient can enjoy together or with a group if that is their style.

                                            Estimated Monthly Search Volume:

                                            sexy gift – 1300
                                            sexy gifts for wife – 1000
                                            sexy gifts for him – 590
                                            sexy gifts for boyfriend – 480
                                            sexy gifts for her – 480
                                            sexy gifts for men – 480
                                            sexy gifts for husband – 390

                                            White Elephant Gift Guide

                                            This is a fun topic where you can let your creativity shine.

                                            The SEO modifiers for white elephant gifts are specific to the recipients’ reactions and price points. By using dollar amounts and words like “funny” in your title tags, you’ll let the person searching in Google, Bing or Yahoo know they’ve found an ideas list that meets their budget needs and gift requirements.

                                            To make the content even more relevant for the shopper, make sure to carry the theme through your content and within your product descriptions. For example if you use “funny” in the title of your post or video, mention the recipient laughing when they open the gift in the description of the gift ideas.

                                            Estimated monthly search volume:

                                            white elephant gift ideas – 90,500
                                            white elephant gift ideas $20 – 4,400
                                            white elephant gift ideas $30 – 3,600
                                            creative white elephant gift ideas – 2,900
                                            white elephant gift ideas $10 – 2,900
                                            white elephant gift ideas $50 – 2,900
                                            white elephant gift ideas $25 – 2,400
                                            funny white elephant gift ideas – 1,900

                                            Gift Ideas for Friends

                                            The search volume for this theme will spike around late November and early December, and once again as national friends and best friends day approaches.

                                            To help get the person ready to shop you may want to talk about how the gift is meaningful between two friends.

                                            Another talking point could be how the gift lets the recipient know the gift giver is always there for them. You may also want to open the guide by letting the reader know you’re not doing the typical friendship bracelets and are instead giving them unique gift ideas if they read through the post or watch the full video.

                                            Estimated monthly search volume:

                                            gift ideas for friends – 12,100
                                            christmas gift ideas for friends – 4,400
                                            gift ideas for best friend female – 3,600
                                            cute gift ideas for friends – 1,600
                                            gift ideas for your best friend – 1,600
                                            funny gift ideas for friends – 1,000

                                            Fitness Gifts

                                            Category based gift guides are great. There is a large search volume and you can stick to your niche. Fitness for example can be overarching and work for everyone from seniors to kids. It could be for parents that have no time to go to the gym or singles looking to find the love of their life. Most generic categories like “fitness” can work across numerous types of sites.

                                            The modifiers are very diverse here and include phrases like “best”, costs like “under $20”, genders like “men” or “her” and of course descriptive phrases like “lovers”.

                                            Estimated monthly search volume:

                                            fitness gifts – 1900
                                            gifts for fitness lovers – 1000
                                            fitness gifts for men – 880
                                            fitness gifts for her – 720
                                            best fitness gifts – 390

                                            Yoga Gifts

                                            One thing to remember is that you don’t always have to go for the main category with a gift guide. Sometimes the niches within the category have a higher search volume.  Fitness gifts is the category above, but yoga gifts has more than twice the monthly searches.

                                            The same can potentially be true for other phrases like running or runners, cycling, hiking or swimmers.  And don’t forget people search for teachers, coaches and instructors too!

                                            By going niche for a specific type of fitness you are able to share more relevant gift recommendations and potentially convert more readers or viewers into shoppers.

                                            Estimated monthly search volume:

                                            yoga gifts – 4400
                                            gifts for yoga lovers – 1900
                                            gifts for yoga teachers – 720
                                            yoga gift ideas – 590
                                            best yoga gifts – 480
                                            yoga gifts for her – 480
                                            yoga gifts for mom – 260

                                            Gifts for Runners

                                            The interesting thing about some of the fitness gift guides is the way the search volumes change when you move the order of the words. Below you’ll see “gifts for runners” has 9,900 monthly searches. When you change the order to “runner gifts” it drops to under 500.  

                                            By focusing on the differences in wording and the order in which the words appear you may be able to optimize for the larger traffic volumes and bring more people to your content. This will help grow your audience and give you more opportunities to earn commissions. 

                                            Estimated Monthly Search Volume:

                                            gifts for runners – 9900
                                            best gifts for runners – 1900
                                            gifts for runners women – 1600
                                            gifts for runners men – 1300
                                            gift ideas for runners – 1000
                                            gifts for marathon runners – 880



                                            Blog Monetization: 2 Case Studies on What Works Today

                                            Blog Monetization: 2 Case Studies on What Works Today

                                            So you want to monetize your blog or you’re looking to get started with blogging. No matter what position you are currently in, this article case study is going to provide you with the tools and resources to see what’s currently working today.

                                            Blogging is easy… anyone can start a blog. However, not everyone can make money with a blog.

                                            There really are SEVERAL ways to do this…in fact, there are so many that you probably feel overwhelmed and it may be what’s prevented you from even taking the first step. 

                                            Does this sound familiar?

                                            If so, read on and I’m going to reveal 2 case studies that will show you 2 somewhat different ways on (with income proof to boot) how you can monetize your blog.

                                            Sound fair?

                                            I’m glad you think so ?

                                            Case Study #1 Smart Passive Income

                                            First, I have to tell you about Pat Flynn and his blog Smart Passive Income.

                                            Smart Passive Income

                                            The awesome thing about Pat is that he shows what he’s earning monthly, and you could too! It’s good to be honest and humble especially if you’re just starting off or just still pretty wet behind the ears with a big, fat goose egg or maybe even a negative number in your income report.

                                            This is meant to inspire, not daunt you.

                                            Here’s a lil’ snapshot of Pat’s first couple of months in business back in 2013 (for Smart Passive Income that is):

                                            Smart Passive Income Earnings

                                            Impressive no?

                                            Now Pat goes way more in-depth on his expenses, profits, etc. within each monthly income report, but I just wanted to show you what kind of money he’s making because I don’t really care what people say because…it IS about the money! Pat is making pretty much over $100K per month now, click here to see some ALL of his income reports since January 2013 yourself.

                                            Say what you want to say, but it’s MOSTLY about making money with your blog than ANYTHING else. Think about it…you start up a blog (hopefully centered on something you love to talk about) and try to make money with it, and there’s NOTHING wrong with that!

                                            So, let’s just cut the BS shall we?

                                            Moving on.

                                            What lead Pat to blog monetization?

                                            Pat got laid off from his architecture firm back in 2008 just a few months shy of his wedding.


                                            But as he clarifies, it may have been the best thing that ever happened to him because before he had to leave his job he had built a little website on the side that was helping him study for the architectural exam (LEED exam).

                                            He found a way to turn that little website into a solid little income stream.

                                            This is how he found out about how to “run an online business that is centered around passive income” which freed him more time to spend with his family.

                                            Now who wouldn’t want more time to be with their family or just more time in general?

                                            Great Freebie Ebook

                                             Smart Passive Income Guide

                                            So one of the main ways that Pat is monetizing his blog is by giving away his free eBook “Ebooks the Smart Way” as a freebie for opting in for his newsletter/email list.

                                            One thing you’ll notice about Pat’s book is that it is WAY more professional-looking than most eBooks you will get for opting into anyone else’s newsletter. Also, his website looks PHENOMENAL, so he’s very much into standing out by having a very professional approach to his website, giveaway report and pretty much anything that is related to his site/sites.

                                            Pat affiliates himself with brands he trusts and he’s added affiliate links into his eBook that make him a commission whenever someone visits a website selling a product or service while his link is still cookied on your computer (basically there’s a time period in which he will receive part or all of the commission from a sale if you buy through his link).

                                            Pat has built up an email list of at least 125,000 people this way! Trust me, it’s more than that now.


                                            Want to really stand out?

                                            Start up a podcast and interview people.

                                            The funny thing is that this has a higher perceived value than just having a blog. You can find people to interview in person or maybe on the phone, Skype or whatever communication method you choose and professionally record it.This is what Pat does and it sets him apart from other people with his Smart Passive Income and Ask Pat podcasts.

                                            The neat thing about a podcast is that you can have sponsors and you can just tell people what site to visit (and have show notes for people like Pat does) in order to get a special discount or a bonus for buying through your affiliate link.

                                            YouTube channel

                                            Video marketing is nothing to sneeze at!

                                            It’s just smart to incorporate video into your online marketing because some people will want to read, others will rather listen and you guessed it…A lot love to just watch it all.

                                            Pat has his SPI TV channel and it’s pretty awesome because he can do just about whatever he wants on there. He uploads his podcasts and other videos where he has PLENTY of tips and tricks centered around passive income and has close to 60,000 subscribers!

                                            His channel is only about 1-year-old…imagine if he’d started off with a YouTube channel? I’m saying it would have grown pretty darn quick.

                                            Want even more examples? Just take a look at these YouTube all-stars!

                                            Wrap it up

                                            In order to model Pat Flynn’s success, you’ll want to have a blog set up first of course. Don’t center your blog around something that is just for the money (it’s a big part of it don’t get me wrong) because you’ll get bored of it, resent it and then probably follow a shiny object off somewhere else and have to start all over.

                                            Here’s some tips on how you can model Señor Flynn here:

                                            • Have an income report section from the get go, don’t be embarrassed to show you’ve made NOTHING.
                                            • Make your site look extremely professional and make it painfully easy for people to know where to even start (Did you see how it says “Start Here” and “Get Started Here” on Pat’s home page?)
                                            • Incorporate a podcast where you interview people or one where you take in questions and answer them like Pat does. Use a good mic because audio quality is EXTREMELY important!
                                            • Start up a professional-looking YouTube channel and call it your blog + TV or something close to that. Make it seem like a TV show almost, not just some run of the mill other YouTube channel that sucks.
                                            • Make it about your visitor/customer/consumer not YOU. Pat makes it super simple to use his site, read his book, see his YouTube channel and gives away QUALITY CONTENT for free. So much so that people feel OBLIGATED to buy from him.

                                            Pat Flynn is a millionaire and has his email list, podcast, YouTube channel (he’s on other social media platforms as well), but basically as his following keeps growing, he makes more money. Model his success, it will take quite a bit of work up front, but you know what?

                                            That’s what millionaires do, they work hard to reach a point to where… they don’t have to.

                                            Shocker huh?

                                            Case Study #2 Mike from Maine

                                            Now Mike Thomas has a little bit of a different approach with his blog at Mike from Maine.

                                            Mike Thomas Mike from Maine

                                            Just like Pat Flynn, Mike shows his monthly income reports as well. Mike’s journey is a little different, but before we get to that let’s go ahead and show you some nice ol’ screenshots of his earnings.

                                            Mike from Maine Earnings

                                            What lead Mike to blog monetization?

                                            Mike started off with internet marketing back with PPC and marketing directly to CPA ads and made some pretty good money. He made around $100K and decided to travel the world. He took this time to start backpacking around India and was making money on autopilot for some time. And then…Google changed up some rules with Adwords and boom, his passive income streams were done for.

                                            Well Mike’s funds starting running low and he ended up doing some “auto blogging” which made him some good income via Adsense with niche sites and the most he made was around $6,000 per month, you can see this out of date About Me page here.

                                            Mike’s new About Me page explains how flipping Adsense sites came crashing down in September of 2012 when Google’s exact match update made him lose 90% of his Adsense overnight when his websites lost their ranking.

                                            Mike had started off his blog as a travel blog at first, but after being so tired of having Google lay the smackdown on him over and over again…Mike decided to revamp his blog.

                                            New and improved blog model

                                            So while Mike didn’t completely quit the whole flipping and selling websites, Mike’s new blog model (interviewing online entrepreneurs daily on how they make money online) was starting to take off. Mike made around $800 in October of 2012.

                                            Not too shabby.

                                            Finally in November of 2012, Mike’s website selling income was pretty much of thing of the past.

                                            Solo ads

                                            Mike had built up an email list of around 800 subscribers to 2,000 by buying $1,300 worth of solo ads. So slowly but surely, Mike was able to increase his subscribers by buying solo ads and continuing to do his interviews with online entrepreneurs.

                                            Wrap it up

                                            Since he started off I know now that Mike Thomas is making anywhere from $20,000 to $60,000 per month and now has over 20,000 email subscribers.

                                            Once again, not bad right?

                                            Mike’s show has now changed to him doing 5 interviews per week where he interviews successful online entrepreneurs. Often, he’ll interview a product vendor when he or she has a product about to launch and he makes money by asking vendor about the product and offering a bonus for anybody who buys through his link.

                                            The big fluctuations that you’ll notice throughout his income reports are most likely from product launches. Now Mike has positioned himself quite well with his internet marketing buddy (who has his own VERY successful blog) Brett Rutecky. He’s a software developer so Mike has been able to partner up with him and they both just kind of combine their forces and are able to do internal software and training launches rather than just launching on either JV Zoo or Warrior Plus.

                                            Mike doesn’t really blog too much, he just kind of directs people to his YouTube channel’s Skype interviews and he does very well, although he’s not quite on Pat Flynn’s level.


                                            So as you can see, you can really take either one of these blog monetization strategies and roll with it. If you can even get close to either Mike or Pat’s level of income…well I’d say that would be a darn good start, no?

                                            I think the big difference between their monthly income amount and the consistency of their income from their blogs comes down to who’s built a bigger email list. Pat Flynn has at least 125,000 subscribers while Mike has at least 20,000. What you can really take away from this is that the main blog monetization strategy you should focus on is gaining leads somehow (a.k.a. building your email list), test what works so you can get rid of what doesn’t and keep scaling that up!

                                            Crazy right?

                                            And we’re done!

                                            Phew! That was a big long-winded, but I think these are 2 excellent case studies to look at, pick one to model…and just take the first step towards monetizing your blog. Don’t focus so much on things that are WAY down the road, shoot you may not even have a blog idea right now. It’s probably wise to start with that no?

                                            Now, which one are YOU going to model your blog after?

                                            This case study was written by Moses Njoku, who studies the art of blogging and making money online. You can learn more Moses and his latest blog training course at