This post is part of our Customer Showcase series, where we profile successful online publishers. Our goal is to help publishers learn from the experts and grow their business.
In an effort to make guitar playing accessible to everyone, Rich Menga launched a blog of music information and educational articles for the budget-minded player at www.menga.net. Like many bloggers, Rich was challenged to find the time and motivation to keep his site content fresh and flowing. When he discovered VigLink and realized he could earn revenue from exactly what he was already doing – recommending the best guitar-related products and sites – Rich was reinvigorated. As a result, his content and fan base grew and he was able to build a brand, bond with his audience and ultimately drive real business accomplishment.
Building his brand
Through his blog, Rich has built a brand as an honest, straightforward voice for a focused, niche audience: readers who are just as passionate as he is about guitar playing without breaking the bank. “Compared to a few years ago, it’s a great time to be a guitar player. Leading guitar manufacturers – like Fender and others – have so many great models under $300. They are accommodating to the fact that people don’t have a ton of money these days. So my goal is to help people understand that they don’t need to spend $1000 on a guitar anymore – it’s cool to be cheap!”
Rich also credits VigLink for his inspiration to build such a strong brand. “Because I knew I could earn money through VigLink, I was blogging more often and producing more quality content. This enabled me to establish a strong site and a community that trusts my judgment.”
Bonding with his audience
For Rich, developing a follower base is not just about hitting “post” and closing down for the day. He not only responds to all reader comments, but truly encourages ongoing dialogue and sharing. “It’s so important to thank readers for contributing and support their guitar efforts.” This secret to his success goes beyond the blog to his Facebook page, where nearly 800 fans are regularly commenting and even sharing videos of their personal guitar performances – a sign of great trust and the audience bond.
“VigLink is also an important part of building my audience. Readers appreciate that I don’t need to beg them to do anything – buy a membership or click on spammy links – in order to sustain the blog. If they like the product I’m writing about and want to check it out, they can do just that through the link. No pressure at all.”
Driving business success
While Rich does maintain his “day job” as ghost blogger for a professional music site, he uses his VigLink earnings to pay the blog-related business expenses (such as web hosting) and advertising campaigns to expand his reach and revenue. Menga.net’s primary revenue source is VigLink and Rich has opted to personally build his links using his own domain and also uses VigLink Anywhere (which monetizes clicks from Twitter, Facebook, emails, RSS feeds, or the Tumblr dashboard) on Facebook and Twitter. “I find VigLink and overall fan engagement to be very successful on Facebook, where it seems people are looking for trusted advice about purchases. It’s more personal and linking to an amp or guitar with an image typically piques fans’ interest and garners at least a few comments.”
Offering some advice for bloggers just getting started with native monetization, Rich explains that it takes time to learn how to maximize revenue from your content. “Monetization is not a way to get rich quick; you have to work at it and learn what sort of merchants, products and link placements work best. I’ve tried AdSense and other earning methods, but VigLink is the only one with a good success rate. It’s so easy to use and the model of interest-based clicks just makes sense for today’s audience.”