I have a background in SEO/digital marketing and my day job is a Marketing Manager for an IT/Cybersecurity firm. Typically I'm writing copy for really boring stuff, doing drip email campaigns, and all of the other things that come in a marketing job, (SEO, keyword research, competitive analysis, social media marketing, and so on). At my day job, I work for a B2B company where the focus is lead-gen, so I have absolutely ZERO experience with ads, affiliates, etc.
So, I've been an admin on a Facebook page for about 6 years that has 65,000 followers. There are several admins, it's a political group, and incredibly active. We get about 1mill post views per month. Aside from that, I'm in around 200 political groups on Facebook.
The blog I started, is also political. It's sort-of niched, as in there are no other sites similar, as far as I could find.
April was the first full month, I had 23K unique visitors and 27K page views. I feel like this was really good for a first-month blog. The only thing I have to compare it to is my job, which only serves a local area and averages about 1K per month.
But, it's still ballooning. 3 weeks ago I had 8K users/9K page views for the week; 2 weeks ago it was 9K users/10K page views; and then last week 13K users/15K pageviews. I calculate that May will have 35K users. (Almost all of my traffic is coming from Facebook)
I started an email list, maybe not soon enough, but I already have 120 email subscribers.
I'm really excited about this, and I think I'm onto something good, and I know I can make something big with it, but I have to make money.
I tried adding the Wordpress ad-things they give you, I made like $10 on that. I tried inserting Amazon ads, haven't even hit $10 yet. I tried joining media.net, but I was having a problem installing the plugin, (this was on a Friday night), so I decided to screw it, I'll figure it out on Monday. But, by Monday they sent me an email saying my account was declined, (I'm assuming because it's political), they didn't tell me why. I signed up for both propeller ads and ad maven, but I don't know the differences between the ad choices and can't find any visual examples.
I also signed up with Awin, I have been approved with some affiliates, but several have turned me down because of political content. I have not signed up with adwords, yet, because I am unsure if I am qualified based on my content. The affiliates I have been approved for, I've been putting the banners on my site, and I've got clicks, but no $$.
I'm working on a book, but that won't be done for a while.
What do I do now? Based on my traffic and the rate of growth, what is the most effective way for me to monetize this? Any suggestions would be very much appreciated.