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How to Monetize a Website – The Rocket Science Behind it All
The main reason many people start a blog or website is to make money, but you can’t fail more with this kind of attitude. You must see the website as a hobby, something you are really passionate about and even addicted in some ways. This also applies to your niche. To build a successful WordPress website, I believe the job is half done already, if you love what you do. Everyone has a hobby; you just need to figure out what you want to talk about more than anything.
(Secretly most people want to make money and the ones that do not are either too rich already or strive to be a famous underpaid artist.)
When people talk to me about computers or building websites they are shocked at my expertise. I have covered every possible angle of my great loves as I just want to know everything there is to know about them. I suck up all available useful information and mould and interpret this in my own way. I see myself as an artist, but a well paid one.
When it comes to monetizing your precious websites, you do not want to ruin your reputation or cheapen the website appearance with too much monetization. I mentioned this point in an article about sidebar etiquette.
Your need to find monetization methods that really apply to your niche because not everything works for everybody and if you keep that in mind, I will show you my tips for monetization. You will have to decide if these tips can help your monetization ways.
Hog Wash Bull about Monetizing a Website or Blog
I had to start with these myths first.
OMG there are just so many theories about when, where, and how to monetize a website. It drives me crazy when I see people giving advice that to me makes no sense.
- You have to wait until your blog or website is huge before monetizing. What?
- Making money with websites is as simple as putting ads up and waiting for the clicks and sales.
- You need loads of traffic to make sales on your website. Really?
- He is making money with this so I can too. Not true. Your website is an individual.
- Displaying ads on your website means you are a money hungry pig. Oink Oink!
- If I can make money then my monetization method must be good. (Stick to your morals)
- People do not want to buy from me because my website is only new. (No its because you are negative)
- Adsense takes no skill. (This is why everyone whines about not making money)
- There is a big secret to making money and I just don’t know it yet. Yeah there is no secret!
What Type of Website to Monetize
The easiest type of website to explain how to monetize is a content site or a products site.
Content Site: You add quality content and sell either your product or others products in amongst the content.
Product Website: You have a site dedicated to selling one product. I like to have a blog running in the background of sites like these though, to put out fresh content and attract attention.
There are many different types of sites to monetize. You might have a membership site of some sort or maybe a website that provides a service. In this article I am going to tell you how to monetize your content site.
When to Monetize a Website
You are not going to like my answer at all! I go against most “gurus” and say to monetize ASAP!
Webmasters often wait to monetize their website because they seem to be waiting for something. They could be waiting for more traffic, more followers, more social proof, or maybe a bigger website. Sorry this is wrong! Why wait?
I have built websites and made money in the first month. I posted a case study website to show people it really can be done. If I did not monetize that website I would not have been able to make the money.
You might wait to get 2,000 web visitors a day but it only takes that one person to make a sale. I say build the website and concentrate on getting the right website traffic to your site.
People will visit your website to get a certain type of information. What if you are just a newbie but really good at providing the right information to your visitors? Why shouldn’t you follow up with some type of monetization method as you have already put the hard yards in with fantastic quality content.
Where is Your Website Money Making Plan?
Who really has a plan on how to monetize their website? I would be interested to see how many people really do have this kind of plan.
Often Webmasters start their first websites with no plans whatsoever. This is probably why many people struggle to make money from their websites and eventually give up trying. The problem is, they eventually realize that making money from websites does take an enormous amount of skill and slapping ads on a blog does not guarantee income. But that is usually because they are missing the point to their website.
How to develop a website moneymaking plan?
- Define your audience. Who are you building this website for, who are you targeting?
- Content path. What type of content do the people you are targeting want to see?
- Product list. Write a list of potential products that relate to your content and provide solutions for your visitors.
- Product criteria. Analyze your product sales page, price point, and usefulness. Is this product going to make your readers happy?
- Product placement. Devise a plan showing which product matches which content and list the best way to sell.
As you can see, one of the main aspects of building a website monetization plan is all about the product you choose. Here is my blog advertisement checklist to define a few more points.
My criteria for choosing a product:
- Test the product firsthand.
- The product must be related to the content and preferably solve a problem.
- The product must be high quality and in demand.
- The product must have a great sales page that converts visitors for you. (Don’t want to waste your traffic)
- The commission or sale price must be worth the effort. You do not want to work your fingers to the bone for a one dollar commission. Whereas a one dollar commission is great if it is super easy to get.
If you have the wrong product or monetisation method on a certain page, this will affect your sales greatly.
Imagine if you owned a gas station where people expect to fuel up their car. You might have a sign at the front with your prices, leading the customer presume that you sell fuel. But when they stop at your fuel pumps at the gas station, there is no fuel, but it looked like there would be some. The customer is instantly disappointed because they expected something that was not there. This is just like visiting a website and expecting to buy something and the link does not work! Has that ever happened to you?
Sticking to Your Niche = More Money
Creating a website that is in a particular niche is the best way to make money with a website. People often stray off their main topic on to non-related subjects which water down then niche. This in turn equals less money. Highly targeted content will bring in highly targeted visitors. This makes your product choices easier as your options are narrowed down for you.
Many Webmasters can make monetizing a website very difficult because they are never quite sure what to sell.
It is all about relationships. Your links that lead to your content must be related to your content. The visitors that are reading your content must be interested in this particular content. The product you are selling should directly relate to the content.
If you stop and think about all of these relationships on your website, then you will also realize that website monetization is not rocket science. It only seems difficult because people have not defined their path for their website.
Website Monetization to Suit Website Traffic
As I mentioned earlier, developing a website moneymaking plan is a must! This will force you to think about who your audience is for your website.
The reason we need to analyze our website visitors is to provide the correct monetization method. For example, some content websites attract information seekers only and this website traffic requires a different monetization method. You might write content about information that does not require the visitors to purchase a product.
An example would be if someone was searching on how to use a certain program then this must mean that they already have purchased this program, therefore they are simply searching for information.
On the other hand, if a person is searching for “how to build a WordPress website” this would mean that they have not actually got a WordPress website yet. Maybe you could sell them a hosting package first.
If they were searching for “how to change a WordPress theme” you would presume that they already have a WordPress website. In this case you would move on to trying to sell a WordPress theme.
This is exactly how you need to analyze your website visitors and provide monetization methods accordingly.
I have said this before “you cannot sell rice to the Chinese” so why waste your time trying? They already have plenty of rice.
Analyzing and Tracking Your Monetization
I have been making money from websites for years now and I still have to test and tweak my pages to get the best sales. I might not pick the right money making method the first time, so I often go back and optimize pages and posts to make sales.
The first thing I do you to track my monetization on my website is to create unique affiliate links that will tell me where my sales have come from. Yes I know sales come from my website, but what exact page is making the sales? This is something that people really do not know.
Here are some details that tracking links tells me:
- Which page or post the exact sale came from.
- Which exact products are selling?
- Which products sell but attract a high refund rate. (refunds show unique ids)
- This tells me what I should be concentrating on.
- Tracking sales shows me my moneymaking content very clearly.
I made a video tutorial showing how I track some of my affiliate links. This is the most valuable information you can get and it is not cost any money at all. You will see where your sales are coming from and then you will know which posts or pages to promote more. You will also get clues on which products your website visitors actually like.
Treat Each Page as Unique
Some of my websites have 10 or more different moneymaking methods, from banner advertising to affiliate links and Ebooks. Each page and post requires a different and especially unique way to sell something. We are talking about unique content here and the pages and posts should all be treated as individuals.
This is a major problem when people try to monetize a website. They often monetize the entire website as a whole, whereas they are not analyzing each page for the right product to sell. Choosing a few products to sell on an entire website does not make sense and limits your moneymaking abilities.
For example I have a website with approximately 900 unique articles about computer tips. Each article has its own personality and purpose. Sometimes I sell software to solve the problem, other times I sell e-book’s, and other times I sell nothing. On the pages that I sell nothing on, I have AdSense ads showing.
Then we go into a finer detail. Just for me to say I sell software would be a huge generalization. This is because I sell it least 20 different software applications, probably more. But each different software application sells on different pages that are tailor-made for these products. Every piece of content is precisely matched to a product or goal.
Trying Different Ways to Monetize a Website
You have probably heard about diversifying monetization methods. This means that you should not stick to one type of monetization. Another way to put it is to never have all of your eggs in the one basket. You must have heard the saying?
Anyway, having different monetization methods is also required because you will need to match your products to your content and you cannot do this with the same product. Promoting the same product over and over just looks like spam.
You can test different products and monetization methods by split testing. This could be done through Google or you can install a WordPress plug-in to help split test your pages. You will be able to see which product sells in amongst your content. You will also be able to test where to put your affiliate links or banners for the best conversions.
Here is an example of how I try different ways to monetize. I was selling an Amazon on product from a page on my blog. I was getting a $1.20 per sale. I thought this was fantastic as I love to see sales coming in. Most people would be happy with that but I searched for a similar product to sell, but with a better commission rate. I actually found the identical product that offered me a $14 commission for the same sale. The actual product cost the customer a bit more and therefore I made less sales, but of course I made so much more money.
Another example is when I see a well performing AdSense page, I investigate why. I have found that pages that make a lot of money with AdSense is usually are selling something. Therefore I like to remove the AdSense and try different products to sell with a better commission. Maybe your best sales page is right under your nose.
How to Monetize a Website with Adsense
This is exactly where most people start, but of course not all. I started out with Google Adsense and it is an easier money making way as you can get a few dollars for some simple clicks. Later when you get more experience under your belt you realize that the more targeted your content is, the better the ads are that show, the higher your Adsense earnings get. The funny thing is, this applies to all monetization methods and not just Adsense.
The actual problem with Adsense is that people take it for granted and see it as an easy way out when monetizing. Of course this is not true when you are deeply focusing on improving Adsense earnings and can see what directly controls your income. Did you see my article about how to increase Adsesne earnings by 500%. It is a crazy article but all very true!
Now days to monetize a website with Adsense you will need to have great content, search engine optimized, and worthy of the high paying advertising. If you are getting a pittance for each click then maybe you should investigate the keywords you are targeting and the content you produce.
Get Action For Money Making Pages
I wrote an article previously about earning extra affiliate sales and it goes into details about how you can earn more from an already performing page. This will allow you to eventually make money while you sleep (a true story) and live the real internet marketing lifestyle. Revisiting your precious money making pages and revamping them is often overlooked as a main monetization way. I have articles that are over 5 years old that still earn great money to this day so i know this is worth the effort.
Getting action really means don’t let it die and live in the archives of your website. Revamp it, link to it, talk about it, share it!
The Slightest Tweak Can Change it ALL
Never underestimate the power of change. This is not always a big thing either. Change can be something as simple as making your Adsense text ads blue to increase Adsense earnings, or moving a banner a few pixels to the left. The power of change will never be felt until you try it for yourself. One thing I do recommend though is to always note down your tweaks and changes just in case they do not work and you want to revert back to the original.
I have definitely made the slightest tweaks to my website monetization and they have paid off enormously!
What Works for One Website May Not for Another!
Just like every page and post is unique, so are entire websites. I have seen people selling products that I cannot sell in a million years. They could even be in the same niche with an almost identical website, but still I sell some things better than others. If you continually try to sell products that are not right for your visitors you will see less sales and become disheartened.
Please add your tips about how to monetize a website below.