Building niche websites can be a ton of fun but…
At the end of the day, you’re in it for the money.
You need to be rewarded for the amount of time and effort put in.
This is where you get stormed by a million doubts:
How to monetize a blog?
What’s the best way to monetize my website?
How can I do it in a way that won’t ruin all of my hard work?
This post will help you with that.
In this new update of my Niche Site Project series I am going to reveal my blog monetization strategies, both short and long term.
I am also going to lay out several other monetization models and ideas you can try and see if they are a good fit for your website and niche.I'm reading some awesome #website #monetization strategies to #makemoneyonline from my #blog. Click To Tweet
And much more… check the table of contents below to quickly jump to section that interests you the most if you don’t feel like reading the whole thing.
- Ladies & Gentlemen… Let the Fun Begin!
- Stuff to Take Care of Prior to Monetizing Your Website
- How to Monetize Your Website
- Short-term Monetization Strategies
- Long-term Monetization Strategies
- My Monetization Strategy
- Final Thoughts & Some Advices
Ladies & Gentlemen… Let the Fun Begin!
What is the most fun part in this entire online business model?
Isn’t it… actually making money from your niche website?
No doubt that it is very rewarding to witness your brand new website taking shape after all the time you spent in its initial setup and publication of your first pieces of content, but…
Nothing beats the day when you finally earn you first dollar online.
The moment you see numbers adding up in your bank account (as little as they may be, at first) you are going to feel… pretty awesome!
I’ve been building and monetizing websites for a while and I still feel incredibly accomplished every time a new project of mine reaches that landmark.
By now, I’m sure a ton of questions like these have crossed your mind:
- What’s your favorite income stream?
- Do you mix AdSense ads with (Amazon) affiliate links?
- Do you monetize your informational posts with ads or not?
- Do you mix Amazon affiliate links with other affiliate programs’ links on the same post?
- Do you have Google AdSense ads on your website? Or other kinds of contextual ads like BrightInfo or Media.net?
- Do you monetize your websites with Amazon Associate Program, or with other affiliate networks or programs? And, if so, which?
Sit tight, then.
I’m going to answer all of these questions.
Plus, I’ll be showing how you can monetize your website, blog or online business through several other strategies and methods.
However, we need to take care of the first things… first.
Stuff to Take Care of Prior to Monetizing Your Website
Prior to considering monetizing your website you first need to:
1. Pick Your Keyword
It goes without saying — but I’m going to, anyway — that the very first (and most crucial) step in this business is doing some thorough keyword research to find the keyword(s) you’re going to build a niche website around.
(Learn how to do your keyword research in one of my previous posts of this series)
2. Know Your Niche
After picking your keyword you need to find out how you can help your audience.
What’s great about building niche websites is that they are so specific that it becomes so much easier to identify your target persona.
Once you get to know your target audience, you’ll be more equipped to creating something they find useful and like and that much closer to capitalizing on that.
3. Finish Setting Up Your Website
Complete your website setup process (hosting, domain name, theme, plugins, site structure [menus, categories & tags] and mandatory pages).
Tweak it up really well so that everything is up and ready for when the visitors start coming in.
(I’ve discussed setting up your niche website recently.)
4. Add Quality Content
How can you monetize a brand new and empty niche website?!
You need to fill it up with some helpful and useful content.
For two reasons: a) quality content establishes yourself as an authority in your niche and helps gain your visitors’ trust; b) you need to have SEO-optimized content in place to get some targeted search engine traffic.
(I talked about developing a content strategy on my last post.)
5. Get Some Traffic
To get things going your website needs to get traffic.
There are other traffic generation sources, undoubtedly, but there’s probably no better kind of traffic than search engine traffic.
People using search engines are usually looking for something in particular. They have an intention behind whatever it is they’re typing into the search engines (a.k.a., search intent).
If you provide the best resource to answer their search query (dependent on other factors, of course) you’ll get highly relevant search engine traffic that is interested in what you have to say or offer.
The more relevant your traffic, the better chances you have in making money from your website.
That’s not all, though.
Some affiliate programs will only accept you as their affiliate if you match their required minimum amount of monthly traffic.
If you would ask me:
Show I monetize my content from day one?
I would say “in light of the above, IMHO, no”.
You should wait for your website to get some traffic before applying to any affiliate network or program or start adding affiliate links or ads.
With the above pre-requisites covered it’s time to get the party started.
How to Monetize Your Website
Before revealing what I did on my blog, I believe it’s important to review some possible website monetization ideas and models to see what we have available.
Although a whole bunch of people see Google AdSense and Amazon Associates Program as the only ways to make money online, there are countless more you could try and use.
I’ve divided them into two major monetization strategy groups: short and long-term.
Short-term strategies are those that may deliver faster results but pay the less money. They are harder or less reliable to make a living out of them as you are more dependent on third-parties or things you cannot control directly.
Long-term strategies, as the name implies, take longer to put together; however, they are more profitable and their lifespan is greater. Being in control of what goes on in your business and independent enough to plan your future proves they’re reliable and you can make a living out of them.
Short-term Monetization Strategies
As referred above, this kind of strategies have a quicker turnaround.
We, however, as true online entrepreneurs, should only see them as temporary money-making solutions.
For easier reading, I’ve grouped them into three distinct categories: advertising, affiliate marketing and miscellaneous.
Advertising comes in various ways, shapes and flavors.
Making money from your blog or website can be achieved by displaying contextual* or static ads, all other kinds of advertisements or through sponsoring.
You just need to place a type of ad on your website to get paid whenever a specific event occurs (like a mouse click, ad impression or completion of an action).
Especially if you’re new to the online business world, this is definitely an easy and cool traffic monetization model.
* Contextual advertising is a system in which ads are displayed based on your website’s content. Networks using this system crawl your website to understand what your content is about in order to show relevant advertisements. Because they are relevant to your content they usually outperform the other options.
A Word about Google AdSense
A lot of people think of Google AdSense as their number one choice for monetizing their websites or blogs.
That’s understandable due its simplicity of use and quick revenue return.
Simply insert a snippet of code onto your website and let Google AdSense take care of the rest for you.
Is it really your best choice?
Let’s quickly look at some Google AdSense’s Pros and Cons and come to a conclusion.
- Quick to set up and to implement.
- Easy way to make money with little to no hassle.
- You get paid whenever someone clicks an ad on your site.
- It’s the highest paying pay-per-click contextual ads network.
- Depending on your traffic, you can earn an impressive amount per month.
- Sends your visitors to your competitors’ websites.
- Quickly shoots out your hard-earned traffic to some other website.
- If you have your own products, you could be losing a considerable amount per month.
- As you can tell from the above, Google AdSense can both work for or against you.
Whether you should use Google AdSense or not really depends on the kind of website you’re planning to build.
Yes, it is true that AdSense pays really well (you receive 68% of the amount advertisers pay Google per ad click), but it is also true that you could be losing way more.
Take the following examples to help you better understand why:
Imagine my website gets 1,000 visitors a day and that 2% of them clicks on an ad whose cost-per-click (CPC) is valued at $1.
At this click-through-rate (CTR) of 2%, that’s 20 clicks per day times $1 which equals $20.
(Mind that I’m using these rather generous AdSense CTR and CPC just to prove a point.)
As I only receive 68% of that CPC that’ll total $13.6.
Now let’s say that I also get 1,000 visitors a day but that I can only convert 1% into buying my ebook that earns me $2 per sale.
That’s 10 purchases per day times $2, totaling $20.
See where I’m going here?
In Example #1, I’ve earned $13.6 (that I’ll only receive when my AdSense account reaches a minimum transfer amount) by displaying AdSense ads on my website. But I lost all my hard-earned traffic to other websites.
They could even be competitors of mine. And if they are selling a product or a service, they could be earning much more than a mere $13.6.
(Not to say that sending people out of my website might be harming my “bounce rate” and “time spent on site” metrics which negatively impacts my search engine rankings.)
In Example #2, I made $20 (which may or no got directly into my bank account depending on the system I’ve put into place to sell stuff on my site).
It doesn’t seem that much of a difference at first glance but don’t forget that I proposedly lowered my conversion rate to 1% and that my ebook only sells for the double amount of the example AdSense ad CPC.
Besides, I can earn a lot more from my customers if I have some affiliate links or other kinds of promotions within my ebook or if I later decide to write another ebook and promote it to them.
If I had AdSense ads on my website while I was trying to promote my own products, there would be great chances of my competitors’ products showing up on those ads taking my customers away and making someone else earn more money.
So the answer to the above question is:
You basically need to consider your return on reader action (RRA), making sure to maximize all your hard work in putting up your website, writing content and getting traffic.
In some cases, including AdSense ads on your website will make perfect sense and it could make you a lot of money.
In other cases, such as you having your own products to sell, it can work against you.
If you’re still getting started and haven’t figured out yet what kind of products you could come up with (or there aren’t any you could ever produce), Google AdSense is definitely an option to consider.
(Obviously, you still need to see if it is the best solution for your niche and run a few ad-type, size and placement tests to optimize your CTR.)
Nonetheless, set your goals to offer better things to both your readers and bank account.
And, when you finally have affiliate products or your own stuff to promote… I would advise you to get rid of those AdSense ads real quick — or, at least, don’t mix them on pages with affiliate links or your own products.
Is #GoogleAdSense Really Your Best Website #Monetization Option? Click To Tweet
When it comes to how advertising networks operate and pay you, you have several different options:
PPC Advertising Networks
PPC stands for pay-per-click; which means you earn a small amount of money every time a visitor to your website clicks an ad.
Examples of PPC advertising networks are Media.net (Yahoo! Bing network), BrightInfo and, the more known, Google AdSense.
CPM Advertising Networks
This kind of advertising networks use a CPM (pay-per-view) system.
For every 1,000 ad impressions you receive a fixed amount.
CPA Advertising Networks
CPA (cost-per-action) advertising networks, on the other hand, pay you a fixed amount every time one of your visitors completes an action, like filling out a form.
Advertising isn’t just placing ads on your pages, there are other routes you can make use of, as well.
Landing some occasional sponsorship deals can really add up to your overall monthly revenue and there are several ways you can be sponsored.
Depending on your traffic and / or authority some companies might be interested in paying you to publish specific pieces of content to promote their brand, website, services or products.
Those paid pieces of content are referred to as “sponsored posts”.
They can either ask you to write the article yourself so it better matches your style, or they can send you the entire written article for your approval and publishing.
It might be hard to make a living off of it — it certainly isn’t the best idea to only feature sponsored content — but it can represent a nice addition to your overall income.
If you’re wondering how much should you charge, Sue Dunlevie’s “Fair Sponsored Blog Post Rates and Best Practice Guidelines” article is worth a read.
If you don’t want to wait for companies to get in touch, you can give it a try to services that connect bloggers and advertisers together like TapInfluence, Social Spark and Social Fabric. (If you have a mommy blog, there’s Mom It Forward too.)
With lead generation things are a bit different.
What you have to accomplish here is to send a lead (potential customer), in any way you see fit, to the company you’re promoting.
They determine you’re sending them potential customers when your lead completes a specific action. This could happen when one of your visitors fills out a form, signs up to their website or gets in touch with the company’s representatives.
Your visitors don’t really have to buy anything or even become customers. Even so, just sending them a potential client could earn you a really nice amount. I’m talking two digits up per lead, here.
With affiliate marketing you earn commissions on sales you potentiate; those commissions can either come as a fixed amount per sale or as a percentage of the sale price.
What’s great about affiliate marketing is that it takes you as much effort to promote a $5 toy as it takes to promote $5,000 gold watch. The commission you earn, though, is what differs… a lot.
When one of your visitors clicks on one of your affiliate links, a cookie (piece of computer data) with your unique affiliate ID is set on his/her browser.
If he/she buys something on the site you’re linking to during the cookie’s lifespan, you get a commission.
Amazon Associates Program
Just like Google AdSense for the advertising world, Amazon Associates Program is easy to use and implement.
Basically, you need to own a website, follow their rules and guidelines and add affiliate links to your posts.
You earn a commission on all the products bought on Amazon (not necessarily the product you’re promoting) within 24 hours (that’s how long Amazon’s cookie lasts) by the person who clicks one of your affiliate links.
As I said before, the affiliate marketing world is huge and, fortunately, doesn’t start and end with Amazon.
There is a ton of affiliate networks out there that feature thousands of affiliate opportunities you can apply to and earn affiliate income from.
Examples of such networks are ClickBank, CJ (formerly known as Commission Junction), JVZoo, Pepperjam Network, ShareASale, WarriorPlus, etc.
Direct Affiliate Programs
Besides the above-cited affiliate networks, you have — literally — thousands of companies offering their own affiliate programs to anyone who wants to join them; which means you can be their direct affiliate.
Many of those programs aren’t even listed in any affiliate network.
Examples of such direct affiliate programs are those from companies offering subscription services, online courses, products and tools, etc.
A good tip to finding lots of direct affiliate programs is thinking about all the online products or services you use and checking out their website.
You can either get paid to guest post (there are some websites that actually pay you to write for them) or you can guest post for free and use a smart email signup strategy to earn a lot.
All you need is to convince influential bloggers to let you write for their blogs and place links or call-to-actions to send traffic to your website (or directly to your optin form).
Then, you entice people to sign up to your mailing list where you’ll be able to sell them stuff and make a bank.
There are bloggers and internet marketers who are making thousands of dollars this way.
It’s similar to working as a freelance writer.
Besides getting paid to write (whether you decide to charge or use the above tactic), you have the added benefits of getting an author bio, a backlink to your blog and potentially lots of traffic and new subscribers.
A few websites and plugin or software developers usually offer their content, product or service for free.
As you probably know, some ask for a small donation for their effort in maintaining their projects.
In most cases, they won’t get a lot, but it might be help to pay some monthly expenses.
In some other cases, though, they are actually getting a considerable amount each month through donations.
If you want to try this monetization angle, give Patreon a try.
Patreon is a website that allows readers and users to support their favorite creators (bloggers, podcasters, youtubers, software / plugin developers) with small monthly donations.
Long-term Monetization Strategies
Let’s now talk about the more juicy stuff, the kind of ideas that can turn your affiliate or niche website into a full-fledged online business and your life around: long-term website / blog monetization strategies.
You’ve probably read it more than a handful of times:
«The money is in the list!»
Having an email list is one of the smartest things you can do for your business.
If you are yet to start one, don’t wait any longer!
(Just finish reading my post here, please. 🙂 )
Let me give you a few quick reasons why:
- It keeps you from losing one-time visitors.
- You can build a community of people interested in your topic.
- You can keep your community engaged with your content and free stuff.
- It saves you from depending on external traffic sources you can’t control.
- You can promote affiliate products to your subscribers; plus, what’s surely better,
- You can sell your own products to your subscribers and turn it into your go-to sales tool.
Besides, you’re not even required to spend any money to begin with.
MailChimp has a free plan you can use to get your first signups and get things rolling.
All the more, with After Offers, you can make a few bucks right from the get-go. Whenever someone signs up to your list, they will be offered other similar mailing lists they can join, earning you a commission every time that happens.
Guess what? We’re back to advertising; it’s a different kind, though!
If you’re able to generate floods of traffic to your website and / or built a large audience, you could be sitting on a gold mine.
Sell Ad Space
A huge flow of website visitors mean you own true “real estate advertising properties”.
Placing them up for “rental” could yield you a considerable amount of dough each month.
Companies will pay you to get in front of your traffic, especially if you can make them see the benefits in doing so (i.e., it’s cheaper than other alternatives, like Google AdWords).
Some of them will contact you directly. Other times, you’ll have to contact them yourself to sell your ad spaces.
Put together some kind of report (a media kit) that gathers pertinent information such as your monthly traffic, visitors’ demographics, number of clicks on your other ads (get that data from your AdSense’s or other network’s stats) and make them see they’ll save money and have a good return on investment (ROI) if they decide to advertise with you.
To understand how much to charge you can:
- Spy on your competitors and check what they are charging.
- Be upfront and work out a deal with your advertiser that’s good for both parties.
- Apply a simple formula: daily visitors divided by 10 = X dollars per ad each month. (E.g.: 1,000 / 10 = $100 per ad monthly.)
- Remember that AdSense pays you 68% of the amount advertisers pay Google and keep in mind your niche’s average CPC to reach an estimate.
Or, you can simply use an ad network like BuySellAds to manage your ad spaces and advertising deals for you.
Depending on the success of your podcast — assuming you have one, it can turn out to be a great opportunity to earn a living.
This kind of media is excellent to get valuable sponsorship deals or selling profitable commercial spots.
There are several pricing strategies you can choose to adopt, like charging a set amount per download or per commercial.
You can land sponsorship contracts by impressing companies with your number of listeners and growth predictions.
Either by contacting companies and businesses directly or through podcast networks you can join such as Podtrac, there’s a world of exciting possibilities out there to get your audio content monetized.
Negotiate Better Deals with the Brands Directly
You can skip the whole process of joining an affiliate program by getting in touch with the brands you intend to promote (or with the ones you are already promoting but want to earn more doing so) and working out some kind of better deal directly with them.
Needless to say, you have to show them why they would contemplate the possibility of offering you a better deal.
Create a Product Package with Other Bloggers
Other site owners in your niche aren’t necessarily your competitors. They can become your friends and, in the business sphere, your potential partners.
Consider working together with them to come up with value-packed bundles of niche-related informational products and / or ebooks at promotional prices for your readers and subscribers.
By leveraging your collective following, you’ll be able to make many more sales than you would by working alone and reach a wider audience, which can result in getting new subscribers, followers and readers to your blog.
A whopping 70 to 80% of profits on all product package sales is what you can expect in most cases.
Consulting & Public Speaking
Becoming an expert in your niche can be the ticket to be invited to speak at conferences or seminars, and the speed track to shoot some greens into your pocket.
The “expert” label may also open you the doors to some consulting gigs where you can charge an impressive amount per session.
Host a Webinar
Hosting a webinar to help and teach your attendees something valuable can turn out to be another smart strategy to build up a higher bank account balance, by promoting a product at the end of the training (at discount or promotional prices).
You don’t even need to have your own product.
If you have a huge audience, some brand can ask if they can “borrow” it from you and pay you a percentage of what they make on the webinar.
Sell Your Website
Why would anyone sell their website?
Here is the rationale behind it:
- You don’t have more time for it.
- You have another project in hands.
- You’re fed up of writing for that niche.
- Your earnings have reached the highest they can go.
- You want to retire and live la vida loca. (My favorite.)
- You have a more profitable website needing attention.
Regardless of the reason, if your website has the right traffic, an audience or interesting earnings you might be able to sell it for a big pot of gold.
Create Your Own Products
Welcome to the more exciting part: creating and selling your own products!
This is where boys finally become men. (Or girls become women. 🙂 )
If you’d ask me:
Why should I bet on creating my own products?
I would tell you…
- You stop being dependent on third-party companies and their (sometimes arbitrary and ever-changing) rules and terms.
- You help your audience solve a problem with your own stuff and establish yourself as an authority in your niche.
- Creating and selling your own products is by far the most lucrative way to make money online.
- Your profit margins are definitely higher than in any other kind of business.
- You have more control over your business by having your own product.
- It’s a lot of fun and will make you proud.
From here onwards you can only go up and up. The possibilities are only limited by your own imagination.
Here are just a few product ideas off the top of my mind:
- Write an ebook
- Invent an online tool
- Build a membership site
- Launch an online course
- Produce a physical product
- Develop a piece of software
- Shoot a video training course
- Create an online subscription service
- Come up with an informational product
Whatever the case may be, to get cool new online business ideas:
- Think about the common problems people in your niche have and offer them a solution.
- Ask your email subscribers what products they are missing and would be willing to pay for.
- Check which of your articles get the most traffic and shares and try working out something related you could sell.
For your inspiration, keep in mind these stories of people who created successful businesses from simple (yet great) ideas.
Smart Passive Income’s Pat Flynn, started paving his way to online business success when he created a blog for himself where he laid out his annotations and studying material in preparation for his LEED exam (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design — an exam in the architecture space).
Pat really wasn’t trying to create an online business; all he wanted was an online resource so he could study on his work breaks. Surprisingly though, more and more people begun visiting his blog.
A few months after Flynn was laid off, he saw his growing blog traffic as an opportunity to create a product around.
He wrote an ebook that condensed his LEED exam preparation notes and sold it on his blog. That play proved to be very successful and changed Pat Flynn’s life forever.
Niche Pursuits’ Spencer Haws, a known niche-website builder, felt the need of a better keyword research tool and decided to develop one from scratch.
He hired a developer online and Long Tail Pro was born.
Over time his tool kept on being improved and more and more internet marketers (thousands of them, including me) bought it. Things went up to a point where Spencer was able to sell 80% of his business for USD $1.8 million.
Spencer Haws also turned some of his AdSense websites into lucrative ebook businesses.
Website Income’s Jon Gillham, on the other hand, had already produced some physical products for a specific niche and decided to buy a few Amazon affiliate websites to get in front of that traffic and open the doors to a new audience.
My Monetization Strategy
(Did you come here looking for my monetization angle specifically? Well, here it is!)
Now that we’ve reviewed some potential ways to earn income online, it’s time for me to reveal what my niche website monetization strategy is going to look like.
Amazon Associates Program
As you recall from this project’s launching post, my aim was to monetize my niche website through Amazon.
The idea being I would create product review articles where I would add my Amazon affiliate links.
With a proper content strategy in place, and the Content Silo Approach, that’s precisely what I did.
Remember: The goal of my Niche Site Project isn’t just telling you what, but how I do things.
Some of these pages are mandatory if you want to be approved and adhere to Amazon Associates Program’s rules.
If Amazon manually reviews your website and fails to find these pages, you risk being banned from their program.
I started writing and publishing content with absolutely no ads or affiliate links of any kind (mind you, I hadn’t still applied to join Amazon’s affiliate program).
I waited to have 5 or 6 articles published on my blog and a couple of months to start seeing some traffic coming to my website. Meanwhile, I was commenting on blogs and forums in my niche leaving links to my website – in a non-spammy way –wherever possible.
Only after this while, was it time for me to join Amazon Associates Program.
I visited their signup page, filled out the forms and was informed that I had 180 days to make a sale.
If within that period I was unable to do it, Amazon would terminate my account.
If that happens you just need to join the program again and get a new affiliate ID — you’re allowed to keep your original login credentials.
At the time, I had published one main article targeting a product-related keyword (like “best golf clubs”) featuring the top 5 items in that category and three or four informational articles. It was finally time to add my affiliate links to that main article.
I knew we shouldn’t go overboard with the number of affiliate links on the same page. Google doesn’t like it; so I kept that in mind.
In total, I linked 12 times to product pages on Amazon from that article:
- 2 links per item in my top-5 table (1 link on the item’s picture + 1 link on the item’s name) plus,
- 2 more links in a separate “My Recommendation” section (following the above linking approach).
Mistakes & Changes I Had to Make
As you are aware, this is my first attempt at building an Amazon affiliate website (which probably puts me in the same shoes as you) so I am bound to make some mistakes.
Right off the bat, thinking I would get a higher number of clicks, I decided to use the Pretty Link WordPress plugin to mask my affiliate links.
Little did I know, I was seriously risking getting my affiliate account banned!!
Cloaking or shortening Amazon’s affiliate links is infringing on their program’s policies.
Amazon is really interested in keeping a trustworthy relationship with its customers and, thus, it will severely penalize all affiliates who misdirect, mislead or otherwise trick visitors in any way that harms the company’s reputation.
I quickly edited that post and used Amazon’s SiteStripe (it’s a little bar that shows up at the top of the Amazon website when you’re logged in to your affiliate account) to get the shorter version of my affiliate links.
(It’s kind of their own shortening and cloaking system, except here it’s not against the rules.)
I soon realized that it had also been a bad decision. It makes it harder for me to track which products I’m linking to on my worksheet. (I keep a sheet where I list all my posts and which affiliate links each post has.)
So I was forced to change all my affiliate links, one more time.
I’m using almost the full URL now. But I prefer to clear off some useless junk from the full address first.
Hence I’ve adopted this URL structure:
(Here you just need to add the product’s ASIN code and your affiliate ID.)
Another mistake I did was including the actual price of the items I was reviewing.
Because prices can change (up or down) unexpectedly, the amount you’re displaying on your website may differ from what’s on Amazon.
And that, again, falls inside the “deceiving” category that Amazon is so strongly against.
Instead of displaying the products’ prices, I have a button or a text link saying “Click Here to View Price”. If someone clicks it, they are sent to the respective product’s page (and “eat” Amazon’s cookie in the process).
Other Affiliate Programs
As we’re speaking, Amazon US has just changed its Associates Program’s commission fee structure.
It now pays a fixed percentage regardless of the number of products sold.
It used to be based on the volume of monthly sales you made.
The amount would vary from the minimum to the maximum commission percentage in your category of products.
(E.g.: You could be earning 4% up to 8% in a category with that commission percentage range.)
I took the hit.
My commission percentage dropped by a few points and I decided to look and see if I could find something else that would pay me more.
Remember, this is business. You’re much more than a “simple” blogger or website builder, you’re an entrepreneur, you own an online business and we, as entrepreneurs, need to be flexible enough to adapt.
It’s like owning an oil company and moving towards green energy.
If you don’t evolve and adapt, you die.
I’ve already found another affiliate program with potentially higher earnings and I’ll be running some tests first to see how it goes before updating my affiliate links.
(Don’t forget that Amazon pays you for all the sales your referrals make — not just the products you promote — but the same doesn’t necessarily applies to other affiliate programs. So it’s not just an easy math here.)
I suspect I might by using the Amazon Associates Program on pages that feature more than a single product and the second affiliate program on specific product review articles.
Better Affiliate Deals with Brands
This is just an idea, at the moment, but when my website gets more important I’ll be more confident to contact some brands directly and try to get better affiliate deals from them.
The issue is that they are big multinational corporations so I doubt they’ll even reply.
It doesn’t hurt to give it a try, though!
Google AdSense & Other Advertising Networks
I don’t like Google AdSense at all after my bad experience. (I got two domains banned from their network, but was lucky enough to keep my account.) Despite of that, I’m still using it on some other websites of mine.
That does not mean that I won’t consider using it again on my niche website as a means of monetizing the informational content.
What I won’t do is placing AdSense ads on pages where I have affiliate links.
It just doesn’t make sense to me.
An ad click can make you a few cents, but an affiliate commission could earn you much more.
As for other options — and only for my informational content – I may sign up for other advertising networks like BrightInfo or Media.net, if I see I fill their requirements.
In my niche there are some training academies that might be willing to pay me money to advertise on my website or get leads.
If I do things right there could be deals waiting for me; one for each major US city could yield a generous monthly income.
My Own Products
I think there’s an opportunity in my niche to create my own products.
I’m thinking ebooks and video training courses.
For now, though, it is much too soon to focus on that.
But later down the road, when everything looks more stable and I’m earning a consistent revenue from affiliate marketing and advertising, I might give it a try.
Final Thoughts & Some Advices
You’ve made it this far?! 🙂
Thank you for your interest and patience, that means a lot to me!
As you read in this article, you need to care of the crucial aspects first and foremost before anything else.
Focus on establishing a strong foundation first: create content, publish those mandatory pages, increase your search engine rankings and generate more traffic.
Then, when you’re all set, it will be the perfect timing to design a monetization plan.
While some people just throw in Google AdSense ads or Amazon Associates links, there are a lot of other super valid ways to make money from your website.
Yes, you can and maybe even should start with those options and try to optimize them the best you can. But don’t forget to consider other money-making solutions.
The important thing to live by in this business is to NOT rely on just one income stream. You’ll be at your own peril.
Always remember, your monetization plans can change as you test things out and better know your niche and audience.
That’s exactly my reasoning.
Keep building my foundations and then focus on a single method to try and reach my $200 per month goal for this Niche Site Project.
Then, I’ll test other website monetization ideas and strategies as I go to see if my earnings go up or down.
This will allow me to understand what resonates with my target audience and works best.
I don’t like hard selling anything so I’ll keep an important teaching and marketing rule in mind: to never directly tell my audience to buy something.
Instead I’ll opt for soft pitching products by showing people how I used them to achieve a desired outcome.
What do You Have to Say?
You have the ball now. What are your thoughts?
Did I forget to mention something? Is there anything that’s not clear to you?
Let me know in the comments below.
I’ll be looking forward to hearing from you!
I put a lot of effort and time in writing this so I thank you a lot for reading this through!
If you liked it please share this post on the social networks to help me reach a wider audience. 🙂
See you next time for another episode in this series,
Other Niche Site Project Posts
- Public Niche Site Project [Case Study]
- NSP Update #1: My Niche Site Strategy Revealed!
- NSP Update #2: How to Find a Profitable Niche
- NSP Update #3: Long Tail Keyword Research: How to Find Profitable, Low-competition Keywords
- NSP Update #4: How to Come Up With & Choose a Domain / Website Name for SEO
- NSP Update #5: Setting Up a Niche Website: How to Make It Stand Out
- NSP Update #6: My Effective Niche Website Content Strategy Template (w/ Example)
- NSP Update #7: Blog Monetization Models & Ideas: My Niche Website Monetization Strategies