If you got into this with the aim of making money from your small business website… then what are you waiting for? If you have people actively visiting your website and reading your content, then there are many ways that you can generate a great profit from that without having to compromise in any major way and without even affecting the experience for them.
You’ll earn money even as you sleep, and you’ll find that you get wealthier without actually doing anything starting as soon as you set it all up.
That’s right, we’re finally getting to that point. It’s the internet marketing dream!
The only slight obstacle between you and your happy future of passive income is deciding upon which monetization method to use, and deciding how precisely you are going to turn your site into a cash cow. Here we will look at some of the options available to you and their strengths and weaknesses.
And for the rest of you who are already running successful money-making websites this still applies to you – as it may just be that you aren’t making the most of your site in that regard and you could stand to learn a thing or two.
The following are some of the most powerful monetization methods for any website. Just keep in mind that you don’t necessarily need to pick between these. Often the best strategy is to use them together!
Every webmaster is familiar with Internet marketing advertising networks. The idea here is simply that you sign up as a publisher, and then you place a little snippet of code on your pages. That code then autogenerates adverts from participating advertisers based on the content on your pages, and that in turn ensures that you get the most relevant adverts showing up on your sites and that you don’t need to worry about chasing down the advertisers yourself. You will then be paid in most cases per click every time someone clicks on one of your ads.
The most obvious ad network that most people use is Google AdSense which is known for relatively high pay outs and being a reliable and easy to implement system. Some companies make their entire living from AdSense.
However, AdSense is not the only ad network on the block, and there are some out there with slightly less stringent requirements (for all those of you who own gambling sites) and that are less likely to simply close down your account (as several webmasters have reported Google doing).
At the same time you might choose to combine multiple ad networks. You can do this using AdSense if you are using another similar network, but if the method is sufficiently different then you can double up if you so wish – for instance you can use ‘in text’ ads such as Kontera. However, Kontera has a relatively very low CPC (Cost Per Click) and can in some cases distract clicks away from Google rather than doubling your clicks as you might have hoped. It has a CTR though so has some value for sites with very high volumes of traffic.
Selling affiliate products is often more profitable on a per-click basis but you will have a much lower conversion rate as people have to actually put their money where their mouse is and buy something in order for you to get any benefit.
Amazon have perhaps the most popular affiliate service allowing you to get a cut for recommending a range of their products. However, this is again a relatively low cut, and you can get more from using
more services. Most supplement stores for instance have an affiliate scheme if you are a webmaster, and Clickbank provides a great way for you to find many other partners and sell such products as eBooks.
What you need to recognize in all of these cases however without exception is that you are at the bottom of the pile if you are making money in this way. At the end of the day you are getting paid to send people away from your website, and as those advertisers are willing to do this that tells you that they are worth more than you are getting paid for them.
As such, the most effective way to make money from a visitor is to sell products and services. Now you can do this by buying and selling items wholesale and making a small profit on each one, but this will require a lot of time, administration and storage space. Better is to make that money by selling products and services that are free for you to produce en-masse.
The best example of this is to sell e-books and even print books (where you use POD services) which requires no work on your part once they have been set up. Likewise, you can sell subscriptions to your site, copywriting and web services, or even a ‘course’ which might consist of some regular e-mails, a book and subscription in one package. And people will be willing to pay a lot for that if you market it well.
E-books offer the simplest way to start making money from your website right away though, so let’s take a look at how you can start making money this way first of all.
First of all, you need to make your product. This can be a book, a course, a series of videos or a range of other things. The theme here is up to you, but self-improvement of various kinds – such as dating, weight loss or money making – are often highly important. Make sure that you are very behind your product and you believe in it strongly, as this will help you to believe in your own marketing and to push it everywhere you can. If you’re embarrassed or shy of your own product then you need a rethink.
Another tip is to think about your target audience. Choose one market, and design your product specifically for them and you will have more success than more vaguely aiming your product at everyone. Think about your demographic and create an imaginary person in your mind that would be your ideal customer. Then, as you design your product ask yourself – would ‘Dave’ like this?
Now you want to be able to direct your visitors as necessary in order to convert them from visitors into cash. Here’s a quick question that can often be highly illuminating regarding your site – when someone first visits your home page, what do you want to be the first thing they do? If you currently can’t answer that definitively, then you will find your visitors don’t know where to go either.
This is what you should be wanting from your visitors: an e-mail address. A great way to do this is to give something away for free. By giving away a free chapter of an e-book for instance, or a free video from your course, you will be able to exchange that for an e-mail address. Then once you have their address, you will be able to market to them directly through their inbox. The great thing about that is that even if they don’t stay on your site, you will still be able to continue to market and promote to them.