This is where the fun really starts, and where the testing and frustrations can start too. A lot of people think that once their site gets traffic, that’s the battle won. The millions will come rolling in!
Unfortunately not. To really get the most out of it, you need to approach monetization correctly.
I’m going to start off with a list of things NOT to do, since I’ve seen so many people rush to monetize their sites, this might be the only segment you read.
Top 5 Things NOT To Do To Your Site:
- Don’t stick adverts all over the sidebar and above the fold. Google Adsense is a popular way to make your site profitable, but it’s also going to make your site look ugly if it’s too “in your face”. Here’s a great article about Adsense placement.
- Don’t put loosely related Amazon widgets in your sidebar. Try to make your site look less low quality by linking to relevant Amazon products from your articles instead. In fact, avoid using those Amazon widgets at all.
- Don’t use Skimlinks or other programs that turn your articles into spammy adverts. The measly 5 cents you earn won’t be worth making your site look terrible and driving users away in the dozens (assuming you even get them).
- Don’t be too quick to put promotions on your site. Wait until you’re in your second month. Some people have success sooner than this, but most people would do better to focus on making their site look good and get traffic.
- Don’t try to utilize dozens of different monetization methods in order to try to catch a sale. Stick to one or two, test them, then move on if necessary.
It’s very easy to ruin your site’s first impressions by approaching monetization in the wrong way. Yes, you want to learn and test, and you want to try to earn something as soon as you can, but think long term.
You should have realized by now that you’re in this game for the long haul, so your bank account will thank you in the long run if you hold off from jumping the gun.
What To Do First
If you feel it’s time to try some money making, how should you approach it?
While Adsense is a popular one, I find it’s hard to do well with initially and it pays nowhere near as much as it used to. Unless your niche is one that has ZERO products for sale in it, avoid Adsense for now (You can test it later though).
Instead, start with Amazon Associates. Find a few products in your niche that are available on Amazon, and write reviews for them. I’ll link a couple of resources below for writing good reviews.
These posts can be centralized pages. Remember how I talked about them in the chapter on site structure? Make these reviews your “money pages” that you link to from other relevant posts. On top of that, you’ll eventually get Google rankings for the reviews too, and a lot of traffic will start going their way.
If you’ve done a decent job, you’ll be able to start seeing some Amazon commissions coming through.
Resource: Writing product reviews.
Sidenote: For those of you who are outsourcing content, my team are more than capable of doing Amazon product reviews.
SideSidenote: If you live in one of the “banned” Amazon states that won’t let you become an affiliate, you can follow these suggestions.
What Else To Do
Once you’ve got a few reviews under your belt and are driving traffic to them from other articles on your site, what else can you try?
Amazon commissions aren’t incredibly high, so even if you are making sales it can be low. You’ll definitely want to start trying other things.
One thing to do is head over to Clickbank to see if there are any digital products you can sell. There probably are.
Some Clickbank products do really well and offer high commissions, but others are woeful and you’ll either get zero sales or a bunch of refunds.
Typically you want to choose products with a “gravity” of 5-20 (too high will be too competitive). This means there are 5-20 other affiliates making money off that particular product.
Also check out their landing page, some of them are terrible and too salesy. Customers are jaded by these types of single-page sales sites.
Resource: There’s a good article about how to choose Clickbank products here.
Other Affiliate Programs
You can also search in Google to see if there are any affiliate programs for specific products in your niche. Either type “Niche + Products” into Google (or some other variant), find some good products, and see if they have affiliate programs, or even easier, just type “Niche + Affiliate Program” and see what comes up.
Sidenote: The reason I tell you to do all of this last is because a brand new site with weak content and no traffic will not likely be approved for affiliation.
If you really do want to test Adsense, I suggest you follow these guidelines. I mostly focus on Amazon and Clickbank as mentioned above. I DO earn from Adsense, but it’s nothing amazing and something that as of writing this guide, I’m not confident enough to teach you how to do.
Should You Have Adsense AND Amazon?
Now this is something that you’ll definitely need to test. In my experience, it’s better to choose one and run with it. Every-time someone clicks on an Adsense ad for example, they’re being taken away from your site and not going via Amazon.
Research I’ve done suggests that in most cases it’s better to choose one, but your results may differ.
Getting More Advanced
I could write a whole new 10,000 word guide on monetization and advanced techniques alone, so I’m just going to stick with the basics here. To learn more about advanced techniques, I suggest you just do a lot of reading and research on this blog, and other affiliate blogs. You can also subscribe to keep up to date with latest trends and follow my experiments.
In another article, I outline some great Internet Marketing sites to follow. I’m certain that if you check them out, you’ll find a LOT of inspiration.
I wish I could tell you a distinct way that is the best way to make money from your site, but it all comes down to testing. If you’re seriously having trouble with your site’s income and it is getting some decent traffic, feel free to reach out to me and I’ll see how I can help.
You’ve done it!
This guide is as meaty as they come and I’m sure you’ve learned a lot. In fact I’m sure you’ve learned so much that your head is going to explode!
Take your time, read it all, and read it all again. I’ve opened up the comments section on each chapter so you can ask if you get stuck. Equally, if you have anything of your own to add, feel free!