This post will contain a lot of really great advice to help you grow your online assets into something huge, but that advice is also going to be conceptual rather than step-by-step. Let’s jump right in:
Your Website Niche Should Have Decent Profit Potential
Most internet marketers would advise you to start a website about something that you have extensive knowledge, expertise and interest in. I’ve advised that myself and it’s a good start. But let’s go even one step further now and make sure there is potential to make money with your niche.
Making money online, if that’s your goal, is not just about what you know but it’s also about what’s profitable. Starting a website about free poetry is not going to make you much (if any) money. You could even be ranking on top of Google SERPs for a top poetry keyword and have a hard time seeing profits.
Consider your niche wisely from the outset. Look at similar websites in the niche and consider the type of advertising that appears on them. How much is a new customer worth in each case? What kind of money are people willing to pay for advertising? If you find the answer to be ‘not a lot’, then move on and research something more profitable.
Always Be Original And Try To Avoid ‘Like Content’ With Other Sites
Whenever you publish a post or an article on your blog or website ask yourself: “Would anyone share this article for any reason?” If the answer is “no” or “maybe” then you should not post the article or blog post.
Every time a new unique viewer comes onto your website you have an opportunity, usually one opportunity, to capture their attention and hopefully take that viewer to the next level with your site. If your website has mediocre content, spam articles, or uninspiring ideas, then what kind of imprint are you going to make on a new visitor?
A guiding principle to remember when it comes to generic content on the web: nobody cares. Anyone at anytime can go online and type ‘payday loans’ into a search engine and find many articles about payday loans. Why should they care if there is just another totally unoriginal 500 word article/post about the subject on YOUR WEBSITE?
If you’re going to succeed online you’ve got to rise above the literal sea of monotony and really offer something unique, something original and offer insight and ideas above and beyond in your subject.
If you’re publishing content that could have easily been written by someone you paid $5 bucks to… you’re probably wasting everyone’s valuable time. You could probably play that game for a while and even get some search traffic, but in the end your blog/website is not going to stick around for the long run. It’s just going to be another throwaway URL out in that sea of search results.
Be original, show some insight, and create something truly great for your audience.
Anything less is going into the trash-heap of the world wide web.
Focus On Quality AND Volume
I’d like to make a disclaimer for this part: Not every website or blog can follow what I’m about to suggest. The nature of your niche is going to depend on how much content you push out and in what time frame you do it. Keep that in mind and decide for yourself what’s right for your internet properties.
The long tail keywords are where a lot of major successful websites (think authority sites) make their money in the long run. Your best keyword might make only a tiny fraction of the total income you generate if you own an authority site. The way to go is having several hundred posts on your website with long-tail keywords.
If you’re interested in a long term, sustainable income from your site, you are going to want to make it an authority site with massive amounts of QUALITY content. Shoot for putting out an article a day for a few months and just see what happens (again, this depends on your niche so use your judgment).
The point here is to push yourself as much as you can, both in terms of quality and volume. But don’t ever prioritize volume over quality – it should be the other way around. It’s like a great workout routine. You get the most benefit by pushing yourself a little bit more when your body is telling you you’ve had enough, but go too crazy and get sloppy and you might set yourself back.
Build A Community Around Your Site And Your Ideas
There will come a time when your website is going to start getting some good organic traffic and readers will start leaving comments on your posts. You should answer those comments and start having conversations with your readers.
Some of the comments may even be worthy of writing a new post in order to advance the discussion. In other cases you may talk about a new topic and ask for feedback from your new audience. This will also help encourage discussion.
Once comments and traffic get to a steady point and you start seeing a small community forming, you might consider adding a forum to your website. This isn’t a necessity by any means but considering your niche it might be a good idea.
Also, in the eyes of Google and company, having a community of people who regularly visit your site and join in the discussion can help you because:
- Other people create FREE content for you on a daily basis, expanding your content footprint enormously.
- Repeat visitors improve a certain metric called ‘stickiness’ which shows the search engines that your readership trusts your blog or website.
- Genuine fans of your site will inevitably help spread your ideas, content, and website via word of mouth, social networks and spreading links throughout the web.
If you are receiving search engine traffic on a daily basis but not taking the effort to build a community, then you are missing a huge opportunity to grow your online asset.
Engage and start discussion with your audience if you want to build a following. It will, in the long run, create a huge amount of value and will cause your site to become a sustainable investment for many years.
Different Forms Of Monetization To Test
For the past decade a lot of internet marketers have started out, with their blog or website, using Google Adsense. Although that’s a fine, the search for online income should not end there.
If you take a look at certain businesses that are running Google Adwords to purchase your traffic, you will learn how to move up the ‘value chain’.
Reinvest Some Of Your Income
If you reinvest 100% of your earnings into site growth, you’ll never get to enjoy the fruits of your labor. On the flip-side, if you never reinvest your profits, then your site’s growth rate might be very, very slow.
My recommendation is that you reinvest a percentage of your income. One way of doing this would be taking 50% and putting it back into website growth until you reach your monthly income goal. After that, reduce your reinvestment to 25% of revenue.
This way you can aggressively grow the business until you get to your desired income level and you also insure that the site stays fresh and continues to grow afterwards.
So, what should you be putting that reinvestment money into?
There are a couple of options I like. One, you could pay or outsource to other writers and have them increase your sites content by writing articles for you. Two, you could pay for promotion. Or of course, you could do both if you feel you have the money.
Personally, I like to avoid the first strategy and instead pursue the second with vigor. I like to write my own content and use the income to further promote that content and increase my website/blog authority. I like this because:
- When you outsource on-site content, quality will typically drop off. This isn’t good for your website or your brand from a long term perspective.
- If you outsource your promotional efforts, it frees up a lot of time and mental energy so you alone can focus on creating valuable and useful content for your readers.
Create amazing content on your website or blog, then outsource the promotion of the content. That’s my idea of a good reinvestment strategy.
When You Start Making Money, Reach Out To The ‘Big Dog’ Advertisers In Your Niche
Google Adsense is great but never forget that Google is making a certain percentage from each click you get for them. If you were to go direct with an advertiser and remove Google from the equation, both you and the advertiser will benefit.
Take a hard look at the advertisers that show up on your site if you’re running Adsense (or another ad platform that’s similar). Examine their business model, see how they make money, and understand how to they could profit from purchasing your traffic directly.
After you’ve done that, approach them with a proposition. See if they’re interested in getting rid of the Google middle-man and instead buying the traffic straight from you. Be flexible and brainstorm with them in order to work out an agreement that benefits both of you more than the current situation.
It’s very likely that the ‘big dog’ sites in your niche monetize traffic more efficiently that you currently do. Take advantage of this and reach out to the big players. Offer to negotiate a direct deal. If they realize the value of your traffic, then they will probably be ready and willing to advertise directly.
Take Internet Marketing Advice (including my own) With A Grain Of Salt
Internet marketers, like myself, are always giving advice. Take this advice with a grain of salt and remember to always do your own testing. The key is to take action. If you have traffic and income starting to trickle in, it’s time you make a serious effort to grow your website or blog. Make some massive efforts if you want to see massive results.
Example: how many posts do you currently publish a week? One? Could you publish two? Would it benefit your audience to start publishing more?
The reason I use number of posts as an example is because of the enormous long term benefits of having more content on your site. To put it simply, if you have a thousand articles instead of one hundred, you’re going to have literally ten times the potential to keywords to rank for in the SERPs. This will also give you a huge advantage for split testing and deciding what works best and what doesn’t for making money with your site.
So, learn as much as you can and soak up all the free advice on this blog and all around the web, but make sure you take action and continuously refine your approach based on results you see.
Be Patient And Allow Success To Come Over Time
Most of you who try out internet marketing will give up long before you see a payout and I understand why. There’s a big obstacle for new bloggers/website owners. The problem lies with the huge amount of spammy content and sites on the web. Google and other search engines basically have to put everyone on SERP probation for a long time in order to see who is serious and who is not.
This creates a barrier of entry, bug it’s also a big opportunity. A lot of people just don’t have the patience to keep up with creating quality content, day after day, while waiting to see visitors and having Google turn their noses up at them.
Just remember, this is a great chance for you to persevere and be rewarded. The average time it takes to become successful online has stretched out considerably in the last decade. Some will give up in the first year due to lack of results.
I understand this struggle personally. We all have to go through it. The dark days when it seems like you’re the only one on your blog/website (and you probably are) but don’t forget that if you’re creating amazing content over and over again, eventually you’re going to be rewarded for it. In the meantime, use other forms of blog promotion.
You just need to believe in the process and have the determination to keep going.
Be strong, be patient and allow success to come to you!
One of these days you’ll probably be telling a friend “I make a full time passive income online. Wanna learn?”