Content is king…… But regardless of how great your blog, review, or article content is, you’re not going to make much money on it unless you’ve got the right monetization practices in place.
This article will show you some proven, easy-to-implement tactics that you can use to monetize your content site.
Opt-In Email List
The most time-tested aspect of monetizing a content website is to collect names of visitors. Why? So you can sell to them more than once. It’s much harder to attract a visitor the ?rst time, but easier to sell to them over and over again once they become your “friend” by subscribing to your list. Be sure to have an opt-in form on your site, and give visitors something with a high-perceived value in order to collect as many email addresses as possible.
Then you want to remain in touch with them. Send them informational newsletters mixed in with af?liate product recommendations. People who received something from you in the past are more likely to buy from you again, so treat your list with respect; always offering good information, and recommendations for excellent products.
Banner Ads and Text Links
Merchant banners used to be the only thing that visitors could click on to get to the merchant’s site. But eventually, so many banners were popping up all over the place that people became blind to them and developed what was called banner blindness. That being said, however, people will still click on banners if they are interesting enough, or have interesting text in them. They just don’t click as often.
That’s when text links became popular. They are still the major form of pro?ts for many affiliates. It’s not hard to write an interesting article for a blog or website and put links to merchant products in the text of the article.
As always, you’ll need to do your keyword research to get targeted traf?c that’s looking for what you have to sell.
Charge a Fee to Place Banners on Your Site
With af?liate marketing, you get paid when someone clicks on your banner or text link and buys something. However, if you’ve got a site that is highly specialized towards a particular niche, and gets a high amount of daily traf?c, consider selling advertising space on your site.
Usually this type of advertising is in the form of a banner placed in a highly visible area of your site. Many times, companies who buy these banner placements are more interested in getting their brand image recognized than in making a sale.
In order to make this type of advertising work, you need a decent number of page views, or impressions, on your site. You can then sell banner advertising based on how many people will probably view the banner.
You can charge for this service in two ways:
- The number of impressions the banner gets per thousand. You can charge anywhere from $0.25 to $5.00 per 1,000 impressions, depending on how popular your site is.
- A ?at fee for a particular spot on your blog or website. A highly desired position to sell is a spot on your home page, above the fold. You’ll need to do some research on what others are charging, but again, if you offer a top spot on your site, and have a good amount of traf?c, you should be able to make some good extra income.
NOTE: Before offering either of these services to merchants, be sure you can prove how many unique visitors your site gets.
Add AdSense Ads to Your Site
Don’t forget to use Google AdSense on your pages. While it’s debatable whether AdSense ads take away more in af?liate revenue or provide more in AdSense revenue, it’s worth testing.
With AdSense, you can choose to display banner ads, text ads, or both. The nice thing about AdSense ads is that they’re easy to install. Google does all the work; the ads that appear on your site are relevant to your site’s topic.
Use Social Networking
There are a huge number of social networking services available now. Many of them are free to use. Most of us know about Facebook and Twitter, but there are others that could help you get started on monetizing your content site.
Here’s a look at ?ve such services.
With over 400 million users, Facebook is the world’s largest social network. It’s a great place for friends to stay in touch and to communicate what they’re doing or thinking about on any given day. And anyone with a valid email address can join Facebook.
But Facebook is also a great place to promote an af?liate website. Because Facebook is a social networking site, you can join groups and interact with others in your niche. You can then mention something new that you posted on your website and tell your Facebook friends about it.
Subtlety is the word with regard to any posting on Facebook or any other social networking site. You’ll lose friends through the all-out sales pitch in a Facebook post.
However, you’ll retain friends, and even gain a few friends, by pointing them to content on your site that they can use.
Twitter has emerged as the latest social media craze. It’s used by millions each day for everything from news and traf?c updates to personal updates and celebrity sightings.
And with each “tweet” of 140 characters or fewer, lots of people are sharing information immediately and constantly — both at home on their computers, or on the go on their mobile phones.
Twitter is a great way to keep in touch with both potential and actual customers. You can alert them as to new content you’ve posted, or you can pass along a special offer related to a product you’re selling.
Your tweet can include your website link, along with some content that entices readers to click on the link.
And occasionally, you can tweet about one of your af?liate products and link to your sales page.
For more information on what Twitter can do for your af?liate business, check out: http://business.twitter.com/twitter101/.
Google AdSense for Feeds
Google AdSense now has a way to put ads into your RSS feeds! Just as you can incorporate AdSense on your website, this program allows you to incorporate it in your RSS feeds. With Google AdSense for Feeds, you can “Distribute your content; earn revenue by displaying relevant text and image ads in your RSS feeds.”
Find more information at: https://www.google.com/adsense/www/en_US/feeds/index.html.
Squidoo has grown immensely since its start in 2005. It’s now among the top 300 most-viewed sites in the U.S., and among the top 500 worldwide.
Squidoo combines the best of both an article directory and an individual website. Like an article directory, it allows its users to post their content in a community setting and to rate other’s content. And it allows users to create the portal on which to post the content, similar to a website.
Here are the advantages of using Squidoo:
- You don’t have to sign up with an ISP to house your site.
- You don’t need to know HTML to create lenses on Squidoo.
- It takes just a few minutes to build your lens, and you’re good to go.
- It costs nothing to set up, and you can build as many lenses as you please.
- Google ranks Squidoo pages highly, because of their content.
- You can incorporate ads from one or more of Squidoo’s partners, and receive a commission whenever a reader clicks on an ad on your lens.
Best of all, unlike Facebook and Twitter, Squidoo actually encourages you to make money from your lens. In fact, many af?liates advertise their websites through content in their Squidoo lenses. Those websites also bene?t from the backlinks those lenses provide. So this offers a great opportunity to monetize your content. You can optimize your Squidoo lens for your preferred keyword. You can also include links to another website of yours, and even include your af?liate link.
So, for example, you could post on your Squidoo lens a review of a product you can sell. You can write about what the product can do for the reader, and link back to your merchant’s page. Most article directories won’t allow you to do that, but Squidoo does.
You can ?nd out more at: http://www.squidoo.com/squidoo.
Just like Squidoo, HubPages has grown to be one of the top-viewed sites on the Internet. It’s among the 100 most-visited sites in the U.S.
And just like Squidoo, HubPages allows you to post and monetize content. You can create individual pages on topics of your choice; the pages are called “hubs.”
Once you’ve posted your content in a hub, you earn recognition among other HubPages users (known as “Hubbers”). Feedback on your hub is recorded through a ranking system known as HubScore.
Hubs can be monetized in a couple of different ways:
- HubPages ad partners: HubPages partners with Google AdSense, Kontera, Amazon, and eBay. When you build your hub, you can choose to include advertising that relates to your content from one or more of these partners.
- HubPages also offers an af?liate program that rewards you for referring writers. If a writer you refer publishes a hub, HubPages will give you 10 percent of its share of the revenue from its ad impressions on that hub.
- Of course, you can also include optimized content. The thing to keep in mind is that HubPages has stricter requirements regarding content than Squidoo does. They frown upon duplicate content, and they reject anything resembling an over-the-top sales pitch.
You can ?nd out more at: http://hubpages.com/tour/af?liate/.