How to Make Real Money with your Website!
In one of our previous posts, we looked at 30 ways your website can earn you money. This proved to be a popular list of all the various methods that you can use to monetize your website. However, some methods are much better than others for generating income. Which one is best for you, depends on what your site is about.
Most people that will be reading this will have their own blog, or be thinking about starting one. Blogs, if done right, have the potential to earn you a lot of money. Despite this, I believe that 99% of blogs are not being monetized properly, which often leads to many being abandoned because they aren’t making any money!
The biggest mistake many people make (I myself have done this in the past) is just to simply stick up some Google ads and hope for the best. Now, if you read our 30 ways your website can earn you money you will know that these types of PPC adverts and similarly CPM ads only work with high traffic websites. Blogs, especially new ones, don’t tend to get anywhere near the required amount of traffic to make these worthwhile. Yes, they may make you a small amount, but not as much as other methods, whilst they take up valuable space on your site.
You will be glad to know that there are much better ways to earn real money from your blog, which is what we will be looking at!
How I Monetize my Blog and How you can to!
At first glance of our website it may seem obvious how we monetize it. In the side bar on every page there is a number of small adverts that we display and just underneath that we display a ‘Donate’ button. The more observant will also have noticed that at the bottom of each post we also have an Amazon Widget that displays various books that we recommend.
These are just a small portion of how we monetize our site. The majority comes from Affiliate Marketing.
Promote Affiliate Programs on your Website
Affiliate programs are a great way for you to earn money by advertising them. This type of advertising allows you to earn commission with every sale that resulted from your recommendation and referral from your site. You refer visitors from your site in a number of different ways, such as recommendations, banner ads, text link ads, etc., which takes them to the product page. If they buy, then you get a commission. This is often worked out on a percentage of the sale price, maybe 10-20%, sometimes more depending on the individual product.
Again, people often make the mistake of just putting a few of these affiliate links on their site and hoping for the best. If they are lucky they may get a few sales from them. There is so much more to Affiliate marketing than simply doing that. If you want to earn some real money from these, then you just need to put in some effort.
[quote]“The harder you work, the luckier you get.” – Gary Player[/quote]
Check out our ‘10 Tips For Using Affiliate Programs On Your Website‘ for more information.
Promote Products That You Use
This is easily the best way that you can sell affiliate products. People can see that you are using what you are promoting, which justifies what you are saying. Your readers are much more likely to purchase a product that you have recommend when you have proven that you yourself use it. If you are not willing to use a product that you are promoting, then why should someone else.
An example of how we do this is that we promote HostGator, the hosting company that we use to host our site on. We talk about them in our tutorials when applicable and have shown how to set up an account with them in our video tutorial on our getting started page.
No matter what your website niche is, there will be plenty of products that you can promote that you probably already use for your site. For example, a technology blog could promote the software that they use to produce the video tutorials on via an affiliate link to Amazon.
Have you noticed just how popular comparison websites are, they seem to be everywhere! This is because they are very profitable. You can incorporate a similar strategy on your site. Whenever you suggest a product to your readers, then you can link to a page that you have set up comparing some of the similar products.
But why would you link to other products, when you want people to buy the product that you are affiliate marketing?
You will probably find that most products will have their own affiliate program that you can sign up to, though some can be harder to find than others. This means that despite comparing your recommended product against others, you will still earn something if your readers choose to go with on of the others listed. It is a win win from your point of view. Here is our hosting provider comparison page.
Doing this means that you should be promoting the best product in the field, despite what you may potentially earn as an affiliate percentage. If you are promoting the worst just because it offers the best return, but compare it to a product that is far superior, then everyone will go for that one. You may get paid either way, but you could damage your reputation. People are smart, they can see if you are blatantly just pushing one product for the sake of it, when there is clearly a better one. This could ultimately lead to a drop in traffic!
It is perfectly natural for people to want to shop around. If you can let them do this on your own site by showing a comparison page, then it will increase your conversion rate.
Affiliate Based Blog Posts
There are loads of different ways to promote Affiliate products on your site, but the best ones are usually tutorials and reviews.
Tutorial and guide posts are a great way of advertising products to your readers. When you are writing a tutorial, throughout you can reference products that they can use. An example of this would be our own getting started page, where we teach people how they can set up their own website. Whilst we are providing valuable information that they can use to build their own site, we also recommend products such as HostGator that they can use to host their site on.
Reviews can be bit more blatant that guides, but they can be just as effective. If approached in the right way, all blog posts can be some sort of review of a product.
The key is to provide quality content that people want to read. If that content offers your readers some sort of value then they will want to read it. This is the primary reason for someone visiting your site, not to buy your affiliate products! You are much more likely to successfully recommend an affiliate product in a quality blog post that they want to read, rather than a poor one that’s sole aim is to push a product by being too aggressive.
Email Marketing can be one of the most profitable things that you can implement on your site. The whole point of email marketing is that you can build up a list of people that are interested in what you have to say. With this list you can then recommend products that they might like and encourage them to revisit your website.
The tricky part of this process is getting people to sign up in the first place! Just like with your website content, you need to offer them valuable content as a reason to opt-in and sign up. This could be with a free gift, training course, money off coupon, etc. As long as people are getting something out of it, then you will be more likely to get them signing up.
How I Implement Email Marketing
- I place opt-in forms throughout the website (you should have seen these). To get people to sign up I offer a FREE 7 Day training eCourse teaching them how to set up their own website. I display opt-in box’s at the top of each page, below each post that I write and I include a lightbox advert, which dramatically increased my conversions!
- People can then sign up via one of these opt-in boxes to receive the eCourse. They just need to confirm their email address.
- I can then email these people to inform them of any new offers, content, up coming seminars, etc.
Now, there is no way that I could do all this manually. Thankfully, there is useful auto-responder software that I use to automate the whole process. I use AWeber to do this and I would highly recommend that you do too. I chose to use AWeber because it is the industry standard that all of the professionals use.
To read more about AWeber and Email Marketing in general, check out my ‘How to use Email Marketing to Increase Traffic with Return Visitors‘ post where we look at how it can be used to increase traffic to your site. Their is also a video tutorial that shows you how easy it is to set up the whole process.
Find Affiliate Products to Promote
The key to making money from affiliate marketing is finding the right product to promote. This is a lot easier than you might think. The vast majority of online products and services have their own affiliate program on their website that you can simply sign-up to. Their are also websites like ClickBank that let you browse a vast number of products that you can promote. You can also promote product that are listed on Amazon by signing up to their affiliate program.
As you can see, there are plenty of products out there that you can promote and make money from. Just remember that the more relevant your products are to your site, the more likely people are to buy them.
I hope you found this post useful. Please leave your comments below & feel free to ask any questions.