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Tennessee, USA
 
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Sydney, Australia

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Virginia, USA

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Monetizing Your Site

Creating Multiple Streams of Income.
 
Paul Smithson - 29th December 2008
   
paul smithson Building a website can be easy - especially if you use a tool like XSitePro that cuts down on your development time - but once it’s created, you have to figure out how you plan to monetize the site and that can often be the hardest job.

There are endless ways you can turn a simple URL into a cash cow. Let’s take a quick look at just a handful of them.

You might start off with pay-per-click advertising.  Google’s AdSense program allows you to place ads on your site and whenever anyone clicks on any of these ads you get a share of the revenues.

The great thing with AdSense, and similar systems, is that you don’t have to worry about making sure that the ads are appropriate as Google does all of that for you. If your site is about fresh water turtles Google will make sure that the ads that it feeds to your site are all about fresh water turtles. Equally, if your site is about tennis then you’ll get tennis adverts as there’s little point in show ads about fresh water turtles on a tennis site or visa versa.

All you need to do is insert the code that Google gives you (or that is built into XSitePro) and the rest is done for you automatically. Google will analyze the page and make sure it is serving the best ads possible, i.e. the ads that Google thinks people are most likely to click on, based on the subject matter of that particular page.

An alternative, that can work well for some sites, is for you to sell your own ad space. While most people like the simplicity of plugging in an AdSense ad, it is possible to have an ad space program where you charge a flat rate for premium space (such as the header) and less for other areas on your domain.

Selling your own space can work superbly for well established sites that can demonstrate the amount of traffic passing through. Just contact appropriate sites within your niche and offer to let them have a free ad for a month on the condition that they agree to monitor the click-throughs from the ad and that should they be above an agreed level they will agree to a paid for program over an appropriate period of time, which could be for as long as a year.

Any online business worth its salt will be happy to test such an arrangement if they think it has a good chance of working and will be happy to commit to spending an agreed amount per year on the basis that the test works, and that the volume of traffic coming in from the ad continues to hit the agreed targets. It’s a no-brainer, particularly if they have the ability to monitor the number of sales they make as a result of that advertisement.

Another way to monetize your site is affiliate marketing. Simply find products that are appropriate for your visitors and display text or graphical advertisements to encourage your visitors to purchase.

At it’s most simple level this could simply be a link to a book on the same subject matter, but it’s easy to take it a stage further by writing full reviews of suitable products that finish with a link to purchase the product. If you’ve built up trust in your site then people will be predisposed to investigating your recommendations and as long as you make sure that the product is worth your recommendation you will be likely to see a steady stream of sales.

As an affiliate marketer, you don’t need to worry about product creation - just hunt down appropriate products or services and plug them into your own website.

If you want to create a steady stream of profits, you might consider cordoning off one area of your domain and making it a “Members Only” or “VIP” section.  Charge a nominal fee for people to gain access to this reserved area and your subscription payments will come in like clockwork month after month.

Obviously, people aren’t willing to pay a membership and get no benefits in return so you need to make sure that what you are offering in your members area is well worth paying for. This usually means some ongoing work on your part, e.g. creating worthwhile content, so make sure that you have thought through all the logistics before you start charging people a membership fee, because once you’ve got subscribers you will have no option but to keep up with their ongoing expectations.

You can, of course, monetize your site with a product of your own. Most niches lend themselves to creating some kind of informational product that you can sell directly from your site. This could be anything from an ebook to a printed book, an audio recording, a video or even software. The great thing with selling your own product, or products, is that you get to keep one-hundred percent of the revenues.

The great thing is that you don’t have to pick just one method of monetization for your website.  You can combine these techniques and make the most out of your space on the virtual landscape of the World Wide Web. It’s far better to have multiple streams of income than a single source of revenues, so consider how each of the above can be implemented on your site and it shouldn’t be long before your stream of income turns into a veritable river of revenues.

About Paul Smithson - Paul Smithson is the founder of Intellimon and the driving force behind the best-selling XSitePro web site development tool. Since graduating in Business Strategy and Direct Marketing from two of Europe’s leading business schools, Paul has set up five multi-million dollar companies, one of which is now owned by the BBC. His areas of expertise include business strategy, e-commerce, on-line and off-line marketing, software development, and maximizing the potential of on-line businesses.


For more information about this, and many other Internet Marketing-related topics, visit Paul Smithson's site, www.xsitepro.com.

Source: http://www.xsitepro.com/monetizing-your-site.html


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