12-Aug-2019 02:25 PM Startups
Now that you have your website up and running, it’s time to think of ways to generate revenue from the site.
Building and maintaining a functioning website has become a top priority for most businesses. A website is most likely the first point of contact a potential client will have with your business. Depending on the nature of your business, your website may or may not have engaging content that will make visitors extend their stay. If you don’t have any such content it’s time to sit with a content strategist and create some. The easiest way to get started is to build a blog page on your website.
Apart from being able to convey your brand’s vision and goal through engaging blog posts, you can also use a blog to comment on the latest industry trends and exhibit thought leadership in your business domain. Once enough engaging content has been generated, you will notice a steady increase in the amount of time that visitors spend on your website. In other words, your bounce rate will go down.
Now that visitors are spending more time on your website, it’s time to think about how to use this to your advantage. Assuming you are following the conventional design structure of a blog, you will have some spare real estate on your page. You can use this space to generate revenue by leasing it out to an ad network like Google Adsense.
Once you register as a publisher on Adsense, you will be provided a code that you can place on your website. Adsense will then serve ads on your website and you will be paid depending on the user engagement with the ad. Adsense offers ads of various sizes and pays you either based on the number of impressions the ads get or the number of actual clicks on the ads. Either way, Google Adsense has turned out to the first source of revenue that many website owners look at.
Yahoo!/Bing ads, Ezoic and Bidvertiser have also risen to meet this new demand and have turned out to be good alternatives to Adsense for small publishers.
Users don’t mind being served ads as long as they don’t hamper the UX or take attention away from the content. Of course, you can run ads on all the pages of your website. But you’re most likely to see results when you run it on a page that has content to keep the user engaged.
Affiliate marketing is an arrangement in which an online retailer pays commission to an external website for traffic or sales generated from its referrals. For every sale you make or lead to, you get a commission. If you choose to go this way, it’s important to become an affiliate to a product that is not a direct competitor to your own product or business. The ideal strategy would be to promote products that compliment your business.
Many successful bloggers have created a steady source of income through affiliate marketing. However, if you’re a business, it might not be an ideal strategy to focus too much on this source as affiliate marketing requires putting in a considerable amount of time and effort.
Much like applying for an ad network, affiliate networks also require that you already have good quality content on your website and that they are published on a consistent basis. Some networks also have a minimum traffic threshold that you need to cross before being accepted into the program.
Ebooks are the best channels to showcase your thought leadership. If you’re operating in a niche sector, you might be privy to industry-specific information. You can write an article on these topics and promote them on social media. Once you publish a certain amount of articles - ideally about 10,000 words worth of articles - collate it into an ebook, design a cover on Canva and put it up for sale on Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing Platform for example. KDP terms and conditions dictate that you add extra information from what you’ve already published on the website. If you find the terms of KDP to be too restrictive, you can always give away the ebook on your website in exchange for the visitor’s email id.
Alternatives to KDP include Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Apple iBooks, and Google Play Books.
If you know the solution to a common pain point that many people in your industry face, then it’s time to hit the keyboard and push out a couple of articles. Then, re-purpose them into ebooks and offer them as free downloads. You can also create slides and upload them to slideshare.net. This will drive traffic from Slideshare to your website which in turn means more eyes on the ads displayed leading to more sales and commissions. In addition to getting visitors to respecting your brand as a thought leader, you also generate a few leads this way.
Once you begin receiving a steady stream of traffic and people start to see you as a domain expert, other players that are starting out in your industry will look towards you for support and guidance. They will want to showcase their opinions on industry-relevant topics as well but their website lacks the necessary traffic and visibility to make any significant impact.
If you’ve consistently followed all the above 3 steps, by now you’ve established yourself as a domain expert. You can begin accepting sponsored posts on your website. For the sake of complete transparency, you should disclose to your readers that the post is a sponsored one and that you have gained some form of reward from publishing the article. Many established bloggers charge about $50 per hour or more for content creation.
Whatever method you choose to monetize your website, it is very important to maintain complete transparency. In addition to keeping you clear of any legal troubles, users will also appreciate your ethics.
If you’re in need of a content strategy to drive traffic to your website or generate leads, reach out to Verbinden Communications today.