This is the fourth part of a six-part series titled “Up and Running with Niche Sites for Beginners“. In part 3 I explained How You Can Find Quality Content for Your Niche Website. You can follow along with all six articles from my blog start page.
Now that you have the content for your niche website out of the way, it’s time to move on to the most exciting step: monetizing your niche website. This is what it’s all about: making money. With the correct techniques, your niche website will be creating an income for you while you sleep, while you spend time with your family, or while you take a vacation to the beach. Basically, it makes money for you while you do anything except work. That’s the attainable dream of a completely passive income, and that’s the goal of your niche website.
There are a lot of ways to monetize your niche website, from simple PPC Adsense ads to links to product websites to full widgets for Amazon or eBay that put the products right on your site. You might want to experiment with several different options, and there’s no rule saying you can’t have multiple components on your website. Here are some of the most effective ways to monetize your niche website:
Setting Up Adsense
Let’s take a look at Adsense first. If you’ve been living under a rock and aren’t already familiar with Google Adsense, it is basically text or image advertisements that you can display on your website for free. They are tailored to the content on your site, and anytime someone clicks on an ad you get paid. It’s as simple as that, and there are a lot of profitable websites that make money solely through Adsense. If you take a look at some of my recent income reports, you will see that Adsense has taken over as my biggest money maker of late.
To set up an Adsense account, simply go to Google.com/adsense and follow their step by step instructions. You can use your existing Gmail or Google account, and if you don’t have one you will be prompted to register for one. Once the account is set up you start by creating your advertisements. You have control over what size or shape the ads will be, what colors the links and content will be, and where they are placed on your site. There are many techniques for improving your Adsense click-through rates, such as matching the ad colors to the colors of your website and placing links in “hot zones”, where they are more likely to be clicked.
After you set up an ad unit, you’ll be provided with an HTML code. Paste this code into the HTML of your niche site and you’re ready to go.
Amazon Associate’s Network: How it Works
The Amazon Associate’s network is an incredibly useful tool for any niche website. When you are registered with Amazon as an affiliate, you have the option of linking to every single product on their website. That’s hundreds of thousands of options at your disposal. You can pick one for your niche or go with several. What’s even better is that even if your viewer doesn’t purchase the product you’re promoting, as long as they enter the site through your affiliate link and make another purchase within a certain amount of days, you’ll still get a commission.
The best way to work with Amazon Associate’s is to create product reviews and post them on your site. Usually, they’re ‘spun’ in a favorable light, so after reading the review your viewers will be more likely to click on the accompanying affiliate link.
eBay Partner Network: How it Works
The eBay Partner Network is a fairly unique affiliate program. It’s sort of like a cross between Adsense and Amazon Associates. It’s a CPC program, just like Adsense, which means that you get paid per click on the ads. However, the amount that each click pays is directly related to the number of conversions that arise from those clicks. If your ads are bringing in a lot of sales for eBay, your price per click will go up. Conversely, if traffic from your site rarely or never purchases anything, your commission will go down and eventually you may get dropped from the eBay Partner Network. They call this method Quality Click Pricing.
Getting accepted to the eBay partner network is pretty straightforward – but can be difficult; you must have a website that they can review and a valid email address. Be sure that your website has quality content before applying for the program. If you apply with a basic website with no content, you will be declined.
Adding PhpBay to Your WordPress Niche Site
If you are using WordPress for your niche website, you have an extremely versatile option with PhpBay. This is a widget that integrates with the eBay Partner Network and allows you to more easily add products directly into any WordPress websites. I discuss PhpBay in more depth in this article.
Are There Other Options to Monetize a Niche Website?
There are literally dozens of options that you can choose from to pull a profit from your niche website. Here are a few more that you can look into:
- Direct Banner Advertising (OpenAds, OioPublisher)
- CPM Ads (ValueClick, TribalFusion, BurstMedia, RightMedia)
- In-text Advertisements
- Commission Junction
Of the above-mentioned methods, I also promote Clickbank products (with limited success so far) and some Commission Junction products. What makes Commission Junction nice is that you have thousands of different companies and products to choose from. Each one has it’s own application process and payout rate. (Linkshare is very similar).
Donations Work Better Than You Would Think
One of the options that a lot of people often overlook is just a simple donation button. If your niche website focuses more on providing information about a particular topic rather than selling a product, you could earn a sufficient monthly income just from adding a Donation button to the bottom of your pages.
The problem with donation websites is that they typically take some more work than other forms of niche websites. Readers tend to expect the content to be updated on a periodic basis, so it doesn’t work well as a site that you can just “set and forget.” WPCandy is a great example of receiving donations, and they explain the entire process in a recent post: “How to Create Your Own Powered By System Like Ours“.
Experiment for Success
Monetizing your niche website doesn’t have to happen all at once. Some forms of monetization work better with some sites but don’t work at all with another. Affiliate links tend to work extremely well with products, and almost any type of site can benefit from some well-placed Adsense ad units. The idea is to experiment for the first few weeks and find out what is bringing in the most money.
People say that sometimes it takes a few months to start seeing results from certain methods, and your site may not even start to see traffic for at least three or four months. The promotion will make a huge difference in how fast your niche site takes off, but don’t worry, as long as you follow all these steps, it will take off eventually.
How are you monetizing your sites? Do you have a favorite method or program?
- How to Start Researching Your First Niche Website
- How to You Can Find Quality Content for Your Niche Website
- Niche Websites: What Are They and How Can They Make You Rich?