How to Monetize Your Website Traffic
Let’s discuss how to monetize your website traffic in a step-by-step, systematic fashion. Given that many of us are visual learners, we will use the diagram below to guide our discussion. This picture clearly portrays a four-step process that anyone can follow to make money online.
Step 1 – Choose an Interest
This first step is all about you. Your hobbies, activities, passions or talents should drive this choice. Maybe there’s an obvious selection you’ve been considering for a while. If not, grab a blank sheet right now and just start making a list of broad topics you’re interested in or activities you really enjoy. Don’t overthink this. You know what you care about, and you can fine-tune your list later.
As an example, my list might look something like this: golfing, horses, hiking, dogs, healthy eating, gardening, diabetes prevention, and gourd art. I don’t have to tell you there are web pages devoted to any and all of these topics. This isn’t your first time on the internet 🙂
Of course, your first pass, like mine, might include topics that are pretty broad. You’ll want to refine your list to hone in on a unique aspect of one of these topical areas. The broader the topic you choose, the more competition your site will face. It can be challenging to compete with larger, established websites.
Your task is to distinguish your site by focusing on the needs and questions of a particular audience or target market. Ultimately, your objective is to create compelling articles and content that will captivate your targeted audience by answering the critical questions that are uppermost in their minds.
You’ll want to understand the demographic characteristics of your niche. For example, is your targeted audience male or female, young or more mature, and so on. Describing the characteristics of your niche helps to personalize your interactions.
Consider the following refinements.
- Golfing Tips for Women
- Caring for Your Aging Horse
- Hiking in the Desert
- Training Your Sheltie
Has the image of your targeted reader become clearer? Is it easier to identify questions they may need answers to? Are obvious article themes beginning to form and crystallize? Great! We’re making good progress!
For now, let’s pick one choice from your list and go with it. You can always change it later, but we’re brainstorming the process and adding clarity here. I’m going to select Caring for Your Aging Horse from my list because this is a subject near and dear to my heart. Emotional involvement and the ability to intensely relate will facilitate fully understanding and connecting with your niche.
I find this topic intensely engaging because I’m dealing with this issue on a daily basis. Danny Boy came to live with us as a six-year-old. He quickly won a place in our hearts and has enriched our lives in so many ways. He turned 29 this year. I know from personal experience that this niche has numerous problems they are seeking solutions to.
Do I have all the answers? Not at all, but that’s OK. If I have a good sense of the questions, I can research possible solutions and then write relevant articles from a knowledgeable perspective. I’m highly motivated and engaged in this effort. This is an important goal for you to keep in mind. I have my work cut out for me, but the prospect is exciting. What we don’t want is to turn this into another 9 – 5 experience. Follow your passions and enjoy the venture.
It doesn’t hurt that I can perform my research and update my website from anywhere an internet connection is available. My patio or my favorite coffee shop both make great choices. That feeling of freedom is invaluable.
So here’s the next exercise I’m going to task you with. Open Google, type in your desired niche, and see what you find. Ideally, you want at least ten themes that will interest your niche audience. Ten minutes on Google gave me a wealth of pertinent ideas to enhance my personal experience.
Here’s my list:
- Nutrition for the Senior Horse
- Dental Problems
- Nutrient Absorption
- Feeding Strategies
- Lameness in Older Horses
- Supplements for Geriatric Horses
- Metabolic Disorders
- Environmental and Herd Stress
- How to Prevent and Manage Rub Wounds
- Arthritis and Joint Care
I’m feeling really good about my list, and I hope you are too. I can break down and further expand upon each of these topics to provide article fodder for quite a while. You can return to this exercise as often as you need to but for now, let’s move on.
Step 2 – Build a Website
If you’ve read my Getting Started Online page, you’re fully aware of the necessity for a website as a vehicle for communicating with your targeted niche. If you haven’t done so already, I urge you to consider creating a free WordPress website through a 100% free Starter Membership in Wealthy Affiliate University. This action would allow you to get started today on this all-important step. My Build a Website page contains an informative video that will walk you through a surprisingly simple 3- click process to create the basic structure for a website.
Once the basic structure for your website has been created, you can initiate the process of adding relevant, helpful, informative content to your site that meets the needs of your website visitors. The burning question that should now be uppermost in your mind is, “what can I write related to this topic that will help others online”? Remember, content is king, and you want your site to be viewed as one of real substance. This is ultimately how you will distinguish your website from those created by your competition.
Step 3 – Get Rankings and Visitors
Once you take the plunge and commit to this new venture by building a website, the critical component in achieving success will be drawing traffic to your site. How will you do that? Very simply, how will anyone outside your circle of close friends know that your site exists? Potential visitors will discover your site when you achieve rankings in the search engines. Google rankings will be your principal concern because they control the lion’s share of search engine traffic.
Think about the last time you jumped online looking for information of some kind. What did you do? You probably went to Google, clicked in the search box, and began typing in words or phrases related to the information you needed. As you typed in terms, Google displayed a list of web pages that appeared to match your search. You were then able to click on one or more of the pages displayed and be taken to those websites. In other words, Google directed you to a website that you were not previously aware of.
Your primary goal is to optimize your site so that when a member of your target market performs a search, your web page shows up on page 1 of Google. You want Google to love your site! This is not going to happen overnight. In fact, it will probably take several months. But if you make a commitment to quality content and patiently strive to implement known techniques, this is definitely an achievable goal.
Google will evaluate your site based on many factors such as effective use of keywords, and fresh content that is continually refreshed. Google does not like static content. One of the ways in which membership in Wealthy Affiliates can be invaluable is through the training sessions provided on Search Engine Optimization (SEO). There are also many members of the WA community who have successfully implemented techniques, achieved page 1 rankings, and are willing to share the secrets of their success. A wealth of knowledge is available to new members.
Step 4 – Earn Revenue
Once your website has traffic, there’s a myriad of ways in which you can generate revenue. One of the easiest and most common ways is to promote products on your site by enrolling in affiliate marketing programs. You will want to ask yourself the following questions.
What products or services are people buying within your niche?
Can you promote these products?
Can you provide informative reviews of competing products within your niche?
Your answers to these questions will be very helpful in determining specifically how to monetize your website traffic. You can be sure that there is an affiliate program for virtually every product you can imagine. If you know what products you want to promote, it generally takes less than 5 minutes to apply and become an affiliate.
You can be well on your way to nicely supplementing your retirement income. Can you take that leap of faith, as I did, and start out on this journey today by clicking the banner on the upper right side of this page?
I wish you every success as you venture online!