Make money from a website with high quality content
Co-authored by Michael R. Lewis
Entrepreneur & Financial Advisor
If you have a website with high-quality content, you can make money from it. Attracting people to your website is the first step. Then consider selling your own products or other people’s products. You can also sell advertising space on your site. With time, dedication, and resourcefulness, you can create extra cash flow.
Generating Quality Content
Find your expertise or passion. What is it that stimulates your mind? Do you have an interest in video games or traveling to South America? Write down the top things that interest you. Look at your list and search online for these items. What is available already on these themes? If there is a topic that does not appear to have too many websites focused on it, that might be a good subject to cover.
- Choose a sustainable topic. While it might be interesting to read about a current fashion fad, will people still be looking at your website a year from now? Try to choose a broad topic that can accommodate several subtopics. For example, instead of focusing solely on the Sochi Olympics, write about the Winter Olympics.
Identify your audience. Be sure you have a potential audience. Check for online forums on your topic. What questions are people asking? Look on social media to see if there are interest groups attached to that topic. Look at what similar websites offer in terms of content. Do they have many visitors? On many sites you can see a visitor tally.
Investigate your competitors. Track how many websites there are on your topic. How many are written in your language? If there are numerous websites, blogs, and articles on your topic, do they share a common viewpoint? Look at their writing and design styles. Think about what you like and dislike on those sites. Are they well written? Pinpoint what you can offer that is better or different in terms of content, writing, and design.
- If you want advertising revenue, you will need to garner an audience. That means you must offer something unique.
Research your niche. Find factual sources that can support your writing. Bookmark pages that can help you. For example, if you want to write about Saint Bernard dogs, look at official entities like the American Kennel Club for information. Do not rely on Wikipedia. If you want to have a well-researched site, read published books, eBooks, or journals. These sources often have better researched content. Be sure to cite any sources you use. Readers trust websites more when references are listed. 
Produce good content. Write well-researched, grammatically correct posts. Proofread your work thoroughly. Make sure to have “pillar content,” in-depth, well-written pieces that will interest readers. Additionally, use regular blog posts to encourage visitor returns. When you find your niche and write well, people will find your site. If they like it, they will share it with others.
- Do podcasts. Some visitors prefer to listen to rather than read content.
- Make videos. Many website visitors enjoy watching and listening to new information. Consider making a tutorial or giving a mini lecture. Make sure your video has a professional background or setting.
Attracting People to Your Website
Use search engine optimization (SEO). By using keywords, unique title tags, or description meta tags, you can increase your ranking in search engine results. Focus on what is best for your visitors. Label your pages accurately so that search engines bring the desired visitors to your site. 
- Eliminate website errors. If search engines cannot index your website properly due to typos or coding errors, your search traffic may diminish. 
Start an email newsletter. Include information from your website or write related stories to engage readers. When people find a good newsletter, they often share it. You can include advertising links in emails. 
Use social media for advertising. Start advertising on social media to promote your website. For example, you can start a business page on Facebook. Add social media sharing buttons to your site. Buttons remind your visitors to share your content. With more shares, you will have more visitors. 
- Generate good-quality content on social media websites. If social media users ask questions about your expertise, answer their questions. Provide links to your site in your answer. Comment on other people’s blogs with links to your site as well. 
Connect with other website owners in your niche. Network with people who have similar websites. Ask for tips on how to increase traffic. Look at which advertisers they use. Suggest helping one another by providing links to each other’s sites.
Track current visitors. If you know who is visiting your site and where they are located, you can better market your site for advertising. For example, sign up with Google Analytics to see how many visitors you have, how visitors found your site, and where visitors are located. Analyze these statistics and create a summary for your advertisers.
- Aim to have 500 to 1000 daily, unique visitors before you begin advertising. 
Selling Advertising Space on Your Website
Sell banner ads. These ads pay you based on a per-click or per-impression basis. An impression means the banner is displayed to a user once. A click consists of someone clicking on the banner and being transferred to the advertised site. The banners may or may not be relevant to your audience. 
- To attract advertisers, put an “advertise” link in your navigation menu. You could also place a banner ad stating “advertise here.” 
- Contact potential advertisers related to your niche market. Offer them a rate based on cost-per-click or cost-per-impression.
- Purchase banner-management software like phpAdsNew, for example. These programs will rotate various banners on your site. This optimizes your advertising space and prevents repeat visitors from becoming bored. 
- Too many ads may turn off visitors and interfere with your content. Don’t be a hog!
Utilize a contextual ad service. Once you have a large enough audience (500 to 1000 unique visitors a day), you can Earn Money Through Google Adsense or use another contextual ad service. These programs automatically generate ads in the amount, size, and placement you desire. In comparison to traditional banner ads, these programs match ads with your site’s topic. Your readers are more likely to click these ads, and that will increase your income.
Write sponsored content. Contact companies interested in your niche. Offer to write sponsored articles for them. Some companies will pay you to write articles favorable to their products. These articles do not directly “pitch” products but interweave their benefits into a story. Sponsored content has gained popularity, because many online users now ignore banner ads. Journalistically, the article might not look different from others you write.  Consider whether such practices would offend your reader base. It would be best not to promote products that you do not support. Sponsored articles should have disclosure of relationship.
Sell your own products or services to your target audience. Consider creating mobile games, programs, website templates, or sound clips to sell. You could also create your own eBook or other products consumers can access instantly. Whatever products you choose to sell, make them relevant to your site’s content. For example, if your website is about iguanas, do not sell cat food. Iguana owners are more likely to buy products related to iguanas.
- If your content (e.g., e-books, software, reports, workout videos) has high value, you could charge people to access certain parts of your website. Consider the pros and cons of one-time fees, monthly or weekly plans, and pay-per-use options.
Sell other people’s services through affiliate programs. As an affiliate marketer, you earn money by promoting another company’s products or services. Similar to sponsored content, you provide links to affiliates’ services through content you have written. In this case, however, your advertising is more direct. You can rate products and provide links directly to them.  You might provide product-placement videos. You could be paid by the sale, click, or sign-up. Choose products that will interest your readers and add value to your website’s content.
- Becoming an affiliate marketer takes a lot of time and effort. It is one of the most time-intensive methods of advertising. 
- If you have strong content, you might ask the company to do cost-per-acquisition advertising. This gives you a commission based on what visitors purchase on the other company’s site.
Solicit support. If you give advice about a specialized topic, consider “selling” your wisdom via donations. Place a “donate” button or link on your website. Write a post asking people to contribute financially to your research. If you are filling a need and readers are grateful, they may well support you.
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