Monetizing your website. Every blogger’s dream.
In today’s blogging tip I’m going to cover a beginners guide to monetizing your website. There’s a lot of great stuff in this post so I think I’m going to break it down into two posts. One today and the second on Saturday.
If you are using a free website such as WordPress.com Don’t fret, you can monetize that website too. Check out this post to learn how.
Let’s get real, blogging costs money and takes a lot of our time.
There are costs involved with your web provider, domain registration, and website development and plugins just to name a few.
What about being compensated for your time? You spend time developing your content and getting it online. Shouldn’t that be worth something too?
Wouldn’t it be nice to turn a little profit from your hard work? Maybe make a couple bucks to help pay some of the costs?
That’s what this post is about, how to monetize your website. Even if you have no plans to monetize your site, you should keep a couple of these ideas in your back pocket, just in case…
Where to start with monetizing your website
First things first… You shouldn’t start monetizing your website right from the start. Why? Because no one will find you and you will get frustrated and quit.
One thing before we get too deep into monetizing your website, concentrate on writing great content and gain a following before you start monetizing. This allows you to hone your skills and develop raving fans. Once you are there, then monetizing will be easier.
I see this all the time, a new blogger asks, should I add affiliate links to my blog? The quick answer is “Sure, but after you have started to write that killer content.”
Affiliate links are an easy way to make some cash from your website. They basically work like this:
You place a link in your blog post to a particular product or service that you use and like. This link has a dedicated ID that is only associated with you. When someone clicks on that link and purchases the item or service, you get a small commission (at no cost to the buyer!). The nice thing about affiliate links is you can get them for just about anything. If you are interested in adding affiliate links to your website, then google your favorite product + affiliate link. They may have an affiliate program and if they do, great. If not, try something else.
So try something like:
bookit.com affiliate link
Fiverr affiliate link
Adobe affiliate link
Another place to look is CJ Affiliate or Clickbank. These two sites are for sites that a lot of traffic. The beginning blogger should pass on these, but maybe later??
If you are interested in adding affiliate links but are not really sure where to begin, Amazon has a great affiliate program.
If you are going to add affiliate links to your site, you MUST disclose the fact that there affiliate links on your site.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) basically says this, the affiliate link disclosure needs to be where the reader can find it. It needs to be located in a clear and conspicuous location. So that means you cannot bury it somewhere on your website, such as hiding it in an About US page or General Info page. It MUST be somewhere that the reader can find it. See my disclosure in the right-hand column of every page.
For information on the affiliate link disclosure, check out the FTC.gov web page.
This is for US based websites. Be sure to check your local regulations. There may be similar rules in your country.
But if your country does not have rules for affiliate links, my suggestion is to add a disclosure anyway. It’s just the right thing to do.
When in doubt, check with a qualified lawyer if you have any question about the FTC disclosure policy.
Create an eBook
What is an eBook?
An eBook is simply an electronic version of a book and it can cover any topic under the sun. Some popular formats are PDF or Kindle versions. Though they are both electronic versions, they are formatted differently. So you may need two version depending on where you publish. The Amazon Direct Publishing site can convert your manuscript into a Kindle format for free.
How to create an eBook
How am I going to do that, you ask? Easy.
There are two options for this, you can sit down and write an eBook, start at the beginning and finish at the end. Or, you can look at what you are producing every week.
Let me explain, are you producing content on a regular basis? (If not, you should be…)
Do you cover a particular topic pretty consistently?
Maybe you are covering that topic and different aspects of that topic?
If so, then it sure sounds like you have an eBook in the works!
Take that existing content. Organize it. And format it.
I bet you’ll start to see the beginning of an eBook. Or better yet, you’ll have a complete eBook!
When you have it all together, do some editing and add a cover. I like to use Fiverr (yes, this is an affiliate link) for my quick jobs. Sometimes it’s best to outsource some work so you can concentrate on the important things. Hmm, does that sound like another blog post…?
There are several ways you can sell your book.
For Amazon, head on over to kdp.amazon.com. If you place your book on Amazon, you could earn up to %70 of the sale. Let’s face it, Amazon is the biggest retailer in the US, probably the world. So it would be a good idea to convert your book so it can be readily sold on Amazon. Also, kdp.amazon.com can convert your book into the Kindle platform for free.
You can also use, Clickbank (hmmm, them again) They charge $1 plus 7.5% of the sale. I’m sure there are other sites, you’ll just have to do a Google search to find them. But read the fine print before selecting any of the eBook retailers.
You can also set up a store on your website and sell it from there. Paypal makes it kind of easy, but you will be responsible for delivery, returns and all of that kind of fun stuff.
Advice about eBooks
Make sure you are writing on a topic that you know. No one wants to read, or worse yet, purchase a book that is filled with fluff.
Create a professional layout. There are plenty of people that can do that. I wouldn’t overwhelm yourself trying to write a book AND format it too.
Create a professional looking cover. Again, this is a great place to use Fiverr.
This is also a great place to add some affiliate links. (Hmmm, there’s that word again.)
Well, I hope this has helped answer some of your questions on where to start with monetizing your website. In this post, I covered two of the ways but they are the easiest to start and probably the more profitable of all of the ways to monetize your website. So go check out part 2.
I hope you like this first part of the series. Let me know in the comments section if you liked it or let me know if you didn’t like it. I’m always up for suggestions to improve what I’m doing.
Until next time.
Keep your pen to the paper and keep writing.
Peace, Love, and Happiness