6 Steps To Monetize Your Website Successfully

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How I Used My Offline Knowledge To Make Money Online Part 2

This is the second part to my previous post:

Every new blogger is looking for a way to monetize their website as quickly as possible. One of the questions that I get asked the most from people who are starting blogging is, “How did you start to make money online?” In order to help you on your money making journey, here are six steps that I recommend to anyone trying to become successful at making money online.

1. It All Starts With Passion And Knowledge

One of the biggest misconceptions that most online bloggers have is that you can make money creating a website where you write about your passion. That may be true or it may not. If your passion is teaching others how to save money or starting a home based business then you may make quite a bit of money. If your passion is writing about collecting bottle tops, you will probably find that you have a difficult time making money online.

Blogging about a topic that you care about is not enough. You have to write about topics that other people care deeply about as well. Making money online is a combination of selecting the right topic and merging it with your knowledge base and passion. If it were an equation, it would be expressed as follows:

TOPIC + PASSION + KNOWLEDGE = SUCCESS

The right topic can make your site a success even with lots of competition. The wrong topic can cause your site to struggle despite producing qualitative post after post. Some topics are just really easy to monetize whereas others may take a lot more work.

2. Find A Topic That Interests You And Others

Most people that search online for topics look for subjects that interest them. It does not matter whether it is sports, money, business, politics, or entertainment. The average Internet surfer is trying to find information that they deem relevant. If you want to make money online, you need to find a topic that you care deeply about and that other people care about as well.

One of the reasons that I first started my blog, Buy Like Buffett is because I discovered that so many people had questions about what to do with their money. I was always running into friends and family members that would ask me an investing or money management question. It soon struck me that I could create a site that would provide insights into the financial questions that people had.

I knew that this topic would work because of my offline experience with people. My day-to-day interactions showed me that the financial area was one in which people were hungry for information. I figured that I could answer a lot of the questions that people have about investing. Since I knew the questions that people had, my blog could provide answers to them.

You can create a popular site by just answering the questions that people have and are unable to find answers to anywhere else.

3. Figure Out What Can Make Your Site Unique

One thing that you may find is that there are already a number of sites that talk about a similar topic to you. I noticed when I started blogging that there were already a whole lot of financial websites around. That was intimidating because I started to wonder if there was really a need for my website or not. Fortunately, I did not let that stop me.

Just because there are other sites that are in the same category as yours does not mean that their sites are just like yours. You don’t have to follow the crowd. You have the ability to put your own unique spin on a topic.

I decided that most financial blogs talk about everything in the financial arena equally. My blog would not do this. I decided to focus on the area of my expertise. Most of my content on my site is about investing either via stocks, mutual funds, bonds, or ETF’s. Those are the areas that I know the most about so that is why I write the most about them. I would estimate that 90% or more of my content is centered around investing.

I aimed to make my blog unique by giving my opinion on different investments and to explain moves that I was making with my own portfolio. I figured that was something that no other site could duplicate and would guarantee that all of my content was unique, fresh, and original. My knowledge in the investing arena was paramount because I doubt that people would come read my blog if my background was not in finance.

You can make your site unique by providing distinctive information that sets you apart from the crowd. This could be through posts, videos, or podcasts. For example, one of the first things that caught my eye on Entrepreneur’s Journey were Yaro’s video posts. They were informative and eye-catching which helped to distinguish his site from the crowd.

4. Become An Authority

One thing that I quickly learned is that you can differentiate yourself from large and small sites by showing your authority in your blogging area. One of the reasons that you are taking the time to read this post on this site is that Yaro has demonstrated his expertise in creating online income through entrepreneurship. If you didn’t think that Yaro had a wealth of knowledge to offer then you wouldn’t read his blog.

The same thing applies to your website as well. When you write online about topics in which you have a lot of offline knowledge about, your authority will come across to others. Think of every single post that you write as a link in the chain of authority. As your site is filled with more posts, you are increasing the number of links in the chain…even Google uses links to help them determine the authority of a website!

Remember that the more authoritative your website is, the more that people are willing to trust your recommendations and reviews.

My offline knowledge helped me to become an authority online. I was not writing about finance as a hobby as a lot of site owners were. I was writing about an area that I have worked in for a number of years, studied, and actually made my living doing. I had real life experience in it and this came across to my readers that read my posts. My online authority in finance grew with every guest post, blog post, and interview that I did.

5. Don’t Make This Mistake

One of the first things that new bloggers do is try to sell information, products, or software the minute that they create their new blog. Their sites provide little to no information and are solely created to sell a product. Their new ebook or product quickly flops and they often find themselves discouraged and unwilling to engage in any more product sales. That is simply because they took the wrong approach.

I am a big believer in the fact that new blogs should not try to sell any product initially. Site owners would be better off creating fantastic content that will fill up their blog’s pages. This content serves two purposes:

  • Helps you to build a reputation in the online universe
  • Attracts traffic to your new website

Any successful website owner or Internet marketer has built up a name that people trust. People will buy products because of the recommendation of someone that has built up a reputation over time. Building a reputation in your chosen niche could take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.

6. Create Products That Center Around Your Knowledge Basis

Once you have built your reputation as an authority to your readership, you are in a position where you can market and sell products to your readers. Most site visitors are not going to disclose their email address or buy a product from a site they visited one time. People buy products from people that they know. Being able to effectively sell products is a matter of trust. People have to feel as if there is a value to buying the products that you are selling and that it will benefit them in some way.

It wouldn’t have made sense for me to write an ebook on lifestyle topics when I have not established myself as an authority in that area. It also would not have made sense for me to write an ebook about making money online when I just started blogging. A successful product sale involves selling information in which you have a demonstrated core competence in.

If you have built up a reputation as someone that knows a great deal about search engine ranking position, you could use that knowledge to sell SEO services. If you have demonstrated a lot of knowledge in the technology field, your reviews of technology products will be trusted. Focus on your area of expertise and create products around it.

That is why a blog is so important. A good blog helps to build two way communication between the writer and the reader. Both parties can dialogue and form a relationship where trust can flourish. As trust increases and authority grows, you will notice that your monthly income will rise as well.

Mark Riddix

About Mark

Mark Riddix is the CEO of New Horizons Financial Management, an independent investment advisory business and the creator of the financial blog Buy Like Buffett. His blog teaches individuals about investing, entrepreneurship, personal finance, and proper financial management. He shares a number of wealth building strategies with his site’s readers. Mark has been able to use his financial expertise to create a passive income stream online. You can read more about his journey to producing online income at Mark Riddix dot com.

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15 Comments

  • Mark advises to not sell from the begining, Copyblogger suggests the opposite. So everyone does however the feel right, suggests what worked for THEM.

  • It’s true that not everything can work for everyone, but there are things which are proven to work OR not for most businesses. You can just put a sales page with your product and drive targeted traffic to it. If your copy is good enough, you’ll be selling your product easily. But what Mark suggests here (i think) is not for people who create dozens of niche sites and try to put products to sell them. If you want to establish your brand and build your reputation in a niche that you want to play big in, you need to provide a lot before you begin getting anything. Thanks Mark

  • Although I agree with some commenters that there are many different theories about when to monetise your site – the basic premise is that you should know from the start exactly how and whn you will profit.

    A wise man once said to me: ‘Dee, I want you to do what you love in life. Just make sure what you love is profitable….’

  • Nice article Mark. Anastasia brings up a good point, there are different schools of thought that work or don’t work. I remember as a Futures trader there were all these do’s and don’ts about trading. All the pro’s told me not to do the very thing that got them to the top.

    Bruce Lee said: Absorb what is useful, discard what is not, and add uniquely your own” well said Bruce!

    Bottom line is, there really aren’t any specific rules to succeeding, except one: “Belief” If you believe you can do it, then you will. If your belief is that strong, then things will come together for you, or move out of the way so you will succeed. You won’t have to put so much effort in applying yourself and the details will work themselves out for you.

    You become the manager of you thoughts, that’s where it starts. Of course you will have to learn these mind techniques first.

    Tony

  • Hey Mark,
    We will all add our own uniqueness to our blog. No to blogs are alike and some are better than others. As far as monetizing goes that is up to the individual. I believe that once we get serious about earning from our website that we will find a way.

  • Its a tough one Mark, I am yet to know which topic to write about, as of now I am still refreshing my blog and I have always wondered whether one should choose localized content or a universal topic.where I am we do not have many online readers, as for blogging content, very few are interested, what should I do? Otherwise insightful tips and cherioooo.

  • Hi Mark,

    I slightly disagree with becoming an Authority.

    Why?

    People respect authorities

    but

    People follow leaders

    I would suggest it’s best to position yourself as a leader first and worry less about becoming an authority.

    Does that make sense?

    Ivan

  • sas

    Great post. I started blogging about something a few years ago but that was surrounding a very negative topic so I decided to take the blog down. Which was unfortunate because traffic was picking up. What’s your take on negative attention? Anyway, I really want to start something new now, something more professional. I like internet stuff and can blog about it, but I am still looking for something that’s more under a specific niche.

  • I think tip number 5 can be broken. We are all human and we will commit mistakes at one point or another. What matters is how we pick ourselves up and admit our mistake. :)

  • Tip 3. may not been seen as an important part of writing a blog. But i see it as something that structures it. As writing about something that does’nt interest you wont get your creative writing skills flowing. Thus meaning people will not be interested in your blog.

  • i never wondered we could make money online. I Just started blogging a few days ago. And I just realized how it is amazing to have a weblog. Now, I will figure out how to make money online with my blog, online and offline knowledge. Thanks for this guide. It gives me alot of ideas.

  • TOPIC is key.

    The other stuff is secondary.

    Yaro is successful because everyone wants to make money online. Interesting take in some of the comments, though, such as – Experts tell you not to do what made them successful.

    All the make money gurus make a killing in the make money online niche, the one niche they tell YOU to stay away from.

    Go sell Kindles instead?

    Best,
    Roger.

  • Great post, Mark. But, i agree with Brian Clark when it comes to blog monetization. Start early, just don’t overdo it.

  • Stephanie

    Love it! As a blog writer, math has never been one of my strengths, but you introduced me to an equation that I actually live by (TOPIC + PASSION + KNOWLEDGE = SUCCESS). Who would have thought? Anyway, a further piece of advice I’d offer your readers is to that since 28% of web visits are now from a mobile device of some sort – phone, iPad, etc. It’s the perfect time to find a mobile ad network to help monetize your site or blog from the mobile side. I’ve been looking at one called Mobicow.com They offer a generous 60% of net revenue to their hosts! Just a thought… Thanks for your advice!

  • These are solid points you make Mark. Building your reputation first before attempting sales is something that all salespeople should consider. The web has made this an even bigger imperative. I have succumbed to attempting sales first and the result so far – nil $. Yet I think my articles generate interest. Mind you still SEO remains the mystery for most. Thanks for your thoughts.

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