Many people new to the niche website development industry make the mistake of assuming that AdSense will provide them enough revenue to make the site worthwhile or viable.
In reality though, AdSense will typically provide only 20 to 30% of the site’s overall revenue – while the lion’s share of the income will come from affiliate programs.
But that brings up the question of how do you integrate a sales message into your content without making it sound too much like a sales pitch. By the way Google hates advertorials if they are too obvious.
A site that only has content completely designed to sell or promote affiliate programs is considered by Google a bridge site – and can be penalized or even delisted if they feel the site is a blatant attempt at simply trying to drive traffic to affiliate programs.
So how then can a person monetize their site, without it being an obvious sales pitch to the reader and keeping big brother at Google happy.
Really it comes down to a creative content development process. One of the things that Google does like are articles or posts on the “top five” or “top ten” items in a certain niche. For example the top 10 fish finders for 2014, or the top five WordPress security plug-ins. This type of article ranks well with Google, and are also popular with readers.
Using the example of the top 10 fish-finders, it is not unusual to see the site owner put 10 links to Amazon featuring the various reviewed fish-finders.
Another creative way to monetize affiliate programs and content is to write an article that provides a solution to a problem or situation to which the affiliate product is related. For example, let’s say that you were wanting to sell humidifiers for home use. You could do the obvious and write an article that is a review of any one particular humidifier, but this type of review unless presenting fresh content are performing less and less successfully when it comes to converting traffic.
On the other hand if you write an article that talks about an experience that a friend of yours had with skin rashes that were caused by dry skin and the lack of humidity in the air followed by the recommendation for a specific humidifier, all of a sudden you have a very powerful sales tool.
I actually learned this lesson back in 2006 with the computer software review site that I had. At the time I also had several of my own software products that I had developed and their conversion rate from PPC traffic was about one sale in every 60 visitors. Considering I was paying between $.75 and one dollar per click this meant that selling software for $40 was a negative proposition.
But when I started using my software review site to refer people to the software after giving it a strong review, the conversion rate went through the roof. In some cases it went as high as one sale per 12 visitors. This meant that a software title selling for $40 had an advertising cost of just $12 and meant that I was making a $28 profit per sale.
Needless to say those were good times and I made a lot of money off that idea. But as with anything on the Internet good ideas are quickly copied and within a couple years dozens of websites cloned my concept and drove conversions down.
When you are monetizing your site, it’s a constant game of testing your pages, ad placement, and product promotion. Even though AdSense will only represent about a third of your revenue, I have noticed that by simply changing where the ad appears in the post you can go up as much as $100 in a month on average traffic numbers.
Most recently on one of my niche sites I saw on page monthly AdSense totals go from under $10 to over $300 by simply changing the placement of the ad in the body of content of the post. That simple change over a year will create a $1200 difference in my income simply by experimenting with where the ad should appear. This was only one site and one technique that I use, and if applied it across a multisite network it could generate $10,000 plus in a year off the same traffic.
It is very important as a niche site owner to incorporate a constant system of revenue analysis for your websites. There is a lot of money to be made from your traffic and it is your job to continually optimize how much you are able to earn from the people coming to your websites.