Tips for Digital Entrepreneurs: Monetizing Your Website

Friday, October 26, 2007 at 10:12pm by Site Administrator

If you blog as part of your business, you might have heard that Google hit a lot of websites hard on their PR (PageRank) for yet undisclosed reasons. The net result is that a number of formerly high-PR sites now are in jeopardy of losing money from revenues of selling text links in their navigation bars.

However, despite being caught up in it myself, I’ve always believed that anyone who only blogs and hopes to make money from ads is deceiving themselves. Few people will earn a living purely from running their own blog, but might do so from freelancing. And there are the alternatives to monetizing your site, if you do not have a traditional business – as Chris Garrett points out at Blog Herald. This includes, of course, selling your services online and/or selling affiliate products.

If you have skills that can be taught, or are generally a subject matter expert, you should seriously consider building a paid-membership subscription site. You offer the free material on your blog, but offer very targeted lessons (articles, ebooks, audio, video/ screencasts) to paid members only.

As Brian Clark of Copyblogger points out in his free report at Teaching Sells, “information wants to be valuable.” Believe me, not everyone appreciates free content, and if you are releasing your best for free, you are diluting its value by not limiting its exclusivity.

What’s more, you do not need to convert thousands of paying members to make the effort worth your while. One hundred loyal members at $50/mth is $5K/mth, or [email protected]$30 is $6K/mth. And when you want to expand, if you offer a commission to existing members to promote your service, everyone wins. On top the regular monthly offering, you can produce other content in various formats, which members can choose to pay for.

If you offer targeted content to the people who actually want it, you might very likely build a profitable business out of it – well beyond five or six thousand dollars in revenue per month.

Subscription content formats to consider:

  1. E-newsletters with both summaries of articles and fresh content. Though this newsletter would be aimed at non-paying subscribers, in order to entice them.
  2. Articles.
  3. Ebooks.
  4. Audio/ podcasts.
  5. Live video and screencasts.

In addition to all this, you can offer paid consulting, to be conducted through VoIP software such as Skype. Since Skype and PayPal are owned by eBay, they’ve made it easy for someone to pay from PayPal within Skype.

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