Friday, March 20, 2009

Monetizing your website with limited traffic

Making money off of your website is not an easy task, but it can be done. The easiest and fastest way to start making money is to sign-up with an advertising network. One type of ad network is pay per click (PPC), such as Google AdSense. Other networks are pay per impression (CPM) like Burst Media or Tribal Fusion. The problem with the later is you need a substantial amount of traffic to make any money. Sometimes you will need a lot of traffic just to sign up with them.

So what can you do if you are like the rest of us but don’t have a whole lot of traffic?

1) Pick your niche

Sometimes websites are so focused that getting a single click from a Google advertisement can make you $10. The problem is that these opportunities are few and far between. Keywords that have to do with legal issues such as Mesothelioma (asbestos disease) can pay up to $25 a click. Other business products such as newsletter software, small business CRM, and even brand names can net you a lot of cash.

2) Build your site properly

If you focus on building your website properly, provide good content and generally follow good practices you may find your website having a nice Google page ranking. If you have a page ranking of 4 or higher, you can probably sell ads on your site that are focused on SEO.

For example. LogicBright, small business contact manager, wants to appear higher on Google's search results. So they purchase a advertisement, in the form of a text link, that contains their keywords. LogicBright will not get any traffic from your small website, but the SEO benefit is there and they may be willing to pay $25 a month or more for higher page ranks.

3) Offer paid reviews

If your website is a blog or a website that can fit reviews, you may be able to make money by posting paid reviews on your website. Some companies such as PayPerPost will allow you to join their network to find these opportunities. You are usually provided with all the product information you will need and in many cases it won’t take long at all to make some money. The biggest requirement these sites have is that your page ranking is decent and you make regular updates.

So you see, you don’t need to rely on high-traffic anymore to monetize a website. The best part about it, is all of these things can help you build your traffic as a result of promoting your website in certain channels.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Driving Traffic To Your Website Using Twitter

Recently, I conducted an experiment by using twitter heavily to drive people to my website. When I say heavily, I mean really heavily. I got over 900 followers in 5 days and posted over 170 posts, many of contained links to fun content on my website.

To do this, I simply searched for random people and b2b companies that focus on contact management for small businesses, and added them to the people I was following. In turn, about 50% of them followed me back. It was pretty easy, but very time consuming.

What I found was people were eager to follow tweats and become my friend, even sending private messages to chat, but when push came to shove it didn’t drive many people to the website. Furthermore, the traffic it did create wasn’t good traffic. It drove a small amount of people to the site that viewed the page I posted to them and no other pages.

The problem with Twitter when it comes to driving traffic is you cannot easily target people who would be interested in your website. By not having a way to target people based on interests it is simply not worth the time to use Twitter as a traffic driver. In fact, like every online trend that has SEO implications, I was flooded by messages of marketing people trying to do the same thing as me. This obviously dilutes the market place.

My suggestion is to wait for the next Twitter to come along and be one of the first people involved. The traditional ways of driving traffic to your website; word of mouth, forums, advertising, blogs and SEO give you more bang for your time.