As you may already know, this month I launched my new, improved, more affordable, no-tech-experience-required DIY Website Workshop.
In a nutshell, the idea is this:
If you need a website (or a refresh on an old website), but weeding through all the possibilities online and doing it fully yourself feels too overwhelming and paying someone else to do the whole thing is just too expensive, this course is the middle ground.
In it, you’ll learn–through videos, worksheets, and detailed instructions and recommendations from someone with 15+ years experience–how to strategize, design, write, and launch your website on your own. You’ll end up with a strategy, a website, and a good understanding of basic SEO, content writing principles, and how to manage your website going forward.
To celebrate the launch and get the word out, I’ve been asking people to send me their web and marketing questions, which I’ll then do my best to answer in a short series of videos.
Today, I’m unveiling that first video.
And reminding you that you could have your website launched before Christmas if you join today.
Either way, here’s some free advice (and if you can’t or would prefer not to watch the video, scroll down for a transcript):
Is My Site Good Enough to Monetize…& Where Do I Start?
Transcript: Hey everyone, this is Gigi Griffis of gigigriffis.com and the DIY Website Workshop. I have been asking you to send me your marketing and web questions so that I can answer them on video.
Quick background on me: I’ve been working with words and the web for about 15 years and even though my focus has been content strategy and copywriting, I also know how to code. I also work with layout. I also work with every stage of the process.
Today we have a question from Terry about monetization. Terry says, “how do you know if your website is good enough to be monetized and if it is, where do you start?”
So, first a couple things:
Number one, full disclosure, my site is not that monetized. I do a little bit of affiliate sales…and I make barely any money through them. The site for me isn’t about that and I wouldn’t want to change it to make it about that.
If you are going to monetize a site, there are ways that you may need to change it, different focuses you may need to have, different ways you’ll approach content and design. If you’re okay with that, that’s great. If you’re not okay with that, it’s okay to have a site that’s about something else. That’s not about monetization.
Your site might be about you connecting with a certain group of people. It might be about getting exposure as an author before you publish a book. It might be about brining a community together. It might be about pointing people toward ethical charities. It could be about so many things.
Monetization isn’t the only way to make your site worthwhile and you’re the person who has to decide what makes it worthwhile for you.
So full disclosure, this isn’t necessarily stuff that I do.
The number two thing I wanted to say is that the question of “is it good enough” is kind of the wrong question. Because you have sites that are not monetized that are really good. Really quality content. Doing great things. And there are sites out there that are monetized that make a lot of money that have repetitive content or content that’s misspelled or ads in every nook and cranny that keep you from getting to the content.
So it’s not really a matter of “good enough.” It’s about what you want to do with the site, what traffic you get, what do your users want.
So, if monetization is something you want to pursue, the first question I’d ask is: What kind of traffic do you have? Do you have enough traffic coming to your site that people might want to come and buy something?
And what kind of traffic is it? Because if the traffic is coming from a bunch of minimalists who don’t want to buy something, that’s different than traffic that’s coming specifically to buy something or traffic that wants recommendations for books (for example) and you can point to affiliate sites to sell books.
So asking yourself who your traffic is and if you have a big enough number is part of the question. And you also have to ask yourself what changes you’re willing to make to monetize and if you’re willing to make changes to monetize. Because what you’ll find is that if your goal is monetization, you are going to write different content than if your goal is to bring community together. Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean you sacrifice all your other goals, but monetization is going to dictate some of what you do, so you have to ask yourself if you’re willing to go that direction.
Now, if you have enough traffic and they’re the kind of people who want to buy something, then you can start running experiments. I’d say that’s the best way in. Rather than diving in whole hog or taking a course, start experimenting a little bit. Get on a couple affiliate programs.
If you’re a book blogger, instead of putting regular links to the book, start putting affiliate links on your books and see if you can start getting some purchases through them (for example).
Doing experiments, reading about what people are doing, joining some Facebook groups about affiliate marketing, professional blogging…you can join all that stuff and start experimenting with that and see how you feel about it. Because again at the end of the day, you have to decide what your site is about, how much you’re going to monetize, what are you going to monetize for, and how exactly does your content lend itself to monetization.
I’ll give you an example: I have a friend who has a huge chart of all the carry-on sizes for every airline. For that friend, it made sense to add ads for carry-ons that fit those size requirements. So that people if they’re coming there and specifically are looking for a carry-on that meets the size requirements for United, you have, right there, really easy for them, really convenient, “here are three of them – go at it!” You can direct them [to those carry-ons that meet their real needs] and probably some people are going to buy and you get the kick back from that.
So that’s the kind of thing you want to start thinking about and doing. What kind of content do you already have on your site, what’s bringing people to your site? And what would be useful to people on that content in terms of affiliate links or things you might sell to them? And that’s how you start.
That’s it for the first video. Was this helpful to you? Would you like to see more videos like this? Let me know in the comments!
And if you’re interested in the DIY Website Workshop, head on over and take a peek.