Free Website Advice: Is My Site Good Enough to Monetize?

Mar 01, 2018    /    my location-independent career

A few months ago, I asked you to send me your website questions. And then I did a short series of videos answering them.

Today, I’m sharing the final of those videos with you.

The topic?

Is My Site Good Enough to Monetize? And How Do I Know?

Transcript: Hey everyone, this is Gigi Griffis of gigigriffis.com and the DIY Website Workshop. I’ve been asking you to send me your marketing and web questions and attempting to answer them on video.

Quick little 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 Terri about monetization. Terri says, “How do you know if your website is good enough to be monetized and if it is good enough, where do you start?”

So, first a couple things:

1. Full disclosure, my site is not really monetized. I do a little affiliate sales and make barely any money off it. And I kind of do that on purpose.

I have monetization on the site – I have things on sale on there – but 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 your site, there are things you may need to change, focuses you may need to have, different ways you’ll approach content, different ways you’ll approach design.

If that’s your goal, it’s going to change things about your site.

If you’re okay with that, that’s great. But it’s also okay to have a site that’s about something else, that’s not a monetized site. It might be about you connecting with a group of people. It might be about getting some exposure for yourself as an author before you publish a book. It might be about communicating an idea, bringing a community together, pointing people toward ethical charities – it could be about so many things.

So, if you want to monetize, that’s great. If you don’t, it’s no the only thing that makes your site worthwhile.

Ultimately, you’re the person who has to decide what is worthwhile to you.

I’ve decided that my site is not about monetization. I’ll do a little with it, but I’m not going to change the site to monetize.

2. This question of “is it good enough” is kind of the wrong question. Because you have sites that are not monetized that are really good. There are some great places out there doing great things that have really quality content that are not about monetization. And there are sites out there that make a lot of money that have repetitive content or content that’s misspelled or so many ads you can’t even get to the content.

So it’s not necessarily a matter of good or good enough. It’s about what you want to do with the site, what kind of traffic you get, and what your users want.

If you do want to monetize, the first question I’d ask is: How much traffic do you have coming to your site (do you have enough people who want to buy something)?

And the second question I’d ask is: What kind of traffic do you have coming to your site? If the traffic is a bunch of minimalists who don’t want to buy anything, that’s different than if you have traffic that’s specifically coming to buy something or coming to you for recommendations for books or something. So asking yourself who you traffic is and if you have a big enough number is one part of the question.

And then you also need to ask what changes you’re willing to make to your site to monetize. If your goal is monetization, you’ll write different content than if your goal is to bring community together. Now there may be overlap – it doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice all your other goals – but monetization dictates some of what you do, so you have to ask yourself if you’re willing to go that direction.

Now, if you have enough people and they want to buy something, start running experiments. I’d say that’s the best way in. Get on a couple affiliate programs. If you’re a book blogger, start affiliate linking on your books and see if you can start getting some purchases through that. Do experiments, read about what other people are doing, join some Facebook groups (about blogging, monetization, etc.).

The other question is how does my content that I’m already doing and creating lend itself to that? I’ll give an example: I have a friend who has this huge chart of all the carry-on size requirements for every airline. So for that friend it made sense to ad ads for carry-ons that fit those size requirements so that people who are coming there specifically looking for a carry-on and you have right there – really easy, really convenient for them – here are three carry-ons, go at it, then you can direct them and some of those 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 start doing. What are the things doing well on your site and what would be useful to people on that content in terms of affiliate links or sales.

Thanks again for joining me. If you are watching this video and you need a website, I just launched the DIY Website Workshop – 7 weeks of videos like this one, tutorials, worksheets, that help you take the website you want to create from strategy to launch. If you’re interested, click here.

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