Building My Niche Site: Part 5 – Monetizing Your Site

by Jon Dulin on August 15, 2013 · 10 comments

If you are just starting out, here are the niche building posts you’ve missed so far (you can find more information in my Guide to Niche Blogging Section as well):

Part 1: Deciding on a Niche
Part 2: Researching Your Niche
Part 3: Creating Content and Finding Traffic
Part 4: Gaining Traffic and Backlinking

In this post I am going to talk about monetizing your niche site. Way back in the beginning, I was talking about all kinds of ways you can make money from a niche site:

  • Adsense
  • Product Referrals
  • Selling Product
  • Email List
  • Membership
  • Online Course

I wanted to make certain I picked a niche where I could spread my risk. By this I mean I don’t want to put all of my earnings into just one area. I originally had a good idea for a topic, but realized there wasn’t a way to monetize it other than Adsense. I have no issue with Adsense, it’s just that I don’t want to rely on it solely for income. With Google constantly changing algorithms, there is too much risk there for me.

The topic I did choose allows for a huge potential in referral income. I could even work out a membership, if I so choose. At this time, I don’t see me going that route, but I never rule anything out.

I started with Adsense from the start. I have had a good run with it so far. In fact, in the few short months I’ve had my niche site, I’ve earned more from Adsense than I did from my first year with this blog! Now, before you get all excited, it isn’t enough for me to quit working and but my own island, but I am happy that I have started to bring in revenue.

Next, I signed up for ClickBank and have placed some of their advertisements on my site. I have not had a sale from one yet, however, I am getting clicks, which is another great sign.

The only issue I am running into is other affiliates. Without giving too much detail, I want to create a review section on the niche site and then have an affiliate link there for purchases. I have found that these businesses that I am interested in working with are not interested in my “new” blog. I tried to explain to them that I currently run another blog (this one) that I built up and earn affiliate income from, but they are still not interested. I am going to have to just create the reviews with non-affiliate links and re-submit in a few months and hope they change their minds.

The final area that I am working on in terms of monetization is an email subscriber list. I want to offer a free guidebook with sign up. That means I need to write the guide! I have the layout complete, it’s just a matter of finding the time for writing it!

Final Thoughts

Overall, there are many ways you can monetize a niche site. I have chosen the few that I think work best for my niche site. You can use any combination of the ideas listed, I just recommend that you pick a few so that you aren’t relying on just one income stream.

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Pauline August 15, 2013 at 8:38 am

I imagine for a niche site if you rely on Adsense you would have to expect lots of visitors, so write more content, making the niche site time consuming? Whereas putting up a site for a product or course and earn affiliate income sounds easier, but then I am no niche site pro.
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Jon August 15, 2013 at 7:03 pm

I’m not an expert either Pauline, but from my reading and podcast reviews, I’ve read that it’s much harder to create an affiliate site with just a few pages now with all of the crackdown by Google. So even if you are just offering a product, you need some content surrounding it.

For my site, I’ve hired a few writers to help with the content since working a full time job, running this site and two others leaves me stretched for time.

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Michael | The Student Loan Sherpa August 21, 2013 at 11:27 pm

@Jon: Where did you find your writers? My budget is tight, but my expectations would be high. Any suggestions?
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Jon August 22, 2013 at 7:19 pm

I actually used Craigslist. I was going to go with oDesk, but just didn’t feel that anyone what able to write what I was looking for. One word of caution though, if you go the Craigslist route, be certain to factor in time. I had tons of people reach out to me from my initial post which gave just basic info for what I was looking for. I asked for a writing sample and many didn’t supply that so they were deleted. From the remaining pool, I narrowed it down and gave them more information and then never heard back. The ones that did reply were not reliable. I asked for 4 posts each month, all at the start of the month. I think I received maybe 1 post. Luckily a few more people responded and I was able to find some reliable writers.

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Sean @ One Smart Dollar August 15, 2013 at 11:40 am

Great overview. You’re are probably smart on offering the products from Clickbank. If you can get ranked high for some keywords then Adsense is a profitable option.
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Jon August 15, 2013 at 7:01 pm

Thanks Sean. I’ve certainly seen a small income from Adsense, but more work still needs to be done.

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Todd @ AllThingsFinance.net August 15, 2013 at 2:07 pm

I’ve been chewing on starting a niche site for a single product for a while. And the thought has occured to me–I’m wondering what you think–instead of starting an entire site around it what if I make a page on my existing site and work very very hard to direct people toward it, guest post and link to it like crazy, etc.

One experiment I wanted to try is to pay for Adsense/Adwords as the revenue stream would be affiliates. if the lead generation cost is low enough (no, it’s not credit cards/financials so it wouldn’t be as high competition) and the conversation rate is high enough I would assume there would be profit there.
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Jon August 15, 2013 at 7:00 pm

If it’s not related to finance, I’m not sure it would be a good fit to be a page on your finance site. I say if you really think you have the time and drive to make it successful, then go for it. You can but 1 year of hosting and get a domain name for around $100. If a year goes by and it didn’t work out, you can accept that you learned something for $100. Actually it would be less since you could write that loss off on your taxes, so depending your bracket, the lesson was less costly.

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My Money Design August 19, 2013 at 7:40 am

How you will make money on your niche site is becoming an ever popular question for me. For my first two sites I’m just using Adsense because I have seen so many people do well with it and I want to prove to myself that I can do it too. Plus I think it makes a better fit to the site than affiliate products. However for my next few projects I am strongly considering going with Amazon or Clickbank. Neither have ever really been a great source of income for me in the past. But perhaps a niche site focused on those types of products will be more beneficial.
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Jon August 19, 2013 at 7:19 pm

That sounds like a good plan to me. I’m interested to hear how things work out for you in that regard. I’m toying with another site now as well and am thinking I might just concentrate on Adsense as well and see how it performs for me.

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