Over at 45n5 Mark has been talking about making money off things that you enjoy, or like doing. As a matter of fact, he has an interesting video about this concept, let’s have a look:
I have used a lot of methods to monetize websites, I’ve done it through advertising like AdSense, affiliate ads, and other methods. Over the last six months, though, as I have alluded to before, I have taken a special interest in monetizing one of my sites. This particular site did not monetize well with any kind of advertising that I tried. However, it was the site most precious to me, one that I love a lot, and really a daily part of my life. Because of that, I wanted to find a way to make money from it. So I introduced several new moneymaking possibilities on the site. These included things like advertising services, much like what Mark is talking about in his video. Recently, I started offering a few e-books that were really targeted to that site as well. You know what? That is my number one earning site now! And, I’m doing things that I enjoy, things that I love, and in a lot of ways things that I would be doing every day anyway, even without the site.
You know, I have come to the conclusion that offering my own services and selling my own products is the way that I like to go. Firstly, I find it is more profitable. Secondly, I have control over what’s on the website. I am not at the mercy of Google or somebody else putting ads on my site that I can’t approve. Thirdly, the premium products that I’m selling offer additional value to my readers. These products are specifically about the topic that I write about, thus it is certain that these are things my readers are interested in. A year ago I was strongly into the AdSense thing, but mostly, I kind of abandoned that. At least I’ve decreased it. Most of my sites are highly specialized, very niche oriented, and my niche is very narrow. In terms of how many people it attracts. Because of this, it can be difficult to get ads that are targeted properly. However, when I create my own products and advertising things that I do myself, I get to choose how targeted those things are. And believe me, they are targeted to my customer.
Yes, I still make money off of AdSense, but not nearly what I used to make. And now my earnings from Google are about one third of what they were last year. However, my total earnings are higher than they were last year, and these self-made products and services are what accounts for that. Whenever you’re selling advertising, unless you’re talking about direct ad sales, you only get a portion of what the advertiser pays. People like Google or others get a cut as well. When you make and sell your own products, or selling your own services on your site, you get the whole thing. You can actually sell it to the customer for less than what Google would and still get more money from the sale, because you’re cutting out the middleman.
The other thing that I find is it is easier to make that money. Why? Well, if you build up a good side and you have a good following the people, those people trust you. They know you. Many of them visit you everyday online and read what you have to say. You have established a relationship with those people. Thus, if you come out with an e-book or some other product that you did yourself, they know what to expect. If they thought that your writing wasn’t very good, they wouldn’t be visiting your site anyway. Since they obviously feel that your site has value, by extension they would also feel that your products have value. If the product that you offer is something that they are interested in, it’s likely that they’ll buy. So it’s good for you, and it’s also good for them because they get information that they want and need.
Thanks to Mark for bringing up this topic on his site, 45n5 is a site that I like to visit every day.