Wanting to make money from your website isn’t only a natural desire, it’s good old fashioned common sense. Common sense will also tell you that the easiest- and arguably the best – way to monetize your site is through ads.
Of course, there’s more to it than just including a few ads on your site and hoping for the best. You need to be strategic when it comes to advertising or you’ll only end up junking up your site and successfully driving away your users. When it comes to putting together a sensible strategy it’s not only about knowing what type of advertising will be the most ideal and effective, but also knowing the right moment to monetize and re-engage users.
With that in mind, here are some useful tips on how to monetize your site and your brand using methods that will lead to actual money-making.
Understand your target market
It is unlikely that whatever it is that your site has to offer will appeal to everyone. That’s all right. You’re not trying to appeal to everyone, you’re goal is to attract a certain group of people who are the most likely to want what you have to offer. While you might not be able to predict precisely who may or may not like your product, service, content, etc. You’ve likely created what you have to offer with a certain target audience in mind. You need to choose the ads and ad formats with which you intend to monetize based on what you think will best appeal to this specific niche market.
Furthermore, depending on who your target market is, timing can be everything. For instance, if you want to appeal to mobile users, pick the right moment to monetize and re-engage users with ads for products or services that are most likely to be relevant to them at certain points of the day (e.g. a maps and navigation app when leaving for work in the morning or a restaurant reservation app sent at lunchtime). Put yourself in the shoes of the customer. What do you like and what don’t you like? Remember, users want to know what’s in it for them.
Put your audience first with native advertising
Native advertising is a type of media where the layout of a paid ad follows the natural form and function of the website or space where the ad exists, so it doesn’t interrupt a user’s experience in any way. More specifically, native content looks and feels like it belongs among the other content that surrounds it and it functions as a user would expect when they interact with it.
These ads are less intrusive than banner ads and are often perceived by the user as being informative and beneficial to them somehow, such as by providing them with a clever solution, information or some other type of convenience. When done effectively, this form of advertising will give your site integrity, which should result in a positive user response.
In fact, research has shown that native advertising yields results. A Nielsen neuroscience report shows that native ads receive 52% more visual focus compared to banner ads on mobile. Unlike banners, which are barely visible on certain platforms, native ads are read just like other editorial articles, except that the focus is more on the text and headline rather than thumbnails.
Don’t miss out on Affiliate Marketing opportunities
Affiliate marketing is how the vast majority of people get started with web monetization. This form of marketing, if you are unfamiliar with the term, is based on revenue sharing. The idea behind it is you promote other people’s products, usually via an affiliate network, and you earn a small commission if people buy the products you’re promoting via your affiliate link. This form of marketing can be an ideal way to make a bit of money regardless of whether or not you have your own product to sell or not.
That being said, if you are going to be engaging in affiliate marketing, make sure that you link yourself with companies and promote products that apply to your brand. Remember, you need to put yourself in the shoes of your target market. Don’t endorse something that you wouldn’t ever use or try. Think of affiliate marketing in the same way that you would use native ads: how does it benefit users. Always build integrity.
Social media can help you improve your content marketing strategy
One of the best ways to connect and interact with your audience is via social media. What’s more, social media feedback can considerably boost your content marketing strategy. How do you obtain the feedback? To put it simply, you need to engage in social media at the right times. When are the right times? It varies from one platform to the next and from one day to the next.
For instance, according to an inforgraphic created by inbound marketing and sales platform, HubSpot, the best times to post on the social network giant Facebook is between 12:00 – 1:00 pm Saturdays and Sundays, 3:00 – 4:00 pm on Wednesdays, and 1:00 – 4:00 pm on Thursdays and Fridays. On the other hand, for Twitter, the best times to post are 12:00 – 3:00 pm Monday through Friday and 5:00 – 6:00 pm on Wednesdays. Why these times? The reason is because this is the time when users of these social media platforms are likely to be the most active at work or at home.
Also, post about different topics to see which ones generate the most interest and try generating more shares with social native videos. Finally, don’t forget to respond to users when they leave comments. Be relatable and build trust.