What To Do When Your Content Site Isn’t Making Any Money

The content website is a favored business model for many of us. Where there is fresh content there is money to be made in one form or another. At least that’s what we’ve been told right?

First, it’s time for a reality check. Some content topics have greater profitability than others. If you’ve created interesting content around the topic of online dating chances are very good that you will be able to monetize that content in some way. On the other hand, if you’re developed a 100 page website around the subject of plastic recycling you’ll be doing a great job of educating the world but you’re not likely to turn much of a profit with all that content.

The time to determine profitability is before you begin to build a website but if you’ve come this far only to realize you didn’t pick a money topic – you’ll have to decide if you’re willing to keep it going to information’s sake or just let it go and go back to the drawing board.

How do I know if my content is a money topic or not? There are tools out there that will give you lists of high paying keyword terms but they are quite costly. A quick and dirty test is to do a search at Google and see if there are very many AdWord ads on the right hand side of the page. If there are none – it’s not a money topic. If there is only a handful, it’s not a big money topic. If there are pages and pages of AdWords, there are a lot of advertisers bidding on it so it is likely to be a good topic for Google AdSense and other affiliate programs.

If you have a topic that has potential but you’re not seeing the payoff the next thing I would want to know is how long has your website been online? If it is less than six months, you shouldn’t even be sweating yet. The mighty Google won’t even begin to treat you like a worthy website for 6-9 months. You may be getting some traffic from MSN and a little more from Yahoo but you’re probably only seeing a trickle of visitors from Google and then only for keyword phrases that offer very little competition from other sites.

I have a very nice five month old website that had been built almost exclusively with original content. I have been steadily adding fresh content to the website each week since it was launched. I have built up lots of great one way inbound links and many good complimentary link exchanges. I’m doing everything right and Google has sent all of 28 visitors to the site in the last two weeks. Check with me on this next summer and I’m sure I’ll be thank Google profusely for all of the great visitors they send me – just don’t expect me to hold my breath that long.

Content sites involve a strategic game of hurry up and wait. So don’t worry about a slow start. Just keep doing what you know to do and then do it some more.

If you have a good topic and your website is a year old or more but still not making much money, I would want to start taking a closer look under the hood. Questions to ask include:

If you’re using Google Adsense is the primary earner on your website, are you staying close to the topic at hand? There is evidence that a website built carefully around one topic will earn better cost per click than a website that strays all over the encyclopedia. This makes sense in many ways. Visitors are more targeted and the clicks are likely to be more useful to the advertiser.

If you’re promoting non-contextual affiliate programs, are you making good choices for your visitors? You have to choose products that will resonate with your visitor while they are on your website. If your website is about women’s health, present them with offers that will serve their health needs. Don’t promote jewelry or shoes because they’re not thinking about jewelry or shoes while they’re on your site.

How is your website layout and navigation? A poorly designed website won’t do well no matter how good the content is. A visitor needs to feel like they know where they are and that they can find what they’re looking for so keep navigation simple and easy to follow. Don’t go crazy with banners and buttons and don’t go overboard with bold or highlighted text.

Get rid of everything that distracts your visitors from the content and the affiliate offers. That means you’re going to drop the banner exchanges, web rings, plug boards and anything else that flashes, spins, twinkles or looks out of place. Do not try to make too many offers in one place.

Choose one focus for one web page. If you really want your visitor to consider buying a particular affiliate product, provide them with some related information and then offer them the product. Plain and simple. If on the other hand you really want them to click your Google AdSense links, give them good content and place your Google AdSense Link units above, within, alongside or underneath the content. Test out your formats until you find something that works for your website.

Some last ideas for your content site would be to add a mailing list to stay in touch with your visitors and let them know about new content and offers. Add a blog and use that to highlight new content and take advantage of blog and RSS directories as a new traffic source. And never, ever, stop working on adding new inbound links to your site.

Most content websites that have good content, good inbound links and has had a chance to mature time wise will begin to earn for you. If you feel like you’ve done everything right and still haven’t turned much coin with your content site, it may be time for a new set of eyes. Seek out an experienced internet marketer and ask for an honest critique of your pages.

About the Author:

Kelly McCausey is the host of Work at Home Moms Talk Radio, an internet radio show and podcast for moms who work at home or would really like to. Learn more about internet marketing when you listen in each week. www.wahmtalkradio.com

Last 5 Articles Added By Kelly McCausey

About Kelly McCausey

Kelly McCausey is a internet marketer, podcaster and online business coach. She is passionate about helping solopreneurs cut their learning curve and create profitable online businesses. Visit her on the web at Solo Smarts.

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