Digital Marketing
How to Make a Profitable Website Without Selling Anything

How to Make a Profitable Website Without Selling Anything

Is it really possible to make money with a website without selling anything? The short answer is YES, you don’t have to sell a product or service to make money with your website.

How is it possible? By using your knowledge and experience in the field. Read on to learn how…

What you will read below is “common sense” for experienced digital marketers, but for beginners, making money online is a topic that raises many questions.

How can you make money with a website without selling anything?

Think for a moment about what the Internet really is.

Not only is it the largest marketplace in the world and the largest community of interconnected people, it is also a vast library of information available to users through search engines, websites, blogs, social networks, email lists, and a variety of other digital media.

People all over the world use the Internet to learn things, find answers to their questions, communicate with other people, and, of course, to buy products or services online or find information about local businesses.

If we leave aside the “selling” part, we are left with the huge number of people who use Google and other search engines every day to find information.

How can we leverage this behavior and make money  with a website? By providing users with quality information and making money through advertising.

When talking about this online earning model, two things immediately come to mind: the first is Google Adsense and the second is affiliate marketing.

Affiliate marketing is a technique in which you don’t sell anything on your website, but refer people to other websites and when they buy something, you get a commission.

No matter which method you choose to market your content, the recipe for building a profitable website is the same.

How to build a profitable website?

To start, I’d like to share some discussion terms: website, content, traffic, monetization options and profit.

Let’s take a closer look at how they can work together to give you a profitable result.

Website

Without your own website, you can’t seriously consider making money on the Internet. By website, I mean your own hosted domain and a modern design, like the one you are reading 🙂 .

Today, a good website should have a number of features:

A clean and fresh design – Things have changed since the 1990s. Websites are no longer based on pure HTML code, but there are modern CMS (content management systems), such as WordPress, that allow you to create great looking websites with additional features for administrators and end users.

Mobile-friendly – Anyone involved in digital marketing knows the importance of having a mobile-friendly website.

It’s a fact that more people search the internet from mobile devices today than from computers, which means that if your website isn’t optimized for mobile devices, you’ve already lost half of your potential visitors.

Velocity(Speed) – Faster websites generate more revenue. If your website is slow, you will lose visitors and potential customers.

Clear navigation structure – The structure of the website is important. Users should be able to find what they are looking for quickly and in less than three clicks.

Ease of use – A good website that favors search engine optimization is also easy to use.

Content

So you have a good website hosted on your own domain, now what?

Perhaps the most difficult part of the whole process of creating a profitable website is choosing the right content.

What do I mean by “the right kind of content”?

You must have the right type of content:

The search engines will like it (not love it, but like it – you’ll read why later).

User trust – If you gain the trust of your users, you can earn more money in many ways. Even if you don’t sell anything on your website, basic inbound marketing techniques apply.

This can potentially attract advertisers (very important, read on to learn more).

Let’s start with the first part: how to create content that search engines like and why is it important?

Although there are different sources of traffic, when it comes to affiliate marketing, Adsense (or other alternatives), organic traffic is the one that works best, that is, traffic that comes from search engines.

Therefore, if you want to build a profitable website, you need to have a steady (and large) stream of search traffic coming to your website on a daily basis.

To achieve this, you need to constantly work on search engine optimization, use other methods to attract visitors to your website and, of course, publish content that meets the following characteristics.

What is high-quality content?

It is relevant no matter when it is read (this is called “permanent content”).

It is long enough to catch the attention of search engines and readers.

It’s fresh and contains relevant information.

And, of course, it’s useful to the user.

How can content earn users’ trust and why is it important?

In addition to the above characteristics, your content must be useful and interesting to the user.

Not only does this help with search engine optimization and social media efforts, but it also keeps users on your website longer (reducing bounce rates), making them more likely to click on your ads.

Regardless of the content monetization method you choose, know that one of your goals is to create a loyal audience that regularly visits your website to receive your content.

That means more visits, more ad clicks, more email subscribers, and more conversions (whatever the conversion is for you).

What type of content attracts advertisers the most?

When it comes to content marketing, not all content is created equal. Different types of content generate different revenues.

Take the example of using AdSense to make money from your content.

Adsense works by looking at the content on your website, understanding what that content is about, and then finding Adwords advertisers who have chosen to place their ads on websites with that particular type of content.

This is a very simplified version of how Adsense works, but the general idea is that your content is analyzed and “grouped” by the keywords in it.

If you are familiar with Google’s keyword tool (a tool also used by Adwords advertisers), you know that each keyword has a different CPC (cost per click).

In other words, advertisers pay a different amount for each click on their ads, which also depends on the cost of the keyword (there are many other factors that go into calculating the cost per click).

Since advertisers pay a different amount per click, this means that you, as a publisher, will be paid differently for ad clicks depending on the content of the page on which the ad is placed.

In case this is not clear to you, let’s demonstrate it with a concrete example:

If you’re an advertiser and you want to run your ads when people search on weight loss topics, you can expect to receive between $0.20 and $1.00 from Google every time someone clicks on your ad.

Traffic and monetization

For any monetization method to work (including selling goods or services through your website), you need to have traffic, and in the case of Adsense or affiliate marketing, you need to have lots of traffic.

How much traffic does it take to make money with a website?

It depends on how much money you want to make with your website, or in other words, your traffic level determines how much money you can make.

Let me illustrate this with the example of a website using Adsense.

Let’s say you have an informative website that uses Adsense and you have followed all the guidelines required by Adsense, especially the part about the number, type and position of your ads.

In the best-case scenario, you can expect a CTR (click-through rate) of 2%, which means that 2% of people who see your ads click on one of them.

Let’s also assume that you receive an average of $0.40 per click. This means that if your ads are run 1,000 times (views per day), you will earn about – 1,000 x 2% x $0.40 = $8 per day.

Now, if you want to earn $100 per day with your website and follow the simplified example above, you will need to have at least 13,000 ads (instead of 1,000).

Making a profit

Profit is, of course, different from revenue. What I described above is the potential profit you can make from your website if you have 13,000 hits per day in a niche that pays about $0.40 per click.

The actual profit per day is different, simply because you have to factor expenses into the equation (profit = profit – expenses).

What are the costs of running a website?

There are obvious ongoing costs, such as hosting, ongoing search engine optimization, advertising and social media promotion, but the real costs come down to content.

Good content that can get good organic rankings and search engine traffic while being liked by users (or vice versa) costs money (if you outsource the content) or time (if you produce it yourself).

To continue the example above and show how a profitable website can be created, let’s assume that the content is written by professional writers who are experts in the topics published.

The minimum amount likely to be paid for a 1500 word article is $200 (I know that sounds like a lot, but we’re talking about very high quality content here which can cost much more depending on the niche).

So let’s do some math:

Publish 3 times a week (that’s the average publishing rate for news sites or blogs) X $200 = $600 per week + the hours it takes to publish (optimization, internal link insertion, etc.).

In one month, you publish 12 articles, which equals $2,400, and you earn $3,000 (100 X 30) in advertising, which represents a profit of $600 (not including operating costs and the time you have to spend on various tasks to keep the site active).

So it is possible to build a profile without selling anything, right?

The reason I used the above example is to emphasize two important points:

Everything you read about “easy ways to make money” or other “too good to be true” promises is just a way to make money by selling you a product, not how you can use the internet to make money.

2 – You really need a lot of traffic to make money from your content, even if you produce it yourself.

To write a good article or create a great infographic, you may have to put in a certain number of hours, which will be deducted from your total productive time.

In the example above, I purposely left out an important calculation.

How much time and how many articles do you need to publish to reach 13,000 visitors per day?

I left this out because, if the calculations are correct, many beginners will be disappointed.

Try to calculate how much it would cost you to publish 150 articles and how long it would take you to reach those visitor numbers.

Also, remember that ranking and traffic do not depend on the number of articles you publish, but on many other factors.

Good things come to those who wait

The point of this article is that, although it is possible to make money on the Internet without selling anything, it takes work, patience, knowledge and a long-term plan.

Being a content publisher is about taking care of your users, and if you can attract them, everything else will come gradually.

Start by creating a great website, focus on content, patiently build your traffic and sooner or later you will reach a point where the revenue will cover the costs and investment you have made so far.

It won’t happen overnight, but once it does, you’ll be making steady profits for months or even years.

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