Information and Resources for Solopreneurs

What’s The Best Monetization Method For You?

Written By: Mike Allton in CTPM | August 14, 2015

Just before I started fifth grade, my parents took me back down to school one evening after dinner. Since I wasn’t fond of going to school during the day, the prospect of going back instead of playing with my G.I. Joe’s was not sitting too well with me.

We walked in and headed toward one of the classrooms, and found a bunch of my classmates standing around a teacher I didn’t know. Her name was Mrs. Burke, and she was from one of the other local schools.

And she’d brought something incredible to show us.

Now, before we get too deep into this story, let me ask you something. We’ve been talking about “monetization” a lot this month. And for good reason. The whole idea of monetizing a website and online presence and earning revenue from it is exactly why many of us got started.

And when we talk about monetization, we often get into specific kinds or types of monetization, like putting up ads, getting sponsors, making affiliate recommendations, selling your own products or services, and so on.

So the question is, what’s best for you? Or more to the point, how do you decide which monetization method is the best for you and the business you want to build?

While you might be tempted to try and use every method possible to monetize your site, it’s likely that such an approach will result in poor and inefficient results.

If, for instance, you tried to create affiliate recommendations, utilize banner ads for other products, set yourself up as an expert to be hired, sell sponsored native content, and create a product to sell, how would you find the time to do any one of those things really well?

And, what’s worse, it’s likely that mixing too many monetization methods will confuse and distract your audience. It’d be like the site that, as soon as it loads for you, has a popup ad, video that starts playing, background music, and one of those animated people that walks across the bottom of the screen to “greet” you. It’s too much!

So what’s the right mix, and how do we get there?

Well, Mrs. Burke had an idea.

You see, she was the Music Instructor for the St. Paul’s Catholic School, and St. Mary’s, where I attended, was going to bring her in to give 5th graders a head start in music. While every other schools in the area started kids in 6th grade, her plan was to give the 5th graders a head start and chance to discover where their interests and skills lie.

As we walked around the classroom, we saw that Mrs. Burke had brought in trumpets and drums, flutes and clarinets, trombones and saxophones. Each of us had an opportunity to actually pick up an instrument, often for the first time, and give it a whirl.

Within moments, the room became a cacophony of toots and bah dums and squawks. Laughing kids and not a few grimacing parents.

All the while, Mrs. Burke calmly walked among us, explaining what each instrument was and basically how it was held and played, and of course, reassuring parents that it wouldn’t always sound quite that bad.

We each gave every instrument a try, and then decided which one we’d give a go, after thinking about what we liked best.

And the reality is that each one of us took a moment to imagine ourselves playing those instruments. I couldn’t personally see myself playing the flute, but drums or saxophone, that was a different story.

I went home that night with dreams of jazz jams, and sure enough, started practicing and playing saxophone that fall.

That’s the process I recommend for you when it comes to figuring out how you’re going to monetize your website and business. There are a lot of options to consider, but you need to carefully review them and decide what the best combination is for you.

If, for instance, you want to have an ad-driven site and passive revenue, you might find it hard to also fit in a portfolio of services to offer.

You can try a few and see which methods, not just work better in terms of revenue, but which ones suit you. That matters! If you really like recommending other people’s products and services, that’s great! There are incredible opportunities to be a successful affiliate, like right here with SiteSell.

You can also see what your keyword research tells you. If, for instance, you’re finding that a lot of people are looking for specific products, then affiliate marketing may be the way to go. On the other hand, if the searches related to your niche are more about finding answers and information, then an informational site that’s backed with your expertise for advanced problem-solving may prove extremely lucrative.

Now, if you’re still in the planning and discovery phase of your potential business, I strongly recommend that you join the SiteSell Community. We have an incredible library of information, and an amazing learning experience that takes you through every step of building and monetizing a business. If you want an all-in-one solution that includes everything you need to build a website, SBI! is for you. If, on the other hand, you would feel more comfortable using WordPress for your site, but still want access to SiteSell’s powerful suite of tools and knowledge, SBI! for WP is for you.

Oh, and about my saxophone playing… I went on to be First Chair in every grade thanks to the head start that Mrs. Burke gave me. And on into college, where one of my proudest moments was performing in The ‘Shoe at The Ohio State University with “The Best Damn Band In The Land”.

Mike Allton
Mike is an award-winning blogger, speaker, and author at The Social Media Hat, and Brand Evangelist at Agorapulse where he strengthens relationships with social media educators, influencers and agencies.

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