Today, we are talking about one of the most important factors in monetizing your site. That is your audience, your community, you fans.
In the past, I have talked with a lot of people about monetizing their site. And often blog and site owners have these grand dreams of cash in mind, and are ready to jump in using the tools and strategies that will make their wishes come true.
But many times, they lack one important piece. An audience.
Community and Fans
Let’s take the example of you and your desire to monetize your blog. First, think about it. When you create a website to sell your services and/or products, you have an idea and you create a site, fully aware that the old saying, ‘build it and they will come,’ is not a reality. You understand that you have to market your product and services. Real hard.
But when you are think of running ads on your site, incorporating affiliate marketing, and other similar money-making attempts, there is a step that comes even before that.
You need to build your community and your fans first.
Those readers need to be nurtured. You want them to rave about your posts and share the heck out of them. You will know when you have reached that stage, they trust your opinion and use you as one of their top resources.
Building that community of fans is critical. And spending time on monetizing strategies before that can often end in frustration and headaches.
Tips on Growing Your Fans
People gravitate to sites that provide them with an answer. A lot of people are online searching for a solution and when someone finds that answer, you can bet you have just created a new fan.
Serve Your Readers Needs
However you decide to provide content to your readers, whether it’s video, audio, written text or a mix of all, find what works for them. And if possible, be as diverse in those offerings as you can. Don’t jump on a bandwagon because so and so says this media works best. Test it to make sure it fits your community.
Don’t Overwhelm Your Readers
Nothing will stunt the growth of your site faster than starting to monetize every nook and cranny of your site. Suddenly filling every widget area with an ad and scattering affiliate links everywhere won’t cut it. Introduce your strategies over time and if something isn’t working, reconsider it.
Get on social. Find the right channels for you. Share content, talk with people and again, be helpful.
Make Your Site Always the End of the Funnel
No matter what you do, remember you want to funnel people to your site. Don’t make your Facebook page a focus that will lose conversions on your site. Or any other social channel. Make sure you have some path that will eventually lead them back to your own site.
Keep Your Site Fresh
If at all possible, have a blog or some other feature that keeps your site refreshed with new content that constantly drives more readers to your site. You don’t have to go crazy and blog every day, but find a groove for yourself and keep it consistent.
Most of All, Be Patient
As you will hear over and over again in our podcast, monetizing your site is not easy and it takes work. There are very few people who hit that sweet spot right out of the gate. Building a community and a fan base takes time. Myself, I have been at it for more than 7 years in the WordPress space. With patience, a little luck thrown in and hard work, you too will find what works best for your audience.
An audio option for this post.