Sunday, January 20, 2008

Create a Content Driven Web Site

Search engines reward good content

If you have ever done a search using Google or Yahoo, then you know that the Internet is a great tool for matching people who need information with those who have it. Search engines have become very adept at rewarding Web sites that satisfy this need for information with traffic. The goal of any Web master is to get traffic, especially visitors that are highly interested in the topic of the Web site.

Anyone knows enough to build a good site

Everyone knows enough about at least one topic to be able to build a good content driven Web site. Also, there are probably thousands and thousands of people looking to find exactly that information on the Web.

When the Internet first became popular, you had to be technically savvy to be able to create a Web site, let alone a popular one. Layout, graphics, uploading content to servers all had to be learned, and that was before any research was done on how to make your site rank well in search engines. And if you wanted any sort of interaction with your visitors, then you had to learn that technology, too, or pay someone to manage it.

Even after all that, there was no guarantee of making any income, because you pretty much had to have a product to sell.

There are tools that help with the technical issues

Fortunately, things have changed drastically, and for the better. There are many software tools that will help you design your Web site and upload it to your server. Some tools are better than others, though, and the one I use is Site Build It.

SBI, as it is known, does more than just help you design and build your site. First, there is a research tool that helps you define your chosen niche. For instance, when I first started to investigate building a Web site I had it mind that I wanted to make a site about cooking. The research tool showed me that this was too broad a topic and that I would likely get buried by the giant sites that already dominate this field. Instead, I was able to find a profitable niche in the sub-topic of soup. The result is my site Homemade Soup Recipes.

My site has increased in traffic, as well as Google ranking each and every month. This month my traffic is up over 50% over the previous month, and I am averaging over 300 visits per day, and it is still growing. More importantly, the page views are over a 1,000 per day, and I have not written anything new in a couple of months.

How does this happen? First, SBI makes a constant point of making sure that you have lots of good content, as this is the only thing that will build lasting traffic and good rankings. Second, they have a program that matches you with other Web masters with similar topics to exchange links with. This increases both sites' rankings with Google and other search engines, leading to more traffic. There other tools, such as a forum where you can discuss with other SBI customers on how to increase traffic and ranking, as well as income.

How do you make money at it?

So, once you have your traffic, how do you turn it into income? Fortunately, there are quite a few different ways of accomplishing this, and many sites use more than one.

Google Ads

Google Ads is the ground-breaking money-making tool that has made it possible for even someone new to the world of Web site building to start making money. Once you have a site with good content on a specific topic, you start an account with Google. You then use the code that they give you to put ads on your web pages. These ads will automatically get added on the fly whenever someone visits your page. Also, this ad will match the topic of your page if you have done things correctly.

So who pays for these ads? Google, of course, but they get their money from advertisers who bid to have their ads put onto sites like yours. The higher bidders pay more to have their ads put on higher-ranking sites, and different topics will command higher prices as well. Then, if a visitor to your site clicks on the ad, you get paid for that click, based on how much Google is paid by the advertiser. Again, it pays to have not only a lot of traffic, but traffic that is highly interested in the topic of your site.


Kontera is another company that displays and pays for ads, but they do so by changing some of the words in your content to links that visitors can either preview by hovering the mouse pointer over them. or clicking to actually view the ad. Again, you are paid by click. I generally get fewer clicks with this method, but the price per click is usually higher than with Google.

Affiliate Links

If people are willing to pay to advertise on your site, then they must have something to sell. What if you were to cut out the middle man and sell it yourself? This is what Affiliate programs do. They allow you to advertise a product directly by sending the visitor to a Web page that does the selling of the product. In the link that opens the sales page, you include a tag that tells the selling site that it was your visitor that opened the page. If the visitor buys something, you get a percentage of the sale.

What percentage this is depends on the affiliate program. Physical products tend to have a lower percentage than e-books and other electronic products and services, but their prices can be higher too. Mostly, you want to pay the most attention to matching your visitors' interests with the appropriate products. For instance, on my soup site I have a few links to an affiliate site that sells kitchen equipment. I don't make a ton of money on this link, but on my other site I sell guides for World of Warcraft, and this can be quite profitable.

You can get started on affiliate programs with Clickbank and Commission Junction.

Support current business; get referals

If you already have an off-line business you can drive extra business with a content driven Web site. What this amounts to is a highly-targeted advertising at very low cost. Many businesses can benefit from this kind of advertising, especially if it is a new business. This kind of targeting can be aimed at a local, national or world-wide audience as your business dictates. Several business owners have done this in many different businesses, such as real estate agents, dentists, lawyers, bed and breakfast operators, and many more.

Alternatively, you can offer to promote someone else's business and get referal income in return. This works quite well with businesses that sell high priced products or services and employs a sales staff. Anything that comes in through a different revenue stream is generally quite welcome, especially if the cost is less than their average.


Another type of business that can be built this way is a Multi-Level Marketing business. Companies like Amway and Herbalife market their products through self-employed sales people who are rewarded for both selling the products and recruiting new sales people. This is not to be confused with Pyramid schemes, which involve transfers of money for no products (or "fake" products like useless reports.) MLM companies are mostly honest companies selling good products, but because of the similarity to illegal schemes some people are immediately turned off by them.

Also, MLM can be hard, especially if you don't like rejection, or are not a "people person". But a Web site removes that issue, since there is no direct contact required. The method involved in building traffic to increase MLM business is to create a site whose content is based on the types of products or solutions that the MLM company provides. This is done without actually mentioning the MLM company or its products by name, since this is usually considered unauthorized marketing. Instead, you offer visitors a chance to leave a comment asking for more information. You can then send them a reply with a redirect to a more official site that will allow the visitor to buy a product or sign up to sell it.


As you can see, once you have a large amount of highly-motivated traffic visiting your Web site, there are many ways to monetize that traffic. But it all starts with content, and knowing what content will be profitable. If you would like to see a video describing the steps that this takes, visit Site Build It and watch either the 2 1/2 minute intro video or the 30 minute full tour. Once you do, you will see just how easy it can be to make a profitable Web site.

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