Some companies are wary of advertising on forums or other sites with a large proportion of user-generated content. Regardless of this fact, online communities can still make you money. In fact, they can make you a great deal of money, depending on how well you monetise your site and the subject matter of your community itself. In this article, I will briefly cover two ways you can make more money from your website.
Always follow the money
If you have a long term advertiser that continues to renew, you can be confident that your site is making them more money that the amount they are paying to advertise on your site. At this point, you should find out what they are selling. Perhaps you could sell the same product or service yourself?
As an example, I get a lot of dating sites advertise through AdSense on Just Chat. After some investigation, I realised that not all of the advertisers were the actual dating sites themselves – some of the links were affiliate links. This meant that whoever owned that affiliate link was earning more from my traffic than I was! By finding out the actual site that was being advertised, I could follow the money by getting my own affiliate link for that site. By cutting out the middle man, I ensured maximum profits for myself.
Target competitive niches
If you haven’t used the Google AdWords keyword tool, you are losing out on additional revenue. You can use this tool to ensure you maximise the amount of content you publish on your site that is in demand from advertisers.
Let’s say your community is focused on health and diet. Go to the Keyword Tool and enter this term, or something similar (click for full size):
You will then be presented with a list of results. You can click on either ‘Adveriser Competition’ or ‘Approx Avg Search Volume’ to order the results (click for full size):
Now you can see what terms and topics are the most in demand from advertisers – the greener the bar, the more money there is to be made. By writing articles or posts that include these keywords, you will be maximising your revenue whilst remaining within your niche and providing value for your members. If you use AdSense, you can easily find out what type of content advertisers are looking for. The more competition there is, the higher advertisers typically pay to advertise.
Do you run a general interest online community but can’t figure out what content is generating you revenue? Spend some time playing around with the Keyword Tool – type in some keywords that are popular on your site. You’ll soon learn where your site earns its money, and can concentrate on increasing the content you offer on those subjects.
The great thing with this method is you are not only increasing your revenue, you are also adding value to your site – you are adding content, and should now be even more motivated to do so as you know exactly what is going to make you money.
Do you consider keywords that are in demand from advertisers when creating content for your community website? Have you tied this method and improved your revenue? Share your thoughts and experience by leaving a comment below.