Understanding How to Monetize Website Traffic

Webmasters often wait to monetize website traffic because they presume that they require a substantial amount of traffic to make money. The problem is, just because a website has a decent amount of visitors, this does not mean that the Webmaster can monetize that traffic.

You might attract 6000 visitors a day but it only takes one visitor to make a sale. Which would you rather, 6000 visitors a day or one visitor that actually buys something?

Yes we can all monetize a website and we can all get traffic to our website, but can we monetize website traffic in order to earn a decent income?

I am not going to go into a whole blogging course in one article because there are so many factors to add to simple monetization. For example you need great content, targeted visitors, along with a quality easy selling item.The list goes on.. In this article I am concentrating on understanding how to monetize website traffic and hopefully I can explain a few factors that might help you.

Monetization myths

  1. Anyone can build a blog and slap ads on it to monetize website traffic.
  2. Adsense is a “no brainer” way to make money online.
  3. The more traffic you get the more sales you make.
  4. People do not want to buy from me because I am a newbie.

We have all heard them and probably have even believed them at one stage.

Please feel free to add your favorite myths in the comment section.

Have a clear vision

When monetizing your website traffic you need to know a few minor details about your business. You will need to look deeply at the most obvious but often overlooked aspects of your business.

Analyzing your visitors

when should I monetize website trafficAnalyzing your website visitors can be as simple as asking yourself a few questions:

  1. What are your visitors looking for?
  2. Are your visitors’ buyers or information seekers?
  3. What type of visitors would you like?

After answering these questions will help you decide on a monetization method. For example if your website traffic is primarily information seekers then your website might be suited for Google AdSense. However if your website targets products that people want to buy, then Amazon could be a great way to monetize website traffic.

Of course there are many different methods to choose when monetizing your website.

If you have an established website it is far easier to analyze your visitors and get the right products in front of them.

Analyzing your traffic

You will notice that you will attract website traffic that converts and also traffic that simple does not. The trick is to get the traffic that will make you money. You need to try different traffic sources to see which one converts the best for you.

This can be done through tracking and also through good old common sense.

For example if you are selling web hosting you do not want to go to a webmasters forum where people already have websites. You want to find the people that do not have a website. If you do get visitors from the webmasters forum then this would give you a rare sale here and there. However if you find the people that are looking to buy web hosting and learn how to build websites then you will sell more.

Another example is if you are selling Mac software, you want to find Mac users to bring to your website, not Windows users.

Having a tight niche

No I am not saying right niche, I am saying tight. This means that you stick to the topic and do not stray into personal posts, off topic articles, and unrelated content. Everything should revolve around your topic and when you send a website visitor there they will get exactly what they expect. Basically a tight niche can equal more conversions and less work to monetize website traffic.

Of course having the tight niche is very important in most cases but not all. I will not get into that now.

In a recent WordPress website case study I shared, I created a website that started to make money solely from the traffic I sent there. It was not a nice looking website, it did not rank in Google, and it was not SEOed or researched. It was a tight niche sticking to the subject and that was about  all it had going for it.

Defining and tracking goals

You can study and track the effectiveness of your traffic by setting up goals. For example I often guest post on someones blog and set goals to see the outcomes. Some high traffic blogs do not always bring the traffic I need to make conversions  for me while small blog do. I am not aiming for loads of traffic, I am mining for the traffic that suits me.

This is why we are asking “who is your website visitor” and “what do they want” in order to accommodate them. When we know the answer to these questions we can decide on a goal for your entire website, each page and each post.

Take a good look into setting up goals in Google Analytics to help monetize website traffic. It looks a lot harder than it is.

Monetize Website Traffic

[box type="info"]Watch Ms. Ileane’s video on how to set up Goals in Google Analytics![/box]

Choosing the right product

You can add banners and links galore from every single affiliate that is related to your niche, however this will not help you make sales. You need to put the right product in front of the right people. Now that you know who your traffic is, this will make it easier to choose the right product for these people.

My criteria for choosing a product:

  • the product must be related to the content
  • the product must be high quality and in demand
  • the product must have a higher converting sales page

If you have the wrong monetization method or product on a page it’s like serving a fruitcake to a customer in a cafe, when they really came in the scones jam and cream. The customer is not going to be happy. What we want to do is make the customer happy and only have relevant content and relevant goals on the page.

Diversifying your income streams

You cannot just set in stone a particular monetization method for your entire website. You need to deal with your pages and posts as separate entities. You must be willing to experiment with different monetization methods to get to your end goal.

A website can have many forms of income and is not confined to one monetization method. For example you might have a website with AdSense ads and also affiliate links. Sometimes people replace the AdSense ads with affiliate banners. This is all part of the process when monetizing your website traffic. I have definitely taken on many different methods that help me make money online.

Each website has its own personality and requires a tailored monetization method for each. What exactly works for me might not work for your website.

Positioning your offer

Ok so you have targeted buyers coming to your website and you have great content but where do you put your offer? Should you go for the kill early, slam a banner in the middle for the impatient buyers, or wait patiently until the end? There is no right or wrong answer here and therefore you need to test and tweek to drag the best conversations and monetize website traffic.

Another question is should you use a banner or a text link. I actually use both depending on the situation.

Testing and tweaking

Split testing. Hmm…We all know about split testing and the benefits it can bring to your business, however many people neglect to use this option. It only takes a few minutes to set up a split test and you can either do this through Google website optimizer or through a simple WordPress plug-in. Either way if you are not split testing your goals and sales pages, then you are missing out on more than you think.

Split testing can involve simple things like changing the title of your page, the layout of your article, or even the product you are selling on the page. There are no rules for what you can split test for, however it usually highlights better conversions for you.

A great example of tweaking is when you notice you are getting a certain advertiser targeting you website with Adsense advertising continually. That must mean they are making sales. Sometimes it worth the risk to find a similar product, become an affiliate, and cut out Google from being the middle man.

Another example is when you continually sell a certain Amazon product from one page on your blog. This is the time to search for a better paying product because you know you have a sale to make on that page. I do this all the time. Last week I had a page selling 12 items at $1.20 and swapped it for a product that is almost identical where I make $14 for the same sale. The item is more expensive to buy for the visitor but it is not about the price, it is about solving the problem at hand.

Monetize website traffic

Understanding how to monetize website traffic is not as easy as slapping ads all over your website. New webmasters often presume that you can make money by doing this.

Monetizing your website should not only involve sales for the here and now. When you monetize website traffic you need to think about the future and implement a strategy that will bring in secure passive income. For example you should think about making money from a website even after it is sold.

What tips do you have on how to monetize website traffic?

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About 

My name is Milica (Mitz for short) and I am a serial full-time blogger. I started out with one website many years ago and it went so well, I sold my businesses and began living the internet dream. Since then I have been perfecting the system of blogging by building WordPress websites that are set to earn money online. This is an ever changing business and I love the challenge. Please feel free to download one of my favorite FREE REPORTS if you are interested in improving your blogging business or starting one from scratch.

85 Comments (click here to leave a comment)

  1. Truly awesome tips to monetize website traffic … Really a great share Mitz !!

    Like your words on analyzing visitors and traffic, Truly said testing is very very important

  2. Hi Mitz,

    I learned quite a bit from this article. I’ve never set goals in GA, now I’ll look into this further and set it up.

    My tip is to diversify. Don’t just settle on Google Adsense, monetize using other sources. This way you don’t put all of your eggs in one basket.

    This is how I diversify:
    Google Adsense
    Vibrant Media
    Amazon Store
    Affiliate Programs
    Advertising
    You Tube
    Writing for other sites

    Take care,

    Evelyn

    • I agree Enelyn
      We all have to diversify. I make money from so many sources, which is great, but it can get confusing. I wish we could stick to one monetization method but it is not safe to put all your eggs in one basket.

  3. Fantastic post Mitz. You hit this one spot on, and more so on the said myths about blog monetization. Straight out, I think that the most important aspect of what you bring here is to know the exact “type” of product that a blogger should focus on. Relevance is extremely important and while traffic does indeed help, it really does not have to be tons of them, depending on what monetization method you are choosing. As with a lot f things, the 80/20 rule applies :) Thumbs up!

    • Hi DiTesco
      Your right..traffic does help but we need the right traffic and relevancy with everything is very important! :)

      As for the 80/20 rule…I try not to mention this as I am trying to get rid of this in my life…I am improving the balance to sway in my favor. LOL

  4. Yes you are right. Some people think that GA is no brain and the way to get rich fast. But it’s not right. GA is easy but still need strategy and consistency.
    And about your tips, I really love it. I need to try this.
    Thanks for sharing

    • Hi Ery
      I used to think Adsense was easy too until I finally worked out that it wasn’t. You needed the technical stuff to earn better money from the ads you had… :)

  5. Hi Mitz,
    Great article on making money online. It’s a really good point you make about targetting your visitors. There are some niches that bring in tons of traffic, but the visitors just aren’t prone to buying anything. Other niches are higher converting. The key is finding the balance between your expertise and a niche that is also high converting.

    As far as tightening your niche, I do think that sometimes it adds a unique flavor to a blog to bring in personal insight. They personalize your posts and help build a conneciton with your audience. However, I do think it’s important to be able to segue those personal stories into the topic of your niche.

    • You are right Richard
      Some niches will bring more traffic but the visitors may not be buyers. I like to find the buyers or clickers for my niche. I go hunting! :)

  6. Excellent article. I have often wondered about this and it has spurred me on to take a look in more detail, especially as I assumed you needed huge numbers of visitors to your site to make it worth while

    • Hi David
      You definitely do not need huge numbers of visitors to become successful. I recently show my readers a case study that had a pathetic amount of traffic and made $700 a month.. This is better than some big websites with loads of content.

      It really does matter who you visitors are. :)

  7. Mitz,

    You make some great points here. Monetization is about so much more than just slapping on adsense. Targeting, optimizing and making sure the “right” people find your site is what it is all about.

    recently I have been doing quite a bit with optimizing and conversion and even this recent spate of work on this has shown a nice little bump in conversion.

    • Hi Steve
      A little bit of optimizing goes a long way. I love it when you can improve your earnings without creating anything new.. Just by moving something or changing a link… This is what makes this internet marketing game fun!:)

  8. Its really not easy to market on the internet. I started off slow, and started making money via adsense, then got banned. Its been a rough road since then, but i started several other ideas like selling products on my blog and so on, its coming up but its really slow. i woudl take into consideration all you have said in this post though. thanks

  9. Very-very useful information.

    Monetization is really the hardest part of Internet Marketing. I guess nobody has exact answers to this question because we can not read customers minds.

    Continuous split-testing is the only way to optimize the way we act when trying to monetize the website traffic.

    • Hi Laura
      I know what you mean by there being no exact answers here. That is why I struggled with this article wondering what I should be mentioning.. It really racked my brain! :)

  10. Hi Mitz,

    Analyze your visitors

    This is so on target! I’m glad you put this one right near the top. In just the past week, I’ve had conversations with two bloggers about knowing who their visitors are – for real. At least one indicated they had no clear idea. Hmmm. :)

    “Tailoring” offers is probably the next one most overlooked or underused.

    Good stuff, Mitz!

    • I love analyzing everything and I mostly know my visitors but the hard part for me is finding them..I wish there were signs up saying “here they are” …:)

    • Hi Govind
      I have a case study on my website about selling hosting. You can either do this as an affiliate or you can become a reseller. I actually have both.
      You can go to commission junction to find hosting companies that offer commissions. You can also go to the hosting companies themselves..like Hostgator.

  11. This article comes at a perfect time. When I started my blog, the goal was just to share. Now that I would like to increase monetization, I am wondering if while I think I’m sticking to a few good topics, they may be too many?

    Now after a year of reading “you need X amount of traffic to monetize,” I read “it’s not about traffic.” Needless to mention, I’m a little frustrated.

  12. A good and well written content will surely caught visitors attention and will keep coming back for more. If there is adsense for example, revenue out of it IMO is high.

    • Hi Herbert
      If you take the right person to the right content that they were looking for then you will catch their attention.

  13. Hi Mitz, we meet again :)

    Another very good post from you. And I agree with you on this subject. What could be the bigger concern webmasters expecting from the traffic coming to their sites if it’s not monetizing it.

    I’m doing SEO, and I find it’s easier to convert visitor into sales if I choose the right keywords to optimize for. You know, long tail, brand specific and buying keywords.

    Although having a big flood of traffic everyday is good, if that traffic can’t make us money then it’s time to think about how to improve it! Waiting for more great post from you.

    Have a nice day!

    Duy.

    • Hi Duy
      Your right about SEO too.. I use certain keywords to get the conversions, even on Adsense this makes a big difference!
      I was trying to get away from the technical a bit and look at it another way by analyzing the visitor. This has worked for me but if you know SEO you are always better off! :)
      I always like to use my gut feeling along with SEO.

  14. Hey Mitz, this is really an amazing post. Its so comprehensive and effective that I’m bookmarking to read again. Can’t grasp them all in one go! Brilliant share :)

  15. My tip is: drive targeted traffic, provide them value and recomend them some useful products that you’ve tested carefully. By using this method, I’m able to make around $300 from just 2000 visitors :D

  16. Well, today only I was looking to monetize my blog in better ways. Now, this post will surely help me more. Thanks a lot for nice advice would love to implement them.

  17. i am just starting out making my blog and reading this article has opened my eyes a little people i have spoken too seem to indicate that making money from web traffic is easy but after reading here i can see that this is not the case it would appear i have a few hoops to jump through before i start to see a return on any investment i have made

  18. Hey Mitz,

    I especially agree the way you analyze the visitors. Are they buyers or info seekers? That’s the question we need to ask before we build the site. Do we want buyers or info seekers? Every site is different and so is its objective.

    To set goals for the blog is a must for every serious blogger that aims to make money online.

    Cheers,
    Ming

  19. I know some people say they make a lot from adsense of course they don’t say exactly what a lot is. A lot to some people might be nothing to others or vice versa. Traffic helps, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you are going to be rich by the end of the year either. I set my expectations and goals low so they are easier to reach or accomplish.

    • Hi Ray
      I know what you mean about Adsense Ray.. I am one that will never exactly tell what I make with Adsense. I feel like it will give me bad luck.. But when I see some peoples earnings of thousands on Adsense I know it is true because I am doing that too.
      The same applies for Adsense as it does for affiliate sales…You need the right traffic…

      You Adsense earnings will skyrocket if you get the right traffic for your niche.

  20. Hi Mitz,

    Thanks for the great tips. I’m starting to learn that it is a lot about testing and tracking in order to understand where your traffic is coming from and what they are doing once they get there. I’ll be sure to check out Google’s goals, now that I know how people are using it!

  21. Great post. A lot of people think that all you need to do to make money online is to put up a website and watch the money start flowing in. This post does a great job of showing the things you need to think about. Making money online is a business and should be treated as one.

  22. As someone who is trying to get a new blog running from the ground up, and who hopes to eventually monetize it, I really liked this post. Two things to me stand out as the hardest parts of this endeavor: 1) finding a true passion that 2) falls within a tight niche. Tough stuff for a boring lawyer like me!

  23. Recently, I’ve been thinking and planning on monetizing my site with affiliates program but just don’t know if I could sell their product cause I’m really not good in selling stuffs.

    • Hi Kyle
      I do not sell anything..Well I never push it but I make sales..

      When you are selling online there are many other factors to consider as you cannot be there personally to sell to the person.

  24. The key is conversion optimization. First you need targeted traffic and then conversion. The best thing to earn money via online is by selling services or products not ads. Another thing, affiliate programs can also be pretty good.

  25. Testing and tweaking is harder than it looks. I mean, so we have all these tools that tell us how many visitors, clicks and conversions we got but then how do we interpret it?

    This week my conversion rate went down, why is that? No changes in the posts, products or even the website visitors because they came from the same places and used the same keywords in search engines. So what’s up with that? Who knows!

    • Hi Mira
      It is so hard and amazingly touchy. You can change one sentence and ruin your sales. This is why you have to split test.

      Also when you have done nothing and your conversions drop I like to see if the buying traffic has somehow dropped off too..

      To check the results and see what is working we have goals to setup. So you paste code on the test page and on the conversion page to see if it makes sales.

      Do you have any goals setup?

  26. My tips? Common sense!

    Just put yourself in the shoes of the people who visit your website. What do they think?
    No matter if you sell a product or just offer content, always think as the common person who stumbles upon your website for the first time. If you do this the possibilities are endless.

  27. Myth:
    : Adsense is the only successful PPC in the planet.

    Not all internet geeks of PPC are successful in Adsense. I have talked to a lot of people that are in this business and said that they earn more from other networks (sorry, Google). Check out other affiliates, they are probably more useful to you.

    • Hi Glen
      I am not saying you have to use Adsense…It is just an example. I agree there are many other options out there. :)

  28. It is hard when you are starting on the quest for online success, there is
    some walls to pass/jump, we have to be smart and constant.

    JL

  29. Superb post! I have 5,000 visitors a day but as you mentioned, I cannot just convert them into money good enough. Most of my visitors come from search engines – information seekers but some of them looking to buy products, so they search for my review posts. In this case, Amazon works great as you pointed out.

    I may have to tweak the ads to auto-show based on the traffic sources and display the relevant ads, thanks to this post for reminding me of it

    • Yes I agree that a slight tweak helps a lot… I have done this many times and I have both lost income and gained. Just make sure you remember what changes you are making so you can always turn it back to the original. :)

  30. I just have to say, that the more I read your posts, the more I admire your style. You always have very useful and, moreover, PRACTICAL tips and advice for people. After I finish reading, I end up with some genuine info on my hands! Great job!

  31. This is a very informative article you have here Mitz. You have discussed a handful of interesting tips on how to monetize website traffic. Having a large number of visitors is not really that important. You just need to provide the right content for the right visitor in your website.

  32. Very useful post, monetizing is all about targeting the right keywords and prospects. You can have even the whole traffic in the world but you do not make money if you failed in targeting.

  33. we should monetise our website with adsense only,,when we are in a stage,,,when we get considerable traffic,,,
    i had lost more than 5 adsense accounts,,,as all were banned,,,coz less traffic and some fraud clicks,,,
    do guys dont repeat the mistake which i commited
    and do try infolnks,,,it pays good
    but if traffic is massive,,,,no one can stop us from becoming rich with adsense!!!

  34. Very useful post, monetizing is all about targeting the right keywords and prospects. You can have even the whole traffic in the world but you do not make money if you failed in targeting.

    • I completely agree.
      Successful keyword targeting is the ABC of website monetization. Only then can you start bringing in the relevant traffic and increase your ad revenues.

      Cheers!

  35. Excellent post! Very interesting article! You should always try to maximize your conversion rate, you can have all the traffic in the world but monetizing that traffic is the main skill needed.

  36. Hi Mitz

    Great post
    Really enjoyed the content. My blog is pretty new and most of the articles i’ve come across don’t even explain half of what you have told us !!!

    Many thanks
    Brett66

  37. For my blog, I upgraded from AdSense to Google AdExchange which is the premium version of the former that has access to the largest pool of biggest advertisers around the world. I signed up via a company called Monetize More. They provide access and optimize it for you! I made so much money after implementing it. You should too!

Trackbacks

  1. Understanding How to Monetize Website Traffic…

    Webmasters often wait to monetize website traffic because they presume that they require a substantial amount of traffic to make money. The problem is, just because a website has a decent amount of visitors, this does not mean that……