Do you know what the main difference between the sites that make money and the ones that don't is?
The marketers who make money were able to figure out how to focus on the 20% of things that make up 80% of their income.
It's that simple.
Most bullets on your to-do list today won't make a difference to your bottom line.
Only very few will.
So why not discover what those are and focus putting them into practice?
Here are some examples of what you could do today to increase your bottom line tomorrow.
When Visibility is the Key
Most websites I visit on a daily basis don't make any/much money because they are not directing their readers to their money-making pages – that simple.
A couple of weeks ago, I made a small tweak to my sidebar that resulted in an increased traffic to my money page: my internet marketing tools page.
I added the “Little Black book” image that's sitting at the top of my sidebar right now, linking to my tools page.
The week before I added the image, I got 18 clicks to the page; mostly through the navigation link located at the top of my header.
Last week, that number was 5 times more – 85 clicks.
That's not all though.
Last week, I made another tweak to the image that took me about 30 seconds to implement.
I moved it from below the sidebar optin form to above it. Now it's sitting above the fold.
That little change gained me another 35 clicks.
The screenshots above were taken with Google Analytics, by the way.
A very simple and free way to analyze how your readers interact with your site and what can be improved.
I actually got a few more tweaks in mind after I took a look at my stats.
You can find yours in your GA under “Content” => “In-Page Analytics”.
Or watch the video in this post to see how I use it.
Traffic Monetization Page by Page
Not all traffic is created equal.
Like Lisa Irby noted in one of her latest posts:
“My static site actually has 25% less organic traffic than it did this time last year. That’s the bad news.
The good news is my income has not dropped proportionately because of diversification.”
Income and traffic don't always grow/drop proportionally.
Some of your pages might be getting more love from the search engines.
Some of them might be bringing a lot of referral traffic from another blog.
If you find a page that's getting a surge of traffic, it's important to make sure your monetization methods on THAT page are geared towards those specific visitors.
My Promote Your Blog Page
I've created this page on my blog a long time ago (it was one of the first pages at TGC, as a matter of fact).
That page serves only one purpose: to be a greeting page for most of my Twitter traffic.
Learn more about how I use Tweet Adder in my business.
All kinds of people visit the page: offline business owners, niche site affiliates, various online site owners, internet marketers, etc.
Of course, some of them stayed, but even more left – the nature of our business, right?
It never occurred to me to add another tweak that was of direct interest to that specific traffic, as well as a direct monetization technique, until John Shea pointed it out to me.
As a result, I added another subheading to that post explaining to the visitors how I used Tweet Adder to bring them to my blog and linking back to the software with my affiliate link.
Took me about 30 minutes to do it (my brain was half-dead at the time).
I created a special tracking link to see how many people actually visited Tweet Adder from that page in my Thirsty Affiliates affiliate link management database.
In the last couple of days since I added the Tweet Adder links, I got 13 direct clicks to the software page.
I also included a link back to my Tweet Adder review in the post and I am sure some of the traffic went through that page to get to Tweet Adder.
Thanks for the tip, John!
Last week, I challenged my email subscribers to come up with their own monetization tweaks that can be implemented quickly (i.e. shouldn't be a project) and have a direct impact on their bottom line.
Many of you responded to the challenge on Traffic Generation Café Facebook page – THANK YOU.
I'll mentioned a few of your ideas in this post; both the ones that worked and the ones that are in the works.
If you feel like you missed out on the opportunity to network, brainstorm, and be mentioned at TGC, you are right – you did miss out.
Don't let it happen again.
Join Ana's exclusive email list to be in the loop.
Like Traffic Generation Café on Facebook and brand yourself as an expert in your niche.
Speaking of monetizing your site page by page, here's a comment I got from Lisa Melia:
“1500 views on a post of mine today that had cute pumpkin carving ideas – did I have the brains to include a link to a carving kit even though I saw the stats rising daily??”
We are all guilty of that.
After all, it's only money we are talking about…
Sounds like so much work…
- See which pages bring traffic in Google Analytics…
- Think of a way to make money off that traffic…
- Add a few paragraphs with affiliate links or an ad to target that traffic…
- That's anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes of work…
I am tired of just thinking of doing it…
SNAP OUT OF IT! Focus on what makes money and you WILL make money.
New Approach to Affiliate Marketing
This brilliant idea of taking affiliate marketing into your own hands comes from Arturo Munoz of StartingYourOwnBusinessOvernight.com.
Here's what Arturo does:
I reworked the logic flow of my offer fulfillment process for one of my best performing pages.
“Huh,” I hear you say?
Simple. Now keep up with me…
I have an article (http://bit.ly/OnlineJobsFromHome).
It points eventually to an affiliate video.
In earlier days, I'd just create a link and send my visitors directly from my site to my affiliate's site and hope they'd buy there. Not anymore!
Today what I do is the following:
1. I set up a small form at the bottom of my article and squeeze visitors into it with my copy.
2. The form feeds my list.
Note from Ana: VERY IMPORTANT
If you haven't started building a list yet, you are missing out on a fundamental benefit of having a loyal customer base.
Start building one today.
Aweber is the best email autoresponder I have even used, and I am not the only one. Many A-list bloggers I know also use it for their businesses.
Aweber offers a $1 trial month for all new customers.
You'll have access to all features a paid account is entitled to: unlimited lists, email campaigns, automatic follow-ups, broadcasts, and many, many more. If after 30 days you don't like them, just let them know and Aweber will give you your $1 back. Guaranteed.
3. My list feeds my autoresponder.
4. My autoresponder sends an email to my subscribed visitors with the link to the page where I've embedded my affiliate's video IN MY SITE.
Note from Ana:
I noticed, Arturo, that when someone confirms their email, instead of redirecting them to the video page, you make your visitors jump through yet another hoop of going back to their inbox, opening the next email, and going to the video page through that email.
Your visitors might convert even better if you cut out this extra step.
5. The video pre-sells within the context of MY SITE.
6. Then, if the visitor is by now really HOT because of my article, my email and the affiliate video on my site, then that same video gives him the option to move on to my affiliate site for the final pitch.
7. If anyone doesn't buy from my affiliate link, I've not lost that visitor.
This person is now in my mailing list and I can market to him to produce revenues in the future.
Most of these people convert. They've been pre-sold enough by the time that they make it to the affiliate site.
It all flows seamlessly, systematically, and automatically.
More traffic to this one page only means more automatic revenue generation.
So I focus on driving as much traffic to it as I can and tweak it to optimize it for pre-selling to a very particular type of audience – the one most likely to buy my affiliate offer.
Build Email List Faster
Test, test, test…
You already heard my spiel about the importance of building your own email list.
Here are a few tweaks my readers made on their sites to increase the effectiveness of their list building.
Add PopUp Form
Walter Akolo made a simple, yet very effective change:
I took a few minutes to include a popover sign-up page on my site. Worked wonders.
Tweak PopUp Form
Here are some practical improvements Eric McLaughlin made to his site as a result of testing:
The two things that I tweaked that have made a difference were:
1. Adding more recent post links in the sidebar.
My bounce rate went down and the total time on my site had increased by almost a full minute when I did this.
2. The second thing I did was increase the time for my float in form from immediately to 8 seconds.
This increased my opt-in rate the day I changed the time delay.
Yes, popup forms always cause controversy, but they DO work.
The trick is not to slap your visitors with one the second they step on your site.
Let them read your content first. Get to know you a bit. Build trust.
Then they are much more likely to opt in to your list and continue reading.
My Aweber popup optin is set to pop up after 90 seconds on my blog and only every 7 days.
More Thoughts on List Building
Here are my Skinny Notes on list building to give you a kick in the rear to start your own list or actually take your time to build a relationship with your list.
1. Consider list building your new SEO strategy.
Your list won't drop you from the rankings, cut your traffic off cold turkey, or make you cringe at the thought of the next algorithm change.
It won't ban your Twitter accounts or shut down your Facebook pages.
2. I doubled my list building since the recent redesign.
Placing your optin forms in strategic places is the key.
Don't annoy your readers, but give them ample chance to subscribe.
Point out the benefits of joining your list.
3. Treat your list well.
It's not your cash machine.
Use your emails to build up your readers and their businesses.
4. Your list will treat you well right back.
Yesterday I found a great deal on a premium WordPress plugin bundle.
Less than $10 and 5 minutes later, I was playing with my new plugins on my blog.
I liked them.
I sent an email to my subscribers letting them know about the deal.
A couple of hundred dollars later, I am still getting notifications of new sales from JVZoo and “thank you” notes from my subscribers who purchased it.
Or don't. Either way. It's your business.
More Make Money Tweaks
As you've seen so far, the simplest things can produce the best results.
More ideas from you, my readers:
Add a “My Services” Page
Got a skill others need? Got approach by readers about consulting or other services?
It's time to add a “My Services” page.
Like Ryan Mendenhall:
“Nothing right now on my site directly makes me money.
So, I'm going to fix that. I'm going to add a services page.
It IS my desire to build a scalable business, so like you said in your email, I am working on a “completely new income-driving model” that will allow me to grow beyond working for an hourly wage.
But for now, I'll toss up a services page at http://www.mendenhallcreative.com”
Or Karo Itoje:
“One thing I'll like to implement real soon though is to set up a service offer for a certain group of people.
Ana, did you know all this talk about getting more and more traffic is not really necessary when you have a few clients who can make the whole business trouble worth it at the end of the month?
I never thought I'll be coaching, but someone requested recently and I accepted.
We've had 2 sessions and 2 or more to go.
The income really came in handy. I charged per hour.
But the best part is that my student is instigating me to offer my service to the public on my site saying he'll give me a “great testimonial” and I will because it happens I love it!
Consulting is not my personal favorite – I prefer to hide behind my computer rather than talk to people directly.
But it CAN be a great income generator.
Here's another simple way to monetize your blog.
Does it work?
It didn't for me, when I tried it in the earlier stages of TGC.
But it might work for YOUR niche.
Like Alexis from Troublesome Tots says:
Unlikely to move the needle, but readers keep ASKING me to put up a donation button (I think that's a good sign?), so I'm going to do it & offer both Amazon and Paypal options (60% international readership).
I have low expectations, but maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised!
Update from Alexis 12/12:
So in 1 month I've made $200, which is great in that it's not -0-, but not super conversion if you consider that I get 60K uniques per month.
Admittedly I don't really push the donation thing (it's in my main menu, but I don't highlight it anywhere else on site).
I changed the amount from $10 to $20 mid month which doesn't seem to have made any difference in the volume of donations.
Is $200 a month successful? I'm going to consider it so. Guess we'll see what happens over time!
$200 in a month is definitely much better than my $10 total over a span of a couple of months.
Just goes to show: you need to test everything!
The simplest things.
Make the most difference.
What are you doing TODAY to tweak your site?