How to make money from FREE content

Get results: add value
Get results: add value
Get Results: how to profit from providing free content
Get Results: how to profit from providing free content
  • The yellow writing highlights the traffic sources
  • The pink writing highlights the content
  • The light blue writing highlights the monetisation methods

The model above, highlights the ways of providing useful free content to your audience while also paying the bills. Having run a number of businesses off-line where you can’t afford to give things away, getting used to this online business model took some adjustment.

In a nut shell the idea is you provide information people want to read, listen to or watch, which genuinely helps them to solve some problem they have, or help them achieve something they want or need. You monetise on the back of this content with advertising banners, PPC adverts or affiliate links, so that when someone clicks through or buys the product, you get paid a commission as a reward for bringing in the traffic.

Getting Traffic

The better the content you provide the more people will want to share your content or talk about it on forums etc and the more people will come to your website. Increased traffic should mean you get more clicks on ads and links and enable you to make more money, at least in principle anyway.

Content considerations

The best method seems to be providing content such as “How to…” information and then having links to tools that help your audience get things done faster or with less hassle. Pat Flynn over at smartpassiveincome.com makes thousands of dollars per month by offering advice on how to make money online and then having an affiliate link to Bluehost so visitors can get a website hosted straight away. He then gets a commission from Bluehost for referring clients, get the idea?

PPC and Adwords

The easiest way to make money online is to get Google Adwords set up on your site and let them manage the ad delivery side of things by showing relevant ads to match your on-page content. Although this is the easiest method to set up you will need a lot of clicks to make any decent amount of money using it.

Affiliate Links

Affiliate links can provide a lucrative income if you can find a product that is relevant to your content. Many website owners build their entire site around a product or range of products with the sole purpose of making money off the affiliate links. Generally the visitor has to buy the product(s) after following the links for you to make any money, but with commissions often as high as 75% of the sale price you can quickly rack up some income if you have the right traffic, content and affiliate product alignment. Check out Clickbank for affiliate products you can sell as an affiliate. I have a number of affiliate accounts set up for products I believe will help my audience to get things done faster, with less hassle, or that will help them make more money.

Develop your own products

Probably the best method of making money is to sell your own products, so you make more, in terms of margin. However you do have to spend more time creating the products in the first place. Products could include digital information products such as Ebooks, and Video Educational systems, or you could hide content behind a pay gate as with membership sites and charge monthly subscriptions for access. If you have the know-how you could provide software solutions, or physical products via Ecommerce and drop shipping sites.

Getting traffic and converting

One of the hardest parts of any business is getting customers to buy from you, with websites it’s about getting as much of the “right” kind of traffic to your site and then getting them to either buy your product or click on the ad links or affiliate links. Paid methods of driving traffic to your site include PPC such as Google Adsense, which is the marketer’s side of the Adwords platform. You can even use affiliates to drive traffic to your site, or paid social media advertising. Free methods include SEO, blog networks, links from article sites, and link wheels although algorithmic changes by Google are rendering some of these methods ineffective or even damaging to your sites search engine ranking so do plenty of research before using any of them.

One thing you should be doing on your website is capturing email addresses using an opt-in form such as the one in the sidebar of this website and at the bottom of the post. This will help you to build a relationship with your visitors and further help them in their search for a solution to their problem. You can find out what they need, what problems they are trying to solve and tailor your products to achieve an effective result for them.

I like to go one further with regards to emails, I like to provide exclusive tailored content via emails, in such a manner that best serves subscribers. I can find out specific needs and add maximum value. Websites are great for general information, but people tend to struggle most when applying acquired knowledge to specific circumstances.

Only by solving problems and providing genuine solutions will you be able to build a sustainable, value-added business. There are many people on the internet looking to make a quick buck and game the system, avoid this and make the internet a better place.

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Check out my Business guide and marketing guide for more information.

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