So far to date, my digital marketing journey has led me through the mysterious world of social media, content management, SEO, PPC, website creation, content creation and more recently monetising a website. Now, while I run a successful content marketing agency, my latest project is to crack affiliate marketing and display advertising. What better way to do this than to create a website myself and have a go.

I am going to share my journey (which is only just beginning) through a series of articles so that you can learn more about what it takes when monetising a website to earn yourself an extra income.

Now, needless to say, this may fail spectacularly but I am not one to let myself be defeated. I can say that 5 months, to the day, into the project, I am just starting to see results. Today, I am celebrating my first two affiliate sales from Google in a week.  I have seen the first few pounds of revenue in my dashboards and I have a total of 46 blogs live on a website that I started on December 13th 2020. So, how did it all begin?

The Start of the Journey

I write an enormous amount of blogs as part of my digital content management services. I can get sites ranking for key search terms in their area and industry just by creating a sequence of researched, optimised blogs that add value to their audience. I asked myself ‘if I can do this for others, could I do it for myself and how could I monetise it? That’s where my quest began. Now, I don’t profess to know everything there is to know about digital marketing – how can one person know everything?But, I do know enough to keep my customers supplied with new leads and to make them busy. I can grow a site’s traffic from 0 to a few thousand visitors over the space of a 12-18 months and I can create engaging, valuable content.

How could I do this for myself? Well, for those who know me, they know that I am a bit of a running nause. I love to run. I run several times a week and have done for many years. I run largely off road, I train and take part in ultra marathons and I can talk about it all day long! Here was the beginning of my idea.

Deciding on My Niche

When you have an idea for a blog that you want to attract visitors to, you need to make sure that you will have an audience. This audience needs to be significant but not so competitive that you are going to get blown out of the market. You need to make sure that there is enough demand for the content you are going to create but not so much that every many and his blog are doing it. I could have written about running in general. I am a UK Athletics Coach so have the knowledge base. This topic was too broad though, I needed to narrow it down. I did my keyword research and discovered that there is a lot of call for trail running information. Trail running is my absolutely passion. There was so much I could write so I started writing out my ideas.

Creating a Content Plan

If you have a topic that you know a lot about, the content should be easy to come up with. It’s how you structure that content that can be tricky. I decided to organise my website so that it had a few core pages with sub pages, and a separate blog. You can go straight for a blog but I had longer term plans about making the brand big. I needed a decent structure to the website. I started with the following structure.

Trail Gear

Within trail running gear the top search in Google is best trail running shoes and it has a massive audience. So much so, I could write one major piece and then do smaller pieces for shoe reviews. There is also a massive audience for ultra marathons running backpacks. Now, I am going to brag here but  Google ‘ultra marathon running backpacks and you will see on page 1. This is so far where most of my organic traffic is coming from. From this, I could then review products and include these reviews in my blog.

Trail Training

Wishing training there is so much specific advice – long running, weekly mileage, race plans, injury prevention, speed work…. best of all, as a coach I can back up my training advice.

Trail News

This would be my blog. I could fill it with everything from trail running in the rain or in the heat, dealing with cows, preventing the loss of a toenail, latest news from the elites and so on.

The Content Ideas Kept Coming

As I stumbled upon an idea, I had another one. I would write it all down and then categorise it. I knew how to build a website so for less than £100 I put it together over the course of a week. I then started blogging. At this point it was trial and error. I was just creating content based on my questions and what I had seen on forums etc. but I was starting to build a plan. As time went on, my content got more structured, I started to plan ahead and I would often wake up in the middle of night with another idea – notebook by the bed is key! Even now while writing this blog, I am considering the next in this series, and the one after and so on.

Build it and They Will Come

Now without getting to far ahead, the plan is monetising a website. To do that I need visitors. Visitors will come if there is valuable content. If I write it, they will come. It will take time but they will come! I started with 2-3 google clicks a week. I am now getting approximately 10 a day. Each time I check my analytics, I see a new page has been discovered. I have first page positions for half a dozen key phrases now and the traffic is starting to come. To increase my traffic in the meantime, I share a lot to social media – but that’s for another day.

How do I optimise my content? Well, that is also something I will save for next time. For now do the following:

    • Decide on your niche
    • Make sure there are searches for your subject
    • Create a keyword plan using a keyword planner
    • Structure and categorise your content
    • Start writing and publishing content

If you don’t know how to do research your keywords, try searching for the information in Google – as you type your question, it will give you a list of suggestions with further list of suggested searches further down the page. From this, start to build a structured plan and then get writing.

Have fun writing and let us know how you get on. Keep checking back for more articles on monetising a website.