The Site Build It! process is a 10 day process. Days 1 through 3 have you exploring and identifying niches, finally coming out of day 3 with a niche that looks like it has good traffic and low competition. If you remember from my post, Site Build It! First Impressions, using SBI!’s tools I’d identified a higher traffic keyword for my niche than I’d originally found.
Day 4 is all about deciding if the traffic can be converted into income or not.
Adsense, of course, is one of the monetization models they look at in some detail since it’s appropriate to most sites. Following the guide, I found that my niche has just about the minimum they recommend for relying on Adsense as a primary means of monetization (ten keywords at the $1 a click range with decent search volume).
Relying on a single source of income for a site is generally a bad idea, though, so I also plan to offer some affiliate links to related products. Combining Adsense with affiliate links can sometimes lead to inappropriate Adsense ads, such as ads about the product you’re linking to (you want the sale, you don’t want them to get sidetracked onto the ad for the product).
SBI! has another tool that makes it very easy to build a list of excluded ads you can put into your Adsense account. Their Search It! tool has a wide variety of options. If you choose Monetization in the left hand drop down, Preview Google Adsense Ads in the right drop down, then type a search phrase in the left hand text box and click Search It!, you’ll get a page showing the current Adsense ads for that keyword. You can build up a list of ads to filter by clicking the Filter link below each ad.
So using Search It!, I can easily filter out competing ads while still allowing ads that don’t directly compete with my affiliate links.
The SBI! process looks at a full range of monetization options, and for each one includes case studies from sites that have successfully used that particular monetization option. They have a couple dozen monetization options in their planning worksheet, and a private forum for members to use for brainstorming other ways to monetize specific niches.
At the end of Day 4, I’ve identified Adsense and affiliate marketing as the primary ways to monetize my niche, and made some notes about collecting the content I write for the niche into an ebook to sell on the site as well. Given the niche, dropshipping physical products is also a strong possibility. The niche also works well for a site newsletter, once I think I can generate enough extra content for it. I’ve also identified Google Base as a terrific place to submit content to for extra traffic, given the niche.
One key message of Day 4 is to make every visitor to your site earn for you in some way. Not all of them will click on ads or join your newsletter or buy something, but offer enough monetization options, worked naturally into the site, and many of them will choose at least one of those options.
Another key message is that while you have to know you can monetize your site effectively, you don’t want to do that right away. Creating quality content is the first step…don’t waste time monetizing until you have enough quality content attracting traffic to make it worth your time. This is especially true for someone like me who has a limited amount of time to work on a site each week. Content must be the first priority in the beginning! Their general guideline is to monetize only when you have 30+ pages of original content on your site, and are getting around 30 visitors a day.
Other niche sites I’ve created have been mostly neglected sites, created with as little effort as possible to see if any traffic would arrive and stick. The SBI! process guides you through identifying a great candidate for a site you can invest time and effort into creating original content for, and be confident the effort won’t be wasted.
And to give SBI! the full test, I’ve created one of my neglected niche sites on this same niche. It took me a couple of hours, and I’ll submit it to directories in the coming months to get traffic started to it. The neglected niche site has a head start, but the SBI! site will have quality content and the full power of SBI!’s tools behind it. We’ll see which one does better.
Day 5 is all about figuring out the unique spin the site will have and choosing a domain name. I’ll post again once I’ve finished that step.