So you want to monetize your companion website? You are smart for looking into how to do that. As we have discussed before, while we build our Amazon empire with amazing products, we'll also create product webpages and niche websites in order to better control how our brands are seen, and direct the resulting traffic where it is best for our visitors.
To monetize your site, employ services like Google Adsense, and affiliate marketing programs which focus on what your readers want to see.
In order to have a profitable product page or niche site, we must develop an organized funnel where our visitors arrive. If they are intrigued enough to begin reading, are compelled enough to continue reading, and are then offered enough value to win their interest overall; they will trust the solutions we provide to them. Once they know what they are looking for and why, we can show them a solution that they will want to try.
We will show our readers products and services while also providing a ton of useful information that answers questions people type into Google. If one of our products or services does not solve their problem, we will recommend providers that do offer solutions for them and link to them via an affiliate program if one is available and it makes sense to do so.
There is an important order of operations when it comes to website monetization. If you take monetization steps too soon, you will turn off your visitors, but if you don't monetize at all, your site will not generate any revenue for you.
It is a delicate balance, but fortunately, we have taken the guesswork out of the process below.
Product Webpage or Niche Website?
First, let's discuss what kind of website you will want to build.
In the beginning, having a lot of pages may take too long to set up for a product and brand you may not be sure will succeed. However, as your product popularity grows or you get a better feel for the niche, feel free to build this up with a youtube channel, support links, and an e-commerce package so people can buy directly from your website.
If brand-building seems daunting, start off with a product web page. This will consist of 3 to 4 pages and have a domain that matches your product or brand. It can be super simple. You'll just want to make sure you have a contact page, about page, and the product page.
If you are offering a single product, concentrate your focus on writing the most compelling content possible about your product. Do everything that Amazon will not allow you to do, go all out on it. This is your one shot to get people to your listing without having any distractions to pull them away.
If you have ambitions of building a brand (and perhaps selling it later on), you will want both a branded product page as well as a niche website for your business so that you have a more valuable offering.
Your niche website will consist of a blog, a contact page, about page, several pages for product/service reviews, and a resources page. The domain will be very general but related to your niche. Don't use your brand as a domain or focus any attention at all on your brand. To be effective, this site needs to be completely removed from your product or brand.
As you build this website, you can expand into a niche-specific youtube channel and social media strategy.
If you do follow a strategy like this, you are more likely to win after your product is launched, even if the product flops. In essence, this strategy will offset much of the risk by giving you alternative income sources and a portal where which you can talk all about the products you launch that may be related to it.
Why not make a niche website for everything?
If you are confident that you will launch multiple products within this niche, then it is a great idea to get started with this niche website, but if you are not sure, or you are not passionate about the niche, then it will be a waste of your time. Trust me on this. Really think about your product and the niche it is in. Can you see yourself writing a lot of posts or researching a ton of information about the niche? Does that excite you or not?
If you find that you only want to try the product page, then stop reading here. The rest of this post is how you can make money using your product and other people's products to generate an income for yourself at the same time as your product sells on Amazon.
Prepare Your Website for Traffic
Intrigue to Read > Compel to Continue >Win their interest > Sell a Solution
<insert infographic of a funnel showing home page, then blog posts, then resources main page, then solution pages and finally outbound affiliate offers or product links>
Now that you've decided on what kind of website you want to build, let's go over how this niche website strategy really works.
The main idea of your niche website should be to write super helpful content for your visitors through blog posts, then direct your readers, where applicable, to a resources page where you have all of your outbound links, some of which are affiliate offers.
#1 Start by creating super helpful blog post content to intrigue your readers
Discuss topics your readers are interested in. Don't try to sell them anything in these posts. Your goal here should be to be so helpful that your readers will want to link to you. Blog posts are traffic generators. The more posts you have, the more traffic will come. How long should my blog posts be?
According to recent research, Google favors long-form content. In the most competitive niches, you'll want at least 1500 words in each post. This can be a daunting task from the beginning, but if you break down your posts into easily readable and helpful chunks, you'll fill up that word count in no time! Aim for 2000 words and you'll be good most of the time.
When should I begin writing my niche posts?
I'll go into more depth further into this article, but as soon as you know what your niche is going to be and whether or not you want to create a brand around it because you are super passionate about that niche, that is when you begin writing. Start creating content as soon as possible.
#2 Identify pain points your niche has
What questions are most frequently asked? Find out the most common pitfalls within your niche, and create content around those problems, which helps your readers relate to you and primes them for solutions to come.
What sorts of pain points should I target for my blog posts?
Many times, your chosen niche will have problems or pain points. If you are having a hard time figuring it out, consider visiting competitor pages frequently asked questions and other resource pages. If all else fails, remember the 7 capital vices (deadly sins).
In general, lust refers to an unbridled sexual desire. However, lust can also mean any deep desire humanity seeks. The lust for money, power, or things also qualify. There is a reason why marketers say "sex sells," because it does.
Overindulgence to the point of waste. Fear of missing out. You could also use scarcity as a way to market your goods and services. "This is available, but only for a limited time." "Don't miss out!"
An unending pursuit of material possessions or wealth. Campaigns that split products into collections with the aim for consumers to get them all, is a good example of how this works. "Collect the whole set!"
Ease of use. This is probably one of the most common desires when it comes to goods and services. You have to make your customers' lives easier and more convenient for their time if you want to win them over.
Uncontrolled feelings of anger or hatred. Political campaigns use this all the time to convince voters to choose their side over the other side with propaganda. Using opposition research to find issues with your competition could be a way to win favor from customers who dislike something a competitor of yours is doing.
A covetous desire to have control over someone or something. If you have ever heard the cliche "keeping up with the Jones's" this is an example of showing how much better a lifestyle your customer could have simply by owning the product or using the services you offer.
Selfishness and ego. If you can appeal to a person's ego with your words, you can direct them to do almost anything you want, so long as they believe it is in their best interest to do so.
I list these because as much as we may not like how raw we are at the core, humans definitely take action based on the seven deadly sins. Using the above topics to generate content or sales copy is up to you. These are very powerful areas for people. If you mess up at all with any of them, it could wreak havoc on your business.
I suggest simply understanding how and why people take action and use that information to better understand the needs of your readers and customers. These are topics which cause humans to act on impulse. Use at your own risk!
Ideally, you'll want to simply understand how consumers in your niche may be affected by each of these reference points, so you can provide better solutions to them. Remember, we are here to give value to others, not exploit people.
#3 Offer solution-based scenarios to your readers
The solutions in your scenarios don't have to be money-grabs! If you have helpful ideas, share them with your audience, especially the free solutions. Remember that your website is competing with the entirety of the internet, so if you don't provide all the help you can, you are not only doing a disservice to your readers but opening an opportunity for a competing website to provide that value to them instead.
Provide as much value as possible. If it means your readers will benefit, share it with them. If those solutions happen to be a product or service, then send your readers to a resources page where you have lined out all of the potential solutions for their problem, sorted by the best for a specific situation. Let your readers qualify themselves to the solutions you offer.
#4 Sell them a solution from your resources page
If the solution you offer requires your reader to leave your site, then the outbound links on your resources page should be attached to an affiliate code if it makes sense to do that. Not every service or solution you have should be a referral commission. Don't offer solutions if they aren't good solutions.
Essentially, the only page on your site which will have any monetization at this point is your resources page. This is a page, not a post, as we want Google to recognize this part of our site as a permanent fixture that is updated over time.
Alternatively, you could create product reviews pages for your website. These are also not going to be blog posts. Don't focus too heavily on these right away. Get your blog posts out of the way first, then start creating reviews pages to supplement your content.
#5 Rinse and Repeat this Process
Now that you know the formula, the traffic comes next. Ideally, by writing at least 30 posts that provide valuable answers to questions and topics on the internet, you will build up enough traffic to monetize
You can make this happen even faster by choosing obscure topics in your niche that get at least 1000 searches per month on Google, but that doesn't have a lot of competitors on the Google search result.
What I mean is, when you type in the question, you don't see a lot of big brands or large authority websites offering solutions. You want to see forum links, question and answer websites (Quora) and others that are not specifically related to your niche.
If your niche is super competitive, you can still create the niche site, just use services like Quora and Answer the Public to generate post ideas. Remember, the goal here is to answer questions. If you see posts on Quora about this, chances are there aren't a lot of answers on other websites, which means you can create the website that offers that answer.
If you are the top slot for 30 questions that get at least 1000 searches per month, then you have a chance to attract around 30,000 visits to your page once Google trusts your website.
How long does it take for Google to index my site?
It really depends on how old your domain name is and the age of indexed content already associated with that domain name. SEOs will often look for aged domains to purchase and build sites up from there because Google will rank them faster. If you are starting with a brand new site, it can take Google up to 8 months or so before you reach the plateau for visits on a particular piece of content.
#6 Wait for the traffic to come
Building a profitable website takes time and patience. Think of this like baking a cake. You now know the recipe, but you still have to place the combined ingredients in the oven right?
Google indexes pages and posts the moment they are published, and each can take months to generate traffic, but this is ok!
Wait months?! I don't have time for that!
Sure you do! When working an FBA business, there is a lot of downtime in the beginning. Besides, if you get this all out of the way in the beginning, then by the time your product is about to launch, you now have another avenue to get the word out about your launch. Still not convinced that you have enough time for this?
Here are some examples of times when you could be writing:
After you have decided on your product, and you have identified the niche
When you are waiting for samples to arrive
During the back and forth with suppliers
While waiting for prototypes to complete
While waiting for prototypes to arrive
During the time when you are improving your prototypes
There is always a lead time to manufacturing
You have to wait for items to arrive in the Amazon warehouse
Even though there are things you can do for your business other than creating your product webpage or niche website, can you see how doing this early on before your products are ready for Amazon could be valuable?
In my experience, it takes 6-8 months from product selection for my products to become available for sale on Amazon. Think about that for a bit...
When to Monetize Your Site
If you skipped any of the above information, please stop reading and go back up to skim it over at least. There is a specific recipe to this. If you don't prepare your site for monetization, your efforts may not work, and you will waste a lot of time and energy monetizing something that won't be of any value to you or your readers because everyone will bounce.
Ok, now we get to it!
So far we have discussed how your resources page is the best place to funnel your traffic, right?
Here you will have a list of categories that define the solutions you'll have for your visitors. Another example of this is a frequently asked questions page, which gives quick and simple answers and then links to products, services, and related posts and pages.
After you have developed the structure for your website, and have a clearly defined funnel for directing traffic within and throughout, now you can begin monetizing your site in other ways.
Should I tell my readers about my product affiliations?
Yes! For example, Amazon actually requires this transparency if you are to be accepted as an affiliate partner. Nobody wants to feel sold. People want to decide what is best for them. So let them decide!
Make sure you are transparent and that your customers are aware how the links you provide to them earn commissions for you and that by using your links, they are actively supporting you. Don't feel ashamed to ask your readers to click on a link for you. Allow win-win solutions to happen!
If you are providing tons of help to them, and they are satisfied and happy with what you have done for them, many times they will click on your links to support your business. Building this relationship starts with being honest with your readers, letting them know why you want them to click on the links you provide adds to your conversation with them.
Should I only use affiliations with high payouts?
No. While it is great to use high-paying affiliate networks within your business, we must always create our content and display our websites as guiding lights for those who seek answers.
Don't provide solutions that you have not tried or vetted yourself. Ask yourself if you were in this niche looking to buy, would you want the best solution or the most expensive solution? If you can say that the best solution is the most expensive solution, then offer it, but it should be sandwiched in with other solutions that are either free or low-cost.
Don't isolate your visitors by shilling for high-payout commissions. Write all your content with their best interests in mind first, and you will be rewarded. Sometimes this means a free solution is better for them. Be 100% honest with your readers, because they can see right through a marketer's dishonesty.
Once your website has consistently, at least 100 visitors per day, then consider adding in some monetization solutions. The more monthly visitors you have, the better advertising programs you can use, and the higher the probability that media companies will accept your application to be a part of their affiliate programs and ad solutions.
Should I have an E-commerce Store?
If you plan on having a large site with products to sell, then one way to monetize your site is with an e-commerce store add-on. You can link directly from your blog posts and pages to your products when it makes sense to do so, but I see this as a long-term solution meant for after you have a well-built web presence with reasons to offer products outside of Amazon. This step should be one of the last in your companion website strategy.
Do I need one?
In short, no. If you plan to only sell on Amazon then there is no need for an e-commerce solution because Amazon is that solution. However, if you want to offer add-ons or customizations or things that you simply cannot do on Amazon, then most definitely yes, add that e-commerce platform!
Pros and Cons of an e-commerce website:
Can use Amazon's multi-channel fulfillment
Allows for additional product customization
Sell services instead of products
Generate income from sales
Easy to upsell customers
Adds another marketing / retargeting layer
Makes your website more valuable
E-commerce platforms incur a monthly fee
You have to handle customer service issues
Credit Card Processing and Paypal Fees
You have to process orders
You handle returns
Takes additional time to create and manage product pages
Weigh the pros and cons yourself and determine which is best for your particular situation. Maybe you really need a store, maybe it is not important at all. This is all your personal preference. The biggest takeaway here is that an e-commerce storefront comes way after the other solutions.
Wrapping it all up
If you've made it through this post unscathed, I applaud you and thank you for your continued dedication to your business. There are many ways to reach your Amazon FBA goals, and I wholeheartedly believe this is a great way that will help get you there faster.
To sum it up, here are more reasons why we put forth this additional effort:
Your competitors might not take the time to do this
You add a barrier to entry when you go the extra mile
Some niche websites generate way more income than FBA products
If your FBA product fails to generate the income you want, your site might pick up the slack
Thanks again for reading! I hope this content serves you as we strive to help as many people as possible escape the 9-5 rat race, and live a life that truly serves them. Have anything to add? Leave a comment below with anything I may have missed and be sure to share this with others who may also find value with it.