It is possible to have a very informative and interesting website that still has the primary purpose of generating money. In order to do this, however, you need to learn to balance the monetization elements of your site with the content. Simply put, nobody comes to your website to generate profits for you; they come for the content.
Not using promotional content now and again is a mistake. Promotional content doesn’t have to be hard-sell type advertising and it doesn’t have to be boring. In fact, promotional content can be very interesting. Consider the following types of promotional content that people generally do like reading:
- Technical information about a product
- Reviews about products
- New ways to use a product
- Stories about using a product
- Previews of upcoming enhancements for a product
- Previews of patches and new content for digital products
- Comparisons of multiple products
All of these types of content are promotional in nature. The difference between this type of content and content that is simply an advertisement is the fact that the above-mentioned types of content offer something truly interesting and useful to the people reading it. It can also entice them to be more interested in a product. People generally like learning about the products they are considering buying, particularly if those products are expensive or have a subculture associated with them. Snowboards, for instance, get a lot of reviews and other press on the Internet.
Your non-promotional content is going to be vital to keeping people interested. In fact, unless your website is specifically built around one particular product, most of your content should be non-promotional or, at least, not obviously promotional.
Don’t let making money get in the way of making a good website. The general rule with monetizing a website is that a great website can turn a profit but a website that only exists to turn a profit can never really be great. Even if you think about some of the truly gargantuan Internet retailers – Amazon, for instance – those websites generally have a lot of great content on them. Product reviews, good write ups about the products themselves, images of the product and so forth all work to sell the product but do the service of giving the visitor useful information, as well.
If you can’t think of anything new to add to your website, consider having guest content written. You can have somebody write a blog for your website or have someone contribute an article that might be interesting to your readers. This puts the onus of finding good ideas for content on someone else for a minute and lets you step back, take a breath and see where your website stands. It’s also a great way to get some of the followers that read your guest blogger’s materials to visit your site.
Take a look at some websites out there and you’ll find that there is, basically, one column with content and two columns full of advertising. These websites are, to put it in the bluntest possible terms, annoying. People tend to get turned off by them because there are constantly advertisements distracting the visitor from what they’re actually trying to read.
Be sensible with the number of ads that you place on your website. It’s a good idea to ask your web designer how they might add advertisements to a site to enhance it rather than to detract from it. Getting a little guidance here from professional can be very useful. If you are sensible with the number of website advertisements you run, you’ll likely find that people are more likely to click on them, simply out of not being annoyed.
Matt Dandurand is the CEO of MediaContour.com, offering web design in Los Angeles, CA.