Imagine you build a website, drive traffic, monetize the heck out of it, list build, drive more traffic, and then sell the whole thing off.
How much can you get?
That’s going to depend on a lot of factors, including the niche you’ve chosen, how big and responsive your email list is and how much money your website earns. Usually ordinary money-making websites are valued at 2x or 3x annual income. But if you’ve built a large responsive list to go with the website, you can easily double that figure or more.
As an example, you build a site on how to plan financially for retirement. You monetize it 5 different ways, meaning you have 5 separate streams of income from this one website. You also aggressively build your email list.
You might earn more from the email list than the website, or vice versa. But let’s say that the list and the site together are earning you $100,000 a year.
3 times $100,000 is $300,000 to sell the site. But you’ve chosen retirement financial planning, an extremely lucrative topic. Financial companies and advisors would kill to have your list and your site. In that case, you might be able to sell it for $500,000 or more.
How do you build one of these sites?
Your first step is to choose your niche. At the end of this article I’m going to list out some popular and lucrative niches to get you started.
Once you have your niche, you build an information site with plenty of relevant articles and content and update it on a regular basis.
You also create one or more lead magnets to build your email list.
Next you’ll be monetizing the site. Depending on your niche, you might consider any combination of the following methods:
Pay-per-click advertising – you get paid every time someone clicks an ad. Adsense is a good example
Native advertising – things like sponsored blogposts or discovery platforms. This sort of advertising fits seamlessly into the content that surrounds it. US advertisers spent $44 billion on native advertising in 2019, which is $8 billion more than they did in 2018.
Video ads – these are sponsored and recommended videos placed on the website. Publishers sell video ads by cost-per-completed view or cost-per-thousand. As an example, Taboola video ads generate over 3 billion views per month among US audiences.
Selling Ad Space – publishers can make money by selling ad space to advertisers directly or through an ad network. If your site’s topic is your local community, you might want to sell ad space directly to local advertisers.
Affiliate marketing – advertising products in exchange for a commission on sales.
Your own product sales – create products or even paid memberships of your own to sell to your readers.
Generate leads – as the publisher you’re acting as a matchmaker by introducing two parties who can benefit each other. Back to the financial planning for retirement site – there are plenty of investment firms that will pay you handsomely for each lead you send them. And you can use a third party service such as MaxBounty, NeverBlue or PeerFly to find those advertisers.
Donations – if you have a loyal fan base who loves you, let them ‘buy you a cup of coffee’ for your efforts. Better yet, sustaining patrons sign up for a recurring monthly donation to your site.
Sponsored content – a form of native advertising, this content looks exactly like regular content except it’s written by the sponsor and includes a ‘sponsored’ disclaimer.
Paywall – we mentioned creating a membership site under ‘your own product sales,’ but another option is to place your primary site behind a paywall. Visitors can read, for example, 3-5 pieces of content before they’re required to subscribe to read more.
Build an email list – this one is generally the most important monetization method of all, since you can continue to market to your list and repeatedly bring them back to your website as well.
Then in 1 to 5 years when it’s growing strong and you’re bored stiff with the site, you’ll sell it for 5 or 6 figures. Or possibly even 7 figures, but only if you’re very, very good at building traffic and value.
Your first task – your VERY first task – is to choose a NICHE.
You might choose a larger niche with several smaller niches inside of it and make one big authority type of website.
Or you might really niche it down and focus in on your target market.
Here is my own niche list to get you started. Some of these niches are HUGE and others are much smaller. All, in my estimation, are profitable. But it is up to you to research the niches you’re interested in to find out how popular they are, how they can be monetized and if they are right for you.