A New Approach To Money-Making Websites?

Holy cow. You know I ranked Money-Making Websites as one of My Top 3 Spare-Time Business Opportunities for 2010. Yet, when I ranked it, I didn't even realize one big reason why now is better than ever to get started.

Below, you're going to learn Nick Usborne's new approach to Money-Making Websites. This "tweak" of the fundamental model leads to more content on his sites, more visitors, and more income in his pocket … with hardly any extra work on his part.

It has everything to do with how the "social media" mentality is leaking over into web-content creation, and how you can use this to be more successful with your Money-Making Website.

I'm already making plans to implement this on my KettlebellWall.com site. I suggest you do the same.

Nick explains it here.

STBS: What makes you most excited about your own and other people’s Money-Making Websites now at the beginning of 2010?

Nick: The underlying premise has always been "experts next door." Websites from individuals who have knowledge on a topic that interests them.

We like to learn from other people like us. We don't necessarily want to go to an expert for everything. That's the nature of the Web. It's also one of the foundations of the Money-Making Websites program.

People like to connect with one another and they like to tap into other people's experiences, learning, and knowledge. It's becoming more and more like that, particularly when you look at the explosion of social media.

For us — for the Money-Making Websites crowd — it's perfect. Because that shift is moving in our direction.

STBS: What are the basic components website visitors expect from a website that follows the Money-Making Websites model? Is it basically a multi-part sales letter? An information site? A combination of these? Or, something else entirely?

Nick: The Money-Making Website model is all about providing useful information.

Somebody wants to know … "How do I get rid of aphids on my roses without using a pesticide?" … "Is there a nice, small family hotel in Kingsford?" … "Where can I go to learn the safety basics of kayaking?" There are a million questions out there.

People are looking for information. They're looking for answers from people like them. That's why sites like Answers.com and WikiAnswers are so successful. It's that same basic foundation on which we build these Money-Making Websites.

STBS: What's one big thing you've added to your Money-Making Website strategy that you weren't doing before?

Nick: I'm doing more user-contributed content. With CoffeeDetective, I started out generating all the content myself. There's about 200 pages of content I wrote — all of it optimized to the search engines — and that's how I thought it would always be.

Then, after a couple of years, I added the functionality that allowed my readers to contribute. I now have over 700 pages I would have never thought to create, on topics my readers are interested in. And, most were written by the readers themselves.

In addition to giving me content for the site, this is great insight into the kind of stuff people really care about most.

STBS: Does this change the Money-Making Websites model?

Nick: The fundamental model remains the same. On CoffeeDetective, I was the “expert next door: on coffee. I don't have any formal professional training in coffee. I'm not an industry expert. I just know more than most people.

Same with the new site I'm starting right now as part of the seven-week coaching program. Again, I'm absolutely not any kind of qualified expert in the area I’ve chosen. But, it interests me. And, I probably know more about it than anyone else on my street. Again, I'm the expert next door.

But, what I'm doing here is making this next website much more attuned to social media. This'll be open to reader input from day one. I want to make this a platform for people to share what they know, ask questions, and answer questions.

STBS: Is there anything new you're doing with social media to generate traffic, in addition to generating content?

Nick: By choosing a topic about which people get passionate — and by allowing people to contribute and respond and comment — what I'm hoping is that people will engage more and refer more traffic.

Social media has hugely increased the interaction between people on topics of shared interest. If you add passion to that pile, it means they're going to do more of it.

They're going to be more likely to mention my site. Link to my site. Talk about my site. Send Tweets about my site. Mention my site on Facebook. Things like that. So, I want to make it very social-media friendly. But, I also want to maximize its reach through social media by choosing a topic about which people get passionate.

STBS: Any parting thoughts?

Nick: You need to get started, and don't stop.

A lot of people start building Money-Making Websites with the expectation that it'll be easy … or that they’ll start seeing results quickly.

Don’t get me wrong … it’s not hard. But, it does takes time.

You can put in lots of work. And, if you're relying on organic traffic, the search engines can take their sweet time. There's very little you can do to speed up Google.

So, you have to be patient. You have to keep writing … Keep building … Keep improving your site even during a time in which nothing seems to be happening.

It's like an investment. You're investing your time with the knowledge it'll pay off in a few months, and further down the road.

With CoffeeDetective, over the first few months, I was writing and writing and writing, and I didn't make a penny. Hardly anyone was coming to the site. But, those pages I wrote in the first six months … Today are making money for me every single day.

Today, maybe a page will make me ten cents, maybe it'll make me $50. Multiply that
by 700 pages and it makes sense that this is how I've earned $7100 in a single month.

You really have to take the long view, and be determined, and keep taking one step in front of the other. Apply the strategies we've talked about today, from the Money-Making Websites Program, and from the coaching program we're doing right now. That's when the big things happen. That's when you see the payoff.

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Published: January 26, 2010

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