So how do you make residual income from websites? In essence you need to have visitors on your website – and not just any visitor – you need to have visitors who are motivated to buy what you are selling?
I’m Selling Something?
Well you better be if you are planning on making money online! Don’t laugh, or feel stupid – it was a point that missed me as well at the start of my online career. You will often see the mantra – follow your passion and the money will come. Well maybe, in my experience my passions don’t make me money, yours may, but even if the topic you are writing about is of huge interest to you – its best to find out in advance whether or not it will actually make you money – don’t you think?
Without Traffic Your Website is Nothing
Here’s my story: my passion is travel – I have a website with lots of photos and lots of content from a long road trip around Australia. Its seemed to me that people might want to buy guidebooks on my iste, or at least click on the Adsense ads which talked tours and activities in the various towns I talked about visiting. No one ever did though. Why? The only people who ever visited were my friends – they were interested in hearing about my trip, they liked the photos – but they had no intention of planning a road trip in Australia. Who should I have been attracting to the site? Maybe the people who were planning a road trip in Australia? How would I find those people -the ones who were really interested in the topic of my website. There is basically four ways to attract visitors to your site:
- paid advertising
- traffic exchanges
- social media
- organic i.e. search engine traffic
Paid Advertising is Not a Good Place to Start
The biggest paid advertising program is Google Adwords – its the other side of the story from Adsense – Adwords are the people who pay for the advertisements on my income producing websites. Now you can make money with Adwords, and you can lose money as well. Much like foregin exchange trading – you need deep pockets to learn the game – its not a good place to start !
Traffic Exchanges are a Waste of Time and/or Money
Don’t ever buy traffic. Think about it – someone is being paid a fraction of a cent to click onto your website – do you really think you are going to become your reader or even click on your ads. Its also against the terms for many programs including Adsense anyways. The mutual – you click mine and I will click yours sites which are very popular in certain blogging circles are just as bad – again people aren’t engaged – they don’t want to visit your site – they are just visiting to build up credits in the network so they will advertised more prominently and therefore more people will come and visit …
Social Media is Over-Hyped
I pretty much consider social media a waste of time. Yes I mean Twitter, MySpace, Facebook and all the rest are not the secret to my making residual income while I sleep – don’t bother buying the e-book either. This is highly controversial, many people love social media and find the connect with lots of friends through it. That may be so – but it will not bring traffic to your website who is going to make you money. In fact it probably won’t bring you much traffic at all. Recently a friend of mine Steve who has a cool video blog at bloggerlens.com posted this video where he described a one-to-one comparison of his statistics of being featured by a famous Social Media “guru” and a no-name Internet Marketer who has an ugly free blog – his post about social media hype is well worth a read and this video contains all the statistics. ..
If you are developing residual income traffic this is the traffic you want -these are the people who went to a search engine, probably Google, and typed in “how to plan a road trip around Australia” – if you site comes up #1 then about 40% of then will probably click through to your site. Once you have them on your site you have a better than average chance that they will click your ads, sign up for your list or buy your featured products. Why? Because these people are looking for a solution to a problem – and you may be able to provide it for them.
You still may not make a sale – but at least you have someone in the shop so to speak – that’s a good start! The art of getting organic traffic to your site is the art of making sure that you site is #1 in the search listings when a relevant search phrase is typed which matches your site’s keywords. That’s what SEO or Search Engine Optimisation is all about.
Learning how to choose your website’s topic so that you will not only get organic traffic – but you can realistically push your site into one of the top three positions in Google – that’s thesingle most important skill you need to building your legitmate online business. It doesnt’ matter if you want to make 100 mini-sites or a 1 huge 1,000 page site, whether you want to develop e-commerce stores or online forums – whatever tyhpe of site you want to make money from – you need to traffic to make that dream of an online income a reality.