You started with nothing. You created a website. Now, you’re trying to monetize it. The problem is that money doesn’t just fall out of space – not even cyberspace. You need a clear monetization strategy. That strategy needs to be based on sound marketing principles that lead to motivated website traffic.
Step One: Buying Traffic
Buying traffic is, by far, the easiest way to get traffic to your website. First of all, when you buy traffic you don’t have to fool around for months trying to rank for a particular keyword only to have your ranking taken away from you whenever a search engine decides to change its ranking algorithm.
Secondly, with advertising, you control the entire marketing message. There’s a certain frame of mind that people get into when they are getting ready to buy something. People looking at an advertisement or reading sales page are expecting to be pitched something. It doesn’t mean they’re going to buy, but they’re a little more motivated than people browsing the web for free information.
If you position your ads as ads, rather than thin content, you’re going to appeal to some and repulse others. That’s OK. Even many editorial advertisements contain enough of an “ad copy element” that it gives away the intention of the piece.
Three ways to Buy Traffic
There are many ways to buy traffic, but there are three very popular ways that include:
- PPC – Pay-per-click advertising is a simple method of advertising online that requires that you pay for your ads on a “per click” basis. So, every time a user clicks on your ad, your bill ratchets up higher.
- CPV/CPM – The “cost per thousand” and “cost per view” both charge you based on impressions of your ad, rather than clicks. This could potentially be more expensive, but usually the CPM and CPV platforms allow you to buy cheap traffic (cheap compared to a PPC model).
- Media Placement – Media placement often refers to banner ads on websites. These ads are similar to the CPM and CPV platforms except that you’re usually advertising inside of a network of sites. Banners can be priced any number of ways including flat rate charge, CPM, CPV, and even PPC.
Step 2: Convert Your Traffic
Engaged Users vs Motivated Users
Some marketing experts talk a lot about “engaged users.” Engagement is a connection you have with your audience. It’s true that most people tend to buy from people and companies that they trust. They do not buy from people that they don’t trust. Engagement bridges the gap between you and your prospects. The bridge is made of trust.
You’re told that you need to respond to comments, ask questions on your blog (and other peoples’ blogs), answer questions, and be a helpful person in your niche to get noticed and to build trust. While that’s true, it’s also not the complete story.
Motivated users are the best users because they have a problem that needs solving. Sites like Facebook are filled with examples of companies with engaged users and no sales. Unmotivated prospects will talk your ear off all day and never buy anything. What you need are motivated, and engaged, users. Really, motivation is superior. If you’re not solving a problem, there is no sale.
Converting visitors really requires that you keep things simple on your site, have a clear offer, and take away risk. For example, having just one thing to do on your landing page (a simple order form, an email signup form, or a survey) is a great idea. Follow that up by having a clear offer (whatever it is you’re trying to sell), and always make sure to take away risk with guarantees, testimonials, and undeniable proof that your solution works.