I recently read that The Daily Mail website has become the most viewed online newspaper, even though it brings in around $25 million annually, it is still not making a profit. Neither does the Huffington Post, which was bought by AOL for £315m.
So why are these content-rich sites not making a profit? I am a big believer that content sites can and should make a lot of money. Why would AOL buy them if they don’t have any revenue potential?
I think it’s about congruence; The potential income and advertising on these sites are not matched by the types of people who visit these sites. There are many sites that are packed with content and have millions of visitors. The Huffington Post has reported that it has over 30 million unique visitors a month!
That’s a staggering amount, having that many visitors requires over £30 a year website, they’ll need their own servers and staff, it won’t be cheap, but how can they not make a profit of 30 million monthly visitors?
Sites like Photobucket and Icanhavecheezburger are content sites that rely on people uploading and sharing photos, we use Photobucket for nothing more than free storage of our images. The only thing I notice when I’m loading the images is that the ads are not related to anything on the site or what I want.
We believe that the type of ads are those where the network is paid every time an ad is shown for more than several seconds, which is why they often show the message “Please wait while we process/upload your photo”. It prevents you from moving to another page before the allotted time has passed. So I can’t say if Photobucket makes money or not.
The Daily Mail and Huffington Post are news and gossip sharing sites, so if you were reading about a train wreck somewhere or what Kim Kardashian is up to, you won’t see any relevant ads or be interested in any of the that are displayed. the publications
Google AdSense is designed to show ads that are relevant to the content on your site; if it can’t match the content, it will show ads that won’t actually be clicked. The methodology is wrong. The online business opportunity of a content rich site is still a good idea if done right.
Create a successful content-rich site
This is still a fantastic idea for a small home business and can be executed well if you decide exactly what you want to do and how you are going to do it. Thinking that you are going to create a site that has tons of funny cat images (everyone loves funny cat images/videos), surround it with advertising, and get a lot of money from visitors is simply not enough.
Someone looking at funny cat pictures who is 14 probably won’t want to click on an ‘Adult Dating’ ad and someone who enjoys looking at photos of botched plastic surgery is unlikely to want life insurance.
However, someone who loves Barcelona may be a regular visitor to a site dedicated to all things Barcelona. They would love to read about restaurants in Barcelona and places to visit. They may also be planning to visit Barcelona again; they can go regularly, so any ads on the site for flights to Barcelona, car hire, villa rentals or hotel accommodation in Barcelona are more likely to be clicked.
When a site covers a topic or a location like Barcelona, it can attract great relevant ads from the AdSense network. Vacation, accommodation, and flight ads could be more profitable as there is a lot of competition and higher profits involved, so businesses can pay more to have their ads shown.
You may be able to use Google AdWords to drive traffic to your site cheaper than any of the hotel or villa rental companies as it will focus more on the people and the place itself. You will not try to compete for the expensive keywords associated with hotels, flights or vacations.
It is possible to have a setup where you deposit £1 and get £2 on autopilot. If you can pay for traffic to the site and get more ad revenue, then you are making a profit and a huge increase in traffic that will eventually start coming back for free.
His idea is that everything has to match. You may never get the numbers that Icanhascheezburger.com gets, as there are a greater number of people who might enjoy and share cat photos than those who are interested in a suitable sub-niche; however, your numbers will more closely match the advertising.
The same can be applied to many types of websites, take DIY as an example, a site with lots of ‘how to’ articles will show advertising for DIY stores and DIY products, which can cover a wide range of things, and many they can be high priced items.
The idea is to add content regularly, this can be done by paying someone to write posts if you can’t do it yourself or by getting a few interested close friends to share the workload. Go to Gumtree and find people who would like to become profit sharing writers.
Adding content is the most important thing; the website should look vivid and alive. Otherwise, people won’t come back and the website will fall down the rankings into oblivion.
There are so many niches and places where you can create a website. Like everything, planning and work will come before success but it has to be done and it can be done easily if you have a plan to follow. There are millions of people on the Internet and not all of them go to the same websites.
Ian McConnell made $300,000 with a website devoted to model trains and Patrick Meninga built a $2,000-a-month AdSense site about addiction that he later sold for $200,000. I was told at a christening of a couple traveling the world funded by profits from a couple of sites, one focused on dog walking! So don’t go thinking it’s not possible.
Think of all the different niches out there, use me as an example, I love dance music, there are so many genres available to choose from, I love making music, I love graphic design, I love graffiti art, I love Thailand and Ibiza. , I love travel, I love science fiction, I love writing, I love Indian food, I love Chinese food, I love pizza, I love food!! Haha I’m a vegetarian too. There is more I could add to this list.
There are so many things you could have a blog/website about. Make a list of all the things you like and enjoy and you might find something suitable to create a blog dedicated to it and as you know if you love something you are more likely to participate so writing about something you love will be easier what to write about things that don’t. That’s half the battle won!