So you built your site, wrote a few blog posts and you are now generating a little bit of traffic.
There is still one thing you haven’t figured out though and it all comes down to one question:
What’s the best way to monetize your site?
That’s a tricky question…
There are tons of ways to monetize your site. You can put up a few ads, promote affiliate products, sell services, offer consulting, accept sponsored posts & articles, set up an online store… but you probably already know all of this.
Let’s be honest you don’t need a list of 200 different ways to make an income online, you just need someone to show you step-by-step one realistic way to make the best profit possible from your site.
You’re lucky because that’s what this post is all about.
Today I’m going to show you one the best ways to monetize your site. You will also learn to make at least $500 from your site this month. Ready?
Here is an overview of what we’ll cover in this post:
Cold traffic is hard to convert. When people visit your site for the first time, they usually aren’t willing to buy anything from you. And the reason is that they don’t know you and most of all, they don’t know if they can trust you.
If you want to make money from your site, you first have earn people’s trust.
“Earn trust, earn trust, earn trust. Then you can worry about the rest”
But how do you earn trust online?
Well by building an email list.
Email is best medium out there to keep in touch with people. It’s basically the ultimate way to build a relationship with people and get them engaged with your site. If you send emails to a group of people on a regular basis, share great content with them, help them and show them that you sincerely care about them, you will earn their trust. And there is nothing more valuable than trust in business.
To build that kind of relationship you need to need to have an email list in the first place so let’s see how to build one.
Choose your ESP
To build an email list, you must first choose an ESP (Email Service Provider) to start capturing email addresses, create email lists, send email broadcasts and campaigns…
When choosing your ESP make sure that it’s a popular one so you can easily connect it to other apps and softwares if needed.
Start attracting email subscribers
After setting up your ESP, you want to start attracting email subscribers. To do so you need to optimize your site to get new leads. There are many tools out there that you can use to turn your visitors into email subscribers.
Sumome is one them. They offer free apps like:
Welcome Mat to create high converting pages.
Scroll Box to promote your list with a box that only appear when your visitors scroll down.
List Builder to create pop ups.
These simple tools will help you convert your visitors into email subscribers.
Another tool I love is Leadpages. With this software you can design high converting landing page in just a few clicks and create Leadboxes (a Leadbox is a pop-up window that appears when your potential subscribers click on a designated link, image, button or text).
I’ve been testing Leadboxes for 4 months now and my number of opt-in has skyrocketed ever since I started using it. I’m getting more email subscribers than ever before. You should definitely test it out on your site.
So optimizing your site is one way to build a list.
You can also run contests. I wrote a very detailed post about contests called How to Get 1,134 Email Subscribers in 14 days. I strongly recommend you to read it. I share everything I know about building an email list with contests in this post.
Build a relationship with your email subscribers
To build a relationship with your email subscribers you must interact with them on a regular basis by asking them to answer your questions, to reply to your emails, to leave a comment, to click on your links… you want them to take action on a regular basis to keep them engaged.
What I learned over the years is that to build a successful business, you must constantly look for feedback from your community. You must also be able to tell precisely who your subscribers are, what they want and what they are struggling with. And the only way to know all of this is to interact with them every single week. The more you interact with your community the better decisions you’ll make to grow your business.
Coming up with a product/service idea is a delicate process. You can’t just use any random idea to develop your product/service. You have to find an idea that actually fulfills people’s needs otherwise you will end up wasting your time.
So how do you find product/service ideas that fulfill people’s need?
By getting as many feedback as possible from the market.
If you followed step 1, you should now be getting a few feedback from your community every week. If you’re just starting out online, I guess you aren’t getting tons of them that’s why you also need to go to other places where you will be able to find more information on what people want.
Every time you find interesting posts or comments save them in a Word doc or Evernote.
When you think you gathered enough information, look back at the all the data you put together to come up with ideas. You must find at least 3 product/service ideas that you think will fulfill your community’s needs.
Let me show you what this process looks like with an example.
Let’s say I’m in the Yoga niche. I’m currently building an email list and I want to sell a product/service to monetize my site. I’ve already received a couple of questions from my community like:
“How do I progress in Yoga?”
“How can I lose weight with Yoga?”
I created an Evernote doc to save these questions.
To get more data from the market, I go to Quora and look for the Yoga topic
I find a few questions that people ask like:
I add these questions to my document and keep searching for information on blogs. To do so I google a few keywords like How to do Yoga, How to lose weight with Yoga, Blogs about Yoga and find some interesting sites in my niche. I find a blog post on Ekhart Yoga called 8 tips on how to do yoga at home – Practice and all is coming. That post got 45 comments. When I take a look at them, I see a lot of great information that indicate what people are struggling with and also some suggestions.
I take many notes and add them to my Evernote.
After a few hours of research I feel like I have enough information that I can use to come up with a few product/service ideas.
(this Evernote screenshot is just an illustration, you actually want to gather much more information than that to find product ideas)
Then based on these information, I am going to try to guess what products/services people would actually want to buy from me.
A few members of my community asked me how to lose weight with Yoga, I could create a product/service about that. Idea 1: How to lose weight with Yoga
I also noticed that people wanted to learn more about transcendental meditation. It’s not Yoga but people interested in Yoga would probably be also interested in this practice. Idea 2: An introduction to transcendental meditation
During my research many people also wanted to learn various Yoga exercises for beginners to change their routine. It would probably be a good idea to use this to create my product/service. Idea 3: A set of Yoga exercises that people can do at home
My 3 product/service ideas:
- Idea 1: How to lose weight with Yoga
- Idea 2: An introduction to transcendental meditation
- Idea 3: A set of Yoga exercises that people can do at home
Once you found at least 3 topics, you can go on to step 3. You don’t need to know the format of your product/service yet. It’s too soon to determine if you are going to create an eBook, some videos, a coaching program, video conferences… Step 2 is meant to help you find a topic for your product/service, choosing the format of your product/service will come in step 4.
So far you’ve made assumptions about what your community want. The problem with assumptions is that there is always a risk of being wrong. So in step 3 you’re going to learn to validate your product/service idea so you don’t end up wasting your time creating something nobody wants. The question is:
How do you go about validating one of your product/service ideas?
Well the answer is simple:
Just ask your community a few questions to figure out which products/service idea they prefer.
Before you start creating your survey, here are a few things you need to know:
- Your survey must be short. You don’t want to ask more than 5 questions. People get easily bored with surveys so the shorter the better
- Include only one open-ended questions (2 if you really have to). People usually don’t like open-ended questions because they require more efforts. Try to avoid them in your survey
- Ask your community which topic they prefer so you know what product/service idea to pursue. For the Yoga business I would ask:
What topic do you like most (unique answer):
Losing weight with Yoga
Set of Yoga exercises to do at home
- Include at least one question in your survey to determine the profile of the person who will answer your questions e.g:
You’re (unique answer):
A yoga beginner
A yoga intermediate
A yoga Expert
- Try to understand the WHY behind people’s need and desire. This will allow you to write a compelling copy and come up with strong arguments when launching your product/service.
Why are you interested in transcendental meditation?
You want to be more relaxed
You want peak-performances
You want to be more healthy
Once you’ve created your survey, test it to make sure everything works perfectly.
When you are ready, send your survey to your email subscribers but don’t just ask them to answer your questions, explain why it’s important that they complete your survey. Make your ask compelling.
Their answers will tell you exactly which topic to choose to create your product/service. And that’s how you will validate your idea.
Your idea is now validated, it’s time for you to create your product/service.
The first thing you want to do is to choose the format(s) of your product/service.
Choose the format(s) of your product/service
Is it going to be an eBook? Some videos? Some audio files? A document/template? A membership site? An email course? A coaching program? Consulting services? A paid webinar? A combination of these formats?
To choose your format(s), here are 3 questions you must ask yourself:
1) Which format(s) do you prefer?
Some people like to write, others like to record themselves or interact with people live… So what do YOU like? Write it down.
2) Which format(s) can bring the most value to your target audience?
Depending on the topic of your product/service, some formats can bring more value than others.
Suppose your business is to teach people how to draw, including videos and eBooks with photos in your product will bring more value than just including audio files. Why? Because people are more likely to improve their drawing skills if you show them what to do. Your formats need be visual.
So ask yourself “Which format(s) can bring the most value to my target audience?”
Write your answer down.
3) How much time do you want to allocate to create your product/service?
Creating your own product/service can take a while.
The more formats you include in your product, the longer it will take you to create it. Writing a 150 page-eBook and recording 5 videos of 5 min each will take you longer than just writing a 50 page eBook. So keep that in mind when choosing your format(s).
Once you know what format(s) you are going to use, you can start creating your product and/or designing your services.
Side note: your services can be part of your product. For example if I offer 1 eBook, 4 videos and a consulting session, I’m including one service (consulting session) in my product. But you can also decide to offer only your services (coaching sessions, consulting sessions, one-to-one video calls, live trainings…).
Structure your product and create it
To structure your product you must create parts and modules and decide which format(s) to use for each one of them. You can also use the various feedback you gathered so far to help you structure your product.
E.g: The topic of my product is How to Lose Weight with Yoga, I will create various parts and modules like this:
Module 1: An introduction to Yoga
- History of Yoga (eBook). (I created this part because some email subscribers asked me about that).
- How Yoga can help you lose weight (eBook)
- Incredible Yogi stories (eBook)
Module 2: The Ultimate Plan to Lose Weight
- Weight Loss Calculator (Excel Sheet with formulas). (When I sent out my survey to validate my product idea some people told me that they wanted a weight loss calculator).
- Pick your routine (eBook)
- Keep track of your results (Tracking sheet template to print out). (Some people admitted that they’d love to get better at Yoga but they couldn’t follow through)
Module 3: Top Yoga poses to Lose Weight
- Crescent (eBook + video)
- Willow (eBook + video)
- Rocking boat (eBook + video)
- Hover (eBook + video)
- Chair (eBook + video)
BONUS: 50 Delicious Low Fat Recipes (eBook)
+ 30 min coaching session to help people get even more results
After structuring your product, it’s time for you to write your eBooks, record your videos/audios, create your documents/templates…
To create your product, use your own knowledge but also information you find in books, training, conferences, master minds, blog posts, articles…
Offer your services
There are many different type of services. I listed the 2 that will make you the most profit/hour:
Consulting is all about advising people and companies and helping them reach their goals.
To offer consulting services you must be an expert in your field, which means that you must always keep up to date on your industry. Every day you must educate yourself, look for new information, new strategies, figure out what works what doesn’t… to provide the best advice to your clients.
Consulting is a great way to make money online. The average hourly rate for consulting is $34.60 (source). So if you have 10 clients and you spend 10 hours/month helping each one them, you will make $3,460/month while working 25 hours/week
To know what consulting services to offer, you need to look at your survey data. If after sending your survey you realise that your email subscribers are interested in a specific topic, you want to become an expert in that topic.
E.g: After my survey, I realized that my community was interested in losing weight with Yoga, so I need to become an expert in that topic to offer consulting services.
Coaching refers to the methods of helping others to improve, develop, learn new skills, find personal success…
If you want to coach your clients, not only will you have to talk with them on a regular basis (skype call, call, emails…) to keep them accountable but you will also have to create some materials for them.
Coaching people involves two things:
- Materials: You must give people methods to achieve what they want and a way of keeping track of their progress. So you need to create some materials like an eBook, some tracking sheets… anything your trainees can use to more forward.
- One-to-one support: You need to talk with your trainees on a regular basis via Skype, Google Hangout, on the phone, emails or even in person to keep them accountable and support them.
To figure out what type of coaching services to offer, take a look back at your survey data.
The average coaching fee is $200/hour (source), so it’s probably one of the fastest ways to make your first 6 figure online.
Let me tell you the true story of my french uncle Hubert.
Hubert is an accordionist and singer. He plays the accordion at village festivals, birthday parties… (I must say he’s quite good at what he does). He used to price his services at $120/hour.
My uncle thought that by pricing his services lower than his competitors, he would get more clients. Sounds logical, doesn’t it?
Well unfortunately the exact opposite happened to him. Because he priced his services too low, he couldn’t get any clients.
Since he saw that his strategy didn’t work, he decided to double his pricing overnight for no reason. So he charged $240/hour instead of $120/hour.
And then, a weird thing happened…
Not only did people felt more confident in hiring him but he also started getting more clients!
So what can we learn from this little story?
Well 3 things:
- Pricing your products/services lower that your competitors won’t necessarily bring you more clients. In fact, low prices can make you look like an amateur who can’t be trusted, which is a problem when it comes to attracting clients
- It’s almost impossible to get your pricing right the first time
- Being an accordionist can be cool when you know how to price your services 🙂
So in this part I’m going to show you how to price your products and services so you neither lose money nor scare away customers.
How to price your product
The first thing you want to do when pricing your product is to make a list of your competitors’ products and prices. This will give you an idea of how they price their products.
Then with your competitors’ prices and products in mind, try to determine how much your product is worth so you can price it. Your valuation will probably be wrong but that’s fine. As I mentioned before it’s almost impossible to find the perfect price the first time. That’s why you need to pick a price almost randomly first so you can then test it and adjust it afterwards.
Once you’ve picked the price of your product, create 3 packages with 3 different prices:
- A low priced package
- An affordable package
- A high-priced package
Use the various modules and formats of your product to create these packages.
E.g: I decide to sell my product How to Lose Weight with Yoga for $47 so I am going to create the following 3 packages:
- Package 1 ($27): The package includes module 1, 2 and 3. For this package I only offer the eBooks not the videos
- Package 2 ($47): The package includes module 1, 2 and 3. eBooks + videos + bonus
- Package 3 ($129): The package includes module 1, 2 and 3 eBooks + videos + bonus + 30 min coaching session
After creating and pricing your packages, launch your product.
When launching your product you want to track your sales to see how many sales each package get. If you realize that your high-priced package attract more customers than the other packages, it means that your prices are too low. Conversely, if most of your sales come from your low priced package, then your prices are too high. When your high priced package accounts for 15-25% of your total sales, it means that you found the right prices for your product. So you basically need to launch your product multiple time until you find the right prices.
How to price your services
Pricing your services works the same way than pricing your product. At first you pick a price and then you adjust it based on your customers’ feedback but also on your experience and expertise.
To choose a price for your services you need to answer 3 questions:
1) Who’s your target audience?
Depending on your target audience, you aren’t going to price your services the same way. If you offer family coaching services for example, pricing your services at $80/hour is logical but if charge the same price to help companies raise millions of dollars you will have a credibility issue. You want to keep you target audience in mind when pricing your services.
2) What results do you bring and how fast?
If you are able to bring results to your clients fast, you will be able to price your services higher than if you are unsure about what results you can bring them and how fast.
3) What’s the long term value?
After your clients have completed their session with you, after working with them, what’s the long term benefit that your client will achieve from the services you delivered?
Answering these 3 questions will help you determine how much you can charge for your services and also justify your pricing.
Once you’ve found a price for your services you can start working with clients and gradually raise your prices. As you work with more and more clients, you build your expertise and get more experience, which means that you need raise you rate so you keep charging what you are really worth.
Finally, always keep this in mind: No matter how much you are paid for, always over-deliver. That’s how you build a long lasting business.
In this last step, you are going to launch your product/start selling your services.
Launch your product
You’ve created your product, you now need to set up your sales page, and promote your product.
Create your sales page
Your sales page must promote your product. You must tell people why they need it and how it can solve their problem and fulfil their needs. You want your sales page to be as compelling as possible so don’t hesitate to spend time on your copy.
Here are a few things you want to include in your sales page to get people to buy your product:
- Introduce yourself: People want to know whom they buy from so include a section in your sales page to tell people who you are. Also mention your credentials if you have some.
- Testimonials: Adding testimonials to your sales page will boosts credibility. To get testimonials you can ask 10 people to test your product for free in exchange for their testimonials
- Include a countdown timer in your sales page: Scarcity drives people to action. It makes us act quickly for fear of missing out on an opportunity. That’s why countdown timers are useful. By giving people a deadline to buy your product, you create the scarcity that people need to take action.
- Add a chat to your sales page: People always have questions to ask about your product. Adding a chat to your sales page is the perfect way to answer them. It also reassure people to know that you are available for them and that they can talk to you live. You can use Tidio to set up your chat.
Make your launch last 10 days
The duration of your launch is important. If it’s too short, you’ll leave money on the table, if it’s too long you will get your community upset and lose subscribers.
I tested various durations for my launches in the past and I noticed that 10 days always brings me the best results.
So when launching your product I advise you to make your email campaign lasts 10 days. After 10 days you must close your cart until your next launch.
Plan a series of emails
During these 10 days you want to email people on a regular basis to promote your product. So prepare your arguments in advance. Make a list of the potential questions your community might have about your product and answer them in your emails.
Start offering your services
Now let’s take a look at how you can start offering your services and get clients.
Set up a dedicated page on your site to sell your services
You want to create a page on your site to sell your services. Include every details people need to know about your services on this page. You also want to add testimonials from your clients. If you’ve never had any clients, offer your services for free to a few clients in exchange for their testimonials.
Send a couple of email to your list
Let your community know that you are now offering services. Tell them what your services are all about and what they have to do to hire you.
This whole guide showed you the 6 fundamentals steps to sell your product and services. As you can see there is a lot to think about and a lot of work to do but that’s how you make money online. There is no secret strategies or get rich quick formula. It’s just pure hard work.