How Do Informative Websites Make Money on Content?

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December 21, 2020

Should you decide that you are interested in building a website with a focus on just providing searchers highly relevant and useful information, you may begin to wonder just how do informative websites make money for me?

The purpose of informative sites isn't to push sales pages it is to help the visitors with a question or issue. They frequently will be monetized through ads primarily and some affiliate links along with information products focused on specific pain points. This makes ads a big favorite for the passivity.

Driving traffic is the primary need for an information site, ranking will typically occur with time due to the relatively low barrier to well researched keywords and phrases due to limited monetization options leading bigger sites to skip on writing it.

How I Make Money Online

When I decide to start on a site I am thinking about how to build content that answers my visitors questions better than the content that already exists on the SERP.

Once that is established I look to methods that are more passive, instead of trying to sell "best of" product related content I focus on ads and in content affiliate links that are part of my content story.

Searching for Informational Content is What we ALL Do - hand on laptop bar prepping to search for content online
Searching for Informational Content is What we ALL Do

There are many other ways though that you could look to use when trying to get value from your efforts online, below we present more info about how do websites make money from traffic.

There are multiple methods but the most common will be affiliate marketing and advertising, additionally sites can use information products, eCommerce storefronts, courses, and memberships as monetization options from traffic.

For information based websites though you will want to focus on methods that help them gain knowledge on the topic or search, this helps to show your value to them and maybe convince them into a purchase.

This purchase will frequently be an "info product", or educational course that is aimed at helping them to master a topic. Info products you have seen on websites, they are typically $9.95 or similar download only PDFs or eBooks.

Focus on Helpful Information over Buyer Intent

One core focus for you to make money on informative content is to focus on the content generation itself, focusing on answering questions and concerns of site search visitors instead of providing a good or service.

This is why many who start an information based website will try to have an idea of monetization down the road but during the first year or more will be focusing on getting answers written and provided.

Contrary to many bloggers beliefs your readers can feel the intent in a post, this can lead them to know you are writing just to hope and make a sale from them and lead them to bounce out of content.

Write High Quality Long Form Content

The internet of old has long gone, where you used to be able to write 300 words and post a topics and become ranked this is very infrequent now as the search engines get smarter.

Instead you want to work on building good, solid, high quality content that comes in at a good length to cover the topic well, there is no direct number as fluff isn't recommended and each topic can differ.

For many topics or keywords you will easily be able to write 1000+ words without going off on tangents, this longer content will help you to rank and hold that rank for longer as well as help in other ways like search volume.

Search volume is thought of incorrectly by many people in the SEO content writing side of the world. They look at the search volume of the keyword they are targeting only and miss out on the volume of multiple other keywords your content will eventually rank for.

Instead of passing on a post due to a low search volume instead think of how that topic comes up for someone actively in the niche. Deciding to target these "so-called" low search volume keywords can lead to HUGE volumes of searchers.

Provide Useful Affiliate Links into Content

Instead of focusing on building a post around selling a particular product you want to instead change your focus on use of your affiliate links to provide a context for the value of a product.

You want to add links in content to posts where the product would add value or maybe helped you with a pain point related to the topic, this will help to cut down on links being added but make them far more enticing to a reader of the content.

When I write I try to link more to a product category instead of a specific product when I believe it will change over time with newer versions, targeting a single product leads to issues with having to redo links frequently due to the link dying.

For example, I prefer to target "ballpoint pen" and not "bic model 2020" since it would appear that they release a new model each year leading you to have dead clicks and lost chances at the sale.

Use Ads to Monetize Your Site

While many people will see ads and think that it declines the user experience on their site, there are numerous studies showing that users have become used to them existing on websites and that they don't detract.

Ads are one of the best ways to monetize your website as it will continue to bring in an income regardless of your website being in season or not. It also gives you more flexibility in covering topics that don't have a specific product available.

If you have a new website I would suggest not worrying about adding any ad content until you are at 5-10k pageviews or you reach 100 posts and are waiting for content to rank in search engines.

For those under the 10k sessions you will want to apply for Google AdSense who provides an option for "AutoAds" which will place ads in content and without manual placement being necessary which can help new creators.

How Much do Websites Make From Advertising?

When you choose to use ad monetization on your website you may wonder what the return on your content will be, unlike affiliate links that can be easily tracked ads are far more variable but continual if traffic comes to the site.

The typical ad RPM for a website will depend on the niche and the visitors but you could expect a range from $5 per 1000 visitors to high end ranges that will come in at $40+ per 1000 visitors. This can help be a gigantic income for someone who provides quality income as they don't need to focus on direct monetization.

This is why I am always telling people who are on AdSense that if they are over 10k sessions monthly they need to move ASAP to Ezoic as they could possibly increase income by over 2-3x versus Google AdSense payouts.

Ezoic's service helps to increase your ad EMPV, or how much you make per 1000 visitors, by changing out ads and optimizing the ad presentation based on the distinct visitors and data collected and ran through their AI system.

This same system has taken my income from a starting $5 EPMV over a year to now being around $24 EMPV. In addition this shows no signs of slowing and it is still growing month over month while providing tools to test alternate titles.

Building a Product to Sell

A core monetization option for an informative site will be through information products as these are typically an impulse or need buy and very infrequently returned.

On top of this, unlike affiliate products where you get a minor portion of the proceeds, with your information product you keep 100% of the profit for yourself which can help dramatically skyrocket your income from informational content.

The only concern I see frequently on informational content and products is the worry over creating the content. Understand that you can pay to outsource this product creation and then you just pay for the creation cost to own and sell as a product moving forward.

Will My Website Make Money?

One thing I see regularly online in forums, chat, Facebook, Reddit and more is centered around whether someone feels they will make money with their site, for most this is their leading concern.

The chance your website will make money is good if you are building content that is helpful to your users and a match to users anticipated search intent or need with search engines. How much you make and will it offset costs to run and build will vary between sites.

This is the incorrect way though to build a site as if puts your focus squarely on you and not on your visitors, a focus on the visitors will generally lead you in the right directions.

Final Thoughts on How Do Informative Websites Make Money

Information websites are a joy to create as you can look at covering any topic you want to, this will lead to people being on the site longer and possibly looking into your next post or signing onto email lists.

Using ads allows you to monetize pretty much any site you can want to create, it limits the needs to re-edit consistently if you target the more evergreen topics instead of yearly products.

Information based sites are definitely worth the time and effort you have to put in up front as long as you understand it is about a longer game then an immediate payout, these can sustain you for years of freedom!

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