Monetising a self-hosted website

Ok – I’ve been kicking around this idea for quite a while, and with the 30 dynamic domain names on offer from Dyndns.com ($15 a year – bargain!) there exists a lot of scope to try this idea out.

Here’s the plan:

1. Look through all the PLR and MRR material I’ve downloaded over the years and select the stuff that looks like it could be useful or informative.

2. Go to sites like ClickBank and see if there are any products that match the PLR article / content that I identified.

3. If there are, create a dynamic domain name including the keywords that would help web searchers find that article / content.

4. Install WordPress onto that domain, and then find a suitable theme that might match the article / content. Well, it doesn’t even really need to be WordPress – there are lots of other CMS’s out there that would suffice.

5. Edit and tweak the PLR content and then upload it to that site.

6. Drive traffic to the new dynamic domain.

7. Pre-sell the visitor (using the article / content) before directing them to the ClickBank publishers’ landing page.

And then, hopefully, wait for sales!
:)

Points 1 and 2 could possibly be swapped around, but this is a very simple overview of the process. I’m going to try this out, and see what happens. It might be a shortcut to the standard keyword research, article marketing, backlink building etc process to see if there actually is a market there.

Why?

Well, ClickBank publishes a metric called “gravity” which shows how popular that product is – Trey Smith suggests going for products with a gravity of between 20 and 40. He suggests not choosing products with gravities like 500, because you’ll find it too hard to stand out from all the other affiliates promoting that particular product.

ClickBank also has a section on their site for new affiliates called “Affiliate Do’s and Dont’s” – in part:

Like article marketing, creating niche sites and/or blogs can be another great option for affiliates who have more time and creativity than money. If you do create your own website or self-hosted blog, there may be costs for a domain name and hosting, but these are typically pretty small. There are also many options to get your own site or blog that is hosted for free, though you may be more limited on options like the look and feel of the site or how many pages your site can have.

Once you’ve identified a niche market that you want to promote (such as gardening), you create your own website or blog that is dedicated to this topic. You then write articles for your own site, similar to the types of articles you might write for article marketing directories. The goal is to get free traffic to your website, either by getting linked to from other sites or by ranking well organically in search engines on particular search terms. You can then have HopLinks to a number of different ClickBank products in that niche, giving you the opportunity to promote many different products from a single source.

Creating your own site is especially beneficial for ranking in search engines, as the more articles and content you create, the higher search engines will rank your site. Like article marketing, this technique can take time before you start seeing results, so it’s not something you should expect to show immediate returns, but it can be one of the best ways to create sustainable long-term profits with a minimum of money spent. You can even combine this technique with article marketing or social media marketing, by linking to your site from the bio of your article or social media profile.

Pros: Low cost or free; allows for a great deal of creativity; potential to drive large amounts of traffic through search engines or social media; you can build a “brand” for your website, especially if you host your own site or blog and have a unique domain name
Cons: Time-consuming; may take a lot of effort before you start generating traffic; can be very competitive if there are many other sites in your niche.

Excellent! The first paragraph again:

“If you do create your own website or self-hosted blog, there may be costs for a domain name and hosting, but these are typically pretty small. There are also many options to get your own site or blog that is hosted for free, though you may be more limited on options like the look and feel of the site or how many pages your site can have.”

But with your own self-hosted website (and DynDns’s very generous 30 dynamic domain names for just $15 per year) you won’t incur any more costs other than your current ISP account (where you get your internet from) plus the DynDns annual fee. That’s a pretty good deal to me.

But also re-read the cons: time-consuming; may take a lot of effort etc. This is not a get-rich-quick scheme by any stretch of the imagination, but I think that if an affiliate site is set up properly in the first place, and makes some money, then you can just build a new site and start the cycle again.

Eventually, its not inconceivable to have many mini-sites, all generating income while you sleep – well, that’s the theory anyway! :)

So the idea seems to have merit – having a niche site or blog using PLR articles / content could be a good way to start this affiliate business. The thing with this is that you don’t need to find a product on ClickBank, and then find or create content to promote that ClickBank product – if you have lots of PLR or MRR articles / content, you don’t need to create your own articles from scratch – just go to ClickBank to find products that match your PLR article / content.

This is quite exciting.

What other uses do you see for your self-hosted server / site(s)?

If you’ve read this far, and leave a comment, I’ll select one lucky commenter to receive a prize pack of PLR content – more details when I pick the winner. So start commenting and who knows, it might be you!

You're invited to add your thoughts, comments and suggestions

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Bradley ThomasMonetising a self-hosted website

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