Tag Archives: how to

How to monetize your niche website

OK, so you’ve got your niche website all set up and now you’re looking to monetize it. Before you start running amok placing banner ads everywhere, let’s take a look at some strategic and effective placement methods, along with some ways to market highly targeted products and services.

At this point we will assume that you have;

  1. your own AdSense publisher ID from the big G;
  2. an Amazon Associates affiliate program ID; and
  3. a ClickBank affiliate account nickname.

We also recommend Big Crumbs for referring specific URLs from popular online retailers. This will give you a lot of flexibility in targeting your niche with highly relevant, commission earning advertisements.

Step 1 – Install the definitive AdSense plugin for WordPress: Quick AdSense

Quick AdSense is golden. It allows you to place multiple AdSense banners and links directly into each post without having to edit them. It’s a huge time saver, and it keeps your blog looking nice and consistent.

Have you ever noticed how many blog and news websites just randomly drop in an ad part-way through an article? I did it just then, and this a great way to achieve clicks. Your readers are already interested in your page if they’ve made it this far, and horizontal links like these provide highly relevant contextual keywords that your users are more likely to click.

So, when using the Quick AdSense plug-in, consider how long your articles and blog posts are, and do not overuse banners (within your posts). You’ll have plenty of room for those in your sidebar and widgets. Also, if you’re a noob at niching, remember not to place any more than three (3) AdSense advertisements on a visible page (you’ll get banned from the program if you do). And, if you’ve just created a new AdSense ad, it can take up to 15 minutes for it to properly display on your web page.

Step 2 – Using plain text widgets, install banners into your sidebar

In your WordPress dashboard, under Appearance, select the Widgets option. Then, by placing text widgets into your sidebar, you can paste your banner advertising links so that they will appear on almost every page. Get rid of any default meta links that WordPress, or your theme, has placed there, because they aren’t monetized!

In the niche websites we provide to our subscribers, the sidebar is usually arranged in the following format (but this can vary from niche to niche):

  • Sidebar top
    • Text widget (fits 300 x 250 medium rectangle banner)
    • Recent posts widget (optional)
    • Text widget (fits 300 x 250 medium rectangle banner)
    • Text widget (optional, for displaying a YouTube video)
  • Sidebar bottom left
    • Text widget (fits (160 x 600 wide skyscraper banner)
  • Sidebar bottom right
    • Text widget (fits 120 x 600 skyscraper banner)

You simply need to insert your code into each text widget to create an advertisement. Not all of your ads should be from AdSense. You’ll want to insert some ClickBank or Big Crumbs affiliate marketing material that is targeted to your niche readers.

Step 3 – Your very own Amazon store

The final way to cash in is to earn commission on Amazon sales initiated from your website. By having a ‘store’ menu option, users can shop on your website like they would on any other ecommerce website. All you have to do is find relevant products to display, or spend a little time creating an aStore. I won’t go into detail about how to do this here, because the Amazon Associates program already deals with this in great detail. The moral of the story is; spend a little time on this so you market the right kind of products to your visitors.

Here’s one of our for-purchase niches to view as an example: Hair Loss

Move your WordPress installation to the root directory

Recently I was faced with a dilemma where my host’s cPanel did not allow me to install WordPress into the root directory (i.e. without creating a new folder). If I left the instllation URL blank, it returned the error, “You must specify an installation directory!”. This particular host was using ‘Site Software v0.9.7′ for WordPress installation, and not Softaculous which I much prefer (Softaculous allows you to leave this field blank).

In any case, I searched for a solution on the matter and it was recommended that I nominate public_html as the folder since this is where all the public files exist. This was a poor suggestion though, because the automatic installation software ended up creating and installing into that folder, rather than using the host’s root directory. In the end, however, it made no difference because I would still need to move the files, regardless of the folder’s name.

Anyway, how do you (easily) move WordPress to the root directory?

Essentially there are only three main steps:

  • Update your URL in WordPress’ general settings
  • Move files from current folder into root directory
  • Update the file path for uploaded media (see the comment below the article)

… Simple enough, but I’ll outline all the little details in between so as not to make any assumptions about your WordPress expertise. It’s important to follow these steps in the correct order. Also, please note that your site will be down during the time it takes you to move the files from one folder to the other (usually less than a minute).

  1. Back up any files in your root directory, such as index.php or your htacess file.
  2. Log in to your WordPress website and go to Settings > General (if you’ve only just installed it, this will be;
  3. In both the WordPress and Site Address URL fields, backspace over the folder name where WordPress is currently installed so that only your full domain name appears (e.g. ‘http://www.freenichewebsites.com’).
  4. Next, don’t panic! When you click Save your site will be (temporarily) inaccessible.
  5. Go back to your cPanel, then open File Manager.
  6. Open the folder where WordPress is installed by double-clicking the folder icon.
  7. Select all files in the directory (hold down CTRL or use SHIFT while selecting).
  8. Next, click the ‘Move File’ icon from the cPanel toolbar (a dialogue box will open displaying all the files that will be moved).
  9. In the last field of the dialogue box, you want to delete the folder name so that cPanel will move the files into the root directory (i.e. into ‘/public_html’). When ready, click ‘Move File(s)’.
  10. Lastly, while still in cPanel, go back to the root directory and DELETE the folder (which should now be completely empty).
  11. Your site should now be up and running in the root directory of your domain. [Edit February 21, 2014: There is one additional step - see the comment further below.]

The reason why we use cPanel and not FTP to move the files, is that the server will be much faster to complete the process. Like your hard drive, it can perform this function in seconds, rather than hours, and it avoids unnecessary downloading and uploading of your files.

I hope this has helped. As always, you’re welcome to leave a comment if you need something clarified.