When people want to make some money online by blogging or selling things as an affiliate they don't really think about what they are going to do once they have a site. They don't always know what to expect. If you are thinking about starting a blog, becoming an affiliate or you are looking to earn extra revenue, here is how I recommend starting -- and the things you may want to think about.
1. Buy a brandable URL - not keyword rich
If you can do SEO, which you need to, go for something brandable. It should be able to be pronounced and the person who hears it should be able to type it in without misspelling it.
It needs to be easily remembered.
Relevance to the topic or something that people can relate to is a bonus.
2. Think about how you will monetize your site.
Even affiliates use other things that just affiliate links to monetize their sites. You can use widgets, Adsense, sell ad space, etc... Otherwise if your merchants cut you off or your state passes a nexus tax law, all of your affiliate revenue could be gone overnight. Because of that you have to think of other ways to drive revenue.
Think about your design and how you can incorporate ad blocks. Add in a newsletter and have a few versions so you can sell adspace in some and leave others content only. Have two or three ways that each post or page can make money in case one of them fails on you. If a channel dies or you get kicked out of Adsense, you can still make money off the site while finding alternatives for the lost source of revenue.
Don't rely on SEO, don't rely on Google You could have a ton of traffic and then have your entire site fail because you lose your rankings.
Build a newsletter list. Build followers and fans on social sites. Make your site easy to share and something people want to share.
Building a community and a group that enjoys hearing from you and trusts you is just as important as driving SEO traffic. They are a loyal following that will come back and shop with you until you can get your rankings back.
4. Back up your sites
Make sure you have at least one backup that isn't on your servers or your own computer. Rent cloud space, buy an external drive or do something that can give you access to your sites, content and everything else in case it goes down and crashes.
5. Don't get frustrated
It takes a long time to be able to make money online. You have to build traffic and a readership, you have to find offers that convert and you also need to continue to work on your site, even when you aren't making any money. You can get frustrated when a site isn't working, but if you keep working on it, eventually you could turn it into a second source of income for you.
There is a lot more to think about when trying to build an online source of revenue. If you want to become an affiliate, make sure the programs you join don't work with coupon sites or adware companies. If you want to use ad networks, make sure the ads won't show things that could offend your readers and that they have controls in place to make the ads more targeted. If you want to sell ad space, create a media kit and make sure people know why they should advertise with you instead of someone else. Making money online isn't easy, but it can be done. You just need to make sure you don't get frustrated and you don't expect to get rich overnight. It takes a long time to drive any real revenue, so keep working at building your site and make sure you have an actual plan for when you get traffic and are ready to monetize it.
I you liked this post, you might also enjoy User Personas: The Cheapest Way To Make More Money With Your Site