If you are running an authority site or professional blog site, you probably want to monetize it. Providing great information to people can be rewarding in itself. After all, people appreciate good advice and information from a trusted source.
However, no matter how much information you provide and how high-quality and accurate that information is, you need to find a way to make money if you plan to stay afloat.
The key to building a profitable authority site is to provide in-depth, high-quality content focused on a particular topic or niche market. We'll explain how to monetize an authority site in this article.
What is an Authority Site?
An authority website is trusted by a large group of people. More than that, it is also a site that is trusted by search engines. Authority websites are the ones that always get listed first in search engine results. They are trusted by their own users, other industry experts, other websites, and search engines.
These are websites seen as top authorities on the specific areas on which they focus. The number one source that determines whether or not your site is considered an authority on the subject is the search engine. Google is the number one player here.
What is Monetization?
In case you don’t know, monetization refers to the action or process of earning revenue or profits from an asset, business, or anything else. It’s taking something that has inherent value and finding a way to make money from it.
For instance, in its most basic form, this could mean running a blog on used cars and then actually selling used cars and using your blog to push your products.
Different Ways to Monetize an Authority Site
Now that you know what an authority website is, as well as what monetization means, let's talk about some of the best ways to monetize your authority site.
1. Sell a Product
One of the easiest ways to monetize a website is to create and/or sell a product. If you don't have time to invest, particularly in content creation, creating and selling a product is a straightforward way to monetize a website.
Simply create a product and invest a bit of time in promoting it to your audience and readers. Of course, you're going to want to create blog and informational content that really pushes your new product and tells people why they probably want to buy it. But other than that, there's not too much work involved here.
Keep in mind that physical products require a bit more attention than digital products, so digital products might be best if you're just starting out. If we are talking about digital products, there are a few choices you can go with. Of course, the product you sell will fall within the specific area your authority website focuses on.
- This could be as simple as writing an e-book or an audiobook
- You could also consider launching some kind of online course or school
- You could sell various digital downloadable content items
- You could sell simple merchandise and physical goods either your own products or drop shipped
- You could even build and sell applications, plugins, or other types of software
2. Affiliate Marketing is a Great Way to Go
In terms of easy and fast ways to monetize an authority website, affiliate marketing has to be at or near the top of the list. Affiliate marketing works by turning referrals into profits. For example, let's say you have a website focused on pets.
Within this website, you have various blog articles focused on various pet-related topics. Let's say you have an article about how to get your dog to sleep at night. Within this article, you would include multiple products that assist with this specific issue, such as a doggy bed. Within this informational content, you would then link out to a particular doggy bed, which will usually be from Amazon because they have an excellent affiliate marketing program you can join.
However, be aware that not all affiliate marketing programs work the same way. Some may provide small profits every time somebody clicks on a product link within one of your articles.
That said, some affiliate marketing programs will only provide you with profits if a sale is made. Both these systems have their benefits and drawbacks, so we recommend doing some research on this matter. How-to articles, best-of lists, listicles, product reviews, guides, and tutorials can all be a part of your affiliate marketing machine.
3. Use Paid Memberships
If you have a highly trusted authority website with a lot of traffic, one of the easiest ways to turn it into a money-making machine is by incorporating a paid membership program. For instance, many of the most reputable news sites allow you to see titbits of articles for free, but they force you to get a membership to see whole articles (with the most valuable content). Of course, this is something you can only do if your website is actually that good.
People will only pay for content they are interested in, content that has real value. This could be as simple as running a paid news website with subscriptions. Still, it could also involve a paid membership into an educational course or memberships that entice potential members with benefits, bonuses, and coupons.
If you expect people to purchase memberships or subscriptions, there needs to be a clear difference in value between the free and paid content. People want their money’s worth.
If you need help managing your membership site, there is software that can help you. Wild Apricot is a software solution for building and managing a membership site and it supports a number of different applications. Clubs, nonprofits, societies, associations, and online businesses are some of the main groups that use this software
4. Asking for Donations
Another thing that you can do to monetize your authority website is to ask for donations. If you are a trusted and popular authority website with a large fan base, there will be plenty of people who are willing to donate.
This is often the case with creative types, such as comic writers, artists, and professional gamers willing to support their colleagues.
You are even more likely to receive donations if the online business or website you are running focuses on a beneficial topic or action, such as supporting homeless people. You can ask for donations and let your audience know that most of the money will go to a worthwhile cause, and you will be keeping a certain percentage.
5. Accepting and Publishing Sponsored Posts
A great way to help monetize your authority website is by publishing and accepting sponsored posts. You can get other people and businesses to sponsor your website. For instance, if you are running a website focused on pets, you could get various pet-related businesses to sponsor you. This can take the form of a sponsored blog post.
It could be as simple as a veterinarian writing a blog post about any pet-related topic and then including various links or references to their business. This is an excellent way for businesses to advertise themselves on your site while allowing you to make a bit of money through sponsorship.
Another way to monetize your authority site is by dropshipping. With dropshipping, you get to call all the shots. That means you’re entirely responsible for building your brand from scratch. You decide what kind of items you’re going to sell and how and where to promote them. Also, you have much more control of shipping costs, so you can aim for solid profit margins.
How Do I Build an Authority Site?
To build an authority site, you could address user intent, create quality and linkable content, link out to other quality sites, gather high-quality backlinks, create relevant internal links, and more.
What is the Difference Between Authority and Niche Sites?
The difference is that niche sites are much smaller and tend to focus on extremely specific topics. For instance, an authority website could be about dogs, whereas a niche site would be about dog collars.
How Much Money Do Niche Sites Make?
You can expect a good niche site to make anywhere from $200 to $4,000+ per month.
Recommendations for Buying or Building an Authority Site
Here are our top recommendations for buying and building an authority website.
Buy a Website
If you decide to buy a website, you want to make sure you’re making a profitable purchase and that everything is by the book. That’s why we’ve assembled a list of the industry’s leading platforms to help you buy the best website for your online business.
Flippa is like the Amazon of website selling. It’s currently the No. 1 platform to buy and sell an online business. Thousands of entrepreneurs have sold their platforms on this website. Other than websites, you can also purchase domain names and apps here. On Flippa, you can find both starter sites with little to no traffic and established sites with thousands of dollars of monthly revenue.
Human Proof Designs
Human Proof Designs (HPD) is one the most comprehensible platforms for everyone who wants to start their own online business. They offer dozens of services, including website purchases. You can rest assured that all websites in their inventory are high-quality sites you’ll love.
FE International is currently the eighth fastest-growing financial services company in the U.S. They offer a wide range of services built around buying and selling websites. They’re suitable for serious investors but also first-time website buyers.
Build a Website
Human Proof Designs
Human Proof Designs offer the most sophisticated solutions for building your website. With little investment, your online space will be in the hands of professionals that will manage your site performance and cover other aspects such as accountability and SEO.
There you have the six common ways to monetize your authority site. The important thing is to choose the method which best suits your product and/or niche and try it out. Bear in mind that you may not find success with one monetization method and may need to pivot to another method to find success. Remember that perseverance and flexibility are key for this online space.