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Niche Site Duel 008: My Monetization Strategy

Niche Site Duel 008: My Monetization Strategy

By Pat Flynn on

When I started my security guard training site for this niche site duel, a lot of people had asked me how I planned to monetize it. In this post, I will answer that question for you.

Because the niche I chose is an education & career driven niche, I plan to follow a similar progression of monetization that I used when I setup my LEED Exam website.

Google Adsense

There are a lot of mixed reviews about adsense.

I like it because it’s quick and easy. Insert some code onto your website, advertisements are automatically generated and you get paid every time someone clicks on an ad. Nice.

I don’t like it because you’re working so hard to bring traffic to your site, only to redirect it elsewhere. In some cases, you’re helping your competitors more than you’re helping yourself.

Let’s say, for example, I’m getting 100 visitors a day and 5% are clicking on my Adsense ads. At a generous $2.00 per click, I’m making $10.00 per every 100 visitors (this click-through-rate [CTR] and cost-per-click [CPC] are quite high, but I’m just using these figures to prove a point). I’ve made some money, but who knows how much more my competitors have made from my “leads”.

Now, let’s say I have an eBook or course that sells for $20. Even if I convert only 1% of my traffic, at 100 visitors a day I’m still making twice as much as with the ads (which again I provided a very generous CTR and CPC for). Furthermore, each customer could be worth more than $20 if I were to later come out with more products or had some type of backend offer or affiliate promotions within my eBook or course.

This is why I’ve taken Adsense out of my LEED Exam website. I have my own products and I don’t want to feed leads to my competitors, which will automatically show up in the Adsense ads.

I am, however, using Adsense temporarily on my security guard training site. The reason is because I don’t feel I’m qualified enough to create my own product for this niche just yet (the last thing I want to do is force out a crappy product), but I am learning more and more about it each day and believe that I will have the ability to create some kind of product in the future. As to exactly what that product will be, I honestly don’t know, but when my site starts to get more traffic and I begin to communicate with some of the visitors, I should be able to deduce what people want and what they would pay for.

Additionally, seeing what kinds of ads show up in Adsense would give me an idea of what kinds of things people are paying for too.

So far, my niche site has earned about $50.00. It’s definitely a great start, and I’m currently running ad-type and placement tests to optimize my results. Again, this is temporary while I climb the ranks of Google, get more traffic and eventually look into other monetization methods that I will outline below.

Private Advertising

Private advertising, or directly selling ad space on your site to another company, is the next logical step for monetization in these kinds of niches.

When I was ranking high in Google for my LEED exam site, several companies contacted me personally to advertise on my site. They know that traffic is coming through (probably by doing a Google search), and they want to be there to funnel some of it onto their own sites. I also contacted some sites on my own who were happy to advertise on my site as well.

I won’t go into detail about how private advertising works (I’ve written about this in detail before), but if you have the traffic, companies will pay you big time to get in front of it, especially if you can show that they will be saving money going through you instead of going through other advertising avenues (i.e. Adwords).

I’m quite excited about the opportunity for private advertising I have with my niche site because every state has different security guard training requirements. If I have one page per state (which I’m working towards), and only one security guard training company buys advertising for each state, that’s 50 paid advertisements. At a low $25 per month, that’s a total of $1,250. I could eventually create an entire directory of training facilities on the site which could yield me an extremely large amount of money every month.

And, it’s happening already! Check out this email I received the other day:

Private Advertising InquiryI’m currently working out a deal with this company.


Affiliate Marketing

There are several products I could promote as an affiliate for this particular niche.

Of course, there are things I could promote from, such as training manuals and gear. This would work well on a particular page that’s just dedicated to these types of products.

There are other types of products I could promote that would definitely yield a much higher commission. There are several online security guard training courses offered by companies who don’t say they have an affiliate program, but it’s definitely worth asking. One of my top affiliate products on my LEED site, for example, is from a company that does not publicly display that they have an affiliate program.

All I did was ask.

Lead Generation

Additionally, there is an opportunity for lead generation to education websites (like online universities and learning institutes), because a lot of people in this niche are taking education classes to beef up their resume, advance their career and earn a higher paycheck.

The income potential with this kind of lead generation is huge. I could be earning an average of $20-45 per lead – not people who actually enroll into the online universities, just people who fill out a simple form and click send.

Plus, I don’t have to stop with security guard training. I could do lead generation for police officer training and other things that a security officer might want to do in the future.

My Own Products

It would make sense for me to create my own online course, but this isn’t as easy at it would seem. Security guard training companies, including those online, must pass a certain criteria that is particular to each state. I’d have to go through a long process to show that the material that I present in an online training course would properly meet the requirements, again, as required by each state.

As you can see, this might get complicated. I could possibly focus on just one or two of the most popular states (i.e. California and New York), but again I’d have to do more research to even see if a person like me is qualified to teach others in this field. I may have to get someone else on board as a partner in order to legally do this.

We’ll see where it takes me – like I said, I do want to create a product of my own, but I don’t want to force one out there and have it be useless, and I still have time for my site and its visitors to help me figure out what else I could do.

For now, I will continue to concentrate on increasing my ranking in the search engines, getting more traffic, optimizing my Adsense advertisements, finding affiliate offers and researching lead generation.

Quick Rankings Update

Finally, I just wanted to give you a quick update of my search engine rankings:

  • August 25th: Site went live. Not ranked.
  • August 29th: #184
  • September 6th: #162
  • September 8th: #135
  • September 9th: #119
  • September 13th: #117
  • September 14th: #53
  • September 21st: #38
  • September 29th: #27
  • October 22nd: #16

Google Ranking UpdateI think I can I think I can I think I can!

Thanks for your support everyone, and have a fantastic weekend!

Other Posts in The Niche Site Duel Series

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