Making money from an authority site is not much different from how people make money with niche content websites. However, there are different criteria for the products and services offered. The products and/or services offered via an authority site should be helpful to the target audience, relevant to the authority site niche, and create a repeat buyer.
Once an authority site is bringing in traffic, it’s time to start a monetization effort. Depending upon your topic, you may choose to use any and all of the following to earn money.
* Google AdSense – This is one of several pay-per-click advertising networks, though arguably the most popular. Ads are delivered based on keywords. The downside is that sometimes the ads can be counter-productive to your niche market. For instance, if you have a virtual assistant authority site, you may see ads appear that offer VAs for a dollar an hour.
* Banner ads – If you sell your own banner ads, you can control which ads you run on your authority site. This is a good way to keep all advertising aligned with your target audience and not in competition with you.
* Textual links – Sometimes called contextual links, these are links that appear within the content of your website, creating linkable text that are really advertisements. Some problems with this type of ads are the same as with PPC; sometimes the network serves up competition to you if you aren’t selling the links individually yourself.
* Affiliate marketing – There are many affiliate networks, from Commission Junction to Amazon. Here you can sign up for an account and receive a special code that allows you to earn a percentage of sales by placing a combination of text links and banner ads on your site. This can be a problem if you live in one of the states that treats you like a sales person instead of an advertiser in terms of sales tax.
* Product creation – You can create and sell your own products to your target audience. With an authority site there are literally hundreds of options to creating products that help your audience solve their problems. The great thing about selling your own products is that you can be proud of them and know that your audience is getting the best. The downside is the amount of work involved.
* Services – You can also sell services. Let’s say you have an authority site for virtual assistance. You can sell several services, from job listings to VA services.
* Coaching – Authority sites are perfectly aligned with the idea of life coaching. As an authority on a topic, you definitely have the option of coaching others in that area. The downside to coaching is the time it takes, so consider group coaching options and a membership drip site as alternatives to one-on-one coaching.
* Public speaking – Many authorities on a given topic get asked to speak publically about their topic. If your site is popular enough and you’re open to it, public speaking can add a generous amount of revenue to your bottom line. Fees range from 2500 dollars per event on up to 20,000 dollars per event.
* Ad networks – If you join a good advertising network, you’ll share revenue from the ads served up on your website based on keywords. The good thing about most ad networks is you can often eliminate ads that you don’t want to show and choose the type of ads you do want to show. The bad part is you have to give up some control to your website design.
As you see there are a variety of ways to earn money via an authority website. The trick is to ensure that your monetization efforts do not interfere with the core efforts and goals of the website to remain an authority on your topic of choice. Choose money making activities that help your target audience and you can’t go wrong.