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Ten Things To Consider Prior To Launching A Content-Driven Online Income Stream

14 June 2010 3 Comments

1. How do you plan to make money?

For simplicity, there are essentially two main ways you can make money on your website.  The first one is to drive traffic, then to monetize that traffic based on advertisements and sponsorships.  The second way is to attempt to sell your visitors a product (can be your product or someone else’s product).

How you answer this question will dictate much of your strategy with regards to traffic, content, marketing, look & feel, etc so this is why I put this question #1.

2. Why will someone come to your site?  Essentially, what do you offer?

Before you do anything, you have to determine why someone would come to your site.  Do you have anything to offer?  Do you have a unique perspective or an expert opinion?  Do you have something different to say?

3. Is your topic well defined?  Too broad?  Too specific?

It’s important to have a defined niche, but hopefully your niche has more than 3 people interested in it.  Consider playing with the Google Adwords keyword tool to look at search volume of various terms, it might help you identify how specific to get.

4. Does your topic elicit emotions or strong feelings?

A controversial topic or a topic that people are passionate about can be good for stimulating readership and discussion.  Furthermore, offering opinion is usually a good thing because it elicits a reaction.  Don’t just regurgitate headlines, there are better headlines sources than your website.

5. Is your targeted audience an attractive demographic for advertisers?

Your audience may be a very attractive segment to advertisers or it may not.  For example, financial blogs have a pretty attractive audience that tons of companies want to target.  Websites that help people get welfare checks or government handouts?  Probably not so much.  This factor can impact the monetization of your traffic.

6. What will the length & frequency be of your content?

Determine if you intend to post long posts or short posts.  Furthermore, will you post every day?  every week?  several times a day?  This all might impact your traffic strategy.  Interestingly, it seems like more sites are going towards short posts than in the past, although, I believe you need to be fairly established in order to have success with this strategy.

7. Do you already have a natural interest in your chosen topic?

If not, you’ll probably give up on your effort before it materializes.  These projects can be very slow starting, and the content business can become a major pain if you don’t already enjoy the topic of your content.  You will find yourself always behind in producing content if you don’t already follow the subject or think about it.

8. Does your topic tap into a growing trend or dying trend?

While this isn’t a deal breaker, it’s probably a good idea to have a tailwind with regards to trends versus a headwind.  It can only help.  A growing trend means more traffic available for those grabbing for it.

9. Who is your competition?  What are the successful competitors doing?

It’s a good thing to take a look at the competitors to your website.  Look at the traffic patterns.  Look at the advertising on the site.  Look at the style of the content and the frequency.  What are they doing good?  What can you do better?

10. How will people find your site?

Where will your traffic come from?  Do you plan to market it to other sites?  Do you plan to spam message boards (not a good idea)?  Do you know basic SEO stuff?  Figure out your traffic strategy before launching your site.