How Can I Figure Out How Best to Monetize My Material?
I provide unique information for a very popular hobby - one that also helps people save money. The traffic to my website is more than tripling every month. I've also provided free 1-hour introductory presentations (PowerPoint) in my local communities on this topic, and it's proving extremely popular - often standing room only. At the next one, I expect to have to turn people away due to lack of room!
People are begging me to include more information on my website. They want the details - from the very basics, all the way up to the advanced techniques. I love public speaking and teaching people about this hobby. I'm pretty good at it. And I'm fairly good at presenting information in writing, although writing is not my passion.
However,... these same people will rarely sign up for classes that cost money. This is very typical throughout my area. They'll often spend a fortune on material for this hobby, but not on classes. They'll flock to the free programs, but usually won't pay for a class.
I would love to put together a multimedia online course for folks. It would take me nearly a year of hard work to put together a great one. I can't find anything like it on the internet. I KNOW from people's reactions to my material and presentations that they would love it. BUT I'm concerned that this lack of willingness to pay for it will carry over to the internet. I can't afford to waste a year creating a course to sell, and then not find buyers for it.
I would prefer to sell the online course than to do affiliate marketing for related products. I just don't have any idea how much profit I could make with affiliates. And I would hate to advertise for companies that I have no experience with, and frankly, I don't have the money to purchase from them to check out their products and services. Most of the companies that I would love to recommend to my visitors don't have affiliate programs.
I feel pretty confident that I could build traffic up to 40,000 unique visitors a month over the next couple of years - possibly double or triple that. But it's a very seasonal hobby and other websites with a similar topic usually drop to only 20% of their traffic peak during the rest of the year. I think I can do better than that, though.
How can I best decide how to monetize my material: 1) sell the course, or 2) provide the course for free on my site and sell advertising and/or affiliate ads? I really need to get a rough feel for my eventual income potential, and/or how best to monetize my site. I don't really know how to do that. I'm not looking for a fortune, just a modest amount to pay my bills. I know that only a tiny percentage of websites earn enough to even pay their expenses. Rough odds! Any ideas?
I think you have to determine if people are searching online for courses on your topic. If there are any online forums in the niche you do a bit of research there to see if people are willing to buy a course.
Have you thought about having a membership site? You could provide the members with a few short videos and articles to start them off and then add another video each month. That way you wouldn't have to spend a year creating your course before you could start to sell it.
Last edited by sanhal; 02-28-2013 at 02:45 AM.
Perhaps you can offer promotions? Such as coupons, sales, affiliation sign ups etc.
Nothing persuades a buy like a sale
Suggestion- to achieve your goals it will take a small team of professional to help you. I suggest Marketing, Branding, financial Managers as a starting point, however what always comes first with an idea is a business plan and again not a friend who loves your idea before they even start-search for someone in your area who has already developed a business plan for other web owners and one who is not afraid to give you their opinion.
hope this helps