Content is Queen, Revenue is King

This is a guest post by Mike Roosa from mikeroosa.com.

If I’ve learned anything over the last couple of months with regards to selling sites, it’s that REVENUE is King. Selling new startup sites on auction sites such as Flippa has become much harder and the return is not as good as it once was. The buyers have realized that it takes work to build a successful site, which means you need something to make the site more attractive. That something is revenue.

In order to maximize the sale for a new startup site, you need to take a little time to drive some traffic to the site and try to convert that traffic into cash. When selling your site, a potential buyer is much more likely to place a bid when you’ve already proven the concept by making some money.

The more revenue you are able to generate over a 30-60 or even a 90 day period the more likely it is that your sale will be successful.

While making a living online can be difficult and take many years, earning some money for a website is not all that hard, but does take some planning and a little luck. I don’t care what anyone says, there is some luck in getting ranked on page 1 of Google.

Here is the quickest and simplest way I know to get your site off on the right foot and earning money quickly.

It all starts with traffic and the traffic that a buyer wants to see is search engine traffic. I’m sure you’ve heard this a hundred times, but you need to find the right keywords with lots of searches and little competition.

When selecting a keyword, I like to find a 2 or 3 word keyword as my main keyword for the site I’m building and find an exact match domain name. For example, if my keyword is “glass french doors,” then the domain name should be glassfrenchdoors.com, glassfrenchdoors.net, glassfrenchdoors.org, or (hold your breath) glassfrenchdoors.info. Don’t be scared off by the .info domain as they will sell if you can show proof of earnings.

There are many other sites that tell you how to do keyword research so I’m not going to go into that here, but the keyword you select should get at least 5,000 searches a month, have less than 50,000 competing sites and have at least 2 page rank 0 sites on the first page of Google.

Try to come up with 4 or 5 similar keywords and incorporate those into your site as well so you can try to gain some additional search engine traffic.

Once you get the site built and optimize it for your keywords by creating some quality and unique content, then you need to get your site indexed.

You can wait for Google if you want, but I’m not that patient. I recently discovered a way to get a site indexed quickly and that is to go to http://www.ismysiteindexed.com and put in your url. Just by checking on your site, it will get indexed quickly, many times in the same day.

If you’ve done your keyword research correctly then you should be somewhere on page 1, if not then you are going to need to build some backlinks by writing articles for EzineArticles, GoArticles, Squidoo, Hubpages, or some other article directory or Web 2.0 site. You also should ping your site and submit some social bookmarks.

Hopefully, within a few days of adding some backlinks, your site can get enough juice to move up to page one where it can start earning some money.

The simplest way that I know of to make money with a startup website is with Adsense. You probably aren’t going to make a killing with Adsense, but you don’t have to. If you can show proof of $15.00 per month ($.50 a day) then you should have a sale between $200 and $300, and if your site is attractive and has some good content then you could make much more.

Like with keyword research, there are many guides to setting up Adsense, but here are my 3 tips.

First, less is more. I like having one Adsense block on the page and no links to external sites AT ALL. You want visitors to either click on an ad or link to an internal page which will also contain the Adsense block.

Second, your content text color should be light and your Adsense block a little darker so it draws attention to the ads.

Third, try your own thing. There are no rules when it comes to what works and doesn’t work. Any given site could have success with something that doesn’t work on another site, so don’t be afraid to try new things.

An added benefit of using Adsense is that it is one of the most watched tags on Flippa which means your site will get its share of views.

I hope that I have been able to shed a little light on what it takes to build a money making site so that your next flip is a profitable one.

What about you? What are the best ways you have for monetizing a site to bring in some money quickly?

Mike’s blog can be found at http://www.mikeroosa.com where he writes about such topics as internet marketing, site flipping, building niche sites, making money online, and general productivity among other things. You can also follow him on Twitter.

  • Was this just coincidental with the upcoming Royal Wedding?

  • Hi Mike,

    With your fantastic skills at creating websites that actually make money, what keeps you from just holding on to them and generating long term passive income? Is it a maintenance issue?

    • Travis

      Marc:

      I won’t answer for Mike but until he has a chance to read your comment and reply, I’ll chime in with my two cents.

      I never hold on to any website long-term (at least I haven’t to date). The reason for me is I get bored with them after a while, or I just have too many other websites and projects on my hand that I can’t give a particular website the attention it deserves.

      The Internet is becoming more and more competitive every day. You can’t effectively manage more than a handful of websites. If you try to manage more websites than you can handle, its likely one will get neglected and just won’t perform as well. And if you have a website that is making good money, you have to give it regular attention to maintain its rankings and earnings.

      Travis

  • Cool post.

    Have to admit I am not a fan of keyword research but I totally know the importance of it.

    Must do better, sounds like my school report card!

    Love the site index page, you mentioned it before and I bookmarked it then.

    Sally 🙂

  • Nice post Mike. I’m actually using some of the tactics you mentioned on one of my startups that I’m letting “marinate” before I flip. I think that a little bit of initial marketing and revenue will help less experienced investors in seeing the potential of my start ups.

    The extra time is really not much at all compared to the hours all ready invested when your dealing with a custom made property, its just that you really do have to wait a good 60 days or more for those efforts to kick in. My problem is once I get a site earning that I’ve been tweaking for a few months I get attached and I’m like man, they can’t have this one! I think outsourcing more of my marketing will help break the attachment, that way I can just keep developing and let sites mature in bulk so I can still flip on a regular bases.

    Salah

    • Travis

      Salah:

      If your sites are earning money and you’re attached to them, why sell them? As long as they are making money and are growing, why feel compelled to sell them? Hang on to them and let them mature until you get bored with them.

      I only allow myself to get attached to one website at a time. Meaning if I am managing 4 websites at once – which is all I typically will do – I’ll only attach myself to one of them. So maybe instead of getting attached to each one you develop you pick one and only one that you’ll stick with.

      Travis

  • Hi Mike,

    Nice post with lots of short and to the point advice.

    Just a question though – when you do competitor research, is the 50000 competitor threshold applicable for broad, phrase or exact matches for your keyword phrase? And is there perhaps a ratio between these which one should be looking at?

    Regards
    Andre Roux

    • Travis

      Andre:

      I won’t speak for Mike so hopefully he’ll see your question and respond but I *believe* he checks competition via phrase match (i.e. “keyword”). At least that’s what I do.

      However, since Google caffeine rolled out this type of competitive search isn’t as effective as it used to be. I’ll be doing a post about this soon.

      What I use now is the allintitle search operator (i.e. allintitle: keyword). Then I’ll also check the number of backlinks going to the sites in the top 10 for my keyword. With these two bits of information I can usually get a great idea how competitive the keyword really is.

      Travis

      • Thanks Travis,

        Would you mind sharing what the typical comparable numbers of your method would be if compared against a level of say 50000 competitors for a phrase match search.

        Do you also look for less than 50000 results, and what amount of backlinks would you consider worth going up against in your first page results list?

        Regards
        Andre

        • Travis

          Andre:

          For an allintitle search I look for 25,000 results or less if I want to rank quickly in the top ten. If I have a site I’m going to be working for a long time, then honestly I don’t really care what the number is but in general anything under 50,000 is a good sign. It’s just that anything over 25,000 results will take a little more time and effort to rank.

          For backlinks, anything under 1,000 is fair game to me but for someone new to Internet Marketing, you obviously want as few backlinks as possible. I’d say anything under 100 is a green light. The only reason my threshold is so much higher is because I only develop sites that I’m going to hold for a while before selling so I’m fine if it takes a little longer to get the backlinks necessary to bump someone out of the top ten.

          As you can see, the numbers depend on your goals. If you’re looking to build something that you’ll flip immediately, then concentrate on 25,000 and 100 respectively. If you’re building something long-term, then you can adjust those numbers upwards.

          Travis

  • Wow. Lots of shortcut information here for a newbie like myself. I knew about the search results range you wanted to look for with niche sites, but I never thought to check to see if the niche sites within the top search terms were PR0. The bit about only in-linking is smart too, more things to try out when I start launching niche sites.

    Thanks Mike, you always give out awesome tips!

    • Travis

      Jillian:

      Mike didn’t mention this, but I personally set the bar slightly higher. He recommend there are at least 2 PR0 sites. That’s harder and harder to find these days. If the lowest PR sites are PR1 or 2 or even PR3, I’ll go for it. Those are easy to knock out too.

      I also tend to put more importance on the number of backlinks to the sites in the top 10 as well as the authority of the sites in the top ten. Checking PR is an excellent way to eye ball the competition but if you don’t see at least 2 PR0, don’t disregard it. Look at the total picture before making the decision.

      Travis

  • Great writeup from Mike. I tend to agree when selling websites that content is secondary to revenue, however, a lot of thought needs to be placed on content especially if you are utilizing other methods of monetization, such as converting traffic on affiliate products, and so on.

    Adsense is also great for generating some kind of revenue on websites, but if you want to generate that little bit more, and really prove that the site is not only valuable, but the traffic is targeted and is of worth, you cant go wrong with affiliate products.

    Again, nice post! 🙂

  • Excellent advice as usual, Mike. I like the notion that you put forth that it isn’t content that is “King”, but instead the reigning monarch is “revenue”.

    As you point out, this is paramount when looking at selling a site. But all the points you make are necessary for creating a successful blog of any kind. And for many people, a blog is a source of income. Then income is there central concern, putting great content is merely a piece of the whole puzzle, not the complete picture.

    Thanks for this excellent breakdown!

    • Travis

      Although it’s kind of like the chicken and egg argument – which comes first? You won’t have revenue unless you have content (assuming you are relying on SEO/Web 2.0 and you’re running a blog). However, I guess Mike’s title does suggest that content is important.

      For me content IS king and will always be king because as long as you have content you’ll have traffic – and if you have decent traffic, you’ll be able to make money.

      Travis

  • Great advice and a valuable tip (ismysiteindexed.com). Thanks Mike. The more I read your work on site flipping the more I am inclined to give it a go 🙂