What you will learn
In todays podcast, we’re talking about stacking business models.
If you’ve ever wondered how to effectively build additional income streams from your existing site, we’ve got it all covered here.
To get other episodes in this mini-series, and for bonus content, check out the series home page.
The concept here is to start out with a “one-trick pony” site, which a term used for people who applies only one strategy or tactic repeatedly.
In the case of building authority sites, that would be 1 traffic source, and 1 monetization strategy. That’s all you need in the beginning as diversifying too early causes more problems than it solves.
Basically, don’t try and master everything right away without having the basics locked down (i.e. content, traffic, etc.). That means forget about collecting emails and being active on social, it’s not worth your time yet.
When you’re eventually making high 3, to low 4 figures per month and you’ve started seeing diminishing returns on your one-trick pony strategy, you then have an important choice to make.
You can either add a new monetization method (or what we call “stacking business models”) to your site, or you can plow through and focus on optimising what you already have in place.
The trick is to know when to double down, and when to stack.
As you probably know, we use a lot of the Skyscraper Technique to build links, and doing so has allowed us to optimize it like crazy.
As a result, we get a ton of traffic to our sites which would have been a lot more difficult if we decided to switch up our link building tactic every month. In this case, doubling down paid off massively.
Diversification is a great way to decrease risk in terms of your sites overall income streams. A good example of this is the recent Amazon commission change. We lost around 34% of our income through Amazon, but only 9% of our overall income.
Because we diversified our sites income, we were able to mitigate the damage. And since that update, you can bet that potential buyers will put a lot of weight on diversification.
Different Business Models
This is a more hands off stack, but the payouts good (Media.net, for example, pay out really well for us after some optimization). The setup is also straightforward using something like Ad Inserter (free). And finally, the money made pays for content. Win-win.
Selling Sponsored Posts
For this one, we’d highly recommend you nofollow the links. Selling dofollow links is against Google’s terms and will likely get you penalized. The idea here is just to promote branded products within your posts. It works well if you have a lot of traffic already.
For affiliate promos, you have to figure out where to put offers on your site/within content. It’s not always obvious, for example, Pinchoftyum.com is a cooking blog that sells blogging at home offers, like Bluehost. It can takes a lot of networking, but if you can find 5-10 good offers it can be a pretty stable business model.
What you’ll want to do here, is piggy back your sites domain authority and create keyword rich commercial content. Additionally, you can send offers through the email/push notifications/retargeting channels you’ve built up in the past.
Put the Facebook retargeting pixel on your site and use audience explorer to learn about who you’re audience is. This will give you unique insights on what to promote and what your demographic is actually interested in.
Selling your time for money is one of the easiest, and quickest ways of generate revenue from your site. Personally, we avoid offering our time because that’s all we did back when we had our agency. It also doesn’t scale very well since there’s only a finite amount of time you can trade.
Dom Wells over at humanproofdesigns.com has built a very profitable business by offering services/consulting, so it’s definitely worth considering. It’s especially effective if you specialize in an area that’s generally more expensive (i.e. sales copywriting).
Other than payment processing fees and support, there’s zero marginal costs in selling info products, though it doesn’t work in EVERY niche. One immediate benefit to selling info products is that it teaches you how to sell. It forces to focus on benefits over features, and once you know how to sell an ebook, you know how to sell anything.
E-Commerce / Physical Products
We know that some of our Authority Hacker PRO members use our affiliate article template to link to their e-commerce products with a lot of success. We do, however, recommend starting with affiliate content, then later swapping your affiliate links for your own product’s FBA links once you’ve identified the best sellers.
This allows you to jump from around 4-7% commission to around 40%. And, as you drive sales to your Amazon product, it will naturally rank higher and begin generating organic sales directly through Amazon itself.
What Should You Pick?
After going through all these possibilities, you need to ask yourself… what next?
If you think you still have a lot of room for growth, then doubling down would probably make more sense over diversifying. If you’re confident that diversification is the way to go, you should always be looking for synergies.
So for example, if you’ve already monetized with affiliate content, it makes sense to first consider FBA. If you’ve used link building to get a lot of traffic, you might consider placing ads on your content. If you have a large email list, you could launch an information product to your list.
Again, and we need to stress this…
Only do this once you’ve reached a plateau on your one monetization strategy. If you keep chasing the next thing without mastering the first, you’re just becoming victim to to shiny object syndrome.
(By the way, if you don’t have a one-trick pony site or an existing revenue steam, check out The Authority Site System.)
The trick is to look at your one-tick pony say and ask, “how can I build a stacking logic?” Lets say for example, you have an Amazon affiliate site…
- Scale informational content for Skyscraper link building
- Insert ads into your informational content after 1 month
- Create content upgrades and collect emails through your informational content
- Email your new informanional content and engage subscribers
- Build an informational product and sell it through your email list
- Discover what product is selling well on Amazon, source 100 of that product on Alibaba, and swap your affiliate links for FBA links
- Run a promotion for your new product and promote it to your email list
- And keep going…
If you use your assets to your advantage, you can establish a strategy that automatically gives yourself a competitive advantage each time.