2 Ways to Monetize Local Websites

What is the easiest way to monetize my local blog or website?  Should I put contextual ads on it?  Promote affiliate offers?  Is it possible to develop a blog for the explicit purpose of selling it down the road?  If YES….should I proactively push it to people already working in the niche, or is it best to simply patiently add content and HOPE that someone discovers me on their own? 

Here is a short article I wrote earlier today on 2 quick and easy ways to make money developing local websites that pretty much anyone can follow – and is part of the “Build Something” process (and PDF) that I shared a few months ago as well. 

(there will be a Kindle Ebook coming out in March that I’m co-writing with a partner and client who is adding a whole new dimension to this idea that I’m really excited to explore as well)

The truth is, as the online marketing space gets tougher and tougher for affiliates, hard core email marketers and the gadgets, gimmicks and “gurus” are dropping out of sight like flies, the idea that BUILDING assets of value in your local community that serve a purpose, and helps an existing entrepreneur or local professional extend his (or her) influence in the market that matters MOST to them…remains the easiest way to turn a small investment (buying a domain name, hosting it, installing a blog and creating or outsourcing some relevant content )into a fantabulous return, and building your own brand to boot.

Note – I have a subscriber who is now doing this process exclusively with Tumblr blogs, local SEO and lead generation and doing quite well with NO investment at all other than paying for the domain name itself – and the content is totally “curated” as well.  (e.g. – no long articles, no outsourced content creation, all “reblogged” content in the local city that he lives, which is working incredibly well, and pretty much has turned me on to the whole Tumblr revolution as well)
The ideas I cover here are for both straight sales and lead generation – it’s very simple stuff – requires a little bit of assertiveness but very little money – if you want to know more….check out the full article at the link following the short excerpt below.

For example – a $10 dollar domain registration can easily yield $100 with NO work whatsoever, simply by contacting a local professional who will use it, or needs it for their brand and business, but never got around to registering it.Of course the REAL money is made by developing that domain a bit – adding a blog, some content and getting the site to rank locally for your keywords of interest. (which is very, very easy to do for local SEO)The truth is, you can easily “flip” sites like this in a local area for $400-$1000 with incredible ease, and pretty much create these style sites on a daily basis, while offering amazing value to professional people who truly will benefit.The second option?Sell leads.

Lead generation is the lifeblood of all local businesses and you will NEVER find a professional in a key vertical who tells you they have too many leads.

Very simply, this works in every market under the sun, but it works BEST where local leads are very valuable. (think real estate, finance, plastic surgery and more)There are countless ways to track and monetize the leads, but the easiest way for beginners is just to put a simple sign up form on the site and forward the opt in’s to a local professional for A pre-agreed upon PROFIT or payout that works for both of you.

Is Building Websites Profitable? 2 Ways To Monetize Local Websites That COULD Change YOUR Life

Filtering the Fluff

Every “success seminar” needs a Christopher Reeve.

Unfortunately (or fortunately I guess) there aren’t all that many amongst us who are broken open in such a radically new way.

I love the idea that we all know this simple truth deep down – some of us deeper down than others – but reminded of it, it’s available to all without pomp or pretense – built into our bones and yet too often discounted until it’s too late to appreciate.

Schlosser recounted that, in the midst of what had been a non-stop celebration of wealth-related success, Reeve hushed the crowd with some thoughtful words:“I’ve had to leave the physical world. By the time I was twenty-four, I was making millions,” he continued. “I was pretty pleased with myself …. I was selfish and neglected my family….. Since my accident, I’ve been realizing …. that success means something quite different.”

Members of the audience started to weep. “I see people who achieve these conventional goals,” he said in a mild, even tone. “None of it matters.”Schlosser described the atmosphere in the arena following the former film-star’s speech. “His words cut through all the snake oil of the last few hours, calmly and with great precision. Everybody in the arena, no matter how greedy or eager for promotion, all eighteen thousand of them, know deep down in their hearts that what Reeve has just said is true – too true.”

The Secret of My Success – The Happy Manager

Dear Jennifer Cook

Dear Jenifer (A.K.A. – J. Cook)

Thank you so much for your insightful and entertaining review of “Bar Code Booty”, an Amazon book I serendipitously stumbled by tonight, while browsing for a quick entrepreneurial read.

Thanks in part to you, and my skittishness about downloading anything that has the word “Booty” in the title after the Best Buy Geek Squad guys yelled into the waiting lounge to ask if they could burn a copy of “Big Booty in the Hoodie” while fixing my macbook, and I had to blame it on my Dad who was napping next to me – I decided to pass and stick with re-reading an old favorite by one of my favorite entrepreneurial authors, Mr. Seth Godin.

But, J Cook – I did want to thank you for making me laugh, and reminding us all that we’re all in this kettle pot cooker together.

Humanity, Jennifer, as you probably know…… is like this large glistening diamond – full of magic and mystery and a beauty to behold, even if symmetry and perfection is never within her scope, it doesn’t dampen the diamonds ability to shine and show off her sheen.

I’m going to tell you the truth Jenifer – often, when I read angry or upsetting or insulting opinions on blogs, not even MY blogs……it makes me sad.

After all, it’s so much easier to critisize, than it is to create…….. and I feel cut for the creator, even when I shed no blood, or tears to make what’s being mocked.

But tonight, with your help….I believe I am finally ready to rise above.

After all, as the Buddha once said, critical blog comments can you make you laugh….or make you cry.

I have chosen, tonight, with your help – to find it all funny once again.

Thank you for that gift, J Cook.

I will use it well.

(PS – I’m sure the book deserved 1 star anyway.  Keep up the good work)

How to Curate Content For Fun and Profit

Is curating content hard work?  Does it require lots of fancy pants tools, complicated technology or slimy scraping software to work?    And what IS content curation anyway?  Is it akin to stealing other peoples ideas and republishing them on your blog, or website….and hoping folks don’t notice?

The truth is, content curation is probably the easiest, more elegant and expedient way of quickly and easily adding new content to your blog or website…..without having to write a whole bunch of blog posts yourself.

It’s NOT stealing at all.….(if done properly) and really, as I like to do it anyway, only involves clipping, snipping, culling and collecting other good resources from around the web, and giving your readership a starting point for news, views, ideas and inspiration in a niche, market or industry you both believe in.

As I’ve been recommending many of you do for quite some time who want to get started with curating content on an experential level rather than the abstract…..sign up for TUMBLR (it’s FREE) and you can’t help but get a first person perspective on how to curate content the right way….as their whole publishing empire, & ecology is based on that idea.

Or – a really GREAT way to curate content in a given niche for fun and profit is to simply start a video blog.…using curated multi-media, and you can literally create a great authority style site with engaging, informative and entertaining content that your readership will love…… without ever needing to buy a directors cap, or put your pretty mug on the screen.

(I have several of these running now that I have built using outsourced help and curated videos...and they probably get the best reader retention sites of any blog I’ve built 🙂

Or, you can use traditional clipping and snipping tools and techniques like I’ve done here – at the end of this post, I’ve “clipped” a little piece of content from a much longer piece on content curation….and linked to that authors thoughts below, which is yet another super simple form of content curation where everybody wins.

(e.g – I have new content to publish that clips content I didn’t have to write which helps me……. I’ve linked to THEIR site which helps them, and if YOU want to read more in depth ideas about curating content, they’ve not only done a better job than I have in explaining it, they’ve linked to other more informative resources you can use as well, meaning YOU win, too)

If you think about it, everybody is winning.

Sort of like Charlie Cheen on a 3 day meth bender in NYC, only without the property damage and no one needs to get a black eye in the end.


Check out more at the link following the short excerpt below.


What is Content Curation?


Content curation is the collection and sharing of content such as articles, videos, pictures, tweets, songs or other pieces of digital content. A related term, content aggregation, uses automation to collect content versus curation, which is done by a person. Obviously, you can curate non-digital content, but let’s keep it to digital content for the purposes of this article.

Content curation usually involves the collection of content relevant to a topic and then sharing short portions of them (on a blog or website or other platform), while linking to and giving credit to the original source. So, to make it really specific, here are some examples: * A blog post about Twitter strategies where articles are gathered from some of the top sites around the web. I would display the headlines, the first line or two of the article (or a summary), possibly a thumbnail from the article, and a link to the original article. I’d probably group related articles into sections (see the Facebook post example further further down).

* A blog post with the best pictures of Winter. Pulling great pictures from sites such as Flickr or other photography sites and linking to and crediting the photographers (check licenses). * A review of top SEO advice on video could include several YouTube videos with some highlights, analysis or summaries of each.

Content Curation: How To Curate Content For Your Blog And 6 Useful Tools

Article Marketing Tips for Beginners

Here are a few of the follow up questions I’ve gotten since publishing the article marking ebook on Amazon – some of this stuff I covered a bit in the book.….and some I didn’t think of while writing, so here are some answers to a few of the questions that inquiring minds want to know.

Q:  What is the best writing tool?

Personally, I use IAWRITER for MAC….It cost 5 bucks – helps me stay hyper focused, it’s very stripped down and lean……looks great aesthetically, and actually makes the process of pounding on the keyboard and creating content enjoyable and fun.  There are a few similar programs that are free….and a few that cost 20 or 30 bucks, I personally prefer IAWRITER because it makes me WANT to write.  (which often ain’t an easy emotion to find..:-)

What are the best niches?

While I did cover this quite a bit in the book, the truth is, this is a hard question to answer for me…simply because I truly believe you should focus on what you LOVE, over and above everything else.

So an obscure niche that you have a lot of passion and a sense of purpose, is a much better investment of your energy and enthusiasm, than some random BIG traffic niche that’s going to make you some money….But bore you to tears in a month.

If you are looking at creating content as a mercenary marketing exercise (rather than a meaningful one) I always recommend going after the biggest, evergreen niches in which you have some experience or expertise……or can learn a bit about before you begin.

(diet/dating/divorce are usually the sort of example niches I use to illustrate this — they are always topical — always have a huge audience with a lot of interest — and there are always great affiliate programs to promote)

Remember, ….The key is, make it about the MATH as much as the marketing.

Once you have a little bit of a control sample to study, you can quickly and easily scale UP your strategy, based on your results.

For example – if you pick an affiliate offer with an EPC of $100 – & you write 10 articles over the course of a work week – and those articles generated 100 visitors – and you are using a root level re-direction to forward those visitors directly to the affiliate offer…you SHOULD, all things being equal, make about $100. (as an EPC of 100 means that for every 100 visitors the average affiliate refers, the program expects to payout $100)

Of course occasionally  article traffic can be a bit less than average quality (sometimes due to the geographical considerations of the clicks not “counting”) etc….but, mas o menos, you should find yourself somewhere in that neighborhood when it comes to earnings.  (and if you pick your program properly, that can be a GREAT secret advantage to making this model work, as well)

Make sense?

Of course this is only my experience – your mileage may vary – and you really need to dive in and DO it to see how your content campaigns convert.

Feel free to ask questions using the contact form above should you have them……and if you haven’t checked out “How to Write Articles that Convert like CRAZY” on Amazon, it’s going to be free again (for 24 hours) on Monday, February 4th!

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