Last Updated on: November 19th, 2018
To make money online, there are 3 articles you should have on your website.
Are you making the most of your writer website or your blog? Do you even have your own site?
However, unlike social media pages (which help with the above), websites incur costs. The natural thing to do is attempt to generate revenue through your website. After all, if you can break even or (preferably) turn a profit, your website truly becomes an asset rather than a liability.
However, to many, this can cause a conflict. After all, you want to offer genuine value to your audience, but you need revenue. So, how do you not only provide great content for your readers but also turn some revenue without losing credibility?
Today, I’ve invited Dave Chesson to share with you three types of posts which have been proven to generate revenue for writer websites while also providing genuine value to audiences. He will even include examples so you can put these to work on your own site.
Although I actually have multiple income streams, Dave says the three types of posts you should have on your site to make money online are:
1: Product Review Posts
2: Product Comparison Posts
3: Resource Master Lists
Take it away, Dave!
1: Product Reviews
One of the keys to successful revenue-generating blog posts is getting the right mixture of enthusiasm and likeability. One of the best ways to achieve this mix is by taking the time to review and share the products you truly use and care about.
When you review a product you genuinely use and love, your enthusiasm will be tangible. It will be clear from the level of knowledge you provide that you are a genuine fan of the product.
Product Review Posts – Best Practices
Some of the best practice tips to keep in mind when putting together a product review post include:
– Be sure to take pictures and even videos of you using the product. This not only shows that you genuinely own and use the product, but it also conveys your personality more than simply writing about it.
– Make sure that the products and services you review have an affiliate program available. Be sure to register for this in advance of putting your review together.
– Check out the other reviews that are ranking on Google for the same product you are looking at. Make sure your own review offers something extra.
– Be honest about the product. Highlight its flaws as well as its advantages. This adds credibility to your review and shows it’s a genuine analysis rather than a fluff piece.
Now that you know some of the best practice tips for putting together a review for your website, let’s consider some of the types of products you might wish to review.
– Software relevant to your audience. As a writer, this could include writing software, editing software, or anything else you think your audience might enjoy and find useful. Examples could include notebooks, pens, or anything else writers need to get by.
– Off-topic products. These might not relate directly to writing, but might be useful for writers, such as a special brand of coffee.
Basically, anything that you love, and that you think your audience might as well, is the perfect choice for a review post.
Product Review Posts – Examples & Lessons
Now that you know how to go about creating a review post, and the type of products you might review, let’s check out some examples from real websites for the final piece of the inspiration puzzle.
Wording Well posted a review of Meaning, Self, and the Human Potential. Some of the tips to take away from this review include:
– Provide context. The relationship between the reviewer and the product being reviewed is clearly discussed and talked about.
– Explain the implications of the product. Rather than just talking about what the book is, this review also explains why it matters.
– Clear suggestion of who the book is for. Rather than just saying what’s good or bad in your review, suggest the right type of person for it.
In the above link, you can see my review of Grammarly. Some of the actionable tips you can take away from this when putting together your own review post include:
– Include video content. This will capture your readers’ attention, cause them to spend more time on your page, and boost your Google rankings as a result.
– Include graphic content. A large wall of text is unappealing and is likely to bore your audience. Mix things up with lists, bullet points, graphics, and tables.
– Give a ‘good fit’ recommendation. Rather than include an overall verdict, suggest who the product is and isn’t right for. This makes it more likely that you will convert suitable traffic.
FYI, you can get Grammarly here! (affiliate link)
Jane Friedman is known in the self-publishing community for her experience, expertise, and overall kind personality. The review example taken from her is of the KDP Select service. This is a good example to use if you think of putting together your own service review.
– Jane includes a question in her post title. This helps with SEO and also captures the audience’s interest as they know exactly what the purpose of the content is.
– Using questions in her H2 tags. This has two benefits. Firstly, it captures the reader’s attention and keeps them motivated to make it to the end of the article. Secondly, H2 tags are given more prominence in SEO terms than regular text.
– Including quotations from others. By putting forward the ideas of others, you add social proof to your own thoughts. This is more convincing from a psychological standpoint than merely stating your own ideas.
Top Sci-Fi Books offers another take on the review post – the product list post. This groups similar products together. Some of the things to consider about this type of post include:
– A better chance of conversion. If someone knows they are looking for a particular type of thing, as opposed to a specific thing itself, offering them more than one option gives you a higher chance of persuading them. If you only offer one option, and they don’t like it, your post will be ineffective.
– Uniform visual layout. It’s important to have a standardized format for your list posts. This makes them visually appealing and easy to navigate.
– Pictures of the products. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. While this may not be totally true, it definitely helps with conversions.
Dr. Fone is an iPhone recovery software. Most of us are very reliant on our phones these days, and when they brick, it causes real difficulty. An alternative to expensive or lengthy repair services is using a DIY software alternative to get your smartphone back online.
The Windows Club reviewed Dr. Fone. Some of the useful takeaways from this review include:
– Emphasizing a problem in the intro. By clearly engaging the reader on an emotional and logical level, you entice them to carry on reading.
– Use screenshots. Often, our expectations of a product, and the actual user experience, greatly differ. By including a screenshot, readers know exactly what they are getting before taking the time to download.
– A visual summary of the review. At the bottom of the page is a graphical representation of the review opinion. This is a great summary for visually minded people.
2: Product Comparisons
Another slant of the product review post is the product comparison post.
A product comparison post is when you directly compare the strengths and weaknesses of two or more different products of a similar type. This type of post often features language such as “ this VS. this” or “X and Y comparison” in its title.
Product Comparison Posts – Best Practices
Some of the advantages of this type of product comparison post include:
– The stage of the buyer journey. By the time someone is comparing two specific products, they are very close to making a purchase decision. If your comparison post is well-written, you will benefit from tipping them in one direction or the other.
– Easy to produce. This type of post is fairly formulaic. You simply compare the strengths and weaknesses of two or more things across fairly predictable aspects such as price and features.
– The chance to make ‘best for’ suggestions. By saying one product is best for a certain type of audience, and another is best for another type of audience, you have a chance of converting two types of visitors from a single post.
Product Comparison Posts – Examples & Lessons
So what are some example product comparison posts to whet your appetite?
Recently, I had the pleasure of comparing some WordPress Table Plugins right here on Wording Well. Some of the tips you can take from this post include:
– Offer a wide variety. You don’t need to be totally comprehensive, talking about every option out there. But, by giving your readers a selection, you stand a better chance of showing them one that’s a good fit.
– Use screenshots. Especially when it comes to something like a table plugin, it’s vital to show as well as tell. Save time and include screenshots.
– Include practical examples. It’s one thing knowing what a product or service can theoretically do. It’s another to see it in action.
This post is an example of a niche product comparison. Some of the lessons to learn from it include:
– Make sure you have hands-on experience with both products. Your reviews are a lot more convincing if it’s clear you have firsthand experience of the things you compare.
– Use tables. Tables are essential for comparison posts. Keep them clean, attractive, and easy to understand.
– Keep the post up to date. This particular review has been updated over time. If something changes, make a quick update to your comparison post. This maintains your authority as it shows you are on top of changes.
We can learn lessons from outside our core niche, and the above post is a fine example of that. Some of the tips to apply from this example include:
– Include a ‘what you will learn’ section at the start. Comparison content can be a little dry, so by making it clear what the benefits for the audience will be, they are more likely to stick with your content until the end.
– Include plenty of tables. Tables are absolutely vital for comparison posts. This is a good example of how you can easily make and use more than one table in a single post.
– Do the work for your reader. You’ll notice this post contains math that has been carried out on behalf of their reader for their benefit. Doing work for people increases the level of value on offer in your comparison.
Jane Friedman took the time to compare WordPress and Squarespace on her website. Some of the things I love and find applicable from this post include:
– Numbered lists. Like bullet points, these are a great way to break up the flow of the page, keep your reader interested, and make your information clearly understandable.
– Clear comparison categories. By understanding the key benefits your audience is seeking from a product or service, you can easily make a more useful comparison across distinct categories or features.
– It guides readers on how to make their choice. Often, people don’t need mere information. They need advice on how to apply it to their own situation and make the right choice for themselves.
This is an example of absolutely epic content. It lists almost every publishing service under the sun and gives clear guidance as to each. Some of the lessons to take from this type of epic comparison post include:
– Color-coding. Based on the recommendation given, the comparison is clearly color-coded. This makes it easy for your audience to understand the info.
– This post is a truly exhaustive comparison. Google often loves epic content of this type, and many top website builders suggest creating it.
– Clear advice. The summary for each service is sweet and to the point. Don’t make your readers work harder than they have to.
Master Resource Lists
If you’re a visitor to authority websites, you may well have noticed they often contain a resources page.
A resources page is basically a list of the best products and services that the authority website creator personally uses and recommends to others.
When someone has bought into your authority status and trusts your recommendations, it’s natural they will trust your judgment on products and services out there to use.
Master Resource Lists – Best Practices
So what are some of the golden rules you should keep in mind when putting together a master resource list?
– You should genuinely use the products and services on offer, or at the very least know people who do. Nothing kills your credibility and authority quicker than being exposed as a fake.
– Ensure the resources you list offer some kind of affiliate program or other incentives. You are giving them valuable real estate on your website, so you should make sure it’s worth your while, and you’ll get something back in return.
– Think about your audience. The products and services that you offer should be a good fit for your readers. If not, they will get the impression that your site isn’t suited for them, and will be less likely to check out the resources you suggest.
Master Resource Lists – Examples & Lessons
It’s always easier to learn from a practical example. Here are five master resources lists to inspire your own. Not only do they teach a useful lesson about how to put this type of post together, but they also are likely to be of interest to Wording Well readers.
Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income is one of my personal heroes His content is amazing, inspirational, and actionable. Some of the things I love about his resource list are:
– Colorful buttons. It makes it enticing and easy for readers to click.
– Clear affiliate disclosure. Honest and often required to be an affiliate.
– No need to wade through the list. Easy to find what you want.
Wording Well provides a truly awesome resource list for authors, and I feel you can take a lot of valuable lessons from it as well:
– Prominent ‘last updated’ date. Users want to know they are accessing fresh and current resources.
– A clear layout at the start. By providing a menu of sections, readers can skip straight to what they want.
– Easy to understand. It’s more likely a viewer will click on one of your resources if they can see what it is.
Derek Murphy is a true example of someone who walks the walk within the world of self-publishing. Some of the lessons to learn from his resource page are:
– Derek simply cleanly and clearly lists the things he loves.
– When a product or service is one of Derek’s own, he clearly states it.
– Derek doesn’t just give one option. Instead, he offers several.
Write To Done is known for its mix of informative and inspirational writing content. I’m sure any writer out there could learn from them. Some of the takeaways from this resource post include:
– Instead of being all-encompassing, this specifies these are the best free resources. This makes the intended audience clear.
– Enticing intro. The benefit is clearly explained – the work has been “done for you”.
– Clean layout. When a resource page is too cluttered, it tends to be ineffective.
Self-Publishing School is known for their useful and actionable content for people starting out in the self-publishing world, such as their simple step-by-step guide to book publishing. Some of the things I like about their resource page include:
– Their own products and services first. Sure, you want to suggest a wide variety. But why not give your own a prominent place on the list?
– Thinks about the audience’s needs. This list covers so many different facets of publishing.
– Simple layout. Nothing cluttered or crowded here. Very easy to browse and enjoy.
Money-Making Articles Final Thoughts
Thanks for checking out my tried and tested examples of articles that will make your author website more profitable.
To recap, keep in mind:
– Single product review posts, showcasing the things you love the most
– Comprehensive product comparison posts, either of the ‘this VS. that’ format or lengthier posts comparing many things in a single category
– Resources pages, showcasing your top picks for useful products for your audience
Which pages have been the best money-makers for your own website? Is there a type of money-making post you simply can’t stand and wish would vanish from the Internet? I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences in the comments.
Dave is the lead writer at Kindlepreneur.com, a website devoted to teaching advanced book-marketing tactics. He is a best-selling author on Amazon (who writes under various pseudonyms), and the founder of KDP Rocket, a software that helps authors choose book ideas that will sell. You can also connect with Dave on Facebook and/or Twitter.