Whether you’re looking to earn a full-time income or simply put some extra spending cash in your pockets, you might be wondering if it’s possible to make money with Q&A sites. After all, millions of people use the internet to find answers to their questions. So, is it possible to create and monetize a Q&A website, or is it just another dead end venture?
According to a Pew Research Center survey cited by Search Engine Land, 58 percent of Americans use the internet to find answers on health, education, career and government questions. There’s even a search engine that’s designed specifically for questions: Ask.com.
Because of the popularity surrounding question-based searches, many entrepreneurs are building profit-generating Q&A websites. Basically, this involves creating a website, usually for a specific niche, and filling it with frequently asked questions and answers. When someone searches for a question listed on the site, they may stumble upon the site.
Choosing a Niche
The first step in launching a Q&A site is choosing a niche. Some webmasters make the mistake of covering all topics on their site, believing this will yield more traffic. The problem with this method, however, is the stiff competition you’ll face. An easier and more effective solution is to design your site around a specific niche, such as health, fitness or business. You can even choose a more narrow niche like skincare health or exercise for seniors.
In order for this tactic succeed, you’ll need to monetize your Q&A site. There are dozens of different monetization options, each of which has its advantages and disadvantages.
Some of the most common ways to monetize Q&A sites include the following:
Private Ad Sales: this involves selling ad space to advertisers and business owners. Private ad sales can be particularly lucrative if your site is built around a profitable niche. However, it’s also tedious to manage, making it a poor choice for newcomers.
Google AdSense: an easier and more hands-off way to monetize your site is AdSense. You display ads on behalf of Google advertisers, for which you earn money when someone clicks those ads.
Affiliate Offers: another option is to advertise affiliate products or services on your site. Known as affiliate marketing, you receive a commission when someone buys the advertised product or service, or when someone takes a desired action.
Search Engine Optimization
In addition to monetizing your Q&A site, you should also optimize it for higher search rankings. As you probably know, the higher your site ranks, the more traffic it will receive. And regardless of how you intend to monetize it, traffic translates into revenue.
Search engine optimization (SEO) involves building links and using the appropriate on-page tactics to encourage higher rankings for one or more keywords. Think about which keywords are closely related to your site’s niche and use them in your SEO strategy. When building backlinks, try to incorporate those keywords as the anchor text.
The bottom line is that you can make money with Q&A sites. It’s a safe, time-tested method that can prove highly lucrative when done correctly. Just remember to choose an appropriate niche, monetize your site and optimize it for higher search rankings. Following this otherwise simple recipe will set you on the path for success.