If you want to turn a website into a business then really it needs to be much more than just a website. What does that mean? It means that it needs to be an empire. It needs to be an online ‘presence’ that extends through social media, through mobile and through video in order to increase your reach and visibility to the point where people can hardly avoid your site.
Likewise you should also look into adding products that you can sell and promote. This way you can make your site known in the real world, you can find ways to additionally monetise your site, and you can further turn it into a ‘movement’ rather than just a single site that viewers sometimes check out.
If you’re currently wondering what I’m talking about, then read on and let’s take a look at just how a website can become much more than it is through the use of additional products…
Adding an app to your website is a great way to extend your visibility through the Play or iTunes store. There are thousands of new users in these stores every day, and if they’re interested in your niche then they’re likely to at least see your app there which can help to increase visibility for your brand. Furthermore though, an app can be a great way to extend the capabilities of your site: it can provide a bite-sized way for readers to see your content (with alternative monetisation options) or it can provide a tool or form of entertainment that is likely to appeal to them. If your app is good enough then it can even take on a life of its own and provide an additional income stream.
Selling books from your site makes a lot of sense. Websites tend to provide content for people to read as their main selling point, so by selling a book you will simply be extending that offering. There are multiple ways you can do his too – whether you want to go the self-publishing route with LuLu or Amazon and that way sell physical books that can help to promote your site in the real world, or whether you want to sell digital books through Kindle which will again be very discoverable and great for your brand.
Creating a book for your website is also very easy, and depending on the nature of your site you may even just be able to sell a compilation of existing content with a few exclusives. If you have a fitness site then you can sell a ‘fitness bible’ that just consists of your best articles, if you have a webcomic then you can sell a ‘best of’ as a book etc.
Another option if you aren’t much of a writer is to sell a DVD from your site – which can really just be a collection of your best videos from YouTube. Alternatively if you don’t already have a YouTube channel, then you can release clips of your new DVD through a new channel and thus drum up more interest while also bringing in extra revenue.
There are countless sites that make it easy to create and sell promotional products which can include mugs, t-shirts, mousemats, lanyards, bags, caps and more. Any of these will allow your viewers to feel like they’re a ‘part’ of your site, and at the same time to provide you with free marketing every time they wear or use them. You can also use these products yourself in YouTube videos or when you’re attending events which is a great way to show off your brand and to spark conversations about your site.
Promotional goods are also highly useful for giving away as competition prizes, as free gifts, or at tradeshows which is a great way to get people on your side and talking about your company in a good way.