This tutorial is a 5000 word count on how to create and start a successful revenue sharing website like hubpages, wizzley, infobarrel and xomba using Google adsense monetization, Amazon and other affiliate marketing networks like eBay and Shareasale.
The following are briefs and requirements:
- An initial start up cost/set up cost of approximately USD100-220 for the first year
- A mobile WordPress theme design template, inbuilt with revenue sharing plugin
- A classy domain name; registration of the name
- Cot effective webhosting server that allows you to scale up your growth as traffic increases
- WordPress installation and configuration
- Serious hard work, plus detailed awareness
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Introduction – 10 things you need To Know
- Getting your own design- templates like hubpages
- Domain name and webhosting
- Using WordPress- Installation and Configuration
- Practical set up guidelines and instructions / revenue sharing plugins
- Creating account for writers and set up for the dummy writers
- Getting indexed – Google search console
- Studying Data – Google Analytics
Success Tips / Promotion/ Marketing
- Secrets of hubpages and others
- Publishing quality, evergreen, helpful articles and contents
- Advertisement – Google Adwords
- Guest blogging – Research, give yourself milestone (e.g.100 guest posts)
- Build a team
- Using Social Media for Network and Promotion
10 things you need To Know
The following are top 10 hard core truths you need to know before starting your own form of revenue sharing website.
- Work Hard
Starting a revenue sharing website with the aim of getting successful requires lots of hard work, sacrifice and commitment. You will need to take it as a serious business and commit lots of working hours into its development.
Conclusion: Work hard and work smart!!
- Invest Upfront
The starting cost of setting up this type of online niche ranges from USD150- USD200 per year, and the cost covers primarily the domain and web hosting; plus the purchase of premium professional looking WordPress themes (these are the basic starting cost).
However, you will need to invest upfront in terms of running Google Adwords, and making payment for guest posting. These are the basic starting developmental cost.
- Make a Plan
It is important you have a short term and long term plan. Part of the long term plan involves having at the back of your mind that you are not going to make income (return on investment, ROI) for the next 6 months to 1 year.
So, the question is, will the business still stands and running?
But within this time frame, know that you should keep on working hard, publishing quality contents etc.
- Build a Team
Yes, you heard me right; I want to take the issue of Paul Edmondson into context. He started hubpages right from a garage with a team (about 2-4 of them, including his wife) and today, the business is the biggest revenue sharing website in the world with revenues exceeding 10 million dollars in a year.
You may not have the money to start big, however, you can start with your wife, boyfriend or girlfriend or a friend that believes in your dream and vision.
The truth here is: Do not start alone, have a partner in starting; you need it to get daily encouragement, inspiration and motivation.
- Build it to a satisfactory level First before…
Have you ever wondered why most investors do not buy into your projects, dream and visions? It is because you have not started.
When you want to start this type of niche online business, you need to:
- Start everything first with your team and make sure the site is running already
- Make sure you have nothing less than 200 quality articles, white paper contents and top notch posts on the website already.
The reason is because quality writers will not join you unless they see that the site is already successful and money is being made on it.
These are some of the secrets of hubpages that I am sharing with you; Wizzley also copied this model, incorporating Squidoo (now defunct, hubpages bought it) strategies in their own style.
Once you have done this, you can start inviting writers and run Google Adwords, promoting your revenue sharing website etc.
- Get Dummy Writers
This is a strategic trick to help you accelerate and speed up your success rate. This trick will also assist you in getting quality writers fast.
This is how it works:
- Get at least 20 (twenty) dummy writers
- This should be done after you have already published 200 quality articles earlier mentioned.
- Create profile for them with fake pictures and description. Make it real as if they are real writers.
- Now, for each dummy writer, assign 2-5 articles to each; as if they are the ones that wrote and published them.
- In essence, we are talking about having an additional 40-100 articles aside the main 200 articles
Once you do this, then you are ripe to start inviting people and open the site to the global public to start joining and contributing.
- Definition of the Quality Articles
If you aim to be successful, then you will need to work hard, starting with the articles and contents first.
Your articles and contents must:
- The least word count for each published article should be nothing less than 1500 word. This means it should not be 500 word count, 700, or even 1000 word count.
- For each article, have at least two (2) videos and 3-5 quality pictures
- The pictures/images to use should be original, do not use any image already in existence on the internet. Do not use any image from Google images.
- Your contents should be free from plagiarism, should be non – duplicate; in essence, it should be a pure original content.
To avoid grammatical error, I recommend the use of Grammarly; it helps check your articles for error and corrects them automatically.
- No Profits in 6 months After Launch
I earlier mentioned on the importance of having a plan (especially long term plan). Even after launching the site (with the nearly 300 quality articles), expect no reasonable income in the first six months to one year.
This is because it takes time for a new site to get matured and loved by the search engines. So, in essence, do not feel tired or disappointed if you are making little money.
I honestly advise that you should not look for profit after launching; so your long term plan should cover this temporal setback.
- Have the Articles Ready
This has proven to work very well for me. When I am about to launch a new blog or site that is content driven, I use to have the articles ready.
This is what I mean:
For example, for the 300 quality articles; have them already written and saved on your computer, hard drive, external hard drive or storage device.
So, when you launch the site, publish all the articles within one week; then sit, relax and watch the search engines do their work.
This method works very well because instead of writing and publishing 1-3 articles per week every day, you may get bored and secondly, search engines gives credit and authority to a rich/full websites.
Tap into this experience of mine and implement my suggestion!!
- Brand Your Site
Hubpages is a brand, recognized globally; wizzley is a brand, mostly popular in Europe ( Germany in particular); These mega websites have presence on major social networking websites and even they all have physical offices , with their office items bearing their brands.
For your long term success, you need to turn the site into a brand that will be respected for its uniqueness, style, vision and purpose.
For example, the name of your site should be unique, short and memorable; the same name should also be used as your domain name. The same name should also be used to open free accounts for your Facebook page, LinkedIn, twitter, Google+ and on Instagram.
Getting WordPress Themes – Design Concept
We are going to be making use of WordPress software in the designing concept; WordPress is the world’s leading open source software and it is the best software for a content management system (CMS).
Because you will be running a revenue sharing website, the site is a multidimensional site and as such, it requires a robust, solid and secure CMS (Content management software) and only WordPress can guarantee us what we need.
Now, for the design, we will be making use of professionally designed premium WordPress themes (templates); these themes are mobile responsive (an important factor in search engine rankings)
You do not have to know how to design or write codes; your major requirement to run this kind of online niche business is to be able to write.
These themes need to be purchased and the cost varies from USD45-USD120; I recommend the following companies from where you can buy these templates.
The following are examples of recommended templates. The most important thing you should consider is the SEO ability of the template.
Check out these themes, view many demos as possible and make purchase for the perfect template you know is suitable for your project.
After the purchase, you will need to download a file known as the ZIP file on your PC or laptop. How to use this file to design the site is explained below. Keep on reading.
Note: One thing you should understand is that having the exact design like hubpages and wizzley may not be possible and if possible, I would not want you to go in that direction because of branding disadvantages.
Domain name and webhosting
Let me be practical with this explanation:
Hubpages.com, wizzley.com, xomba.com, rsadaily.com, ewn.co.za, google.ca, google.com; are all examples of what is called a domain name.
You are going to be doing the same thing, you will need a domain name that will tally with your goals and aspirations.
Your domain name should be unique and slick; just take inspiration from the likes I mentioned above, then come out with various domain name ideas.
But, there’s a challenge!!
The challenge is that getting a domain name is so difficult because most names you think you can use have already been bought and registered.
To get started, you will need to start checking various names for their availability and you can only do that using the Bluehost domain name checker below.
Once you get a name that you can use for the domain name, please do not waste time, you need to register immediately because in the next few minutes, it may be gone (thousands and even millions of people are currently online trying to do what you are doing).
Once you secure the name, the next step is to host the name and actually get your site into operation.
You can go online, open hubpages.com, wizzley.com and they open; the process of getting them online is because they are presently hosted. This is the concept of website hosting.
Your domain name is without value because you cannot type ‘yourdomainname.com’ on the browser or on your phone and it opens!! It is because it is yet to be hosted.
I recommend the use of Bluehost both for the domain name registration and hosting of the name because:
- Bluehost is very much reliable, I use them for all my blogs and websites ( including all my clients)
- Their packages are economically friendly
- Again, because of DNS , it is advisable to host your domain name from where you bought it from
The company, Bluehost is a reputable company and they handle everything for you in the background.
The domain name registration and webhosting occurs at the same time; option will be displayed to you if you want to host the domain name. I highly encourage you to host your domain name and chose 3 years package.
Note: As your website increases in traffic, you can simply upgrade your plan. As a starter, it is better you start and manage your cost. What is the point of paying USD25-USD70 per month on other webhosting company as a starter??
With Bluehost, you get USD3.5 per month and a free domain name registration (saving you the fee of domain name i.e. approximately USD15 )
Using WordPress- Installation and Configuration
Congratulations on the purchase of your hosting package and the domain name registration, we are now going into the full technical set up and designing phase.
After the successful hosting package, the system guides you on the installation and configuration of WordPress software (this will power the site).
Follow the instructions below:
- You will need to create a password for your account
- After this, you will be guided on the selection of a template to use (I always advise to skip this section because those templates are not the ideal template, and besides, you have already purchased the template you are actually going to use)
- Click on the WordPress software to commence building the site ( click on the W logo)
- Now, you will be brought to the dashboard of your site, from where you can start doing everything you need to do.
- Click on business and then launch it
After this, the next stage is the beginning of work, from where you will set up the site and get ready for business.
Practical set up guidelines and instructions
Remember, your goal and focus is running a successful revenue sharing website, this means that the set up will be a little bit different from a normal content farm site or CMS built site.
We are going to be configuring the site in this stage and I want you to carefully follow the instructions and guidelines.
- WordPress themes upload and designing
- FrontPage Design and configuration
- Header and footer, including Logo
- Permalinks Configuration
- WordPress Plugins and Installation
- Revenue sharing WordPress plugins
- Category and Page Settings
- Menu Settings
- Widget settings
Step 5 (1)
WordPress themes upload and designing
You remember the template (WordPress themes) I earlier advised you to purchase, now is the time to use and work on it and the first step is to upload it.
If you have not bought any template, I recommend you check out the listed designs at the beginning of this tutorial or check the companies below for your preference.
To upload the theme, follow this steps:
- Go to themes and click on ‘Add themes’ ( you will see themes under appearance at the left hand side of the dashboard)
- On the themes page, ignore the themes shown to you, we are going to upload the template you bought, click on upload and locate the ZIP files you have downloaded
- After 7 minutes, the upload should be completed, click on install and activate.
- Click save, refresh your homepage and the new design will be displayed.
Demo Upload and configuration
If you want your site to look like the template you bought, you are going to import the demo from the ZIP file you downloaded; to achieve this, follow the instruction below:
- You should have unloaded, install and activated the themes already
- Go to your dashboard page, locate import (on left hand side of same dashboard); now, click on the plugin for import on the import page, the plugin will be installed and activated ( ignore any warning message because this task is just temporary)
- After the activation, the plugin will ask for the source of what you intend to import
- Go to your purchased ZIP file, unzip the file and locate demo.xml or just .xml; this is the demo file you are going to import
- Instruct the plugin to import this demo and give all references to the admin
- After 1-2 minutes, the operation will be done and completed; check your homepage and it will display the same lookalike image of the template (image may not show, you will have to upload the images manually).
The imported demo contains all the settings you ought to have done manually, what you will do is to simply edit and change some settings to your own concept and desire. E.g. the pages, categories etc.
I encourage you to watch the demo video below:
Step 5 (2)
FrontPage Design and configuration
The FrontPage is the gateway to everything on your site; I recommend you make use of the demo to make things easier for you.
Now, for the FrontPage, it is important you set everything perfect, including pictures, videos and navigation alright. Take a look at the homepage of both hubpages and wizzley.
Please note: any function you need e.g. ratings etc; just look for the plugin for that function and install it. I will explain further below.
You can edit and set up your FrontPage using:
- The widget settings
- Menu Settings
- FrontPage itself
The Widget is the most important out of them all because it is the actual and real engine room to a WordPress powered website. All elements and guidelines to do and achieve anything on your site is being listed with precision on the widget. Explanation further below.
The Menu settings makes it possible to set up your menu because the menu is the navigation board to the pages, categories and other elements on your site. Explanation on t he menu and widget is further below.
The FrontPage itself is more than enough to edit, simply look out for the edit icon at the top of the FrontPage and you can carry out any task you want.
Step 5 (3)
Header and footer, including Logo
The header houses the logo, brief description etc.; the footer contains links to pages about the whole site. Both the header and footer are located at the top and bottom of the site respectively.
Take a look at hubpages and try to copy out their own style in terms of their header and footer (especially the footer).
The logo can be edited and created from the widget settings. Everything you need to do on the header and footer can all be done from the widget settings. Just study and observe the default dimensions and adjust your own logo to that.
Step 5 (4)
Since you are going to be running a CMS (Content management system) sort of website, it is important you adjust the default permalink settings to an SEO friendly settings.
The explanation and definition of permalinks is best illustrated by the image below:
To change the settings, follow the guideline below:
From the settings, change the default settings to a ‘name based URL structure settings’; click save and exit the page.
Step 5 (5)
WordPress Plugins and Installation
WordPress software is used, recommended and versatile not just because of the software but primarily because of what is called Plugins.
WordPress plugins give strength and life to WordPress; without them, WP (WordPress is powerless and stays ordinary). In essence, it is important to install WordPress plugins on your site. The following are basic plugins needed:
- Yoast SEO plugin: Handles search engine optimization issues.
- W3 Total Cache: makes your site to be extremely fast.
- Akismet Plugin: Recommended to keep spam at bay.
- Jetpack plugin (This plugin has multifunctional task, including social media, site statistics and even the creation of a contact form for your contact page).
- Sumo plugin: Excellent for social media button integration. it is also responsive
- Real time (online) chat plugin: You can have this plugin as an administrator so that people and writers that want to join your site can talk and contact you in real time. It is a highly recommended plugin to increase your conversions.
On some revenue sharing website who depends on Google AdSense monetization method, there is 60/40 percentage of revenue formula and on some, they tend to give the writers/contributors 80% or even 100% of the revenue.
It all depends on the marketing/revenue generating formula you want for yourself. But this is my point of argument, you can give your writers 70% or even more of Google AdSense impressions and you take lesser values but your own primary method of making money will be by affiliate marketing and on this method, the writers won’t have the privilege.
To do this, the following plugins are recommended you install:
- Ecommerce /Woocommerce plugin – You can sell items directly on the site.
- Easy Digital Download plugin (You will be able to sell eCopies of books, music, video etc. You get your money through PayPal. This is my favorite plugin for anything ecommerce.
- Amazon Affiliate Plugin: You will be able to insert Amazon codes on the site as an affiliate marketer, but first, make sure you have signed up and registered for this services.
- eBay plugin: Does the same concept like above; you are advised to have already registered on the site. You will need to install and integrate 2 plugins I will mention here: https://wordpress.org/plugins/auction-nudge/ and https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-lister-for-ebay/
Now, to the big question, how do I create the sharing formula? and how do I install these plugins? ( just continue reading)
Step 5 (6)
Revenue sharing WordPress plugins
The use of specialized plugins solves this issue and the installation/activation is very much easy because it is not rocket science; you do not need to start writing any programming codes, all you are going to be doing is to use recommended revenue sharing WordPress plugins.
Recommended ones are listed below:
- Author Advertising Plugin : ( https://wordpress.org/plugins/author-advertising-plugin/)
- Post Pay Counter ( highly recommended)..https://wordpress.org/plugins/post-pay-counter/
From my own experience, it is better to use the plugin you are going to pay for; using a free plugin for this task gives you some limitations.
Post Pay Counter Revenue sharing plugin
This is the best plugin for this niche business; the Post Pay counter plugin allows you to pay writers on your blog either through Google Adsense revenue sharing or by the number of posts they have written and published on your site.
The beauty of this plugin is that you can keep track of all published posts and also monitors each writer. It also have the added advantage of allowing you to pay though PayPal.
The free version ( https://wordpress.org/plugins/post-pay-counter/) should be okay but if you are really serious about your business, I recommend you go for the PRO version.
Watch the video below on how to install and get this plugin to work excellently well for you plus the sharing formula of revenue generated.
If you use the recommended plugin, you will just go to the settings and adjust the sharing formula with the cookie settings.
The same concept applies to the writers; once they accept to write on your website; they will have a profile. Now, on their profile settings page, they will need to insert their Adsense code into the provided box and everything will be automated.
However, because there are so many plugins for different functions, so if you need any function I have not listed in the above lists, simply check out for such at www.wordpress.org, check under plugins and search using keyword.
On how to install and activate plugins, just watch the video below:
Step 5 (7)
Category and Page Settings
A revenue sharing website is a multidimensional website because there are so many topics being discussed and published.
And because of the task involved, it is important you create lots of categories from which writers can publish their specified articles.
Example of categories includes: technology, internet, website, fashion, entertainment, history, politics, construction, gardening, oil and gas, religion, automobiles, building, construction, furniture etc.
To create a category is simple, follow the steps below ( and the image above):
- From your dashboard, by the left hand side, you will see the link for category, click on it
- On the category page, give the category a name (e.g. technology) and click on publish/save
- Exit the page, the category will be created.
- Repeat this process for all types of category you want to create.
The articles you will be publishing are called posts; they are different from a page stands for. A page is a standalone page with no comment feature and sometimes no featured image, however, a page is more powerful than a post because it is not:
- Time dependent
- Can be used as a landing page
- Has more SEO strength than ordinary post
For your type of sites, there are important pages you should create to avoid Google AdSense penalty and so many other legal issues. They are;
- Write for us
- DMCA – This is very much important because of Google AdSense TOS ( terms of service)
- Disclosure – Very important – should be disclosed to visitors
All these pages should be noindexed and nofollow (SEO stuff); you will see the option to make them noindex and nofollow when you are publishing each. Only make the ‘About’ and ‘write for us’ pages indexed by Google i.e. they should be indexed and dofollow.
To create a page, follow the steps below
- On your dashboard, locate ‘page’, click on ‘Add new page’
- On the page, give it a title, write what you want to write about, give it a featured image (optional) and click on publish.
Step 5 (8)
Now, your menu should not be clustered or looking disorganized; the menu is the gateway of navigation to all the pages and elements on the site. You will find your menu on the header, on the menu, you will see ffeatures like home, about, contact etc.
From my expert recommendation, do not put any category on your primary menu (the menu just below the header); only put the important pages there .e.g. about, write for us, contact advertisement, DMCA. For other pages, you put them in the footer.
The menu is made up of two essential parts:
- Primary menu
- Secondary menu
You will need to set your menu using pages, posts and categories on your site (again, I recommend only pages).
Step 5 (9)
I mentioned it more than two times that the widget is the most important element of the WordPress dashboard because with it, you can control, manage, edit and control virtually all aspects of the site.
From the header to the footer settings, sidebars adjustment, and FrontPage editing and monetization settings; everything you need to turn around your site is all embedded inside the widgets.
You just have to be diligent and study the widgets very well to know which item to move and follow the instructions that came with the purchased themes (templates).
The above are the full guidelines on the practical step by step task you need to do for setting up the site design, architecture and even the SEO features.
Creating account for writers and set up for the dummy writers
I earlier mentioned this strategy in creating dummy writers so as to fast track your growth, development and more writers coming in. In addition, you will also create account for genuine writers that shows up interest. I will explain how you can handle both aspect:
Let me start with the dummy writers first;
- Still inside the WordPress dashboard, scroll down towards the left hand side and locate ‘users’
- Click on it and you will be taken to the users page, fill in dummy information and under the type of privileges, select ‘contributors/writers, come up with dummy description (of course, it should be a reasonable description), upload dummy picture etc.
- Save and exit the page.
- Go to the email you provided and activate the account
- Now, when you go to the email you provided (it should be a real email because WordPress will send the login details there, including password for that particular dummy writer).
- Now, you have to publish 2-5 articles for the dummy writer. To do that, you will need to sign out and sign in as that writer.
To do that, on your browser, type http://www.nameofyoursite.com/wp-admin/ or https://www.nameofyoursite.com/wp-admin/ (depending whether you are using an SSL certificate, the ‘S’ after the http makes the difference).
Login with the writers details and you publish the post; do this for all your dummy writers.
Now, for your original writers that will come to you or join you, there are two ways:
- On the website, have a link that says, JOIN US, WRITE FOR US, SIGN UP, REGISTER etc ( you can make use of content submission plugins or rather front end submission plugins). Read my article on how to build a video website and also on how to run a viral website.
- This link should be a page you created and published. It should contain all the benefits and requirements expected of a writer. It should also contain a contact form where they fill in the information, they send you an email through it, and you get the email, open an account for them and send them the details.
- I love this approach because it will help you weed out or checkmate low quality writers.
Getting indexed – Google search console
The bitter and honest truth is that for you to achieve success, especially monetary success, you need Google and other search engines. But Google is the main deal!!!
You will need to get indexed on Google through the Google search console. To do that, follow this guideline:
- Open a free Gmail account, specifically for this purpose
- Go to google.com/console/ and register your website there; you will be required to verify and activate your account. Just watch the video below on how to verify your website on Google search console.
- Once your account is verified, you will need to submit a sitemap of your site (you can create a sitemap using the Yoast SEO plugin I listed above, just click on the settings of the plugin, locate sitemap and follow the on-screen instructions).
- When creating the sitemap, because your site is more than one user, you will need to follow the instruction and read the guidelines with precision. Do not make mistake in creating the sitemap.
- Submit your sitemap and also make use of the ‘fetch as’ features.
Once you do this, you are all set for organic traffic through the internet
Studying Data – Google Analytics
After a month of publishing the over 200 articles/post I recommended, you will need to start studying the data you have through Google.
This is important because your data contains lots of unseen goldmine!!
To do that, you also need to get your website on Google analytics; to do that, follow the steps below:
- Using the same new Gmail account, go to google.com/analytics/ and open an analytics account.
- Get your account verified and start studying your data; I recommend you watch the video below on how to get this done.
Success Tips / Promotion / Marketing
Secrets of hubpages and others
I was surprised when I read that Paul Edmondson borrowed 1 million dollars to kickstart hubpages from an angel investor. After a while, I think 3 years after they started and he declared 10 million dollar profits for that single year, then my initial surprise was wiped off.
However, you do not have to go in that direction, Angel investors will come to you once it is becoming successful. Bulk of those money were for programming and designing, however, you are not using any programmer because you are using WordPress (that time, WordPress was not available).
The core secrets of hubpages success are:
- Paul Edmondson and his team worked very hard ( I mean very hard, they worked round the clock, probably 20 hours out of 24 hours).
- Studying data and implementing positive changes derived from the data (this really skyrocketed their organic growth)
- Their campaign was ‘Content is King; Paul and his team focused ‘on evergreen, quality articles; your articles must be superb, professionally written and free of duplicate contents.
- They invested in advertisement, especially Google Adwords
The above are their secrets and if you really wants to be successful like hubpages, then you should implement their success strategies and also implement all the tips/advise I gave on 10 things you need to know.
The following points are suggested tips on how to run a successful revenue sharing websites.
Publishing quality, evergreen, helpful articles and contents
Imbibe the slogan ‘Content is King’; make your article to be unique, entertaining, informative and educative.
Take time out to make research about a topic before you start writing. Dig deeper on any article, publish articles that are better than the same topics already published on other websites.
Guest blogging is a must. You must give yourself a target on number of quality blog posts you will publish on other top quality websites/blogs.
Your aim is to get high DA (domain authority) dofollow backlinks from your guest blogging campaigns.
My honest recommendation is this:
- Make sure you have a target of nothing less than 100 top quality guest blogs
- To do this all by yourself may be difficult, invest some money to quality freelance writers to guest blog for you on top quality sites/blogs
- Your focus is the acquisition of dofollow backlinks.
Advertisement – Google Adwords
Invest little money on Google Adwords e.g. USD5-10 per day.
Using Social Media for Network and Promotion
I do not need to start explaining this aspect. However, you will need to open free account and get active on Facebook and twitter ( twitter is the most powerful network because of its relevance to SEO) and also Google+
Get active on them by having followers/fans/likes and circles
I hope this tutorial is well detailed and self-explanatory; if you need any assistance/support, kindly reach out to me.