Many of you that have read the Grind since we started in 2011 know I began my career online in 1998 when I was 13 years old.
To continue to be successful I’ve had to Adapt, Develop, and Progress to avoid getting in a rut.
No two years have been alike and my business plans adapt on a monthly basis.
Here in 2015, a lot of things are different when it comes to making money online.
Go ahead and just drop the word “web” from your vocabulary unless you include “mobile” in front of it. We’ve seen this trend coming for a long time now, but it’s officially here.
The entire world is more connected than ever due to the rise of mobile devices and this provides Entrepreneurs around the globe almost endless amount of opportunities.
Let’s take a look at some data:
Now obviously this is only showing data from websites that use StatCounter to track their analytics. If Google Analytics made their data public, we would most likely see mobile much higher. But notice the jump from July 2014 to July 2015. Mobile up, desktop down!
Let’s take a look at Google Analytics for one of my websites:
As you can see, about 70% of my traffic is from a mobile device or tablet only 30% from desktop devices. It’s to the point now; I don’t even care what my websites look like on a desktop. The earnings and traffic ratio is so low – what’s the point?
I’m breaking records just focusing on the mobile traffic!
To do so I spend my focus on three main areas:
- Sell Services
- Direct Ad Selling
- Third Party Ad Selling
A lot of my mobile revenue comes directly from services I sell across my properties. Just like in the early 2000’s millions are being made with micro niche sites, but rather than desktop, mobile traffic. If you are able to provide a helpful, useful service, people will pay as long as you offer them a fair rate. Think outside of the box here, what are people WILLING to pay for? (hint: think passion)
Direct Ad Selling
Do you have any clue how much local personal injury attorney’s pay for a lead? Regardless if you agree with their “business practices” one or two well-qualified leads can make your day/week.
Especially if you have a loyal local audience following your property, it is in your best interest to go out and hustle some of these clients. Split test between phone (having the visitors call) vs. form field leads (capturing the visitors number/email on a form) to find your “sweet spot.”
Think about people in an “oh shit” moment. You want to target services where people need quick help right now. (hint: ever have your heat go out in the winter?)
Third Party Ad Selling
If you’re lazy or just don’t have all you ad inventory sold, make sure to use some of the third-party ad networks. There are a number of different ones for mobile web, but I highly recommend Chartboost and Admob to monetize your apps. eCPMs / fill rates with that duo are solid. Simply follow their instructions to integrate with your app. Can be setup and running in just a couple of hours, given approval time. (hint: most competitive niches have the highest paying advertisers, cough games)
Do I NEED An App Ryan?
Absolutely! A lot of Entrepreneurs start with an app first and completely neglect the mobile web. If you know how to bang out the code [or have a developer] than you can take this route as well. But by neglecting the mobile web, you’re also missing out on a nice piece of the pie.
It’s important to remember that not everyone on their mobile phones is using apps. Sure, they maybe in the Facebook or Chrome browser app, but there is still plenty of opportunities to monetize that traffic. People are also searching Google on their devices and they’re even rewarding sites that are mobile optimized.
So in conclusion, I recommend having both. All of my properties are first mobile web optimized and then based on how the traffic interacts; I develop the Android and iOS applications accordingly.
You can get started making mobile web money with a simple WordPress install and a mobile optimized theme. All you need to focus on is producing the content that will engage people.
Remember: People are spending HOURS a DAY pecking on their phones. If it’s not your site – it’s someone’s 🙂
Ryan Gray is the founder and CEO of NameHero, one of the fastest growing independent web hosts in the United States. Ryan has been working online since 1998 and has over two-decades experience in Internet Entrepreneurship.