- A Database
- A Review Website
- A “Wiki” About a Certain Topic
- A Q&A Site
The exact number of websites on the internet is changing every second, but we do know that it’s well above a billion. Even with all those websites out there, it can seem like there aren’t many types of websites to choose from when you’re thinking about operating a website. In the digital publishing world, there’s a huge emphasis on lifestyle or blog-type websites, but your options for monetizing a website don’t end there!
There are many ad partners across the web with strict requirements on website types that limit alternative types of websites from monetizing. Ezoic works with all sorts of websites, so long as they follow Google’s core policy requirements. With that in mind, here are four types of websites you can monetize if running a blog just isn’t for you.
Let’s first define what we mean by a database website. There are many queries that would best be answered by a short, simple piece of data, rather than a whole article or how-to piece. Some examples of sites that include databases would be websites storing historical weather data or websites where you can search for a phone number or address.
A database is not always an approach people think of to monetize a website, because there is so much dialogue about creating original content, which we associate with “blogging.” However, a database could be a great niche to fall into for a few reasons.
Take the example of Brian May, one of our VIP publishers. Brian May is based in Georgia and operates www.npinumberlookup.org. His site, npinumberlookup.org, acts as a database for NPI numbers, which are numbers that are used to identify different healthcare providers. He bought the site and identified where it was underperforming to “flip” it to be more successful. For more about May’s story with his site, you can check out this YouTube interview we conducted with him in 2020.
In his interview, May revealed some of the biggest reasons for his success and how he was successfully able to monetize his database website:
- First, it’s consistent. For NPI numbers, May understood that this was evergreen and would be something people will likely need to search for a long time. That means that traffic will also be consistent.
- Second, it’s pretty low-maintenance. Instead of creating new content and checking regularly to update SEO, you just need to make sure that your website is working and current. As far as “passive income” goes, this is pretty passive because once the site is running, you don’t have to do much to continue gaining traffic.
A Review Website
In a recent Twitter poll we ran, 18% of respondents said that coming up with the ideas for content is the most challenging aspect of creating content.
With a review website, you usually have to pick your niche and then produce lots of content within that niche to keep your site going. In this model, the struggle of finding content is lessened, because you know the relative type of content you’ll be working with.
To define what we mean by a “review site,” we’re talking about websites that pick a certain type of product or niche and come up with different variations of reviews on that product.
For example, our publisher James Thomas, owner of Allthewallets.com posts reviews and news on all things wallets. Based in the United Kingdom, James has built the largest “authority site, eCommerce store and forum dedicated to my niche.” This is one of the benefits of running a review site – if it is specific like James’ site, you have the potential to be the top authority on that specific topic.
Thomas’ website features everything from detailed reviews on wallets to information on specific brands, even featuring a quiz to help match the audience member to their perfect wallet.
The main reasons we like review sites as potentials for monetization are:
- You have near-endless content within your niche to iterate on, making it easier to come up with ideas and create content.
- You have the potential to rank and be a top authority in your specific niche more easily than you might in another niche.
A “Wiki” About a Certain Topic
Similar to a review website, “Wiki” websites based on a specific topic allow publishers to build enormous authority and create a plethora of content ideas.
When we’ve written articles about gaining topical authority in the past, a “wiki” about a certain topic takes a similar strategy. The idea here is that you take all the relevant information around a specific topic and become a go-to site for that topic.
Surprise, surprise, we have another example site!
Pigeonpedia.com is a site run by our Level 4 Publisher Dan Richardson. He identified a gap in content on the internet about pigeons specifically, and then structured his content around all things pigeons.
Some monetization benefits of a “wiki” style site based on pigeons are the following:
- You have a huge depth of content available to write about. The further in-depth you can get, the better, which keeps you from having to come up with a huge array of content ideas.
- Similar to the reviews site, with a wiki site, you can really become an established authority on this topic. In terms of SEO, you can be the go-to for all related questions on a certain breed of pigeon, for example.
A Q&A Site
A Q&A site is really a broad name for a type of site that either conducts a simple calculation or answers a simple question. A calculator website, for instance, would be an example of a Q&A site, as would a website that answers a simple query like, “words that start with A.”
These websites are extremely evergreen, and like the database sites, are pretty low maintenance once you get them up and running.
The challenge with these types of websites is identifying a gap that would be profitable for you. However, there are many places you can go to buy and sell websites (something we’ve written about here before) – these could be a good starting point for finding a “Q&A” style site.
The benefits here:
- Low maintenance – These websites basically run themselves and don’t require new content ideas.
- Consistent traffic – Like a database, these also will drive consistent traffic around the question or query you’re looking to answer.
Wrapping it all up
Our goal in presenting these alternative types of websites that you can monetize is to show that even if a blog doesn’t sound like something you could manage, you still have options within the digital publishing world. Often, the conversation is centered on lifestyle-oriented content, and we want publishers to understand that there are many more options available.
For more content on monetizing a website, head to some of our past blogs below: