Okay, I need your 100% honest advice

16 replies
I'm a longtime content creator (10+ years) and recently launched an all-new layout for my largest website yet: Di Franco University

I have a fairly large following online, but I'm having a hard time making money from the site. I'm a big believer in giving away my content for free and generating revenue through affiliate links, such as Amazon and Bluehost -- which works occasionally. I'm already making money through my YouTube videos, but I would like to ramp things up on my website.

Where do you recommend taking things? I understand my audience very well, so I don't want to oversell to them. I would like to approach this carefully. Maybe Facebook advertising?

Any advice is greatly appreciated!

Thank you.
#100% #advice #affiliate marketing #bluehost affiliate #content creator #honest #making money on amazon #website advice
  • Profile picture of the author Mark Singletary
    I spent a few minutes on your site and have no clue what it's about, what you want me to do, or what you are trying to help me with.

    I see you have a couple courses but then your articles are all over the place and most have nothing to do with the courses. For example, the newest Nintendo, canceling your Comcast account, and Super Mario have what in common with your "university courses about starting with Youtube or building a website?

    If you paid to advertise I would still be lost and wind up leaving and you'd be out the click fee.

    Maybe, as you say, you know your audience well and I'm just not your audience.

    I'm not trying to be negative in any way - I'm just lost as to what your goals are, what you want me to do, how you can help me, etc. so I took the easy way out and left to do something else.

    Good luck.
    Mark
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  • Profile picture of the author Karl Karrlander
    I agree with Mark, within the first 7 seconds I as a viewer must be able to know what you want from me.

    My first thoughts when I saw your site?

    "Okay, there's some courses, it has university written in places so he's teaching something. I can enroll, but to what? Does it cost anything? Discover what? Learn what? Apply how?"

    See what happened? Within 7-10 seconds I had at least 4 questions related to 1 topic:

    What's his site about?

    Once you click on the "courses" tab I can see that you teach how to become a YouTuber and create a website, which answers all 4 questions in a matter of 2 seconds. But a majority of visitors who land on your home page will leave due to an unclear approach, and won't even bother clicking on other tabs in the header menu.

    Even the focus title and text in your "articles" tab is very unclear on what I can learn. Articles added every week, on what? Scroll down and I see the answer, but if someone's viewing your site on a mobile device they won't see the articles first, just the focus title. Again, here's another opportunity for people to leave due to uncertainty.

    In conclusion, my biggest concern, without reading your posts or content, is an unclear message in what you want the viewers to do. Here's a quick rundown of what do to:

    1. Change the text on the homepage to something related to building YouTube channels and websites. Ask them a question like this:

    "Having a tough time building a website? In my free course I cover this step by step so that you can have your site set up in a matter of hours"

    Naturally you'll want to tweak this but the premise should be to identify a problem, address that issue, offer a solution to that problem.

    2. If you want to make money on your site you'll want to zoom in on a specific problem or roadblock bloggers, YouTubers and entrepreneurs are experiencing. Post relevant, step by step guides on solving said problem, don't even bother with news about iPads or 3 sites worth trying.

    3. Get introduced to the concept of a sales funnel, check out these links for more information on marketing and sales funnels:

    https://www.smartpassiveincome.com/a...eting-funnels/

    https://www.leadpages.net/blog/how-t...-sales-funnel/

    Other than that, here's some things you do good:

    1. Your site is beautiful, very clean, structured and easy to look at.
    2. You have good imagery across the board.

    Did I miss anything? I guess the most important thing to do right now is to make sure that you deliver a clear-cut message the moment people land on your site. And do not forget to add an opt in button to your email list on your home page, it's the first thing they should look at!

    Let me know if this was helpful!

    Regards,

    Karl
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  • Profile picture of the author Rose Anderson
    I have to agree with Karl and Mark. It seems too broad.

    Who is your audience? How will you help them?

    If you ran a Facebook ad who would you target?

    Do you want to help entrepreneurs with the tech side of their business?

    Do you want to help older adults struggling with tech?

    We need to see how you can help us.

    Rose
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  • Profile picture of the author Janice Sperry
    Ditto all the above...

    You have a link to the Amazon affiliate disclosure rules but you do not actually follow their ToS yourself.

    5. Identifying Yourself as an Associate
    You must clearly state the following on your Site or any other location where Amazon may authorize your display or other use of Content: "We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites."

    It is too late now but there is some controversy over using the title "University" when an organization is not actually an accredited university.

    Even your "About" page leaves me confused. Am I going to go to your "university" to learn about beekeeping, vegetable gardening, blogging, website building, YouTube marketing... or what?
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  • Profile picture of the author ryanbiddulph
    I see a money/mental block David; fearing selling to your audience. Or, fearing you will oversell to them. If they love what you have to offer they will buy it. I sell a new eBook every 2 weeks; my readers love what I have to offer so they buy the eBooks. It is only money.

    Your site looks clean and neat. Now it is time to ramp things up. Move away from affiliate offerings. Create products. Write and self-publish eBooks. Offer consulting services. Save eBooks, products and consulting are big ticket items. Run with 'em.

    I do agree with Mark's take; your following is big and responsive which is awesome but to a new visitor (aka me) I have no idea what you do or how you benefit me when I look at your home page. No specifics. Your name, your university, and how it was built on self-experience.

    Get hyper specific. Explain specifically how you benefit readers (your niche, your expertise, etc). Get really clear. This is one path to growing your community, to targeting readers and to effectively monetizing your site.
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  • Profile picture of the author James Foster
    "I'm a big believer in giving away my content for free and generating revenue through affiliate links" .... might be time to change your beliefs.
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    • Profile picture of the author ryanbiddulph
      As I like to say James....it is only money We get caught up in the idea of money being finite, limited, or worst of all, something that folks will not spend until some imaginary point. I spend money every day for whatever I need. Good point here.

      Give content away for free. Give even more away for a premium. This is how to build a thriving business.
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve L
    Originally Posted by daviddifranco View Post

    I'm a longtime content creator (10+ years) and recently launched an all-new layout for my largest website yet: Di Franco University

    I have a fairly large following online, but I'm having a hard time making money from the site. I'm a big believer in giving away my content for free and generating revenue through affiliate links, such as Amazon and Bluehost -- which works occasionally. I'm already making money through my YouTube videos, but I would like to ramp things up on my website.

    Where do you recommend taking things? I understand my audience very well, so I don't want to oversell to them. I would like to approach this carefully. Maybe Facebook advertising?

    Any advice is greatly appreciated!

    Thank you.
    You're limited relying on affiliate programs IMO. At some point you're gonna want to learn how to develop products of some kind. You could also look for new types of content platforms experimenting with new types of payouts.
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  • Profile picture of the author superowid
    Show your-self up with videos. Be a youtuber for IM. Make your own show like a late night show talking about everything you want that your audiences will thank you for and happily click your affiliate links you provide in your funnel. Good luck!
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  • Profile picture of the author Kira blue
    I think since you do youtube make a youtube video about your business and that may help you out a little more
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  • Profile picture of the author Evelyninusa
    I agree with the other commenters. If the big black area at the top of your home page stated what the training is about (ie YouTube) and what it will do for them (learn how to use YouTube to make money, or whatever it is), then visitors will know exactly what you are offering.
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  • Profile picture of the author SEOMystery
    I want to comment about the website name, the name is a bit confusing and not related to the content. For instance when I first read the name "Di Franco University" I thought it is an actual University where students can apply to join.

    The name is very important you should pick an obvious and catchy name (like: Web Development 101) and clear slogan (ex: self learning online courses). You should pick the name after finding a good domain name first which by itself well help a lot in search engine ranking (domain name still have strong impact of google search results)
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  • Profile picture of the author Kurt
    I would be very careful about using the word "university" in your business name, without first consulting with a lawyer in your state.


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  • Profile picture of the author daviddifranco
    Thank you for the AWESOME responses, everyone! Really, I appreciate it very much. A little additional info, including what I've learned from your advice:

    • Di Franco University primarily targets my existing audience, hence why I chose to brand the website based on my personality and experience.

    • I agree, the website needs to explain itself better. I'm going to start by refocusing the banner text on the homepage. Newcomers need to have a better idea of what DFU has to offer.

    • At the moment, the "Articles" page seems like a random selection of content. I'm going to better organize it by displaying post categories.

    • I'm looking to take better advantage of my newsletter, which currently has almost 1,800 subscribers. I think that's the best 'advertising' to start with.

    Again, thank you! Your feedback is definitely valuable. I'm saving this thread for reference.
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  • Profile picture of the author King Ahmed
    you can use adsense for making money through traffic.
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  • Profile picture of the author ryanbiddulph
    Wanted to add kudos to you for being such a persistent value provider. 10 years of creating content ain't nothing to sneeze at.
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    Ryan Biddulph inspires you to be a successful blogger with his courses, 100 plus eBooks, audio books and blog at Blogging From Paradise
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