If you’re wondering how to monetize your website content, we have the answers. Whether you just want your site to profit enough to cover its own domain hosting, or you’re looking to see a substantial income, there are several ways to do it.
In this article we’ll discuss the most popular ways of monetizing your website, and the less common ways.
Some of these take a lot more work than others, so it is important to know how much time you realistically have to dedicate to the method you choose.
Also, be sure to take into consideration how well a particular method will fit in with your website and your targeted viewers.
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How the Income is Made Online?
There are two kinds of website income, active and passive. Active income refers to income received from selling a product, or service. There are many forms of active income that you can use to monetize your website.
Most forms of active income require dedication, hard work and sometimes a start up cost on your part, but they also tend to bring in more revenue than passive forms of income. Active income relies on the quality of your product and your ability to sell it.
When done correctly, active income methods can generate a substantial income and even replace the income of a full time job.
Passive income is income you earn by doing little to no work. For example, ad revenue is a form of passive income. While passive income can be rewarding alone, most highly profitable websites also implement some form of active income.
Passive income relies heavily on the amount of traffic your website receives. For sites that have a smaller audience, passive income can be a little disappointing, but it can still supplement your active income.
Ultimately on its own either method could work, but when used together, the results are usually much more pleasing for your wallet.
That being said, affiliate marketing is definitely worth the effort.
Monetizing Your Website Content
These are the most common ways people make money from their websites. Almost any website you visit has implemented at least one of these methods.
You may have already heard, or read about some of these monetization tactics and you’ve most likely seen them in use on other websites.
There is reason why they are so popular and that reason is that they work. So, join the people already profiting from their websites and take advantage of these tried and true methods of making your website make money for you.
Affiliate Marketing and Affiliate Links
Affiliate marketing can be a very rewarding income method for your website, especially if you have a blog. Affiliate marketing is when you promote another business’s product, or service through your site.
This promotion is usually in the form of an article, product review or blog post. When one of your site’s visitors uses your affiliate link to purchase that product, or service, you will receive a portion of the sale’s revenue.
The secret to using this method to its full potential is to promote something that is related to your site’s niche. Keep your target audience in mind. If they are viewing your site, they’re interested in what your site is about.
For example, a blog in the home decor niche is less likely to successfully promote a product related to the pet niche.
It’s not that those people don’t have pets or don’t potentially need the product, it’s just at that given moment visiting your home decor blog - the pet product isn’t important to them.
However, if you have a home decor site, you could potentially turn that pet product into a home decor product.
For example, if the product is a pet bed and you’re a creative writer, you could “sell it” from a “how this pet bed will fit in with your home decor, while being a great bed for your pet” standpoint.
By doing this, you’re not just speaking about a pet product on a home decor website, you’re speaking to your viewers that are pet owners, about how they can integrate their pet’s belongings into their homes. You have just given this product relevant importance.
There are a lot of companies that offer affiliate marketing programs. Each of these companies have their own rules pertaining to what is required to participate in their program.
Each company will also have its own rates as to what portion of revenue from a successful sale will be given to you. These rates usually range from 30-50%, but in some cases, you may be able to receive up to 70% of a sales profit.
Most Popular Affiliate Marketing Programs
They are also household names, so potential buyers are already familiar with and trust them. This is a big benefit to you because people are more likely to buy from a familiar source than from somewhere they’ve never heard of.
Affiliate Marketing Tips for Success
- Know your target audience - Knowing your audience is a key part of affiliate marketing. What are they interested in, what products would be most appealing to them?
- How much traffic your site gets - The more people who visit your site, the more potential buyers you have. If you have only a handful of visitors you may find it helpful to increase your audience size.
- Strategy and Tone - When you recommend a product the way you “sell it” plays a key role in success. You want to make it seem as if you’ve used the product, explain why it’s a good product and be authoritative. If you seem unsure about it, your audience will be hesitant too. Always be authoritative, honest and use a friendly tone.
- Take notes from other site’s using affiliate marketing - If it works for them it can work for you. It’s never okay to steal another site’s content, but implementing their strategies can give you a leg to stand on, so to speak.
Pay Per Click Advertising with Google Adsense
Google Adsense is responsible for the ads you sometimes see when visiting a website. You may have even clicked on a few of these ads before, intentionally or accidentally. This is a simple and straightforward way of earning a passive income from your site.
Once you sign up, Google will identify your website and place a code on it. This code will allow Google to place ads relevant to your site on your website pages.
For example if your site is pet related, Google will place ads for pet products, like food, or supplies. When visitors to your site click on one of these ads you will be compensated. Compensation can range from a few cents, to a few dollars.
Before you apply to Google Adsense, be sure to look over their Terms of Service. Familiarize yourself with their rules and be sure your site meets their guidelines.
Google does have very strict rules regarding what sites are qualified, so it can be difficult to get (and stay) approved.
If your site doesn’t meet their guidelines, you can always work on getting your site up to Google’s standards. Google Adsense can be a very rewarding way to passively monetize your website, especially if your site is in a popular niche, or gets a lot of traffic.
Tips to Succeed with Google Adsense
- Be sure to stay up to date with Google’s ToS, this ensures you don’t suddenly get booted from the program.
- Traffic directly relates to potential income.
Sell Ad Space
Google may be strict, but you don’t need their ads to generate income from ads. If you’re willing to put in a little more effort, you can monetize your blog by selling ad space directly to companies.
Companies are generally little less strict than Google and you’re cutting out the “middle man”, it’s a win - win, right? Directly selling ad space on your site can be a great way to make a passive income, if you can land the client.
The general idea here is you determine which areas on your site you’re willing to place an ad. These spaces should be on highly visited pages, in easy to see areas. Then you come up with a price, how much is your ad space worth?
For example, side banner ads will cost xxx amount of money per month. The popularity of your niche and your site will play into this amount, as well as determining if business want to purchase your ad space. Some big name sites make thousands of dollars each month by selling ad space.
Another method of selling ad space is taking a cost per click approach. In this sense a company would pay you a previously agreed on amount each time their ad is clicked.
This is the same way Google Adsense works. Which method is better really depends on your site and your site’s traffic.
How to Get Started Selling Ad Space on Your Website
BuySellAds should be your first stop if you’re looking to get into selling ad space on your website. This is one of the most popular ad marketplaces and it features posts from website owners selling ad space and companies looking to purchase ad space.
Exploring the site to get an idea of what companies are looking for and what other website owners are charging for their ad space can give you a better idea of the competition and the overall ad market.
It will also help you to understand exactly how much your site’s ad space could be worth.
Create and Sell Your Own Digital Product
This method obviously requires some dedication, but it can pay off big time. By marketing your own product, you’ll be directly benefiting from the sales.
You’re also in complete control, you decide the product, you decide your marketing methods and you choose the price. It sounds great and it can be, but it can also be a headache.
Aside from the time commitment, you’ll need to take into consideration the actual amount of work that selling your own product can be. You’ll need to first come up with a product idea that your viewers are likely to want, then you’ll need to create that product.
This requires coming up with your products content, as well as some designing skills. Often times this requires bringing in contractors to help in the process, which results in up front costs to you.
Once you have your product, you’re still not quite ready to start selling it yet. You’ll need to decide what forms of payment you will accept and how you will accept these payments.
These payment accepted methods can range from a simple PayPal option to more advanced forms like those seen on popular online stores.
You’ll also need to decide how you’re going to distribute this product once it’s purchased. The most popular distribution method of digital content is in the form of downloads.
Once you have your product, your price, your delivery method and you have implemented your payment method, you’ll need to sort out tax details. (Yes, taxes apply in the online world too.)
If this sounds like a ton of work, you’re right, it is. But, you’re still not done at this point. You’ll also need a well designed landing page for your product and a marketing strategy.
Many people opt to utilize their own website as their sole marketing method, others promote their content through ads, email, social media and through sister sites.
If you have a popular site and you can offer a good product, this can be a very lucrative way of monetizing your site. More helpful information on getting started selling your own products online can be found here.
Digital Product Ideas
- Web Elements
Accept Sponsored Posts and Articles (Be Sure to Use the ‘NoFollow’ Tag)
If your site is all about a specific niche, like the best Apps for Android phones and you have a large viewer base, you’ll be surprised to learn how many companies would be willing to pay you to feature their sponsored content.
Applying Native Content like this to your website is easy when it fits in with your site’s content and structure. It will come across naturally to your viewers. Companies may also be willing to pay you for product reviews that relate to your site’s niche.
This kind of sponsoring can have negative effects on your viewer base if not applied properly, so be sure proceed with caution if you choose to implement this method.
Be sure to only feature sponsored content from reputable companies and don’t agree to positively review bad products. Lying to your viewers and ultimately helping to sell them an unsatisfactory product will destroy their faith in you and you will lose site traffic.
You don’t want to kill your website for a few bucks. You can find more information about monetizing your website through sponsored posts and reviews here.
Things to Keep in Mind when Hosting Sponsored Content
- Stick to content that is relevant to your overall site.
- Deal with reputable businesses.
- Keep your website’s reputation in mind, don’t agree to pass junk off as good products.
Generating Leads for Other Companies
Businesses rely on new customers in order to stay in business. One of the easiest ways for them to acquire new customers is through leads. Every lead is a potential customer for them, so it’s no surprise that they are always looking for ways to generate new leads.
This method of website monetization is pretty easy, you’ll basically become a matchmaker. You have the viewer base and they want new customers so by generating leads you will be turning your viewers into their potential customers. In a way, the same way you would be through using ads, but with a different method.
For example, if your website is about adult education, information about your viewers, like their email addresses, would be very valuable to online schools. They will be eager to have the potential new students and it’s risk free to you.
Even if the school gains no new students from your leads, you’ll still profit. Because, in this scenario they are paying for the “introduction”, not the sale.
If you have a large viewer base and your viewers could be of interest to another company, this is a sure way to generate income from your website.
What companies are willing to pay for leads varies by company.
Things to Keep in Mind
- Use honest methods of collecting information from your viewer
Growing, Flipping and Reinvesting (Sell Your Website)
If your website is already well established, meaning it has a considerate viewer base, has quality content and is generating some form of income from ads, or other sources you might consider selling it.
This is a quick way to make a substantial profit. The market of buying and selling websites is big, there are always entrepreneurs out there looking to get started easily and what’s easier than starting out with a successful website.
For example if your website generates 500$ a month, you could potentially sell it for 5,000 - 10,000 dollars. That’s good news, right?
The best part comes in where, if you’re good at creating websites and growing them, this becomes a business opportunity for you and puts a new spin on monetizing your websites. Essentially, creating, building and selling, to create a never ending source of income.
But, even if you’re not so much of a creator, as you are a grower there’s still an opportunity. You can reinvest a portion of the profit from selling your site, to purchase another site, that’s not doing so well.
Then you apply your growing skills and help that site flourish, once it’s up to par you sell that site for a profit and do it all over again.
Things to Keep in Mind
- This method requires work, potentially a lot of it.
- It could take awhile for your website to sell.
- It can sometimes be difficult to grow certain kinds of websites.
- Less popular niche sites will be less in demand, but potentially worth a lot more to a buyer.
- Get a better understanding of the flipping websites business before jumping into it.
Add a Hire-Me Section to Your Website
You have a website and you have skills. These could be content writing skills, website design skills, or numerous other website related skills.
Why not put those skills to use earning you some money?
It is likely that some of your viewers have websites of their own and if they like what they see on your site, chances are they’ll be willing to pay for you to add your touch to their site. Word of mouth travels fast, especially online and freelancing can be a lucrative side gig, or a full time income, as well as an easy way to monetize your site.
If you add a hire-me page to your website, outline your specific skills and put up some examples of what you can do. You may be surprised at the amount of offers you’ll receive from people who like what they see.
If you implement this method one thing that can help you to get some extra exposure is setting up a profile on a professional networking site like LinkedIn.
Things to Keep in Mind
- This method will require work
- This may not be a steady source of income
Create A Pay Wall
Creating a paywall on your site is another way to monetize your website. To implement this feature you should simply add premium content to your site.
This could be in the form of a members only area, a prestige email list, or a more in depth explanation of something you already offer your viewers. Some popular members only types of content are consultations and Live workshops.
If you’ve been writing about the same subject for years, or you have education related to your niche, you could be considered an expert.
For example if your site is fitness related and you are well versed in the world of fitness, you could charge for 1 on 1 interactions with your viewers to discuss things like custom workout plans, weight loss strategies, or custom diet plans.
If 1 on 1 interaction doesn’t seem like your kind of thing you could offer this same kind of information in a members only section of your site. You could also compile your knowledge into an in depth guide in the form an eBook and effectively profit off of just your knowledge alone.
If your audience isn’t the type to settle for paying for written content, you could always take your knowledge to a new setting and charge for pre-recorded courses, or tutorials.
For example, you could record video tutorials of recipes, or workout routines and then provide them to your viewers at a cost.
Some companies may even be interested in having you make these kinds of videos for their health and fitness products, which opens up a whole new world of opportunities for you to profit.
The opportunities available to create paywalls are endless and there are numerous ways to successfully implement this monetization method into any niche.
If you offer your site for free and it has a large viewer base, accepting donations could work for you. To use this strategy you need to explain to your viewers that the donations are needed to keep the site going because we all know websites aren’t free.
If your viewers value your site and its content, they won’t be happy with the idea that it could potentially disappear. Therefore you may receive donations to your site, the amounts could vary or you could set a minimum donation amount.
While this won’t pay your bills by any means, it may be enough to cover the costs of your website and take the burden of keeping it afloat off of you.
PayPal is a common platform utilized by website owners seeking donations.
If you choose to include a donations page on your website be sure to clearly explain to your viewers why donations are so important to your site.
You don’t want to come off as begging, but you want your viewers to understand what their money will be going towards. Whether it is a site upgrade, or simply covering the cost of your domain.
Build an Email List
You may already have one, but if you don’t - build one. Email lists are a great way to keep in contact with your most loyal followers, but they can also help you monetize your website.
Emails are an essential part of today’s world, and it’s where most of our communication comes from.
Using your email list to help support your site is a huge game changer, especially for website owners trying to sell a product.
Here are some of the ways that an email list can help your website profit.
Selling Your Product on the Thank You Page of Your Opt In
When people opt in for what you’re offering, they’re already interested in what you’re offering. Don’t beat around the bush, turn these subscribers into customers.
You can do this by adding snippets of your product as well as adding links to where they can learn more about it, or purchase it.
If you feel it needs a little more touch you can add customer ratings and reviews as well.
Did you have an email campaign that hit it off well with your viewers, or did you have a flash sale that was really successful? Do it again.
Look over your past campaigns to figure out which ones got the most positive results and repeat them. However, doing this too often can be perceived negatively, so limit this tactic to a once, or twice a year thing.
Upselling is a worldwide business tactic in every industry and it can work for you too. “Would you like fries with that?” is a classic example of upselling. But, it is one that you can use to your advantage.
When a customer purchases something from you and you offer them an additional product to go along with the one they bought, you are essentially asking them if they would like “fries” with their order.
Down selling is just as important as upselling. If your customer is trying to back out of a purchase due to cost, or your sales rate drops, you offer discounts. If you can make your customers feel like they are getting a good deal, you are likely to save the sale.
Use a Tripwire
A trip wire is a low priced product, usually priced in the $10-$20 range, that is designed to be a great deal, making it a hot seller. It is offered to the potential customer immediately after they sign up for your site.
This tactic is intended to make a quick buyer/seller relationship. People who purchase tripwires are statistically more likely to purchase other products from you.
The Reality of the Situation
There is no secret formula to monetizing your website content and no matter which of these methods you use, you won’t see a change over night.
It will take time to see significant results and the length of the awkward phase, where you’re trying but not earning, depends on your viewers, your website and your strategy.
What works for one site easily, may be a struggle for another site. But, if you are patient, persistent and consistent, any site can be monetized in one way or another.
Don’t give up if you don’t see results, look at your plan, improve it, adapt it and keep pushing forward.
Thank you for reading.
Leave a comment below and let me know what is your favorite tactic of monetizing your website content.