It’s not a myth that you can make money with your website. A lot of websites on the Internet are made for one simple reason – to generate income. In most cases, it’s not just a hobby.
Whether you are trying to get rich or just looking for some funds to cover the hosting/domain expenses, here are some of the ways to do so.
Keep in mind that some of the strategies are more or less passive while some other techniques require a lot of on-going work. Make sure you pick something that suits well with your website.
10 most popular ways to monetize your website
1) Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is a very popular way to make money through your website/blog. In short, you sell (or recommend) someone else’s product(s) on your website. When your website visitor clicks on your affiliate link and buys the product – you’ll receive commission.
The commission is usually 30% – 70% of the product or service price. So if you promote an e-book that costs $100, you’ll get $50 for referring the buyer (just an example).
Where can I find products to promote?
- Commission junction – reliable, payments on-time.
- ShareASale – mostly clothes and accessories
- Clickbank – high payouts, but lack of GOOD products to promote.
2) Pay Per Click Advertising
Google has made a program called Google Adsense for publishers (bloggers, website owners) and advertisers (business owners, marketers, product owners).
This system is quite simple. You place a code on your website that will start displaying relevant ads to your website. For example, if your site is about pets (dogs & cats), Google Adsense will start showing your visitors ads for cat food, dog training and so on.
When someone clicks on the ad, you will receive money for this click. It’s usually $0,5 to $5 per click, but when your site has enough traffic – you can make hundreds if not thousands of dollars per month. Keep yourself known with their TOS, though.
How to apply for for Google Adsense?
- Apply for AdSense – Before applying, keep yourself updated with their TOS, though. Google is very strict with their rules so it’s pretty hard to get approved.
3) Selling Ad Space
As the name says, all you need to do is sell the ad space. You set up a price, let’s say: “Banner at the sidebar will cost $xxx per month”. You will get paid upfront and the price depends on your traffic. If your site gets ton loads of traffic from different sources, the banner ad price can go up as $5000 per month. However, if your site doesn’t have much traffic, don’t expect much.
Where can I let others know that my website is selling ad space?
- BuySellAds – The most popular one.
- AdvertiseSpace – I haven’t tried it, but it should be a good alternative.
4) Sell your own digital product (ebook for example)
Selling your own product is awesome because there are no middle mans, no one is going to take the “cut” – it’s only YOU and the CLIENT. You can sell directly through your website and you’ll get paid directly. While it looks like a simply way to make money, it’s actually not.
It takes a lot of time to create a good product that you can actually sell through your site. So make sure it’s well-made and polished before you throw it out on your webpage. In addition, a perfectly optimized landing page for the product is essential to higher your conversion rates.
How to set up a PayPal “Buy Now” button on WordPress
5) Donation / Becoming a sponsor
Setting up donation buttons or simply asking additional funds from your readers is another way to monetize your website. It’s easy to set up, but you have to be aware that it’s not so easy to make money with it. Unless you find a sponsor(s) who pays a lot! However, before you throw up your donation buttons and widgets, make sure that your visitors will see why you need those donations (hosting expenses, new product creation, researching costs etc…).
For example web.archive.org makes a lot of money from donations, but then again – they probably have millions of visitors per month.
How to set up donation buttons?
- How to take donations on your website – The right way.
6) Accept sponsored posts & articles
Once your site is getting good amount of visitors monthly, you can offer sponsored posts and articles. There are a lot of advertisers who would be interested in writing sponsored posts for your website.
Another option is make money through reviewing something. Here’s an example: You have a website about Apple products -> marketer from Apple sees your site and contacts you.-> He/she offers you a free iPhone 5 if you make a comprehensive review and post it on your site for followers to read. This is an extreme case, but I’m sure you get the point…
Win=Win situation? Yep. However, make sure don’t accept anything completely irrelevant to your site/blog. If your site is about cats and you post a review of American Express credit card, then your visitors might have a trust issue (case study).
For further reading:
7) Generate “Leads” for other companies
Generating leads means you help other organisations or companies to make money. It can be a simple e-mail submit or telephone number, a lead is a lead.
Scenario: Let’s say you have a website about teaching and learning math. You can easily set up links to different schools and universities that offer people to learn math. When YOUR visitor submits their e-mail or a phone number to university for application – you’ll get paid.
It’s very similar to affiliate marketing, but your visitor doesn’t necessarily have to buy something. A short contact information is more than enough. The sales people will take care of the rest.
Where can I find such offers?
8) Build an “Email List”
Building a “list” means that you gather your visitors emails. 90% of the websites that get some sort of traffic use that technique – and it’s working pretty well.
You’ll not get rich overnight, but it’s definitely something long-term (and profitable). However, make sure you first create relationships with your followers by simply offering great information and/or help for FREE. Spamming different offers through emails is never a good idea.
How exactly does it work?
- Listbuilding 101 – Probably the best introduction on the internet.
- How to build a list with your website
9) Set up an online store
You don’t always have to create a website about something. You can just create a “tool” for your business – an online store.
Bricks and Mortar businesses are becoming more and more popular since the rise of the “Internet era”. If you have enough dedication to make it work, try it out. Be aware of the competition, though. There are thousands of e-commerce website on the Internet, but only few of them make a lot of money. Plan out your strategy, keep your design up-do-date and use the latest marketing techniques.
How do I create a successful online store/shop?
10) Sell your site to someone else
I usually don’t suggest people to do that, but site flipping/selling is becoming a very lucrative business model. If you are into short-term projects and more into “quick buck” you can implement it as well.
… but you also have to know that your site has to either get a lot of traffic or generate money through different monetization methods.
The site value is usually based on the income. If your website is making $500 per/month through selling ad space, you can sell the site for $5,000 – $10,000 (12x – 22x monthly income).
Where can I sell my site?
- Flippa – The most popular website market.
- We Buy Websites – Another marketplace.
- FEinternational – Mostly for high-end websites.
OK, by now you have learned the ten most popular ways to earn money your website. But that’s not all you can do.
Below here I pointed out another 23 ways to make money with your website. Keep in mind that some of them are slightly connected with the ones above yet they are little “out of the box”.
Another 23 ways to monetize your website
11) Sell text-link ads – There’s still a slight demand for text-links ads, but you need to keep in mind that Google doesn’t tolerate it that much…
12) Set up “infolinks”– It’s quite easy to set them up, but the downside is that it’s not converting too well and the payouts per clicks are quite small. It’s a great alternative for Adsense, though.
13) Use monetization widgets – Very similar to Google Adsense, worth trying out as an alternative.
14) Set up RSS feed ads
15) Give away premium content for extra $$$ – If you are producing mind-blowing, awesome and near ideal content that helps your visitors – you can feel free ask money for that. I’m completely fine with paying for the premium content. However, at first your main goal should be growing audience and visitors; not asking them money right away.
16) Start a private forum or coaching class(es) – If you are good at something, why don’t you start advising others? It’s a great way to earn recurring income from your students.
17) Create a job board – You can set up a job board on website. You can earn money by accepting different job offers from various companies/individuals.
18) Offer consulting – You know something that other’s don’t? Offer consulting GIGs and get paid for your knowledge. You can offer consulting via email, forum and Skype.
19) Add “hire me” page on your website – If you enjoy freelancing, you can leverage your opportunities through your web page. Make sure you list down all your skills and previous tasks – this will improve your chances of getting hired.
20) Sell or rent internal pages – This isn’t very popular way to make money, but if you find someone who is interested in renting your pages – give it a go!
21) Display pop-ups advertisements – Extremely annoying, but another easy way to make some money.
23) Display audio ads – This is something new and it’s getting more and more popular in 2015. I haven’t tried it personally, but I have read some articles about it and it definitely looks promising.
24) Sell an e-book – Many people sell e-books through their site. Some examples: If you have a website about recipes and cooking, you can easily create and sell your own recipe book. The same applies in every other niche.
25) Create a conference around your website
26) Set up a teaching program
27) Host paid webinars
28) Create a membership site
29) Offer coupons (with affiliate links) – People are eagerly looking for discount & promo codes. If you can offer a valid one, you are able to cut some money as well.
31) Offer writing gigs – If you are native & fluent – I can’t see any reason why you shouldn’t offer writing GIGs. If you are good enough, you can easily ask $20 – $30 per 500 word articles. Just let others know that you are offering this kind of service.
32) Create a paid directory/business page
33) Just copy what others are doing – My personal favourite.
P.S: If you know any other ways to monetize websites, let me know. I’ll add it in the list and credit you by putting your name behind it.