Are you interested in making some passive income? Or perhaps you’ve already got an existing site and thinking of making some money from the traffic you’re getting? In either event, this post will show you seven of the best ways to monetize your website & have your business working for you.
In order to get the most out of your website, it’s crucial to first understand the basics of business & marketing. You see, the reason why we may purchase particular products or services is because they fulfil a want or need that we have – and monetizing a website is no exception. To run a profitable website, you’ll need to first understand what your reader’s intentions are, what problems they are facing & how you can supply the answer to those problems.
In this post I will be providing seven great ways to make money from your website, however I must confess that there are plenty more ways to do so. The reason why I only chose seven is because these are the options that best apply to the majority of new business owners & bloggers.
Things to consider before you monetize your website
Focus on value, not money. I strongly believe that as an entrepreneur or blogger, your main focus should be to help others. By selflessly helping others you position yourself as a leader in your industry, someone that people can trust and invest in. By solely focusing on making money it becomes too easy to appear needy, desperate & in full-time-sales-mode. Help people first, the money will follow – don’t worry 🙂
Build an email list. It’s likely that many of your readers won’t purchase your products, services or courses at the first time of asking, so it’s often considered best practice to entice them to join your email list first, that way you’ve given yourself an opportunity to stay in contact with said reader and ease them into a sale over a longer period of time.
How to monetize a website
#1 – Affiliate Income
The first item on our list is affiliate income, the reason why I’ve included this first is because I believe it’s the easiest to implement when it comes to monetizing a website. The basic premise of affiliate income is to refer your readers to a third-party product or service that you would personally recommend, and in turn you will receive a percentage of the sale should the reader purchase said product or service – using the link you’ve provided.
For instance in one of my recent posts titled 50 Best Entrepreneurs To Follow On Social Media, I included a multitude of affiliate links to the entrepreneur’s latest books on Amazon. One of the links that I included was Marie Forleo’s latest release, Everything If Figureoutable. Had one of my readers clicked on the link and then proceeded to purchase the book, I would have been set to receive 4.5% of the final sale, which would have been around $0.75. I realise that it may not seem like much, but when you’re bringing in thousands of monthly site visitors, that tally can rack up as you continue to grow your blog.
Making money from affiliate referrals is a great source of passive income as it doesn’t require any stressful work, however I advise that you only recommend products and services that you would happily use yourself. Recommending affiliates should be done as a way of being helpful to your reader, not purely to make money.
Amazon has probably got the go-to affiliate program when it comes to offering a wide variety of products, although there are many other companies that offer affiliate programs too. To find affiliates you can work with, you’ll want to Google search a company’s name and then add “affiliate program” onto the end of the search – it’s as easy as that. As an alternative you can visit the company’s website directly, and search for ‘Affiliate’ or something similar in the footer section – that’s where they usually hide it.
#2 – Advertising (including PPC)
Ever visit a website and be greeted with ads for products that you were just looking at moments go? Well, you likely have Google to thank for that.
As the main player in the Pay-per-Click (PPC) game, Google AdSense, allows business owners & bloggers the opportunity to place intelligent adverts on their website, showcasing ads that are tailor-made for the visitor based on their recent internet activities.
For instance, if I was on Amazon viewing a DVD for the Tom Hanks’ film, Cast Away (my favourite film), but I didn’t purchase it at the time, Amazon could then target me with ads for that very same DVD – until I bought it. They could display those ads on any website that was using Google AdSense.
The best part is that although I might see ads for the Cast Away DVD, another visitor might be seeing ads on the same page for something completely different. As I say, the ads that are shown with AdSense are bespoke to each user.
PPC does exactly what it says on the tin, for each click that an advert receives (on your website) you receive a tiny payment as part of a referral fee. As you continue to grow your monthly visitor count, you further increase your earning potential with PPC.
The problem I have with PPC though, is that the level of income you get is incredible low, especially compared to the other methods on this list. In order to make some big income from PPC or more specifically Google AdSense, you’ll need a huge amount of traffic to do so. Even then, once you have 100,000 monthly visitors on your site, you may prefer to just stick to other income sources anyway.
Alternatively you could rent out ad space on your website. These ads would be rented by a third-party company who specifically want to advertise on your website. The benefit to them would be that they get to showcase their business, products & services to your audience directly, this is a great way to monetize your website, especially if you specialise in a particular niche (thus having a targeted audience).
Usually ‘ad space’ would be confined to a banner, particularly in either the header or sidebar of your website, however that isn’t set in stone. The renting out of ad space would be seen as a direct alternative to PPC advertising, and should only be considered if you bring in a large amount of traffic, large being over 100,000 visitors per month – anything less and I would stick with Google AdSense.
#3 – Selling products and services
Perhaps you’re interested in selling products & services of your own? If so then you’ll be interested in setting up an online store on your website. eCommerce has the potential to bring in a much larger sum of money than the previous two suggestions on our list, given the wide scale of products that could potentially be sold, ranging from T-shirts, artwork or even gym equipment – you name it!
In order to create a successful online store, you’ll need to ensure that you’re getting sufficient traffic to your website. It can be difficult to grow an eCommerce store when first starting out but you can accelerate the growth by implementing various marketing strategies such as paid advertising, email marketing & SEO. If you’re interested in learning how to grow a successful online store then feel free to contact me here.
#4 – Memberships
Constantly providing great value and wondering how you can capitalise on it? Offering a membership or VIP section of your website, where you provide premium content to paying customers, can be a great way to monetize your website.
Premium content can come in the form of webinars, resources, direct coaching, private forums, groups and more. Provided that you’ve gained the trust of your followers then you can make a great sum of money by offering premium memberships on your website.
The best premium content will speed up results, provide inside knowledge on the industry or walk the user through a particular process step-by-step.
Alternatively, large newspapers such as the New York Times have been known to implement ‘paywalls’ on their content, limiting readers to a small snippet of their posts before being asked to subscribe to their membership scheme in order to access the rest of the content. You can implement this strategy on your websites, however I would say that this only applies to websites pulling in a major amount of traffic.
#5 – Online Courses
Looking to take your teachings to the next level? Then you’ll likely want to consider creating an online course. Courses are the in-thing nowadays when it comes to consuming information and it’s easy to see why. Despite requiring plenty of up-front work to create a course, there is next to no upkeep needed to maintain it.
Course creators can help users with a specific task such as building a website, without the need to personally spoon-feed the user through the experience. Building an online course will require great video content showing the exact steps of achieving the advertised results, and may be accompanied by text, audio clips or other useful files. There may also be an opportunity to include affiliate links in your courses if the user needs to install certain software for instance.
There are many ways that you can create a course, one of which being the ever-popular Teachable. Over 18 million people have created their courses online using Teachable so far, reason being that it’s so easy to use! As a website designer myself though, I tend to build courses into my websites directly as it tends to be cheaper.
#6 – Donations
One of the biggest websites in the world, Wikipedia, is purely funded by generous donations from the public. Without it, the free online encyclopedia may even cease to exist. Imagine that.
You too can set your website up to receive income via donations, this can be a great way to monetize your website, especially if you consistently provide a great deal of value to your audience. At the end of the day it’s not a strategy that I would anticipate brings in large income on the regular – unless you’ve got like a gazillion readers. It can be a popular method for those that are unsure of whether to charge, or those that care most about just helping people.
Setting up your website for donations can be as easy as setting up a payment button for Stripe or PayPal, in fact many payment providers offer a donation-specific button for such occasions. Be sure to check out which provider best meets your needs.
#7 – Flipping
Maybe it’s time to call it a day, on the website at least. Yes! You can make money from selling your website(s), in fact some people make an entire business out of doing so. If you’ve established yourself as an excellent web designer or you’ve built up a large amount of traffic on your site, then flipping your website will be a viable option for you.
You can check out the potential worth of your website by using this awesome tool. Usually though the figures provided give an estimate of what the website earns currently, obviously you’ll have a better idea of how much the website actually makes. In turn you should aim to sell your website for at least four or five times what it earns at the moment.
Of course you can increase the value of your website by implementing the other six monetization strategies including in this post! If you’re looking to sell your website, check out Flippa!
There are many ways to monetize your website, many of which focus on providing an answer to a prospective client’s problem. From affiliate income to receiving money as donations, there are a wide variety of passive income ideas, however they all require hard work up-front, in the form of helping others and growing the traffic on your website.
How are you making income from your website? Let me know in the comments below 🙂