Creating and managing your own website comes with a slew of benefits. It gives you a voice on the internet, it can cement you as an expert in your field, it attracts an audience of like-minded individuals, and it teaches you new skills. It can also be extremely lucrative.
Website monetization can turn the traffic that your website garners into revenue. Gaining a steady income from a website is ultimate dream of any blogger and can provide the financial freedom to do anything you want, including creating more and better content. But when it comes to monetization, the best route may not be so obvious.
That is why we have compiled a list of different methods of monetization. Each of these ten strategies has its upsides and downsides and requires careful consideration before implementing. If you play your cards right, however, you may be able to turn your site into a moneymaking machine.
- Sign Up for AdSense
- Sell Ad Space
- Use Affiliate Links
- Sell Products
- Post Sponsored Articles
- Accept Donations
- Sell Your Website
Sign Up for AdSense
The first monetization option that most people consider is Google’s Adsense. Known for its ease of use, it installs itself automatically on your website through the addition of a single line of code and then selects the optimal locations from which to serve personalized ads to your visitors. For example, if you maintain a blog about plants, users might see ads for local nurseries, seed brands, or flower shops.
AdSense is best for individuals who want to see some revenue from their site, but don’t want to go through the hassle of dealing with advertisers personally. Depending on the value of your website to specific brands, clicks on ads can range anywhere from a few cents to several dollars per click.
Potential income through AdSense varies greatly depending on how many monthly visitors you get, how many of those users click your ads, and how much Google deems an ad on your site to be worth. Some users make thousands of dollars every month, while others barely scrape out a few pennies.
Sell Ad Space
Many businesses are willing to buy ad space on your site directly from you, bypassing services like AdSense altogether. This can save them the hassle of attempting to create ads targeting your site, and can give them a permanent space on your website. It can also be more lucrative for you, as long as you are willing to sell your ad space at a price that is fair for both parties.
If you choose to go this route, you should have a good idea of what an ad on your website is worth. You can determine this based on your cost per thousand views (CPM) multiplied by the average number of views you get per month. Just like AdSense, if you have low view counts or a low CPM an ad won’t be worth much to an advertiser.
You should also consider how your website will look with someone else’s ad plastered on it. If you are pursuing a minimalist design, you may want to set a standard for how an advertisement should look. Remember, it’s your website so you can set the rules.
Use Affiliate Links
Affiliate links track the traffic that your website sends to other website. Most online stores have affiliate link programs because they drive in business in a more novel way than direct advertising. If you get your website visitors to click on an affiliate link and perform an action (usually making a purchase), you can get a cut of each transaction.
Affiliate links can be a more lucrative source of income than ads because they are generally placed on websites where people are looking for that specific item in the first place. Advertisements, on the other hand, depend on users making split second decisions about whether they want to learn more about some other product or service.
Many website owners are able to gain healthy incomes through the exclusive use of affiliate links and users often appreciate not being bombarded with ads. Best of all, there is usually no website visitorship requirement, but some programs automatically boot users who don’t bring in customers.
An obvious way to monetize your website is to use it to sell products. These can be products that you create or merchandise with your branding or logo on it. The latter may be a tougher sell, but the former could be easier if you sell a product that people want.
These products can range from digital to physical and anything in between. If you do sell a physical product, ensure that you have the facilities to manage everything that goes along with doing so. This includes stocking, accepting payments, shipping, and handling returns.
If you begin to successfully sell products on your site, you may find your website transitioning from informational to eCommerce. This happens more frequently than you think and, often times, many people start out as one thing exclusively to leverage into something else in the future.
Post Sponsored Articles
Native advertising blurs the lines between advertising and content. It allows you to create articles that fit within the context of your website while serving a secondary purpose of creating income for your site. Many companies are willing to spend more on sponsored articles, as they speak to your readers directly while simultaneously being complimentary to a brand.
Sponsored articles can be tricky to master, especially if you are not upfront with your visitors about the purpose of the content. When done right it can be a lucrative and interesting way of communicating a brand message. When done wrong, however, it can backfire, potentially losing your readers.
The fact that most content on the internet is produced for free is often lost on users. Sometimes, however, all it takes to create awareness is a little reminder in the form of a “donate” button. Depending on how much you push your need for resources to continue running your site, you may reap a tidy sum.
Alternatively, there are online services like Patreon that allow users to pay a monthly “tip” for your services. While the platform mostly caters to YouTube personalities, there is a growing number of bloggers and content creators taking advantage of the platform as well. It can even serve as a means for helping users find your work using the Explore function.
Sell Your Website
Many people create and build up their websites for the sole purpose of eventually selling them. This practice is so common, that there are many websites dedicated to selling established sites. If you have a content-rich website that provides a steady stream of income, you may want to consider selling it.
This is easier said than done, of course. Many people consider their website to be like their baby, and it’s often comfortable to rely on the monthly income a site can bring. On the other hand, selling your website, using some of the money to start a new one from scratch, and pocketing the rest can also be satisfying. It all depends on what your endgame is, not only for your site, but for your monetization efforts
The strategies outlined above can be mixed and matched and made to complement one another. You may not be able to retire from your 9-5 job right away, but with time, excellent content, and a shrewd business acumen, you may join the ranks of people who made it big on the internet.