10 Proven Ways to Monetize a Website (or a Blog)
Making money from your website isn’t a myth. It’s doable by anyone. In fact – turning a part-time, hobby blog into an income-generating asset is fairly common with a bit of luck and some hard work.
If we want to monetize our websites effectively, it’s essential that we stay up-to-date with the current web and social trends.
|10 Most Common Ways to Make Money with Your Website|
Making money from your website isn’t easy. These ten tips are probably your best bet to get started.
#1] Cost-Per-Click Ads
Cost-Per-Click advertising (CPC for short) is still very relevant in 2016. CPC works by displaying ads on your website, and when a visitor clicks on one of those ads, your website generates revenue.
Google AdSense (yes, it still exists!) is still a viable choice, but Infolinks might be a better alternative (you can use AdSense and Infolinks side-by-side to see what works best for you).
First of all, Infolinks works by finding relevant keywords in your content and displaying ads when you hover over those keywords, which is far less intrusive than Adsense. Other than inline ads, Infolinks offers several other options, and a useful self-serve ad buying platform for those who’d like to boost their own traffic.
Infolinks ads are also loaded after the content so that the ads don’t affect your website loading speeds. Despite still being the third largest ad marketplace, Infolinks actively try to help their publishers increase revenue, whereas AdSense tends to save these efforts for their more premium users.
#2] Fixed-Price Ads
Fixed-price advertising is when you set a flat fee for your ads, a setup that tends to attract smaller advertisers with a very specific budget. I’d also recommend BuySellAds for this due their extensive range of tools that can help the smaller website (those with less than 100,000 impressions) sell their inventory directly to advertisers. Fixed pricing = clear expectations.
#3] Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is the underdog in this list. While networks like CJ Affiliate by Conversant (formerly Commission Junction) still exist, affiliate marketing for the modern web works best when you connect directly with affiliates you feel are relevant to your website. Have a blog about iOS apps or books? Try the iTunes Affiliate Program. Sell design resources? Try promoting other makers on Creative Market.
Connect with affiliates that mean something to you. By working directly with affiliates you’ll find that the revenue share is a lot more competitive as well!
#4] Sponsored Content
Sponsored content is a terrific way of monetizing your website without using up your screen real estate, for those that like to keep the focus on the content without distracting the user with web ads. Sponsored content is supposed to be cohesive with the webpage, as if the content would still be there even if it wasn’t sponsored to be. When you observe eye-tracking studies it’s clear that traditional ads tend to be ignored — that’s if they aren’t blocked by ad-blockers that is.
Sponsored ads (sometimes called “advertorials”) can deliver relevant, useful, high-quality content, and when relevant content equals higher engagement, higher engagement equals more value, and more value equals more revenue. If you’re looking for a modern monetization method, make sure you consider sponsored content.
Remember to stay in the ethical clear and disclose sponsorship, at the top of the content before the user invests time in reading the piece.
Cooperatize and Taboola are two big names in this field.
#5] Related Posts
While this type of advertising does have a bit of a bad reputation for being spammy, there are a number of ad networks serving relevant, useful content — Disqus is making bold leaps with their “Sponsored Story” and “Sponsored Links” advertising that are built into the comment widget you might already be using. Even though Disqus take 50% of the revenue, you don’t really have much to lose if your website already has Disqus installed.
#6] Email Advertising
Email advertising falls into two categories: sponsored content and traditional display ads, both of which are effective. You can find advertisers using many of the same techniques as you would with web advertising (BuySellAds, having an “Advertise Here” webpage, etc); the difference is that email advertising doesn’t take up any screen real estate on your website and in fact engagement rates tend to be higher (users often know what areas of a website to avoid if they don’t want to see ads).
#7] Podcast Advertising
Podcasting is a unique skill I must admit, but the results are, well, they’re good. Midroll claims that 61% of listeners made a purchase after listening to an advert, so it’s no wonder that their customers are pretty world class (Dunkin’ Donuts, HBO, Squarespace, etc). If you’re not much of writer but you’re not exactly shy either, podcasting could be for you.
#8] Generate ‘leads’ for other companies
Businesses thrive on new leads coming in their door to inquire about their products or services.
It’s no surprise that they’re always on the lookout, searching for creative ways to find new sources of leads to help them grow.
Let’s say you have a website about teaching math skills. Your reader’s information (like their email address or phone number) would be of great value to different online schools who’re looking to sell their courses to eager, proactive students.
Basically, you’re connecting the dots; playing the matchmaker by introducing two parties who can benefit one another. While it’s similar to how affiliate marketing works, in this case, it doesn’t actually matter if your reader ends up purchasing their product or not. They’re just looking for an introduction at this point.
#9] Accept Donations from visitors
If you don’t have a ton of monthly visits, but you do have a strong, engaged community? Simply ask your readers to donate!
Accepting one-off donations isn’t a fast road to wealth, but it can help you cover expenses in the short-term if people like what you have to say and want to support your journey.
For example, PayPal offers little donation buttons that only take about ten minutes to add to your website, offering you a quick way to recoup what you might be spending on a good web hosting, new product creation, research, and all of the other costs to maintain a healthy, active blog.
#10] Selling Your Website
Selling your website may seem a little nonsensical. If your traffic is sky high, why sell it? If it’s too low, is it even worth it? Actually, it’s more common than you might think for high-traffic websites to have difficulty with monetization..
Often enough, while a website might accumulate a tonne of visitors, somebody else might be able to monetize it better, and that’s why we have marketplaces (like Flippa, for example) where you can sell websites for a profit.