Looking to monetize a website? You’re not the only one!
The internet’s awash with over 1.75 billion websites these days. Yup, billion…with a b. And that staggering number is getting bigger all the time.
You can guarantee that most webmasters out there aren’t running their sites just for fun. Nope, they’ve got one thing (among others) on their mind:
It’s hardly surprising. After all, earning money online is an alluring prospect! You take a creative pursuit and, with a bit of work, generate passive income at the same time.
Knowing how websites make money is the first step to making it happen though. Understanding the monetization options available allows you to select those that make most sense to you.
Ready to wrap your head around how to make money on the internet through a website?
Keep reading to learn 8 primary means of monetizing a site.
Okay, you probably didn’t expect us to start here.
But patience is all-important to generating an income via any website.
Why? Because almost every actionable monetization strategy out there takes time to work.
Patience is just a vital ingredient along the road to website monetization. Without it, you’ll end up frustrated, unmotivated, and, ultimately, unable to enjoy financial success online.
By virtue of the ways of the virtual world, websites require an investment of time and energy. Of course, there are ways to speed the process along. Even so, overnight success isn’t a thing.
It could take between 6 months and a year before you start generating sizeable income via a website. Keep that in mind as you embark upon this journey.
2. Drive (Lots of) Traffic to It
The second secret to success involves traffic.
It’s simple. Without people visiting your website, you’ll never make money from it! Website users are the seed from which monetary success can grow.
Think of a brick and mortar store.
Without foot traffic coming inside, they never stand a chance of making a sale. No foot traffic equals no customers, which means no money.
The same applies to websites. This time, though, we’re talking web traffic.
Every monetization strategy we’re going to talk in this post about relies upon web traffic to generate income. Increasing traffic levels to your site and, with the right website infrastructure in place, it’s only a matter of time before you start making money.
3. Start a Blog
Content marketing is one of the best ways to drive web traffic your way.
And a blog is one of the primary means of succeeding with content marketing.
It’s a massive topic. Essentially, though, you’re creating high-quality content that solves peoples’ problems, and getting it to rank in search engines. As people find and click on that content, they end up on your website.
From there, you can wow them with the content-quality and offer an incentive to hand over their email address. All of a sudden, you have a lead. Take that lead, ply them with more value, build their trust, and eventually make the ‘ask’ (aka make some money!).
Blogs leverage written-form content to rank in search engines. From there, it’s a matter of incorporating the forthcoming monetization strategies to turn that content into cash.
Running a successful blog (and using it to generate cash) isn’t easy. It requires careful blog planning and serious commitment. We suggest reading up on the topic beforehand to fully understand the processes involved.
4. Affiliate Marketing
Let’s move onto the practical strategies that’ll generate cash from your website.
Affiliate marketing is arguably one of the most popular ways to do it. Why? Because it’s relatively quick, pain-free, and passive in nature.
In other words, you can start earning an income with a small following and minimal traffic. Even better, you aren’t swapping time for money. Once you’re set up with affiliate marketing, the money rolls in at all times, even while you’re asleep!
The basic process involves promoting products that offer a commission for sales you make.
You endorse products on your website that’ll resonate and provide value to your audience. If they click on the affiliate link you’re given for the product and make a sale, then you get a cut!
Those commissions can be incredibly high. Imagine promoting a product that costs $1000 at 50% commission. You walk away with $500 for nothing more than a referral.
Look to affiliate networks to get started. Sites like Commission Junction and ShareASale have endless products for you to promote. Find the ones that make sense for your audience and start promoting them!
5. Selling Digital Products
You should look into selling your own digital products as well.
Promoting other peoples’ products and getting a commission is great. It means you can start earning cash straight away without having to invest your own time, effort, and cash to create the product.
However, selling your own products ramps up your income. Suddenly, as opposed to a 30-50% cut, you’re getting 100% of the sale!
There are caveats though.
For example, sales are nigh on impossible with neither traffic nor your own following. Only by cultivating trust with an audience can you expect to sell anything. And developing trust takes time.
Another time-consuming element is identifying a need and creating the product itself. In a worst-case scenario, you spend time and money putting something together that nobody ends up buying.
All the same, there’s no denying the potential here.
From eBooks and online courses to stock photos and printable planners, you can sell any number of different items. Once they’re available for sale (and you’ve got traffic coming through), you can generate endless passive income from them.
Advertising is another widely used form of website monetization.
It’s a straightforward way to make money from the traffic that comes to your site.
Google AdSense is the go-to ad network for most webmasters.
A simple bit of code inserted on your site allows businesses to bid against each other to run ads on your site. Google shows relevant ads to your users that earn you money when they’re clicked on.
Each click might be worth a few cents up to (if you’re lucky) a few dollars!
There are a few downsides to ads though.
Firstly, you need lots of traffic to start making any reasonable sums of money from them. Secondly, ads slow your website down (which is bad for your rankings) and makes it look uglier too (which is bad for everyone!).
Think hard about whether ads are going to be worth your while. With a brand new site and low traffic levels, it’s unlikely that the rewards will outweigh the costs.
7. Selling Your Ad Space
You can also take a DIY approach to advertising.
In other words, rather than letting AdSense (or another ad network) call the shots, you cultivate relationships with advertisers for yourself.
With a bit of luck, advertisers will pay to promote their product/service on your site/blog.
But you have to find companies that’d be willing to do it! Of course, big sites with lots of traffic represent significant opportunities to advertisers. They know their business will end up in front of lots of people and will pay for that privilege.
Conversely, smaller sites are less valuable; finding advertisers to buy ad space on your site is going to be a challenge.
You can charge companies a set fee for a particular ad on your website. Alternatively, you’ll be paid a certain amount per 1000 impressions (known as the CPM) that the ad gets. For example, a $10 CPM would pay out $1000 per month if you got 100,000 visitors to your site.
As you can see, the advertising income you’ll receive will be minimal until you attract higher levels of traffic each month.
8. Publish Sponsored Posts
Our final suggestion is to publish sponsored posts on your website.
With enough traffic and authority, companies will pay you to publish content that benefits them. There might be a backlink pointed to their site, or a particular rundown of a product they’re selling.
There are two primary options.
First, they provide the article and pay you to publish it. Second, they commission you to write the article about their product/service and publish it on your site.
They get their business in front of your audience, as well as newfound website authority (courtesy of the backlinks). And you get some cash in return!
Exactly How Websites Make Money
Earning money online isn’t easy.
But it’s perfectly possible! Millions of websites are earning huge sums of money at this very moment. With the right insight and approach, you can do the same.
Knowing how websites make money is a key first step to making it happen. Hopefully, the ideas in this post have helped in this regard. Keep them in mind, do some additional research, and you’ll be generating an income from your site in no time.
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