Want to make money online, but don’t know where to start? No need to worry – throughout the course of this article, you will learn how to monetize a website in order to turn it into a money-making machine.
Before you learn how to monetize a website, however, there are some factors that should be considered.
Monetizing a website takes time and dedication. You might not get the expected amount of earnings at first, but don’t let that discourage you.
To get the results you want, there’s a universal quality that every profitable website should possess ‒ traffic. Without traffic, you won’t be able to make money with your site. Check our article on how to drive traffic to your website to start things off.
Now that you’re aware of the challenges ahead, let’s find out how to monetize a website.
How to Monetize a Website
When your website is generating enough traffic, it’s time to monetize it.
1. Pay Per Click Advertising with Google AdSense
PPC is an online advertising model where website owners earn passive income each time a reader clicks on an advertisement banner. The most popular tool for this is Google AdSense.
Google AdSense is one the easiest ways to make extra money as it doesn’t require much effort to set up. The website owner can quickly and simply place ads on the blog or website. Another great thing is that you can still apply to be an AdSense partner even if you have multiple sites.
Due to the immense support from Google, publishers won’t have to worry about setting things up. Customer forums and tutorials are also available for users to help them get started.
So how much will you be getting?
- 68% of the revenue on AdSense for content
- 51% on AdSense for search ads
The best part is that Google will always pay you on time, usually between the 21st and the 26th of the month.
How to monetize a website with Google AdSense:
- Read the Terms and Conditions. Make sure that your website meets all the criteria.
- Proceed to sign up for AdSense and wait for the approval.
- Place the ads anywhere you like on your website.
For a full tutorial, check out our article on adding AdSense to WordPress.
2. Selling Ad Space
Selling free space on your site directly to advertisers is also worth a try. This method is more time-consuming, but it maximizes the earnings that you will get from displaying advertisements.
The advertisements can take the shape of a link at the bottom of the page, side banners, or small pop-ups. The pricing for each can also vary since you have control over price negotiations as well.
However, to make use of this method, you need to have a high conversion rate as well as traffic. As this method utilizes the pay-per-click or pay-per-visitor model, you will be paid by advertisers depending on the number of people that click the ad or visit the site.
So how to let advertisers know that you’re selling ad space?
- Make a media kit – a summary that outlines the statistics and key facts of your website.
- Send it to potential advertisers. Let them know why they should work with you.
- When you’ve landed your group of advertisers, manage them using Google Ad Manager.
You can use online tools like Clicky Web Analytics, Quantcast, and Google Analytics to get information about your website.
Finding the right advertisers can be tricky. But, with the help of Google Ads, LinkedIn, and SellerCrowd, you’ll find a good match in no time.
3. Affiliate Marketing
If you have a talent for reviewing or promoting products, you can try affiliate marketing to monetize a website.
Through affiliate links, you can earn commissions when readers buy the products or services of the companies that you affiliate with.
Affiliate marketing is one of the easiest methods to earn passive income if your website has an active user base that will listen to your opinion. Websites such as Wirecutter and Smart Passive Income have achieved their success through affiliate marketing.
How to monetize a website via affiliate marketing:
- Create a website that focuses on recommending and promoting products or, post an item or service review related to your content.
- Join affiliate programs of your choice.
- Include affiliate links in your content organically.
4. Donation Based Monetization
If your content offers value to the reader and you need support to grow your website, you can politely ask for donations. Not every reader will donate, but if you have enough traffic, you might earn enough to fully sustain your website and make some money on the side.
You can set up donation buttons on your site that allows readers to contribute directly. Link them to payment processors such as PayPal, Stripe, Pays,tack or Fundly.
Add the buttons as widgets and place them anywhere you like. Make sure the readers can find them easily.
5. Selling Your Own Products or Services
If you have the products and the skills to sell them and don’t want to deal with the hassle of opening a physical store, you should consider opening an online storefront. Websites like Bellroy and Tattly have made their fortune online by providing excellent products and services to their customers.
The process of making an online store is a bit more complicated than just creating a simple website. However, that does not mean that you can’t have an eCommerce store up and running in a few days.
How to monetize a website via eCommerce:
- Set your niche.
- Choose a domain name and web hosting.
- Install WordPress.
- Set up WooCommerce or a similar eCommerce platform.
- Design your store by browsing through themes and customizing them.
- Add your products by navigating to Products -> Add New on the sidebar
- Start marketing and get your first sale
6. Sponsored Content
Sponsored content is a collaboration between you as a publisher and the brands that you’re partnering with. Businesses pay you to create content for them and publish it on your site.
The content can be in the form of product or sales announcements, offers, infographics, or reviews. They can be written by you or by the sponsoring brand itself. You can charge a higher rate If you’ll be writing the post as well as publishing it on your website.
Before starting to create sponsored content, you should consider these few points:
- How much influence you have online.
- The number of sponsored posts you’ll be writing each month.
- How much time you’ll spend creating the content.
- Brand value (the sponsored content vs. your blogging brand).
BuzzFeed, for example, can charge around $100,000 for a sponsored content piece. This is due to its high influence and brand value.
How to monetize a website via sponsored posts:
- Start small – Kristy Ellington, a content marketer, and strategist recommend starting with smaller national brands and companies.
- Build up a portfolio.
- Partner with marketing and PR agencies.
- Search around sponsorship markets such as Tomoson, Cooperatize, and PayPerPost.
Sponsored content is a viable way to generate income through your website. Just remember to be transparent with your readers.
7. Flipping Your Website
This method is a little different from the others as it involves selling your website. It can be profitable depending on the type of site you run.
To get a bigger picture of how much a site can sell, you can browse through the listings at Empire Flippers.
The factors that influence the selling price of a website are:
- The amount of traffic a website has
- How much profit it generates
- Revenue steadiness
- Continual growth
8. Membership Websites
A membership website is like an upgraded donations method. Here, you’ll be charging readers to access specific content.
Take International Living – an online travel magazine and Blue Apron – a recipe blog, as examples. Readers need to sign up or subscribe if they want to access the content of these websites.
If you’re confident that your content is worth paying for, you can try monetizing your website in this manner.
How to monetize a website via memberships:
- Find the right model for your site.
Subscription: users pay monthly or annually to access a site’s content and benefits.
Transaction: separately selling individual contents such as tutorial videos, audio downloads, or training programs.
Metered: content is free until readers reach a certain checkpoint. They will have to pay a certain amount if they want to continue reading.
- Set up the paywall. If you have a WordPress site already up and running, then all you have to do is add a member site plugin.
Recommended plugins that you can use for content restriction:
- Membership & Content Restriction: restricts any part of your content, sets up unique subscription plans, and processes membership payments.
- Simple Membership creates membership levels and restricts content to specific membership tiers.
- WP-Members: hides parts of your content and displays teasers. It also provides tools to set up dedicated registration forms wherever you want.
9. Coupons with Affiliate Links
Roughly 97% of consumers look for deals when they shop. Another form of affiliate marketing can be offering coupons from affiliate partners.
Rakuten is the leader when it comes to online discounts and coupons. The site attracts customers and directs them to merchants they’ve partnered with, earning commissions along the way.
Putting up coupons on your site is an opportunity to attract more traffic.
So what are the options?
- Post coupons from affiliate partners/programs you’ve joined to your existing sites.
- Contact your local and national retailers for deals you can promote on your website.
- Create sites dedicated to offering coupons. These can be general, such as coupons.com, or specific, like Holidayers.
10. Set Up Online Courses/Coaching
If you have valuable knowledge to share, you can monetize a website by providing online courses.
Digital courses come in different formats. They can be simple PDF downloads, recorded audio, or well-produced videos. Guitar Tricks, for example, offers step-by-step videos as well as how-to articles.
How to monetize a website via courses?
- Pick a topic/niche.
- Create a new website or integrate your course into an existing site.
- Upload the content and promote it.
Setting up online courses can be a profitable solution as your revenue will only be limited by your traffic.
Earning money from managing a site can be an exciting experience. However, monetizing a website needs time, dedication, and most importantly – traffic.
We discussed ten different ways of how to monetize a website. Let’s take a final look:
- Google AdSense ‒ display ads while Google does all the work.
- Selling Ad Space ‒ directly connect to advertisers, managing your own ads while maximizing your earnings.
- Affiliate Marketing ‒ join affiliate programs and enter the affiliate market to earn commissions.
- Donation Based Monetization ‒ ask your readers for donations.
- Selling Your Own Products ‒ charge people for goods and services.
- Sponsored Content ‒ collaborate with businesses and get paid.
- Flipping Your Website ‒ sell websites.
- Membership Website ‒ readers pay to access your content.
- Coupons with Affiliate Links ‒ offer coupons and discounts from partnered merchants.
- Set Up Online Courses/Coaching ‒ share your skills and knowledge while earning money at the same time.