Remember how back in 2010s everyone started blogging on LiveJournal and people coined the term “content overdose”? Those were the golden days of easy website monetization.
Today, the Internet bastes us with content just like turkeys before Thanksgiving and not having a website is far more rare than having one. Birds do it, bees do it, graphic designers, IT-specialists, doctors, teachers, and even your mom do it.
You can’t impress anyone with a Wix-generated lander popping up on the first page of Google search whenever someone decides to type in your name.
Which is why today earning money with your website is equally as difficult as it is easy. I mean, you can always sign up for Medium Writer’s program and earn a couple of cents whenever someone reads your flow of consciousness.
But I assume you’re interested in actual profit. And that’s where things get harder.
So let’s have a look at some proven website monetization strategies so you could stop paying for that domain name in vain.
1. Publish sponsored content
One of the easiest ways to turn your trusted website into a money-making machine is to rely on sponsored content. It’s so simple, it’s genius.
All you need to do is to find a product or a service someone else is looking to promote, create an organic article that will match the rest of your content, and negotiate the price. Sure, this last one varies depending on your reach and quality, but most of the time, sponsored content is a solid opportunity to monetize semi-grown websites.
There are different kinds of sponsored posts you could be working with. Be it a simple mention of a product you’re promoting or a full professional 1000-characters-long review. The choice is all yours.
What’s important here is not to force anything on your audience. A good organic sponsored content is based on sincere interest, rather than a forced sale. You aren’t promoting a product per se, instead – you’re sharing a brand experience with your readers. Well, you get the gist.
2. Pro Tip: Become an Affiliate Marketer
If the first option seems like too much work to you – you’re going to love this one! Affiliate marketing, my friend, is by far the easiest and the laziest ways to monetize a website good bucks the contemporary advertisers have come up with.
If you’re still a bit confused with the term – you can learn more about it right here, in my full Affiliate Marketing Guide for Beginners. And if you’re an affiliate marketer searching for new ways to make some profits – just keep reading!
Website monetization via affiliate links basically comes down to two things: selecting an offer you’ll be promoting and inserting the link with your unique code to the website. While the sponsored content requires you to write long chunks of text to promote one deal, with affiliate links you can advertise as many products as you like in one sentence. Simply link the correct words and you’re all set – you’re an affiliate and a publisher!
Then, people who come across your referral link will land on the offer page and you’ll receive a commission based on a conversion.
Yup, that’s right – a conversion. Sometimes, these people won’t even have to buy anything and the simple site visit or a contact form submission will be enough for you to reap profits. It all depends on the type of affiliate offer you’re running.
Fortunately, there are ways to make sure you only promote the best offers.
Join an affiliate network
One option is to join an affiliate network and find the offers that fit you best.
We’ve already listed some of the Best Affiliate Networks, so all you have to do is to go to that article and choose the one that speaks to your heart.
The problem here is that you’re also limited in your choice, as affiliate networks usually focus on a specific niche or a specific type of ads only.
Use an affiliate tracker
If you’re searching for a bit more flexibility but still want to get the absolute most out of affiliate links on your website content – use an ad tracker, like Voluum!
With it, you can match the best offers to the most fitting audience (aka traffic) that comes through your website and even automate the process. This way Volum will manage all your affiliate campaigns for you.
3. Sell Ad Space
As a part of this website monetization strategy, you’re not creating any promotional content per se. Instead, you let others use your website’s traffic as a platform to promote their products. Think of it as an ad board on a private property. They aren’t necessarily advertising their own place, charging those who want to put up an ad instead.
It requires minimal investment on your side unless you want to be extra picky regarding the type of ads appearing next to your content. You simply sell out a margin or two and let digital marketers and affiliates from all around the world to do their thing.
If you want to simplify things even further – try joining an affiliate network that will basically put your website space for sale for you. Or trust Google by finding the best ads via AdSense to earn even more revenue.
4. Launch a Paid Membership Site
If you want to work a little harder and create a slightly more useful and beneficial content on your website – try charging people for being a part of your community! You can then base your monetization strategy on weekly, monthly, or annual subscriptions and watch not only your traffic and demand for your content, but also your profits grow.
Sounds pretty cool, right? Well, there’s a small catch. For this monetization technique to work, you need to provide a seriously outstanding piece of content. People need to actually be willing to give you money for whatever it is you’re offering. Creating an engaging and useful user experience is the key.
You must be familiar with Shutterstock and Kindle Unlimited – these guys did paid membership website monetization right. However, there’s more you can do than just offer stock photos or mid-quality ebooks. Think Masterclass where people pay to learn from the industry giants; or closed community sites and forums, like affLIFT, where you access educational materials and closed groups to get in touch with experts and peers.
You’re only limited in your creativity. You remember the #1 business rule these days, right? If you’re good at something – never do it for free. Base it on a recurring subscription fee – and you’re rich!
5. Use Your Website to Sell Stuff
I know, I know – big duh. You’d think: what could be more obvious? You want to make money, so you make something and then sell it. Well, you don’t even have to make anything anymore. But I’m getting ahead of myself. There are three ways you can monetize your website by selling stuff:
- Create a digital product
- Start an eCommerce store
I don’t want to give into too many specifics, but let’s quickly go over some key points of each of the solutions.
Creating a digital product
It’s painfully similar to a paid membership strategy, except for one big difference: instead of charging website visitors a recurring fee, you receive a one-time payment. Let’s say you wrote an ebook – kudos for that, I’m sure it wasn’t easy. So now you want people to pay for it.
If you’re productive enough to create at least one ebook every month – awesome, you can charge people for a membership access. But if it took too much time and effort and you’re not sure if you’re going to every write a single word again – put a price tag on that baby and forget about it! Let it earn you some profits instead.
Starting a full-time eCommerce business
This one requires a lot of effort, a fair share of entrepreneurial mindset, and you sure won’t be known as a blogger – you’ll be a retailer. And yet, eCommerce is the easiest and the most obvious way to earn money with your website. In fact, here the only purpose of having a website is to earn money.
You can try using Shopify or invest in developing your own WordPress or Wix-based store. Just prepare for it to be hard. And if you’re going to sell unique products (e.g. handmade crafts) – try not to focus on monetization and marketing too much at first, let your product speak for itself.
Earning with dropshipping
This one can work very similarly to the previous idea, you can even still launch your Shopify store. Just here you don’t have to produce anything. Instead, you resell the products created by someone else. Much like Amazon. And that’s about it.
The success of your monetization will directly depend on the success of your product and your website traffic will determine what further deals to invest in.
How? Well, by tracking your performance, of course! For you can use Voluum to track your own deals as much as affiliate ones. Just tie your campaign to your own website and voila! And if you’re thinking about Google Analytics now – sure, you can go in that direction too, but first try and check out this little Comparison Guide we wrote back in the day.
And remember – with Voluum you can do much more!
Mix & Match But Don’t Forget to Test
If you’ve been reading our blog for some time now, you should know we’re all crazy about testing here. That’s because nothing says tangible evidence than a good-old comparison table.
There are more website monetization strategies for earning money with your website out there and I’m sure you have a couple of genius ideas of your own. The beauty of these five is that you can mix and match them however you like. Which I fully encourage you to do.
Running an eCommerce website doesn’t stop you from including a paid-membership blog somewhere there with a unique style or gift guides for your subscribers. Try adding a product review page where you could also add a couple of sponsored articles and affiliate links. Sign up for AdSense of an ad network to sell your web space to advertisers to promote even more deals and turn your little website into an advertising platform. And so on and so force.
Just don’t forget to measure and test what works and what doesn’t, otherwise all your effort will go in vain. And I think you already know the best way to do that: