Monetizing a website can be difficult at times, people just don’t know how to do it.
Most people out there are keen to make more money, it’s a fact of life.
A lot of people see the potential in starting a website, or if they own one already, because they can monetize it, earn an income and jump ship form a crappy job or unemployment – yet they don’t know where to start!
These days there are endless options and massive potential for anyone to make not only a living online but a tonne of money.
When it all boils down though, these “endless” options can be refined categorized into a few key approaches. So below I look at each and give you an idea of how to get started monetizing your website or blog.
Please note, some of the links in this post are affiliate links that I gain a commission from upon purchase. This is at no additional cost for you and helps keep this website funded and alive.
So let’s get into it!
Below is a video covering some of the main methods to monetize a blog or website, but the blog post below is much more in-depth. I do recommend watching the as well and referring to the post for further information :)
Watch on YouTube
Looking for more ways or in depth info? Keep reading as I go into a heap of detail :)
Sell an E-book or Downloadable File
The idea is simple, build an audience through your website or blog and sell an E-Book or file people want to download.
This is a very attractive option to monetize with as it means set everything up and walk away. The sales process will operate without you, taking the money and granting access to the product is all automated. You may have to answer the odd email or give the occasional refund but overall it’s a pretty good deal if you can get it going.
Some ideas of Downloadable Files are:
- E-Books (duh, says above)
- Music or Audio recordings
- Design Templates for Photoshop, Illustrator etc
- High-Resolution Digital Artwork or Photography
- Editable Documents
- Software & Games
- Bundles or Packs of the Above
There’s a number of ways to can set up delivery too. You can go and start a full-on E-Commerce website with Shopify, or you can add WooCommerce to set up downloadable goods on your WordPress website.
Some WordPress plugins are:
Or you can use a third-party service, such as:
So there’s plenty of options to make your digital download a simple pay and receive process that happens completely without you, leading to a very passive income source to monetize your website with if set up correctly.
Sell an Online Course
There are entrepreneurs and businesses out there selling premium online courses and making millions of dollars. Courses are quite popular and you can charge a decent amount for them, which is why they’re so effective.
You could charge $20, $50, $99, $299 or even $999 – depending on value delivered.
How much you deliver, the benefits if the information or how in-demand it is. There are courses out there showing people how to make $100k a year with a certain business model or service and these courses can sell for $3000 or more!
Here are a few platforms you can use monetize with by creating Online Courses:
- Learn worlds
- Academy of mine
- Course craft
- Zippy online courses
- Click 4 course
- Digital chalk
If you’re using WordPress, there are also a number of plugins you can use:
I’ve personally haven’t created an online course yet, but as you can see there are definitely some options!
Sell a service
This is open to your imagination!
This is how I was able to monetize my site and quit my job, by selling my design services online and now, thanks to websites like this one, work with people all over the world from home.
If you’re not sure what you should o, think of a problem you can solve with a service. Then create a website to help advertise that service!
I tackled this in another post about making money online, but here are some ideas for freelancing or offering a service to monetize your website:
So, here are a few services that do well online in the freelance world:
- Marketing / Social Media Management
- Blogging / Writing
- Graphic Design
- Web Design
- Teaching / Tutoring (Skype is perfect for this)
- Translator / Interpreter
- Legal Work
- Virtual Assistant
- Photo Editing
- Video Editing
- Audio Editing
- Voice over work or voice acting
- SEO services
- Fitness or Health Coach
- Consulting of any kind
- Whatever skill you have that doesn’t require a physical presence
You can set up WooCommerce and charge through your website or even just bill them via email afterward. If you want to get started and earning sooner rather than later than this is an excellent place to start.
Sell / Rent Ad Space
This one is an oldie but still not a bad option, as it can be extremely passive. You can simply use space on your website to display ads. Industry profitability plays a factor in earnings which means your earnings may vary depending on the topic of your website.
Basically, more traffic usually means you earn more money.
There are several different ad types you can monetize with:
CPC – Cost per Click
You display an ad on your website and when someone clicks on that advertisement you earn a small fee. A lot of people set up little niche sites that sit and passively earn money using this model.
Here are your options to sign up and start putting CPC Ads on your website:
- Google AdSense – by far the most popular and best choice for many.
- Vibrant Media
CPM – Cost per Mille
Basically, it means cost per thousand impressions. For every thousand impressions and ad gets on your website you earn a fee. A $2 CPM ($2 per thousand impressions) is seen as a decent benchmark, but it can go either way.
Here are some CPM Networks you can check out:
CPL – Cost per Lead
This means for every lead you generate (could be a phone call or email subscribe) you get paid a pre-determined amount.
Again, here are some options for you to check out to start with CPL Ads. However, the following networks also have other offers so you may need to do some digging to find CPL offers.
Rent space by the month or week / predetermined price.
You can simply negotiate yourself or use an agency that sells your ad space. A lot of websites monetize their traffic by having a page named ‘advertise’ with a table of rates.
This can be a good option to get a predetermined amount. If you have time you can easily implement it yourself, although an ad network will offer more statistics for a fee – keeping your clients happy for the ads they pay for.
Here is where you can advertise and manage rented Ad space:
So you’ve got some options to consider if you’re going the route of Selling ad space! H
People are willing to pay you to post one of their articles on your site. Crazy, right? Well it’s a top way to monetize your blog.
Usually, this post includes a keyword/anchor text link people are trying to optimize for SEO or it could be to advertise products. You can put this under your advertising page or wait to be contacted via email. Either way, I’ve made thousands from ‘out of the blue’ Sponsored Post deals in the past.
Sell other people’s stuff and receive a commission!
Affiliate marketing is immensely popular as it can pay quite well, with some products out there offering hundreds of dollars in commission. You simply add a link to your website, if someone clicks on that link and follows through to make a purchase, a tracking cookie puts your name next to the purchase as an affiliate and you get paid. That’s it.
There is no shortage of Affiliate Programs out there to monetize your traffic wtih. Look in the footer of many websites to see if they offer an affiliate program, or see one of the networks below. Just be aware, these are the top networks but even this list barely scratches the surface of what opportunities are out there, so get out and do some digging!
- Amazon Associates
- CJ Affiliate by Conversant
- eBay Partner Network
Heaps of business have their own affiliate program and use no network, as I mentioned earlier, check their website footer for ‘affiliate’ or ‘partner’ program – or even do a Google Search for “(website name) affiliate program”.
Sell physical goods
One of the oldest methods in the history of the human race – “here’s my thing, you can have it for $5!”.
Selling physical goods on an E-Commerce platform or through a marketplace like Amazon and send people to it. It can be a good way to make some money and can be relatively passive or active depending on how you go about it.
There are some avenues to consider:
- Shipping goods yourself – the most active method, when a customer buys you take responsibility for sending the goods on.
- Fulfillment – You buy stock, send it to a fulfillment agency (Amazon offers this) and when the sale is made, someone else ships it, you just pay the fee and receive your money for the sale, no physical work is involved.
- Drop-shipping – similar to above, except you only pay for goods when they’re sold. Someone buys an item you’ve listed, the company you’re buying from is notified and sends it to the customer. You get paid for the sale, you then pay the dropshipping company. No physical work involved (nice and passive, no upfront costs on products).
If you run a WordPress website that you want to monetize, you can install WooCommerce and sell through there or try a dedicated platform like Shopify – where you can either sell on your Shopify site or install their plugin and sell from your WordPress website.
If you want to use a fulfillment service, here’s a few you can check out:
Sell your own ‘Print on Demand’ Merchandise
I’ve done a little bit of this in the past and continue to make a small amount of passive income from it today.
You can create a design or quote and upload it to a ‘Print on Demand’ store. It works by listing the item on a website and printing it individually once it’s sold – you keep the profit. There are many places you can do this, selling shirts, framed prints, stickers, mugs and a diverse range of goods.
Here are some options you can monetize with:
- Amazon Merch
- Fine Art America
- Design by Humans
Refer products you sell elsewhere
This kind of works with many of the above avenues.
If you make money anywhere else on the internet outside of your website, don’t be afraid to refer your own products. You could have a website that has no affiliate links, products or method of contact, and simply link out to your other site whether it be a Shopify Store, Merch store, Upwork profile, whatever.
Monetising a website doesn’t require everything to happen o on that exact website.
Rent-out your website (or areas of it)
This is similar to selling ad space but on a much larger scale. With this method, you monetize the entire website!
You create a website, rank through SEO, email marketing, blogging or whatever you do to get relevant traffic – and then you charge rent to someone to use it for their business. You can brand the site with their logo and contact details or rent out areas of the website to send them business.
This is one of the lesser talked about but still very popular methods that people use to make money with their websites.
Use it to promote your brick and mortar business
Do you have a business or shop with a physical address? Does your website discuss topics that are in line with that business?
Well, mention your business or shop and send people your way. This works well if you can expand into online services or E-Commerce to truly take advantage of your online audience.
Connecting these two assets is an effective way to monetize traffic that can really bring in some extra money!
Accept donations & sponsorship
Sometimes you can bring in some money by simply bypassing the whole exchange approach of selling and instead just ask for donation or sponsorship. It’s not the most effective way to monetize a site but it’s very non-aggressive. Paypal makes this easy with the Donate button you can add to your site which you can use for both options, offering one-off transactions or recurring transactions.
The difference between donating and sponsorship would be that a donation is received for your work and you can simply accept and leave it at that, stating that it will help keep your website funded and active. Sponsorship would usually require something in return, such as a mention of the business somewhere or even some additional goods if you can think beyond that.
Many websites just have a “sponsors” section at the bottom of their main pages with a series of logos linking off to their websites. But there is another option which is a bit of a step up from there…
Run a Patreon Campaign
If you have a YouTube Channel or website, you can easily start up a Patreon account.
Basically, users can choose their own fee amount to sponsor you with every month and you offer exclusive extras in return. You can set levels of exclusive content by how much people are willing to pay and create a nice recurring income.
All you need to do is continually offer quality and keep people interested. You can monetize a website, a YouTube channel or whatever you prefer using Patreon.
Offer Premium Content
Level up the content you’re already offering and monetize your site by offering it in a premium package.
You can sell a monthly or 12 monthly membership, or simply allow people to purchase each piece of content one by one. Either way, this can be a good way to generate some extra money for doing a little extra of what you’re already doing.
There are a few options for creating a membership website:
You can offer a ‘pay per page’ option with the use of WooCommerce and the ‘Pay Per Post‘ Plugin
Combine with YouTube or a Podcast.
You know if you reach 1000 YouTube Subscribers and 40,000+ views over a 12 month period, you can monetize your videos, right?
Well, if you have a highly trafficked website, embed those YouTube videos into your site to get them more views and therefore – more ad revenue. This combination can be advantageous as your YouTube Channel can promote your website, and your website promotes your YouTube channel. It’s like combining superpowers!
If you don’t know how to embed videos or start a YouTube Channel, check out my post How to Start a YouTube Channel (and Upload your 1st Video).
The same approach can be applied to podcasting. It’s another indirect ay to monetize your traffic.
You start a podcast, promote it on your website and then gain sponsorship or sell affiliate products through your podcast. You can even create blog posts and have the podcast available in MP3 format for people to listen to.
Combine some of the above
You don’t need to stick to only one avenue of monetization.
You can combine a heap of these all into one website. Some of my niche sites sell Ad-Space, a Premium E-book, affiliate products and combine with my YouTube Channel. While many out there offer digital products, an online course, and sponsorship through their Podcast – which they promote on their website.
There’s nothing stopping you from combining as many of these avenues as are compatible – some simply won’t mix well though. For example, you wouldn’t rent out an entire website to a business and plaster it with ads and your own affiliate links. That’s just poor value.
But you can start with one and expand as you go, or simply respond to the demand of your audience by introducing products that solve their problems.
Flip your website
If you’re not happy with your site, move on…
…but get paid to move on!
Websites can sell anywhere from $100 to $100 million. It’s not a consistent form of monetization as you only earn from your website once with this method. But you can do it to multiple websites.
If you get decent traffic and earn a little bit of money, you can usually get a few thousand dollars. You’ll need to get a proper valuation though.
Here are a few marketplaces where you can list your website for sale:
It is interesting to look at what’s available for reference – or you may even find a website you’re willing to buy. You can consider buying a website and using it to earn an income or you can simply by, give it a little work and sell it at a higher price.
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