One of the key questions that is usually the first to get asked of any online entrepreneur is “how do I monetise my site?”.
A key reason why many people are looking to the internet is to find ways of earning money online and you will be surprised that the majority of the sites out there are utilising these methods to make money – whether it is passive income or selling their own products, these sites use the following strategies to great effect.
Regardless of whether you are looking to earn a little extra money or are targeting a high-income site, if you can utilise these 4 methods you will be well on your way of earning money through your website.
It is worth pointing out that some strategies are more passive (once set up could earn you money without a lot of work) than others and other techniques will require a lot of time and effort.
It is always worth choosing a monetisation strategy that fits in with you and your audience.
Let’s get into the 5 proven ways to monetise your website…
Affiliate Marketing is actually quite a simple premise, but I’ll admit it does take a minute to get your head around. If you would like to look at a complete guide, check out this post.
Put simply, Affiliate Marketing is where you promote or recommend a product and if one of your readers goes on to buy said product, you will receive a commission. This is your reward for introducing that buyer to the seller.
This method happens more than you think, heard of Amazon? They are probably one of the biggest Affiliate Marketing Partners out there. Commission rates doe vary, as Amazon’s rate is quite low. But you could find some commission rates out there for as much as 70%.
Easiest way to find out an affiliate program is to google “your niche + affiliate program”.
You will be surprised at the number that will come up. I run a website for my wife, she has a wedding business – as a way of increasing revenue to her business I added a number of products from Amazon to her site through Affiliate Marketing. Anyone who goes on the website and wants to look at gifts for bridesmaids, etc. and decides to follow the affiliate link through to the Amazon Marketplace and buys it, we will receive a thank you commission from Amazon.
If you are receiving a lot of traffic to your website and you keep the products that you promote relevant to your audience (Imagine if I started promoting expensive TVs on the wedding site because they are a high-ticket product – I would lose trust in the audience and it would appear like selling) then this could become a lucrative passive income.
Sell Your Own Products
Some small businesses are missing a trick when it comes to their own products and it comes down to the fact they don’t know enough about website design to add their products to a website.
But it is still one of the safest ways to make money online. Add your products to your own website, your customers pay, and you ship the product.
It is a simple premise, but does require a lot of work and depending on how much stock you have you may need to consider storage space, etc.
This is why this method does require a lot of time and effort.
But can carry many rewards, if you are someone who regularly exhibits at fayres and customers tell you your products are great, then they are likely to be customers who order off of you online.
If you want to know how to get started with a free website, check out this post.
If you already have a website but want to know a great way of adding your products to your website, then I recommend a plug-in called WooCommerce. It makes it so easy to add products and services. But if you have any specific questions, please let me know. I have been using these methods for my wife’s wedding website for a while.
What if you haven’t got your own products?? You could sell someone else’s…
Drop shipping is the term where you sign up with a wholesaler that offers drop shipping. You advertise that product on your website with a mark-up. A customer comes on your website and buys that product off you, you then order it off the wholesaler and give them the customers address. It gets sent straight to your customer with your company name on it (so the customer thinks it has come from you) and you keep the difference in cost.
Whilst this will not be everyone’s cup of tea, due to the amount of work involved, it is a great way of adding to the product range of a website.
Again, we utilise this method on the wedding website. We have added a number of wedding favours onto the website. Any of our customers order these favours, we order them from our wholesaler and it gets mailed straight to the customer.
Due to us paying wholesale costs, we are making 20% on each sale.
This might not sound much but think of it this way: this allows us to remain competitive in a competitive market, we aren’t paying for any storage of these products. If a particular product does not sell and will never sell, we just remove it from the website and we have got any stock to try and get rid of.
There are many benefits to drop shipping, but with many providers it does mean you need to place an order when you have received it.
I am about to review Shopify which has a function where you connect directly with a drop shipper, which means it could be automated – but I will keep you updated with the review.
Sell Your Website Space
Have you got space available on your website where someone could pay to advertise their business?
There are a couple of options, you could use Google AdSense. The return on this method will depend on your traffic levels, but at least you can control what ads appear on your website/blog.
You could sell the space yourself via an advertising network, but again this will depend on the traffic levels you get. As they will not want to pay over the odds for a space that is not going to get seen by many.
Personally, I feel this is an option for when you are receiving high levels of traffic. It will require time and effort to build up your audience to a level where either option ends up being worth it.
If you already have high levels of traffic and you are not using either method, you are missing out on some easy revenue.
Using Online Advertising Platforms
Whilst selling your own space will take a lot of time and effort, there is an alternative of using an online advertising platform. This is an option which many use, I regularly check the Sky Sports app and at the bottom of every page is a “Sponsored Links” bit and they have partnered with Outbrain to recommend a number of adverts. Of course, Sky will earn a commission if I click on any of these adverts.
I get why many use this, but Sky is a massive platform and they can get away with more than a small website owner who is trying to break through the barriers into where they have consistent traffic. But my main gripe with this method is, the ads are not relevant. Not a single advert at the bottom of this page is relevant to sport or me.
So, if you added an advertising block to your website and the ads are not relevant to your readers, it may put them off and they lose trust in you and end up not following any of your suggestions.
If you do decide to follow this method, my only advice is to check how much control you have on it and also check what it is showing. I know someone who just turned it on and didn’t check it and all the adverts were adult related (dating apps, etc.) on a blog for children’s toys.
Whilst there are many strategies that are proven ways to monetise your website, these are 5 that do work. I myself use the first 4 on the wedding website and all are providing a monthly income.
The key things I would recommend you follow are: Make sure anything you add to your website is relevant to your audience. If your website is about weddings, then any post, product, advert needs to be around something that a reader who is looking at planning a wedding will find useful.
Quality Content is also a must to improve the traffic numbers to help you benefit from these methods.
I hope you found this article useful, if you have any questions or want to share how you monetise your website then please add them to the comments section below.