Many people start a website with the intent of making money. Others do it for the enjoyment of building something or sharing their knowledge. Whatever the reason, there is an abundance of tools available to you to help you turn your digital content into an income generating machine. You will also need a good web hosting partner in order to achive your goals.
Whether you are looking to get rich or simply make some passive income, here are some strategies to get your online content to make the most for you.
1) Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising
This one is probably the most widely known and used. So much that I hesitated including it in this list. But, if you’re new to the world of online advertising, this is a must-know, and it can certainly be profitable.
With PPC advertising, you as the advertiser lease out some of your space on your site to let companies advertise their products and services. There are even platforms, called advertising networks, that allow you to offload all the heavy lifting.
There are several programs available, varying in ease of use and payouts. Check out some of the following and see what fits your needs:
- Google Adsense - simple to use/setup, high CPM and CPC rates.
- RevenueHits - variety of ads, simple to use.
- Chitika.com - can use with Adsense, high CPC rates, less intuitive.
- Clicksor - large variety of ads, works well with traffic from UK and CA.
2) Lead Marketing
Lead marketing is the process of generating qualified interest on behalf of a company. Many businesses are willing to pay you to help them with list building, growing their email lists, or gaining sales leads.
This is one that you can do yourself, if you have the connections and know-how, and a lot of time on your hands. If you don’t, however, there are tools and services to allow you to plug and play.
3) Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is a way of marketing a product or service in a way that you get paid a commission for every customer that signs up for said product or service. Most affiliate programs will give you links to put on your website. Those links have parameters in the URL to track what signups and purchases come from you. If you can find a way to incorporate this into your website, it has great money-making potential.
- Amazon Associates - this one is my favorite for it’s ease of use and high number of products to search.
- Commission Junction
- Others — there are so many niche affiliate programs that I wouldn’t be able to list them all in one article. Many websites have their own affiliate programs. No matter your website’s niche, you’re pretty much guaranteed to find some program that works for you.
4) Sell Your Own Products
Chances are, if you’ve started a website, it is because you are knowledgable or passionate about the subject matter on your site. Use that to your advantage and share your knowledge. You can very easily sell that knowledge in digital format (pdf book, instructional videos, access to premium site content).
You may also have some physical product that you could sell to consumers. There are many tools to help you sell online. Here are a few:
- Woocommerce - this one is a Wordpress specific plugin that can help you sell online. If your site is built on Wordpress, this is a quick easy way to start selling products.
- Paypal - this is an oldie, but still, probably one of the easiest ways to sell digital content if you have minimal technological abilities. Paypal has a feature for easily selling those e-products.
- Squarespace - another option, if you’re looking to sell products. I haven’t tried this myself, but friends have told me it’s fairly intuitive. If you find you can’t fully build a Squarespace site yourself, they have a program to help you find specialists to help you (for a price, of course).
- Stripe, Braintree - if you’re more technically inclined and familiar with code, both Stripe and Braintree provide payment processing solutions and both have excellent APIs and documentation. I highly recommend both.
I’m not one to ask for handouts. But increasingly, I’m finding legitimate reasons for sites to ask for donations. Wikipedia, is known for it’s free service of providing a wealth of knowledge and asking for donations in return. If you provide some open source knowledge, consider allowing people to reward you for the benefit they receive.
- Gratipay - provides voluntary payments for open work.
- Paypal - again, one you have probably seen before.
6) Sponsored Posts & Reviews
Just two days ago, I was looking for a review on Nordic Lifting’s knee sleeves
to help with my squat. The second link to come up in Google search was a YouTube video. Nordic Lifting reached out to this guy and asked him to do a review of their product.
Similarly, I know many bloggers who write reviews or sponsored posts for companies. If you have a large audience, consider reaching out to a company that you love and let them know that you’d love to promote their business.
No matter your choice for monetization of your website, you will need a realiable web hosting service provider.