So you want to monetize your website, but are stumped on how you should actually do that? That’s fine, every good webmaster has trouble with this. If you knew how to make money with your site right off the bat, you probably didn’t do enough research to make a safe investment! This article revolves around great ways to earn money from your website without driving away visitors.

 

Your Site’s Visitors are Important

Before I even begin, I want you to think about your website and your audience. Is your site at a place where monetizing is wise? There are many sites with ads that can’t be justified by the few visitors that swing by every now and then. On the other side, you have popular websites that simply enrage their audiences with their numerous ads. There’s also sites that are so bad at ad placements that their visitors don’t see them or naturally ignore them. The relationship your website has with your visitors is a huge factor in how you’ll monetize your website.

 

Advertisements

The section above about visitors clearly shows my dislike of advertisements, or at least the unreliability of them. Sometimes they work, and sometimes they do not. Ads can be great, but only if you implement them well. Here are some things to keep in mind.

  • Ads should never cause your visitors to leave
  • Ads must be relevant to your website & visitors
  • There should always be more content (writing/etc) than ads

If you’re going to implement ads, you should check out Google Adsense. It’s a great program.

 

Affiliate Products

Affiliate products are items that you encourage your visitors to purchase. You would then receive a ‘cut’ from the vendor who rewards you for referring a customer to them. These can earn you a lot of money, but must be relevant. Don’t sell hair products on a tech site. Lastly, don’t hide your affiliation. Feel free to tell your audience that you’re receiving a cut, but would recommend the company no matter what (Please, only offer affiliate products that you’d personally buy).

 

Selling Content Placements (not ads)

Content placements for websites are much like how content is bought for newspapers. Once your site has gained some popularity it can be easy to say “Hey, if you give me $25 I will allow you to publish an article on my website.” There are many freelancers, product creators, and others that are willing to pay for these types of content placements.

Backlinks can be sold in the same way. I recommend checking out SEOClerks or a related company to find these types of buyers.

 

VIP Access (not just for forums)

Providing VIP Access to your visitors is a premium type of service. It will require your site to be quite popular, and you’ll need to be able to deliver on any promises you make to your readers. The price of this will solely depend on your type of site, and your readers. Honestly though, you could easily ask for around $5 per month from your readers. Come on, get that calculator out – See the potential?

What you would do is provide content freely, on a regular basis, and then keep your premium / high quality content hidden from people who don’t pay for access. Premium content could include video versions of your articles, complex tutorials, industry tips, etc.

 

Asking for Donations / Funds

Before you scream “I’m not homeless though!” just think about Wikipedia. It is one of the largest informational websites on the internet. Each year Wikipedia asks for funding so that they can continue to offer their web pages. They receive thousands of dollars in these fundraising events and are able to keep going.

Ask your friends, family, and online contacts for donations. You can also do what Wikipedia does, which is put up a hefty ad (but not intrusive) on the front page asking for funds.

 

Packing Up & Selling Your Website

If all else has failed, or you have lost interest, then selling your website might be a viable option. Before you go advertising that your site is for sale, get it ready. Prepare analytical reports on monthly traffic, your attempts at monetizing it and its potential to earn money in the future. Once you’ve gathered all the data, start telling your friends that it’s for sale, and go to popular online marketplaces.

These sites include…

 

One Last Thing, Don’t Kill Your Site With Ads

Ever gone to a site with a pop up, a pop under, a banner ad, text links, an auto-play video, a soundtrack and horrible design? It’s terrible, right? Don’t be that site. Make sure you do everything in moderation. You’ll only make money if people keep coming to your site, so don’t drive your readers away!

  • Giorgios

    I liked this article because it touched up on a few things that can even be beneficial for Forum Owners.

    Firstly about Ads and your visitors. I can’t tell you how many times I go on forums and people have placed ads to the core, even using those horrible green text popups in the forum descriptions. When someone goes to that length to make money on their forum, you’re not gonna be successful at all. You’re free to put up maybe a banner in the header that doesn’t get in the way, but your visitors don’t want to deal with those damn pop ups.

    And secondly and finally, VIP Treatment. When someone gets VIP on a forum, they get access to a private forum, a username color and rank image, maybe their own sticky thread for 1 month, the list goes on. It has to be the same for blogs and sites. Because you lack the community to a certain extent that a forum has(unless you also have a community forum)you’ve gotta entic your visitors and offering goodies will help.

  • Rick_Ace

    Monetizing websites can be a challenging and complex process. Thank you for these tips.

    I really like the VIP access idea. It allows members to sponsor your website, and the page wouldn’t be full of ads. No one wants to visit a website that puts ads everywhere.

  • Mr.Panos

    Advertisements are very annoying for every visitor, especially if they have a voice or a distracting animated photo. Google AdSense is the best program because it is very organized and you have the ability to gain some money very easily.
    If you want to sell your site, the best choice that you have is Filippa, but you need to pay. SEOClerks can be really helpful too, especially if you want to buy some things from Freelancers.

  • kingcool52

    The one problem I find with monetizing blogs and to be honest any site is that it is pretty hard to earn some cash with ad networks but if you find ads to put on your site manually you can earn much more

  • JoshSmith100

    People sell sites on SEOClerks?Wow I had no idea about that even though im a pretty frequent user of that site, gonna have to check it out. Anyways I can attest to VIP access working well on forums. If people donate they are supporting the site and while doing that they get extra benefits. Its a win win situation.

  • Adam

    The easiest way to monetise your site would be to post on buysellads. Its easy and lots of people do it..you can earn good money from it too! I would also suggest finding a sponsor if your website has a specific theme as it can work for the both of you regarding visitors/traffic.

  • Brad

    I agree with Adam. Buysellads is a important way to keep your site running as it can fund it and possibly make the owner a little bit of extra cash on the side as well, but only if the site is getting the minimum amount of pageviews/hits that Buysellads believe is enough for you to be accepted and start earning money from there.

  • Jerlene

    What I do is just run third party ads, or ads from an ad program, or just sell links. Selling links usually pays the bills.

  • James

    I agree about no tkilling your site with ads, too many times have I come across websites with the pop ups and video ads you have mentioned, Will. It seems as if these people don’t know that all they are doing isputting people off, what would you rather? get a one off big amount of money from spamming a user to death with advertisements, or get consistent money from the same user from returning visits?

  • Another great way is PostJoint if you’re blogging. You can get people to pay you to put guest articles up onto your blog and can earn up to $500 per blog post!

  • Bizarrio Network

    Currently I am struggling to monetize my blog, these tips are really beneficial for me.

    I think Adsense is the best when it comes to monetizing a site.

  • milksheikh

    I currently use, BuySellAds, EpicGameAds, and adsense. They are all good ad companies in my opinion. Also asking for donations is something i may do once in a while, to raise funds to pay for hosting,domain,etc.

  • Quacker Jack

    Great tips, Will! I think the most important point about selling advertisements is that it should not drive visitors away. The advertisements on your site should not be intrusive. Additionally, it is important to have a site with good content first before you attempt to monetize it. One thing to add to your thoughts about VIP sections is that it is very important to make it worthwhile for that user. Why have a VIP section if all it does is give them a special badge or a fancy name? You need to have extra benefits that make people want to join to enjoy.

  • webbyman12

    I think advertising is what most people do.

    I currently do alot of advertising and using Donation techniques.

  • Origami Crane

    These are some great ideas to monetize a site. I agree that traffic is one of the most important factors. Selling ads directly is definitely the fastest way to make money from advertisements. Thanks for the ideas!

  • billimaster

    These are some great ways to monetize your website, I have used most of them.

    I think advertising is the best way to get in some revenue.

  • billimaster

    I agree these are some amazing and nice ways to monetize my website!

    I will try some of these out,thanks again!

  • iceman

    These are some great ways to monetize your website.

    I will try these!

  • WebDev Newbie

    These are great ideas. I’ve been wanting to better monetize my blog. I’ll try some of these things out! Thank you for sharing these ideas.

  • freelance42

    I like the idea of VIP.

    I will try using the VIP Area thing on my forum! It seems like a great idea, thanks!

  • sweetbro

    Some really nice ideas on how to monetize websites.

    I use BuySellAds and some other ad networks to make some money.

  • masterofweb

    I use VIP Access on my forums..

    and I use Advertisements for my blogs/websites.

  • FlammyX3

    Your ads shouldn’t be so flashy in my opinion, I hate flashy ads and the ones with bright colors irritate me and is surely a negative downside for a website to have.