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.
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 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!