Obtaining a passive revenue flow is a dream for millions of Americans. By launching a new website, you’ve taken the first step towards making that dream a reality. The question is how will you make the transition from a free website to one that utilizes an effective monetization model.
Websites are different than other forms of monetization as the content is widely available. You’ll have to take advantage of some creative monetization strategies to turn a profit. It’s imperative you choose the best method for your industry or else you’ll alienate your visitors and send them packing.
Ready to make money online? Here are 7 tried and true ways to monetize your website.
1. Encourage Donations
In some industries, participants are more than willing to donate money to their favorite content creators. This is commonly found throughout the entertainment industry. With the right branding, your readers would be more open to the idea of throwing in the occasional donation to keep you in operation.
But don’t leave it to chance. It’s best to set up a recurring donation system, such as through Patreon, so you can estimate your income every month. This means you’ll likely have to create additional incentives to stay relevant and keep donators around.
Not sure if it’s a good option? Incorporate a tip jar on your site and add a CTA asking for financial support to keep the content coming. It’s a good way to gauge how accepting your visitors are of a donation system.
2. Take on Sponsors
Sponsors are an increasingly common source of revenue for many blogs, especially those with a focus on reviews. These companies are basically paying for the publicity that comes with your coverage.
However, sponsorships are difficult to gain if your website doesn’t see a good deal of traffic. It may still be an option if you work in a niche industry. Keep in mind that you’re legally obligated to disclose sponsored content if you pursue this path.
Take a look at your competitors to find potential sponsors. Still nothing? Then consider reaching out to small and medium-sized businesses related to your industry.
You may be surprised at the results.
3. Write an eBook
Wouldn’t it be great if you could monetize the blog posts directly? Unfortunately, locking content behind paywalls isn’t a great way to make money online. The secret is to keep writing and collate the information into an ebook.
This is more profitable than you may think. Your website brings in traffic through great SEO and high-quality content. Once you’ve established yourself as an authority, you can promote your non-fiction ebook to the visitors.
The more traffic you get, the better your chances of commanding a high sales rate. Nowadays, social media also plays a vital role in increasing your traffic. Discover more about the relationship between social media and SEO.
4. Become an Affiliate
Of all the monetization strategies, affiliate marketing is by far the most popular. How does it work? Whenever you mention a product on your site, you can incorporate a special hyperlink.
Visitors who interact with this link will navigate to a digital storefront selling the product. Every time someone uses that link and ends up making a purchase, you get a cut of the proceeds. Not a bad deal, right?
Affiliate marketing is best for websites that specialize in product reviews, but it’s sometimes appropriate in other industries.
5. Share Your Expertise
By building a dedicated collection of repeat visitors, you’ll slowly establish yourself as an authoritative voice in the industry. Your blog content is evidence of your knowledge in the field. So why not use your website to market your expertise?
Consider offering coaching, counseling, or special classes — for a price. Classes are more work upfront but are easy to automate through a website that offers online courses. Coaching or counseling is relevant for websites that seek to inspire their visitors directly.
The average website visitor isn’t likely to make use of these private lessons. That’s why you should use a robust email marketing campaign. With repeated visitors, you’ll build rapport with your audience.
6. Attract New Clients
There’s a shared link amongst all bloggers: They know how to write. Your website’s blog content is proof of that.
Think of your website as an advanced online resume. It’s a website for you to display your business savvy. With great SEO and unique content, you’re bringing a steady flow of visitors to your website.
Businesses of every size struggle to find people with these skills. And since you clearly possess them, many would be happy to hire you as a freelancer.
Don’t worry about filling your site with tip boxes, affiliate links, or advertisements. Link to your “Contact Me” or “Services” page with your CTAs. This way, you can cultivate clients without having to look for them yourself.
7. Negotiate Targeted Advertisements
Traditional advertisements are associated with easy money. They’re anything but. The fact of the matter is your website needs to see hundreds of thousands of visitors every month to amass something sizable.
Just look at Google’s AdSense calculator. You’ll see that most industries make a few thousand dollars every year with a whopping 50,000 page visitors.
Rather than going through a PPC advertisement engine, you can reach out to advertisers directly. For example, you can include a company name and link in your sidebar — for a price.
Although it takes a bit of work, you’ll get much better rates by negotiating. It’s even better in niche industries. These small businesses are seeking relevant ad space when there’s very little around.
How Should You Monetize Your Website?
With so many ways to monetize your website, the hard part is figuring out which is right for you. That varies from industry to industry. Your best bet is to follow the competitors.
But if you feel their options aren’t right for your brand, try and test the waters first. Introduce small monetization options. If your visitors seem open to it, feel free to promote them. Looking to take your personal finances to the next level? Search our website for more advice.