Monetising a website

By David Roche, 14 February 2018

How to monetise a website

Tips for 2018

So, you looked through your Google Analytics data recently and finally you have a website that’s attracting a lot of traffic. Great job! We know that wasn't easy.

You've probably invested a lot of time and effort into writing good, unique content, optimising your site for Google and spreading the word via social media. But traffic is not enough. The next step is figuring out how to turn those visitors into wonga!

Before we start, if you think that monetising a website is easy and will not require blood, sweat and tears, then I am sorry to disappoint you, it will be hard work and it may take a while. If you have the traffic, there’s no reason why the following strategies won’t pay off for you though if you are prepared to put the work in.

1. Become an affiliate marketer

This is the simple process of identifying products or services and promoting them on YOUR website. Affiliate marketing essentially means selling other people’s stuff on your website and it is considered to be one of the most effective ways to make money online.

Whenever a user visits your website and clicks on your affiliate link and purchases that particular product or service, you get paid a commission from that sale; the amounts vary but can be quite attractive.


Booking.com

An example of a responsive booking engine for the Booking.com affiliate program. Please note that when you use this, you are taken to a co-branded version of the Booking.com website.


There's lots of Affiliate programs out there to choose from. From Affiliate networks like the Amazon Affiliate program to individual companies, you will find something that you can sell, but do remember the golden rule! Only sell products and services that suit your website e.g. if you have a travel blog, then use travel related affiliate programs such as Booking.com - if you have a dating website, then use a dating affiliate such as DatingFactory.com. Don't try and sell products that have nothing to do with your website content, it will not work.

When you choose which affiliate to work with, you will need to see who provides responsive adverts, not all of them do!

2. Google AdSense

This is a cost-per-click (CPC) program that allows you to post adverts relevant to your content on your website. Google provides you with code; which you insert where you would like to show an ad and the AdSense spiders figure out what your content is about and serve ads that fit well with your content.

If you have a lot of traffic, this is a great way to monetise your website. They don't pay much per click but it does add up!



An example of a Google AdSense advert.


3. Sell Advertising / Banner Space

If your traffic levels are really impressive, you could sell advertising space to other companies within your niche market.

The process is to contact other companies within your niche with offers or perhaps try setting up an advertising page with all the details. “Advertise here” placeholder banners that invite people to contact you also work well.

This may not be as easy as inserting an affiliate link however; it can generate more money for you if you find a direct sponsor. Prices are generally based on an amount per one thousand impressions (CPM).

4. Membership Website

There are lots of websites out there that have monetised themselves by selling memberships such as Shutterstock (photos / images), Questia (online library), Kindle Unlimited (eBooks) & many more...

If your website can offer a form of value to a customer (digital images, eBooks, articles, research, how to videos etc,) then the membership model is an option you should consider.

5. Sponsored Content

If you have the ability to write positive reviews about products and services, then you could get paid for doing this. There are many marketers out there that will happily pay you to post reviews on your own website. Reviews appearing on 3rd party websites often hold greater credibility as consumers do not view them as direct advertisements plus you benefit from having extra content on your own website.

If your website revolves around a particular niche industry, there will probably be software or hardware products that you can review. Reach out to the companies behind those products, and offer to review their products in front of your large audience for a fee. You may even get some freebies along the way!

How much you can charge will totally depend on how much traffic you have & how effective your content actually manages to be. Consider a structure that pays you for success.

6. Sell a Digital Product

Sounds easy. The reality is it isn't; however the potential to generate a lot of revenue over a long period of time is something to consider. You need a product to do this of course!

The easiest product that you could sell is an eBook (the subject area that you’re most familiar with); which you make the focal point of your website attached to a sales funnel. Since this is digital content, there’s really no upfront cost to it except the amount of time you spend writing it. Of course, there is a real skill involved in developing an effective sales funnel so make sure that you do your homework first.

Another version of this is to become a consultant. If you’ve been writing and talking about a particular subject for a number of years, you may be considered as an expert in your field and you could begin offering professional consulting services within your niche.

If you’re enough of an expert to consult, you’re also in a position to create and sell your own online courses which; you can pre-record and sell as downloadable files, or you could have them hosted somewhere, so you can charge your audience for access. Zippy is an all-in-one tool for teaching & selling your online course.

You might want to consider live broadcasts as well; where you can teach and interact with your audience. You can host live webinars and workshops through free platforms like YouTube and charge your audience for access. You can also charge companies to sponsor your broadcasts.

7. In-text Ads

If you can't find a suitable affiliate program that offers the responsive adverts that you need or you don't want to ruin the look of your website or blog by placing banners, then consider in-text ads.

By signing up with a popular in-text ad company, certain words within your page content will be automatically hyperlinked to other websites. Users who hover over the link get a preview before they click, so it’s often welcomed as a relatively safe and non-invasive advertising process. One of the most popular companies offering in-text ads is Intextual. They match keywords to suitable content and the page's theme, connecting users with subject matter that they're already interested in, along with entertainment from their favorite sources: Wikipedia, Flickr, YouTube, Twitter and more.

This is often called permission based marketing.

8. Flip your Website

This strategy is good for those who create a website with the intention of selling it to highest bidder or those that have spent time building a website and have lost the motivation to continue with it. Sites like Flippa exist to buy and sell online businesses such as websites, domains and Apps.

If you would like to speak to us about our marketing services or require assistance with monetising your website, please get in touch.

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