Creating a website has never been so easy, however, this does not mean that making money from them doesn’t require a bit of work. Most website owners don’t have an initial monetization plan when they start out. Usually, they are only focused on driving as much traffic as possible and on creating a stable audience. This was also the case of large websites such as Facebook, or Twitter.
Only after they started getting the desired amount of traffic, they started looking at what kinds of ways to make money were available to them. While it unlikely that you are looking to create the next mainstream social media platform, it is still useful to know how to create a proper monetization plan. The following ideas will work great for pretty much any kind of website, from a small niche website to a forum or blog.
In order to monetize your website, you will first have to do a bit of keyword research and ensure that there is a market for it. After that, look for ways to create value, and finally, find a profitable niche in which the audience spends money. However, this is just one way to make money from a website.
This article will present other strategies that can be used in order to make money from your website.
Monetizing a niche site
A lot of people use Google Adsense in order to monetize their niche websites, and while there are alternatives to this service, it remains a favorite due to the fact that it is easy to implement, and it pays the most.
There may not be a more profitable choice other than Adsense when talking about earning money from ads, however, there are ways to maximize what you earn from it. For example, you can use a tool called Ezoic in order to test the efficiency of various placements, and determine the most profitable layout for your ads.
In order to truly maximize the amount of money that you make from a niche website, you will have to look for other strategies that you can use, in conjunction with Google Adsense.
You may think about building a massive email list, and then use it for affiliate marketing, or to sell your own products, however, you have many more options. Regardless of what you will choose, always remember to do a bit of research before establishing which monetization strategy you intend to use.
While you will have to do the research on your own, let’s are some of the most profitable options that you have when trying to monetize your niche website.
Please keep in mind that you will first be presented with a few general ways to monetize your website, after which we will look at a few more specific strategies.
Pay-per-click Contextual Ad Networks
There are several contextual ad networks that you can choose from, with the most famous being Google Adsense. The core principle of these systems is that they pay you a set amount of money every time when an audience member clicks on an ad. While you don’t get a lot for a click, the profit increases at the same rate as your audience grows, so it’s a great choice if you target popular niches.
- Google Adsense – Google’s solution is not only the most popular but also the highest paying one;
- Media.net – this currently manages both the Bing ad network, as well as the Yahoo one;
- Vibrant Media;
- GumGum – handles in-image ads;
Keep in mind: Even if Adwords is the most popular, it does not mean that it is the best choice for your website. Make sure to also give Media.net, or any of the other ones a try, before you decide.
CPM Advertising Networks
These handle monetization in a slightly different way. They will pay you on a pay-per-view basis. The usual rate is somewhere around $1 per 1000 pageviews. This having been said, the nature of these networks means that you will need a somewhat larger visitor base in order to qualify, and start using them to make money. Smaller niche websites will not be approved.
- Value Click Media;
- Casale Media;
- CPX Interactive;
- Burst Media – has an entry requirement of 25,000 page views per month;
- Tribal Fusion – requires that you have at least 500,000 unique visitors per month;
- com – which is part of AOL;
- Technorati Media;
Keep in mind: These are only a few of the CPM ad networks that can be found online. Listing them all would be impossible, and this is great news. It means that you will be able to easily find and choose one that works great for your website and niche.
These cost-per-action networks will pay a fixed amount of money, based on how many times a particular action is taken, for example when a member of your audience fills in a form or takes part in a survey. A large number of CPA networks usually also offer affiliate commissions, on top of the CPA opportunities, so you will be paid for every purchase, as well as when an individual takes the required action.
As with the CPM networks, listing all of them would be virtually impossible, however, here are some of the most popular:
- Neverblue Media;
- Adscend Media;
Affiliate networks will pay you a commission for every product that is sold through a link that is generated for you, which you can insert in your content. The more people you refer and actually make purchases, the more money you will make. Also, keep in mind that some of the following networks also pay out on CPA offers.
- Amazon Associates – This is a great option due to the fact that you will get paid regardless of the fact that the one you refer buys another product;
- SkimLinks – Which is basically an in-content ad network, however, it pays out according to the sales. While it is not pay-per-click, this network will automatically display ads, based on the content that you create. It’s an interesting way of earning money, and you should at least give it a try;
- eBay Partner Network – You will be paid on a per click basis, however, the amount of money that you receive fluctuates according to the history of sales that you have generated. In other words, if a large part of your products purchases products through your links, you will receive more money for every click;
- Google Affiliate Network – Do not confuse it with Google Adsense. These are separate networks.
- Commission Junction;
Direct Affiliate Programs
While affiliate networks are extremely popular, there are a lot of companies that offer their own affiliate programs, without listing them anywhere. They can be accessed directly from the companies’ websites, and this does mean that they are more difficult to find. It is hard to know exactly which companies offer these programs, and you will have to do a bit of research in order to join one. Here are a couple of direct affiliate programs that you can join today:
- Unique Article Wizard;
Keep in mind that you can even contact a company directly, and ask if they would be willing to start an affiliate program. This may work to your advantage, as it will enable you to negotiate different terms for each of the companies you decide to work with.
Sell Ad Space Directly
There are several ways in which you can make money by selling ad space directly. You can contact companies, brands, and even Youtubers (if your niche allows) and ask them if they would be interested in buying ad space on your website. Businesses will pay more than content creators, but if you need to monetize your website, every bit helps.
Also, the money that you earn from this will depend on how much traffic you are getting, and also in the niche of the website.
Create and sell your own products
This is the most profitable way to make money from your website. Depending on your niche, there are dozens of product types that you can create and then sell to your audience.
It may seem that affiliate marketing is a better option due to the fact that you do not have to actively work in order to create a product. Don’t be seduced by this and keep in mind that selling the things that you create will enable you to keep all the money you make.
Here are a few types of products that you can sell:
- Video training courses and tutorials;
- Software tools;
- Instructional materials;
- You can create a premium forum and charge people a membership fee;
- Create and sell a physical product and sell it on Amazon. It’s easier than you may think;
- Pretty much any kind of product that you feel that your audience may be interested in buying;
Selling text links
While selling text links is in a somewhat grey area from an ethical point of view, the demand is huge, and you can make a bit of money from this practice. If you decide that this is for you, then here are a few places where you can sell links:
- Warrior Forum;
- Digital Point Forum;
Make money by asking for donations
If you desperately need money, and the other strategies take too much time to make you the cash you need, you can always ask your audience for donations. This is a common practice for small websites, and people will help you if you ask nicely.
- Ask your audience for donations;
Sell your website
Monetization is not the only way of making money from your website. If you have great content and a loyal readership, then you will be able to make quite a bit of money by selling your entire website. Prices for websites are usually determined by several things, such as traffic, website authority, etc.
Keep in mind that while websites with high popularity, traffic, and authority will sell for more money, there are a lot of people who are willing to buy brand new websites that have only one or two pages of content.
Also, if you intend to make a website specifically to sell it, you should remember that the price of these websites also depends on the niche, so research the market before starting to work o it.
- Sell your website;
These are only a few of the ways that you can make money from your website, and you are bound to find dozens more if you do a bit of research.
Keep in mind that you should always choose the monetization strategies that you want to use, according to your niche. For example, depending on your chosen niche, you may not be able to create any physical products, so you will have to opt for something else.
Also, nothing is stopping you from using multiple strategies at once. Some of the options listed above work great with one another. You can write and sell an ebook, and when people buy them, send them a small discount for one of your online courses. This way, you will be able to keep making money using your paying customers.