Ways to monetize your site

Making money from your website isn’t a myth. It’s doable by anyone. In fact – turning a part-time, hobby blog into an income-generating asset is fairly common with a bit of luck and some hard work. In this guide, we will walk you through the different options of generating money from your website or blog. Some of the things we will go over require ongoing work so some will not be set and go so keep that in mind when taking this journey of monetization.

Why monetize?

You may ask this question so here is our answer:

Monetization allows you to generate money from your hard earned work that you put into creating your site. You may be wanting to generate a little extra cash or make this a full-time gig so the reason to do it is very simple.

Who can monetize?

Anyone can monetize their website. All you need to do is follow this guide and we will help you on this journey. If your site is small you can still maximize your earnings.

Ways To Monetize

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate links are a great way to monetize your website. An affiliate link is an url that you post with a referral reference that tracks how to user buys on the site they are visiting if they purchase you will get a portion of the sale. Affiliate marketing is one of the most popular (not to mention quickest) ways to make money from your website or blog. Start by finding a product you like and would recommend. Then on your website, you endorse the product and promote it to your website visitors and email subscribers. If the product or service resonates with these people, they’ll click on your affiliate linkpurchasing the product (while you get a split of the sale price).

The commission might be anywhere from 30% of the product or service price, up to as high as 70%. For example, if the split is 50% and you promote an e-book that costs $100, you’ll get $50 for simply referring the buyer. A pretty sweet deal, huh?!

Where can I find products to promote?

  • Commission junction – offers reliable products with on-time payments.
  • ShareASale – mostly clothes, accessories, and other offline goods.
  • Clickbank – high percentage payouts, but there’s a lack of GOOD products to promote.

Pay Per Click Advertising

A great way to generate extra money from your website is to place ads on it. There are thousands of different ad providers you can go with but the most popular is Google Adsense. Once you sign up, Google will place a simple code on your website that will identify the content of your site and start displaying relevant advertisements. For example, if your site is about pets (dogs & cats), Google AdSense will start showing your visitors ads for cat food, dog training and more. Your cut might be anywhere from $0.50 to $5 per click. When your site has enough traffic, you can make hundreds (if not thousands of dollars) each month.

How to apply for Google Adsense?

  • Apply for AdSense – Before applying, make sure you keep up with their latest
  • Terms Of Service. Google has very strict rules, so it’s hard to get (and stay) approved.

Sell Ad Space

You can go the route of doing everything yourself when generating money from ads. You can pick and choose who advertises on your website. Most people set up an advertisement application form that screens people who want to place ads on your website. Keep in mind you may have to design the ads yourself which will take time and money so only allow people to sell ads that agree to design the material. There are a few plugins for WordPress that can allow you to manage ads on your website. Here are the two we researched:

WP PRO Advertising System – All In One Ad Manager

The best part of this plugin you can build ads to display on your site or create ads you personally want to advertise on other networks. The plugin works with all major social media outlets so you can create ads that can be displayed there.

With there visual ad builder you can drag and drop elements to an ad and quickly design an ad in 15 minutes.

With WP PRO Advertising System you can export your ads to be displayed on other websites and even have triggers that show the ad at the right time and the right place. You can target users that are not responding to your content by displaying ads just for them. Schedule ads to display at certain times, for example if you write a blog post every Monday at 11AM you can display ads at that time for a defined period of time to maximize your ad sales.

As you can see you can filter which ads pay the most and display them accordingly. This will be a big help when generating money by only selecting high-quality ads to display.

You can choose how you want the people placing ads on your site pay. The most common way is pay per click and the second most common is pay per view. When you choose pay per click, the user will have to click on the ad but if you pair it with pay per view you can also generate money by the user just viewing the ad. With those two paired together you can easily generate money.

Ads Pro Plugin – Multi-Purpose WordPress Advertising Manager

The best part of Ads Pro is that you can have a frontend order form for people to buy ad space on your website. Ads Pro (v 4.2.71) is a Premium WordPress Ad Plugin that helps you manage, sell and display your advertising space, in a way that no other plugin can. This awesome tool supports templates and grid system to show really matched and user-friendly ads on your site. And it’s 100% free from Adblocker. Display your banners, including Google AdSense banners in more than 20 ways!

One of the best features of this plugin is the ability to add it on more than one site. You can purchase an extended license and install this plugin on up to ten sites. If you run more than one website this plugin is meant for you to use. Another great feature is the ability to set up affiliates that can sell ads on your website, the affiliate will get a portion of the ad revenue but also this enables you to essentially hire people for free to do your work for you.

The truly best part of this plugin is the addon to create a marketing agency. With this plugin, you can sell ads to be displayed on other sites too, which will generate more money. You can give a cut to the site owner for displaying the ad and then also reap the benefits of the ad plugin by generating money from other sites too.

We are done with plugins now let’s get back to discussing how you can monetize your website.

Sell Your Own Digital Product

You have the potential to make the most money on a per sale basis when you can sell your own directly. That’s because there’s no middle-man or person in between you and the buyer that’s taking a ‘cut’ from the money earned. This approach seems fairly straightforward because you can simply sell these products directly through your website and get paid immediately. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple in reality. Creating good products that are well made and polished require a ton of time and additional resources (like design, content, etc.). There’s a lot of ‘hidden costs’ in both time spent and the contractors to collaborate with. Selling your own products on your site also brings up problematic issues like payment gateways (how are you going to collect payment?), shipping (how are you going to mail or distribute the products?) and taxes (oh man, don’t even get me started with that one!).

Accept Donations from visitors

If you don’t have a ton of monthly visits, but you do have a strong, engaged community? Simply ask your readers to donate! Accepting one-off donations isn’t a fast road to wealth, but it can help you cover expenses in the short-term if people like what you have to say and want to support your journey. For example, PayPal offers little donation buttons that only take about ten minutes to add to your website, offering you a quick way to recoup what you might be spending on a good web hosting, new product creation, research, and all of the other costs to maintain a healthy, active blog. This method is more common than you think. A website that does this very good is Twitch, if you stream gaming you can easily ask for contributions to your stream. For your website, you will want to set up recurring donations which you can do in Woocommerce Subscriptions.

Accept sponsored posts & articles (…but use nofollow tag)

If you have a lot of visitors you can reach out to companies that want to promote their product and you can write about it on your website. You can set up a form for advertisers to request a sponsored post and then get to writing, make sure your content is rich with features of the service or product you are posting about and make sure you have enough to say about the product. Use examples of how you have used the product or service and write about those so your visitors can see how to use the product before trying it out. If you can include affiliate links to the product or service so you can also generate money from your affiliate sales.

Generate ‘leads’ for other companies

Businesses thrive on new leads coming in their door to inquire about their products or services. It’s no surprise that they’re always on the lookout, searching for creative ways to find new sources of leads to help them grow. You can work with the business to design forms and ads that generate leads for them.

An example of this:

Let’s say you have a website about teaching math skills. Your reader’s information (like their email address or phone number) would be of great value to different online schools who’re looking to sell their courses to eager, proactive students.

Basically, you’re connecting the dots; playing the matchmaker by introducing two parties who can benefit one another. While it’s similar to how affiliate marketing works, in this case, it doesn’t actually matter if your reader ends up purchasing their product or not. They’re just looking for an introduction at this point.

When you do this you will need a very put together privacy policy that explains what you do with your user data.

Where can I find such offers?

Build an ‘Email List’

Spend any amount of time reading blog growth tips, and you’re sure to come across people saying “the money’s in the list“.  They’re referring to your email list, which comprises your most loyal readers. The objective is to convert as many strangers who visit your site for the first time into passionate followers who want to stay up-to-date on your latest work or content. Admittedly this is a long-term strategy (and you definitely won’t get rich overnight). But it’s one of the best, long-term methods to profitably growing your blog into a full-fledged, money-making enterprise. Never lose sight of creating relationships with your followers. Offering great information or free help is a perfect way to start. Spamming people with unsolicited offers is one of the fastest ways to abuse the reader’s trust and sabotage your long-term goals.

Flip Your Websites

Just like a house, you can flip your website too.  Believe it or not, there’s almost always a market out there for your website. That means if you’ve built up a following  (or possibly even sold a few products or included advertising on your site), you might be able to sell it to someone else and make a quick buck.

Where can I sell my site?

Start a private forum or coaching class(es)

Starting a private forum can generate money by asking visitors to pay for access. This is extremely common in the fitness field. Many Instagram athletes are charging for online classes on how to get fit and stay that way. If you are blogging about topics that people can learn from then this option is a good fit for you. There are plugins out there like LearnDash that you can create courses and sell them. Make sure your classes have rich content and provide a real learning resource or your visitors may feel like they have been ripped off.

Use content lockers 

If you are writing exceptional content you may want to use a content locker. Content lockers can request the user to perform a task before they can view your content like subscribing to your email list or liking the post on facebook before they can view it. Here are some plugins that do that:

Opt-In Panda for WordPress

Give Visitors a Strong Reason to Leave Their Emails on Your Website

Opt-In Panda locks a portion of the content on a webpage, by hiding or blurring it, and asks the visitor to enter his email address (opt-in) to unlock your content.

In other words, it gives visitors a reason to subscribe right now in return for instant access to your valuable content (e.g. downloads, discounts, videos and so on).

Boost Converting Visitors Into Subscribers & Customers

Hide your premium content behind an opt-in form and watch your email subscription rates burst through the roof. Easily create in-content freebies and serve them to your subscribers only.

With Opt-In Panda, you will be able:

  • Effectively and easily convert visitors into subscribers.
  • Build large mailing lists on MailChimp, Aweber, GetReponse (and other services).
  • Send more emails and increase your income.
  • Know more about visitors of your website (name, social profile).

Opt-In Content Locker for WordPress

Opt-In Content Locker is a plugin that allows to lock important content on your WordPress website and display it for subscribed users only. All you need to do is to wrap protected content with shortcodes.[optinlocker]...[/optinlocker] If people want to view this content they must submit their name/email. After submission all locked content becomes visible. Very simple workflow. All submitted data is saved in a database or/and can be re-submitted to MailChimp, AWeber, GetResponse, iContact, Campaign Monitor, Mad Mimi, Benchmark, Sendy, and Mailster. All saved data can be exported as CSV-file to be used with any other newsletter systems. Opt-In Content Locker is a perfect way to extend the functionality of your website.

GDPR-ready

  • Add “Terms & Conditions” checkbox to opt-in form.
  • Integration with WordPress-native Personal Data Tools.

Features

  • Modern and secure opt-in form: CSS3 AJAX-driven opt-in form.
  • Lock important content: don’t display important content until user submitted contact details.
  • Remember subscribed visitors: plugin remembers users who already subscribed to the page (using cookie).
  • Regular locker mode: content is completely hidden until user submitted contact details.
  • Soft locker mode: content is visible for search engines (for users it is locked through JavaScript).
  • MailChimp supported: contact details can be submitted to MailChimp through their API.
  • iContact supported: contact details can be submitted to iContact through their API.
  • GetResponse supported: contact details can be submitted to GetResponse through their API.
  • Campaign Monitor supported: contact details can be submitted to Campaign Monitor through their API.
  • AWeber supported: contact details can be submitted to AWeber through their API.
  • Mad Mimi supported: contact details can be submitted to Mad Mimi through their API.
  • Benchmark supported: contact details can be submitted to Benchmark through their API.
  • Sendy supported: contact details can be submitted to Sendy through their API.
  • Mailster supported: contact details can be submitted to Mailster.
  • WYSIWYG editor: edit content of subscribe box with the visual editor.
  • Accept shortcodes: Insert any shortcodes inside of subscribe box.
  • CSV Export: all data can be exported as CSV-file to be used with any newsletter systems.
  • Terms & Conditions supported: enable or disable terms and conditions for opt-in form.
  • Shortcode driven: wrap protected content with shortcodes.[optinlocker]...[/optinlocker]
  • Caching plugins friendly: plugin uses PHP and JavaScript to avoid problems with caching plugins (for soft locker mode).
  • Google/Universal Analytics event tracker supported: track “show” and “subscribe” events [BETA].
  • GDPR-ready: add a checkbox that user must to tick to unlock the content.
  • Easy to install: install and activate the plugin as any other plugins.
  • Translation ready: plugin might be translated to any language.
  • WordPress Best Practices: no any alerts from Plugin Check and WP_DEBUG.

Host paid webinars

A lot of sites are doing this very thing. When you have enough visitors or subscribers you can easily ask for them to participate in a paid webinar. Make sure your webinar has enough content in it and should last at least an hour. Make your webinar revolve around the content on your website. For example: if you are an SEO blog you can host a webinar that is paid around the best practices for SEO, even if you have one purchase for your webinar you are generating money.

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