Looking for creative ways to make money online? We’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ll look at the most popular ways to make money from your website.
As a website owner, publisher, or content creator, there are several ways to make money with your website. From selling your own ads, employing ad networks, or adding affiliate marketing, you can get your share of the digital advertising market, which is expected to generate $602.25 billion worldwide in 2022.
Making money online for bloggers can help you earn a better living. For publishers, generating revenue can help support the work you do and the content you provide. Either way, monetization of your website can provide a steady income and a return on your investment.
Why Monetize Your Website
Successful websites can create several (mostly) passive income streams that generate recurring revenue as long as they have consistent traffic. The more traffic your website draws, the more opportunities you have to generate revenue.
If you already have a website bringing in money, you’ll want to optimize your site for a larger payout. Bloggers or publishers using WordPress have multiple options, but there are monetization options for any platform you choose.
Selling Ad Space with an Ad Network
The most popular (and easiest) option is to deploy an ad network on your site. By putting a snippet of code on your website, you can leverage the resources of ad networks to facilitate the buying and selling of ad space automatically. As a website owner, publisher, or blogger, you do not have to worry about selling the ads or serving the ads. You provide space on your website and the ad network does everything else and sends you a check.
Some of the biggest and best ad networks include Google AdSense, Newor Media, and Ezoic. These platforms make it easy to get started, manage ad placement on your website, and start generating revenue.
Google AdSense is a self-service platform that lets publishers start earning quickly. After creating an account and getting verified, you can place the ad code on your site and ads will begin to populate quickly. You can place ads across multiple websites and even let Google determine ad placement on your site.
There are some limitations, however. While there is no minimum traffic count you must meet to sign up, you’ll need significant traffic to make any serious money using Google AdSense. You will not be able to withdraw any money until you earn at least $100.
One other drawback is the rates that you get paid. Google pays publishers 68% of the money it earns from selling ads and often has lower CPCs (cost per click) or PPC (pay per click) rates than other ad networks. If you need help with AdSense, it can also be a challenge. There is no live chat or phone support offered.
Newor Media takes a more consultative approach. While providing similar programmatic advertising buying and selling, Newor Media works with publishers to find optimal ad placement on their websites to maximize viewability and revenue.
Newor Media also helps to ensure that ad placements do not disrupt the user experience (UX). There’s a delicate balance between too few ads to make money and too many ads (or the wrong ad types) that hurt the UX. Cutting-edge header bidding, using real-time algorithms and machine learning, Newor Media partners with the highest yielding networks worldwide to provide higher CPMs and PPC rates so a publisher can maximize their earning potential.
A potential downside is the number of ads Newor Media places. You can add up to six ads maximum through Newor Media, but you can also use other ad networks.
Ezoic also has access to top ad networks and partners and leans heavily on AI to continuously test ad placements. As an automated testing tool, Ezoic lets you analyze different combinations of website designs, layouts, and ad placements to help optimize revenue. You can also use the Ad Tester feature for A/B test ads or use multivariate testing to automatically test multiple combinations.
One downside is that if you have a problem, you have to open a ticket system. There is no live support. Setup can also be complex and you have to wait 30 days to see the results of your testing.
How Ad Networks Work
Ad networks broker the sale of ad inventory between publishers and advertisers. After publishers add ad network tags to their website, ad networks gather up the available inventory and make it available to advertisers.
It works well for both sides of the transaction. Ad networks can aggregate traffic from multiple websites so that advertisers can target specific audiences across multiple sites. For publishers, it provides a passive way to earn revenue from unsold ad space.
Here’s a short step-by-step look at how ad networks work.
Advertisers create campaigns along with targeting options and budgets. They will put a maximum bid they are willing to pay for placement. Publishers detail what ad inventory is available and their audience metrics along with a minimum bid they are willing to accept.
When a user visits a website, this process happens in milliseconds. When there’s a match, an ad is delivered to the site in a seamless manner and registers as an impression. Campaigns can be bought either as impression-based with a CPM bid or as a pay per click bid (PPC). In the case of PPC ads, publishers get paid when someone clicks on an ad on their website.
The best ad networks will work with other ad networks, multiple ad exchanges, marketplaces, and other platforms to access a broad spectrum of advertisers to maximize bids for publishers.
Ad networks are typically free for publishers to use because they take a cut of each ad placement for brokering the deal. Some ad networks, however, do have premium tiers that may provide additional features at a monthly cost.
Benefits of Selling Ad Space
Selling ad space directly is time and labor-intensive. While it can yield the highest rates, it’s also the most expensive way to sell advertising. No matter how large your staff is or how expert they are at selling ads, they will never have access to the thousands of advertisers that ad networks do.
As such, an ad network is the easiest way to monetize your website. You can add the ad tags to your site or, in the case of Newor Media, get help from a live representative. Then, you start earning money without any additional effort.
Many publishers continue to sell their own ads, but use ad networks to fill unsold inventory.
Ad networks also track performance, so it’s easy to review success metrics and make an adjustment to optimize revenue and fill rates. Newor Media goes the extra mile by supplementing AI technology with human attention to create personalized strategies for revenue optimization.
Other Website Monetization Opportunities
Besides selling your own ads and using ad networks, there are other monetization options for beginners and pros. They will vary in difficulty and revenue generation.
These options include:
- Affiliate marketing
- Soliciting donations
- Selling digital and physical products
- Launching eCommerce stores
- Creating members-only content
- Publishing sponsored content
- Creating SEO-optimized content
- Running your own ads
- Implement email marketing
We’ll take a look at each and have included a color key:
- Green = Easy and appropriate for beginners.
- Yellow = Intermediate level and appropriate for those that have some experience in website monetization.
- Red = difficult and appropriate for websites with monetization veterans or those willing to commit the time and resources for learning and execution.
Get Started with Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is fairly easy to use and is a favorite for bloggers, beginners, and influencers. You don’t have to sell or create your products or services. Instead, you promote services or products from other companies by placing an affiliate link on your site. If someone clicks on the link and makes a purchase, you earn a commission. Depending on the product, service, and industry, commissions can range from 2-3% up to 50% of the sale.
You can find affiliate networks online and sign up. Once you are accepted, you can start creating links immediately. Your success will depend on your ability to drive traffic to your site and your ability to get people to click and convert.
You can also sign up for the Amazon affiliate program. By promoting Amazon products on your website, you can earn revenue from a referral that leads to a purchase.
Allow Visitors to Send Donations
While easy to implement, it’s not so easy to get people to donate. It can be challenging, especially if you have other monetization options such as running ads on your site. This strategy works best for niche websites that have highly engaged visitors or for non-profits.
Selling Digital Products
Selling your own digital products is a great way to make money, but takes a bit more work than other methods. First, you’ll have to develop high-quality materials to sell. This can include digital products such as online courses, webinars, podcasts, eBooks, templates, guides, etc.
There’s a time commitment for creating high-quality digital products and landing pages, although once you create them, they can serve as passive income over time.
Selling Physical Products
You can also sell your own tangible products, including logo merchandise like T-shirts, stickers, mugs, and other physical products. This would require an online store for your online business and a fulfillment center. There are also third-party providers that provide templates, such as WooCommerce and BigCommerce that can help, but it takes a certain level of expertise to manage and fulfill orders.
Launching eCommerce Stores
You can also choose to launch a full-scale eCommerce business and leverage platforms like Amazon for sale. You can then handle the fulfillment in-house, use a drop shipper, or use Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) to process orders. While there can be significant revenue opportunities, publishers also have to tightly manage inventory and consumer behavior to maintain reasonable margins. The more work that is done for you, such as handling orders and fulfillment, the less money you will earn.
Create Members-Only Content
Similar to selling digital products, members-only content still requires creating separate content. Instead of selling items individually, you can set up a subscription model that allows members to access content that free, unpaid members cannot.
This can be especially lucrative for large sites that create specialized areas of content, but require dedicated staff and resources to ensure members feel the value they receive is worth the subscription. Subscribers will expect premium content that they can’t get anywhere else.
Publish Sponsored Content
Publishing sponsored content on a webpage is easy to do, but procuring the sponsors takes time and effort. You will likely have to reach out to potential sponsors individually and provide a valid business reason for them to participate.
Sponsored content can include posts written by a sponsor and posted to your site. It may also include content that you write that advertisers agree to sponsor or underwrite. The content typically blends seamlessly into the website using a similar look and feel as other editorial content.
In either case, you need to properly disclose the relationship between you and the sponsor per guidelines provided by the Federal Trade Commission.
There are also sponsored post networks that combine a sponsored post with affiliate marketing to earn revenue when your site visitors make purchases.
Create SEO-Optimized Content
Creating search engine-friendly content is essential, regardless of whether you are a beginner, intermediate, or expert-level publisher. There were some 1.88 billion websites online in 2021 and making your website content stand out is a challenge. You’re competing against everyone else online that creates content in your niche, but search engine optimization (SEO) on your own website is crucial to driving organic traffic.
Using best practices for SEO includes structuring your content properly, using relevant keywords, writing SEO-friendly URLs and meta descriptions, and making sure your site loads quickly. These strategies are designed to improve your website’s position on a search engine results page (SERP) and include:
- Technical SEO: structure, website speed, performance, and security
- Content SEO: keywords, anchor texts, original content
- Authority SEO: In-depth unique content, social media sharing, inbound links from high-authority websites.
Publishers won’t earn revenue directly from SEO, but SEO is the engine that drives traffic to your website, allowing you to monetize it.
Run Your Own Advertisements
Website owners can run their own ads to promote their products and drive traffic to their websites, which may boost other monetization efforts, such as PPC ads. Although this strategy requires spending your own money, if it brings in enough traffic, the spending may more than pay for itself.
Before you get started with online advertising for your website, you’ll want to make sure you have relevant and high-quality content that people will want to access. Promotional ads, whether they are cost per click (CPC) or impression ads, can generate a lot of traffic but can also be expensive.
Many publishers use Google Ads to place their ads. You can also use Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, or other social media platforms to drive traffic as well.
Implement Email Marketing
Many websites build email lists by providing gated content, downloads, giveaways, or providing content in exchange for signing up and opting in to receive emails. Email can be used to keep visitors up-to-date on your site, such as a newsletter, to solicit return visits, or as a base for direct selling to your email list.
You can include advertising in your email newsletters or add affiliate links to your email as well.
Most website publishers employ a platform for managing email, which can be as simple as collecting and managing email addresses or more sophisticated such as sales orchestration that nurtures prospects through the buyer’s journey.
Email marketing has a surprisingly good return on investment, but does take time and expertise to develop successful campaigns.
With all the time, effort, and expense you put into creating and maintaining a high-quality website, you want a way to recover your costs and generate revenue. You can do that with website ads and some of the other website monetization strategies we’ve discussed.
The easiest way to earn money is to use an ad network for revenue generation, but you will want to choose your ad network partner carefully to maximize your potential earnings. Try Newor Media’s free Website Earnings Calculator to see how much you can earn from your website.
Looking for more ideas on how to generate revenue from your website? Read our guide “7 Proven Ways to Monetize Your Website.”