You may have heard or read articles recently about making money from website traffic. Many try their hand at it, and a good number earn quite impressive amounts on monthly basis. The web abounds in success stories: bloggers who quit their full time jobs and live their dream making money online; parents who get to stay home and dedicate most of their time to their families while earning their living online; those who become digital nomads, traveling the world and working on the go.
Is there a website monetization recipe to follow? Where should someone start who is new to blogging and online marketing? What are the steps to follow in order to start earning money from your own website? The first aspect you should take care of is your website’s optimization for search engines (SEO). A well-optimized website is more likely to rank higher with search engines and to attract a steady flow of visitors. Traffic is an essential parameter for a website’s success.
Check out the following site monetization tips – they will help you get a good grasp of what this whole thing means and what you can do if you want to start making money from a website. Always keep in mind that it is up to you to pick the ones that are most suitable for your website’s niche and for the market you work in.
1. Banner and Text Ads
The most commonly used monetization techniques refer to inserting banners and text ads into your pages, or displaying them on your website’s sidebars. The major player in this field is Google’s AdSense program. Any website or blog owner can subscribe to it, but you will be admitted only if you match certain criteria such as publishing original content, avoiding getting traffic by means of spamming practices, or using pay-per-click schemes.
It is advisable to read the webmaster’s guidelines carefully once your website is accepted into Google AdSense program. If you want your partnership with the Mountain View giant to last and to bring positive monetary results, you have to play by their rules. Otherwise, you risk being banned from the program for life.
Although most webmasters align themselves with Google AdSense, there are other options if inserting banner and text ads into your website is your preferred monetization strategy. Networks like Infolinks, Tribal Fusion, Advertising.com, Pulse Point, Burst Media, Adbrite, and Chikita are well worth checking out as well.
While inserting ads into your pages is one of the best ways to make money with your website, you should be careful not to overdo it. Try to keep a good balance between the informative content on your website and the advertising space. Too many ads might disturb your visitors, putting them off. The same thing is true about pop-up ads. While they are a good way to retain a visitor who plans on moving away from your site, they can become quite annoying if overused.
On the other hand, there are things you can do to optimize your advertising revenue. For instance, most advertising programs allow you to filter the type of ads you want to include in your website. You also have the option to review the ads periodically so that you control the content on your pages. This way, you can avoid displaying ads that are not relevant for your content niche. For example, if you run a food blog, you might want ads that are related to your main topic, such as kitchen tools and gadgets, restaurants, dietary products.
2. Affiliate Links
The idea behind affiliate marketing is very simple. You promote the merchant’s products and services on your pages, and you receive a commission once a lead sent to the retailer’s site turns into a sale. You can start looking for affiliate partners via networks like Commission Junction, LinkShare, or PJX. You can also contact the merchants you are interested in directly. Many of them have developed their own affiliate solutions, but working with the big networks is much easier, especially if you are a beginner.
If done properly, affiliate marketing can be a steady source of revenue. The golden rule when adding affiliate links is being focused on your target public. What kind of products will your readers want to purchase? What services are they interested in? If you get the answers to these questions right, you will have the right guidelines for your affiliate marketing strategy. For instance, if you run a travel website, you might want to include affiliate links to hotel booking websites, to pages selling tours, and even to travel gear product pages.
3. Paid Membership
If your website’s profile allows it, building a paid membership scheme is a good monetization option. Once your pages have a good visibility, and you have built your online reputation, this could turn into a steady source of income. A tiered membership structure is recommended, especially for those users who are still not sure about your platinum package. They can take the middle of the road option, try your services, and, if satisfied, they will become long term customers. Or, you might want to offer a certain period of free membership, just long enough to make people understand how much paying a subscription to your website helps them.
A word of warning here: this monetization strategy only works if you are offering a smart solution via your website for users’ needs. If the same thing can be obtained for free somewhere else online, it is maybe best that you think about a different monetization technique.
This monetization strategy works best with high ranking sites that have a lot of traffic and loyal reader. The sponsors’ goal is to increase their online visibility, and they will be willing to pay in order to use your pages to this effect. Since you are not using an intermediary, you will have to negotiate the prices yourself.
Sponsorship can come in the form of ad insertion or as product reviews and sponsored articles describing the client’s product in a positive light. Some of your readers might frown upon this type of content. This is why disclosure is always recommended. Telling your readers that the particular article was commissioned by the brand is mandatory in order to maintain their trust.
Another thing you should do is pick the brands you work with very carefully. If you get a request for a product review, ask to try the product first and then write the review yourself. A hotel owner wants his premises and services reviewed by a top blogger like you, with a good and faithful readership? Then you should ask for an opportunity to test those services for yourself, so you can give your users valuable information and not simply a sponsored ad.
The key to getting this website monetization technique right is to always keep your readers first in your mind, and not let them feel cheated. Never forget that people visit your blog or website because they value your opinions, and this what they come to read.
5. Sell Digital Products
Selling digital products is another great way of generating passive income. While creating those products might require a good amount of time and effort, they have the benefit of generating sale after sale without further investment from your side. What digital products you can sell? This again depends on your website’s niche, but it can be anything from patterns and recipe books, to how to guides and various studies. Just think about the things you know how to do and find a way to turn them into a digital product.
This is a good monetization technique for different types of blogs and websites. For instance, you are a stay-at-home mum and have decided to get a blog, you can try to make money out of it by selling your small secrets. You make your kids’ clothes yourself? Maybe you can build a pattern and teach other moms how to do it too. You like crocheting? Here you go! You can sell your patterns out there for all the other crafts lovers to follow and learn. A travel blogger who explored remote destinations in-depth? Why not build an e-book telling people what there is to do there besides the well-known attractions, including addresses of good restaurants or good value hotels you have tried yourself, and “like a local” tips.
These site monetization tips outline some of the directions you can take in your online marketing strategy. Depending on the niche you are dealing in, and your skills, you should pick the option that best works for you. No matter how you choose to monetize your blog or website, always try to maintain the focus on your readers, offering them useful content, whether this comes in the form of reviews, articles, ads or links.
To check out more website builder tips and information, and to check out comparisons of the top website builder services, read more here.