There are as many reasons to have a website as there are websites.
Perhaps you have a website to chronicle your child’s soccer team. Perhaps you have a website promote your restaurant. Perhaps you have a website to announce your church’s services.
Whatever the purpose of your website, just the fact that you have a website gives you the opportunity to generate revenue.
What you generate the revenue for is just a varied as why you have a website in the first place.
Perhaps you just want to make enough money to pay for the cost of the website, or perhaps you want to use the money to support a team, for donations, for your church kitty.
Or perhaps you want to use the website as a means to supplement your income. Or even as a means to generate your main income.
However you choose to spend the money you generate from your website, the bottom line is that there are a number of ways you can us it to earn income.
What are some of the ways you can earn income from your website?
Advertising is probably the easiest way to generate income from your website. And the easiest way to add advertising by far is to use Google Adsense on your page.
The nice thing about Google Adsense is that Google already knows what your website is about, and therefore they can automatically place ads on it that complement your website.
For example, if you have a website about movie reviews, Google will figure out that people who visit your site are probably into movies and may display ads for local cinemas, or trailers for movies.
If you already have a Google account, such as a gmail account or a Google+ account, then you are half way to having a Google Adsense account. Select the Business tools from your Google account and you will see a link to sign up for Adsense.
To include Adsense on your web page you just add the code to the page where you want the ads to appear. You can find out how to add code to your page in WebDwarf, SiteSpinner and SiteSpinner Pro here.
There are a number of different services including Yahoo/Bing, SiteScout to name a few. Each use a different method. Some place adds in locations you choose on your site. Some put banner adds up, and some create links from words or phrases in your text.
Some websites make a lot of money off advertising. However, you have to have a lot of traffic, and it has to be targeted traffic. That is. if you have a website about an zombie movies, and your website generates a hundred thousands visitors a month (and that is a lot), then there is a pretty good chance that an ads for zombie paraphernalia will generate considerable income for you.
For websites with a smaller amount of traffics, don’t expect to earn a fortune with ads.
2) Affiliate & Referral Marketing
With Affiliate Marketing you make a commission on a sale of a product or service that is referred from our website.
Unlike Ads where you are trying to get people to simply click a link or an image, with Affiliate marketing you are trying to make a sale of another company’s product or service.
If you manage to sell the other company’s product, then the company give you a commission on the sale.
Affiliate Marketing works best when the product you are promoting is a good fit with the topic of your website.
For example, we develop and sell website design software. We do not offer web hosting as that is not our expertise and so it makes sense for us to partner with a web hosting company as anyone who uses our products will need to host their website somewhere.
Keep in mind that if you are going to promote a product by another company you need to do your due diligence and ensure that the company is reputable because if people are not happy with them, then they will also not be happy with you.
We chose Bluehost as our partner beciuase they have such a great track record and we feel good promoting them. On top of that, they offer a discount to our customers. This works out as a win win for Bluehost, us, and our customers.
Think of a product or service that would be a good fit for your company then check out their website, or approach them directly to find out if they have and affiliate program.
There are also a number of Affiliate networks you can sign up with and then pick and choose which products or services you want to promote to your website visitors. Some of the more popular are Amazon and eBay.
3) Selling A Product
This might seem a bit obvious, but if you have a product, your website is the place you should be selling it.
That does not mean that if you are an oil company, that you should be selling oil on your website.
However, if you have a church, you could be selling raffle tickets, a Girl Guides cookies through your website. Your website is a great vehicle to sell any product that is associated with your
When I was Executive Producer for Scholastic, the largest children’s book publisher in the world, the Web was a not fully understood by the higher management. If you did not get a scholastic book through school you could get it through your local book store, and then through Amazon, but Scholastic would not sell books through their website.
Don’t make the mistake of letting someone else make money off one of your products.
4) Selling Your Services / Training / Membership
Do you have valuable content that cannot be gotten somewhere else? Then creating a membership section of your website might be a good fit.
You can create a section of your website that members pay to have access to.
There are a number of different models for this. You could offer free useful content, but then offer more in-depth content behind your pay wall.
You could have a Forum that only paid visitors have access to
You could have an online course that has a set amount of time, or one that is open ended.
Of all the means of generating revenue from your website, having content that produces recurring revenue produces the greatest amount of income.
Having said that, you need to have a track record to make this successful. There are a multitude of Gurus on the web who tout subscriptions as a means of generating revenue from a relatively small amount of work. If you are a Doctor, then perhaps it is not that difficult to set up a subscription service for doctors. But the work to become a doctor is where the work is
If you are service company then your main goal may be to promote and sell your services via your website.
If you want to set up a subscription service to teach people how to climb Mount Everest, then you better have climbed Mount Everest yourself.
Are you good at something? Has anyone ever asked you for help with something or advice on something? If you answered yes to any of these, then you can be selling that service on your website.
One of the most direct ways of generating revenue from your website is to ask for donations.
Whatever it is you are offering, giving your thing away, whatever it is, is a valid and common form of generating revenue
Think of Wikipedia that generates all its revenue through donations.
You don’t have to be a large site. Radio Paradise, a website that streams commercial-free music supports itself purely by donation.
The easiest way to accept donations from your website is to set up a PayPal account. If the person donating does not have a Paypal account, they can still use a credit card or debit card to make a donation.
Bringing it all together
Keep in mind that you do not have to use a single method to monetize your website. A novelist may sell products (her books), sells services (how to write books), accept donations (pre-orders for her next book), have Affiliate links in her site to purchase book related paraphernalia, and still include Google Adsense.
Adding every means possible may be a bit over the top for some websites, but mixing and matching ways to generate income is valid and accepted on for many sites. Just be sure to not over do it.
Which of the above ways to monetize your website make the most money?