These ten ways are probably your best bet to get started.
1. Affiliate Marketing (.. and affiliate links)
Examples of a successful affiliate site: Booking.com
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 link , purchasing 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.
2. Pay Per Click Advertising (Google Adsense)
Example of a successful Google Adsense site: Mashable.com
AdWords are the advertisements that show up on the top of Google search result pages.
AdSense is the reverse, allowing publishers (which includes bloggers and other website owners like yourself) to tap into Google’s immense advertising network so that other advertisers can run ads on their website.
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.
You get paid each time someone clicks on the ad. (Yes, it’s really that easy!)
3. Sell Ad Space
Incorporating Google’s AdSense on your website is just one way to make money from online advertisements.
Another is to simply sell your own ad space directly to companies looking to sponsor different blogs. You can come up with a price for each space, for example: “Sidebar banner ads will cost $xxx per month “.
You can get paid depending on how many visitors you get. Typically it’s quoted as a dollar amount per one thousand impressions (or CPM) . You might see it as: $5 CPM. If the website gets 100,000 visits a month, that ad price translates into $500 bucks.
The good thing about this approach is that if your site gets a ton of traffic from different sources, your simple banner ad pricing can go up to as high as $5000 per month! The obvious downside is that if your site doesn’t get a lot of traffic, you can’t expect to earn much either.
The other common method when selling ad space directly from your website is a simple direct price. You simply name a price (based on what you think it’s worth, relative to what the competition might be charging), and get paid upfront at the beginning of each month. This pricing is also generally a simple flat fee, not tied to a Cost Per Click like AdSense.
4. Sell Your Own Digital Product (Ebook for Example)
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!).
5. 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.
6. Accept sponsored posts & articles (…but use nofollow tag)
One of the common ways to make more money from your website means getting those visitor numbers UP.
Once you’ve done the hard work of building steady traffic to your site with an engaged community, there are a few different ways to monetize your hard work.
For example, many companies go out of their way to look for blogs that will feature their sponsored content. ‘ Native advertising’ like this works well because it lines up with your site’s primary content and it comes across as relevant and transparent.
You can also review the products from a company in an ‘advertorial’ that’s part content, part advertisement. For example, if your website is all about the latest iOS games for iPhones and iPads, the creator of one of those ads would LOVE to have you review and feature their app to your fans.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. Set up an e-commerce site
Websites don’t just have to be about content. They can be centered around tools or products on an online store.
10. Flip Your Websites (Create -> Sell -> Reinvest)
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 .
To be honest, I typically don’t suggest people to plan on flipping their website or blog (I’m a bigger fan of creating something for the long term).
You can’t deny how lucrative it can be. For example, if your website is making $500 per/month through selling ad space, you might be able to sell the site for $5,000 – $10,000 (which is about 1 2x – 22x monthly income).
Another interesting option is to sell ready-made sites, These are MUCH cheaper, but there’s still some money to be made.