Making Money With Your Website
“How do I make money?” “Who is going to pay me?” These are questions that I receive often from people who are interested in learning about making money online, but don’t yet understand the process. If you’re completely new to Internet commerce and you really don’t understand anything about the mechanisms at work, then it can appear to be pretty confusing. It seems that there are people earning a living online, but when everything that’s happening is being done by software behind the scenes, it’s hard to see a process at work.
The idea of making money with a Website is known as monetizing it. That’s simply a way of saying that you’re going to create a Website and find a way, or more than one way, of using it to make money. There is no single method of making money with a Website, though some methods work better than others and some methods are easier to put to work than others. Some marketers use one method exclusively, while others make use of multiple methods, sometimes on the same Website. Which method should you use? That depends on a number of things.
Methods for Making Money
While there are many ways for making money with a Website, there are basically three methods that cover about 90% of all of the commercial Websites out there:
- Affiliate marketing
- Sales of products and services
They’re also listed in the order of difficulty of putting them to work. Beginners will probably find offering advertising the easiest way of making money with a Website, and offering products and services to be the most difficult. In the following paragraphs, we’ll look at each of those methods.
The key to all of these methods for making money, of course, is making sure that your site features lots of quality content. You want to have a reason for people to visit your site in the first place. Lots of content will make it easy for people to find your site in the search engines.
Advertising – Advertising is the most common and perhaps the easiest way of making money on a Website. You create your content, such as blog posts or articles, and you dedicate some of the space on each page to advertising. Ads can come in several forms; you can use banner ads for CPA offers, for example. With CPA (cost per action) offers, you sign up with a CPA company and select a product that matches the content of your site. The seller of that product will usually provide banner ads in various sizes that you can place on your site, along with a special link. When someone clicks on the ad and makes a purchase or signs up for their offer, you receive a commission.
Alternatively, you can sign up for Google’s Adsense program, which also places ads on your site. Adsense advertising can come in the form of banner ads or text ads, but you don’t select them. Instead, you sign up for the program, select your ad size, and paste some special code on your Web page where you want the ads to appear. Google will then place contextual ads on your site automatically; these are ads that have content that is related to the content of that particular page on your site. Over the years, Google has gotten pretty good at determining what a site is about, and the ads are usually quite relevant. When someone clicks on the ad, you earn a small commission, usually a few cents. The nice thing about Adsense is that you get paid when someone simply clicks on the ad. They don’t need to do anything else.
The downside, of course, is that when someone clicks on your ad, they leave your site. Google does not permit Websites to open a new window when someone clicks on one of their ads. Still, it’s possible to earn a lot of money with Website advertising, particularly if you have a lot of traffic. Some popular blogs earn five figures per month this way.
Affiliate marketing – Affiliate marketing is a popular way of making money with a Website. Perhaps the most popular way of making money with affiliate marketing is to create a review Website, where you offer reviews of products for sale. These can be any kind of products, as there are literally thousands of companies that offer affiliate programs, ranging from companies that sell pet toys to companies that sell million dollar personal submarines. A few of the most popular affiliate programs are Amazon, eBay, Clickbank, and CJ (formerly Commission Junction.)
To make money with these programs, you visit their site and sign up as an affiliate. They will provide you with links and banners to use for their products that keep track of the visitors that you send to their site. You can write product reviews and provide links to the site where customers can buy the product or you can place banner ads on your site. Some popular review sites have thousands of daily visitors, and there are people earning a good living promoting products from Amazon. One great technique is to create a site that reviews a specific type of product – baby strollers, toasters, or lawnmowers, for example. You can create a table that compares various products and write reviews of each one, providing a link to where your site visitors can buy. The nice thing about affiliate marketing is that you’re selling products, but you don’t have to stock them or ship them. All you have to do to make money is simply recommend them and provide a link.
Products and services – Affiliate marketing and advertising are good ways of making money, but the bulk of the money with those plans is being made by the people who actually sell the products that you’re recommending. That’s why the most profitable way of making money with a Website is by selling products of your own. These can be physical products that you ship (or have dropshipped), or downloadable products, such as software, or even services that you provide. If you have a marketable skill, providing services can be very profitable.
Offering products and services for sale usually involves creating a more advanced Website and some additional skills that can take time to develop. If you’re selling physical products, you’ll also have to find supplies and arrange for payment and shipping, all of which can incur additional costs. While profit margins can be quite good, it’s not usually a place for beginners to start.
Conclusions for Making Money With Your Website
If you’re new at Internet marketing, your best bet for making money is to start small and monetize your site with advertising. As you develop more skills and start to draw more traffic to your site, you can branch into affiliate marketing. With time, you might want to develop your own products for sale or branch out into offering services for hire. The possibilities for making money with a Website are endless, and limited only by your own creativity.