In this post, we will focus on the most common ways that websites make money and give you a quick overview of how easy they are to implement and maintain. Keep in mind that the guidelines we provide can fluctuate depending on the type of product or service that you sell.
Display advertising is one of the oldest methods for making money and is used for brick and mortar businesses as well as online websites. Your website is the billboard and other companies will pay you to show an ad that promotes their own company or products.
I’m not suggesting you panhandle. It is common for bloggers to have donation or ‘tip’ jars that accompany their blog posts. If someone reads your blog and loves what you are doing they may feel like they want to give back to you by donating a little money. This is no different than tipping a waiter for great service or a barista for awesome latte art. Don’t expect to get hundreds of dollars per tip, but with enough visitors it may work for you.
This is very similar to selling advertising space, but it isn’t necessarily a graphic advertisement. You may get contacted by companies that want to list their website on one of your pages to help promote their brand. The goal is for your visitors to click on the link and go to their website. This may be good for you if the companies that are buying link space do not compete with you. Your visitors may appreciate linking to additional resources that they can visit that provide them value.In our experience, selling links is usually done on a monthly basis so you can get recurring income and opt-out of the link if you no longer want to display it.
Another common tactic for selling advertising space is to post articles that other people have written. Your buyer will write an article that is relevant to your visitors and you will post it on your blog. What’s in it for them? They will usually include a few links back to their site or a product/service that they are promoting. This is similar to selling a link, but it isn’t as noticeable because it is embedded inside the text of article.
Most blogs give away all of their content. They make the content easily accessible through search engines or social media and once the visitors are already on your site they find a way to make money. Premium content is a slightly different model where you offer different content if people pay a fee. This could be a recurring subscription or a one-time membership fee. I have seen plenty of blogs that offer rare information (such as industry secrets) that isn’t usually available. The content is either emailed to them or is accessed through a login/password.
You always hear the stories of how salesmen are known by the size of their Rolodex. Online marketing isn’t too different. It is all about making connections and interacting with the people that visit your blog. Building an email list is a great way to start building a community of people that you can offer products or services to in the future. You can also start building an email list without having a product to sell. Once you have one, you can go back and let your audience know about it.
You don’t have to be Amazon.com to sell physical goods online. There are thousands of bloggers that have their own stores and sell items to their visitors. People are happy to buy products from people that they trust and establishing yourself as an authority with your blog is a great way to get people to trust you and the products you sell. Selling products will take a little more work to get started since you will need to set up a store, payments, shipping, etc. But, if you have a good niche this can be a great option for you.
Selling digital products or services is a great way to get started making money online. There is a lot of information on the internet, but it can be hard to find a reputable source that has everything you need all in one place. This course is a great example of selling a digital product and service online, but you can also sell eBooks, Tutorials, Guides, and Videos. It really depends on the market.
A recommendation from a blogger with a lot of traffic is worth a lot and companies will pay big money for it. A company will either send you a physical product or services or give you access to their digital product free of charge. They will ask you to use it and write a blog post on it and share it with your visitors. You get free ideas for content and they get more visitors to buy their product if your recommendation is good.
This is one of the most common ways that bloggers can make money, but there is still plenty of room for more people to make use of it. Companies will give you a link to their product that has a special tag in it so that they know where visitors came from who click on the link. If one of your visitors purchases a product after clicking on your link you will get a portion of the sale price. This could be as low as 4% for physical goods or as much at 50% for some online products and services.
Believe it or not, there are a lot of blogs that are started just to resell later. There is an art and science to finding good topics to blog about that are lucrative and if you can find topics that attract a lot of visitors you can sell your site once it is large enough just like a normal business. I definitely don’t recommend this for new bloggers.
This list covers how to make money online and they are a good way to start if you are new to blogging. But, this is really just the tip of the iceberg. New ways of making money online are coming out every day. You should always focus on building your community and increasing the number of visitors to your site. That way, you can use whichever monetization is right for you.
We didn't go too deep because a lot of these method aren't great for beginners. We will use the remaining lessons in this module to take a deeper look into specific ways to make money that you can use on your blog including the ways that we used in our first blogs. Let's start with Display Advertising.