Monetizing your website is one of the most effective methods of increasing passive income for your brand, and you can accomplish this without turning your website into an eCommerce-focused marketing hub. Instead, your website should be the focal point of your brand and a place where your dedicated customers and followers can get the latest updates from you about your industry, products, and services. While your website essentially functions as an intermediary between you and your customer base and inherently contributes toward your bottom line, there are several proven methods you can use to boost your income through your website.
Understanding Website Monetization
Most people understand monetization as using a website to sell products and services, but this is the most basic example of using a website to make money. The actual process of website monetization means transforming your website to generate income without actually selling anything, or at least without selling anything directly. Carefully review your business model and your current website to determine if any of the following monetization techniques could work for you.
The most popular form of modern website monetization is affiliate marketing. Essentially, you use your brand to support products and services from other brands that align with your values and your customers’ needs. Choose products and services that you would use and enjoy and consider what other products and services would suit your customer base’s needs and goals. Once you find a brand that fits, research their affiliate marketing program or contact the brand directly to discuss an affiliate marketing arrangement.
Affiliate marketing is simple: Provide your website visitors with a call to action (CTA) that contains an affiliate link to the product or service you’re recommending. If the user clicks your affiliate marketing link and completes a purchase from your partner, you receive a commission for the sale. Every brand offers different affiliate marketing terms, and some may offer commissions as high as 70% per sale. Additionally, most affiliate marketing programs use cookie functionality, so a customer does not necessarily need to make an immediate purchase from your affiliate link for you to receive your commissions. For example, if the link has a 30-day cookie function, then as long as the user completes a purchase through your link within that 30-day window, you still receive your commission, even if they click off the site and click back to it a few days later.
Selling Your Site
Are you thinking of rebranding or branching into a new type of business model? If you have an established website, why not sell the site itself? Many companies are willing to purchase established websites as long as they contain top-notch design and functionality. You can use the proceeds from selling your site to build a new one or reinvest into a new business venture.
You don’t need to sell the entire site itself, either. It’s possible to monetize your website by offering “real estate” to sponsored ads. You can set the price for page real estate for each of your sponsors, and the amount you earn is typically tied very closely to the average traffic your website earns regularly. If you decide to pursue income through sponsored ads, make sure the ads you allow to post to your site align with your brand values and business model.
Many website owners choose the typical route of using Google Ads or similar digital marketing platforms to arrange sponsored ads on their sites, but the tradeoff for expediency is minimal control over what ads may appear on your website. If you want a more effective monetization strategy that more closely aligns with your business goals, consider working directly with partner brands you would like to feature on your site. This way, you have more direct control over the ad content published to your site, potentially even creating ad content that flows with the design of your site for a less intrusive ad experience for the user.
Create a Paid Email Newsletter
If you have a steady stream of traffic to your site, this is a clear indication that you have a dedicated following interested in what you have to offer. Consider developing a paid email newsletter so the most dedicated members of your audience have a direct channel to the most valuable content you provide.
A reasonably priced and value-rich email newsletter is a great way to monetize your website while cultivating stronger relationships with your customer base. Remember that if your customers are going to pay for this newsletter, it needs to provide a higher level of value than what they would find browsing the core content on your website.
Develop a Paid Members-Only Forum
If you’re interested in monetizing your website while also building a community, a members-only forum on your site is a great option that’s relatively easy to implement. Creating a forum is straightforward, and it will encourage deeper participation with your brand when your customer base knows they can rely on you to provide a platform where users can come together and share information and experiences. You can get creative with your website-based forum in many ways. Offer paid profile customizations or even tiers of service. Provide your most loyal forum members the chance to become moderators to keep conversations on topic and productive. Eventually, you could even turn your members-only forum into a recruitment channel for your business.
If you decide to create a paid members forum, you will need to invest in proper design. Users should have the ability to create usernames, avatars, and other minor customizations to help them stand out from one another. This, in turn, can create additional monetization options. For example, you could offer three membership tiers at increasing prices, offering more customization options than the previous tier. It’s also possible to configure bonuses for your forum’s most significant and most consistent contributors.
Create Paywalled Content
Putting content behind a paywall is somewhat risky, especially if you have never done this before. If you already have a dedicated following, then you cannot upend their expectations by suddenly shuttering your best content behind a paywall. The core of your content should always be free for everyone if you want to maintain steady site traffic.
You attracted the audience you currently have due to the value you have provided through your content, so start thinking of ways to go deeper into topics you’ve covered in the past. While keeping your core content freely accessible and then placing more niche and specific content pieces behind a paywall, you’ll entice many of your most dedicated followers into contributing more to your business model. This option requires a great deal of effort because if any of your website visitors will pay for extra content, they need to see the value of the content if you want this form of monetization to remain sustainable.
Try Adding a Tip Jar
When it comes to website monetization, your audience likely will not enjoy feeling like they have to pay every time they want a glimpse of the best content you produce. Paid forums and paywalled content are certainly options, but if you have already built trust with your customer base, you do not want to alienate them by suddenly shifting all your best work to a payment model. If you’re going to ease into monetizing your website, a tip jar is a great option. This presents your website visitors with a low-pressure opportunity for supporting your business on their terms. They can contribute how much or how little they prefer and however often they like, entirely on their terms. While this isn’t a surefire way to generate a consistent stream of additional income, you may be surprised at how much your most loyal followers would be willing to tip you for the content you publish to your site.
Sell Sponsored Posts
If your website has a blog, have you considered publishing guest posts on it? If you work with other brands related to your industry, offering them sponsored posts is a great way to generate more business for them and more income for you. There are many ways to arrange the monetization of guest posts. For example, you could configure an affiliate marketing-type arrangement that ensures you receive a commission whenever a visitor reads a guest post from your partner and follows up with a sale.
Sponsored posts can provide the additional benefit of freeing up your content generation schedule. For example, if you usually publish four blog posts per month and then arrange one guest post from a partner each month, you just reduced your content demand significantly while generating additional revenue. Selling sponsored posts is one of the best ways to create additional revenue through your website while also increasing your flexibility to provide your audience with a broader range of valuable experiences.
Start Expanding Your Website Monetization Channels
Your website is crucial to your business in many ways, and the value you convey to your audience should translate to revenue for your operation. Zero Gravity Marketing can help you transform your website into a valuable content hub and a solid channel for more income than you may have expected initially. If you’re interested in increasing the revenue generated by your website, we can help. Contact Zero Gravity Marketing today for more information about how we can help you improve your website and the other digital marketing services we provide.