20 Ways to Make Money With Your Website
This is how I earn a living online. Affiliate marketing is the process of referring products or services from your website and earning a commission for every sale made.
Become a Reseller
A reseller is a lot like an affiliate except you have more control over your profits. Typically you buy the product at wholesale, set your own prices and earn on the markup. I resell hosting and domains and earn a nice residual income.
Look for reseller programs in your niche by Googling [your niche] + reseller programs.
Sell eGoods (Templates, eBooks, Software, Reports, etc.)
The key to building longevity online is to have your own product to sell. Digital products are convenient because the cost of production and delivery is very favorable.
I use Adobe Acrobat Professional to create my eBooks. Watch the video below for details on how to convert a Word document into a secure PDF.
Sell Hard Goods
Hard goods are tangible goods that you can touch (crafts, jewelry, clothing, etc.) WordPress has plugins you can use like WP e-Commerce, for example. If you have a static site like this one, most hosting companies have shopping cart solutions you can install. You can also use PayPal.
AdSense is a contextual CPC (cost per click) network allows you to partner up with Google and display their advertiser's text and/or image ads on your website. When a visitor clicks your ads, you earn revenue.
Media.net is a decent alternative to AdSense for some websites. If you were banned from AdSense or are looking for an alternative, this may be a good choice.
Chitika is another CPC network with a variety of ad types. One unique feature of Chitika is the ads only show up when people find your site via internal or external search.
Let's say someone finds one of your pages by searching for "blue hats" in Google. They will see Chitika ads related to blue hats. If another visitor just surfs on that same page by clicking through your site, they won't see any Chitika ads.
I tried Chitika on this site and the conversions were poor. This network seems to be best for shopping sites due to the kinds of ads in their database. Not many ads were relevant to my content.
Clicksor is another contextual CPC program that is known to be less strict when it comes to getting accepted. If you qualify, you can become a Premium Site Partner which will provide more revenue options and reports.
This CPC program allows other advertisers to bid on your site and the highest bidder gets the display. Bidvertiser is known for paying a higher CPC, but it seems to work best with sites in categories specified by Bidvertiser.
Kontera displays intext ads on your website. In other words, their program automatically hyperlinks certain keywords within your text and links them to related ads.
I'm not a fan of this CPC program. In my opinion, the ads look very intrusive. Nevertheless, they've been around awhile and are worth the mention here.
Unlike CPC (cost per click), CPM (cost per thousand) networks pay you per impression. Most networks require you to have a good amount of traffic to qualify. Nevertheless, they're worth checking into. Burst Media, Value Click and Advetising.com are 3 popular networks.
RSS Feed Ads
Sell Custom Merchandise
Sites like CafePress and Zazzle allow you to sell your own designs on various merchandise (T-shirts, mugs, hats, etc.) You can incorporate widgets and links to your products within your website to help generate additional sales.
If you're a skilled graphic designer, you can really drum up some business with this method. The key is to create the designs to match the theme of your site.
Sell Ad Space
Once you have at least several hundred visitors per day to your site, you can start thinking about selling ad space. If you're a WordPress blogger Kamoona (free) and OIO Publisher are two popular plugins.
I used OIO Publisher on my WordPress blog. It worked well, but I didn't like that you couldn't sell ads by impression. You could only sell by number of days. Hopefully they'll ad this feature because it's a great plugin otherwise.
Yes, it's pricey at $99, but it's so flexible. I can sell ads by day, clicks, impressions or the month. There's even an advertiser self-service option where you can give your customer the option of choosing how many days, clicks, impressions, etc. they want to buy upfront.
There are also coupon code and location targeting modules you can buy as add-ons.
Need advice on setting your ad prices? Watch this video below...
Sponsored Reviews (Create a Review Site)
Sites like PayPerPost and Sponsored Reviews allow advertisers to pay bloggers to write sponsored posts on their own blogs. While this can be a great way to earn money blogging, you can lose credibility if you're not ethical about it.
It's important to disclose that you are getting paid to write the post so your audience is clear about what is going on. Fortunately most companies makes disclosure mandatory.
If you don't want to use a service like the ones above, you can setup your own internal program very easily. Just create and publish your guidelines then accept payments via PayPal.
Of course, this service works best on niche blogs that have enough targeted traffic to support it.
I'm not a huge fan of this method unless the site provides unparalled advice/services for free. Obviously charity sites are the exception, but I absolutely hate seeing donation buttons on sites laced with affiliate links and Google ads.
I have donated to sites before, but they are usually sites that offer something very valuable like a useful WordPress plugin or some kind of free service that you can't just find anywhere.
Nevertheless, if you decide to accept donations, PayPal is the most universal way of doing it.
Paid Membership Sites
Thanks to CMS platforms like Joomla and Drupal (which you can install for free when you buy almost any regular hosting package), setting up a membership site is fairly easy (comparatively) these days.
Pay Per Click Marketing (PPC)
Say you are selling iPhone cases and you want your site to be ranked in Google's Sponsored Listings when someone searches for "iPhone cases." You would bid on a ranking with other advertisers, and your final rank depends on the overall quality/relevancy of your site and your maximum bid.
This is a great way to make a lot of money selling your own products and through affiliate marketing, but there is a LOT of trial and error involved here. Most successful PPCers lose a lot of money before they make a profit.
Vizu Answers will pay you to host surveys and polls on your site. You can also use them to setup free polls on your site for free.
I don't know of anyone who uses this service, but their site is not very easy to navigate.
Companies will pay you to publicize job listings on your website. The key, of course, is to promote jobs related to your niche. So this may work better on some sites than others.
Quick Note About Traffic
It's important to note that in order for any of these options to work, you need good amounts of targeted traffic. Do not confuse targeted traffic with Facebook friends and family who may provide you with a few courtesy visits.
Targeted traffic consists of people who literally seek out information on your site (via Google, Twitter, etc.). These people are much more likely to convert and become long time visitors.
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