8 Easy Ways to Monetize Your Website Without Selling Products

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If blogging or publishing content is your hobby, turn it into a business moneymaker! Do what you love and earn income without selling anything. On the other hand, if you are a full-time digital marketer, why not add some income streams to your website? Everyone can use the extra money!

If you’re new to online marketing or blogging, setting up your website is the easy part. Getting traffic is next, which is key to making a reliable income. We have several articles on traffic generation for your business. Creating content, posting images & videos and networking with others are all keys to growing your website. Don’t forget to also use social media to drive people to your website.

Once you have a bit of traffic coming your way, here are some easy ways to earn more from your website:

1. Sign Up For Google AdSense

Probably the easiest and most common way to monetize your website is through Google Adsense. Sign up for a free account here. You paste provided code on your website, and Google will place ads that match your content and visitors. You can customize and choose where these appear. Also, you can block ads or advertisers if you believe these don’t fit in with your website.

For every click, you get paid. Your income will depend on the advertiser and the traffic to your website. You earn more if enough people click on the ads. Keep working on increasing visits, but take note that Google doesn’t allow you to click ads on your site.

2. Get Into Affiliate Marketing

One of the most popular ways that bloggers make money is by posting product reviews on their websites. Find items you like to promote. Of course, make sure these are relevant to your audience. Ask yourself if you would buy the product you’re promoting and endorsing. Always look out for your audience’s interests. 

Affiliate marketing is a balancing act. First, research brands and products before you promote them. Products will always have flaws or imperfections. Give honest reviews to gain credibility and more followers. Focus on value for money instead of price alone.

Links will be part of your content, but don’t oversell. It doesn’t matter if it’s a must-buy situation. Only post others’ images with their permission. Preferably, use your own pictures or videos.

Join an affiliate program or a network like Amazon Associates, ShareASale and CJ Affiliates. You can search for more product ideas from these.

3. Sell Ad Space on your website 

Ask companies if they would like to place ads on your website. Big brands often approach famous bloggers. If you aren’t at that level yet, who’s to say that some brand won’t place ads on your site now?   

Brands will ask you why they should advertise on your site. Be ready with specific answers that should include verifiable visitor data from Google Analytics, for instance. Conversely, choose companies that are relevant to your audience. For example, talk to Purina or Iams if your website is about care for aging dogs.

Pricing is a bit tricky. There isn’t a standard formula, but some experts suggest a base fee of $50 a month if you have daily visitors in the hundreds. You can also earn by the number of impressions or clicks an ad gets. WordPress plugins can track both. Look at the ad sheets of competitors to see what they charge. They will also say in their rate cards how much traffic they are getting.

Keep your ad spaces to a minimum. Many visitors dislike websites that are full of banners and pop-ups. Always remember that they came to your site for the content and not the ads.

4. Feature Sponsored Content

Brands won’t hesitate to ask you to review their products if their target market frequents your site. Customers trust reviews from independent parties more than ads by companies. You can promote a product without sounding like the brand’s paid advocate. Remain authentic and always have data to support your opinion.   

You can also publish content with a link to a sponsor. Don’t forget to add the attribute rel= “sponsored” to the link.  It lets Google know this is a paid link and should not count when ranking the sponsor’s site.    

Businesses search for sites that will feature sponsored content. It’s a form of advertising for them, but again money shouldn’t be your primary consideration. Make sure the content is aligned with your values and relevant to your target audience.

5. Offer a Paid Member-Only Section

What things of value can you offer for a small fee? Many bloggers have extras for patrons. Their sites may have private forums, tutorials, gaming mods and other educational tools.  

Start a regular podcast and invite experts, fellow enthusiasts or entertaining people. You could make it live and take calls from members only. Think of a specific topic your audience would find compelling.

A members-only forum is a go-to option for many bloggers. Individuals favor discussing topics or interests with like-minded people. Almost free from trolls (because they are membership-only), these forums provide a comfortable platform for people to air their ideas and opinions.

You could also offer your patrons discounts or e-coupons for your or another brand’s products. Companies that advertise on your site can provide these as an enticement for your target audience to become paying members.  It is a win for advertisers when people become aware and buy from them.

6. Monetize Premium Content

You can get the news online or on TV free of charge. But, the New York Times requires a subscription if you want to read its articles. The NYT isn’t the only reliable source worldwide, yet its digital subscriptions increased by 2.3 million in 2020 alone.

What would explain its success? The newspaper appealed to what it called a cultured and intellectual readership. Unlike other newsprint companies, the NYT did not target the general public. It focused on a specific audience that was willing to pay because they get their money’s worth. So, what value can you provide for X amount of dollars?

Maybe you can offer exclusive recipes and cooking videos if you have, for instance, a copper cookware website. (There are recipes specifically for copper cookware.) If your target audience finds these valuable, they won’t hesitate to pay what you charge for them.

Be judicious when offering this “paywalled” material. Continue to provide free quality content to keep your audience growing.

7. Ask For Contributions

It’s the road you take to cover your web costs and not to earn millions. Bloggers and YouTubers regularly ask for donations (“Buy me a cup of coffee!“) Platforms like Thunderbird and Wikipedia rely on funding by users.

If your audience likes what you do, they would consider donating. You may be one of those who share knowledge and creativity because you love doing it. It’s a form of public service when you enrich people’s lives.

Ask for support only because you need it. As long as you’re honest, your followers will not take offense if you ask for financial help. In exchange for patronage, you could make do with fewer or no ads. Making your site ad-free is the best way of saying thanks.

Many people reward bloggers through Paypal or third parties like Patreon. Should you accept donations, check out both.

8. Share Your Website

Partner up with other companies that are related to your core business. If you have a site about food preparation, why not lease web pages to your local grocery?  Mom and Pops stores may find online selling expensive and complicated. For a fee, you can feature their products on your site.

Why stop with stores? Share your site with technicians, mechanics, landscape artists, carpenters, caterers, florists, etc. There are many self-employed individuals with little or no digital marketing background. They would grab the opportunity to have an online presence if offered to them.

How much should you charge? There’s no pricing standard now, but you can charge extra if you post for your partners.

Bonus 9. License Your Content

If you publish excellent content, don’t be surprised if other businesses ask if they could post it on their websites. Usual agreements are for a batch of articles or extensive material that isn’t easy to create. Fees depend on how an interested party will reuse these.  

Keep in mind that content isn’t limited to the written word. It includes your pictures and videos.

An increase in your exposure is one of the benefits of allowing the reuse of your content. The licensee of your work might have a larger audience or reach than you. Start with a limited use agreement and see how it goes.

You retain ownership of your material unless you give it up. There’s always the problem of plagiarism, but the law protects you against unauthorized use or distribution. Regulation may vary from state to state. I suggest you contact a copyright lawyer in your area if there is a potential for this kind of arrangement.

Bonus 10. Build Up Your E-mail List

Companies are always searching for new leads, and your list might be valuable to them. According to this, the lowest take for 1,000 e-mail addresses is about $100. It depends on who your subscribers are. A specific niche can earn you more, as they are more targeted.

Be careful about “selling” your email list to others, as this is the #1 concern for email subscribers. Instead, when sending your personal emails, include sponsored emails from these companies instead. You can also have sponsored content within your regular emails.

Not all of these methods will work for you. Ads and affiliate marketing are probably the easiest and most popular way to monetize a website and generate passive income. Try each or a combination to discover which is best for your business. Keep in mind, the interests and respect of your target market comes first before any advertiser. 

Do you have other ideas to monetize your website? Please share in the comments section below.

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