For those of us who one day hope to make a living from our websites and do as we will with our time how we monetize our website is one of the most important business topics that we can look into. After all without monetization we could have the best content, help the most people, and literally change the world yet get absolutely nothing for it. Monetization is important if you ever want to have any hope of quitting your day job and living the life of an online entrepreneur. However many simply just throw up a donate page and hope that they’ll be supported by the charity of their readers. This might work well for some sites and will work for those who simply hope to earn some pennies from their website but for those looking for real money this isn’t going to cut it.
Another hurdle is that many writers get stuck in the “artist’s” mentality where they feel that monetization of any sort would be wrong or that it would be an insult to their customers (how so is lost on me). Or that their work should speak for itself on it’s own merit (the battle cry of many a poor person). However that isn’t how the world works. Merit means very little in how much money one makes. There are plenty of scammers and low quality products that are raking in money. This isn’t to say become one of them it’s to say that don’t think because you give quality advice that you’re going to pull in money. You could literally change the lives of hundreds and stay broke without proper monetization systems in place. Likewise you could have a minor impact on thousands and live comfortably if you know how to set up monetization systems. Alright now for the systems.
Monetization Strategy #1 – Google Adsense
You’ll notice that just about every major site has adsense up on it. And for good reason, for a site with a lot of traffic you can make a decent income off of adsense and adsense alone. I know many would never put adsense on their site because you know “ads are evil and a true artist would never use ads” or something. But they’re going to miss on a lot of money. Not to mention that the ads are going to be ads relevant either to your site and what you’re writing about or to your customers browsing history. Meaning that you don’t have to worry about random ads showing up for things your readers have no interest in.
And if a reader has no interest they don’t have to click. Of course I wouldn’t recommend plastering ads everywhere on your site like some of the bigger name sites do but having one on the sidebar and one or two in the content is plenty to begin raking in the money from this source. If adsense is something that interests you get started on it sooner rather than later. It can be a pain in the ass to get approval and get everything set up. I’m a couple weeks in and have yet to be approved. Some people get approved in days for others it takes month, I’m not sure what it’ll take for you but I do know that you’re better off starting earlier rather than later. This monetization strategy works particularly well for sites with high traffic.
Monetization Strategy #2 – Info Products
This is my favorite monetization strategy and one that I think everyone can agree won’t turn off any of their readers (even though a very small unprofitable minority are the only ones who get mad about ads). But for those of you that have the starving artist mentality and are determined to keep it then this strategy may be your only effective choice. Info products come in many different types. You have the basic PDF, audio programs, CDs, DVDs, online courses, and more. There’s no need to get fancy when you’re just starting out, many can make a living from PDFs and PDFs alone, granted that they’re good and something that’s needed in your niche.
One thing I wouldn’t recommend is kindle books. Yeah I know right now my only big monetization strategy is kindle books so trust me when I say this. Kindle books are ineffective for a variety of reasons as a monetization strategy. If you want to be a true kindle publisher making their living then you need a bunch of ghost writers and reviewers lined up, and be ready to publish hundreds of books in different niches. That’s the reality of making it with kindle effectively. You could sell one PDF half the size of your average kindle book and take home anywhere from ten to twenty times the revenue. When you transfer that same information to audio or course format this goes up even more. Frankly kindle is one of the least porfitable ways to monetize your information and content. However if you really want to it can work.
Monetization Strategy #3 – Affiliate Marketing
People have different perceptions of affiliate marketing. Some when they hear the word think of someone spamming their content, emails, or something else with link after link of the content producer shoving their products down their throat. While for others affiliate marketing is simply someone they trust recommending something to them. The latter is obviously much more effective than the former. With affiliate marketing you take things that you’ve used in your own life and then recommend them to your readers. You can do through through reviews or through a recommend resources tab. You can do this with info products, equipment, supplements, and more. There is an affiliate program for just about everything out there now.
For affiliate marketing to be effective there has to be trust. I’ve seen plenty try to hawk a supplement brand or something else that didn’t fit with their overall message and seemed out of character for them only to have it fail miserably and trust lost. Never sactifice trust with your readers, it’s never worth it in the long run (and often not worth it in the short run). Only recommend things that you use and enjoy. Never recommend something because the payout is high or because it has a high price mark. Done right some make their entire living of affiliate marketing.
If you’re serious about making money from your website then you’ll want to explore all three of the strategies listed above. Some will work better for others depending on your crowd, your niche, and your personality. These can all work together turning a website that barely produces anything into a money making machine that you can potentially make your living off of. However even with all the traffic and value in the world you’re not going to make jack without the proper monetization strategy put into place. One of the most damaging beliefs that people have is that “if they build it they will come” whether it’s traffic or the money. Only through great marketing and effective monetization strategies will you get the traffic and income you want. Merit alone means much less in the marketplace than we’d like it to, always keep this in mind.
If you have any questions you would like to see answered in a future post send them to me at charlessledge001 (at) gmail (dot) com. If you found value in this post then I would encourage you to share this site with someone who may need it as well as check out my books here. I appreciate it.