A Caveat and Affiliates
First off, a little caveat: within my articles you will find affiliate links, meaning if you buy them, I get a small commission. Your cost is not affected. In addition, I am an Amazon Associate and I earn from qualifying purchases on Amazon.
And yes, if I say that I recommend a product here, it means I truly believe it is a good product. I refuse to recommend any product that I have not researched and believe to be a good value.
Even better, I provide you with a very clear picture of the product, it’s use, and the probable value.
Earning your trust is important to me. I run this website myself and the commissions and donations help support the site.
Sound reasonable and fair enough? Let’s continue to the article.
How are people making money from websites?
“How are people making money from websites?”
“I want to be an affiliate marketer, but how soon will I make a lot of money?”
Questions about making money from websites often appear in my emails and messages. I even wrote about it here:
The simple truth is that yes, many people make money from websites. But expecting money to fly at you when you first set up a site is quite unrealistic.
You need to learn the proper methods to set up your site and then populate it. Social media demands part of your time, too. And you’ll be spending more time seeking out affiliates to use.
Content is King, so the saying goes. And it’s true. You cannot expect to have people come to your site just to see what products you might promote. They click on your links to find information. That information might lead them to a product that you recommend. But the initial draw is from your information, your content.
They have a need to fill or a problem to solve. You have content that helps them understand or get the right information. So yes, content. You need to write posts. Lots of posts. And that takes time, too.
Are people making money from websites?
The answer is an emphatic YES! But realize that the people making money did not just start the site and *boom* they were making money.
In total honesty, there are programs where you can buy a site that someone else does the work for and you receive profits, once they begin. But money is the trade-off, as it is for most things in life. One such site I found requires a payment of $15,000 to $50,000, then a monthly fee on top. I believe this site to be reputable, and they do offer guarantees. But the trade-off is a chunk of money instead of your time and effort. (Although they still require some time and effort, too)
So what are the ways to make money from websites?
You have options. Some require more time to build into a profit center than others. Often, people use more than one channel to increase the profit base.
Let’s look at some possible choices.
1. Affiliate Marketing
I mention affiliate marketing first as I consider it one of the easiest, to begin with, perhaps the fastest return potential. You need a niche website, to begin with. Simply put, you drive traffic to your site by creating great content, and plenty of it. You also have a few products on your site that you recommend with affiliate links.
If a reader clicks on one of your affiliate links and makes a purchase, you receive a commission. The selling process is all done by the company you send the traffic to. You are merely recommending the product.
Sound simple? Well, it can be. But there is a great deal more to it than I have just outlined.
While some people work through the process themselves, I found that having a platform with the training and a community of mentors made a big difference in the time it took to reach financial goals.
After trying several programs, I discovered the Wealthy Affiliate program and have stayed with the program because it works so well. They provide a “tried and proven” learning system and have thousands of other members who help each other along the way. You can start for free, then decide if you want to jump up to premium which of course has more training and more benefits. The free program is good and you can stay with the free option. The premium is really worth the investment, though.
2. Sell Ad Space for making money from websites
Remember newspapers and magazines, dappled with ads among the news and stories? Many websites also feature relevant ads within their pages.
There are a couple of ways to do this. One is to simply sell your ad space directly to companies looking to advertise on or sponsor your blog. For instance, if you write about local restaurants, you might get your favorite Japanese sushi restaurant. You price the space for a banner ad, usually at a monthly rate. If you have design skills, you can make a little more by offering to design their ad for them.
If you have a lot of traffic, you might offer to work with them on a click per thousand (often shown as CPM) basis. In that case, you receive a set price, say $5 CPM for every 1000 clicks the ad receives. If 100,000 people click that ad in one month, you would receive $500. Not bad for just showing the ad on your site. For high-traffic sites, this adds up quickly.
While it’s easy to understand how this works for a local business on a local style blog, it also works well for national and international, depending on the product. So for a pet site, one advertiser might sell dog treats or aquarium filters. This is similar to affiliates in that regard, but they pay a set price per month for the ad space, regardless of the number of sales.
3. Pay per click (PPC)
While other companies offer these, the most common of the PPC programs are AdWords and AdSense. These programs confuse some people. However, they really are quite simple and provide good revenue if your site has enough traffic.
AdWords are the advertisements that show up on the top of Google search result pages.
AdSense is the reverse, allowing publishers to tap into Google’s immense advertising network so that other advertisers can run ads on their website.
The best part about this system is how simple everything is.
Once you sign up and are approved, Google handles the ads. A simple code on your website identifies the content of your site and starts displaying relevant advertisements. For example, if your site is about gardening, Google AdSense will start showing your visitors ads for seeds, plants, fertilizers, and more.
You get paid each time someone clicks on the ad. Yes, it’s really that easy! Normally, you may expect a payout of somewhere between $0.50 to $5 per click. With enough traffic, you can make hundreds and even thousands of dollars each month.
4. Sponsored Posts
After you’ve built up a following of regular readers, you might consider adding sponsored posts. These resemble the infomercials on television, with some differences.
You may offer sponsored posts in a couple of ways. First, decide who will write the sponsored post.
Some businesses want to submit their own copy. You should proof the copy they submit to make sure it fits your website niche and tone. Also edit for any errors of spelling, grammar, and context.
Others will pay a little extra (or a lot extra) to have you write it. They would then approve the copy before you post.
A post written about a product that seems to offer a positive review offers good promotion of that product. It likely describes the features, may list pros and cons and links to the product page for people who wish to purchase or learn more.
You might also consider doing a product review comparison post. I’ve seen some that show “5 best…” and the one that stands out as #1 is the sponsored product.
Please note that sponsored posts need to show somewhere on the post that they are sponsored posts. It doesn’t have to be in the middle in a stand-out red color. But it does need to be readable on the site.
Also, remember that any post affects your image, good or bad. Consider how the sponsored post affects your readership, your reputation, and even your authority in your niche.
You work hard to build up an authority site. Don’t let one sponsored post create distrust. Choose carefully!
5. E-Commerce Site for making money from websites
Selling products, either by managing your own inventory and shipping or by drop shipping through your site offers yet another venue to make income.
Your e-commerce store might sell products directly. If you will be selling physical products, you need to consider bulk purchases, storage, and shipping.
Dropshipping offers another option for physical products. Halfway between affiliate marketing and handling the product inventory yourself, dropshipping lets the wholesaler manage the inventory and delivery. However, you will still need to handle customer questions and even some problems.
Whichever you choose, please remember that the internet holds many thousands of e-commerce websites and online stores. It’s important to be unique.
6. Sell an E-product such as an E-book
Virtual products make an easier product. Most can be delivered via a computer as soon as they are purchased. Just as with managing your own inventory, e-products make the most money on a per-sale basis as you sell directly.
This approach seems straightforward. You simply sell these products directly through your website and get paid immediately. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple in reality.
Creating good products that are well made and appear polished is critical. However, this requires a ton of time and additional resources. You need to consider the design and content. Also, consider the ‘hidden costs’ in the time to set up the product, with our without assistance from collaborators. Additionally, you need to factor in issues like payment gateways, shipping, and taxes.
When your product is ready to market, you also need a well-designed, persuasive landing page. Such a page helps ensure your product has a strong conversion rate.
7. Sell your sites!
Some people make good profits by producing a marketable website, then selling it. And yes, the market for quality sites continues to grow.
To make any true profit, you need to have a well-designed site with followers, the more the better. If you have not monetized it, your site should be able to be easily monetized.
This profit model intrigues some, though is definitely not for everyone. The upside is that if you enjoy building, but now find that you want a different site, the option is open to doing so. Conversely, if you really like your niche and are building a following, you might choose to just keep it.
There are a few people who choose to do this on a regular basis. They may research several niches and build good sites, then sell each of them to people wanting to shorten the time from site to income. You may have heard them called website flippers. Some of these flippers will buy an established site that is not performing well, update it, improve it, then sell it for a nice profit.
This may not be as popular as some of the other ways, but it’s often quite profitable. A common pricing structure takes the monthly income and multiplies it by a factor of 24-36. So, if your site is making about $1000 per month on average, you might expect it to sell for $24,000.00 to $36,000.00. Of course, many other factors enter into the selling price, including the age of the site, the number of unique monthly visits, and even the appearance of the site. Another major factor is the niche, itself. Some demand a higher value than others.
You might look at website sellers such as Flippa to get an idea of this type of income stream.
Of course, other ways exist for making money from websites.
We’ve listed seven of the most popular ways. It’s important to note, however, that many sites utilize more than one of these. In fact, many utilize a blend of several. The diversification allows for a more steady income flow as one type may produce more when another is producing less.
With any website, the important factors include creating good content on a regular basis and also having a growing readership. Your readers comprise your customer base. Without customers, you have no sales. We’ll explore ways to bring readers to your site in future articles.
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