You’ve got your domain name picked out, your hosting package set up, and your site is ready to go. The next question is, “What do I do now?”. One would suggest making a SWOT analysis and starting a goal setting worksheet. For many new website owners, monetization is the ultimate goal, so if you’re considering how to make money with your website, here are a few ideas to help you out.
Social media and direct mail campaigns are nice, but they can be very hit or miss. The ideal set-up for any business owner is to control your audience: control your audience, and you can control your level of sales.
To do this, you have to build an e-mail list centred around your product or service that you want to promote. Once you build your list, it’s imperative that you do not try to sell to them right away; try to give them something of value to build trust, and then when they’re warm to your site, that’s when you pitch them on your offering.
Of course, getting the list to a size where you can make a decent income is a different story entirely, so try to offer people an incentive to sign up on your list in the first place. This can come by way of a coupon for their first purchase, or a free guide that they can download, or anything else that delivers some kind of value to the customer. Businesses who do this see their list explode virtually overnight.
Become an Affiliate
Once you have your website at a decent size, one of the things you can do is sell other products instead of, or in addition to, your own. This is called affiliate marketing, and it’s one of the best ways to create passive income, especially for websites that have a pre-built audience.
At its core, affiliate marketing is very simple: an affiliate is someone with an audience that a product can sell to. In return, the affiliate receives a commission off of every sale, usually in the neighbourhood of 4-6%. This may not sound like much, but when you have multiple affiliate products that you are pitching, and hundreds or even thousands of people are buying those products, it adds up in a hurry.
To do this, you have to first reach out to different companies to see if they have affiliate programs in place. If not, simply ask them if they would be willing to create one, and set the terms of the relationship. It can be a very lucrative way to earn long-term passive income.
Sell Your Own Product
Rather than selling other people’s products, why not create and sell your own? A steady stream of affiliate income is fine, but you will always make more money if you create and sell your own product.
This can come in many forms, from e-books to physical products and everything in between. If you’re low on cash, a service based business is a great idea for a starter product. In many cases, all of these ideas can be combined into one big business. A website that blogs about public speaking, for instance, could provide coaching services, an e-book about best presentation tips, and a video course for newbies.
Sell Website Space
Your website will have to have a respectable amount of traffic, but it is entirely possible to sell digital space on your website to businesses looking to advertise similar or complimentary products. Google AdSense is the most popular, by far, but in many cases, you can skip the middle man completely and create relationships with potential advertisers yourself.
Generally speaking, on-site advertising can take on a few different forms. Pay-per-click, where you get paid by the advertiser every time someone clicks on the ad and goes to their website, Pay-per-impression, where you get paid every time a certain number of people view the ad (such as every 100 or every 1000), and pay-per-time, where an advertiser could pay a set rate to have an ad on your site for a certain period of time, regardless of clicks or views. All three have their own advantages and disadvantages.
Create Membership Levels
One often-overlooked way to make money with your website is to establish certain tiers of access on your site, and have people pay for those different levels. For instance, the basic level of information and/or services on your website can be free, but if they want access to a special group or board, or if they want certain services, that could be $20 a month, or more.
Many new website owners balk at this, claiming that it will drive traffic away and kill the momentum before it even starts. While this is an absolutely valid concern, the truth is that membership sites have the distinct advantage of turning those passive viewers – that casually visit your site and move away – into raving fans. If done correctly, a membership site can build a huge and loyal following for your brand, as well as bring in a steady income every month.
Offer Live Training
Online businesses are all about relationships, and if you can develop a relationship with other businesses, you can harness those into a profitable venture for yourself.
One of the best ways to provide mutually beneficial service to others is by hosting live training on your websites. This is similar to affiliate marketing in that a separate company is paying you for your audience, but it also allows you to create trust within your audience and provide value at the same time. An hour-long webinar explaining a
certain product or tool not only creates revenue for the other party but also enables you to generate some nice commissions as well.
Sell Your Site
When you’ve successfully built your site to attract a larger audience, developed relationships with other businesses, and have a steady stream of income through various sources, selling your site is as easy as listing it on an online marketplace and watching the offers roll in.
How much can you make? That depends on a number of factors, but if you’ve demonstrated the ability to make money with your website, you just have to be willing to demonstrate that to others. Sites like EmpireFlippers.com have handy online tools that can help you with your valuation, but you can expect 20-40 times your average net profit. For a site that brings in just $2,000 a month, that’s between $40,000-80,000. Not too shabby for a simple website.
So, if monetization is your ultimate goal, be sure that there are a lot of ways to reach your goal, you just have to be patient and do a lot of research. By following these tips with a website that has an average audience, at least, you can be sure that you will make money with your website in no time.