Chances are good you’ve put a lot of time, effort, and money into building a website that is a positive representation of who you are and what you do. With the investments you’ve made into it, doesn’t it make sense you should do all you can to maximize your returns? It may sound intimidating to try to monetize your website, but in actuality, there are a lot of simple ways that you can make money off of your site without creating a whole boatload of extra work for yourself. In this article, we aim to demystify the process of turning your website into a valuable source of additional income.
You have a lot of knowledge floating around in that head, so why not put it to good use? You’ve already done the footwork of growing your audience and establishing your presence and authority within your niche market; right? So, what’s next? It might be time for you to start thinking of a product you could advertise on your site. This could create a consistent stream of passive income for you.
Think about writing an e-book, creating an online course, selling some digital downloads that your audience would find helpful, or even creating some merchandise they might enjoy. Not only can you make profit from this, but it can also serve as free advertising for you. While these endeavors may require a little extra effort up front, the benefits you experience long-term will likely be well worth it.
Once you have built up your credibility and authority, you can use your website as a means of selling yourself! Freelance out your expertise to help others. What are you good at? How can you build lucrative workshops, retreats, speaking engagements or one-on-one consultations into your offerings? While this isn’t necessarily using your website as the money-making catalyst, it is making use of your website as a way to expand what you can provide.
You’ve also worked really hard to accumulate a variety of quality content your audience finds super valuable. So, how can you monetize what you’ve created? You don’t have to charge your audience for access to all of your content, but consider encouraging them to pay a reasonable membership fee to get full access to your content.
When you’re not afraid to charge a fee (whether it be a weekly, monthly, or yearly subscription or a one-time payment), it can showcase your confidence that you have something special to offer. It shows you have content that’s absolutely worth your audiences’ money. Think about what else you could offer your audience that would add even more value to their experience on your site. This might look like access to a private community. It could be access to a variety of additional courses, podcasts or other educational materials. You could even offer the option to participate in a mastermind group, or something else of that nature.
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Are there other companies that might benefit from reaching the audience you have worked so hard to build? Find them and reach out! You may be surprised at how willing they are to negotiate a deal that will work well for both parties. Oftentimes, this will mean reviewing one of their products or services, including some of their content into your newsletters, bundling together a shared social media promotion, or publishing a blog that includes links back to their website. If you have products that you’re already passionate about and that you believe your audience might become passionate about, too, that is usually a great place to start!
A lot of site owners find it easier to let their audience determine the value of their content by asking for donations that will help to keep it coming. In fact, many of your audience members might prefer this to being bombarded by advertising messages every time they jump on your site. If you’ve built an audience that really understands the value you offer them, chances are good they will be happy to throw a little extra cash your way. Although it is unlikely that every single site visitor will make a contribution, the ones who do will help you keep doing what you’re doing without feeling any resentment towards it. Allow for different donation tiers so it feels accessible to everybody. Also, consider asking your followers to think about making a regular monthly or yearly contribution.
To put it simply, affiliate marketing is the process of posting links or endorsing products and services on your site that generate a predetermined revenue for you each time that one of your site visitors clicks on a link and purchases said product or service. That being said, your audience is your most valuable asset. So, commit to being upfront about your involvement in affiliate programs and make sure that the brands and products you are representing offer additional value to them. Make sure you’ve tried the products or services for yourself, as well. This will help your pitch feel authentic as opposed to sounding salesy. If it feels too contrived you can guarantee your audience will see right through it and that’s a good way to lose the loyalty you’ve worked so hard to build.
You might also choose to create a Google Adsense account to generate some additional income. Once your account is created, Google will embed code on your site that will identify its content and begin displaying any relevant ads to your audience. If, for example, you run a bicycle shop, Google may begin popping up ads for helmets, riding gear or other related content on your site. Anytime a site visitor clicks on the ad and is redirected to their site, you get a cut. It’s truly as simple as that. If you get a lot of traffic on your site, you can actually make quite a bit of money from those who do PPC Advertising. Depending on quite a few factors, you may receive anywhere from $.05 to $5 per click. A few hundred clicks per month and you could be talking about a couple thousand extra dollars! The best part about this is that it continues to grow with you as your site grows.
If you want to cut out the middleman, you may also choose to sell your space directly to companies that share a similar niche and would benefit from access to your audience. You can charge what you want for specific ad spots on your site. Then, you’ll earn money dependent on the number of visitors that stop by. Traditionally, this is sold as a blanket dollar amount per CPM (or per one thousand impressions). For example, an ad space that costs $4 CPM on a site that receives 100,000 monthly visitors will work out to be $400.
Lastly, let that email list you worked hard to build work for you now! Email marketing can be highly effective, and has an average return on investment of around 4,000%. Have you created a newsletter that leaves your audience wanting more? If so, there are likely a lot of businesses who would pay you decent money to be featured in it. Again, the trick here is to be authentic and always make sure you are delivering quality content to your loyal followers!
These are just a small sampling of ways that you can use your website to make some additional income. Try one or try all of them! You won’t know what your audience responds best to until you take them for a test drive. Either way, monetizing your website does not have to be rocket science, so if you’ve been holding back, maybe now is the time to change all of that!
This content was originally published here.