How to Monetize a Website and Make It Your Primary Source of Income

how to monetize a website increase income primary revenue source

If this past year has taught us anything, it’s to expect the unexpected and be ready to pivot. In such times of uncertainty, having more than one revenue stream can make a huge difference.

Enter the blogosphere. A study done by ConvertKit found that, on average, full-time bloggers made $38k in profits annually. With pro bloggers clearing $138k in profits annually.

Sounds amazing, right?

You can do it too! In this article, we’re going to show you how to monetize a website. There are many different ways to do this, but we’ll highlight methods with a proven track record.

How to Monetize a Website

There are millions of websites out there. To get yours to stand out and be profitable, you’re going to have to invest time and a little money upfront.

Creating a blog or website is pretty simple. But getting a return on your investment is going to require a bit more of you.

If you want to shoot for that pro blogger profit margin, the following tactics can help you get there. With patience, persistence, and a plan, you too can successfully monetize a website.

1. Consider Affiliate Blogging/Marketing

To make money with a website, you need to have something to sell. If you don’t have your own products, becoming an affiliate marketer might be great for you. 

In fact, many bloggers make all their money this way. But before you jump on the affiliate bandwagon, keep these three things in mind.

  1. Be upfront about any affiliate links and relationships.
  2. Pitch things that your audience will find relevant.
  3. Be discerning; don’t promote garbage products or companies.

So, what does affiliate marketing look like? Here are a few examples with potential high ROI.

List of Resources Article

Let’s say you are starting a finance blog. You can create an article that’s a list of resources you personally use. If you have an affiliate relationship set up, you can get a commission from anyone who signs up using your link.

Product or Service Reviews

A good and honest review can help a potential buyer gain the confidence to make the purchase. Include your affiliate link so you can get the credit and the commission for the work you did.

Comparison Articles

This kind of article can generate some serious affiliate revenue. You are essentially writing a pros and cons list about different products. Your reader is already looking to make a purchase; they just need some help figuring out what’s what. 

You can write about anything, and if you do it well, you’ll likely make a sale. As with the others, make sure your affiliate link is easy to see.

2. Website Advertising

You can monetize a website without using Adsense! Google’s Adsense is the largest online advertising source, but it’s certainly not the only option for bloggers.

Here are some of the other agencies to consider. They may not be as specific as Adsense, but you can likely find the perfect fit for your blog’s brand or readership.

  • MediaVine
  • AdThrive
  • ValueClick
  • Burst Media
  • AdBrite
  • Bitvertiser
  • Kontera
  • Tribal Fusion
  • EZoic

Read more about successes bloggers have had working with these smaller agencies.

3. Sell Digital Assets

Digital assets are great for many reasons. You don’t have to keep making them; once they are made, the work becomes promoting and selling versus content creation, which requires more regularity. 

There are an infinite amount of things that fall under this category. What you create will depend on your expertise and your audience. Here are some of our favorite ideas.

  • Ebooks
  • Website layouts
  • Templates
  • Websites
  • Digital tools or apps
  • Training courses
  • Fonts, graphics, or other design elements
  • Audio elements
  • Photosets

4. Sell Branded Merch

Planning to join the ranks of lifestyle bloggers? You may want to consider branded merchandise.

Once people fall for what you’re offering, they will naturally want to show their support. And what better way than with swag.
Throw an e-commerce CMS on your site, connect to a third party fulfillment site, and voila. Watch the sales come rolling in.

The best part? You don’t have to invest a ton of money in inventory or shipping! Several companies do all of that work for you so that you can focus on customer service or other things.

  • Teespring: on-demand apparel printing
  • Spreadshirt: apparel, phone cases, and accessories
  • KITE: over 250 product types supported
  • Merch by Amazon: no monthly fees, tons of organic traffic, infinite product possibilities

5. Paywalls and Memberships

Having accessible content is great. But, utilizing a paywall for ‘premium’ content can easily help monetize a website.

Keep short articles or posts free, but put your long-form, deep-dive pieces elsewhere. Taking this idea a step further, you can also create a paid membership option.

Make sure to pack it with things that your audience finds relevant and valuable. Common membership sites include;

  1. The drip-feed: Members get access to a private member’s area, where you will add new content added monthly. This ensures your members never run out of quality content to look at. A steady drip of new content keeps readers engaged and hungry for more.
  2. All-in: Members get access to all the member-content from the time they first log-in. You don’t have to wait a month to catch new content; you can get it all at once. People like this a lot. 
  3. Member community: This is great if you want your members to be active and engaged on your site. Think forums, message boards, and live chat options. The most vibrant and successful online communities are oriented around a specific niche topic that connects your members.
  4. Fixed-term: These are usually short-term with a logical conclusion. For example, a 28-day detox is a common fixed-term contract.
  5. Product or service: Members get something in the mail every month. Think meal delivery service, Dollar Shave Club, or Stitch Fix. Each is a great example of what a monthly product membership looks like.

Ready to Become a Pro-Blogger?

You can do this.

2020 stats indicate that the content marketing industry is projected to enjoy a growth rate of 16% annually. Now is a great time to get in on that growth action. 

We’ve presented a small sample of ways that you can monetize a website. If you invest the time at the beginning of your efforts, practice patience, and stay consistent, you can be on your way to those $100k profit margins in no time.

Make sure to check out the rest of our content while you’re here. We’ve got tons of tips and insights into doing business in the digital age. A large portion of our Everything Entrepreneur Blog is devoted to helping you monetize your website and earn extra online!