How to Monetize a Website in 2023 | The A to Z Guide
Wondering how to monetize a website?
We got you covered! Sustainable website monetization is one of the top priorities among new and experienced publishers.
This article discusses strategies and tips to increase your revenue, so let’s jump into it!
A – Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to monetize a blog if you like to review products or services.
Affiliate marketing means that you’ll earn a commission for every purchase your readers make using the affiliate links in your blog. You just have to find a product that fits your blog.
For instance, if your website is about golf, you could earn a commission by including an affiliate link for golf club sets.
However, to succeed with this strategy, you need to:
- Be transparent with your audience and disclose all affiliate links and partnerships
- Promote products that are relevant to your audience
- Only include genuine reviews
- Don’t promote too many products
One of the most popular platforms for affiliate marketing is Digistore24, Amazon Associates, and MyLead.
Here you can read more about affiliate marketing.
Requirements: significant web traffic, be a partner with an affiliate program
B – Build Digital Tools
Digital tools can be a great way to help with website monetization. Not only do they help you build a returning audience and grow your website traffic, but they can also help to generate leads and boost conversions for your other products or services.
Take an example from an SEO professional Neil Patel. His keyword research tool Ubersuggest operates on a so-called freemium model (limited free features and full access on a subscription basis). In this way, people get to try the product before paying for full access.
The trick here is to create a well-functioning tool relevant to your niche.
Requirements: development resources
C – Content Marketing
Content marketing is a powerful technique that involves sharing your expertise with others to support your primary business goals.
Let’s face it–nobody likes aggressive promotional messages. But when you publish high-quality content that genuinely serves users, why not include your name there? It’s more powerful than just saying that your product is great.
Content marketing also helps establish your expertise in the field and build users’ trust. One more thing you should keep in mind is a well-structured content marketing strategy. So, if you’re struggling to create a content strategy yourself, the Brafton team can help you.
Requirements: content marketing skills
D – Donation From Your Visitors
Donations are the way to go if you wonder how to monetize a website without ads. Even if your website traffic isn’t large, but your audience is engaged, you can ask for a donation.
If your audience genuinely believes that your content adds value to their lives, they’ll be happy to support your hard work.
Many publishers and content creators monetize their websites exclusively through donations or even through a mix of donations, membership content, and ads.
The only thing you have to do is implement a donation button with tools like PayPal.
Requirements: high-quality content
E – eCommerce Website
Simply speaking, an eCommerce website is like an online shop where you can earn money from the products you sell. You can sell anything you want, but the easiest (and least expensive) would probably be a digital product. Setting up your store is also very easy as you can hire a web developer from a professional web development company or register through a third-party service such as Shopify. For example, you can sell:
- Stock photos
- Photography presets
- E-books and e-magazines
- Website themes
- And much more
Envato Elements is a great place to sell your creative digital assets. A community of independent designers powers the site, and Envato shares 50% of the net revenue with its authors.
Requirements: eCommerce CMS, eCommerce skills
Learn more about eCommerce websites.
F – Flip Your Website
This strategy is a little different because it doesn’t exactly involve the monetization of a website–it involves selling it. Once you grow your website to a certain point, you might want to sell it and reap the returns. The price you can sell it for will depend on things like:
- Website niche
- Website traffic
- Monthly revenue
- Monetization model
- Search engine rankings
The challenge for flipping your website is to create it worthy enough so that people will actually want to buy it. To get a rough idea of how much you can sell your website for, explore Empire Flippers.
Requirements: website-building skills
G – Google AdSense
Google Adsense is one of the most popular ways to monetize a website with ads. Publishers agree to place ads on their website and earn money each time someone clicks on them. The platform is free, easy-to-use, and is suitable even for small publishers.
However, one of the main disadvantages of AdSense is that it doesn’t allow publishers to sell their ad space for the highest price. Moreover, Google takes a 32% cut of your ad revenue.
While AdSense can be a great starting place for new publishers, once your website grows, you might want to try more advanced monetization solutions like header bidding (discussed next).
Requirements: compliance with Google AdSense program policies
H – Header Bidding
Header bidding is an advanced programmatic technology that allows you to sell your ad inventory for the highest possible price by offering it to multiple demand partners (like Google) simultaneously.
However, building such a solution in-house can be unsustainable for most publishers because of its high development costs.
That’s why monetization platforms like Setupad offer instant access to this technology and help you scale your business goals.
Requirements: development resources or willingness to partner up with a monetization platform
I – Implement Email List
The idea behind email lists is to build an engaged email audience and extend it. Once you have a solid email list, you can use it to include sponsored posts from your partners, affiliate links, or even up-sell your own product and services.
What content should I put in my newsletter? Well, there’s no right or wrong way to do it, so use your imagination.
For example, you can ask visitors to disclose their email addresses in exchange for your premium, more in-depth content like e-books or whitepapers. See the example from Search Engine Journal below.
Requirements: solid email list, engaged audience
J – Join Setupad
Consistently creating content and maintaining a website is hard enough. Partnering with a monetization platform like Setupad takes a massive load off publishers’ shoulders.
Why Setupad is the best website monetization choice for publishers and content creators?
Because with our solution, you’ll boost your ad revenue by at least 30%. In addition, you’ll have full technical support from our experts, advice on choosing the best-performing ad placements and sizes, protection from malvertising, and recommendations tailored to your website.
Sounds great? We think so too! Sign up to unlock all the benefits.
K – Keep a Hold on First-Party Data
Ever wondered why Facebook and Google are so attractive for advertisers? Because they solely rely on first-party data, which is incredibly accurate.
Publishers can leverage their access to first-party data to create a bespoke monetization strategy that will drive value to their users and attract more advertisers. For example, they can partner with different ID solutions like Unified ID 2.0 to share their first-party data in a privacy-compliant way. Or, they can run contextual ads which are more and more popular among advertisers.
Either way, first-party data provides publishers with a unique opportunity to monetize a website effectively.
L – Lead Generation For Other Companies
If you want to learn how to monetize content, here’s another technique for you. Lead generation is similar to affiliate marketing. However, instead of receiving a piece of profit from every purchase made through an affiliate link, you generate leads for other businesses.
Through product reviews or comparisons, you can insert a link that will take a user to a landing page of that business. If the user opts in for that business’ offer (or similar), this will count as a lead.
Requirements: significant website traffic, partner research
M – Membership Content
Membership content is an excellent website monetization strategy. It’s similar to a paywall (we’ll get to that) but works best for websites that offer various types of content like reports, PDFs, webinars, e-books, courses, etc.
Essentially, you reserve some of your content (usually premium) for subscribed users while keeping the rest of the content free. You can also create several membership plans instead of just having one fixed price.
Requirements: high-quality content, membership platform or plugin
N – Native Ads
If you want to monetize your website with ads but fear that they may annoy your users, try the native ad format. Native ads blend effortlessly with the rest of your content and generally match the website’s look and feel. It’s the most user-friendly advertising type.
There are several native ad types, like in-feed units, promoted listings, paid search ads, recommendation widgets, and custom ads, so you’ll definitely find one that works for you.
Requirements: access to a native advertising platform such as Voluum.
O – On-Page SEO Optimization
On-Page SEO is a practice of optimizing web pages to rank higher in search engines. It’s based on delivering the best and most relevant content to the user. On-page SEO optimization includes:
- Internal link integration
- Right keywords
- HTML tags like titles and meta descriptions
- The content itself
If you want to monetize traffic, you need to nail on-page SEO. Your traffic will grow and become more attractive to users, which will help with your chosen monetization strategy.
Requirements: SEO knowledge
P – Paywall
The paywall method includes restricting access to your content and asking visitors to pay for it.
You can employ a paywall to restrict access to your content altogether (hard paywall) or opt in for a metered (soft) paywall to allow users to view a limited number of articles before encouraging them to subscribe.
Note, for this model to work, you have to be an authoritative website in your niche with high-quality content.
Requirements: high-quality content, membership platform or plugin
Q – Quit Thinking You Have To Do This Alone
Yes, running a website is a challenging job, especially once it becomes bigger.
You might want to work with freelancers who will take some of the weight off your shoulders.
For instance, you can invite guest writers to produce content for you. Or, you can work with web developers who will take care of your website’s performance.
Similarly, you can outsource all your advertising operations to a trusted monetization company like Setupad and not worry about your website revenue.
R – Rank Your Website on Google
Why is it so important to rank well on Google?
Well, for many reasons. But most importantly, because it drives organic traffic to your website.
Since most monetization strategies are traffic-driven, this means the higher your traffic is, the more money you’ll effectively earn.
Requirements: SEO knowledge
S – Sponsored Posts
Another website monetization method is sponsored posts. They work similarly to an advertisement on your blog, for which you get paid. Sponsored posts can include many things, like:
- Product or service review on your website
- Product promotion on your social media
- Partner post in your email newsletter
- A post that includes a link to your partner’s website
Content creators usually employ this technique together with other monetization methods because too many sponsored posts may annoy your users. Importantly, you have to give an honest review. Otherwise, you can damage your reputation.
Keep in mind that sponsored posts have to be labeled as “sponsored.”
Requirements: significant web traffic, product research
T – Teach (eCourses)
According to Facts and Factors report, the global e-learning market will reach $374.3 bln by 2026. Taking the changing digital climate, more and more people today prefer online education to the traditional classroom due to its flexibility and lower costs.
You could develop a helpful, well-structured e-learning website that will provide a steady monthly revenue stream. For example, CodeCademy offers a limited number of coding courses and materials for free, with more advanced courses available on subscription.
Requirements: be an expert in a specific field, development resources
U – User Experience (UX)
User experience is critical to any publisher’s website monetization strategy. UX affects users’ journey from the moment they discover your website in search. If UX is bad, users will abandon your site. Plus, it’ll be difficult to find brands who want to advertise on it.
The main thing to keep in mind when thinking about UX is that users should be able to interact with your website easily, quickly, and seamlessly. If you’re monetizing a website with ads, maintain a 30:70 ratio of ads to content.
Also, keep an eye on your website’s design because it can improve your user engagement. Here are some great tips on how to do it by DigitalAdBlog.
Requirements: UX skills
V – Video Ads
Video ads are a great ad format popular across all devices. The best part about them is that they’re highly interactive, in addition to their high revenue potential for publishers.
There are two types of video ads–instream and outstream. Instream video ads are placed within an existing video content; outstream video ads can be integrated into the publisher’s website without video content. Setupad also offers instream widget ads, a modern interactive ad format that serves multiple video ads within an ad slot.
Requirements: create video content for in-stream ads or use outstream formats instead; access to a platform that supports video monetization
W – Webinars
A webinar is a great audience interaction component. For example, if you want to educate, provide some training, present a new product to your audience–a webinar is a way to go!
Webinars also help generate new leads and encourage users to sign up for your email newsletter. You can also charge a fee for webinars or reserve them for your paying customers. In addition to webinars, there are also many live streaming options you could use to connect with your audience and generate leads.
Requirements: be an expert in your field or invite guest speakers
X – (e)Xpertise
Yes, you can monetize your expertise! Suppose you are a blogger and an expert in your industry and have a significant following. In that case, you can offer your services directly from your website: Q&A calls, consultations, public lectures, or any other service you may think of.
Requirements: be an expert in your field
Y – Yield Management
Yield in advertising refers to the revenue you earn from ads. One way to improve it is to partner with a monetization platform. Why? Because that’s exactly what they specialize in.
By partnering with a monetization platform like Setupad, you’ll be able to increase your ad revenue without having to put more ads on your website.
Requirements: significant (>100K visitors/month) website traffic
Z – Zero-Cost Marketing
At this point, you may have grasped how to monetize a website, but it’s also important to think about how you will promote your website. Zero-cost marketing isn’t a monetization strategy per se but can be a great supplement to it.
Promotional activities of your business in social media, like Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter, won’t cost you anything and can be a great way to attract more users to your website.
Pro tip! Utilize public forums and social discussions sites like Reddit. If you can positively contribute to a discussion and have a decent following, drop a link to your website. That way, you’re attracting an audience who is genuinely interested in what you have to say.
Requirements: social media skills
Website monetization can make a big difference
One of the first rules for website monetization is always thinking about your users. Remember, your website audience is your biggest asset. None of the monetization strategies mentioned in this post will work if you don’t apply them with user experience in mind.
All you want to do now is invest time and test different techniques to see what works. However, if you decide to monetize your site with ads, trust Setupad to do the job! Sign up today.