It can be disheartening to do a Google search for “monetize website” because you’re bombarded with offers that require you to pay up front to sell products nobody wants and sites that want to sell you their “proven” method to earn thousands of dollars per week effortlessly.
It can be difficult to sort through all of the shady money-making enterprises to find legitimate ways to monetize your website that won’t make you look like a snake oil salesman. However, there are ways to monetize online content that can add to your bottom line without alienating customers or adding an unprofessional aura to your site. Here are 10 of them.
1. Put Advertisements on Your Pages
Most people are familiar with Google AdSense, but there are other advertising networks you can tap into. Obviously, the more traffic your site gets, the more successful ads are, so putting ads on your site can motivate you to get serious about SEO, which is good for your site in general.
2. Sell Things
If you have built a vibrant online community, you can sell branded products. T-shirts, coffee mugs, bumper stickers, iPad cases and even dog t-shirts with industry “insider” slogans or your company’s logo can boost your bottom line. You can even collect the best of your web content or blog in a print-on-demand book you sell on your site.
3. Hold Live Events
If you live in a large city, you can hold live events that your website’s fans pay to attend. This could be anything from a resume writing workshop to a “lunch and learn” session with a speaker from your industry.
4. Create a Job Board
Particularly for sector-specific sites, a job board is a terrific monetizing opportunity. Do you run a trade publishing site in the legal sector? Providers like RealMatch.com allow you to create a job board for those looking for jobs in legal professions. Employers love these recruitment advertising solutions, particularly with features like applicant tracking and integrated chat, so they can communicate with job candidates in real time. If you haven’t considered using job board software to monetize your site, you owe it to yourself to check out this great monetizing opportunity.
5. Use a “Freemium” Model
If you put all of your content behind a pay wall, you’ll alienate people. However, people are much more accepting of sites that offer high quality free content as well as premium content that is paid for through a monthly or yearly subscription.
6. Make and Sell an App
You do not have to know how to write code to build a basic app, because there are app building sites that walk you through the process. Whether you build a free, ad-supported app or a paid app, you’ll provide extra value for your site’s visitors and make it clear that you’re embracing mobility just like they are.
7. Sell White Papers to the Data Hungry
The information your website amasses can be very valuable. If your organization has expertise in a particular business niche, you can sell well-researched white papers to busy, information-hungry customers. For example, a business owner who wants to replace all his company’s air compressors will often gladly pay for a white paper distilling features, price, and review information rather than digging through the web for the information.
8. Monetize Podcasting
Podcasts often generate their own little e-commerce ecosystems with fans who purchase t-shirts, mugs and other branded products related to the podcast. Podcasts with healthy followings can also accept paid advertising.
9. Sell e-Books
An e-book containing your site’s 25 most popular blog posts for the year can be priced low enough to attract buyers who love your site, but can’t be bothered with digging through all of your blog posts to find their favorites. The e-books can be advertised on your site (or in podcasts), and can boost income without a big expenditure of effort.
10. Become an Affiliate
You have to be careful because some affiliate programs are dodgy. However, trusted names like Amazon have affiliate programs, too, where you advertise products to customers and earn advertising fees from qualifying purchases. This may even include purchases of products you don’t advertise, as long as they’re made by people clicking through from your site.
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