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10 Ways to Earn Money from Your Site

By Daniel Schwarz

Earn money from your site

This article was updated on the 9th of November, 2016 to modernize the list of suggestions and improve formatting.

Two years ago, Jacco Blankenspoor wrote a wonderful article detailing the 10 best ways to earn money from your website, but as the web evolves at an accelerated rate (and as a result, the way we engage with the web evolves), it’s ever the more important that our monetization methods evolve with it. If we want to monetize our websites effectively, it’s essential that we stay up-to-date with the current web and social trends.

Let’s discuss 10 of the best ways to monetize your site in 2016.

1. Cost-Per-Click Ads

Cost-Per-Click advertising (CPC for short) is still very relevant in 2016. CPC works by displaying ads on your website, and when a visitor clicks on one of those ads, your website generates revenue.

Google AdSense (yes, it still exists!) is still a viable choice, but Infolinks might be a better alternative (you can use AdSense and Infolinks side-by-side to see what works best for you).

First of all, Infolinks works by finding relevant keywords in your content and displaying ads when you hover over those keywords, which is far less intrusive than Adsense. Other than inline ads, Infolinks offers several other options, and a useful self-serve ad buying platform for those who’d like to boost their own traffic.

Infolinks ads are also loaded after the content so that the ads don’t affect your website loading speeds. Despite still being the third largest ad marketplace, Infolinks actively try to help their publishers increase revenue, whereas AdSense tends to save these efforts for their more premium users.

2. Cost-Per-Mille Ads

Cost-Per-Mille (CPM) basically means “cost-per-thousand-impressions” — it’s all about how much traffic your blog has.

BuySellAds offers you 75% of the revenue share and pays out on-demand, and with no minimum traffic requirements, it becomes an ideal option for those starting out. Even better, you can substitute unsold space for AdSense ads, ensuring that you’re always making money. Personally, the only downside that I’ve noticed is that there’s a lot of competition among design blogs.

Exponential (formerly Tribal Fusion) is at the other end of this spectrum, requiring a whopping 500,000 monthly views. That being said, the payout rates are very lucrative. Its highly targeted ads make it an excellent choice for niche websites, so it’s certainly something to aim towards while building up your audience with Adsense or BSA.

FYI: Google AdSense also offers CPM advertising.

3. Fixed-Price Ads

Fixed-price advertising is when you set a flat fee for your ads, a setup that tends to attract smaller advertisers with a very specific budget. I’d also recommend BuySellAds for this due their extensive range of tools that can help the smaller website (those with less than 100,000 impressions) sell their inventory directly to advertisers. Fixed pricing = clear expectations.

4. Sponsored Content

Sponsored content is a terrific way of monetizing your website without using up your screen real estate, for those that like to keep the focus on the content without distracting the user with web ads. Sponsored content is supposed to be cohesive with the webpage, as if the content would still be there even if it wasn’t sponsored to be. When you observe eye-tracking studies it’s clear that traditional ads tend to be ignored — that’s if they aren’t blocked by ad-blockers that is.

Sponsored ads (sometimes called “advertorials”) can deliver relevant, useful, high-quality content, and when relevant content equals higher engagement, higher engagement equals more value, and more value equals more revenue. If you’re looking for a modern monetization method, make sure you consider sponsored content.

Remember to stay in the ethical clear and disclose sponsorship, at the top of the content before the user invests time in reading the piece.

Cooperatize and Taboola are two big names in this field.

5. Subscriptions and Paywalls

Subscription-based content isn’t anything new, but as traditional web ads start to fall out of favor, paywalled content can generate high income when done right and with integrity. It also gives you full control over what actually appears on your site. By paywalled content I mean online courses, ebooks, downloadable goodies and so on.

Looking for inspiration? Check out Skillshare and Envato Tuts+, which offer both free and premium high-quality content side-by-side.

6. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is the underdog in this list. While networks like CJ Affiliate by Conversant (formerly Commission Junction) still exist, affiliate marketing for the modern web works best when you connect directly with affiliates you feel are relevant to your website. Have a blog about iOS apps or books? Try the iTunes Affiliate Program. Sell design resources? Try promoting other makers on Creative Market. I’m a digital nomad that lives in a different country every month (and sometimes blogs about it), so the apartments that I live in and recommend via the Airbnb Referral Program can sometimes earn me a lot of Airbnb credits!

Connect with affiliates that mean something to you. By working directly with affiliates you’ll find that the revenue share is a lot more competitive as well!

7. Related Posts

While this type of advertising does have a bit of a bad reputation for being spammy, there are a number of ad networks serving relevant, useful content — Disqus is making bold leaps with their “Sponsored Story” and “Sponsored Links” advertising that are built into the comment widget you might already be using. Even though Disqus take 50% of the revenue, you don’t really have much to lose if your website already has Disqus installed.

8. Email Advertising

Email advertising falls into two categories: sponsored content and traditional display ads, both of which are effective. You can find advertisers using many of the same techniques as you would with web advertising (BuySellAds, having an “Advertise Here” webpage, etc); the difference is that email advertising doesn’t take up any screen real estate on your website and in fact engagement rates tend to be higher (users often know what areas of a website to avoid if they don’t want to see ads).

9. Podcast Advertising

Podcasting is a unique skill I must admit, but the results are, well, they’re good. Midroll claims that 61% of listeners made a purchase after listening to an advert, so it’s no wonder that their customers are pretty world class (Dunkin’ Donuts, HBO, Squarespace, etc). If you’re not much of writer but you’re not exactly shy either, podcasting could be for you.

10. Selling Your Website

Selling your website may seem a little nonsensical. If your traffic is sky high, why sell it? If it’s too low, is it even worth it? Actually, it’s more common than you might think for high-traffic websites to have difficulty with monetization. Check out these ten reasons you might want to sell your site.

Often enough, while a website might accumulate a tonne of visitors, somebody else might be able to monetize it better, and that’s why we have marketplaces (like Flippa, for example) where you can sell websites for a profit.

Conclusion

Bottom line: we’re not done with traditional advertising yet, but you may find some of the modern approaches more interesting at the very least. It’s important to try everything until you find a method that suits you — networks like BuySellAds offer anything from sponsored tweets to display ads and still allow you to integrate AdSense into empty ad placements, so there’s a lot of room for experimentation there. Just remember to give each type of advertising time to blossom before writing it off.

Here’s a shout-out to those who have been successful with monetizing their website: do you have any success stories you’d like to share in the comments? Tell us how you monetize!

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  • http://codecondo.com/ Alex

    Interesting list, thanks.

    • http://www.buildyourownwebstore.com/ Jacco Blankenspoor

      You’re welcome, hope you can use it!

  • http://www.el-abda3.com/ George Fareed Awad

    thanks

    • http://www.buildyourownwebstore.com/ Jacco Blankenspoor

      You’re welcome!

  • http://itactica.com itactica

    Another way is selling digital products like e-books. You can make serious money by putting together a pdf with content related to your niche site.

    • http://www.buildyourownwebstore.com/ Jacco Blankenspoor

      Yep, great addition, thanks!

  • http://markitwrite.com/ Kerry Butters

    Really useful list, thanks Jacco.

    • http://www.buildyourownwebstore.com/ Jacco Blankenspoor

      You’re welcome :-)

  • Stephen Cunliffe

    Great post… I didn’t realize that my current amazon affiliate ID is only for the US site!… I’m going to be sure to sign up for and use the UK ID when serving up European links!

    • http://georiot.com/ GeoRiot

      Jacco, thank you for creating such a comprehensive post about the best ways to market your website. And Stephen, let us know if you’d like to use “globalized” Amazon links. It’s refreshing to use a single link that automatically directs each visitor to their correct storefront, because you know every hates listing all of those links out! Check us out at GeoRiot.com

    • http://www.buildyourownwebstore.com/ Jacco Blankenspoor

      Yes, it’s a not a very advanced way of working, since for each of the shops you need to have a separate ID but in some cases (like India) you need to live in the country itself. Image how much money is left on the table with affiliates not realizing either.

      • Naveen Viswa

        i am from india . i need to open an account in amazon ID .if any possible way to doo

  • Thomas Semmler

    more like: “10 ways to earn money from advertising on your site”

    Super insightful article about this subject, thanks a lot for that, but advertising is not the only way to monetize your website.

    • http://www.buildyourownwebstore.com/ Jacco Blankenspoor

      Hi, there are indeed more ways to earn money from your site, but these are the ones that are most easy to implement. But feel free to add more to the list :-)

  • http://www.InternetIncome88.com/ John Scott

    Wow, I never thought that there was so many ways to earn money from my site at http://www.InternetIncome88.com. If I read your article sooner, I might have earned much more money from my website…

  • Mohamed Mostafa

    very nice … useful article .. https://web-and-style.com

  • http://softwareduck.blogspot.com/ pawan vishwakarma

    You have put which websites ads on your site
    1. google
    and
    2.??????
    plz tell me

  • Roger

    if you wanna support the developers behind the witcher 3 aka cdprojekt red who put there trust in the modern gamer by releasing a DRM free game which is something that is done by few developers these days, so again if you want to show your appreciation other than empty words you should show it financially by buying the game and the best prices i know of for people living outside the US are in here: goo.gl/wPJzmH

  • josemarin

    excellent article, I think that to get a good income with our sites videos it is essential to have a good company to advise you and guide you through the best ways to publish and manage the images, etc. All that I found it in Adtomatik, you know them? I recommend from my experience.

  • JuveMan

    Thank you Jacco, Im reading all this is really helpfull.
    I recommend ADCASH.COM for ads i use it because im in blacklist in google lol i dont have try thise sites.
    Thanks again.

  • http://www.ghanaclassic.com Mc Jamie

    Best alternative is google AdSense,their payout are so cool but strict

  • sudarshan p s

    hi Jacco, The information is useful. Even I wanted to know how to start with this and what will be the initial investment and how can I earn money from this exactly. can you suggest me like how to start and etc. Thanks in advance.

  • http://www.bestcurrentaffairs.com BestCurrentAffairs.com

    Nice article on monetizing websites.

  • Kavya Vinod

    i strongly suggest keralaonline123,clickbank or cj to earning money for the begginers.First priority given to keralaonline123

  • Sam WIllson

    You can easily earn money on your site with sponsored content, if you are famous, georgeous girl or smth like that. Just kidding. Anyway, if you are not of these persons, you ought to use casinointheuk or youtube for making money.

  • http://www.massage-directory.net/ Massage-directory

    Good to know for future.

  • http://www.getnewsy.com Aman

    google offers CPM (for impressions only ) ads to site with low traffic ?

  • Patricia Lynn

    Learn how to make money online with your own website. Advertisers will pay big bucks to have their ads on your website. Monetize your website with display, mobile, banner and video, premium advertising and insights. You have worked hard on developing a website or blog and have writing compelling content that keeps customers coming back for more. Now it is time to get down to business and earn money on your website with Advertising. There are several good companies that will help you get started with advertising and earning an income online.

    • Cucky_Hunter

      Please define “Big bucks”. How much would be reasonable? What companies would pay for that? How much would be reasonable to charge? Any info will be highly appreciated.

  • http://www.jayadkinsmagician.co.uk Jay Adkins

    I have a website that is getting a few hundred views each week would love to generate something from it please could you let me know how to go about this please. Ive read the above but im not too good on this kind of stuff

  • ADEWOYE ABIODUN

    Hi Jacco, please is it possible to earn money on the internet by referring people to that site.

  • Mb.a.k.a Joshua

    #appreciate this effort.. enlighting..
    #thanks

  • Jacco

    Hi, can you share what CPM’s you are getting with Adosia?

  • Zawer Mehmood

    Hi Jacco I want to make a public site and want to know the proper way of making a site

  • Zizu Florin

    A good Adsense alternative is Tribaladnetwork.com.Have good cpc rate.

  • http://www.cooperatize.com/ Cooperatize

    Thanks for the mention!

  • Ÿažâñ Ämårā

    hi i have a website and i dont know hoe to put an ads on it please help me how to add ads to my website

  • Ÿažâñ Ämårā

    hi i have a website and i want to add an ads please can u help me how to add cause i dont know.

  • http://www.princesschidimma.com Profitable business online

    If you want to make real money you have to spend some money in learning and advertising. You can always build your empire from small.

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